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Commentary

Planned Parenthood Dances Around the Golden Calf

May 20th, 2018

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 is 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.

Congratulations, Lt. Governor Little

May 18th, 2018

We offer sincere congratulations to Lt. Governor Brad Little on his primary election win this week.

Mr. Little overcame substantial obstacles to secure his victory. He faced a certain fatigue among Republican voters since he was an integral part of the Otter Administration.  It was common knowledge among political operatives in Idaho that he was behind in the race for Governor for much of the past year.

Yet Little doggedly pursued his dream of leading Idaho. He personally campaigned as hard as any candidate on the ballot this year.  That suggests he will bring vigor to the Governor’s office.

But first he will have to overcome a concerted effort by national Democrats this fall.

Paulette Jordan fits the mold of chic identity politics better than just about anyone else running in the country. She is a young feminist, she is an attractive female, and she is of Native American descent.  National Democrats will be more than willing to pour massive dollars into her campaign – which is not so much about their belief that Jordan will win, as it is a chance to burnish their own credentials and bring offerings to the altar of progressivism.

Ms. Jordan has already been embraced by Planned Parenthood – which is only right, given her perfect anti-Life record in the Idaho Legislature. For a while, she served on the House State Affairs Committee, so we have considerable experience with her on abortion and related life issues.  She was always pleasantly hostile.

But there will be plenty of time to deal with the general election.

A Time for Prayer

May 12th, 2018

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.

Social Media Giants Clamp Down on Pro-Life Movement

May 8th, 2018

Now that the engineers at social media giants like Google, Facebook and YouTube have achieved empire – the natural Leftist impulse to control freedom can be given expression. There have been staggering revelations over the past year detailing the work of social engineers like Zuckerberg to use their control of the internet to shape the politics and culture of America.

Now more evidence of a specific attack on the pro-Life movement has emerged. The folks at YouTube have just shut down an account which sought to inform women that there is a chance to reverse a chemical abortion.  They declared information about Abortion Pill Reversal to be “dangerous”.  Almost the exact words used by Planned Parenthood this past session when they opposed an Idaho law this past session requiring information to be included in the state’s Informed Consent brochure.

Idaho Chooses Life itself has come under censorship during this primary election by Facebook.

Our endorsed candidate for state Treasurer, Julie Ellsworth, wanted to link an ad to our Facebook page using a photo from our Life Chain event. The photo showed a lovely family holding a sign shaped like a traffic STOP sign.  Across the front were the words, “Stop Abortion Now”.  The censors at Facebook refused to publish the photo because the words were found to be “offensive to community standards”.

Of course, we’re all too busy right now with election work to start a counter-fight with the behemoth that is Facebook. So the photo was changed to accommodate the sensibilities of some twenty-year-old, pro-abort technoid in California.  Not the end of the world, to be sure.  But of substantial concern.

Conservatives must soon come to grips with the immense power now being brandished by Google, Zuckerberg and the partners at Twitter. The false news and tightening censorship spewing from these shops pose a real challenge to the Republic.

Because conservatives have a passion for freedom – particularly freedom of expression and thought – we will have to look towards encouraging the development of alternative internet-based vehicles to share ideas and communicate with our neighbors. Perhaps investors can be found to help ignite an alternative to Facebook – an alternative which cherishes the First Amendment.

In the meantime, we must lament the tragedy of Google’s work to deprive women and girls in crisis of real-world alternatives to chemical abortion.

Primary Endorsements Now Posted On-Line

May 5th, 2018

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.

Labrador Signs Letter Urging Defunding of Planned Parenthood

May 1st, 2018

A substantial portion of the U.S. Congress issued a letter today urging the Department of Health & Human Services to revise its rules granting “Family Planning” funds to abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.

Congressman Labrador was one of 153 members of the House to co-sign the letter.

A companion letter was signed by 41 members of the U.S. Senate, including Idaho’s own Mike Crapo and Jim Risch.

Strangely, Congressman Mike Simpson did not sign the House letter. Simpson just misses too many such opportunities to defend the vulnerable.  In this case, it is particularly troubling because of the substantial power Simpson holds on budgetary matters.

Planned Parenthood continues to receive about $60 million each year from federal and state taxpayers through the Title X “Family Planning” program. This is in addition to the hundreds of millions it gets under the Medicaid program – a situation which screams for Congressional action.

The Senate letter points out that Congress acted decades ago to restrict Title X monies away from any entity that promotes abortion as a method of family planning. Yet regulations adopted by the Clinton Administration undermine the clear intent of Congress by granting monies to Planned Parenthood.  In fact, the current regulations actually require that agencies receiving Title X money refer pregnant women for abortion.  The still-in-effect regulations allow Title X grantees to share waiting rooms, staff and facilities with abortion clinics.  Obviously, such regulations are tailor-made for Planned Parenthood operations.  And they invite direct and immoral financial subsidies to the Abortion Industry.

The signatories urge Secretary Alex Azar to restore regulations which were in place in 1988: Title X money may not be used to promote, counsel or refer clients for abortion.  And no grantee under the old regulations could be located in an abortion-providing facility.

Such a regulation would make substantial progress toward the goal of ending our sordid partnership with the most evil organization on earth. We applaud Labrador, Crapo and Risch for standing up for preborn babies and taxpayers.

Fulcher for Congress

April 30th, 2018

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 commitment to saving God’s little ones is profound and rich in concrete, effective action.

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.

Once More We Must Witness a Public Execution

April 25th, 2018

Many of you have probably been following the tragic story of baby Alfie Evans in England. He is a toddler whom the medical community and courts have determined must be killed, despite the heart-wrenching pleas of his parents for his life.

Doctors determined that this little boy would not recover from his condition. They determined that he was going to die.  So they told his parents that he should be removed from a ventilator and denied food and water.  In order that he be helped in dying faster.

The logic is truly inexplicable.

The parents fought for his life. They went to court and asked that they be allowed to take him to another hospital for treatment.  The courts – many courts – have upheld the right of the London hospital to play God.  No, said the UK High Court just yesterday, the parents cannot transport to a hospital in Italy or Germany.

The last report we read indicated that the hospital had yet to withdraw water from the little boy, but they have begun starving him.   They also withdrew him from a respirator, but the little Alfie continued to breathe for some 19 hours – defying predictions of hospital staff.

We have seen any number of such examples of growing arrogance within the legal and medical community. It is almost as if people like Alfie are being executed because they defy the medical oracles by continuing to live.  It is hard to accept that modern society is willing to tolerate such attacks on parental authority and human dignity.

But it is even harder to grasp why our institutions are so psychotically committed to ensuring that vulnerable people like Alfie die on their schedule. Why is it necessary to deprive the boy of food and water?  Can one imagine a more horrible method of death?  Can you imagine the ACLU standing by if death row prisoners were executed over the course of days through such a method?  Yet we stand around wringing our hands when the highest authorities of the land wreck such havoc upon the innocent.

It is truly more than barbaric. It is plain evil.

Trump Admin Continues to Push Defunding

April 8th, 2018

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.

Insurance Reform Bill Becomes Law

April 2nd, 2018

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.