If you pay attention to local media, you might have already seen that Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden is using the power of his office to attack me and my organization.
Wasden issued a press release on Wednesday accusing Idaho Family Policy Center of spreading “false information” about a compromise made by Planned Parenthood and the attorney general office in the Heartbeat law case that is pending before the Idaho Supreme Court. His press release was also published on the official Idaho Attorney General website.
Earlier this week, Idaho Family Policy Center sent an email expressing our disappointment with the deal cut between Planned Parenthood and Attorney General Wasden. Their arrangement delays the implementation of our Heartbeat law in exchange for extended court proceedings.
Let me be clear: everyone at Idaho Family Policy Center values the truth. We would never knowingly spread false information. Every detail contained in our reporting and in our other public statements can be verified by the court record, including an order issued by the Idaho Supreme Court, which says:
Both parties [AG Wasden and Planned Parenthood]… requested action by this court to preserve the status quo [issue a stay] to give the parties the ability to adequately brief this case.
Here’s an idea: if the attorney general feels that the Idaho Supreme Court misunderstood or misrepresented what happened, then the attorney general can take that up with them. Leave us out of it.
I cannot believe that a sitting attorney general would use the power of his office to attack a Christian ministry like Idaho Family Policy Center. All of us recognize that Attorney General Lawrence Wasden is in a tough primary, but that doesn’t permit him to throw us under the bus as he struggles to provide himself political cover.
Adding insult to injury, several local news outlets picked up on Wasden’s press release. They published articles that read like hit pieces on Idaho Family Policy Center, unquestioningly repeating Wasden’s lies and sporting titles like “Idaho attorney general refutes false claim that he ‘cut a deal’ with Planned Parenthood in abortion lawsuit.”
Not one of those news outlets approached Idaho Family Policy Center for comment before publishing their stories, which is a clear violation of journalistic ethics. One outlet has since apologized.
So where does this leave us? Well, the attorney general has publicly confirmed that Idaho Family Policy Center has been assisting his office in defending the Heartbeat law. While we have been assured that the attorney general will defend this law vigorously, he has let us down before. Therefore, we will remain in a ‘trust but verify’ mode as the case continues.
Even more importantly, I hope the attorney general sets aside politics and personalities so that we can get back to focusing on what really matters—protecting preborn children with beating hearts.
President, Idaho Family Policy Center