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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: 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: A Time for Prayer

May 12th, 2018 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

We are almost at the end of the longest primary election season in memory. And we believe it is time to ask for the Lord’s guidance, provision and healing.

Passions are high, many blows have been struck. Relationships are strained. Candidates and campaigns are under great stress as the hours wind down to Election Day on Tuesday. The stakes are high for those individuals; even higher for the People of Idaho.

We ask that you join with us in asking the Lord to bless those people who have sacrificed so much to be on the ballot. Even those with whom we disagree. After all, every candidate running is helping renew the strength of the Republic by offering us viable choices. That deserves a certain respect.

We also ask the Lord for healing of the Body Politic – especially within Idaho’s conservative community. We particularly ask for prayers on behalf of the Yates family, who have been subjected to one of the most vicious personal attacks we’ve witnessed in Idaho politics. But there is plenty of need for healing and reconciliation all over the place.

May the Lord give us wisdom and discernment.

And we ask the Lord to give us the leadership we need on Tuesday. There are children to serve and protect; rights to defend and opportunities to seize.

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

David Ripley: Primary Endorsements Now Posted On-Line

May 7th, 2018 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The Board of Idaho Chooses Life has completed its review of state and legislative candidates for the 2018 Primary Election on May 15. Those endorsement decisions are now posted on-line, by region, on our website: IdahoChoosesLife.org.

We wish to thank the men and women who quietly and faithfully serve Idaho by holding a seat on the Board of this ministry. They have devoted many hours this spring to sorting through the races, interviewing candidates and reviewing the records of those seeking office. There have been a lot of tough decisions to make this year.

Given the huge stakes in this primary, Board members have felt their responsibility keenly and have worked hard to offer their best judgment to the pro-Life citizens of Idaho. May the Lord bless them for their humble service.

As we enter this final stretch of the primary, we ask that you pray for those men and women seeking office. May the Lord keep them safe as they work their hearts out and travel across this great state. May He give them courage to speak truth to the People of Idaho.

And may the Lord provide us with a righteous leadership for the years ahead.

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

David Ripley: Fulcher for Congress

April 30th, 2018 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The Board of Idaho Chooses Life has voted to endorse Russ Fulcher for the U.S. Congress in Idaho’s 1st District.

Fulcher’s history with the pro-Life battle is deep and long. His passion for defending God’s gift of Life is measured by his actions over decades. Russ was the first president of Idaho Chooses Life Alliance, Inc., the 501(c)3 arm of this ministry some eighteen years ago. Over the years he has helped raise money for the pro-Life movement in Idaho. Not just this ministry but pro-Life pregnancy centers like Stanton.

In his second year in the state senate, Fulcher sponsored the final Parental Consent Law in the Senate, following a decade-long battle to protect our daughters from the lies, deceptions and manipulations of the Abortion Industry.

He led the Senate fight on our legislation to make it a felony to assist or participate in the suicide of another person. This law was a direct response to the threat posed by a national group (“Compassionate Choices”) which decided to target Idaho as the next victim in their campaign to legalize and normalize assisted suicide across America. With Fulcher’s help, we were able to push them out of Idaho. And they’ve not been back since.

Fulcher then moved into a leadership position in the State Senate, in which he became a facilitator and advocate of the pro-Life agenda.

In contrast with the other candidates, Russ Fulcher’s pro-Life commitment is profound, deep and long.

One of his opponents, Luke Malek, claims to have a “100% pro-Life record”. That claim is false. He carries a B- grade with this organization. He voted to implement ObamaCare in Idaho. Even worse, he voted against our Religious Liberty Amendment to the Insurance Exchange that same session – an amendment based upon the Hobby Lobby lawsuit that sought to protect Idaho employers from being forced into paying abortion-causing drugs. (And, by the way, Fulcher was a co-sponsor of that amendment in the State Senate, along with Sheryl Nuxoll).

Rep. Christy Perry has a worse Life Rating: She has a ‘C’ grade. She shares the Malek votes for ObamaCare and against our Religious Liberty Amendment. But just this session, she supported legislation that would have provided $29 million in new monies for Planned Parenthood. That is hardly the behavior of a “pro-Life” person – and certainly no one we need in Congress.

Former AG David Leroy does not have much of a record, but we are troubled by some of his answers to our questionnaire. He is not committed to ending federal funding of Planned Parenthood. And his fealty to the federal judiciary – despite their gross abuse of power in legalizing abortion, imposing same-sex marriage and a host of other perversions of the Constitution –is of great concern. Congress must accept its responsibility to check this out-of-control branch of government if the Republic is to survive.

And, finally, Michael Snyder. There is no doubt that he is strongly pro-Life. He provided us with an outstanding questionnaire. We’ve had meetings with him and it is clear that he has passion for ending the holocaust. Yet we are troubled by the fact that we only met him once he became a candidate for Congress. We are left wondering where he’s been for the last twenty-plus years that we have been battling the forces of darkness at the Statehouse and in the culture. It is not enough to hold pro-Life convictions. And it is not enough to be right. There must be action and sacrifice if we are to ever bring this horror to an end in America. Hopefully, once this race is over, we will be able to build a long and fruitful relationship with Mr. Snyder that strengthens the movement and saves lives. We would certainly welcome his help and support.

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

David Ripley: Trump Admin Continues to Push Defunding

April 11th, 2018 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The new Department of Health & Human Services under Donald Trump is pressing to re-orient the “family planning” programs of the Department to bring them more in line with the values of the great majority in America.

Despite the fact that the Republican Congress maintained funding for Title X at Obama levels in this last omnibus travesty, they did put $10 million in new monies to expand the effort to bring “sexual risk avoidance education” (SRA) into public schools. This curriculum is science-based, with several studies demonstrating that it helps kids avoid behaviors which lead to poverty, regret and even tragedy.

Hopefully various key players in the Idaho Legislature will take note of the studies and moral clarity which is giving shape to a new agenda at the federal level. There are a surprising number of Republicans in the Statehouse who buy into the Planned Parenthood doctrine that the key to reducing abortion, teen pregnancy and out-of-wedlock births is more money for birth control. This is the thinking which drove the proposal to provide Planned Parenthood with a windfall of $29 million in new federal and state tax dollars (HB 563).

There was even a proposal by Rep. Van Orden to expand Planned Parenthood’s role in our public school’s sex education curriculum. (HB 579).

While we were able to defeat both pieces of legislation this last session – the truth is, those battles are not over. Various legislators have warned us they will be back.

And then there is the circulating petition to put Medicaid expansion on the ballot this fall. Included in that misguided proposal is a boatload of money for Planned Parenthood.

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

David Ripley: Insurance Reform Bill Becomes Law

April 2nd, 2018 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

An important health insurance bill passed the Legislature this session, but has received little attention from a distracted media.

Ever since Obama largely socialized the country’s health care system, various folks have been calling for increased competition as the solution to the mess he and Pelosi have created. Many Republicans have called for reforms to allow insurance carriers to sell policies across state lines. But like much of the conservative agenda – Congress has failed to act.

But Idaho has. Sen. Dan Foreman and Rep. Tom Loertscher got legislation passed this year which will make it possible for out-of-state companies to compete with Blue Cross in Idaho. (SB 1288). This is a market-based reform that could help lead to slower growth in premiums.

The long term impact will largely depend on who is elected governor this year, and who serves in the Department of Insurance next year. No doubt there will have to be an outreach effort to encourage companies to market their plans in Idaho and compete with the Blue Cross monopoly.

Evidence has surfaced that the insurance companies who survived thus far in the ObamaCare era are beginning to make serious profits, as are institutional health care providers. After all, the massive increase in government spending on health care has to be going to somewhere. And the 200% increase in private family premiums aren’t hurting the bottom line for Blue Cross and St. Luke’s either.

We heartily commend Loertscher and Foreman for their leadership in getting this bill passed. America has a long and successful experience with free market solutions to social problems: Competition has brought Americans a tremendous quality of life. It is obvious that that is the path out of this health care mess. But few of our politicians appear willing to bring that grand solution to the policy table.

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

Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights, March 26

March 28th, 2018 by Halli

by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

This was to be our last week, but as it is said from time to time, “..the best laid plans of mice and men.” It was not due to a lack of planning by any means that we will need to return next week. We have been making a concerted effort this year to finish by this Friday, but it was not to be.

All legislation passed by the legislature is now on the desk of the Governor, including some of the largest budgets of the session. Education, Health and Welfare and Corrections are the three that top the list of General Fund expenditures, and Transportation comes right behind from dedicated sources. Before your eyes glaze over, even more interesting is that one morning this week about five billion dollars of appropriations from all sources of revenue were passed in the House in about forty five minutes with virtually no debate.

There are some noteworthy things to report for the session. We lowered all income tax brackets by almost one half of one percent. The child tax credit was increased to make sure there is not a tax increase placed on large families. Four years ago we committed to a career ladder program for teachers. For the fourth year in a row we have exceeded one hundred million new dollars for K-12 education.

Two pro-life measures were passed and have now been signed by Governor Otter.

The NRA-supported “stand your ground/castle doctrine” bill has become law, albeit without the governor’s signature. His comment was that it was too strong. Last but by no means least is a bill that I was involved with, that will make it possible to purchase health insurance across state lines, in hopes of reducing health insurance premiums. This one was signed by the governor. This is the only legislation passed this year making an effort to get these costs down. I hope it helps.

This is what I call my thousand mile weekend, having attended three Lincoln Day events in our district. On the return from Preston there was a least a foot of water over the road in one place. Traveling down from Fish Creek Pass toward Soda Springs it was quite a site to see how many fields there are under water. Having driven through a couple of those deluges over the weekend it should have not been a surprise to see the flooding, just unusual.

I saw a half dozen cowboys in Montpelier Saturday morning and asked how the calving was going. One of them commented that they only have about 175 to go, and in my world that is a pretty good sized “only.” I asked if they were enjoying the mud as much as we are. “We’ll be glad to deliver some if you would like, no matter how far it is,” was the reply. I think we will pass on that offer.

A lot of roads in our area have washed out and county road crews are getting a real work-out. And as far as my own private access goes, we got our share of road destruction. There has to be some dry ground under there somewhere.

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Posted in Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Politics in General, Rep. Tom Loertscher, Taxes | No Comments »

David Ripley: Senate Approves Reporting Bill

March 16th, 2018 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The Idaho Senate gave final approval to ICL’s Reporting bill (HB 638) on Wednesday afternoon. This landmark bill will create – for the first time – a comprehensive reporting system on the physical and emotional after-shocks of abortion. The bill requires every doctor, counselor or hospital that treats a woman for post-abortion complications to report that fact to the Department of Health & Welfare. The Department is then required to compile and publish an annual report.

Based upon model legislation developed by Americans United for Life, HB 638 will give Idaho policy makers – for the first time – an accurate understanding of what women go through after they choose abortion. It is rather shocking to realize that, some 45 years into the Roe v. Wade era – virtually everything we think we know about abortion and its impact on women comes from the abortion industry. Not exactly an unbiased source.

The Senate floor debate was hot and heavy. Sadly, a number of normally pro-Life legislators voted against the bill. Senate sponsor Fred Martin (R-Boise) weathered some 3 hours of questions and debate over the legislation. We are grateful for his courage and leadership in defending a great piece of legislation.

Emmett’s Steven Thayn raised concerns about the burden on doctors and the fact that paperwork is helping to drive up health care costs. He claimed that he might like to support the legislation, but that HB 638 “went too far”. By that, he meant that the reporting requirements in the bill do not have a time limit. He was one of eight Republican senators who sided with Planned Parenthood by voting ‘no’. It was a heartbreaking moment.

Apparently Senator Thayn is willing to learn a little about the health risks of abortion – but not too much. Unfortunately for women, many of the health risks associated with abortion don’t materialize for years. The research linking abortion to breast cancer, for example, shows us that breast cancer may take many years to develop. And even more mid-term problems can take several years: An overwhelming body of scientific research suggests that an abortion history can complicate future pregnancies. Why would we not want that hard data? Don’t women deserve to know both the short and long term risks they assume when accept the seductive promises of Planned Parenthood?

Thankfully, there were heroes during the floor fight over this legislation as well: Sen. Chuck Winder, Sen. Dan Foreman, Sen. Mary Souza and Sen. Marv Hagedorn. They rose to help Sen. Martin, and to support the bill with a clear vision of why it will be such a critical step forward for Idaho’s women and the fight for Life.

For years we have fought to establish an Informed Consent procedure in Idaho. We have fought to create a booklet that women are given before an abortion; we have established a waiting period. This springs from the State’s primary duty to protect the health and safety of its citizens. But the glaring problem is that we know so little about the real world risks of abortion. So much of the debate is politically charged. The State has a clear duty to find out the health care risks associated with abortion – especially now that we are one of only two states allowing “remote control” abortions via the internet.

Please join us in thanking those legislators who supported this vitally important bill. And please take a moment to ask Governor Otter to sign this legislation. You can leave him a message by phoning 208-334-2100.

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

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