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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Legislature Gives Final Approval to Coercion Bill

The Idaho Senate voted today 29-6 to create the crime of abortion-coercion in Idaho. HB654 now awaits the Governor’s signature.

This new act defines the coercion of an abortion as a crime for the first time since the Supreme Court forced America to allow abortions in our communities. The law defines ‘coercion’ too narrowly – but is a major step forward.

Among the more important features of this legislation is the creation of a right for victims of coercion to sue the perpetrators – even if a criminal prosecution does not take place.

We want to publicly thank the bill’s sponsors – Rep. Bob Nonini and Sen. Monty Pearce for their leadership and commitment in getting this done for Idaho’s women and preborn children.

We also want to acknowledge the tremendous contributions made to this effort by Dr. David Reardon and the Elliot Institute. We made generous use of his groundbreaking research into the whole problem of forced abortions – and it was decisive in framing the legislative debate.

With your support, we hope to build upon this victory in coming months. Among our goals this year is to produce a pamphlet educating women about their rights under the law and the dangers of submitting to an abortion against their wills.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Coercion Bill Before Senate State Affairs Today

HB 654, legislation which will criminalize forced abortions in Idaho, passed the Idaho House yesterday by an overwhelming 55-11 margin. Today, we have an opportunity to explain the problem of coerced abortions to the Senate State Affairs Committee, chaired by Sen. Curt McKenzie, Republican of Nampa.

The opposition on the House floor was led by Boise Democrat Reps. Phylis King, Bill Killen and Nicole LeFavour.

Rep. Killen offered a series of questions during debate which suggested he had not actually read the bill – expressing fears that men might be charged with criminal coercion even in cases where the victim was unaware of the coercion.

The major thrust of opposition seemed to focus on the fact that the bill did not specifically provide for the coercion of women to give birth.

Bill sponsor Rep. Bob Nonini (R-CdA) responded by observing that a wealth of federal protections for the so-called right to an abortion exist – from the FACE Act to dozens of court decisions; on the other hand, virtually nothing has been done in the country to defend a woman’s right to give birth.

That argument was insufficient to dissuade ten House Democrats and one Republican (Tom Trail – Moscow) from opposing this very modest protection for pregnant women and girls.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Idaho House Takes Up Coercion Bill Today

We are expecting the Idaho House of Representatives to approve HB 654, legislation which will make it a crime to force a woman to submit to an abortion.

This is not the bill we were hoping to pass. It has been narrowly drawn to define "coercion" as including only assault and battery. From our two-year study of this serious problem, it is clear that ‘coercion’ takes many forms – all of them potentially deadly to the mother and baby.

Those additional protections will have to await another legislative session.

The problem has been the Abortion Lobby – principally Planned Parenthood. Their repeated threats to sue in federal court if we persist in efforts to protect women from forced abortion have had an effect on legislators. They simply refuse to allow the State to interfere with their business practices, which obviously involve doing abortions on women and girls they suspect are under duress.

HB 654 does not do what is necessary to create a safe zone around women and girls dealing with a difficult pregnancy. But it is a beginning. It establishes the concept of abortion-coercion in Idaho Law for the first time; in fact – we think this may be the first such law in the nation.

As we approach the final days of the 2008 Legislative Session, we ask that you remain vigilant with your calls and prayers.

To see the amended legislation for yourself:


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Two Idaho Leaders Honored at Reception

Well over two hundred people turned out last night to join in the struggle to enact an anti-coercion law in Idaho. The revised legislation (HB654) now awaits action by the full House of Representatives.

If enacted, the law would be the first in the nation to make the coercion of an abortion a crime.
Last night’s Legislative Reception also featured the presentation of the Friend for Life Award to two distinguished public servants.

Sen. Mike Crapo was honored for his long and untarnished defense of preborn children, going back to his days in the Idaho State Senate, where he led efforts to enact HB625. For the current legislative session, Sen. Crapo has received a 100% rating from the Family Research Council for his votes on such crucial policy questions as taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood, Embryonic Stem Cell Research and allowing foreign aid monies to be used to pay for abortions in other nations.

The award was presented to Crapo by Idaho Speaker of the House Lawerence Denney, who received the honor in 2001.

In accepting the award, the organization’s highest, Sen. Crapo pointed to the crucial November elections and the necessity of electing a president who would appoint persons to the federal bench with a strict constructionist approach to the Constitution.

Idaho Chooses Life also honored state Senator Russ Fulcher for his long defense of preborn children and his leadership in securing a Parental Consent Law for Idaho families.

"It is a great blessing to have a person like Russ Fulcher in the Senate," said David Ripley in presenting the award. "Russ brings tremendous integrity and skill to the battle for preborn children."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Idaho Legislators Threatened Yet Again

Idaho Legislators were given yet another ultimatum by the Abortion Lobby on Tuesday: Defeat HB 464 or we will sue and extract hundreds of thousands of dollars to further fund our agenda! The letter from the Northwest Women’s Law Center, based in Seattle, was at least the third such threat leveled at lawmakers around the anti-Coercion bill now pending in the House.
Oddly enough, all of these threats were made in the name of "protecting women".

The dysfunction of our federal judicial system, particularly in Idaho and the 9th Circuit, has now enabled the Abortion Lobby to set public policy via extortion.

The two year effort to provide protections for women wanting to give their babies life has been frustrating – but it is not without fruit. We have confirmed many of our worst fears about the Abortion Industry and their allies (the ACLU, Women’s Network and outfits like the Northwest Women’s Law Center). The public has gained an opportunity to see the true agenda of the Abortion Lobby, which has almost nothing to do with women – but everything to do with protecting the bottom line of abortion providers.

Here is an excerpt from the NWLC letter to Idaho Legislators:

"House Bill 464 does nothing to help pregnant abused women and girls, and places an unconstitutional burden on all women – including victims of domestic violence and rape – who decide to seek abortion."

Let’s see. HB464 would protect a woman’s constitutional right to choose Life. But, according to these "advocates of women", such protection is actually a burden on her right to choose. Strange. In fact, the only way one can make sense of this bizarre argument is to realize that what they fear is not a burden on women, actual human beings, but a burden upon the abortion providers. In their world, "women’s rights" have become synonymous with "the abortion industry’s right to make money".
And what if abortionists are actually obligated to ask these women and girls if they are suffering from coercion?

If HB464 works as we hope, the number of women getting abortions will decline because the new law will help discourage coercion. Those women will be spared the horrors of an abortion history and a new and precious life will come into the world.

Great hope remains that Idaho legislators will turn back this sordid extortion campaign and rise to the defense of women and girls vulnerable to coercion. Please pray for these legislators – and take a moment to call them.

In the Boise area, you can leave a message for your legislators by calling 332-1000. Outside the Treasure Valley, use the toll-free number: 1-800-626-0471.

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