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AG Labrador Commentary on Supreme Court Hearing

April 27th, 2024

In his 2021 inaugural address, President Biden remarked, “The will of the people has been heard, and the will of the people has been heeded. We have learned again that democracy is precious.”

Then, a year later, this self-declared unifier sued my state for exercising democracy.

Idaho passed the Defense of Life Act in 2020 to protect the lives of women and their unborn children. The law officially became enforceable in June 2022, when the Supreme Court ruled Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that the people and their elected representatives in the states have the power to pass pro-life laws. Idahoans stand to protect life, and our law is a reflection of their will.

But the Biden administration didn’t care. A couple of months after Dobbs gave this decision-making power back to the states, the administration manipulated a federal law to say we still don’t have that power. The Justice Department sued Idaho, claiming that a federal law – the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) – supersedes our own law and in fact even forces emergency room doctors to perform abortions.

This could not be further from the truth. EMTALA contains no provisions about abortion. In fact, that particular law requires emergency room physicians to care for pregnant women and their “unborn child[ren].” No conflict exists between Idaho’s law and EMTALA. A conflict does exist, however, between the will of the people of Idaho and the Biden administration’s adherence to an extreme abortion agenda.

EMTALA was passed to ensure that emergency rooms serve everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. The purpose of this law is to save lives, not to take them. Similarly, Idaho’s law ensures that mothers’ and children’s lives are protected. There is harmony between Idaho’s law and EMTALA, but the administration is attempting to sow discord. Rather than seek to save lives, it is twisting the law into something unrecognizable, all to endanger lives and unnecessarily burden emergency room staff.

Emergency room doctors in Idaho – and in every state, in fact – treat women who suffer from ectopic pregnancies, miscarriages, and other life-threatening conditions. Doctors are bound by oath to protect their patients – every patient, including unborn children. The actions of the administration would force them to violate their oath and violate state law.

Because the administration is attempting to put its will above the people of Idaho, my office is standing in defense of our law. A lower court ruled against our ability to enforce our law, so we appealed that decision to the high court. Our efforts have already paid off. In January, the Supreme Court not only agreed to hear our case but also allowed us to enforce our law while the Court reviews the administration’s actions.

Make no mistake about it: Although Biden claims that his “whole soul” is in on uniting America, his administration is pushing an extreme agenda that is seeking to end lives rather than save them. His administration is attempting to use federal law to trump state law in direct opposition to the people of Idaho and legal precedent. Rather than respect democracy, Biden is kowtowing to abortion lobbyists, who stand to lose the most by allowing the unborn to have a chance at life.

With the help of the legal firms Alliance Defending Freedom and Cooper and Kirk – both of which have impressive track records at the U.S. Supreme Court – my office is working to uphold Idaho’s law. The Supreme Court heard our case Wednesday as we asked the court to end the Biden administration’s lawlessness and reckless disregard for life, women’s health, medical integrity, and democracy. A favorable ruling will uphold what Idaho’s law and EMTALA are both written to do: save lives.

Pro-Life Statement on Kari Lake’s Visit to Idaho

April 18th, 2024

Like conservatives across the state, we were excited to learn that U.S. Senate Kari Lake was coming to Idaho Falls.  She has become a leading voice in America for restoring integrity to our election system and for the values that made America the greatest nation in history.’

Imagine our profound disappointment, then, when we saw this heroine join the media mob in calling for an immediate “fix” to Arizona’s historic law protecting preborn children.  The law protecting preborn children from the horror of abortion was enacted by the people of Arizona before it became a state.  And it was reaffirmed by the people of that great state numerous times until the right to life was snatched away by the Roe Court in 1973.

Our heroine joined the mob in calling the law archaic, and in need of “improvement” – by which Mrs. Lake meant that more abortions should be made legal in Arizona.

But the right to Life is no more archaic than the right to bear arms or the right to freely exercise our faith.   These ancient values are the very foundation of our greatness as a people and nation.  They are gifts from our Creator. It is only through the recovery of these honored virtues that we can recover our greatness.

It is a shame that Mrs. Lake missed a great teaching opportunity.  Rather than respond in a panic to the supposed threat to her election hopes – she missed a chance to seize the moment by calling Arizona citizens to account and reflection.  This was an opportunity to expose what we have lost, and to appeal to the nature of our best selves. It was a genuine leadership moment.

We can only pray that, during her visit to Idaho Falls, Kari Lake will have time to reflect.  Perhaps some of the conservative leaders in eastern Idaho can help her find her way back.  Because if we cannot trust a politician to protect the most vulnerable among us when their ambitions might be at risk – how can we trust her to face the many torments of the great swamp that is Washington?

Idaho Democrats Launch Their 2024 Campaign

March 24th, 2024

Every Democrat in the Idaho Legislature signed onto a bill (HB721) this past week to repeal our Defense of Life Act.  It is clear from their news conference that they will follow their national leaders and make abortion the central feature of their campaigns this year.  Forget fentanyl or the illegal immigrant invasion.  Don’t worry about inflation or declining performance of our public school system.  In their world, Abortion is the most important issue facing Idaho and the nation.

At the news conference, Democrats sought to conflate the issues of IVF (in vitro fertilization) and their unrestrained commitment to abortion.  They also sought to disguise their radical agenda by claiming that they sought a “health” exception to Idaho’s law protecting preborn children.  Ostensibly this is necessary to keep some Idaho doctors happy about practicing in Idaho. 

But their proposed legislation goes well beyond weakening the Defense of Life Act.  (In fact, HB721 never actually mentions a “health” exception). 

Idaho Democrats want to make abortion legal at ALL stages of pregnancy.  And for ANY reason.  The only restriction on abortion they would leave in place is the Ban on Partial Birth Abortions – enacted by the Idaho Legislature in 1998.  Late term abortions through the end of pregnancy?  No problem.

Democrats seek to put Planned Parenthood back into business in Idaho.  Not only would they resume abortion-on-demand, their legislation allows their patrons at Planned Parenthood back into our schools:  Democrats want to repeal the No Public Funds for Abortions Act.  Teachers and counselors would again be free to encourage students to get abortions at their local Planned Parenthood office.  Planned Parenthood officials would again be welcome into classrooms to troll for new customers.  (In fact, every Democrat in the Legislature voted against our bill this session to prohibit abortion providers from teaching sex ed courses in public school classrooms).

But even that is not enough for these radicals.  The Democrat legislation would also repeal the Abortion Trafficking Law enacted by the Legislature last year (IC 18-623).  This critical protection makes it a felony to transport a minor girl across state lines to obtain an abortion without parental knowledge or consent.  Imagine.  Idaho Democrats want to enable third parties – like their patrons at Planned Parenthood or any other adult for that matter, including abusers and sex traffickers – to ingratiate themselves into the lives of Idaho children behind the back of parents.  These dark actors would be able to help children obtain abortions without parental knowledge, potentially to conceal criminal sexual abuse: Pay for travel, hotel rooms, meals … and the abortion procedure itself.

It is clear that Idaho Democrats subscribe to the dangerous belief that children have a right to something they call “bodily autonomy” – and that any interested adult should be free to manipulate vulnerable children into making life-altering decisions.

Thankfully HB721 will go nowhere this session.  But the Democrats have boldly proclaimed their dark vision for Idaho’s future. 

Voters beware.

ICL Endorses Trump for President

February 20th, 2024

“Just as President Trump has stood up for preborn children
across this land, we will stand up for him.”

News Release. Idaho’s leading pro-Life political action committee, Idaho Chooses Life, today announced its support for Donald Trump ahead of the March 2nd GOP Presidential Caucus.

“We are proud to continue to stand with Donald Trump as he prepares to secure another term as President of the United States,” ICL Executive Director David Ripley said in a prepared statement issued to media on Tuesday.  “Just as President Trump has stood up for preborn children across this land, we will stand up for him.”

Ripley specifically pointed to the historic U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs as evidence of Trump’s commitment to seeking justice for ALL Americans – as well as upholding the rule of law based upon the Constitution. 

“Many candidates, over decades, promised action on overturning the travesty of Roe v. Wade, but only Donald Trump delivered,” Ripley observed.  “Much work needs to be done, but the Dobbs decision was an historic turning point in correcting overreach by the federal judiciary.”

“We are deeply impressed by the salient moral courage displayed by Mr. Trump as he faces down an unprecedented level of political persecution,” Ripley added. “This is the kind of courage it will take to rescue America from a host of grave challenges.”

 “May the Lord continue to grant him strength and encouragement,” Ripley said.

Idaho Chooses Life encourages pro-Lifers across Idaho to participate in the GOP Presidential Caucus, scheduled for Saturday, March 2nd.  For information about caucus locations and procedures, pro-Life voters should visit the Idaho Republican Party website at

Historic Win at Supreme Court!

January 6th, 2024

Yesterday the United States Supreme Court issued a preliminary victory to the State of Idaho in the lawsuit brought against us by the Biden Administration.  That lawsuit, known as “The United States of America vs. Idaho” – was brought by Joe Biden right after the Dobbs decision was handed down.  It was a blatant attempt to interfere with Idaho’s duty to protect preborn children from the scourge of abortion.

Biden sought to regain federal control of the abortion issue by abusing the Social Security Act to claim that our hospital emergency rooms must serve as abortion clinics.  The case naturally found its way into Judge Lynn Winmill’s courtroom, one of the most notorious pro-abort judges in the nation.  And, in a carefully coordinated assault on Idaho’s sovereignty, some 17 liberal states entered the fray and provided moral and legal support to Biden’s DOJ by filing “Friend of the Court” briefs with Judge Winmill.  They argued that Idaho could not be allowed to fully implement the Defense of Life Act.  At all hazards, abortions must be performed!

Not surprisingly, Judge Winmill was readily persuaded.  A week before the Defense of Life Act took effect on August 25, 2022 – Winmill issued an “emergency” order requiring Idaho hospitals perform abortions to “protect a woman’s health” if they wanted to continue receiving federal monies.

Through the courageous leadership of Sen. Chuck Winder and Speaker Mike Moyle, that order was challenged before a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit.  The Legislature’s special counsel presented the court with a compelling argument that Winmill’s order violated Idaho’s sovereignty; it was a tortured and incorrect reading of the Social Security law Biden was using to regulate abortions in Idaho.

The Left was shocked when that appeals court ruled – unanimously – in favor of the Legislature.  They lifted Judge Winmill’s stay last fall.  That allowed DOLA to go into full effect for the first time. 

Biden then appealed, asking the 9th Circuit to re-hear the appeal before an “en banc” panel of the full 9th Circuit.  That motion was granted.  A hearing was scheduled for later this month (January 24th).  In addition, the 9th Circuit re-imposed Judge Winmill’s order forcing hospitals to again perform abortions.

Attorney General Raul Labrador quickly filed an emergency appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court – in which he asked them to stop Winmill’s unjustifiable order from again being enforced.

Yesterday, the high court granted Labrador’s request.  But they went beyond.  They granted the State of Idaho a writ of certiorari – meaning they have taken the case out of the hands of the 9th Circuit altogether.

This is all very unusual – and highly encouraging.  We read it to mean that the Supreme Court has determined to quash efforts by the Abortion Industry to undermine its ruling in Dobbs.  In that landmark opinion, the Supreme Court declared that abortion was now a matter for the states to determine.  The federal judiciary was out of the abortion business.  We see yesterday’s decisive actions by the Court as sending a message to Biden and his allies that they meant what they said in June of 2022.  They will not tolerate a strategy of tearing away at the edges of Dobbs.

So Idaho hospitals can now get back to the business of saving lives – not destroying them.

Glory to God. 

Historic Victory at the 9th Circuit

October 2nd, 2023

The pro-Life community welcomed a tremendous victory this past week in a ruling from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.  We believe it is the first significant pro-Life victory from that Court in at least thirty years.

The case revolves around the Biden Administration’s attack on pro-Life states following the landmark ruling in Dobbs last year.  Despite the Supreme Court’s clear edict that abortion was not properly a matter of concern for the federal government and/or the federal court system – Joe Biden was desperate to re-establish federal control over the nation’s abortion policy.  Since Congress has never enacted a statutory framework for abortion, Biden’s DOJ didn’t have many tools in the shed.

After many long nights of searching federal code, lawyers for the DOJ hit upon the novel idea of using the Medicare Act to regulate abortion in the states.  They filed suit against Idaho in a case known as “the United States of America vs. the State of Idaho”.  Pretty ominous.  And a case of great national interest.  Some 37 states have filed briefs in this federal case – about half in support of Idaho, the remaining arguing for Idaho’s Defense of Life to be discarded because it supposedly violated the provisions of the Medicare law.

Specifically, Biden’s DOJ wanted to impose a requirement that Idaho allow for abortions in the state when the mother’s health was threatened.  This was a weak reprise of the infamous Doe v. Bolton decision imposed upon the nation during the dark decades of Roe. And most pro-Lifers recognize that the health requirements of Doe did far more damage to preborn children than Roe itself.

It was clear from the beginning that Biden’s agenda was to begin in Idaho and then use a ruling from liberal judge Lynn Winmill to restrict pro-Life policies across the nation.  Idaho has the strongest law in the nation;  and we are burdened by Judge Winmill and the historic record of the 9th Circuit on abortion.  It was seen as an easy win.  And, in fact, Judge Winmill was happy to issue a preliminary injunction even before the Defense of Life Act took effect in August of 2022.  By his edict, hospitals in Idaho would be required to perform abortions when a mother’s health was threatened. If they failed to do so, federal Medicare monies could be withheld.

That grave injustice was partially corrected last week, when a three judge panel of the 9th Circuit reversed Winmill’s order.  In a striking decision – the appeals court affirmed Idaho’s sovereign right to protect preborn children from being killed in the womb.  The court further made it clear that the Medicare Act’s EMTALA could not legitimately be used to impose a duty to perform abortions on Idaho hospitals and doctors.

This unprecedented victory was the direct result of the Idaho Legislature’s decision to intervene in the lawsuit.  It has taken courage and commitment – but the Leadership of our Legislature determined that they would fight Joe Biden’s radical abortion agenda; they would fight to defend Idaho’s sovereign right to set its own course.

Their courage was vindicated this week with a powerful rebuke of Biden’s abuse of power.

Glory to God.

New Federal Lawsuit Poses Grave Threat to Children & Families

July 25th, 2023

Despite the promise of Dobbs to free the states from federal court interference with abortion policy, Idaho now faces its third federal lawsuit.  This last suit is challenging the new law passed this last session which makes it a felony to transport girls out of state to get an abortion without parental consent.

During the legislative session, Planned Parenthood threatened numerous times to file a lawsuit.  But they are not an official part of this case.  Instead, we have three new plaintiffs:  a private attorney named Lourdes Matsumoto, the Northwest Abortion Access Fund and the Indigenous Idaho Alliance.  They allege that their “constitutional right” to “help” minor children is threatened by Idaho’s abortion trafficking law.

In the course of their complaint, these folks make it clear that they have long been providing counseling, money, lodging and transportation to girls seeking abortions out of state.  They also make clear that they have provided these children with the money to pay for their abortion.  All without the slightest regard for the rights of parents to direct the health care decisions of their daughters. 

The Northwest Abortion Access Fund actually tells the court, “When transporting or facilitating transportation for minors, NWAAF does not seek or obtain parental consent.  Parents and guardians may or may not know about or approve of NWAAF’s support of these minors”.  Wow.

The parties are represented by a number of lawyers, led by Wendy Olson, a partner at Stoel Rives and a former U.S. Attorney during the Obama Administration.  She also represents St. Luke’s Hospital in its bid to gain Judge Winmill’s protection for their practice of referring patients out-of-state for abortions that are illegal in Idaho.  She is joined by a pair of lawyers who work for an outfit called “Legal Voice”.  It turns out that this group is self-described as an LGBTQ+ advocacy group.

One wonders: Why would advocates for transgenders and homosexuals care about a law dealing specifically with abortion and unplanned pregnancy?

The answer may be buried in the 35-page complaint.  At various points, these activists assert that:

  • “[Children] are the ones in the best position to decide whom they trust to involve in their healthcare.” (p. 12).
  • Under the new law, “minors will lose their right to make critical decisions about their health, bodies and lives”.  (p. 12). 

We can see then that this lawsuit is about more than abortion.  If they can get the federal courts to fundamentally alter the legal status of minor children in our society – they can begin transporting boys and girls across state lines for gender-altering treatment and surgery.  That also would be a violation of current Idaho law and an egregious assault on core parental rights.

The hubris and arrogance of the plaintiffs in this case are truly amazing.  For example, Ms. Lourdes Matsumoto, the lead plaintiff, describes herself as a private attorney who regularly works with child victims of abuse.  She claims that she offers counseling and help to children – despite not being a trained therapist.  And despite having no legal authority or responsibility to insert herself into a child’s life.  In the legal filing she claims that she is “driven by her belief in bodily autonomy for every citizen, including minors ….” (p. 17). 

This lawsuit turns out to be quite the revelation.  We learn a great deal about the existing web of nefarious organizations and individuals long involved in undermining parental authority and seducing children into making life-altering decisions without the protection of parental supervision.  No doubt such networks exist in every part of America, actively working to destroy our children and grandchildren.

We must be in earnest prayer for AG Labrador and his team of attorneys as they prepare to confront this deadly lawsuit.  Should these actors succeed in gaining judicial protection, one can easily see that a vastly expanded playground will have been created for sexual predators and criminal trafficking rings.  If the federal judiciary upholds notions of “bodily autonomy” and freedom of choice for children in making lifestyle and healthcare decisions, they will have laid the foundations for pedophilia as well.

Years ago, Hillary Clinton made the claim that it “takes a village to raise a child”.  A fairly innocuous slogan, suggesting that we all have a responsibility to ensure that children in our midst are properly educated and cared for.  But we now realize that the radicals behind this bumper sticker really mean something quite different:  They believe that the Village owns the children … and that parents are merely their surrogates.  My gosh.  What deadly evil.

The case is now known as Matsumoto v. Labrador, and is pending before Federal Magistrate Judge Debora K. Grasham. 

Marking History and Grace

June 24th, 2023

Today, we pause to reflect on a most significant anniversary, matched by few in America’s history.  Just a year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court found the integrity to announce that it was reversing the abominable precedent known as Roe v. Wade.  The Dobbs decision stands along landmark rulings like Brown in its clarion support for human dignity.

Given the gross social pressures, the courage displayed by a majority of justices cannot be undervalued.  Repeatedly over the past five decades previous Courts asserted that abortion-on-demand was a “settled” constitutional right.  It became a mantra intended more to bully the American people into accepting the court’s political whims – than an insightful exposition about what the Framers intended.  Justice Alito did a masterful and thorough job of finally coming clean with the world: The Supreme Court of the United States had failed its trust and commission miserably by trying to impose a “right” to abortion upon the American People.  There was no such thing in the Constitution – as we all plainly knew.  Nor could one fabricate one with any degree of intellectual integrity.

Alito’s rigorous honesty will serve the country and Court well in coming decades, across a host of issues and controversies.

One year ago, the states were set free to re-establish protections for preborn babies – as they had done since the founding of the Republic.  Idaho is one of the states who prepared for the day when Roe would fall of its leaden deceit.  The result has been a halt of abortions in this state.  In fact, the destruction of Roe has led to a dramatic decline in the number of abortions performed across the country – even as wicked politicians in some states curry votes by crafting new schemes to continue the slaughter. 

The Bible tells us that God gave us the Law out of love – to help us understand the difference between right and wrong.  One of the great disasters of the Roe Era is that the Supreme Court gave confused, vulnerable people a license to kill the innocent.  With this reversal, that broad permission has been rescinded.  And many people, even in blue states, have found the courage of their conscience to resist the Left’s lies – and taken ownership again of choosing life for another human being.

On this day, we must pause to reflect on the great blessings which have begun to unfold since Dobbs.  And we must take the time to thank Almighty and Merciful God for delivering us from the bondage of an irresponsible and unaccountable Supreme Court.

We must also acknowledge the immense contribution to human justice made by President Donald Trump.  It was he who finally delivered on the decades-old promise by Republican politicians to “fight for us” … to “give us a pro-Life court which would faithfully interpret the Constitution”.  Not Reagan, not Bush or even Bush Junior.  Donald Trump.  The only Republican President who actually meant what he said.  Millions will find life and redemption because of him.

Things Take a Dark Turn in America

May 2nd, 2023

There was a time, not so long ago, when politicians who supported abortion did so with a certain acknowledgment that the taking of an innocent life was wrong.  Perhaps that is best captured by the bumper sticker lyrics made famous by the Clintons: “We want to make abortion safe … and rare”.

Those days are gone, friend.  We have now entered a new era in America’s dark experiment with child sacrifice is being boldly defended and encouraged by Democrat political leaders in a number of states.

The state governments of California, Washington, Oregon and Minnesota have been amongst the most rabid.  Those states have entered into two separate federal lawsuits here in Idaho – seeking to undermine Idaho’s ban on abortion.  Those states have also created “safe harbor” laws for Idaho residents traveling there for abortions that would be illegal within Idaho.  They have actually appropriated tax dollars to help underwrite the medical and travel expenses of Idaho women and girls traveling to California or Washington for so-called “abortion vacations”:

“Come to California at our expense, kill your baby … and then hang around for awhile enjoying our beaches, restaurants and tourists sites.  It’ll be great.”

Washington state has actually gone even further: In the wake of a righteous ruling by a Texas federal judge threatening the legal status of RU-486, the wicked governor of our neighboring state has ordered his agencies to purchase and stockpile some 3 million doses of the abortion drug.  Given that his state only has some 7 million residents – it seems clear that Governor Inslee intends to export the drug in hopes of spreading death and mayhem to the rest of America.

Clearly, these states have moved beyond simply protecting abortion within their states.  They have become active partners with the Abortion Industry.  As a practical matter, it is now hard to distinguish the Washington State government from Planned Parenthood.  Maybe they’ve even become competitors for the blood of the innocent.

In Scripture, we read the teachings of Jesus regarding the natural shame of sin:  “Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” (John 3:19,20).

It would seem we have entered into a new era, in which people like Governor Newsom and Governor Inslee no longer care about their deeds being exposed.  We’re not entirely sure what this means for America – but it can’t be good.

What is Wrong With Desantis?

April 22nd, 2023

The Governor of Florida announced with great fanfare this month that he was signing a “heartbeat bill” to ban abortions in that state once a heartbeat was detected.  Of course, this is progress – given that Florida now bans abortions after fifteen weeks.  And we don’t know all the politics of the Florida Legislature.  Maybe this is the best that Desantis can do under the circumstances.

Yet, in looking at legislation, we are disturbed by the fact that it does not protect life from conception.  Florida’s old 15-week ban was done prior to Roe being overturned.  States are now free of that bondage to do what is right.  So why did Desantis not fight for babies from conception – which is the only logical, moral and legally-sound point at which life should be recognized and protected in law?

We have been unable to find any statements from Desantis in which he defended the proposition that babies don’t earn their right to live by reaching some developmental stage.  This leads us to wonder if the Governor appreciates or understands the most basic pro-Life principle: Life is to be protected because we are created in God’s image.  And it is He who grants us this great and wonderful gift.

To defend life at some arbitrary point of development undermines this principle by accepting some of the thinking and values of the Left.

We are also troubled by the Florida legislation because it provides for a number of “exceptions” – that is, it provides various licenses to kill the baby: There is the standard rape, incest and life of the mother provisions.  But it also includes a physical health exception.  This is difficult to accept because it necessarily implies that the baby’s life is worth less than another’s. Under this ethic, it is perfectly fine to trade away one person’s life for the physical comfort of another. But under what moral or Constitutional authority can a government impose this?

Those sorts of accommodations might have been necessary during the dark days when federal courts imposed a tyrannical agenda upon the people of this country.  But those days are over.  And people like Governor Desantis must help lead the nation into recovering a value system in which every life is regarded as inviolable.