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David Ripley: Governor Signs Reporting Bill into Law

March 22nd, 2018 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Governor Otter signed HB 638 into law today, creating the first comprehensive reporting system on abortion complications in Idaho history. We believe this is landmark legislation because, in coming years, we will be able to learn how abortion affects women and girls in both the short-term and long-term. For the first time we will not be dependent upon Planned Parenthood or the FDA to tell us what they want us to hear.

Every doctor, hospital, counselor in Idaho will now be required to file a report with the Department of Health & Welfare when they treat a woman or girl for a health problem associated with undergoing an abortion. That is going to be a tremendous help in setting health policy in the future, in battling Planned Parenthood in the courts – and in persuading women to reconsider a decision to submit to an abortion in the first place.

We know that Otter withstood an intense lobbying effort by numerous actors to veto the legislation.

It is our understanding that Lt. Governor Brad Little spoke with the Governor this morning, urging his support for the bill. A number of others supported our efforts with the Governor’s office – including Rep. Gayann DeMordaunt, Sen. Bob Nonini, Rep. Tom Loertscher and Sen. Tony Potts. And then there are all the fantastic pro-Life folks out there who took the time to call and ask for the Governor’s support of this critical legislation.

It takes a lot of folks to make a victory like this possible. And it takes the Lord’s kindness and blessing, without whom we could do nothing.

There are many reasons to be joyful in thanksgiving over this victory. But here is an important one: The Governor has completed his time in office with a perfect pro-Life record. He has finished the race and will leave behind him a tremendous pro-Life legacy. We predict his stellar pro-Life record will be his greatest, long-term contribution to the well-being of Idaho and its citizens. There is no doubt that Butch Otter has helped save lives that would otherwise have been wasted through abortion – and that number will continue to increase long after he leaves office.

Our heartfelt thanks go out to the lead sponsors of this legislation as well: Rep. Greg Chaney and Sen. Fred Martin have poured their hearts into this fight. And a fight it has been. May the Lord bless these men for their kindness and courage in leading this battle.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Rep. Tom Loertscher | No Comments »

David Ripley: Legislature Gives Final Approval to Reversal Bill

March 13th, 2018 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The Idaho House voted 55-11 to approve SB 1243 yesterday, giving final approval to legislation which would help women find out that there is a way to reverse a chemical abortion – if she moves quickly.

The legislation, proposed by Right to Life, would add a provision to Idaho’s Informed Consent law. It directs the Department of Health & Welfare to include information about the Abortion Pill Reversal protocol in materials given to women considering an abortion. There has been some success in protecting preborn children from the effects of RU-486 if a woman has not yet taken the second drug.

In fact, a young mother testified before both the Senate and House committees about her own experience with APR. After taking the first pill, she immediately experienced regret and searched for help. She was given hormonal treatments and was able to save the life of her baby boy. This extraordinary young mother brought her beautiful son – Zachariah – to the hearings. He is now a healthy, happy five-years-old blessing to the world.

But, despite the living evidence of the APR protocol being effective, Abortion Industry lobbyists from Planned Parenthood and the ACLU decried the legislation as “fake science”. And all of their Democrat clients in the Statehouse obediently voted against SB1243.

SB 1243, sponsored by Sen. Lori Den Hartog and Rep. Gayann DeMordaunt, is now headed to the Governor for final approval. We need to being praying that Governor Otter signs the legislation into law. Women must have access to this information.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues | No Comments »

Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights, March 12

March 13th, 2018 by Halli

by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

This week in my readings a couple of things caught my eye. John Deere puts out a monthly magazine called “The Furrow” and I suppose that they send it to every farmer in the America, or at least to the ones that do business with them. There are some very thoughtful articles and of course, a lot of John Deere ads. Near the end of every issue they have a page of “Fun & Philosophy”. One of those in the last issue was under the heading of Capsule Sermons: “The greatest challenge in life is to decide what is important and to disregard everything else.” That’s a pretty good description of what happens around here.

It was reported on Thursday that Governor Otter received notice from Washington D.C. Health and Human Services (HHS) that the Dual Waiver request we were debating here would not be considered for approval. The reasoning behind the letter was that the Affordable Care Act is still in force and that no innovative plans to cover the gap population would be approved. And after all of the debate in the legislature on this matter, it came to an abrupt halt. It must not have been important to them to see an effort to address this in an Idaho way, therefore it is to be disregarded by them.

Every day is an adventure in the State Affairs Committee. On back to back days we had the debate on chemical abortion reversal (Senate Bill 1243) followed by the hearing on castle doctrine/stand your ground/justifiable homicide (Senate Bill 1313). Those were two interesting days for the committee and both were sent to the full House for action. Most interesting on the first one was a young lady who told the committee about how and why she changed her mind and had brought her five-year-old son with her that was the result of her decision. Then Planned Parenthood and the ACLU lined up to say the protocol was not scientifically proven and would not work. Hmmm. As for S1313 most interesting there was that some testified in opposition saying it was way too strong and others testifying in opposition saying it was far too weak. If that sounds strange to you, it happens here all of the time. And we get to sort it all out.

Back to The Furrow, under what they call the ‘We Aim to Please’ column is this one: “If you believe that feeling bad or worrying long enough will change a past or future event, then you are residing on another planet with a different reality system.” – William James (1842-1910) The good news from home is snow, especially in District 32. We have been worrying about that a lot these past weeks and sure enough our worry has not made a difference and didn’t change the amount of snow.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Rep. Tom Loertscher | No Comments »

David Ripley: Abortion Complications Reporting Bill Now Before Senate Committee

March 10th, 2018 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

A landmark piece of legislation is now pending before the Senate State Affairs Committee. HB 638 will, for the first time, create an Idaho-based system for reporting complications resulting from abortion.

We began developing this legislation in response to a federal court order demanding that Idaho allow Planned Parenthood to perform tele-med abortions. For about the last year and a half, Idaho has been one of only two states in the nation allowing women to undergo a chemical abortion without the benefit of an in-person examination by a physician. Idaho Chooses Life felt the urgent need to get a system in place to keep track of the potential consequences to women and girls.

Supposedly the FDA is keeping track of adverse events associated with RU-486 – but that federal agency has not released data since 2011. Idaho women and policy makers can’t wait until the FDA’s corrupt politics is uprooted by President Trump.

As we have dug deeper into the issue, it has become clear that this piece of legislation has an importance well beyond chemical abortions and the tele-med procedure. It is rather stunning to realize that such a reporting system is long overdue. Some 45 years into the Roe era, we know precious little about the short and long-term effects of abortion on a woman’s health. Virtually all of the public health data now available comes from the Abortion Industry.

It is time that Idaho policy makers and Idaho women get a comprehensive, unbiased look at the health risks associated with abortion.

The Idaho House has already approved HB638. A hearing on the bill began on Friday morning in the Senate State Affairs Committee, and will resume on Monday morning.

HB 638 is sponsored by Rep. Greg Chaney (R-Caldwell) and Sen. Fred Martin (R-Boise).

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues | No Comments »

David Ripley: Idaho Planned Parenthood Sues Trump Administration

March 2nd, 2018 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Idaho Planned Parenthood joined with several other abortion organizations to file a lawsuit against the Trump Administration for cutting them off of federal funds under a program known as “Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program”. This scandalous and evil program was apparently created by Congress to study how we can reduce the teen pregnancy rate.

Even more absurd: The federal government under Obama awarded some $220 million to outfits like Planned Parenthood. This is the organization which seeks to sexualize children in grade school, producing pamphlets and classes on how children can participate in virtually every sexual perversion known to mankind. (See LifeNews article: Trump Admin Cuts Planned Parenthood Funding).

Could even the federal government be so stupid as to not see the connection between sexualizing children and rising teenage pregnancy rates? All of this moral and social chaos funded by our tax dollars. It is just unbelievable that Planned Parenthood would then receive grant money to “study” the crisis they’ve helped create. How many ways can one express dumb-founded outrage?

Thankfully, while the GOP Congress continues to diddle around with defunding, President Trump brings a refreshing common sense approach to the problems Congress and Planned Parenthood are making for our families and society. He ended the TPP Program, and is shifting the money toward more responsible programs. Reading various stories about the move – it seems as if the Trump HHS is actually looking to give funding to pro-Life pregnancy centers. Most of them have abstinence programs.

Needless to say, Planned Parenthood is deeply offended. They want their money back! Idaho Planned Parenthood is among those who have seen their funding cut by Trump. So, once again, they turn to a radical federal judiciary to re-affirm their “constitutional right” to our tax money, used to ruin the lives of our children and grandchildren. One has to believe that the odds of winning this lawsuit are in Planned Parenthood’s favor.

Which brings us back to the deficiencies of our present Congress. In the second year of President Trump’s term – the GOP majority has yet to find the will or means to end funding of Planned Parenthood. And now they are about to reap the whirlwind: The money Congress has given to Planned Parenthood is about to show up in congressional campaigns across the country, as Planned Parenthood and its allies seek to restore that crazy Nancy Pelosi to the Speakership. One would think that self-preservation would be enough to motivate a recalcitrant Congress into action. But, alas ….

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Presidential Politics, Taxes | No Comments »

Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights – Feb. 16

February 20th, 2018 by Halli

by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

You can never accurately predict how long things are going to take in this place. What looks like a bill that is so harmless and straight forward, seems to take hours and somethings that are complicated in nature just breeze through.

At the end of the week we got all tangled up on the floor of the House about slow movers in the passing lane on the freeway. I am sure you have all been there, and have had the joy of following vehicles for miles on end that just don’t have the horsepower to complete passing. It’s not only annoying but in some cases causes safety problems. The bill seemed simple enough but took very long debate to get it passed. Will it help? I sure hope so.

As I have mentioned previously it is never dull in State Affairs. A large crowd had gathered to participate in the hearing of a bill that prohibits the application of foreign laws in Idaho. It was one of those times when emotions were running high on both sides of the issue. Those are the times when it is handy to have security around, and by the way their presence is enough to settle things down in most cases. It came out of the committee easily, after two hours of very impassioned testimony. Just for the record that was just one of the big deals we dealt with this week.

Medicaid is still on the front burner, with pros and cons in every direction imaginable. It seems like almost every legislator has a different set of concerns. At least now they are looking for answers. Those in high risk pools would be moved to Medicaid while those below 100% of poverty level would be made to qualify for subsidies on the state health exchange. About the only thing that is unclear is how all of this will reflect in the world of health insurance premiums. Does it seem that the topic of health insurance used to be easier than it is now? The bottom line is, and I think everyone around here knows, that people are currently being priced out of the market. And just saying no, does not solve the problem.

Budget setting has begun and that is the signal for getting our work completed. While there are many bills yet to consider, the budget always is center stage. Everything else is a series of fixing stuff. Another thing that we seem to work on a lot here is water. There are still problems with some of the agreements that have been made and fixes for those are in the works.

Looking forward to next week it looks like some long days are in order. That was probably a prediction and given the nature of most predictions don’t get your hopes up. And as for me I am ready for a couple of days at home. The truck is fixed, and I will shortly be on my way.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Rep. Tom Loertscher, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights – Feb. 9

February 12th, 2018 by Halli

by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

Acceleration as defined by mechanics is, “the time rate of change of velocity with respect to magnitude or direction; the derivative of velocity with respect to time.” This concept has applied to the legislature this week.

Committee work this week has accelerated and more and more time is being devoted there as legislation moves through the process. Two items of great interest around here have been the tax bill and dual waivers. The tax reduction bill moved through the House and now is on its way to the Senate. It was a long debate by the body abundant with procedural votes in an effort to either amend the bill or to divide it into several parts. The bottom line is the bill passed which will mean that income tax rates will go down, of course if it makes it to the governor’s desk. Good news for all taxpayers.

The Medicaid waivers came out of the Health and Welfare Committee and will be up for debate soon. It seems like a double edge sword to me in that on the one hand we could be accelerating the pace of increase in the cost of Medicaid to the State. On the other hand we would be able to provide coverage to those who fall in the so called “coverage gap.” There are mixed opinions on every side of this one. And I haven’t even mentioned how much this will cost.

Several groups were in town this week, Idaho Cattle Association, Nez Perce Tribe, Historical Society, Association of Realtors, Mining Association, Association of Counties, Developmental Disability Network, and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe just to name a few. Meeting with our county officials from our district is always a priority and as always it was good to see them and hear what is happening at home. The Disability Networks presented information from their perspective on The Medicaid waivers and there are things in the waivers that might help these folks.

It was interesting to hear from the Coeur d’ Alene tribe and their efforts with a new medical center. They have developed a “one stop shop” for medical services in Benewah County that is impressive. I thought that part of their presentation was better than the mentalist (he called himself an experimenter whatever that is) they had for entertainment.

The Idaho Mining Association event was a chance for all of us to reflect on the contribution mining makes to the economy of the state. It is good to remember that there are only three things that create new wealth, mining, timber and agriculture. Knowing that we have all three in District 32 makes me grateful to live in this great part of Idaho.

On a personal note, I’ll have to put on my mechanics hat before I can get home this weekend. I have to replace the injector pump and as Linda would tell you, I am the original do-it-yourself guy. Dealing with diesel fuel and its pungent odor will be part of the privilege. It reminded me of the time in the distant past when I fueled a diesel car in England. The attendant at the station was taken by surprise that the car I had required diesel fuel. She commented (put on your best English accent), “It’s such filthy stuff you know, and such a nice car too.”

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Rep. Tom Loertscher | No Comments »

Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights, February 2

February 5th, 2018 by Halli

by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

This has been a week of transition in the House. For the most part committee work has dominated our time and now more items are moving to the full body for consideration. Committee work has also changed from mostly introducing legislation to the hearing process on bills. New items are still coming as well. Every day someone approaches me with a “brand new” idea for the greatest bill ever.

One of those new ideas (which by the way has been seen several times in the past) was to change the requirement for publication of legal notices in newspapers to online notices. Great idea, except that even in these times, not everyone has internet access. This idea will probably have a rough time around here and rightly so. When we deal with peoples’ lives and livelihoods, public notice needs to be available to all.

Another “great idea” brought forward was, that if a bond or levy election loses at the polls, a similar issue can’t come forward for twelve months. I am sure our schools will have much to say about that one. I have memories of how difficult it was to consolidate those elections to just four dates per year. I can see the e-mail stream pick up a lot on that issue.

Most things that are getting to the full House have been simple things but that is not going to last long. Some heavier things are on the way or will be soon. Science has been a big topic for the education committee. On the tax front, that committee has arrived at a tax bill that may get out of committee next week. Health and Welfare is moving forward with what they are calling the dual waiver proposal which is to authorize the department to apply for the waivers. If either of those waivers are unsuccessful with the feds, the other would not work.

State Affairs is getting an array of stuff from election changes to an article V call for a convention to propose amendments to the constitution. And don’t forget some changes in alcohol licenses. And Have I mentioned Marsy’s Law? There is a full court press on the committee for that one. We still have not seen the final draft on it but we will soon.

I get asked frequently, especially from new members, just how do you keep up? Believe me when you get a broad array of subjects to deal with, and huge numbers of e-mails, it does seem a bit daunting. My best advice is to do your homework and don’t hesitate to ask questions. Chances are you’ll get some help. After all, everyone around this place at least has an opinion.

We have gotten some lessons this week on procedure, which was welcome. You may ask, why are we so stuck on procedure? If we don’t do it right, and by the rules, whatever we do is not valid. We have even had some training for committee chairs and no matter how long we may have done this around this place there are things to learn.

Even though there has been a transition occurring, more is on the way. It will soon be more difficult to introduce something new and longer calendars will at least shift us to a higher gear. The train has left the station for sure and the next step will be home to live with what we have created.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Politics in General, Rep. Tom Loertscher | No Comments »

David Ripley: President Trump Declares Sanctity of Life Day

January 27th, 2018 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

What an extraordinary development. On Monday, the President issued a proclamation honoring the pro-Life cause and the movement which has refused to accept the deranged morality of the Supreme Court.

President Trump was as clear about his pro-Life convictions as is he about most things: “Though the fight to protect life is not yet over, we commit to advocating each day for all who cannot speak for themselves.”

This is but another amazing development in the presidency of Donald Trump. He has indisputably established himself as the greatest pro-Life champion to occupy the White House in the Roe era. What makes him so unique is that he is not simply supportive of one pro-Life law or another – he has established an Administration which advocates a pro-Life philosophy. Trump is not willing to make a deal here or a concession here. He wants his presidency to be pro-Life at every opportunity.

It is downright thrilling.

Trump does not merely respond to pressure from the Life Lobby to help with the new project for defending the innocent. He has identified himself as one our members, even a leader of the movement in his own right. We just have never seen that kind of leadership before.

May the Lord continue to protect and guide him. And may the Congress get on the train and strengthen this historic moment.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Politics in General, Presidential Politics | No Comments »

David Ripley: Take a Peek at Dystopian Liberalism

January 14th, 2018 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Ever wonder what America can look like if we allow Planned Parenthood and the rest of the Radical Left to define our legal and cultural norms?

Our sophisticated friends in Canada are putting on just such a show for our educational benefit. The socialist Prime Minister has banned government funds going to any project or group which does not endorse his abortion-on-demand politics. The particular flash point is a program which provides grants to various entities that offer summer youth jobs. And this is likely only a pilot effort in a plan to leverage all government money to force ideological conformity.

Churches or private charities which hold or teach pro-Life values are no longer eligible to receive government grants for the jobs program.

After some push-back, Prime Minister Trudeau stood his ground this past week, declaring that “women’s reproductive rights [is] where we draw the line as a country”.

It is important to ponder that this move does not strictly involve pro-Life actions by grantees. Now, in order to participate in the program, these churches and charities must affirm that they, too, believe in a woman’s right to terminate her baby’s life in order to put kids to work in the summer. It is a thought- police kind of action completely unrelated to the program itself.

Such totalitarian impulses have surfaced in America. Planned Parenthood has actually passed legislation in a couple of states requiring pro-Life pregnancy centers provide information about where women can abortions. Even here in Idaho, Democrat legislators have publicly expressed the view that medical personnel should not be able to work in health care if they have objections to assisting with abortion or assisted suicide.

We may take comfort from the fact that we have greater personal liberties here in America because of the Constitution than our northern neighbors – but that would be a big mistake. Our educational system is depriving too many students of a proper understanding of the Constitution and our republican form of government. Even our history. Too many of those students go on to careers in the law or public service. Those rights, bestowed upon us through tremendous sacrifice, are only as good as our ability and willingness to defend them.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, National Sovereignty, Politics in General, Taxes | No Comments »

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