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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: President Trump Goes After Planned Parenthood Money

September 27th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

While Congress continues to dither over fulfilling its promise to defund Planned Parenthood, President Trump is pressing forward to close the many revenue streams Obama wove into the federal tapestry during his dismal years in the White House.

In addition to Medicaid funding and Family Planning grants, Obama subsidized the abortion merchant by granting them various contracts. One such revenue stream involved hiring Planned Parenthood to help sign up people for ObamaCare. The Department of Health & Human Services has already cut those dollars by 84%. The cuts means a loss of multi-millions to Planned Parenthood.

The Trump Administration is also slashing money for sex education grants, a new program established by Obama. Cuts are expected to exceed $200 million – and one of those Planned Parenthood affiliates hardest hit is Planned Parenthood of the Greater Northwest. This is the regional operation which oversees Planned Parenthood’s operations in Idaho.

This is welcome news, but we must continue to press the fight until Planned Parenthood is completely removed from the backs of hardworking taxpayers. That requires Congressional leadership and action.

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

David Ripley: Time for Earnest Prayer

September 27th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

It is hard to believe, but Sen. John McCain seems poised to save Planned Parenthood once again. He announced yesterday that he intended to vote against legislation that would be begin repealing ObamaCare. Included in that language is a transfer of public funds from Planned Parenthood to legitimate women’s health care providers.

There is still some hope, but time is short. Without action in the next several days, the window will close for using the reconciliation process to enact legislation with just 51 votes.

Despite the terrible abuse suffered by families in Arizona – via horrific hikes in insurance premiums – McCain remains adamant that Democrats be brought into some kind of “compromise” that will take many months to achieve. At a minimum, that means Planned Parenthood continues to receive funding for at least another year. And ObamaCare will be in place through at least 2018.

But the terms being offered by McCain are actually much worse than a year-long status quo.

So long as he serves in the Senate, McCain’s ultimatum means that ObamaCare survives in some form or another. No national Democrat can afford to defy the prevailing political reality within liberal circles by supporting a plan to destroy Obama’s legacy. Even more difficult for a Democrat would be a vote to defund Planned Parenthood.

That leaves the nation facing a pretty dark future. Perhaps one only to be corrected by the election of more Republicans to the Senate next year – which, given the current lack of meaningful accomplishment, is going to be a tough sell to the general voting public in November of 2018.

We need to be in prayer that one of the other hold-outs, perhaps Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, may change her mind on repealing ObamaCare.

There is also some hope that Senate Republicans would consider a simpler bill to defund Planned Parenthood using the reconciliation process. That doesn’t solve the crisis of the nation’s overhaul health care system, but it would be a tremendous step forward in salvaging some of the national GOP’s reputation.

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

David Ripley: House Passes Funding Measure with Strong Pro-Life Language

September 21st, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The U.S. House passed an omnibus appropriations bill (HR 3354) yesterday that consolidates into one piece of legislation all twelve of the big appropriations measures. This is a first step toward normalizing the funding process – which has been in tatters for many years.

What caught our eye about this development was the pro-Life content of the spending measure.

Buried in the section of the bill to fund the Department of Health & Human Services is language to defund Planned Parenthood. The Republican House directs that none of the money in the budget can be given to organizations that perform abortion. Instead, that money is re-directed toward actual health care providers.

In addition, the House bill would prohibit the use of federal funds in experimental research projects using tissue harvested from aborted babies.

There are dozens of other pro-Life measures written into the bill – including a prohibition of funding for the UN Population Fund and Conscience Protections for medical personnel.

That is terrific news. But it immediately raises the question: What next? Is there any chance that the U.S. Senate could pass this appropriation bill and get it to the President’s desk? We believe that this legislation is subject to the Senate’s 60-vote filibuster rule. If so, then the Democrat minority will certainly exercise its veto power and stop this bill from even being voted on.

Which brings us to the conclusion that it is time for the Senate leadership to end the filibuster rule – at least with respect to the budgeting and appropriation process. This is at the heart of the powers and Constitutional responsibilities of Congress. Yet dysfunction has become the norm. Year after year we witness the fiasco of continuing resolutions and perpetual funding of programs and agencies a majority in Congress do not support.

Recovering a rational spending process would go a long way toward rebuilding the public trust in Congress as an institution. But it will require Sen. McConnell and Senate Republicans to take the courageous step of revamping the rules best left to an era long since passed.

We pray the Republicans in the Senate find the will to pass the House appropriations measure.

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

David Ripley: Outrageous Assault on the Constitution

September 9th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The Trump Administration must take swift action to protect religious liberty in America.

Churches in the Great State of California are being forced to pay for abortions as part of the health insurance plans they are required to provide employees. This gross assault on religious liberty rights began in 2014 when the California Department of Managed Health Care issued an edict declaring abortion to be a “basic health service”. Because of ObamaCare, that bureaucratic edict has the force of law.

And now a federal district court in California has apparently issued a ruling declaring that this ObamaCare rule wipes out the First Amendment to the Constitution.

Several churches in California filed a lawsuit against the State of California begging for relief from the courts. They argued that not only does the California rule violate the right to the free exercise of religion, it also violates federal law in the form of the Weldon Amendment designed to prevent the use of federal tax dollars to pay for abortions.

The federal judge dismissed the lawsuit brought by three churches last week, relying upon a ruling by the Obama Administration’s Justice Department that California’s mandate does not violate the Weldon Amendment.

Pro-Life members of Congress have already been working on the Trump Administration to fix this situation. According to LifeNews, a delegation recently met with Health & Human Services Secretary Tom Price, asking for a fresh review of the outrage in California and the application of the Weldon Amendment to policies sold in California.

It is difficult to understand how a federal judge is free to ignore the clear language of the Constitution, or the various Supreme Court rulings applying the First Amendment to this whole ObamaCare/Abortion Mandate controversy.

Ultimately, it is up to the Congress to destroy the monster which is ObamaCare. Let us pray that, after yet another vacation, Republicans in Congress return to work with a fresh sense of vigor to provide the leadership and relief they have promised.

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

David Ripley: Obama Continues to Oppress Americans, as Congress Does Nothing

September 6th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Despite being gone from office for some seven months, the Obama Administration continues to impose its will on the people of America.

With the failure of the Republican Senate to move on repealing ObamaCare and all its ugly mandates, the federal government continues to force Christians to pay for abortion-causing drugs as part of ObamaCare insurance plans.

The latest setback came from the hands of the Third Circuit of Appeals, housed in Pennsylvania, which ruled last week that a pro-Life pregnancy center in Pennsylvania was not exempt from the ObamaCare Mandate which forces them to purchase insurance for employees covering abortion-causing drugs. Two of the three judges on the panel issued a ruling declaring that Real Alternatives was “in no way like a religious denomination or one of its nontheistic counterparts” – and, therefore, is not protected by the Supreme Court’s rulings in the Hobby Lobby case or the Little Sisters case.

The pro-Life pregnancy center is, therefore, required to use its funds, donated by Christians to save babies from abortion, to help pay for aborting babies.

In a statement to Life News, the director of the pregnancy center, Kevin Bagatta, argued with the edict by the 3rd Circuit panel, arguing that its decision would be like forcing the American Cancer Society to purchase cartons of cigarettes for its employees.

One would assume that the pregnancy center will ask the Supreme Court to look at the 3rd Circuit ruling. But even a victory there is not sufficient. As long as Congress refuses to destroy this ObamaCare thing, various rebellious courts and rogue agents in the Justice Department will continue to use its provisions to harass and obstruct the pro-Life agenda. They will continue to defy previous Supreme Court rulings. And they will continue to twist and dismiss the liberty protections guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

We must also observe that it is nearly inexplicable that the Trump Administration has allowed federal government employees to continue to defend the ObamaCare Mandate in the courts. Why did Attorney General Sessions not order the attorneys working for the federal government to drop the case against Real Alternatives? Part of the answer, no doubt, is that the vast apparatus of the U.S. Department of Justice is not really under the control of Trump or Sessions. This huge bureaucracy is staffed with liberal Democrats left behind like roadside bombs by Barack Obama.

Which brings us back to the very slow pace of work being accomplished by the U.S. Senate.

The ruling by the 3rd Circuit illustrates just one of the most egregious aspects of genuine oppression being suffered by the American people as a result of Congress’ failure to act. (Need we mention the huge rate increase being imposed on Idahoans next year by Blue Cross?)

Hopefully members of Congress will be getting an awful earful during their August vacation.

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

David Ripley: Defunding PP Very Much Alive

July 3rd, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Senate Leadership released their draft of ObamaCare “Repeal” this morning. We are relieved, and grateful, to report that the effort to end taxpayer support of Planned Parenthood remains very much alive.

We are in no position yet to comment on the larger content and policy directions of this draft legislation. Yet we are encouraged that Sen. McConnell continues to support defunding Planned Parenthood. In addition, the leadership’s version of ObamaCare Repeal would prohibit the use of any federal subsidies families may receive for health care to be used for elective abortions.

There are broad pro-Life principles at stake in the national debate over health care. We have long been adamantly opposed to ObamaCare because of its fundamental threat to pro-Life values: End-of-Life issues, access and affordability, as well as abortion. Destruction of ObamaCare is a vital pro-Life objective. Congress must find a way to get this job done for America.

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

David Ripley: Planned Parenthood Huge Liability in Georgia Race

July 3rd, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

As if Republicans need any more justification to defund Planned Parenthood – beyond the moral and death issues – consider this simple fact: They spend a tremendous amount of money trying to defeat Republicans.

Media reports indicate that the abortion chain dumped over $1 million into the Democrat’s campaign coffers, and conducted extensive GOTV efforts in an all-out effort to defeat Republican Karen Handel.

In addition to their pathological opposition to Donald Trump, the organization was especially motivated to defeat Handel: She was the valiant pro-Life champion who resigned from the Komen Foundation back in 2012 over its donations to Planned Parenthood. Radical abortion champion Jon Ossoff made quite an issue of Handel’s “opposition” to breast cancer screening. Of course the voters saw through the insanity of such a charge given Handel’s life-long involvement with fundraising for breast cancer treatment.

One close observer of the race, Phil Kent, former editor of the August Chronicle, was quoted in a Newsmax article as arguing that “Planned Parenthood was a big issue in the race and pro-Lifers came out heavily for Karen Handel”.

The special election was a huge victory for the pro-Life movement and compelling evidence that Republicans in Congress need to press forward on keeping their promises to repeal ObamaCare and Defund Planned Parenthood.

Here is an excerpt from a column we posted about Karen Handel back in 2013:

An Interview with Karen Handel

The National Review has posted an interview on its website with Karen Handel, author of Planned Bullyhood and the woman at the center of the Komen-Planned Parenthood fracas of just a year ago.

She recounts in the interview some of the key material from her expose, as well as a powerful rebuttal of the simplistic definition of “women’s health” used by Planned Parenthood to extort millions from the government treasury.

She identifies the close partnership between government, media and the nation’s leading abortion provider – a partnership which has resulted in the death of millions of American babies. (As we run up to the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, it is important to understand how this abortion culture sustains itself through our tax dollars).

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

David Ripley: President Moves to Lift Burden of ObamaCare Mandate

July 3rd, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Reports surfaced this week that the Trump Administration is working on a revision of HHS rules which have proven to be a heavy burden on American employers. The ObamaCare Mandate to cover all forms of so-called “contraception” has been the subject of numerous lawsuits, most of which Obama lost.

There was the Hobby Lobby lawsuit, which made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The court upheld the religious liberty rights of Christian employers refusing to pay for abortion-causing drugs like the “Morning After Pill”.

Despite its legal setbacks, the Obama Administration defied the Supreme Court. It simply re-wrote the rules – feigning an attempt to “comply” all the while keeping its foot firmly planted on the necks of Christian employers.

The same strategy was employed in a related case involving Little Sisters of the Poor – a Catholic order of nuns required to buy and provide contraceptive coverage despite Catholic Church teachings opposed to the use of such birth control methods. Those poor people spent years battling Obama.

President Trump repeatedly criticized the Obama Administration during the campaign for its despotic approach to religious liberty concerns.

So it is very encouraging to see that Mr. Trump is following-through on promises made during the campaign to restore respect for the First Amendment. We will keep track of this issue as the revised rules make their way through the bureaucracy.

Freedom is making a comeback!

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

David Ripley: Black Robes Cloak Abortion Industry Horror

May 28th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The news coming out of federal Judge William Orrick’s courtroom is just the latest travesty in a decades-long crusade by the judiciary to protect the abortion industry. Disregarding the First Amendment and the public’s need to know, Judge Orrick ordered that a new video from the Center for Medical Progress be taken down.

This latest video is a montage of discussions between practicing abortionists gathered at a professional convention. The gathering, sponsored by the National Abortion Federation, affords abortionists the opportunity to trade tips on the various techniques used to kill preborn babies more efficiently. The most recent video shows them also offering one another emotional support in dealing with the horrors they inflict on babies every day.

One abortionist describes how “gross” and disturbing it was when “a [baby’s] eyeball just fell down into” her lap. Another ups the ante by relating how frustrating it is when a baby’s “head just gets stuck that we can’t get out.”

One is reminded of the challenges faced by the Nazi leadership in maintaining the morale of SS units assigned to slaughtering millions of undesirables across Europe.

Judge Orrick has determined that the American public simply does not need to see or know this sort of thing – the dark reality behind the bumper sticker’s proclamation of a “right to choose”. He well understands that such knowledge might just destroy the public’s tolerance of legalized abortion.

The federal judiciary has long employed such an abusive strategy to protect the abortion industry. A profound corruption of judicial authority is employed in almost every abortion challenge to ensure that the public cannot obtain an accurate picture of the abortion industry’s routine horror. In this case, Judge Orrick has threatened CMP officials with federal imprisonment if they violate his order.

It is a picture of a world gone mad: Prison time for the truth-tellers. Safe spaces for the abortionists.

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

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