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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 »

David Ripley: The Peculiar Confession of Joe Biden

October 3rd, 2015 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Democrat Joe Biden conducted a media interview last week with Father Matt Malone in preparation of Pope Francis’ visit to the United States. During the course of their conversation, Vice President Biden confessed that he well understood life “begins at the moment of conception”.

For those of us who have followed Biden’s career in the U.S. Senate and as a central player in the most pro-abortion Administration in history – it was an extraordinary admission. Over the past couple of decades, Biden has morphed from reluctant abortion supporter to a loud proponent of abortion rights, while still claiming to be a faithful son of the Catholic Church. His statement came as something of a surprise, frankly.

So what are we to make of his confession?

On the one hand, it demonstrates that there is yet a flicker of conscience alive in the Vice President. He is able to still recognize the difference between right and wrong. That is an encouraging thing.

On the other hand, the fact that he can simultaneously understand that life begins at conception, while supporting the wanton destruction of millions of American babies each year is, to say the least, astonishing.

Father Malone pressed Biden on his apparent disobedience to Catholic teaching. Biden explained himself this way:

“I’m prepared to accept as a matter of faith, my wife and I, my family, the issue of abortion. But what I’m not prepared to do is to impose a rigid view, a precise view … rigid sounds pejorative … a precise view that is born out of my faith, on other people who are equally God-fearing, equally as committed to life, equally as committed to the sanctity of life.

“I’m prepare to accept that at the moment of conception there’s human life and being, but I’m not prepared to say that to other God-fearing, non-God-fearing people that have a different view.”

This explanation is essentially the alchemy first articulated by Mario Cuomo back in the 1980s. It allows people like Biden to live with themselves as “decent, God-fearing Christians”, while simultaneously promoting the destruction of millions. They can be “personally” opposed to abortion, while supporting its imposition on the nation. Folks like Biden can even go so far as to suggest that killing preborn children is “wrong”, but they won’t impose that view on others.

One wonders if Vice President Biden felt any discomfort as he sat behind Pope Francis last week in the House chamber, while the Pope made his oblique reference to abortion. One could guess not.

But the simple truth is that Biden’s paper-thin defense does not shield him from condemnation. Scripture makes it abundantly clear that we will be held accountable not for our ignorance, but for those matters of moral conscience which we understand. Biden’s succor of the Abortion Industry is akin to supporting slavery while refusing to own a black person personally; or helping to build the gas chambers while privately expressing disagreement with Nazi dogma that Jews aren’t really human beings.

The Vice President’s confession demonstrates that there is yet truth in him. We pray the Holy Spirit breathes upon that flicker so that it becomes a flame within him. There is still time for Biden to act.

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

David Ripley: Crapo, Risch, Vote to End Late-term Abortions

September 24th, 2015 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The U.S. Senate voted yesterday on legislation sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (and co-sponsored by Idaho’s Senator Mike Crapo) to restrict abortions after 20 weeks in the United States.

We are grateful for their leadership and commitment to saving preborn children.

Unfortunately the legislation stalled on the rocky wall that has become the Democrat Party. While a majority of U.S. Senators voted to consider the legislation, 40 Democrats and 2 Republicans voted to sustain a filibuster of the measure. With only 54 votes, pro-Life forces will be unable to pass the measure already approved by the U.S. House under the current rules of the Senate.

Thus, President Obama is once again spared the public scrutiny of vetoing a measure supported by a majority of American voters.

Similar legislation was approved in Idaho several years ago, but has been blocked from enforcement because of an edict issued by Idaho’s pro-abort federal judge, Lynn Winmill.

We are also grateful to our friends at LifeNews for their excellent coverage of this vote and the underlying issues surrounding the barbaric treatment of babies in the womb. Scientific research has demonstrated that the neurology of preborn children at 20 weeks makes it highly likely that they experience intense pain as they are slain.

LifeNews also quotes Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) from yesterday’s floor debate, pointing out some alarming facts about the state of America’s moral health:

“One of the most successful cover-ups in legal and social history has misled Americans into believing either that abortion is not legal for any reason at any time in this country, or that this radical abortion regime is the norm around the world. Neither is true. Today, the United States is one of only seven nations in the entire world to allow elective abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Other members of that club include China and North Korea.”

We can only hope that Pope Francis makes some room in his Congressional address tomorrow to chastise the 42 Champions of Death who chose to keep America in such sordid company.

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

David Ripley: Bishop Calls on Congress to Defund Planned Parenthood

September 24th, 2015 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

While Mitch McConnell appears to be struggling with his opportunity for leadership, Bishop Robert Deeley of Maine urged him and other members of Congress to find their moral strength and end our dark partnership with Planned Parenthood.

“The videos are shocking,” Deeley said in a statement originally printed in the Bangor Daily News. “Our elected officials should act to cease funding Planned Parenthood. I call on those who distribute the resources from the taxes we all pay to examine this issue and remove any funding which supports such evil as the harvesting of organs from an unborn child.”

According to a story now running on LifeNews, Planned Parenthood immediately pounced to denounce Bishop Deeley and defend women who decide to abort their babies:

“No woman should feel shamed or judged because of her decision”, said Nicole Clegg, public flack for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.

Of course not. Let’s celebrate a world without moral judgment about anyone’s behavior or malice toward others – especially if you are Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood’s wicked sense of values argues that babies are merely an inconvenience – though a very valuable one for those employed by the organization. Look away, America, and judge not.

Can members of Congress seriously find a way to look themselves in the mirror if they use their power to impose a continued public partnership with Planned Parenthood upon us all?

Congress has created the behemoth which is Planned Parenthood, and only they can slay this dragon.

Let us pray that the Lord of the Universe will touch hearts in Congress this week. Let our leaders judge correctly according to the natural laws written upon the heart of every man.

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

David Ripley: Rush Limbaugh on McConnel’s Leadership

September 8th, 2015 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

“We can’t stop the president with just the House. We need the Senate. You need to give us control of the Senate. We need to control the chairmanships and the committees, and once you give us the Senate we’ll be able to do things.” Okay. The 2014 midterms come around and we vote, and we give the Republicans the Senate. And now they are still paralyzed and can’t do anything, and now Mitch McConnell and Boehner say, “Well, we don’t have the White House.

“You know, we… we… we can’t do anything here because Obama’s gonna stop everything we do. I mean, there’s nothing we can do.” So in 2010, “You need to give us the Senate and then you’re gonna see some action.” In 2014 they got the Senate. “Sorry, can’t do anything!” The most recent illustration: Planned Parenthood defunding. Mitch McConnell said, “Sorry. I just don’t have the votes here. We’re gonna need a Republican in the White House for this. We don’t have it; can’t get it done.”

They don’t want to, folks, for whatever reason. What a golden opportunity! I mean, just in the politics of this, what a golden opportunity to defund Planned Parenthood during the Obama administration. Make President Obama take action to maintain funding for all that we have learned that goes on in there! What has happened to the…? I’m sounding like a broken record along with everybody else. What in the world has even happened to the political instincts of the opposition party?

Even if you don’t have the votes, you don’t think, to override a veto, make him veto it! Defund Planned Parenthood! Everybody in the world needs to find out what’s happening in that place. These videos have reached an audience, but they haven’t reached a wide enough audience ’cause the Drive-Bys are ignoring it. Okay, so the Republicans in the Senate and the House pick up the movement to defund Planned Parenthood; this creates its own story. People say, “Why? Why?”

“Take a look these videos, Average American. Low-information voter, take a look at this!” Get the videos out, and you broaden the base of understanding and knowledge. And then you get people all fit to be tied over what’s happening in these clinics, those that will be fit to be tied anyway. Not everybody would be; liberals being liberals. But the point is in the world of politics, even when you can’t win you can, because you can turn this around on the Democrats and make this president veto efforts to defund this.

Put the Democrat Party firmly in everybody’s mind on the side of infanticide.

Republicans don’t want to do it.

They don’t want to get anywhere near it.


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

David Ripley: Let Us Continue to Do Evil That Some Good May Result

September 8th, 2015 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

We have had some interesting conversations over the past several weeks, as the Great Planned Parenthood Scandal has continued to unfold.

Some have wondered, even asserted: “Well, it is terrible – but isn’t it better that some lives can be saved as a result of these organ donations? After all, the baby has already been killed”. Or variations on that line of reasoning.

Indeed, there is an allure to thinking that medical research will find a way to turn the tragic destruction of innocent lives into some social good.

But such a superficial view of the horror is a seduction into a deep darkness.

We have faced such arguments before, when the national debate was focused on harvesting stem cells from aborted human babies. Now we are talking about the harvesting of whole brains, hearts, livers, neural tissue from babies unable to defend or even speak for themselves.

Let’s start by pointing out that there is a profound difference between an adult deciding to become an organ donor and the organ trafficking-for-profit scheme Planned Parenthood and others are involved with. That profound difference, of course, is that the babies involved cannot give their consent. Planned Parenthood and their co-conspirators will hide behind the argument that the mother has given her consent to the “donation” of organs and tissue.

First, we honestly have no idea whether Planned Parenthood is systematically obtaining consent from women undergoing abortion. And we certainly have no way of knowing whether that consent is truly informed. Their entire operation is shrouded in darkness and shame.

But we would argue that the woman’s consent is irrelevant to this moral crisis.

Various statements of ethics (e.g., The Belmont Report) allow for parents to provide consent in situations where medical research and/or treatment is contemplated for children unable to understand the risks and potential benefits of the medical research. But those protocols assume that the parent is acting in the best interest of the child – naturally inclined to shield him from harm.

Obviously, a woman who has paid people to kill her own baby has forfeited any claim to concern over the baby’s welfare.

No, this whole macabre business of chopping up babies for profit is a societal challenge and is clearly unacceptable, regardless of any possible future social benefit.

Fundamentally, the whole sordid scheme of organ trafficking hinges upon treating these human babies as a commodity, as a means to some other end. At the heart of western civilization is the belief that all human beings are never to be treated as means – but as ends in themselves. The sanctity of the human person cannot be compromised for the benefit of another, no matter how lofty the supposed goal.

This is the core principle which has given rise to democratic government, to the whole notion of human rights. It is what separates us from the barbaric past and from those modern movements of despotism which justify any abuse of the individual to enhance the power of the state.

The revelations regarding Planned Parenthood’s treatment of babies poses a direct and potent challenge to a core value of our civilization. It is a threat not to those babies, but to us, the living. We cannot yield to the temptation of profiting from the barbaric mistreatment of these vulnerable human beings without sorely damaging our own souls.

It is imperative that we take a stand, and demand that our national leaders find the courage to confront this evil.


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

David Ripley: Hundreds Gather to Protest Planned Parenthood in Meridian, ID

August 23rd, 2015 by Halli

Idaho Choose Life

Treasure Valley pro-Lifers joined thousands from across America to protest at Planned Parenthood facilities this morning. Here are a few photos from the protest in front of the Meridian Planned Parenthood.

See photos of the Idaho protest at this link.


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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: Time for Earnest Resolve

August 23rd, 2015 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

This week has produced even more ghastly revelations about Planned Parenthood’s organ harvesting business. The details of the horror show that is Planned Parenthood are almost too much to discuss in public.

Dr. Theresa Deisher, a prominent biomedical researcher, has reviewed the emerging videos in detail. It is her opinion that, at least in some cases, Planned Parenthood abortionists are harvesting organs from babies still alive. In an interview with Breitbart News, Dr. Deisher explained that “time is of the essence for biomedical researchers in harvesting fresh organs”. Some of those babies must be alive, particularly when one is trying to harvest a beating heart.

“I have always suspected that the babies in some of these cases were alive until their hearts were cut out,” Deisher said.

If her analysis is correct, then these abortionists are not only violating the federal Ban on Partial Birth Abortions – but the Born Alive Infants Protection Act as well.

But, of course, the issue here is not simply a discussion about legalities or even the criminal conspiracy which is Planned Parenthood. No. These revelations go much deeper.

This is barbarity, evil barbarity. And it is frightening.

It is relatively easy – unless you are a Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama or Mayor De Blasio – to condemn Planned Parenthood. What is harder to face is the grave challenge this practice, now revealed, poses to our society. Will we allow it to continue? Will we allow our federal and state elected officials to continue their financial partnership with the criminals who chop up innocent babies for profit?

This is a time for resolve. We must demand that our government sever its entanglement with Planned Parenthood. And then we must demand that Planned Parenthood be brought to the bar of justice for its crimes against humanity.

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

Crapo and Risch Call for HHS Investigation

August 5th, 2015 by Halli

Idaho’s two U.S. Senators issued a joint press release today, calling upon the Secretary of Health & Human Services to investigate whether Planned Parenthood is violating federal law with its program of harvesting the tissue and organs of preborn children after abortions. The two videos released so far showing discussions with senior Planned Parenthood officials strongly suggest that America’s largest abortion provider is intentionally manipulating women into undergoing later-term abortions in order to harvest more mature organs. In addition, the description of abortion techniques by these same officials seems to be referring to Partial Birth Abortions, a procedure outlawed by both federal and state statute.


July 23, 2015

Contact: Lindsay Nothern (Crapo), 208-344-1776

Suzanne Wrasse (Risch), 202-224-8078

Crapo, Risch Join Group of 50 Senators Raising Concerns with Planned Parenthood Practices

Senators call on HHS Secretary to comply with investigations, conduct assessment to facilitate congressional review

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch this week joined a bipartisan group of senators in calling on Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell to get to the bottom of what has been going on at Planned Parenthood. In a letter to the Secretary, the Senators draw attention to the legal, ethical and policy issues raised by the recent video footage released by the Center for Medical Progress depicting senior Planned Parenthood Federation of America executives discussing in gruesome detail the organization’s role in the harvesting of the organs of unborn babies.

“The footage raises a number of questions about the practices of the organization, including whether they are in compliance with federal laws regulating both the use of fetal tissue and partial-birth abortions,” the senators wrote. “In addition to questions about Planned Parenthood’s compliance with applicable federal law and medical ethics, we believe the footage prompts important policy questions surrounding the issue of abortions permitted so late in a pregnancy – sometimes even later than 5 months – that an unborn baby’s organs can be identified and harvested.”

The senators also requested that the Secretary confirm the commencement or immediate initiation of “a thorough internal review of the compliance of the Department and Planned Parenthood – one of the Department’s grantees – with all relevant and applicable federal statutes, regulations, and other requirements.”

The full text of the senators’ letter can be found here.

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

Risch Issues Statement on Planned Parenthood Scandal

August 5th, 2015 by Halli

I am shocked by the callous disregard for human life Planned Parenthood senior officials exhibit in recent videos. Their heinous and atrocious violations against a human life are outrageous. These conversations are proof positive this organization has no regard when it comes to the life of a baby.

Nearly all of my Republican colleagues and I sent a letter to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell asking for Planned Parenthood to be investigated on whether it has violated federal regulations. HHS awards federal grants to Planned Parenthood. The letter also asks HHS to conduct an internal review of its compliance with related government regulations.

I am strongly pro-life and always have been.

During my time as Idaho’s governor, lieutenant governor and state senator, I worked to restore Idaho’s unborn citizens to full recognition and protection under the law. As a United States senator, I am working to do everything I can to promote and protect the sanctity of life here and abroad.

I cannot and will not support legislation that would destroy a human’s most basic right–the right to life. This includes voting against government funding that would be used for promoting or performing abortions and that includes voting against Planned Parenthood funding.

– U.S. Senator James Risch, (R-Idaho)

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

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