Today marks the start of the 2022 Idaho Legislative Session. State legislators will open with a customary invocation prayer before Gov. Brad Little delivers his State of the State Address, which will outline his policy agenda for the coming year. According to early reports, Gov. Little’s priorities include using the record $1.6 billion state budget surplus to increase spending on state education and obtain more small tax cuts for individuals and businesses.
I want you to know that the Idaho Family Policy Center team will be at the Capitol throughout the legislative session. We will advocate biblically sound public policies that promote traditional family values like the sanctity of human life, religious freedom, parental rights, biblical sexuality and gender, and economic opportunity.
The Idaho Family Policy Center “2022 Policy Agenda” includes:
1. Creating civil liability for abortionists who perform unlawful abortions after a preborn baby’s heartbeat can be detected. By adding a private enforcement mechanism to the Idaho Heartbeat Law that was signed by Gov. Brad Little last year, family members of unlawfully aborted babies will be able to sue abortionists for $20,000 in statutory damages.
This strategy, which has been successfully employed by Texas, will save hundreds of babies every year from abortion, and will likely cause the Idaho abortion rate to decline by at least 50% while we await the outcome of the Dobbs case at the US Supreme Court.
2. Banning sex reassignment surgeries and hormone therapies for minor children. In the last decade, there has been a 1,000 percent increase in prevalence of children identifying as transgender.
We need to protect these children, who are often immediately sent down a path of medical intervention, where they will be prescribed dangerous cross-sex hormones and undergo irreversible sex reassignment surgeries.
3. Requiring public schools to maintain separate bathrooms, showers, and dressing rooms for biological males and females. Parents nationwide were horrified after the news surfaced that a biological boy, who identifies as transgender, sexually assaulted two female classmates in a girls’ public school bathroom in Loudoun County, Virginia.
These egregious crimes were made possible by school district policies authorizing students who identify as transgender to use bathrooms and locker rooms designated for the other sex. Sadly, many Idaho public school districts have similar policies which put the privacy and safety of girls at risk.
4. Safeguarding religious liberty for individuals, businesses, churches, and religious organizations. With radical special interest groups and liberal lawmakers pushing disastrous legislation like the “Equality Act” nationally and the “Add the Words” legislation at the state level, religious liberty is under attack like never before.
It’s past time for Idaho to provide greater statutory protections for the “sacred right” of religious freedom, which is a God-given right protected by both the US and Idaho Constitutions. All people deserve the opportunity to live out their faith not only at home or at church, but at work and in school and in public, too.
5. Expanding parental rights in education. So-called “comprehensive sexual education” is sweeping through schools across the country, including some of our public schools in Idaho. This extreme curriculum includes problematic and often-pornographic instruction in topics like having anal sex comfortably, procuring contraception and abortions without parental involvement, and gender fluidity.
Additionally, critical race theory (CRT), which aims to destroy the underpinnings of American society by attacking our governmental and economic systems as inherently and irreparably racist, is still being taught in Idaho public schools, despite an attempt by the state legislature to partially address the problem last year.
Most Idaho parents don’t want their children indoctrinated in these dangerous ideologies. Therefore, significant reform is needed to ensure that parents can effectively exercise control over what is being taught to their children.
As you can see, we’ve been hard at work for the last six months, engaging in policy research and analysis to prepare for what we believe is a historic opportunity to aggressively advance a strategic conservative agenda to protect family, faith, and freedom in the Gem State.
Will you consider supporting Idaho Family Policy Center’s policy work by making a generous gift? With your help, we will build on our past successes by continuing to make Idaho a place where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished.
Standing for your family at our Statehouse,
President, Idaho Family Policy Center