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David Ripley: Effort to Defund PP Hangs by a Thread in Senate

November 14th, 2015 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

We had a great deal of hope going into this latest Congressional effort to defund the abortion mafia known as Planned Parenthood. It seemed that the reconciliation process offered a perfect opportunity to obtain a clean Senate vote and avoid the filibuster by Planned Parenthood’s Democrat patrons in that body. The reconciliation process requires only a simple majority to pass.

The measure to defund Planned Parenthood has already passed the House by a large margin, and awaits Senate action.

Yesterday, the Senate Parliamentarian gave her approval to the measure, certifying that the bill could be enacted through the “Byrd Rule” – allowing a simple majority. Everything seemed on course for an historic vote to end the unholy partnership between the American taxpayer and Planned Parenthood – forced upon us for over forty years by a badly misguided Congress.

And now we learn that our hope hangs by a thread. It is no surprise that the liberal Republicans in the caucus are balking. But there are still enough votes if conservatives stand tall. But that weird purity virus has surfaced – threatening to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Sens. Mike Lee, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are threatening to vote against the reconciliation bill because it doesn’t go far enough in repealing provisions of ObamaCare – another feature of the bill.

What makes this so darn frustrating and even silly is the simple fact that Obama will veto the measure in any event. Purity makes little sense in this context.

What does make sense is for the entire Republican Congress to make a final and clear statement about ending our partnership with Planned Parenthood. While the effort to improve health care for women will require a new president to take effect – Republicans are foolish not to force an Obama veto heading into a critical election year. Instead of losing this fight over defunding in the byzantine halls of the Senate – let us expose Obama as the champion of abortion, the defender of human baby organ trafficking.

Please take a moment to call the offices of the normally pro-Life Senators having trouble figuring this situation out:

Sen. Marco Rubio: 202-224-3041

Sen. Ted Cruz: 202-224-5922

Sen. Mike Lee: 202-224-5444

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

David Ripley: Pelosi Appoints Democrats to Panel

November 9th, 2015 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The new Speaker of the House is proceeding with plans to thoroughly investigate Planned Parenthood’s role in the national baby organ trafficking ring revealed over the summer. At first, Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi indicated that she would refuse to appoint Democrats to the panel. But she has changed her mind.

Pelosi announced last week that six Democrats would represent her party on the select investigation committee. Not too surprisingly, all six members are candidates with ties to Planned Parenthood. In fact, between them, the Democrat members have collected over $81,000 in campaign checks from Planned Parenthood’s PAC over the years.

It would seem unlikely, therefore, that these particular congressional members will be too energetic in looking at Planned Parenthood. Rather, we can expect that they are on the panel to undermine the investigation by any means necessary.

The Democrats appointed to panel are: Jan Schawkowsky of Illinois; Jerrold Nadler of New York; Diana DeGette of Colorado; Jackie Speier of California; Susan DelBene of Washington and Bonnie Coleman of New Jersey.

In a further demonstration of the present perversion of the Democratic Party, Pelosi has denounced the panel as the “Republican’s Select Committee to Attack Women’s Health”.

Honestly, in what perverse universe does the chopping up and trafficking in babies have anything to do women? Or even abortion? The Select Committee is not charged with investigating abortion or abortion rights. It is tasked with looking at Planned Parenthood’s horrific side business, whereby it obtains additional profits by treating human babies as mere commodities.

One would think that there are enough Democrats left with a moral code strong enough to find such practices abhorrent and unacceptable in a nation like the United States. Perhaps we will yet see such persons stand up in coming months. But it is already clear that Leader Pelosi will once again use her power to protect the terribly guilty.

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

David Ripley: New Abortion Industry Videos Emerge

October 31st, 2015 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Despite the best efforts of federal courts and the Abortion Industry, free speech lives in America. More video files have emerged this week documenting the callous and unethical practices of Planned Parenthood and other abortionists. Among other horrible revelations, it is indisputable from the new videos that the Abortion Industry is profiting handsomely from the sale of baby organs and tissue.

Hours and hours of video tapes were reportedly recorded at a national convention of abortionists sponsored by the National Abortion Federation this past summer. Numerous conversations were recorded about baby parts trafficking. Realizing that the whole industry was about to be exposed, the organization sought a court order from a federal judge to prohibit the Center for Medical Progress from publicly releasing the recordings. And, despite the First Amendment, a federal judge has happily slapped a gag order on the Center for Medical Progress.

However, several committees in Congress have obtained copies of those video recordings. Someone on the staff apparently made those censored videos available to various websites. Now the public has a chance to witness how deeply integrated organ trafficking has become with the practice of abortion.

You can watch the new videos for yourself:

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

David Ripley: Boehner Appoints Special Panel

October 31st, 2015 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

On Friday, Speaker John Boehner announced the Republican members of a special select committee charged with investigating Planned Parenthood. The panel will have unique powers to collect documents and subpoena witnesses as it searches for answers to the scandalous trafficking in baby organs and tissue.

The panel will be chaired by Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee. Boehner offered an accompanying statement:

“Recent videos exposing the abortion-for-baby parts business have shocked the nation, and demanded action. At my request, three House committees have been investigating the abortion business, but we still don’t have the full truth. Chairman Blackburn and our members will have the resources and the subpoena power to get to the bottom of these horrific practices, and build upon our work to protect the sanctity of all human life.”

In accepting the leadership post, Rep. Blackburn argued that, “No issue is more deserving of our undivided attention than protecting the dignity of human life. This will be a broad based- information gathering – fact finding mission – to answer questions about how we treat and protect life in this country. This is a discussion that this country must have. This is a discussion we should not shy away from.”

Among the numerous questions the panel is charged to investigate is the issue of federal funding for tissue and organ procurement. In addition, the committee will look into profit margins, abortion procedures and whether Planned Parenthood is harvesting organs from babies born alive.

In addition to Blackburn, other Republican members of the panel are Joe Pitts (PA), Diane Black (TN), Larry Bucshon (IN), Sean Duffy (WI), Andy Harris (MD), Vicki Hartzler (MO) and Mia Love (UT).

This is extraordinarily important work, and we are hopeful it will produce meaningful reforms at the federal level. In addition to severing our partnership with Planned Parenthood, Congress must overhaul the law and regulations governing tissue donation and harvesting.

It is obvious that we need to recover sound moral standards to govern medical research, particularly when human beings are the subject. Legalized abortion has degraded the sensitivities and collective conscience of this society and a battle must be waged to re-establish proper standards of conduct. Human beings cannot be treated like so much waste product, to be scrounged through for valuable parts and profit.

Hopefully Congress can help lead the way back through the work of this panel.

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

David Ripley: Congress Makes Historic Vote

October 31st, 2015 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The U.S. House of Representatives again voted yesterday to defund Planned Parenthood. This is something like the fourth time the House has voted to cut funds this year. While previous efforts have foundered on the Democrat Abortion Phalanx in the Senate, this bill stands a very good chance of getting to President Obama’s desk.

The House passed HR 3762 by a vote of 240-189. One lone Democrat voted with Republicans to place a one-year moratorium on any federal funds going to Planned Parenthood. Both Idaho congressmen supported the measure, which could cost America’s leading abortion chain over $550 million in government funding.

What makes this effort unique is the parliamentary procedure being used. HR 3762 is positioned under the rules as a budget reconciliation measure; this means that Democrat cheerleaders of abortion in the Senate cannot hide behind the filibuster rules of the Senate to block a vote.

We are very hopeful that the Senate will consider the measure next week, which can be sent to Obama’s desk with a simple majority.

Of course, Obama will once again come through for his pals at Planned Parenthood.

But that doesn’t diminish the significance of what the Congress will have accomplished by the vote. The fact is, for the first time in history, a majority of both houses will have rejected the notion that Planned Parenthood is somehow entitled to public welfare; or that women’s health care needs can only be provided through a discredited abortion chain. That hasn’t happened in over forty years.

It seems that all we need is a modestly righteous occupant of the White House in 2017 to finally put an end to our sordid partnership with Planned Parenthood. The end of public funding for this organization will be a serious body blow to their operations.

Congress created this evil behemoth by allowing Planned Parenthood to mainline directly into the U.S. Treasury for massive, reliable funding year in and year out. And only Congress can end this evil arrangement.

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

David Ripley: Has It Come to This?

October 31st, 2015 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The Abortion Lobby is apparently quite serious about its “seek and destroy” mission. They have now gotten the government of the State of California to force pro-Life pregnancy centers to explain to every woman and girl entering their facility that “California has public programs … [including] … abortion”.

In fact, there is not only a mandate to orally communicate that free abortions may be available – but the pregnancy centers are required to post a sign in their facilities with a government phone number. And just to be sure that vulnerable women are pushed into abortions, pro-Lifers are required now to hand out fliers with a full paragraph and contact information for abortion services.

Of course, Christians across the state are outraged that Gov. Jerry Brown actually signed AB 775 into law. It is truly hard to believe that even California liberals would demonstrate such contempt for the fundamental religious liberties of pro-Life Californians. But such is the growing totalitarian impulse which animates today’s liberal political community.

Lawsuits have already been filed on behalf of two pregnancy centers by The Pacific Justice Institute.

“Forcing a religious pro-Life charity to proclaim a pro-abortion declaration is on its face an egregious violation of both the free speech and free exercises clauses of the First Amendment,” said Brad Dacus, president of the Institute.

We will monitor the progress of these suits, as it will say much about just how much trouble America is in.

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

David Ripley: Hillary Joins Planned Parenthood Party

October 31st, 2015 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Hillary Clinton was among those celebrating Planned Parenthood’s 99th Birthday celebration this weekend. In comments tweeted from her account, Clinton wrote:

“On October 16, 1916, Planned Parenthood opened their first health center and changed life women in America. Here’s to the next 99 years!”

The disgusting trafficking in human baby organs and tissue has done nothing to diminish Clinton’s enthusiasm for the nation’s largest Abortion Factory. In fact, she seems to be going out of her way recently to demonstrate her fealty to the criminal enterprise.

Clinton is right about one thing, though: Planned Parenthood has had an undeniable impact on American society. The cost of that transformation has, indeed, been unimaginably huge.

As Planned Parenthood throws itself another birthday party, we can’t help but grieve for the millions of babies who have been denied birthday celebrations of their own.

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

David Ripley: California Expands Death Culture

October 31st, 2015 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law this week which would allow physicians to assist patients in committing suicide. Under the guise of offering “compassion”, California will speed folks to premature death by calling it medical care.

The legislation was opposed by numerous churches and groups like Americans United for Life.

California is now the 5th state to offer legalized suicide. It joins Oregon, Washington, Montana and Vermont at the forefront of the Culture of Death. The issue is also now raging in New Mexico.

Fortunately, Idaho defeated the Death Lobby when they tried making a similar run here several years ago. Through the work of Idaho Chooses Life, Idaho passed a law in 2007 making assisted suicide illegal in the Gem State.

That work is proving crucial to safeguarding the lives of the vulnerable, particularly young people.

Research has just been published in the Southern Medical Journal showing that laws like the one Brown signed have a substantial impact on the general culture and increased suicide rates. They found that overall suicide rates increased by as much as 12% in those states where the government legitimized premature death as an acceptable option.

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

Richard Larsen: Do We Really Want to Model the U.S. after Denmark?

October 31st, 2015 by Halli

by Richard Larsen

At the Democrat presidential debate two weeks ago, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said we “should look to countries like Denmark…and learn from what they have accomplished for their working people.” The good senator should either rephrase his statement, or look more closely at the data. Democratic-socialism may work in some places in Europe, but was never intended, nor can it work, in the United States of America.

Another of Sanders’ erroneous statements regarding Denmark was when he claimed that Denmark’s economic model “provides extraordinary security and opportunity.” It does provide security, but little opportunity, economic or otherwise.

Democratic socialism is a political ideology which juxtaposes a democratic political system, (popular elections), with a socialist economic system. As such, it involves a combination of political democracy (usually multi-party democracy) with “social ownership of the means of production.”
Consequently, it can be somewhat characterized as a less tyrannical and totalitarian form of socialism, since the masses are voting for the cadre that will separate them from the fruits of their labors. And while it may not abolish private property ownership, as its more draconian sibling, communism does, it taxes income, and inflates prices sufficiently, that private property ownership is severely limited.

The sheer economies of scale make a comparison between the Scandinavian country and the U.S. impracticable. Denmark, with a landmass of 16,562 square miles, is roughly the size of Maryland, and with a population of 5.6 million, has about 1.5% of the U.S. population. Compound that with America’s propensity toward a kakistocracy, as evidenced by the last two presidential election cycles, and democratic-socialism would likely destroy the economy, and the republic.

Danish author, Mikkel Clair Nissen, has published his own response to Americans who think Denmark’s democratic-socialism is so appealing. “I am a school teacher from Denmark making about $61,000 a year. We get free education. You don’t have to pay for the doctor, the hospital, and students even get paid to study. It all sounds so great…right? However, I forgot to mention that nothing is ever free. The lowest personal income tax in Denmark is minimum 40 percent. Also, we pay a sales tax of 25 percent, and on top of sales tax the government applies further (generally hidden) duties and fees, applied to almost everything, making it really hard for lower class people to get by, causing them to be deeply dependent on government handouts,” she says.

When Senator Sanders refers to “working people,” he likely is referring to the middle class, since that’s the most productive and economically viable demographic. Just as most of the fiscal initiatives of the past seven years have most adversely affected the American middle class, European democratic-socialism virtually plunders theirs. The middle-class in Denmark is taxed at a 60% rate, and that’s just the income tax rate. Yet to pay that rate, all one has to make is $55,000 per year. That means those who, by American standards, are earning a respectable middle-class income of $55k per year, only keep $22,000 of their earnings. That’s a relatively paltry $1,833 per month.

Nissen continues, “A gallon of gas is about 10 dollars. Tax on a car is 180 percent, which brings a car valued a bit over $20,000 dollars in the United States (e.g. Honda Accord) up to an astounding $50,000 dollars in Denmark.” No wonder 65% of the travel in the country is by mass transit and bicycle. And not surprisingly, cost of energy is extremely expensive, as most electricity is produced by “green” sources. The cost per kilowatt-hour of electricity is $.42, compared with an average of $.12 in the United States.

Nissen further explains, because of “excessive taxation, Danes also have the highest private debt in the world. Only few will ever own a car or a house here; banks generally do – hypocritically, the very same banks that the collectivists despise. Anyone who makes over $80,000 annually pays a personal tax of 68 percent. This means that almost all people with higher earnings have either found ways to evade taxes, or have left the country, often bringing their companies with them, making employment scarcely low.”

According to Eurostat, the European Union’s official data reporting service, real unemployment is double what the official figures indicate. By their calculations, Denmark’s real unemployment rate is 14%.

And Nissen provides more insights. “Denmark’s suicide rate has averaged 20.8 per 100,000 during the last five decades, with its highest level of 32. The American suicide rate averaged only 11.1 during the last five decades, and has never exceeded 12.7. Danes are deeply deprived, driven by severe narcissism, and so more than 11 percent of adult Danes – the supposed happiest people in the world – are on antidepressants. Well, of course, Danes are happy; they are medicated to be!”

If Danes are so happy to be economically socialized, why do they take their own lives at three times the American rate, and their anti-depressant dependency exceed America’s by 40%? Could it be that the cost of freedom is much greater than we assume?

Nissen concludes his missive, “Everyone wants the American dream. In Denmark’s neo-communism, no one will ever own or accomplish anything.”
America was founded on classical-liberal ideals of maximum freedom to facilitate virtually unlimited potential. Benjamin Franklin said, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor safety.” And that’s precisely what socialism, in all its iterations, does. It sacrifices individual freedom at the altar of security and egalitarianism

One of the most critical concepts of liberty upon which America was founded, is economic freedom. Indeed, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton championed economic freedom as the foundation for all other liberties. True liberty mandates that private property, and the ability to reap and freely expend the fruits of our labors, is sacrosanct. Nobel economic laureate Milton Friedman declared that property rights are “the most basic of human rights and an essential foundation for other human rights.” Without economic freedom, all else is severely vitiated.

There might be some things America can learn from the Danish economic model, but only if we deny what America was founded and intended to be — the land of the free, dedicated to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, National Sovereignty, Pocatello Issues, Presidential Politics, Property Rights, Taxes | No Comments »

David Ripley: Historic Campaign for Life in Congress

October 3rd, 2015 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Many conservatives are angry with the Congress and GOP leadership. Frustrated may be a better word. We sense a profound disconnect between the conservative principles and platforms which motivate many to donate, volunteer and support Republican candidates. On many levels, that frustration is justified.

However, it is also important not to miss what is happening in the nation’s capital. We are in the midst of an unprecedented battle for Life which has fairly raged for months. No doubt the scandalous videos released by the Center for Medical Progress are providing much of the jet fuel for this multi-faceted debate – but it is important to appreciate that we are blessed with a genuinely pro-Life Congress.

The Congress continues to take up pro-Life legislation at an amazing clip. The House has passed a Ban on Late Term Abortions, and voted to defund Planned Parenthood. The House has conducted multiple investigations into Planned Parenthood. It has approved legislation to add criminal penalties for violating the Born Alive Infants Protection Act. And it just passed a bill to empower states to deny Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood.

Now there is serious talk about appointing a Select Committee to delve deeper into the criminal enterprise which is Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

The U.S. Senate has also been very active on the Life issue. It has voted twice to deny public funding for Planned Parenthood. It has also considered legislation to end most abortions after 20 weeks’ gestation. Of course, passage of pro-Life legislation in the Senate is more problematic because Democrats have stood as a disciplined Legion of Death to filibuster each pro-Life bill brought to the floor for consideration. While that is frustrating, the effort and time devoted by a majority of the Senate to protecting Life must be acknowledged.

We are especially appreciative of the work and leadership being provided by Idaho’s delegation. From the jump, Congressman Labrador has staked out an aggressive position in support of ending our dark partnership with Planned Parenthood. But Congressman Simpson has been engaged as well, becoming a co-sponsor of the separate bill to defund Planned Parenthood.

Idaho’s two senators, Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, have been stellar. Just the other night, they were among the 17 brave souls who opposed a Continuing Resolution that would protect “business as usual”. They are standing tall on principle.

While there have been set-backs, the fight to defund Planned Parenthood is not over.

We are praying that a way can be found to use the Reconciliation process to get around the Senate Democrats’ fake filibuster; we would count it as a major victory to force the first Obama Veto of the new Republican Majority. That moment would help educate America about the dark radicalism of our current president.

If we have any complaints, it is with the Republican messaging over Planned Parenthood funding. This is a perpetual weakness in the Congressional Republican effort to help lead America to a better place. Of course, this fight to end our partnership with Planned Parenthood is about the evil they practice. But it is also about women’s health. We believe that a major theme in GOP messaging should be the disservice being done to women by encouraging them to seek their care from such an ideologically-driven organization. The money spent on reproductive health care should be spent at real health care facilities, where real doctors are present to offer a range of needed services to low income women. Women deserve better. And Congressional Republicans should be talking loudly about improving access to quality health care, and offering to increase funding for such programs.

But we don’t want our suggestions to get in the way of our deep gratitude for the energy and courage on display these past few weeks. May the Lord richly bless these men and women, particularly our Idaho delegation, for their kindness and leadership.

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

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