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David Ripley: Barbieri Honored for Pro-Life Work

May 15th, 2021 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Idaho Chooses Life announced today that it has given Rep. Vito Barbieri (R-Dalton Gardens) its “Friend for Life Award”.

“This honor is given to Idahoans who have made significant contributions to the protection of our preborn children,” said ICL Executive Director David Ripley in a prepared statement. “Vito has long been a champion of the defenseless.”

Barbieri has served on the powerful State Affairs Committee in the Idaho House of Representatives for over nine years of his eleven years in the Legislature. This is the committee that deals with pro-Life legislation. Rep. Barbieri also served for more than a decade on the board of Open Arms Pregnancy Care Center in Coeur d’Alene.

“As a senior member of this key committee, Vito has played a critical role in moving big bills forward – like last year’s Trigger Law and this year’s bill to prevent additional tax dollars from going to Planned Parenthood,” Ripley added.

“But we are particularly grateful for the courageous, and often lonely, work that Rep. Barbieri put in this year on the heartbeat bill,” Ripley said. “He is a person of integrity and this public recognition is long overdue.”

Barbieri said “I want to thank Idaho Chooses Life for all of the work they do on behalf of the innocent in Idaho. It is an honor to be recognized in what’s really a collective effort to save preborn babies.”

Past recipients of the Award include Congressman Helen Chenoweth, Senator Mike Crapo, Frank Vander Sloot and Pastor Tim Remington.

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

David Ripley: Texas Senate Decries Chinese Organ Harvesting

May 7th, 2021 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Reports have been circulating for some time that the Chinese government is promoting the macabre business of harvesting organs from living human beings for the purpose of transplanting them into persons for whom the Chinese Communists have higher regard. Protest marches have been held. Witnesses have exposed themselves to danger by smuggling information out of the communist nation.

According to State Senator Angela Paxton (R-Texas), the evidence is more than rumor:

“We know this is true, we know it is wrong, and that it again goes to the very heart of destroying the dignity of every human being.”

Her moral outrage led her to sponsor a resolution (since adopted by the Texas State Senate) condemning the practice.

An article in the Epoch Times reported that “prisoners of conscience – a majority of whom are adherents of the persecuted spiritual discipline of “Falun Gong”- are being killed on a “significant scale” for their organs”. Apparently, the Chinese Communists then makes these organs available to desperate people at a huge profit.

The Texas Resolution calls upon the U.S. Government to do more to confront this barbarity.

That would be a great. But the moral authority of the U.S. Government to challenge such horrendous practices in China has been greatly diminished by Joe Biden’s radical embrace of harvesting organs and tissue from aborted babies to pursue ghoulish medical experiments at taxpayer expense. Honestly – what is the difference?

In both cases, the strong are destroying the weak in order to benefit the strong with the promise of prolonged life or cures to various maladies. It is a kind of medical cannibalism.

We have written about this matter before. Since the last posting, we have discovered that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a public statement condemning the Biden Administration for its new policy of partnering with Planned Parenthood in trafficking aborted baby parts:

“The bodies of children killed by abortion deserve the same respect as that of any other person. Our government has no right to treat innocent abortion victims as a commodity that can be scavenged for body parts to be used in research. It is unethical to promote and subsidize research that can lead to legitimizing the violence of abortion.”

That is a fine statement. We welcome it, and pray for a greater uprising among the nation’s clergy. But it fails to fully anticipate the great threat posed by Biden’s new policy. What happens when universities and Big Pharma discover that they need more tissue? More organs? What happens when they develop therapies dependent upon a fresh supply of baby tissue? It seems inevitable that we are on the cusp of going beyond the horror of reaping tissue from the victims of abortion. Soon we could see these same powerful interests paying women to “grow” babies for the purpose of harvesting organs to meet an insatiable demand for “miracle” cures.

The people of Texas should be proud of Sen. Angela Paxton for her leadership in exposing the criminal regime controlling China. But, as they say, love needs to begin at home.

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

David Ripley: Please Pray for Our Legislature

January 11th, 2021 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Idaho’s Legislature returns to the Capitol today. The hopes of many rest upon their shoulders.

There is a sense of an increasing oppression overlaying our country and state. The heavy hand of government is disturbing. The failure of our federal, state and local governments to operate in any kind of normal fashion adds to the general anxiety. Companies and stores, taking their cues from various political and social leaders, too often treat customers as unwelcome intruders – rather than the souls who pay the bills. Many governmental agencies won’t even meet us that far: taxpayers should simply leave a message or send an email.

We are watching, with a sense of powerlessness, the great dysfunction in our electoral system and the failure of our constitutional institutions to do anything meaningful about it.

We are scandalized by giant social media companies attacking the free speech liberties of Americans – both the powerful and the lowly; apparently doing so with the encouragement of many in government, and seemingly without consequence.

There is much work to be done at the Legislature. We have several bills we hope to enact which will help save more babies from the deadly scalpels at Planned Parenthood. But our ability to be effective this winter depends upon a restoration of an accountable, accessible government. We must pray that the Legislature finds the resolve and statesmanship to defend constitutional government; we must join together and encourage our elected representatives to help restore a functional society.

Given the disastrous developments on the national stage in recent months, it is more vital than ever that Idaho leads by example in protecting liberty and constitutional principles.

May God grant our Legislature the vision and courage we desperately need at this hour.

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

David Ripley: Idaho Legislature Chooses Life

March 19th, 2020 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The Idaho House of Representatives gave final approval to SB1385 this week in an historic rebuke to the abortion regime forced upon the states by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973. Under the legislation, virtually all abortions in Idaho will become a criminal act upon a reversal of the Roe decision.

By a vote of 49-18 (with 3 legislators absent), the Idaho House affirmed that preborn children should be protected under the laws of the state. That follows an equally-lopsided vote by the Idaho Senate last week. SB1385 now heads to the desk of pro-Life governor Brad Little.

The significance of this legislation cannot be overstated.

After some 50 years of legalized abortion, the Idaho Legislature made it clear to the Supreme Court and the nation at large that Roe is far from “settled” … and far from just. Despite the best efforts of the Abortion Lobby, its media allies, the Supreme Court, academics and other social elites – the People of Idaho, through their duly elected representatives, categorically reject the notion that it is “okay” to destroy innocent children in the womb.

Some in the pro-Life movement have sought to impede this legislation, arguing that it doesn’t really do anything. We beg to differ. This legislation will soon become the law in Idaho. It unapologetically makes 98% of all abortions happening in the state today illegal, once the Supreme Court recovers its proper limits of authority by restoring to the states the power to protect preborn babies and women from the scourge of abortion.

SB1385 contains narrow exceptions to protect the life of the mother, as well as abortions in cases of rape and incest. Many pro-Lifers are opposed to the latter exceptions – and for good reason. Babies conceived by rape are no less human, no less valuable than babies conceived in less violent circumstances. Yet, to save those babies, it is necessary to first change the current paradigm. We must re-establish the value of human life; and SB1385 does that.

Immediately upon Governor Little’s signature, this new law will begin instructing a new generation of Idahoans that the taking of innocent life is wrong. In fact, it is a crime. It says to all Idahoans that the State of Idaho rejects the contention that preborn children do not matter.

SB1385 also puts additional pressure on the US Supreme Court to reverse course on abortion “rights” and return the matter to the states – as it was from the time of the Continental Congress. Idaho becomes the 10th state to place a “trigger law” on its books – laws which make opposition to legalized abortion more than theoretical.

We wish to thank Sen. Todd Lakey and Rep. Megan Blanksma for their leadership in getting SB1385 through the Legislature – as well as the 30 other legislators who became co-sponsors of our bill to reaffirm the duty to protect the least among us.

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

David Ripley: Idaho Senate Passes Historic Bill

March 16th, 2020 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

This past week the Idaho Senate approved SB 1385 by an overwhelming margin. This historic bill seeks to re-establish a “Trigger Law” in Idaho, whereby we will again recriminalize virtually all abortions in the state upon a reversal of Roe. Every Republican senator (but one) voted to affirm that they wanted to see a day when babies in the womb are again protected by the law. The Idaho Senate chose Life.

There are currently eight other states with “trigger laws” on the books. In each case, abortions automatically become illegal again once the Supreme Court re-establishes the authority of the states to defend the health and lives of their respective citizens.

Sen. Todd Lakey (R-Nampa) did an excellent job of making the case for this legislation to his colleagues in the Idaho Senate.

Democrat members of the Senate, of course, fought the bill. Planned Parenthood adamantly opposed the legislation in both committee and on the floor of the Senate.

One of the primary reasons to get this legislation placed in Idaho Code is the effect it will have on the next generation of Idahoans. It will begin teaching them that abortion is not only not right – it is a grave injustice to both child and mother. In fact, the State of Idaho views abortion as a crime.

And that message, we pray, will not be lost on the U.S. Supreme Court. Despite their best sales techniques and august declarations – the people of America are not buying the notion that killing preborn is (secretly) enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. After some 50 years, most Americans continue to assert that Roe is unjust and an affront to the history of that amazing document.

Hopefully other states will join us in enacting trigger laws. We understand that the Utah Legislature has just passed one. Acting together, the states can put tremendous pressure on the US Supreme Court to correct its gross twisting of the Constitution.

The Idaho House will take up SB 1385 this next week. We need your prayers to ensure that this historic legislation gets enacted prior to adjournment.

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

David Ripley: Help Defend Parental Rights

February 22nd, 2020 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Did you know that parents currently do not have a right to know when a doctor places a DNR order on your child? DNR. As in “Do Not Resuscitate”. As in, we are going to allow this child to die. Such orders often include a prohibition of providing basic human requirements like food and water, which hastens the death of the patient hospitals are charged with caring for.

And, yes, we’re talking about Idaho – a state in which pro-Life and pro-Family values dominate. Yet those values are sometimes not reflected within our medical institutions, institutions which have been impacted by abortion and the assisted suicide movement.

The Family Policy Alliance, working with Rep. John Vander Woude, is trying to change that horrible situation. They have introduced legislation – HB 519 – which would require that a doctor and/or hospital notify a parent when they place a DNR order into a child’s chart. The bill would also empower parents to transfer their child to another facility that is better prepared to care for their child. And, during that two week period – the hospital could not withdraw treatment or food and water.

We have battled Idaho hospitals before on this subject. There is a hard belief within some of those circles that medicine is virtually infallible, that they have a right to terminate life when they determine that further treatment is “futile”.

The pro-Life community must rally to help ensure that this legislation obtains a hearing and gets passed this session.

HB 519 has been dubbed “Simon’s Law” in honor of a baby lost to his family in Missouri. The baby suffered from Trisomy 18 and lived for three months. The baby began having trouble breathing, yet the hospital staff did nothing. It wasn’t until after he was gone that his parents discovered that a doctor had placed a DNR order into his chart. The parents also discovered that the staff had only been providing him with drops of sucrose – withholding food and water for an unknown period of time before his death.

Simon’s parents have worked for years now to educate parents about the fact that many states do not protect their right to care for their children in these difficult circumstances.

We would have preferred that Vander Woude’s bill had stronger language – language which would require informed parental consent before a DNR order could be placed upon a dependent child. But HB519 at least requires that parents be told – and gives them a chance to do something to protect the lives of their children.

Please take a moment to contact Chairman Fred Wood and members of the House Health & Welfare Committee, to urge that they quickly pass HB 519.

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

Andi Elliott: “Election Bill”

February 19th, 2020 by Halli

I’d like to respond to Sunday’s op-ed criticizing Representative Wendy Horman’s “election bill”. There are several key points that were not addressed.

First, “off cycle” elections (March and August) are usually single item ballot questions with extremely low voter participation. There is little publicity involved to increase voter “turn out” and it comes at a high cost to taxpayers.

There has been a big “push” in recent years, mainly by the Left, to find as many ways as possible to make it easier for as many people as possible to vote. Eliminating the “March and August” elections would go a long way to further this goal as historically more folks turn out for the May and November elections.

It should be noted also that the Post Register took a comment from the committee hearing out of context when they wrote that Rep. Horman said she had not talked to certain educators about her bill. How ironic? Horman served for years on District 93’s school board and is considered to be an expert on educational issues. Her bill is a good one. Let’s support it!

Andi Elliott

Posted in Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature | 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 »

David Ripley: Planned Parenthood Dances Around the Golden Calf

May 20th, 2018 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Lifes

The folks at Planned Parenthood must be giddy over their incredible good fortune, just when they needed a shot in the arm. President Trump continues to press in on their tax subsidies. His administration just announced that they are going to revise the rules regarding Title X money. Now the rules will match the language of the federal law duly enacted by Congress. No longer will the federal government allow grantees to treat abortion as a legitimate method of “birth control”. Now Planned Parenthood will have to maintain separate facilities – one for their abortion business, another for delivering “family planning” services. But more on this great development later.

Just when things were looking rather bleak for the Abortion Industry – Idaho “conservatives” delivered a huge Christmas gift months early. In last week’s primary, a lion of the pro-Life movement, Rep. Tom Loertscher, was defeated for re-election by 139 votes out of over 6400 cast.

We can see Planned Parenthood and the LGBT activists partying all weekend, dancing around the Golden Calf, giving thanks to the gods they serve.

There is no person in the Legislature who has done more to thwart their evil agenda than Tom Loertscher. He has carried numerous bills into law over his nearly-three decades of service to the People of Idaho. Like Parental Consent for minors to get an abortion. Like conscience protections for medical workers who don’t want to do abortions. Or restricting the use of RU-486.

But names on important bills are only a small measure of Loertscher’s contributions to defending families, babies and religious liberty. As Chairman of the House State Affairs, he has been a critical behind-the-scenes negotiator with agencies and other lobbies to move the pro-Life agenda forward. The hours he has devoted to securing our victories in the Idaho Legislature are beyond count.

He has stood so many times, fearlessly and firmly confronting Planned Parenthood and the other wacko groups which come before his committee. Politely and wisely he has worked through the process to protect our most essential values and freedoms. Loertscher has stood, a giant of a man, in the way of those who would prey upon our children and vulnerable women. He has always found the courage to defend decency.

Nor will we be the only ones who will miss him: Loertscher was a rare legislator with a deep reverence for the Constitution and the institution of the Legislature itself. He knew the rules and traditions which allow the Legislature to function civilly, restraining political egos gone mad. His long public service has given him a deep wisdom, allowing him to see beyond the passions of a particular moment, to keep his eyes on the principles which nurture and renew a Republic.

To our friends at Planned Parenthood: Enjoy your moment. Even as we grieve the loss of Tom Loertscher, we trust that the Lord will raise up new leaders to help defend the Gospel. And to our friends claiming to be the guardians of a new “conservatism”: You have no idea the damage you have done through your foolishness.

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

David Ripley: Congratulations, Lt. Governor Little

May 18th, 2018 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

We offer sincere congratulations to Lt. Governor Brad Little on his primary election win this week.

Mr. Little overcame substantial obstacles to secure his victory. He faced a certain fatigue among Republican voters since he was an integral part of the Otter Administration. It was common knowledge among political operatives in Idaho that he was behind in the race for Governor for much of the past year.

Yet Little doggedly pursued his dream of leading Idaho. He personally campaigned as hard as any candidate on the ballot this year. That suggests he will bring vigor to the Governor’s office.

But first he will have to overcome a concerted effort by national Democrats this fall.

Paulette Jordan fits the mold of chic identity politics better than just about anyone else running in the country. She is a young feminist, she is an attractive female, and she is of Native American descent. National Democrats will be more than willing to pour massive dollars into her campaign – which is not so much about their belief that Jordan will win, as it is a chance to burnish their own credentials and bring offerings to the altar of progressivism.

Ms. Jordan has already been embraced by Planned Parenthood – which is only right, given her perfect anti-Life record in the Idaho Legislature. For a while, she served on the House State Affairs Committee, so we have considerable experience with her on abortion and related life issues. She was always pleasantly hostile.

But there will be plenty of time to deal with the general election.

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

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