Action Alert: Ask Governor Butch Otter to Veto Mandatory Ultrasound bill

If you’ve been following the Idaho Legislature at all this session you have probably noticed that the majority party has given up on even pretending to care about Idaho’s women and minorities.

After just two hours of debate on Monday, the Idaho Senate voted 23-12 to require women to receive an ultrasound before undergoing an abortion procedure.

That’s just minutes after the bill’s sponsor, Republican state Sen. Chuck Winder of Boise, suggested that women might be using rape as an excuse to get an abortion.

According to Huffington Post,”Rape and incest was used as a reason to oppose this,” Winder said on the Senate floor. “I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue, that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape. I assume that’s part of the counseling that goes on.”

The truth of the matter is, after years of trying to advance legislation that would limit a woman’s right to choose, those who for the past few years have been seen as ultra-conservative and outside the mainstream, such as Idaho Chooses Life Director David Ripley, have once again found an audience among the majority of Idaho lawmakers.

That didn’t happen by accident.

While Ripley and others rattle on about how Senate bill 1387 will make Idaho safer for the unborn, the truth is the bill is another step in a grand plan to not only reverse a woman’s right to choose in Idaho but to turn us into a religious state where homosexuality is not normal, where our children pray in schools to their Christian God and where the voices of the few outweigh the rights of the many.

Before you accuse me of conspiracy, I challenge you to do some homework. With support from Evangelicals, Catholics and members of the LDS church, Idaho Chooses Life is one of the largest and ultra-right winged religious backed anti-woman lobbyist groups in the state. It is also “the only social conservative PAC registered in Idaho.”

From parental consent legislation to Idaho’s so-called pharmaceutical consent bill, Ripley and his gang, with the help of Idaho’s ultra-right religious organizations, have slowly not only been whittling away at women’s rights in Idaho, but at any sort of pretense of separation of church and state at all.

They’ve also managed to gain control of Idaho’s election process.

In May of 2010, Idaho Chooses Life sent out hundreds of post cards accusing then Republican State Senator Chuck Coiner of Twin Falls and others of supporting “a move to give some $15 million in additional state funding for Planned Parenthood to provide more ‘family planning’.”

The card was a blatant lie.

In fact, had Twin Falls voters done any research on the matter, they would have found out that Coiner is just as pro-life as the majority of women in the state.

“My stance is I don’t believe in abortion as a measure of birth control and I do think in cases of rape, incest and for the health of the mother, it’s a viable option in those cases,” he told the Times-News.

The bill that Coiner had actually supported turned out to be a 2005 bill “intended to expand family planning health care services to low-income women and eventually save the state money because of fewer unplanned pregnancies.”

There never was any mention of Planned Parenthood or abortion services.

But no matter, if you repeat a lie loud enough people are bound to believe it and Coiner’s opponent, Lee Heider, who is a conservative member of the LDS church, received the group’s endorsement. Unsurprisingly, Heider went on to win the GOP primary as well as his current senate seat.

Call it a “coincidence” but Coiner also just happened to be the co-sponsor of the 2009 version of a bill that would have added the words sexual orientation and gender identity to Idaho’s Human Rights law.

The fact is groups like Idaho Chooses Life have gained control of Idaho. These groups don’t care that bills like the mandatory ultrasound bill are government intrusion, that it preys on Idaho’s poorest of the poor by placing an undue financial burden on women who must have the ultrasound done, or that it sets aside doctors and patients rights.

The truth is these groups care about one thing and one thing only, they care about winning. No matter that it is at the cost of Idaho’s women, the cost of Idaho’s minorities, or at the cost of truth itself. These groups will stop at nothing until they have turned Idaho into the white male theocracy they for years have dreamed about while sitting in their pews during their church services on Sunday morning.

It’s time to send a message to groups like Idaho Chooses Life that we don’t want their brand of backroom politics in Idaho. We have to tell them we don’t want to be a part of their strategy maps and propaganda machines. It’s time to say we don’t want a theocracy in Idaho. It’s time to use our voices, our ballots and our signatures to say enough is enough!

Please join in asking Idaho Governor Butch Otter to veto Senate bill 1387. Even if you think the bill doesn’t affect you, the rights you stand up for now may one day be your own.

Click HERE to sign the Petition.

3 Responses to Action Alert: Ask Governor Butch Otter to Veto Mandatory Ultrasound bill

  1. Pingback: Brandi’s Demonstration: Idaho’s Ultrasound Debate Gets Even More Surreal! « The Idaho Agenda

  2. Pingback: Vigil Planned to Protest Idaho’s Mandatory Ultrasound Bill « The Idaho Agenda

  3. Pingback: Idaho Ultrasound Bill Dead but Backers Clueless as to Why « The Idaho Agenda

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