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David Ripley: Common Core’s Social Agenda

June 6th, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Socialization: A process by which the Left creates new standards of moral order.

Opponents of the common core agenda, which includes a nationalization of public education, have long feared that a major component of the elite’s agenda to “reform” education had nothing to do with developing basic intellectual skills. A good part of that concern is the result of the tremendous secrecy which surrounds the common core testing – to the point where parents and even teachers are prohibited from seeing questions. Such an approach to testing defies the logic of testing.

Yet here we are, in a land where private contractors working for bureaucrats in Washington are redefining “education” and “learning” without public oversight.

The worst fears were confirmed this last week when a student taking a biology exam sent a photo of the question home to his parents over his smartphone. The question was a blatant attempt to normalize abortion:

“John and his sister Brittany are high school students in a small town. Their mother Jill is 40 years old and has learned that she is pregnant with a child. Genetic testing has indicated that the child has Down’s Syndrome. Their family doctor has recommended that Jill have an abortion. John and Brittany’s mother and father have called the family together to discuss their options. Which of the following statements describes how the family should make this decision?”

The high school biology students were presented with four multiple choice answers – none of which included the option of choosing to give this preborn child life.

The student’s parents were outraged, of course, and contacted school officials. And they, of course, pled ignorance as to the content of the test questions.

It is important to note that this exam was not in Stockton or Newark. It took place in neighboring Utah – a well known bastion of conservative religious values.

Here is the original story from the Salt Lake Tribune:

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

David Ripley: Congressional Panel Continues to Press on Organ Harvesting Scandal

June 6th, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The House Select Investigative Committee released more findings of its research into the gruesome partnership between Planned Parenthood and companies trafficking in aborted baby parts.

Led by Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, the Congressional committee announced this week that it had uncovered serious violations of patient privacy and collusion to deceive women undergoing abortions at Planned Parenthood clinics. Given the sordid nature of the business, it is impossible for women and girls to avoid being treated like a commodity as organ harvesting companies hunt to buy valuable organs and tissue for resale.

The committee found that companies like Stem Express gain illegal access to patient files as they look for the best candidates to fill orders from their partners in universities and the pharmaceutical industry. Medical history, blood type, economic status and genetic information can all add special value to the tissue harvested from aborted babies. Such violation of privacy is illegal under HIPPA, and a gross abuse of those vulnerable women ensnared by Planned Parenthood.

But it gets worse as Stem Express goes in for the sale on the woman sitting in the lobby. The committee also found evidence of manipulation and even coercion of those mothers by the trolls looking for quick cash from the resale of their dead babies. And, as we have long suspected, the consent process used by these companies and Planned Parenthood is wholly inadequate and misleading.

We commend the work of Blackburn and her colleagues. It is imperative that they resist the politics of congressional Democrats – who have been turning up the heat to end the investigation into this national scandal. They must continue to move through this sewer and bring their findings before the full Congress for appropriate action: We must make harvesting and trafficking in aborted baby parts illegal in America.

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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: Zollinger for House in Idaho Falls

May 14th, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Idaho Chooses Life strongly endorses Bryan Zollinger for the Idaho House in District 33 (Idaho Falls).

This seat has opened up because of the retirement of Rep. Linden Bateman. The loss of Bateman is a tremendous blow to the pro-Life movement, as the good representative was one of the strongest, most determined champions of preborn children in public office. It is unlikely he will ever be truly replaced.

That said, Bateman’s legacy is at stake in this race.

We sent both GOP candidates detailed surveys on their views regarding critical life issues. Only Mr. Zollinger responded. His answers inspire confidence that we can trust to carry Linden’s mantle forward.

By contrast, David Smith did not bother to respond. While that means we have no specific information about this views – experience teaches us that Mr. Smith will likely be no defender of babies in the womb. Even if he has vague pro-Life views, his failure to answer specific questions for voters in District 33 has to mean that the Life issue(s) holds no priority for him.

We urge the good people of Idaho Falls to send a strong pro-Life legislator to Boise: We ask for your support of Bryan Zollinger on Tuesday.

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Falls Issues, Idaho Legislature, Politics in General, Taxes | No Comments »

David Ripley: We Need Moyle Back in the House

May 14th, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Rep. Mike Moyle has earned our endorsement for re-election to a 10th term in the Idaho House.

Since his first days in the Legislature, Moyle has been a leader on questions of tax policy and economic development. That natural leadership was recognized by his colleagues early on, explaining his many terms as Majority Leader. It is a heavy burden and no one works harder than Moyle to serve Idaho.Moyle, Denney and Fulcher; 0308

But it is his compassion and leadership on family issues – particularly the defense of preborn children – which has earned our highest respect and gratitude. Regardless of the day or craziness of the legislative calendar, Moyle always makes time to help advance the cause of the Life. It was this kind of leadership which led us to give him our “Friend for Life Award” in 2009.

Moyle is being challenged by a moderate Republican – Michael Greenway – in next week’s primary.

We have been told by voters in the District that Greenway has confessed to being “pro-choice” on abortion. That explains why he refused to respond to our questionnaire. That value system disqualifies Greenway to serve in the Legislature. Pure and simple.

We pray that the Republican voters of Star and Eagle see fit to return Mike Moyle to the Legislature. The simple fact is that we need him there.

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

David Ripley: McKenzie for Supreme Court

May 9th, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The Board of Idaho Chooses Life has voted to endorse Sen. Curt McKenzie for the open seat on the Idaho Supreme Court, now held by retiring Justice Jim Jones.

McKenzie has a 100% pro-Life record over his 7 terms in the Idaho Senate. He has sponsored and co-sponsored pro-Life legislation, including a measure which prohibits the State Insurance Exchange from using tax dollars to pay for abortions.

Sen. McKenzie earned our Friend for Life Award in 2012.

In addition to his pro-Life values, McKenzie brings a proven record of defending the religious liberties of Idahoans. One of his most important tests came in the fight to establish a state insurance exchange. We asked legislators to amend the bill by including language to protect Idaho’s employers from being forced to provide insurance coverage under ObamaCare that violated their religious beliefs. This measure would have stopped the state from helping Obama force Christian employers into paying for abortion-causing drugs like Ella and “Emergency Contraception”. McKenzie was one of only 11 senators to vote for our Religious Liberty Amendment in 2013.

There is no doubt that the most important qualification for any judicial candidate is a proven adherence to the principles and values which gave rise to a republican form of government in America. The Constitution is a clear and precise defense of our liberties and a systematic limitation on the powers of government. We are being destroyed by judges who believe they are part of a new high priesthood with the power to rewrite the Constitution to suit their particular social agenda and vision for a “better” society.

In contrast, we believe that Curt McKenzie respects the proper limitations of the judiciary, and will vigorously apply the Constitution as plainly written to cases which come before the Court.

We have a huge responsibility this month. Idaho’s Constitution provides the voters of this state with a powerful check on judicial arrogance: Our ballot.

We urge pro-Life voters to support Curt McKenzie in the May 17th Primary Election. And please urge your neighbors and friends at church to do the same.

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

David Ripley: Otter Signs Landmark Pro-Life Bill

April 9th, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Governor Otter signed SB1404 into law today. This landmark legislation, known as the Idaho Unborn Infants Dignity Act, makes a huge step forward in affirming the value of the preborn child.

The new law makes it illegal to harvest organs and body parts from aborted babies. It also makes it illegal to conduct medical experiments using tissue harvested from babies killed by abortion.

Another feature of the legislation creates a death certificate for babies lost to miscarriage. Many grieving parents testified before the Legislation, asking for this important recognition of their child. And the new law makes it clear that parents have the right to direct the final disposition of babies lost to miscarriage and abortion.

There are many people to thank for this great pro-Life victory. Let’s begin with the lead sponsors of the legislation, Sen. Cliff Bayer and Rep. Brent Crane. Both of these men signed up early in the wake of the horrible revelations regarding Planned Parenthood’s nasty side business of trading baby parts for Lamborghinis. We had dozens of co-sponsors as well. Idaho is well-served by such citizens willing to accept the responsibility of serving their neighbors at the Capitol.

The leadership of the Legislature in both chambers was very helpful and supportive of this effort. We are especially grateful for the support of Sens. Bart Davis and Todd Lakey. Sen. Lakey in particular devoted tremendous time to making this effort successful. Special thanks are due as well to Chairman Loertscher for his leadership and wisdom, and we are thankful to Chairman McKenzie for giving us ample time before the Senate State Affairs panel.

We must also acknowledge the role played by Americans United for Life. The basic blueprint for this legislation was developed by this tremendous organization last fall, and they continue to play a vital role in rebuilding a wall of protection around the preborn child.

Idaho is blessed to have a pro-Life governor and legislature. This legislation is a strong statement of principle and decency at a time when the nation desperately needs such leadership. Hopefully the Idaho Unborn Infants Dignity Act can be used in other states as a model response to the on-going horrors of an unbridled abortion industry.

There were times in this legislative struggle when the odds seemed long, but the Lord helped us overcome the obstacles in our path. Ultimately, this victory belongs to Him.

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

Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights, April 4

April 4th, 2016 by Halli

by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

Now that the dust has settled for about a week, it might be a good time to report on some of the things that have happened in the session as a whole and the last week as well. In some ways it was not a typical year but then there is some commonality as well.

As happens every year there is a race on between the House and the Senate to see who can finish first. We in the house don’t win that too often because we seem to have several amended House Bills come back for concurring in amendments and final action. Leadership could have held us there into the wee hours of Friday morning but after last year’s 2:00 AM finish they decided that was not a good idea.

You have undoubtedly read about some of the more publicized legislation that passed so I will mention some things that are significant but did not receive so much press.

We passed HJR 5 which amends the Idaho Constitution to protect the ability of the legislature to review rules of state agencies. The rules review process has been an invaluable tool for the legislature in making sure that agencies administer the law and not make law.

I was visiting with a grain elevator owner the other day and told him about the rule of the Department of Agriculture that would have required them to report from whom they purchased grain, the quantities of such grain, the variety and quality and the purchase price. He told me that such a requirement would have caused great expense and just more things they would have to report. Who would pay the added cost of the regulation? The producer would. That rule was rejected by the legislature. HJR 5 now goes for a vote of the people in November.

Also not much talked about was a bill that will prohibit the harvesting and selling of body parts from aborted unborn children. Unpleasant though it is to talk about, the whole country was shocked last year as videos of the practice were revealed. The legislature passed this as a means of preventing this happening in Idaho.

Property rights legislation of significance was a bill that would allow either party, a land owner or the county to apply in writing to have a road right-of-way issue heard by a judge that is not resident in the county where the property is located. It is of course a longer story than that, but will make sure a property owner has a fair shot in court.

And as is the case at the end of the session in an election year, we have the opportunity to say so long to those from the body who have chosen not to run again. Rep. Linden Bateman is one of those and sat next to me on the House floor for the last two years. His love for Idaho is unique. Being a teacher by profession, he taught us Idaho history at every opportunity. He sponsored a bill this year to require testing to include questions about Idaho history. He was broken hearted when the Senate Education Committee would not vote his bill out of committee. He has been regarded as a prince of a man and a great friend.

To all of those who will not be returning, thank you for the time you have given on behalf of Idaho.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Property Rights, Rep. Tom Loertscher, Taxes | No Comments »

David Ripley: Otter Signs Ultrasound Bill

April 2nd, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Idaho Governor Butch Otter has signed HB516 into law. This new feature of the Informed Consent statute will require the Department of Health & Welfare to include information about where a woman can go to get a free ultrasound of her baby prior to an abortion decision.

At least seven of the state’s pregnancy care centers now offer ultrasounds as part of their care and counseling services for women and girls dealing with an unplanned pregnancy.

The legislation was brought forward by Right to Life and sponsored in the Legislature by Rep. Ron Nate and Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll.

During their opposition to the bill, Planned Parenthood testified that they use ultrasounds on women and girls they’ve ensnared – but only as part of an abortion procedure.

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

David Ripley: Legislature Gives Final Approval to Organ Harvesting Ban

March 26th, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Late yesterday, on the eve of adjournment, the Idaho House voted 54-14 to approve SB1404. This landmark legislation makes it illegal to harvest tissue from aborted babies, and it makes it illegal to use such tissue in experimentations at Idaho’s public universities and colleges.

Thus, SB1404 attacks both the supply and demand side of the organ trafficking horror revealed by the undercover video project of the Center for Medical Progress.

The only organized opposition to the legislation came from Planned Parenthood – the same group which has used fetal tissue to subsidize payroll for its abortionists across the nation. This is the same organization which claimed as recently as yesterday to unwitting reporters at KTVB that they don’t harvest and sell organs from its Idaho abortuaries.

And, yet, Planned Parenthood of Idaho has a long track record of deceiving public officials and the general public about its operations and intentions. (Only a year ago, they told legislators they had no plans to perform “web-cam” abortions using RU-486; in December they filed suit against the State because they have a “constitutional right“ to offer such services across rural Idaho).

The clueless media dutifully reported on Democrats skipping out of the House State Affairs Committee on Thursday morning because they were “offended” by the very concept of legislation like SB1404. The same media outlets made no attempt to contact pro-Life sponsors of the legislation for a response; thus the self-serving construct of Planned Parenthood’s “victimhood” went unchallenged. (Channel 7 didn’t even bother to cover the actual committee hearing in which testimony was presented regarding the critical need for this legislation).

But facts are stubborn things and the people of Idaho have been well-served by their legislators on this bill.

Sen. Cliff Bayer, for instance, gave compelling testimony about the serious ethical consequences to medical science from an unchecked reliance on tissue harvested from aborted babies.

While Democrats protested out in the hallway, claiming that the legislation was not “worthy of our time”, mothers who have miscarried their babies shared their tearful experiences with legislators and expressed gratitude for provisions of the bill which allow for a Certificate of Miscarriage to commemorate their loss.

The legislation is now before Governor Otter.

You can see the biased media coverage for yourself by clicking here.

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

David Ripley: Idaho Senate Approves Unborn Infants Dignity Act

March 23rd, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The Idaho State Senate overwhelmingly approved SB1404 yesterday afternoon. This historic legislation would make it illegal to harvest organs and tissue from aborted babies. It would make it illegal to conduct experiments with tissue and organs ripped from babies killed in abortion. That includes embryonic stem cells.

Sadly, all Democrats on the floor sided with Planned Parenthood, which has fought vigorously against this bill – despite claims that they are not selling aborted babies from their abortion clinics in Idaho.

The legislation now moves to the House State Affairs Committee.

Please join us in praying for the success of this legislation in the closing days of the 2016 legislative session.

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

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