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David Ripley: Help Us Stop HB536

March 2nd, 2018 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

In a stunning development, the Idaho House Health & Welfare Committee approved legislation to provide Planned Parenthood of Idaho with a windfall of some $29 million in new public funding.

HB 563, sponsored by Democrat Leader Matt Erpelding, was approved on an 8-3 vote, with Rep. John Vander Woude missing from the Committee.

There were just 3 Republicans who opposed the legislation: Reps. Karey Hanks, Mike Kingsley and Bryan Zollinger.

That means a majority of Republicans backed the measure – which stated purpose is to provide additional “family planning” monies to low-income women. Voting for the measure:

Chairman Fred Wood (R- Burley)
Vice Chairman Kelley Packer (R-McCammon)
Rep. Christy Perry (R-Nampa)
Rep. Eric Redman (R-Athol)
Rep. Megan Blanksma (R-Hammett)
Rep. Jarom Wagoner (R-Caldwell)
We urge pro-Lifers from around the state to immediately contact their House members to urge a resounding defeat of HB563.

This is the same committee which has failed to give us a hearing on HB 572, legislation to end taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood.

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

David Ripley: Idaho Planned Parenthood Sues Trump Administration

March 2nd, 2018 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Idaho Planned Parenthood joined with several other abortion organizations to file a lawsuit against the Trump Administration for cutting them off of federal funds under a program known as “Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program”. This scandalous and evil program was apparently created by Congress to study how we can reduce the teen pregnancy rate.

Even more absurd: The federal government under Obama awarded some $220 million to outfits like Planned Parenthood. This is the organization which seeks to sexualize children in grade school, producing pamphlets and classes on how children can participate in virtually every sexual perversion known to mankind. (See LifeNews article: Trump Admin Cuts Planned Parenthood Funding).

Could even the federal government be so stupid as to not see the connection between sexualizing children and rising teenage pregnancy rates? All of this moral and social chaos funded by our tax dollars. It is just unbelievable that Planned Parenthood would then receive grant money to “study” the crisis they’ve helped create. How many ways can one express dumb-founded outrage?

Thankfully, while the GOP Congress continues to diddle around with defunding, President Trump brings a refreshing common sense approach to the problems Congress and Planned Parenthood are making for our families and society. He ended the TPP Program, and is shifting the money toward more responsible programs. Reading various stories about the move – it seems as if the Trump HHS is actually looking to give funding to pro-Life pregnancy centers. Most of them have abstinence programs.

Needless to say, Planned Parenthood is deeply offended. They want their money back! Idaho Planned Parenthood is among those who have seen their funding cut by Trump. So, once again, they turn to a radical federal judiciary to re-affirm their “constitutional right” to our tax money, used to ruin the lives of our children and grandchildren. One has to believe that the odds of winning this lawsuit are in Planned Parenthood’s favor.

Which brings us back to the deficiencies of our present Congress. In the second year of President Trump’s term – the GOP majority has yet to find the will or means to end funding of Planned Parenthood. And now they are about to reap the whirlwind: The money Congress has given to Planned Parenthood is about to show up in congressional campaigns across the country, as Planned Parenthood and its allies seek to restore that crazy Nancy Pelosi to the Speakership. One would think that self-preservation would be enough to motivate a recalcitrant Congress into action. But, alas ….

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

David Ripley: Abortion Lobby Shows Up in Force

February 14th, 2018 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Legislation (SB1243) to expand Idaho’s Informed Consent Law had a formal hearing before the Senate State Affairs Committee on Monday morning. The Abortion Lobby showed up in force to urge the measure’s defeat. One would have thought that Sen. Lori Den Hartog and the Pro-Life Lobby was about to repeal Roe v. Wade.

Instead, the modest legislation would require the State of Idaho to include information about the possibility that women and girls might be able to reverse the effects of RU-486 if they move quickly enough. It would become part of the State’s Informed Consent booklet, which the Abortion Industry must provide to each woman during the 24-hour waiting period.

But somehow this proposal to inform girls about their options is “anti-woman” and an “abuse of government power”. This may strike more casual followers of the abortion debate as rather strange and illogical. But it is part and parcel of the battle.

Planned Parenthood and their fellow-travelers have opposed every single piece of legislation related to informed consent for twenty years. They do not want women to know that there are options. They do not want women to know that there are risks. They do not want women to get the phone numbers of adoption agencies or pro-Life centers which can help them deal with a difficult pregnancy. Yet, somehow, the media continues to refer to them as the “pro-choice” crowd, the “pro-woman” movement.

The truth is, there is no more paternalistic and condescending crowd than the Abortion Lobby.

Monday’s show was stolen, however, by a remarkable young mother named Rebecca. She told committee members of her own experience with the Abortion Pill Reversal process. At the age of 19, she became pregnant for the second time while in an abusive relationship. She turned to Planned Parenthood because she was convinced that her only option was ending the baby’s life by using RU-486. After taking the first pill in the Planned Parenthood office, she left with the second pill in a bag. She began crying as she sat in her car, suddenly panicked over what she had done. She began searching the internet on her phone, desperately seeking any advice or information about whether she could do anything to stop the abortion. And she ran across a website telling her that there were doctors who had developed a protocol for overcoming the effects of the first pill if a mother moved quickly enough.

Rebecca found a doctor to help. And she experienced the miracle of motherhood again. In fact, she brought her son Zechariah to the hearing – who spent most of the three hours sleeping in his mother’s arms. He is a beautiful 3 or 4 year old boy.

Yet the Abortion Lobby was not to be deterred. Despite the fact that living, breathing evidence sat in the front row of the hearing room – speaker after speaker told committee members that there was no science to back up the APR protocol, that it was not possible to reverse a chemical abortion once it had begun. It was just astounding to see the triumph of ideology over fact for so many followers of Planned Parenthood. They have some powerful Kool-Aid over on that side of the room, apparently.

SB 1243 was approved by the Senate committee on a party-line vote and is now pending on the Senate floor.

We commend Sen. Lori Den Hartog and Right to Life of Idaho for bringing the legislation, which we strongly support.

We also want to give thanks for the courage displayed by Rebecca. May the Lord watch over her and bless her children.

Please take a moment to call or email your legislators about this important bill. Hopefully this proposal will lead to more miracle stories in the years to come.

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

Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights, Jan. 27

January 31st, 2018 by Halli

by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

As the third week of this legislative session draws to a close, I’ve gotten a lot of comments on how much different this session seems to be from last year. I will admit that there seems to be a little more urgency than normal.

We had what I like to refer to as our first “fur fight” on the House floor this week. Because Idaho does not have a revenue code for income tax, we have historically conformed with the federal code. Doing so makes things much easier and simplifies Idaho’s tax forms. After a brief protest debate on something not really related to taxes, the bill passed and was sent to the Senate.

Speaking of taxes, the above-mentioned tax conformity is driving an income tax reduction bill. If we do not address that issue it would cause an automatic tax increase to all income tax filers. If that sounds a little complicated, you would be correct. It only makes sense to ensure that federal changes do not create a wind fall for the state. The exact amounts are changing from day to day but will be firmed up so we can set our budgets.

This has been education week for the joint budget committee (JFAC) and they have been listening to the wish lists of every level of education. With that comes the chance to visit with the University presidents. Three of them have announced their retirement and it is a bit unusual to have that happen all at once. One thing they all have in common is that they have great feelings for Idaho. At least one of them is remaining here after retirement. He said that Idaho has become home.

The water user’s association was in town for their annual meetings and conversations are always interesting with them. There doesn’t seem to be anything ag likes to talk about more than water, unless it is the weather. Since one depends on the other, the two subjects get equal billing. As I talked with some they have been all smiles about water abundance in the reservoirs until snowpack is mentioned and the brows furrow some. All of that notwithstanding in general they are optimistic. One thing in the realm of water that is coming up more frequently is the need for water in the municipalities. One person told me that doing more aquifer recharge is indicated and in the next breath said that he wished farmers would return to the good old days of flood irrigating. Now that is a topic that would take a few pages to cover.

We are seeing a lot of legislation being introduced and the State Affairs Committee is ground zero for some of the things that will be controversial, at least it seems that way. I have put the committee on notice that our meetings are bound to become longer in the coming two weeks. Even though the meetings may be longer they will in the words of one committee member, “not be boring. It is something new every day.”

We are trying a new timetable this year and that may be the biggest reason for the urgency. History tells us that when we hurry, the bigger the hurry the bigger the mistakes. One of our newly appointed members is about to sponsor her first bill on the floor of the House. She told me that she was concerned about making a mistake. I told her not to worry much about that because chances are somebody around here already made that mistake.

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Posted in Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Rep. Tom Loertscher, Taxes | 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: Death by Vending Machine

November 8th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Boise State University is considering offering its students a new convenience: “Emergency Contraception” via vending machines stationed around the Boise campus. Students could simply buy these deadly drugs without the inconvenience of driving to a drug store.

Most pro-Lifers already know how dangerous “Emergency Contraception” can be to the baby and the mother. But a few facts should be reviewed. “Emergency Contraception”, or the “Morning After Pill” can be used to end a pregnancy at the earliest stages of a baby’s life by tricking the woman’s uterus into rejecting the new life. The chemicals in “Emergency Contraception” cause the uterus to prevent a baby’s implantation into the uterine wall.

To be sure, ingesting EC pills do not always cause a chemical abortion. But they can, and do.

One of the tragedies of this drug is the fact that a woman taking them will never know for sure whether she has ended the life of a newly conceived human being. While a denial system may help her cope over her lifetime, a lingering shadow lurks: Was there a baby? Did I end her life by swallowing those pills?

Given the life-and-death nature of these dangerous chemicals, it is more than disturbing that Boise State University would make such drugs available through a vending machine. As if the decision to end a human life were no more important than buying a Coke or a bag of Fritos.

The University is also doing these college students no favor by helping to disguise the potentially-serious health risks associated with using “Emergency Contraception”. Despite offering official approval to sell EC drugs over the counter, the FDA has never required serious medical research into the long-term health risks associated with consuming hyper-doses of the same drugs used in standard birth control pills. There is evidence, however, that the regular use of birth control drugs can seriously compromise a woman’s health by increasing the risks of cervical and breast cancer.

We urge our readers to speak with their legislators about this matter. As a publicly-funded university, we believe it is an outrage that BSU would facilitate death-by-vending machine.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Taxes | 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: 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: President Trump’s New Budget Defunds Planned Parenthood

May 25th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The White House unveiled its budget blueprint today, even as the President continued his effort to rewrite American foreign policy.

As promised, Mr. Trump’s budget proposal ends the dark partnership between the federal government and the country’s largest abortion chain. Instead, low income women and girls would be encouraged to receive legitimate health care from actual doctors and institutions more interested in their health than in selling them an abortion.

The President’s budget director, in response to media questions, issued a big caveat to this great news:

The budget assumes that the Congress will pass the enabling legislation to shift money. That language is contained in the ObamaCare repeal and language now pending in the U.S. Senate.

President Trump continues to deliver on his promises. Now it is up to the Congress to do its part. Perhaps they can begin by cutting some of the vacation jaunts they’ve been enjoying and stay in session to get the Trump Agenda secured and implemented.

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

Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights, 27 March 2017

March 29th, 2017 by Halli

by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

As we came to this session, I thought it was interesting that House and Senate Leadership set a target date for getting our work completed and calling it a day. It is easy to do that given how long it takes for the budget committee (JFAC) to go through their processes and then allowing for the normal time to get those bills through both bodies and to the governor. That calculation would have ended the session on March 24th. Also a reality in most sessions is that there is always a potential for a train wreck or two that could gum up the works.

As is also normal for us, the volume of bills in the last few days of the session dramatically increases and are jammed through. In spite of our best efforts to avoid the end of session “bubble” this year, it happened anyway. So, at this writing it looks like there will be another few days needed to wrap it up. In addition to a few budget bills, there are two that we need to address, taxes and transportation.

One day this week we voted on the appropriations for Public Schools. Although there are several parts to that budget, the total exceeds two billion dollars. Those half dozen or so bills passed the full House quite handily in about thirty minutes, without debate. There has to be a record of some kind in that. The following day was Higher Education Day. One of those bills that spent about forty million dollars took an hour and a half of vigorous debate but passed easily as well. The day after that was Health and Welfare appropriations that exceeded two billion dollars passed in a short period of time, again with little debate. At any rate it was a lot of your money that was spent those three days. So, most of the money is gone as our good friends on JFAC would say.

And speaking of train wrecks, we finally got around to having one. As a result we slowed down enough to get us back to town for at least another few days next week. During the weekend it is hoped that the members of the body will get some rest, and more importantly study up on the remaining legislation and be ready to complete our work. There are some appropriations that need to be completed and some other things that are a must do.

It goes without saying that everyone here wants to get this session concluded. Someone told that it felt a little like a trip to the dentist when the anesthetic is beginning to wear off. I don’t know about that but because the things we have been going through this last week are a bit normal in most respects.

And down on the farm, Bruce called me and told me that he could use my help for some things there. Be patient son, I’ll soon be on my way.

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

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