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David Ripley: See the Movie

April 8th, 2019 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Unplanned, the motion picture, continues to challenge the assumptions of Hollywood and the modern American culture. It tells the story of Abby Johnson, an ostensible Christian southern woman, who became ensnared by Planned Parenthood while yet a student in college. The independent film has expanded to over 1500 screens and is generating enough revenue to presently rank #4 in America, beating out a number of studio-backed productions.

I was able to see the film yesterday, and I am still processing it emotionally.

The film is well-acted and well produced. That is an important part of its appeal to a culture accustomed to slick production values.

I was also impressed by the decision of the film’s makers to avoid preaching pro-Life values at the audience. Abby Johnson’s story lends itself well to letting the dark reality of abortion and our cultural confusion speak for itself. The film allows Planned Parenthood to be judged by its own words and actions. And it presents the emotional struggle many women and girls face in dealing with an unplanned pregnancy with resonating compassion. But the film won’t let the audience rest there. Unplanned shows, without blinking, that abortion does not resolve that struggle; rather, the lies of Planned Parenthood transform it into something much bigger, much more painful – a solution which cannot be undone.

The film is an exercise in truth-telling. It shows the slow-walk of Abby Johnson from accepting a “woman’s right to choose”, to rationalizing her work for Planned Parenthood as a way to reduce to abortions, to finally realizing that a human being is killed in an abortion. It exposes the callous treatment women receive at the hands of their “liberators” – Planned Parenthood.

But the powerful heartbeat of this film is the inescapable truth that abortion stops a baby’s heart from beating.

After some forty-five years, no lawsuit or rally or bumper sticker has been able to alter that reality. Or to silence the voice of those crying out for justice on behalf of God’s little ones.

This film has the potential of altering the entire abortion debate in this nation. I encourage pro-Lifers to see the film, and to bring friends with them. Even those with different views on the most important challenge of our time. Let the truth of this film do its work in their lives

– David Ripley

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

David Ripley: Risch and Fulcher Sign on to Amicus Brief Defending States’ Rights

March 23rd, 2019 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

An amicus brief was filed yesterday by 77 members of Congress in a landmark case before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. The case involves a lawsuit brought by Planned Parenthood against the State of Texas because it has been disqualified by that state from receiving Medicaid funds.

Senator Jim Risch and Congressman Russ Fulcher are among those represented in the brief by legal counsel from Americans United for Life.

In the brief, the members of Congress argue that the states have broad and shared authority under the Medicaid program to operate the health care system within their borders. Congress recognizes the sovereignty of the states as partners in the program, the brief argues, with the right to disqualify providers it deems unfit.

And that is exactly the authority Texas exercised when it chose to exclude Planned Parenthood from the state’s Medicaid program as a “qualified provider”.

This is a landmark case because Planned Parenthood has been quite successful in pushing federal courts over the past decade into defending their “right” to taxpayer monies – especially under Medicaid and Title X. Such edicts have trampled upon States’ rights and placed legislators and taxpayers in the untenable position of choosing between helping low-income neighbors with health care costs and financing the Abortion Industry.

We applaud Risch and Fulcher for fighting this insidious trend in federal courts.

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

David Ripley: Democrats Move to Protect Kittens

March 14th, 2019 by Halli

Guest Post from Tony Perkins:

What do cats have that newborn babies don’t? Democrats’ support. In one of the sickest ironies no one is talking about, Senate liberals picked this moment — 17 days after they voted to kill America’s perfectly healthy infants — to fight for the humane treatment of kittens. Maybe the DNC’s strategists are out to lunch, or maybe the Left really is this shameless, but I can’t wait to see some of these politicians standing on debate platforms next year telling the American people that when it comes to protecting living things: We chose cats over kids.

For sponsors like Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), the optics are nauseating. Here he is, arguing that America “must stop killing kittens,” when, three weeks ago, he stood in the U.S. Capitol and agreed with 43 Democrats that human beings should be put down. “The USDA’s decision to slaughter kittens after they are used in research is an archaic practice and horrific treatment, and we need to end it,” Merkley said with a passion that he and his colleagues couldn’t muster for a generation of perfectly healthy newborns. His Kittens in Traumatic Testing Ends Now — or KITTEN – Act wouldn’t stop the research, but it would keep the animals from being destroyed.

“The KITTEN Act will protect these innocent animals from being needlessly euthanized in government testing,” Merkley told reporters, “and make sure that they can be adopted by loving families instead.” Does he even hear himself? They should be treated and adopted? That’s exactly what Americans have requested for living, breathing babies. Democrats said no. Killing a child is a “personal decision,” they said, and Congress shouldn’t get in the way. What a comfort for abortion survivors like Melissa Ohden to know that, given the choice, Democrats would save a stray cat over her.

“The fact that we need a piece of legislation to tell the federal government to stop killing kittens is ridiculous on its face,” Congressman Brian Mast (R-Fla.) argued. But “ridiculous” doesn’t begin to describe a party that tells America to back away from the tables of crying newborns while it rushes to the rescue of kittens instead. I suppose we should also tell firefighters when they run into burning houses to look for the pets first? After all, on the Democrats’ sliding scale of “wantedness,” shouldn’t we find out how loved someone is before we decide if they’re worth saving?

Just incredible.

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

David Ripley: Thank You, Mr. President

October 9th, 2018 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

We now have Justice Kavanaugh. The nation has survived yet another bruising, nasty confirmation vote for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.

It is difficult, at this point, to make a reasonable guess as to whether the nation will be stronger for having gone through this sordid process – or whether the glue that holds the body politic together in a republic has been made so brittle as to threaten civilized self-government in the decades ahead. But we know that the nation has been through worse, and survived.

We also know that the street brawl forced upon the nation over the past month or so had nothing to do with the immature social behavior of minors in high school. It was all about the possible threat to legalized abortion-on-demand. The Left concocted a plan to execute the character of Justice Kavanaugh because they determined that they could not possibly win by attacking his qualifications or judicial philosophy.

Despite the ugly tactics of the Soros-Planned Parenthood Lobby, we have much to be grateful for.

We can give thanks for the strength and character of President Trump. He is an extraordinary person. Most Republicans in his position would have found a way to dump Kavanaugh at the first sign of serious trouble. (Remember W’s pick of Harriet Miers?). His strength in exposing the Left and staring them down is truly remarkable. And let’s not forget the most fundamental fact: Thank the Lord we have a President Trump making these nominations to the high court, rather than Empress Hillary!

We must also gratefully acknowledge the courage and character of Brett Kavanaugh. Many people would have understandably folded under the pressure – especially the battering of his family. His finest moment may have come when he publicly declared that he would not be chased from the battlefield.

It remains to be seen how Kavanaugh will affect the Court. Honestly, it seems unlikely that we are on the verge of a new birth of protection for preborn Americans. But it may well be that the Supreme Court will cede more power back to the states to reign-in a lawless abortion industry. The foundations for over-turning Roe may be laid in the next few years.

Prayer for the president, the court and the nation are very much in order. The next great test of our Republic will come in November. Will America choose to reward Schumer and Pelosi with greater power? God forbid.

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

David Ripley: Planned Parenthood’s Big PR Stunt

September 15th, 2018 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Planned Parenthood announced this week that it had picked a new national president. In an attempt to rebrand itself as a legitimate health care provider, the nation’s largest provider named Dr. Leana Wen as its new president. She replaces Cecile Richards, a pure political hack.

The abortion chain is already playing on Wen’s Chinese background, as she and her family were granted asylum in the late 1990’s. Wen and her family became citizens in 2003.

During her years in medical school, Wen was a volunteer for Planned Parenthood.

The spin from Planned Parenthood ignores the fact that communist China is a gross example of what can happen to a society that embraces the wholesale destruction of innocent children through abortion. Dr. Wen herself has no record of opposing China’s horrific treatment of women and preborn children – especially baby girls. And you can be sure that she and Planned Parenthood will continue to overlook the barbarous practices of that nation.

Instead, Dr. Wen will be paraded about on talk shows in a white jacket to perpetrate the con job that Planned Parenthood is all about protecting women’s health.

Already, she has appeared on the “View”, proclaiming that abortion is a relatively small part of what Planned Parenthood does. She was challenged on the show by at least one host. And Planned Parenthood has been chided by liberal outlets like the Washington Post for attempting to deceive people into thinking that just 3% of their “services” involve abortion. But facts should not be allowed to get in the way of good political spin.

Regardless of Dr. Wen’s credentials, the organization is the largest death merchant on the planet. Plain and simple. It is outrageous that taxpayers continue to be held hostage by a dawdling Congress. Even worse: Federal and state governments go on lending legitimacy to this nefariously political organization, thereby encouraging women and girls to seek medical care from an outfit that kills babies for profit.

American women deserve better.

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

David Ripley: United Way’s Partnership with Planned Parenthood Exposed

September 6th, 2018 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

A national organization tracking United Way activities across the country issued a report this past week, showing that various chapters of the United Way charity donated nearly $2.8 million to the country’s largest abortion chain in 2016. That is the last year for which public records are available.

A group called 2nd Vote made its research public, identifying 62 chapters in 29 states that help sustain Planned Parenthood’s efforts to make abortion of no greater consequence than taking an aspirin for a headache.

United Way officials attempted to downplay the importance of their support for the Abortion Industry by claiming that Planned Parenthood does “a lot of good” – including providing “counseling services” and “family planning” to low income women.

Pro-Life leaders across the country expressed their outrage, and challenged the United Way to clean up its act.

Alveda King was quoted by LifeNews.com:

“On the surface, United Way appears to be a good source of charity. However, Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion provider, received donations from United Way. You decide: don’t people need to know when their money is funding child-killing?”

The simple fact is that United Way’s $2.8 million donation effectively covered the cost of performing 2900 abortions.

We dug into the details of the 2nd Vote report to find out whether United Way chapters in Idaho were among those funding Planned Parenthood. The Twin Falls chapter of United Way was not included because 2nd Vote could not find their public 1099 forms at the time of publication. However, they did review the other Idaho chapters, and none reported giving money to Planned Parenthood.

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

David Ripley: Shocking – Our Own Federal Government Buying Aborted Baby Parts

August 21st, 2018 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

In a shocking revelation, the nefarious activities of the Food & Drug Administration have recently exposed. CNS News and Operation Rescue discovered that the FDA has proffered a public contract to Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR) based in San Francisco to purchase “fresh human fetal tissue”. The tissue will be grafted into mice to create “chimeric animals that have a human immune system”.

Let’s set aside the profound moral question of creating “chimeric animals” in the first place.

The first outrage is the simple fact that a federal agency has signed a purchase agreement with ABR to buy fetal tissue from elective abortions. That is our federal government. Supported by our tax dollars.

The national scandal exposed several years ago demonstrated a strong business partnership between Planned Parenthood and Advanced Bioscience Resources.

Pro-Life groups have been issuing statements over the past week, urging the Trump Administration to intervene and halt the trafficking in aborted baby parts. As of this writing, we are unaware of a public response by President Trump or lesser lights in the Executive Branch.

LifeNews reports that one of those expressing outrage is Dr. David Prentice, Research Director at the Charlotte Lozier Institute:

“It is outrageous that the FDA would aid in the trafficking of aborted baby parts and fetal tissue. High-quality, modern scientific research has no need for unethical, tainted practices and grisly sources. Our government should lead in ethics and in science, and should rescind any contracts for or use of aborted fetal tissue.”

Idaho Chooses Life led efforts in the Idaho Legislature to ban such practices at Idaho’s public universities, following revelations of Planned Parenthood’s dark money-making scheme.

It is time for our congressional delegation to join the public call for the President to personally intervene with the FDA.

This organization is very tainted by the people appointed by Barack Obama. They continue to shield the Abortion Industry from public scrutiny by suppressing data about the complications arising from the use of RU-486. And they have accommodated every demand by Planned Parenthood to loosen protocols and safety restrictions on chemical abortions.

“The Swamp” is clearly not limited to the Department of Justice or Federal Bureau of Investigation. No doubt it will take time for the president to clean house in this agency. But he must move quickly to stop this outrage. We cannot let this trafficking agreement stand.

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

David Ripley: Trump Picks Highly Qualified Nominee

July 11th, 2018 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The street brawl is on. President Trump kept his promise to nominate a justice for the Supreme Court from his published list. That is a unique event in history. One could make the argument that Trump’s handling of his campaign and his transparency in telling the citizenry, beforehand, exactly who he would send to the Court gives him something of a public mandate here.

Of course, that makes little difference to the unhinged Left. Particularly its core Abortion Rights constituency.

We were hoping for a different nominee, to be honest. But the early reviews from national pro-Life groups indicate that Brett Kavanaugh is a very solid choice. The Family Research Council, Americans United for Life and Operation Rescue have all sent very strong signals of support in the immediate aftermath of Trump’s announcement. We have been in touch with one of the most respected pro-Life attorneys in the nation, Mr. Paul Linton, and he believes that Kavanaugh is likely to help form a new majority on the high court, one more sympathetic with the plight of preborn Americans. He also believes that Judge Kavanaugh will be difficult to defeat in the U.S. Senate.

We hope that at least a few Democrats will be willing to support Kavanaugh, because the numbers look a bit difficult. Republicans have a bare majority, given the continued refusal of John McCain to resign his Senate seat. And there are the two remaining pro-abort Republicans in the Senate – Collins and Murkowski to worry about.

Of course, Judge Kavanaugh has been confirmed by the Senate in a previous administration. It is hard to argue that a sitting appellate court judge is suddenly “unqualified” to be a justice on the high court. But, again, logic and reason are no obstacles to the NY Times or Planned Parenthood. They smell trouble and they will fight like cornered convicts in a prison riot gone bad.

Which brings us to an important topic – worthy of additional commentaries in the future: It would be a big mistake for the pro-Life community to leap to the conclusion that Kavanaugh’s confirmation will be the end of Roe. That may, for the first time, be a real possibility in coming years. But we will likely have to await another appointment. And the right case. We think it is much more reasonable to see the addition of a conservative to the court as opening up new possibilities for the states to become more aggressive in protecting the lives of preborn children. Important groundwork will have to be laid with the generations of Americans who have been taught to believe that killing a baby in the womb is a “right” – of no greater moral consequence than having a tumor removed.

We all must be in prayer for this nominee and his family. The pressure on him will certainly be immense.

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

David Ripley: Supreme Court Rebukes 9th Circuit (Again)

June 27th, 2018 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling in the case of NIFLA v. Becerra, overturning a previous 9th Circuit ruling involving a California law that forced pro-Life pregnancy centers to refer women for abortion. Becerra is the Attorney General of California. NIFLA is the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates. They were joined by numerous pro-Life pregnancy centers.

As we’ve written before, there has been a new attack line on the pro-Life movement in recent years. Draconian laws have been passed in (at least) California and Hawaii to hamper the efforts of the pro-Life community to save preborn children and their mothers. The 9th Circuit got its way around the First Amendment by arguing that California was only trying to regulate “professional” speech.

In his majority opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas made it clear that the U.S. Supreme Court has never recognized categories of free speech – based upon who was doing the speaking. There is just free speech. And the government is not free to compel speech.

One would have hoped that the learned people on the 9th Circuit might have known that already.

We fully expected to win this case. We have dealt with the issue of professional speech a number of times when we have sought to pass laws requiring doctors to provide information to women considering abortion (informed consent). Supreme Court precedent has made it clear that we cannot make a doctor say something he or she would not otherwise choose to tell a patient. (Requiring them to provide written material, prepared by the State of Idaho, is a different matter).

What is surprising, however, is the fact that four justices of the Supreme Court – Breyer, Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan – had no problem overlooking the Court’s own precedent to advance their ideological agenda. More importantly – the First Amendment itself represents no substantial obstacle for these people, either. It is painfully obvious that, for these leftist activists, the Constitution means little except as it can be manipulated into providing the means to an end.

This is a radically different view than the one held by the Founders. Those ancients saw the Constitution as the end itself. Opinions, movements and problems change from time to time. The solutions reached by society from time to time can be flexible. But the Constitution enshrines eternal truths about man and his proper relationship to government; whimsical political solutions cannot be allowed to violate the fixed nature of man and the rights he has acquired as an expression of God himself.

Classical liberalism once defended such a view of the Constitution – and it fought hard for those ideals. It is very troubling to see that no such understanding exists today among the American Left. They have been seduced by their own self-righteousness into a kind of soft totalitarianism.

About all we can add is a prayer of gratitude: Thank the Lord Trump won. A Clinton justice would have vindicated the 9th Circuit. That outcome would have set the stage for government using its coercive powers to drive the pro-Life movement from the public square.

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

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 »

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