Last year, opponents of Idaho’s faith-healing exemptions marched to the Idaho Statehouse carrying 183 child-sized coffins, meant to represent the children who have reportedly died from medical neglect.
This year, it was a smaller and more somber affair. Instead of marching en masse through downtown Boise, a few dozen people gathered in the rotunda of the Capitol Thursday night for an interfaith prayer vigil. Rather than carrying coffins to represent the children who died, 36 teddy bears circled the rotunda to represent those advocates estimate will die in the next decade if the law stays the same.
“The coffins were controversial, and some people were turned off by it,” said Bruce Wingate with Protect Idaho Kids, a nonprofit advocacy group. “We don’t want to throw people off. We have a hard enough time getting people.”