Idaho GOP: Abortion is Murder
Last week the Idaho Republican Party approved a change to the platform regarding abortion. The specific change involved the addition of one sentence, “We also support strengthening the Idaho Constitution’s declaration of the right to life for preborn children.”
We also put Roe v. Wade in the rearview mirror and added the Dobbs case to this sentence that was already in the platform “The federal judiciary played the tyrant in dozens of Supreme Court pro-abortion opinions since Roe v. Wade up to the Dobbs decision, and Idaho has the sovereign authority to defy the federal judiciary should they once again propose the fiction that abortion is a federal constitutional right.”
In the platform for the last two years, we affirmed the concept this year that “We support the criminalization of all murders by abortion within the state’s jurisdiction”.
The changes to the platform passed the platform committee at the convention after thorough questions and answers and was not amended at all by the dozens of delegates on that committee. But, when the abortion changes arrived on the floor of the convention, a single delegate out of 730 arose and penned an amendment on the spot to a different subsection of our abortion platform, basically some rendering of “We support abortion in cases involving the life and health of the mother”. That delegate then proceeded to argue for mental health exceptions.
The convention roundly rejected the proposed health amendment almost 4 to 1, and then the media present decided to use that rejection as fodder to stoke the abortion culture wars.
As the author of the significant changes to the Idaho Republican platform on abortion, let me describe the core Republican position. In 1864, Oregon passed an anti-abortion law criminalizing abortion as the crime of manslaughter. The focus of the text of the 1864 Oregon law was the intentional killing of a human child in the womb, not the termination of a pregnancy. Idaho’s current trigger law on abortion, expected to go into effect in August, defines abortion as the termination of a pregnancy. There is a difference between the termination of a pregnancy and the intentional termination of a child.
For example, miscarriage is the unintentional termination of a pregnancy. A mother does have the right over her own pregnancy and how she manages it. But a mother does not have the constitutional nor moral right to intentionally kill her living child in the womb. She never has, even in the era of the Roe v. Wade fiction.
Last week the Idaho Republican Party returned its focus to the historical definition of abortion as the intentional killing of a living human child. The word “intentional” is a key part of our definition captured in the word “murder” in the party platform. We affirmed that abortion is an unjust homicide. We did not condemn mothers to die for lack of lifesaving medical care. We do not consider that our platform already excludes lifesaving medical care. But, we want the focus of our abortion platform to be on the natural right to life of all human beings from fertilization to natural death.
It is the Republicans’ expectation, and this was included in the debate on the convention floor, that lifesaving medical care allows for triage situations, in which doctors are allowed to prioritize one patient over another. Our hope is if the baby is still living when the mother presents for lifesaving medical care, then the medical professionals will consider that two patients are before them, and if it is possible to save both, then that should be attempted.
But if the technology or the ability does not exist to save the baby, then the unintended death of the child, either naturally before the mother presents for care, or while the mother is under care, will never be subject to criminal law.
The media wrote headlines that were the opposite of the sentiment of the majority of the convention delegates, and when I called the media to explain how they got it wrong, their explanation was that the story was too “nuanced” to effectively communicate in print. They can and should do better though.
Republicans last week also reiterated their uncompromising position that babies conceived in rape or incest should never be allowed to be put to death for the crimes of their fathers. Republicans oppose the intentional killing of human children motivated by the circumstances of their conception. The violent crime of rape can never be remedied by the violent crime of abortion.
As the author of the platform changes last week, I have received some emotional and profane communications, but none have contained a substantive argument. Those who would allow for the intentional killing of human children do not have cogent arguments and must resort to profane and crude rhetoric. Republicans are grateful for the Dobbs decision. While I do not agree with SCOTUS that the US Constitution has nothing to say on murder by abortion, I am grateful at least that the state of Idaho is able to chart a course in which intentional child killing can be criminalized and abolished.
Unfortunately, should a portion of American society want to continue to sacrifice their children, I suppose there will be other states only too willing to accommodate their unjust and unloving desires. But Republicans in Idaho are focused on our state and know we can and should enact equal protection in law in the jurisdiction of Idaho.