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Commentary

It Is Time to Hold Congress Accountable

March 27th, 2018

Many pro-Life leaders across the country bemoaned the recent Omnibus Spending bill enacted at the eleventh hour by Republicans in Congress to deal with yet one more “emergency”. The bill contained an appropriation to fund Planned Parenthood yet again.  And it failed to provide the conscience protections that congressional leaders had been dangling in front of pro-Life leaders for weeks as a kind of incentive to turn a blind eye to the on-going subsidies for the Abortion Industry.

So, here we are. Coming up fast on a year-and-a-half into the Trump presidency and Planned Parenthood is still raking in the taxpayer dough.  The GAO recently confirmed that this evil enterprise has received $1.5 billion in taxpayer money over the past three years.  This time next year it will be over $2 billion.

How is this possible? How does it continue – even though we have a president who has begged Congress to send him a defunding measure?

The key is the broken appropriation process.   For too long, pro-Life leaders and groups have given members of Congress a pass when they vote for these band-aid funding measures.  We have looked the other way on funding bills that contain funding for Planned Parenthood and have not held members accountable.  We have accepted the argument that it is no one’s fault; that these things must happen because the Democrats will shut down the government and hold pro-Life conservatives responsible.

If we want to end taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood, we must start scoring these funding bills and counting a vote for legislation like this Omnibus Bill as an anti-Life vote. Period.

So let us begin. Senators Risch and Crapo voted against this monstrosity.  Congressman Labrador voted against this on-going subsidy for Planned Parenthood and the rest of the waste contained therein.  But Idaho’s 2nd District Congressman, Mike Simpson, supported it.  We at Idaho Chooses Life count that as an anti-Life vote.

And we urge our friends at National Right to Life to do the same.

Good for Jim Risch

March 25th, 2018

The national and local media is in an uproar over the fact that Sen. Jim Risch objected to putting Cecil Andrus’ name on one of the most iconic natural wonders in Idaho. They can’t believe that anyone could possibly object to honoring the most notable Idaho Democrat of the last generation.

Well we do. And we applaud Sen. Risch’s actions.

We remember Cecil Andrus not for his brilliant and sometimes ruthless political style. We remember him most for his veto of HB 625 – legislation that would have outlawed most abortions in the State of Idaho.  And we remember that it was through that battle in 1990, Andrus led the transformation of the Idaho Democrat Party from one in which a majority of officeholders were publicly pro-Life to an organization committed wholesale to the Abortion Industry’s agenda.

The thoroughness of Andrus’ re-education camp can be witnessed by the simple fact that it has been well over fifteen years since we have gained a single Democrat vote in the Legislature on any abortion legislation. Not one.  Not a single Democrat legislator supported Parental Consent.  Or Informed Consent.  Or our most recent effort – compiling data on the complications women suffer after choosing an abortion.  It is a rather appalling record for an organization which claims to stand for women.

Oh – and let’s not forget that Governor Andrus also engineered the repeal of Idaho’s “Trigger Law” – which would have restored protections for preborn children in the event of a reversal of Roe v. Wade.

It is a travesty that Cecil Andrus’ name should be emblazoned on Idaho’s White Cloud Mountains.

Governor Signs Reporting Bill Into Law

March 22nd, 2018

Governor Otter signed HB 638 into law today, creating the first comprehensive reporting system on abortion complications in Idaho history. We believe this is landmark legislation because, in coming years, we will be able to learn how abortion affects women and girls in both the short-term and long-term.  For the first time we will not be dependent upon Planned Parenthood or the FDA to tell us what they want us to hear.

Every doctor, hospital, counselor in Idaho will now be required to file a report with the Department of Health & Welfare when they treat a woman or girl for a health problem associated with undergoing an abortion. That is going to be a tremendous help in setting health policy in the future, in battling Planned Parenthood in the courts – and in persuading women to reconsider a decision to submit to an abortion in the first place.

We know that Otter withstood an intense lobbying effort by numerous actors to veto the legislation.

It is our understanding that Lt. Governor Brad Little spoke with the Governor this morning, urging his support for the bill. A number of others supported our efforts with the Governor’s office – including Rep. Gayann DeMordaunt, Sen. Bob Nonini, Rep. Tom Loertscher and Sen. Tony Potts.  And then there are all the fantastic pro-Life folks out there who took the time to call and ask for the Governor’s support of this critical legislation.

It takes a lot of folks to make a victory like this possible. And it takes the Lord’s kindness and blessing, without whom we could do nothing.

There are many reasons to be joyful in thanksgiving over this victory. But here is an important one: The Governor has completed his time in office with a perfect pro-Life record.  He has finished the race and will leave behind him a tremendous pro-Life legacy.  We predict his stellar pro-Life record will be his greatest, long-term contribution to the well-being of Idaho and its citizens.  There is no doubt that Butch Otter has helped save lives that would otherwise have been wasted through abortion – and that number will continue to increase long after he leaves office.

Our heartfelt thanks go out to the lead sponsors of this legislation as well: Rep. Greg Chaney and Sen. Fred Martin have poured their hearts into this fight. And a fight it has been.  May the Lord bless these men for their kindness and courage in leading this battle.

Governor Signs APR Bill Into Law

March 20th, 2018

Governor Butch Otter signed SB 1243 into law today. This legislation adds to the existing Informed Consent Law by requiring information be delivered to women about the possibility of reversing a chemical abortion.

A chemical abortion, using the drug regimen commonly known as RU-486, involves taking two pills. The first kills the baby by depriving it of oxygen and nutrition.  Several days after the first pill, the woman is instructed to take the second drug, which induces labor.  The dead baby is then expelled.

The APR protocol has been proven effective at saving the baby’s life if the woman is treated soon after taking the first pill. Hormones are used to overpower the effects of the first pill.  This is essentially the process used to help women at high risk of miscarriage.

SB 1243 was brought forward by Right to Life and sponsored in the Senate by Meridian’s Lori Den Hartog. The House sponsor was Rep. Gayann DeMordaunt.  We publicly thank these strong women for their leadership and hard work on this bill.

All Democrats opposed the legislation as it moved through the Statehouse. And that is a rather strange thing for a political party which preaches the mantra of “choice” and “women’s rights”.  Why would they not support legislation which lets a woman know there is a choice available if she changes her mind once the chemical abortion procedure begins?

If you’d like to know more about the APR protocol, follow this link.

And here is a link to the story on LifeNews.com.

And thank you, Governor Otter for signing this legislation.

Senate Approves Reporting Bill

March 16th, 2018

The Idaho Senate gave final approval to ICL’s Reporting bill (HB 638) last 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.

photo of sponsors HB 638

Photo: Following Approval of HB 638 by Senate State Affairs Committee earlier this week.
From L-R: Julie Lynde, ICL Ex Director David Ripley, Rep. Greg Chaney, Karey Uhlenkott, Sen. Fred Martin

 

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) valiantly 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. Jim Rice, 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.

Legislature Gives Final Approval to Reversal Bill

March 13th, 2018

The Idaho House voted 55-11 to approve SB 1243 yesterday, giving final approval to legislation which would help women find out that there is a way to reverse a chemical abortion – if she moves quickly.

The legislation, proposed by Right to Life, would add a provision to Idaho’s Informed Consent law. It directs the Department of Health & Welfare to include information about the Abortion Pill Reversal protocol in materials given to women considering an abortion.  There has been some success in protecting preborn children from the effects of RU-486 if a woman has not yet taken the second drug.

In fact, a young mother testified before both the Senate and House committees about her own experience with APR. After taking the first pill, she immediately experienced regret and searched for help.  She was given hormonal treatments and was able to save the life of her baby boy.  This extraordinary young mother brought her beautiful son – Zachariah – to the hearings.  He is now a healthy, happy five-years-old blessing to the world.

But, despite the living evidence of the APR protocol being effective, Abortion Industry lobbyists from Planned Parenthood and the ACLU decried the legislation as “fake science”.  And all of their Democrat clients in the Statehouse obediently voted against SB1243.

SB 1243, sponsored by Sen. Lori Den Hartog and Rep. Gayann DeMordaunt, is now headed to the Governor for final approval.  We need to being praying that Governor Otter signs the legislation into law.  Women must have access to this information.

Abortion Complications Reporting Bill Now Before Senate Committee

March 10th, 2018

A landmark piece of legislation is now pending before the Senate State Affairs Committee. HB 638 will, for the first time, create an Idaho-based system for reporting complications resulting from abortion.

We began developing this legislation in response to a federal court order demanding that Idaho allow Planned Parenthood to perform tele-med abortions. For about the last year and a half, Idaho has been one of only two states in the nation allowing women to undergo a chemical abortion without the benefit of an in-person examination by a physician.  Idaho Chooses Life felt the urgent need to get a system in place to keep track of the potential consequences to women and girls.

Supposedly the FDA is keeping track of adverse events associated with RU-486 – but that federal agency has not released data since 2011. Idaho women and policy makers can’t wait until the FDA’s corrupt politics is uprooted by President Trump.

As we have dug deeper into the issue, it has become clear that this piece of legislation has an importance well beyond chemical abortions and the tele-med procedure. It is rather stunning to realize that such a reporting system is long overdue.  Some 45 years into the Roe era, we know precious little about the short and long-term effects of abortion on a woman’s health.  Virtually all of the public health data now available comes from the Abortion Industry.

It is time that Idaho policy makers and Idaho women get a comprehensive, unbiased look at the health risks associated with abortion.

The Idaho House has already approved HB638. A hearing on the bill began on Friday morning in the Senate State Affairs Committee, and will resume on Monday morning.

HB 638 is sponsored by Rep. Greg Chaney (R-Caldwell) and Sen. Fred Martin (R-Boise).

Help Us Stop HB563

February 28th, 2018

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.

What’s the Big Deal?

February 28th, 2018

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.

 

Here’s a link to the story.

Idaho Planned Parenthood Sues Trump Administration

February 27th, 2018

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 ….