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David Ripley: An Historic Legislative Session

April 14th, 2011 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The recently concluded session of the Idaho Legislature was a learned picture of conservative principle in action.
Most importantly, the Legislature and Governor reaffirmed in several important ways their commitment to the proposition that government’s most vital mission is the protection of human life. We have, for example, a new law which makes it a felony to assist another in committing suicide. We believe that Idaho is the first state to add such a criminal provision in many years.

The Ban on Assisted Suicide is particularly important given the Death Lobby’s national movement to create a “right to die” under the misguided banner of “compassion”.

We have also taken steps to prevent the expansion of abortion coverage in Idaho through ObamaCare. If we are ever forced to accept a federally-run “insurance exchange” in Idaho, we can at least take some comfort from the fact that it will not cover elective abortions.

Speaking of ObamaCare, it is important to acknowledge the Legislature’s leadership in stopping the Idaho Department of Insurance from taking federal funds to build the infrastructure necessary to implement that federal power grab. Persistent work by folks like Vito Barbieri, Monty Pearce and Judy Boyle helped move legislation to the governor’s desk which prohibits other departments in state government from moving to implement ObamaCare.

And then there is the success we achieved this session in fixing the rules being used by the Department of Health & Welfare to pay for abortions under state Medicare rules. Hopefully those changes will help reduce teenage abortions in Idaho.

We are also encouraged by the Governor’s signature on the amendment to the state’s Conscience Protection Law. The amendment came about in part because of Governor Otter’s concern last year that the Conscience Law did not sufficiently protect patients facing the end of their lives. With his signature on the amendment, the law is now quite clear that doctors must abide by the provisions of the Living Will section of Idaho Code. That law seems to have worked pretty well since its creation in 1988. Hopefully, with this latest action, Idaho seniors will be reassured that their wishes are still protected by Idaho Law despite the rhetoric and manipulation of groups like AARP.

Conservatives will rightly applaud accomplishments like the balanced budget without tax increases and the passage of a law closing Idaho’s primary to those voters who identify with the Republican Party.

But it is the tremendous work done in rebuilding a Culture of Life which deserves the greatest applause.

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