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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 »

David Ripley: What’s the Big Deal?

March 2nd, 2018 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Fox News is reporting the arrest of a 17 year old Texas girl following discovery of her dead baby in a neighbor’s shed.

Everyone seems so excited. We must wonder what is so special about this little child? Was he wrapped with some special instructions declaring that he would be the one to cure cancer or build a cold-fusion reactor? The news stories don’t go into detail. But there must be something special, because the police are charging the girl with capital murder and bail was set at a whopping $800,000.00.

If it wasn’t the uniqueness of the baby, then perhaps authorities are worked up about how the young mother ended her baby’s life. She didn’t go to her local Planned Parenthood abortuary. That is clearly bad. Instead, she thought she could save a few bucks. Maybe they should let her go with a fine, payable to Planned Parenthood and call it good.

We’re guessing that, as much as the Judge might like that approach, the fact that the mother stabbed her baby nine times after giving birth creates a real public relations problem for the court. And then the baby was found in the neighbor’s shed by the neighbor’s 13 –year-old son. That sort of public trauma has to be addressed somehow in order that good folks can sleep at night, safe in the knowledge that civilization is secure.

But civilization is surely not secure. That teenage mother is understandably confused about just what the rules are. Every single day in America – for some 45 years – about four thousand such innocents are put down. Quietly. Ever so quietly … and privately. Of course, Miss Gomez violated those rules. Her baby’s grisly death has become very public. And Americans now have to wrestle with the image of a little innocent, taking her first breaths, being stabbed to death. Then discarded like so much hazardous waste. So, now, someone has to pay.

It breaks one’s heart that the United States of America could tolerate such a hypocritical, dark double-standard for more than four decades.

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

Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights, February 2

February 5th, 2018 by Halli

by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

This has been a week of transition in the House. For the most part committee work has dominated our time and now more items are moving to the full body for consideration. Committee work has also changed from mostly introducing legislation to the hearing process on bills. New items are still coming as well. Every day someone approaches me with a “brand new” idea for the greatest bill ever.

One of those new ideas (which by the way has been seen several times in the past) was to change the requirement for publication of legal notices in newspapers to online notices. Great idea, except that even in these times, not everyone has internet access. This idea will probably have a rough time around here and rightly so. When we deal with peoples’ lives and livelihoods, public notice needs to be available to all.

Another “great idea” brought forward was, that if a bond or levy election loses at the polls, a similar issue can’t come forward for twelve months. I am sure our schools will have much to say about that one. I have memories of how difficult it was to consolidate those elections to just four dates per year. I can see the e-mail stream pick up a lot on that issue.

Most things that are getting to the full House have been simple things but that is not going to last long. Some heavier things are on the way or will be soon. Science has been a big topic for the education committee. On the tax front, that committee has arrived at a tax bill that may get out of committee next week. Health and Welfare is moving forward with what they are calling the dual waiver proposal which is to authorize the department to apply for the waivers. If either of those waivers are unsuccessful with the feds, the other would not work.

State Affairs is getting an array of stuff from election changes to an article V call for a convention to propose amendments to the constitution. And don’t forget some changes in alcohol licenses. And Have I mentioned Marsy’s Law? There is a full court press on the committee for that one. We still have not seen the final draft on it but we will soon.

I get asked frequently, especially from new members, just how do you keep up? Believe me when you get a broad array of subjects to deal with, and huge numbers of e-mails, it does seem a bit daunting. My best advice is to do your homework and don’t hesitate to ask questions. Chances are you’ll get some help. After all, everyone around this place at least has an opinion.

We have gotten some lessons this week on procedure, which was welcome. You may ask, why are we so stuck on procedure? If we don’t do it right, and by the rules, whatever we do is not valid. We have even had some training for committee chairs and no matter how long we may have done this around this place there are things to learn.

Even though there has been a transition occurring, more is on the way. It will soon be more difficult to introduce something new and longer calendars will at least shift us to a higher gear. The train has left the station for sure and the next step will be home to live with what we have created.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Politics in General, Rep. Tom Loertscher | No Comments »

David Ripley: President Trump Declares Sanctity of Life Day

January 27th, 2018 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

What an extraordinary development. On Monday, the President issued a proclamation honoring the pro-Life cause and the movement which has refused to accept the deranged morality of the Supreme Court.

President Trump was as clear about his pro-Life convictions as is he about most things: “Though the fight to protect life is not yet over, we commit to advocating each day for all who cannot speak for themselves.”

This is but another amazing development in the presidency of Donald Trump. He has indisputably established himself as the greatest pro-Life champion to occupy the White House in the Roe era. What makes him so unique is that he is not simply supportive of one pro-Life law or another – he has established an Administration which advocates a pro-Life philosophy. Trump is not willing to make a deal here or a concession here. He wants his presidency to be pro-Life at every opportunity.

It is downright thrilling.

Trump does not merely respond to pressure from the Life Lobby to help with the new project for defending the innocent. He has identified himself as one our members, even a leader of the movement in his own right. We just have never seen that kind of leadership before.

May the Lord continue to protect and guide him. And may the Congress get on the train and strengthen this historic moment.

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

David Ripley: Take a Peek at Dystopian Liberalism

January 14th, 2018 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Ever wonder what America can look like if we allow Planned Parenthood and the rest of the Radical Left to define our legal and cultural norms?

Our sophisticated friends in Canada are putting on just such a show for our educational benefit. The socialist Prime Minister has banned government funds going to any project or group which does not endorse his abortion-on-demand politics. The particular flash point is a program which provides grants to various entities that offer summer youth jobs. And this is likely only a pilot effort in a plan to leverage all government money to force ideological conformity.

Churches or private charities which hold or teach pro-Life values are no longer eligible to receive government grants for the jobs program.

After some push-back, Prime Minister Trudeau stood his ground this past week, declaring that “women’s reproductive rights [is] where we draw the line as a country”.

It is important to ponder that this move does not strictly involve pro-Life actions by grantees. Now, in order to participate in the program, these churches and charities must affirm that they, too, believe in a woman’s right to terminate her baby’s life in order to put kids to work in the summer. It is a thought- police kind of action completely unrelated to the program itself.

Such totalitarian impulses have surfaced in America. Planned Parenthood has actually passed legislation in a couple of states requiring pro-Life pregnancy centers provide information about where women can abortions. Even here in Idaho, Democrat legislators have publicly expressed the view that medical personnel should not be able to work in health care if they have objections to assisting with abortion or assisted suicide.

We may take comfort from the fact that we have greater personal liberties here in America because of the Constitution than our northern neighbors – but that would be a big mistake. Our educational system is depriving too many students of a proper understanding of the Constitution and our republican form of government. Even our history. Too many of those students go on to careers in the law or public service. Those rights, bestowed upon us through tremendous sacrifice, are only as good as our ability and willingness to defend them.

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

David Ripley: Finally – A Little Justice

December 10th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

A couple of years ago, the nation was confronted with the barbaric nature of the Abortion Industry when the Center for Medical Progress publicized a series of videos demonstrating a huge black market in aborted baby parts. At the center of that trafficking-scheme-for-profit stands Planned Parenthood.

While the nation’s largest abortion chain has yet to be held accountable, prosecutors in California (of all places) have secured the first guilty plea from two of Planned Parenthood’s crime partners – DV Biologics and DaVinci Biosciences. The firms have agreed to pay some $7.8 million in fines and penalties. In addition, they have agreed to close their businesses. Permanently.

The prosecution by the Orange County District Attorney came after a formal referral by the Congressional Selective Investigative Panel on Infant Lives – headed by Congressman Marsha Blackburn.

This is real progress and puts real pressure on the nefarious Planned Parenthood abortion syndicate going forward.

However, according to reports by our colleagues at Operation Rescue, this development has even greater scandal: The owners of the two companies in question happen to be close associates of Hillary Clinton. It turns out that both companies are owned by members of the Isaias family – Estefano, Andres and Roberto.

Apparently these folks absconded with millions of dollars in stolen money from a bank they ran in Ecuador. They face criminal indictments in their native country. The Ecuadorian government claims that this crime family has bankrupted many citizens of this poor Central American country, and cost the Ecuador economy something approaching $660 million.

While Clinton was Secretary of State, the Ecuador government sought the extradition of the Isaias Family to face justice. But because of generous contributions to a slew of Democrat politicians in America, Clinton moved to deny the request.

“Hillary Clinton allowed a known crime family into the United States so they could sell Planned Parenthood’s aborted baby parts for profit,” said OR President Troy Newman. “This connects Clinton to the illegal baby parts trade, in addition to improperly giving special favors to criminals in return for financial donations. The FBI should include her in their ongoing investigation.”

The potential corruption here is nearly unbelievable. We will report on further developments as we discover them.

Here is a link to the Operation Rescue report.

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

David Ripley: Sen. Crapo Sponsors Late-Term Abortion Ban

October 8th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Idaho’s Mike Crapo has signed on to be an original co-sponsor of the Pain-Capable Child Protection Act in the U.S. Senate.

This legislation, similar to a bill passed by the Idaho Legislature in 2011, would ban abortions after 20 weeks’ gestation. It is based upon medical research demonstrating that preborn children experience profound pain during an abortion, particularly when the standard “dismemberment” procedure is used.

This barbaric practice of pulling the baby apart limb-by-limb, if used to kill barnyard animals, would result in felony convictions for cruelty to animals. But in modern America, it is a practice performed by Planned Parenthood on defenseless babies and shielded by their allies on the federal bench.

Senator Crapo has been a champion of the pro-Life cause throughout his public career, going all the way back to his heroic efforts in the Idaho Senate in the 1990 session.

Idaho’s House members, Raul Labrador and Mike Simpson, voted for the House version of this legislation earlier this week. It remains to be seen whether Senate Majority Leader will schedule a floor vote on the bill.

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

David Ripley: Reflections on the Passing of Cecil Andrus

September 6th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Idaho Democrats and media folks will be making much this week of Cecil Andrus, the recently deceased former governor of Idaho. And, honestly, there is much about Andrus’ career which is very noteworthy. There is no doubt, for instance, that he is one of the state’s most effective politicians. With his time as Interior Secretary (under Jimmy Carter), Andrus became one of Idaho’s most prominent national exports, ranking with the likes of William Borah and Frank Church as a player on a national stage.

He worked hard to move Idaho in a leftward trajectory during his second stint as governor, and Democrats are, as one would expect, lauding his work at improving education funding and expanding public lands.

We note, however, that the many obituaries and tributes proffered to date fail to mention his most significant historical moment: As the entire nation watched, Cecil Andrus vetoed HB 625 following the 1990 Session of the Idaho Legislature. This bill would have severely restricted the practice of abortion in Idaho. As a pro-abortion Democrat consultant in those days, I was among those urging his veto of the bill. And I was present in his office at the moment he stamped his veto on the bill; much to my shame, I joined with those cheering his action.

Prior to that moment, Andrus had always campaigned as “pro-Life” and something of a moderate. And in that he was not alone. Most Idaho Democrats holding elective office in the immediate post-Roe era identified as “pro-Life”.

But as the lives of thousands of preborn hung in the balance, Andrus chose to defend abortion-on-demand. He then persuaded most Democrats in Idaho to abandon their historical position to eventually become the party of abortion rights. Andrus and Idaho Democrats enjoyed some initial political success with their new “progressive” strategy.

Over the decades since, however, Idaho Democrats began to swallow more and more of the radical social agenda on marriage, homosexuality, abortion and transgenderism. They began to abandon the public argument that they were different from more radical national Democrats, and, today, make little pretense of seeking to represent the values or opinions of the Idahoans they seek to “represent” in office. I believe this alienation is the key failing of the modern Idaho Democrat Party, and central to the reason they hold so few seats in the Legislature.

This transformation was exemplified by Cecil Andrus himself when he heartily endorsed Barack Obama for president.

So, for all his brilliance and skill as a national-grade politician, Cecil Andrus can be rightly charged with leading his Idaho Democrats into a political cul-de-sac. But that is just more politics.

I write this with a heavy heart – not so much for the loss of Cecil Andrus, who enjoyed a long and richly blessed life. No. My heart is heavy in realizing that many thousands of Idaho babies have been lost, many women and men damaged, as a result of that seminal decision by Andrus back in the spring of 1990. My own preborn son is among those casualties.

Perhaps Andrus’ most enduring legacy will be the fact that in the Idaho Statehouse today, Democrats continue to follow his lead by fighting any attempt to restrict their most cherished civic value, abortion-on-demand, at any stage of a pregnancy.

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

David Ripley: Oregon Makes Abortions “Free”

September 6th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The liberals in Oregon have struck another death blow at the innocent by essentially declaring “free” abortions a right in this west coast enclave. (We say “free” because the women and babies and fathers and families and taxpayers will pay a heavy emotional, financial and spiritual cost).

Under the legislation signed into law by Governor Kate Brown this week, any resident of Oregon – whether legal or illegal – can get the taxpayers of that state to cover the cost of their abortions. Insurance companies are also forced to provide elective abortion services as part of their “essential” benefit package to all policy holders. And they are forbidden to charge a co-pay or deductible.

This is a financial bonanza for Planned Parenthood, of course.

But it is also a distressing development on many levels. It will guarantee an increased rate of killings of preborn children. It also embroils every employer, taxpayer and insurance company in the morally repugnant act of destroying innocent lives.

In his fight against the legislation, Oregon state Representative Mike Nearman made it clear that Oregon has no meaningful restriction on the so-called “right” to abortion. He declared that one could get an abortion at any time in a pregnancy, and for any reason. And, now, that service is cost free to the mother.

In their zeal to enhance Planned Parenthood’s coffers, Oregon Democrats may have jeopardized health care for many Oregonians. Some legal analysts believe that the new law violates the provisions of the federal Weldon Amendment, which prohibits the use of federal taxpayers to pay for abortions.

One can only hope and pray that the Trump Administration will scrutinize the radical policies now in place in Oregon.

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

David Ripley: This is What Government Health Care Looks Like

July 19th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The story of baby Charlie Gard has troubled millions across the world, as courts have stepped in to order the death of a vulnerable child. The parents continue to fight for him, arguing that they have a right to pursue experimental treatment. British courts – and even a “super” European Union Court – have sought to strip these parents of the right to bring in additional medical experts.

It strikes most people as odd, even evil, that courts would regulate access to health care. Why should these parents not be able to defend the life of their precious son for as long as they have the means, the will and the hope to do so? Why have European courts sought to insert themselves in this private, painful, struggle?

The answer lies in the dark side of government-run health care. While politicians love to dole out goodies in exchange for votes and plaudits – there is always a price. Obviously we are the schlocks who pay the taxes they play with. Perhaps more troubling is the control and bureaucracy which inevitably attaches to such public programs. Thus, the real coin of the realm is freedom.

We see this playing out in Washington, D.C. as Republicans struggle to actually relinquish the power they’ve seized to manage our health care. As Americans suffer from the oppressive burden of ObamaCare, the Republicans in Congress dawdle and moan over a real vote to repeal this ill-advised take over of the nation’s health care system. Forget the thousand promises and hot campaign rhetoric. Now it is real, and now it is too hard for some.

If ObamaCare is allowed to stand, Americans will need to develop a close, personal relationship with their member of Congress. Not only will families have to have a good doctor, we will need our Congressman to intervene and help us battle the bureaucracy which doles out the care our children or parents might need. Going forward, we can easily imagine that every session of Congress for decades to come will be dominated by new legislation to “fix” the health care system recklessly destroyed by Obama and Pelosi back in 2010. While the Democrats have earned the scorn they’ve reaped by imposing ObamaCare, Republicans are now dancing with disaster by guaranteeing its permanence.

Let us pray that reason returns to the Republican Congress. Let us pray they again find the will to defend freedom and the free markets.

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

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