Our Twitter FeedVist our Facebook PageSearch
Idaho Chooses Life | Right to Life  

10/24/13 Breaking NewsRSS subscription options

You are here: Home » Hot Topics » Conscience Protection

Conscience Protection Print this page E-mail this page

Posted on: 06/11/13
This August, Obama and his courtiers intend to impose the full weight of his imperial will upon Christian employers, churches and religious organizations. They will be forced to provide "free" abortifacients and sterilizations to employees or face horrendous penalties and police action from the IRS.

A detailed review of this scandalous attack on the First Amendment was recently published by Ashley McGuire at the Weekly Standard. ("This Won't Turn Out Well: The IRS prepares to Enforce ObamaCare's Contraception Mandate").

Ms. McGuire reports that employees who fail to submit to Obama will face fines of $100 per employee - per day. In the case of a company like Hobby Lobby, those fines will mean something like $1.3 million each business day (!) for non-compliance.

But it is not simply private employers who face brutal treatment. Religious organizations must also comply - unless they certified as excused by the IRS. And in order to receive that dispensation, religious organizations must already be excused from filing IRS Form 990. That means virtually all non-profits will have to provide abortifacients regardless of whether the entity is affiliated with a church or religious community.

Given the recent revelations about the religious persecution driving IRS officials, this is reason for grave concern over the future of religious liberty in America.

The situation has drawn public commentary from many church leaders, including the Catholic Archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles Chaput. He recently published a column which included this chilling call to action:

"The day when Americans could take the Founders' understanding of religious freedom as a given is over. We need to wake up."

Unfortunately, we are not presently blessed by courageous leadership from the Idaho Legislature.

During last session's debate over Gov. Otter's plan to partner with the Obama Administration in imposing ObamaCare upon the families and employers of Idaho, we begged the Legislature to at least take a stand in defense of the First Amendment and our rights under the Constitution to religious liberty. We offered an amendment stating that Idaho's Insurance Exchange would not force any employer or religious organization to provide free abortion-causing drugs to employees. Idaho Chooses Life did not even insist that the amendment prohibit such benefits - only that Idaho would not cooperate with Obama in violating the religious convictions of employers.

Tragically, we were rebuffed.

We reprint below the vote of your legislator on that amendment. Given the monstrous developments of the past month or so, this vote takes on increasing importance.

Here is the Senate vote on our Religious Liberty Amendment (Nuxoll/Fulcher):

Voting to Amend the bill: (the pro-Life position): Sens. Cliff Bayer (R-Boise), Branden Durst (D-Boise), Russ Fulcher (R-Meridian), Dan Johnson (R-Lewiston), Curt McKenzie (R-Nampa), Dean Mortimer (R-Idaho Falls), Bob Nonini (R-Coeur d'Alene), Sheryl Nuxoll (R-Cottonwood), Monty Pearce (R-New Plymouth), Steven Thayn (R-Emmett), Steve Vick (R-Dalton Gardens).

Voting Against the Religious Liberty Amendment: Sens. Steve Bair (R-Blackfoot), Les Bock (D-Boise), Dean Cameron (R-Rupert), Bart Davis (R-Idaho Falls), John Goedde (R-Coeur d'Alene), Jim Guthrie (R-McCammon), Marv Hagedorn (R-Meridian), Lee Heider (R-Twin Falls), Brent Hill (R-Rexburg), Shawn Keough (R-Sandpoint), Roy Lacey (D-Pocatello), Todd Lakey (R-Nampa), Patti Anne Lodge (R-Nampa), Fred Martin (R-Boise), Jim Patrick (R-Twin Falls), Jim Rice (R-Caldwell), Dan Schmidt (D-Moscow), Jeff Siddoway (R-Terreton), Michelle Stennett (D-Ketchum), John Tippets (R-Montpelier), Elliot Werk (D-Boise), Chuck Winder (R-Boise).

Here is how the House voted on our Religious Liberty Amendment (Barbieri/ Boyle), which failed on a 32-38 vote:

Voting Yes (the pro-Life position): Reps. Agidius, Andrus, Barbieri, Barrett, Bateman, Batt, Boyle, Collins, Crane, Dayley, DeMordaunt, Denney, Gestrin, Harris, Hartgen, Holtzclaw, Loertscher, Luker, McMillan, Mendive, Monks, Moyle, Nielsen, Palmer, Patterson, Shepherd, Sims, Stevenson, Thompson, Trujillo, Vander Woude, andWood(35).

Voting No: Reps. Anderson(01), Anderson(31), Anderst, Bedke, Bell, Bolz, Burgoyne, Chew, Clow, Erpelding, Eskridge, Gannon, Gibbs, Hancey, Henderson, Hixon, Horman, Kauffman, King, Kloc, Malek, Meline, Miller, Morse, Packer, Pence, Perry, Raybould, Ringo, Romrell, Rusche, Smith, VanOrden, Ward-Engelking, Wills, Wood(27), Woodings, and Youngblood

(13 Democrats + 25 Republicans)


Posted on: 02/11/12
Under the guise of extending a "compromise", Obama has deepened the moral and constitutional problems instigated by his insistence that women deserve free birth control pills, abortifacients and sterilizations.

Rather than force Christian employers to directly finance these morally objectionable drugs, Obama will now force us all to pay for them through higher insurance premiums. Now it is not just church-sponsored organizations which will be compromised, but virtually every American who will be required to finance Obama's bizarre notion that "contraceptives" are a birth right for any female.

Under his announced "compromise", insurance companies will now be required to offer "free" contraceptives and abortifacients to any female covered by one of their policies.

But not even Obama can repeal fundamental economic laws. There is no such thing as a "free" drug. Someone will pay. And it won't be insurance company executives. The costs will simply be buried into the general price of coverage. A little bookkeeping voodoo - and - problem solved. Thus, the Catholic Church and other Christian employers have actually gained nothing except a veneer of respectability, should they choose to accept it.

The grand question is whether the Catholic Bishops will be driven by moral principle or political expediency as they determine a response next week. We should be in prayer for them.

But don't expect insurance companies to raise much of a fuss over this new edict. The risks are too high. They are now virtual prisoners of the Obama Administration; government-sponsored corporations akin to Fannie Mae. Their management's loss of soul will cost taxpayers dearly in coming years.


Posted on: 02/08/12
Kudos to Austin Hill (KIDO Radio - Boise) for his show on the dire threat of Obama's "contraceptive" mandate. This new exercise of raw federal power shows the dangers of ObamaCare. But contrary to the liberal media spin, this raw power grab impacts much more than the Catholic Church or religious institutions.

Under the new edict, EVERY private employer will have to provide free sterilizations, contraceptives and abortifacients to their employees. Not only will every employer have to provide those "benefits" - they will have to pay the full cost of doing so. President Obama has determined that it is an "unreasonable burden" for employees to cover even a modest co-pay. That makes every private employer, including the many who have pro-Life/Christian values, an unwilling party to the destruction of innocent life.

This is but one example of the grave moral danger associated with the drive in the Idaho Legislature to submit to ObamaCare by creating a state insurance exchange. Regardless of the hype coming from the gaggle of lobbyists pushing greater state power and control over insurance competition - a state exchange is the cornerstone block of ObamaCare.  As such, it must adhere, by federal law, to the rules and guidelines issued by the Obama Administration.

A state insurance exchange is an expensive idea whose time may never come; but is downright dangerous now as part of Obama's drive to remake Idaho.

Posted on: 06/20/10
At its recently concluded State Convention, Idaho Democrats revised their Party Platform.

In addition to calling for the withdrawal of all troops from Afghanistan and Iraq, Idaho Democrats will campaign this fall on a party plank calling for repeal of the Idaho Health Care Freedom of Conscience Act.

The new platform says that Democrats support "evidence-based medical decisions between a physician and patient".

This is very curious language, certainly open to wide interpretation. But here is what we bet they are trying to say, without actually saying it: Morality has no place in the practice of medicine. We believe in pure science. If you have a conscientious objection to a medical procedure demanded by a patient - then you should either swallow your conscience or leave the practice of medicine.

But perhaps it would be more accurate to say that most Democrats have a blind spot when it comes to their own agenda. Certainly abortion, stem cell research and end-of-life care are morally-loaded areas of medicine. To pretend otherwise is to be willfully ignorant. With ObamaCare being imposed on the nation, we will witness many more cases in which bureaucrats force their own version of "evidence-based medicine" on patients - pretending that it is science, and not a political agenda, which drives the choices they make over the lives of powerless Americans.

Idaho Democrats are certainly driving a moral agenda, politically-stained though it may be. In truth, they have convinced themselves that abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide are "moral goods" and have no qualms about using the brute force of government to run over anyone who disagrees with them.

Were these people granted the same kind of power now enjoyed by their national brethren, doctors and nurses and pharmacists would become mere employees of their radical agenda, built upon a sad embrace of death.


Posted on: 04/07/10
A couple of news-worthy items have caught our attention in recent days.

First, there is the intense opposition building to Rep. Bart Stupak in his home state. The Tea Party Express has been working for the past couple weeks at organizing a series of rallies opposing his re-election.

Fresh off their confrontation with Sen. Reid in Nevada, the Tea Party Express is heading full steam in Michigan. They are organizing 5 tea party rallies in Stupak's district. Their hope is to focus attention on his betrayal of his promises to America that he would stand to the end in defense of preborn children. Instead, he helped secure passage of ObamaCare by swinging a crucial bloc of votes at the end to support the infamous bill.

In addition, Tea Party Express organizers are hoping to leave behind a war chest of $100,000 to run independent expenditures against Stupak.

And then there is the battle raging in the Michigan Legislature over 4 Planned Parenthood bills. The most problematic may be HB5164, which requires a pharmacy to fill every prescription without "bias" or "delay".

During our two year struggle to secure conscience protections in Idaho for pharmacists and other health care professionals, Planned Parenthood & Friends consistently dipped and dodged their national agenda: forcing health care professionals to toe their abortion line. Pharmacists in Illinois and Washington have already felt the sting of their lash.

Planned Parenthood of Idaho did, in fact, try and persuade the Board of Pharmacy to support legislation which would require pharmacists to fill all prescriptions like automatons. Fortunately they did not succeed. With passage of SB1353, health care professionals in Idaho have some room to breathe.

We pray success to pro-Lifers in Michigan in defeating Planned Parenthood's agenda.


Next page: End of Life Issues

Subscribe to Idaho Chooses Life commentaries.

Enter your email address:

RSS subscription options RSS

Add to Google

Add to My AOL


Heroes of the pro-life movement | This month in history | Links to other pro-life organizations            Legal | Site Map