On February 19, 2017, we marched from Julia Davis Park to the Idaho State Capitol to honor children who have died from “faith healing” medical neglect and to prevent future deaths.
Since the Idaho legislature enacted religious exemptions in its child abuse statutes, we believe hundreds of children have died from medical neglect justified with religious belief.
Marchers carried child-sized symbolic “coffins” that represented dead children who had been part of communities that deny medical care to young people.
Click here to learn more about religious exemptions.
Scroll down the page to view more photos from the march
Protect Idaho Kids founder Bruce Wingate spoke at the march. Here is what he said:
“Good afternoon, I’m Bruce Wingate, Founder of the Protect Idaho Kids Foundation. Since 2009 we have been raising awareness about child abuse prevention and engaging in activities that help make Idaho a safer place for our children. Thank you for being here… especially on one of the coldest days of the year, I thank each and every one of you.
I also want to thank all the people who have helped to put this march together…. they worked very hard and it is appreciated.” <read the full text>
Many of the marchers had personal stories to tell. Here is a speech given by Willie Hughes, a survivor of “faith healing” medical neglect.
“Thank You for allowing me to speak today. My name is Willie Hughes. I was born in Boise. l was raised in the Followers of Christ Church in Meridian.
My parents were both multi-generational members of the Followers of Christ.
Growing up l was NEVER allowed to see a doctor, take any medication, herbal supplements or vitamins.
When I was about 3 years old I came down with what my mother thought was whooping cough. The only thing my parents did was pray over me and rub olive oil on my head. From what family members told me, I almost died.” <read the full text>
News Media Cover the March to Protect Idaho Kids
The Washington Post
Idaho State Journal
KPVI Channel 6
Idaho Mountain Express
For additional press coverage on this issue, please click here