The University of Idaho issued a memo on Friday warning employees to not promote or discuss abortion while using the institution’s funds and facilities.
The document, first obtained by The Idaho Press, outlined the reproductive policies that the school will follow with the recent enactment of Idaho’s near-total abortion ban.
ABC News reported that the university did not offer abortion services prior to issuing of the memo, but the new law limits what staff can discuss when using the school’s resources.
Additionally, the No Public Funds for Abortion Act, which was passed in 2021, bars state employees from favoring abortion.
“This is a challenging law for many and has real ramifications for individuals in that it calls for individual criminal prosecution,” Jodi Walker, the executive director of communications at the university, told The Washington Post.
“This guidance was sent to help our employees understand the legal significance and possible actions of this new law passed by the Idaho legislature,” Walker said.
Since the language of the law unclear about what “prevention of conception” entails, the school takes a conservative approach on the matter to avoid committing a crime, the memo states.
The school asked that birth control not be advertised or promoted, but will allow condoms to still be distributed to prevent STDs, the memo said.
The university’s staff is not allowed to “provide emergency contraception except in the case of rape,” per The Hill. The rules for classroom discussions on the subject are stringent as well.
“Academic freedom is not a defense to violation of law,” the memo said, asking all staff to remain neutral and avoid violating the law that favor abortion.
Idaho has banned abortion in all cases except rape or a life-threatening pregnancy. The ban went into effect on Aug. 25, according to The Guardian.