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David Ripley: Will AG Wasden Win This Lawsuit?

June 12th, 2018 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The Death Lobby recently filed a federal lawsuit against the State of Idaho, arguing that Idaho’s law on “living wills” or “advance directives” is “unconstitutional”. They are joined by the Abortion Lobby in pressing for an expanded right to destroy preborn children under the rubric of “women’s rights”.

The key issue: Idaho’s 2005 updated law on living wills provides an exception if the woman is pregnant. The justification for this exception is simple – in that case, there is another life involved. And the State of Idaho and medical personnel have a moral and legal responsibility to defend the separate rights of that preborn child to life.

The whole debate around “living wills” involves very serious moral, legal and spiritual issues. These legal documents outline the treatment choices a competent adult would make in various cases. For example, if you were in an accident and descended into a coma – would you want extraordinary medical intervention to preserve your life? Would you choose to receive food and water – while foregoing treatment options like breathing machines? And at what point would you choose one or more options?

Often, these living wills come down to making predetermined choices about when and how one might choose to die. Those theoretical questions are difficult enough for a person to make, because so much is unknown at the time those documents are signed. Many can justify such a limitation on future medical treatment because they feel they are doing their family a favor by relieving them of the burden of making difficult choices for a loved one. But this is an area fraught with troubling moral and spiritual questions in the clearest of circumstances.

The moral problems expand exponentially when one considers that this lawsuit seeks to gain a ruling striking down Idaho’s protections for preborn children.

It is one thing for an adult woman to choose death for herself, under the present structure of Idaho’s Living Will law. But it is a whole different question when one considers that there is another life at stake.

Let’s look at just one implication of this lawsuit: What if a woman files a living will with the state, stating that she does not want food & water in certain circumstances. A couple of years later, she gets married. Then pregnant. But her legally-binding choices are not updated in light of her new circumstances. Suddenly, she is in the hospital after an accident. The doctors would be required to follow her previous wishes, regardless of the desires of her husband – even if he were certain that his wife would want to preserve their baby’s life by staying on life support. It is our understanding that the filed living will would overrule any other consideration. The hospital and courts would be bound to honor the wishes outlined in that old document. That is but one reason that the Idaho Legislature had the wisdom to provide for the pregnancy exception when updating this highly complex code section.

One of the participants in this lawsuit is “Compassion & Choices” – a leading advocate of assisted suicide in the nation. We previously battled them here in Idaho when they decided that the Gem State needed to widen its welcome mat for an evil philosophy built on the worship of death. (These are the people who have hoodwinked Washington and Oregon; they are at work in California as we speak).

They are back in Idaho to advance their dark agenda – this time, hiding behind the curtain of “women’s rights”.

So it is now up to Lawrence Wasden to defend the thoughtful work of the Idaho Legislature. Frankly, his record in the area of defending preborn children leaves a lot to be desired. Most of the time he loses quickly to the Abortion Lobby. So we are concerned, particularly because the case is already highly politicized: One of the pregnant women participating in the lawsuit is Chelsea Gaona-Lincoln, a Democrat running in Caldwell for the Idaho House against our good friend, Rep. Greg Chaney.

One interesting dynamic of this lawsuit is the fact that Ms. Lincoln’s baby is expected in July, which would seem to raise questions about her legal standing to bring this suit.

Ms. Lincoln’s spouse – Democrat Evangeline Beechler – is also running for the Legislature, and is the Democrat nominee against Sen. Jim Rice this fall. Both have been very active advocates for the LGBTQ agenda at the Legislature.

We need to be encouraging Mr. Wasden to stand tall and expend the resources necessary to win this important case.

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

David Ripley: Once More We Must Witness a Public Execution

April 26th, 2018 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Many of you have probably been following the tragic story of baby Alfie Evans in England. He is a toddler whom the medical community and courts have determined must be killed, despite the heart-wrenching pleas of his parents for his life.

Doctors determined that this little boy would not recover from his condition. They determined that he was going to die. So they told his parents that he should be removed from a ventilator and denied food and water. In order that he be helped in dying faster.

The logic is truly inexplicable.

The parents fought for his life. They went to court and asked that they be allowed to take him to another hospital for treatment. The courts – many courts – have upheld the right of the London hospital to play God. No, said the UK High Court just yesterday, the parents cannot transport to a hospital in Italy or Germany.

The last report we read indicated that the hospital had yet to withdraw water from the little boy, but they have begun starving him. They also withdrew him from a respirator, but the little Alfie continued to breathe for some 19 hours – defying predictions of hospital staff.

We have seen any number of such examples of growing arrogance within the legal and medical community. It is almost as if people like Alfie are being executed because they defy the medical oracles by continuing to live. It is hard to accept that modern society is willing to tolerate such attacks on parental authority and human dignity.

But it is even harder to grasp why our institutions are so psychotically committed to ensuring that vulnerable people like Alfie die on their schedule. Why is it necessary to deprive the boy of food and water? Can one imagine a more horrible method of death? Can you imagine the ACLU standing by if death row prisoners were executed over the course of days through such a method? Yet we stand around wringing our hands when the highest authorities of the land wreack such havoc upon the innocent.

It is truly more than barbaric. It is plain evil.

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

David Ripley: Insurance Reform Bill Becomes Law

April 2nd, 2018 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

An important health insurance bill passed the Legislature this session, but has received little attention from a distracted media.

Ever since Obama largely socialized the country’s health care system, various folks have been calling for increased competition as the solution to the mess he and Pelosi have created. Many Republicans have called for reforms to allow insurance carriers to sell policies across state lines. But like much of the conservative agenda – Congress has failed to act.

But Idaho has. Sen. Dan Foreman and Rep. Tom Loertscher got legislation passed this year which will make it possible for out-of-state companies to compete with Blue Cross in Idaho. (SB 1288). This is a market-based reform that could help lead to slower growth in premiums.

The long term impact will largely depend on who is elected governor this year, and who serves in the Department of Insurance next year. No doubt there will have to be an outreach effort to encourage companies to market their plans in Idaho and compete with the Blue Cross monopoly.

Evidence has surfaced that the insurance companies who survived thus far in the ObamaCare era are beginning to make serious profits, as are institutional health care providers. After all, the massive increase in government spending on health care has to be going to somewhere. And the 200% increase in private family premiums aren’t hurting the bottom line for Blue Cross and St. Luke’s either.

We heartily commend Loertscher and Foreman for their leadership in getting this bill passed. America has a long and successful experience with free market solutions to social problems: Competition has brought Americans a tremendous quality of life. It is obvious that that is the path out of this health care mess. But few of our politicians appear willing to bring that grand solution to the policy table.

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

David Ripley: Good for Jim Risch

March 27th, 2018 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The national and local media is in an uproar over the fact that Sen. Jim Risch objected to putting Cecil Andrus’ name on one of the most iconic natural wonders in Idaho. They can’t believe that anyone could possibly object to honoring the most notable Idaho Democrat of the last generation.

Well we do. And we applaud Sen. Risch’s actions.

We remember Cecil Andrus not for his brilliant and sometimes ruthless political style. We remember him most for his veto of HB 625 – legislation that would have outlawed most abortions in the State of Idaho. And we remember that it was through that battle in 1990, Andrus led the transformation of the Idaho Democrat Party from one in which a majority of officeholders were publicly pro-Life to an organization committed wholesale to the Abortion Industry’s agenda.

The thoroughness of Andrus’ re-education camp can be witnessed by the simple fact that it has been well over fifteen years since we have gained a single Democrat vote in the Legislature on any abortion legislation. Not one. Not a single Democrat legislator supported Parental Consent. Or Informed Consent. Or our most recent effort – compiling data on the complications women suffer after choosing an abortion. It is a rather appalling record for an organization which claims to stand for women.

Oh – and let’s not forget that Governor Andrus also engineered the repeal of Idaho’s “Trigger Law” – which would have restored protections for preborn children in the event of a reversal of Roe v. Wade.

It is a travesty that Cecil Andrus’ name should be emblazoned on Idaho’s White Cloud Mountains.

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

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 »

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