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Pro-life with an Asterisk

How celebrated “pro-life” campaigners came to endorse abortions

On Thursday, October 6, 2022, David Ripley, the Executive Director of Idaho Chooses Life, presented a draft resolution to the Ada County Republican Central Committee on behalf of Dennis Mansfield, Candidate for State Senate in District 16.

Ripley and his organization have a long history of compromising conservative principles and making deals with RINOs. In the 2022 Idaho Republican Primary, Idaho Chooses life spent more than $13,000 supporting notorious House Speaker Scott Bedke in his bid for Lt. Governor against Rep. Priscilla Giddings — despite the fact that she is easily one of the most pro-life legislators Idaho has ever seen.

Ripley also spent thousands of donor dollars throughout the primary election cycle supporting Brad Little over Janice McGeachin, Debbie Critchfield over Branden Durst, and Britt Raybould over stalwart conservative legislator Ron Nate.

The resolution presented to the Ada County Republican Central Committee was a similar slap in the face to those conservatives who believe that abortion — the intentional termination of an innocent life — is always wrong.

The resolution was presented as being pro-life, of course, extolling Idaho’s exception-ridden “trigger law” as affirming “the sanctity and inherent value of all human life.” (Emphasis added.) The problem is that the trigger law (Idaho Code 18-622) does no such thing. In addition to the standard exception for abortions that are “deemed necessary to prevent the death of the pregnant woman,” there are exceptions for pregnancies suspected of arising from rape or incest.

(It is worth noting here that no confirmation of such suspicions is required. If a pregnant woman has reported an instance of rape or incest, the pregnancy is presumed to be caused by the incident regardless of any other sexual activity that may have occurred.)

Mansfield’s resolution goes on to say that “the Ada County Republican Party calls upon the Governor and Legislature to resist any and all attempts to remove the compassionate safeguards afforded to women and girls in Idaho Code 18-622.”

The flowery language of “compassionate safeguards” may sound charming, but the facts are far less so. The resolution is a clear shot across the bow of those conservative legislators who are working to remove these exceptions and actually affirm “the sanctity and inherent value of all human life.”

Although these issues were brought up in debate, the resolution passed the committee by a voice vote.

The passage of this resolution adds a giant asterisk to Idaho’s supposedly rock-solid pro-life credentials. The message is clear. Some lives deserve to be protected. Some babies deserve to be born. Some abortions are murder. Others… well, donors get squeamish when your principles don’t have asterisks.

David Ripley, Dennis Mansfield, and a majority of the Ada County Republican Central Committee endorsed the asterisk. History suggests Gov. Little will as well. Will the Idaho Legislature prove to be more principled? I certainly wouldn’t bet on it.

One reply on “Pro-life with an Asterisk”

As the late Senator from Illinois Adli Stevenson once said: “There is a time when we must all rise above principle”. Mr. Ripley and Mr. Mansfield seems to be following his advice.” Maybe the price of siding with the Governor is the cost of “rising above principle”.

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