Planned Parenthood staffers (including the one above) testified against a bill to uphold parental rights on sex education, and they packed the hearing room with teens from the Planned Parenthood Teen Council. But Family Policy Alliance of Idaho supporters were heard loud and clear, as legislators commented about the huge outpouring of support via email messages. This week, the bill passed the House and advanced to the Senate.
The people’s voice is alive and well in Idaho, and I have two examples to demonstrate it.
First, I told you recently about a bill to uphold parental rights when it comes to sex education – giving parents the right to review sex-education materials and choose whether to opt their child in to the program. And let me tell you, your strong response in reaching out to legislators helped win the day over Planned Parenthood and the ACLU.
Planned Parenthood, in particular, had packed the hearing to oppose the bill. Two of their staffers testified, along with teens from the Planned Parenthood Teen Council. I testified in support of the bill, as did a couple of others, but as media headlines shouted, the bill faced “big opposition.”
But then legislators began to speak of the huge outpouring of support that they had received via email, with one of them noting a 20-to-1 margin in favor of the bill. My friends, that was you. Many of you took the time to speak up through our Action Center and then share with others, and it made a big difference.
Last week, the bill (HB 120) passed the House. Stay tuned for a chance to make your voice heard in the Senate, too!
Second, earlier this session, hundreds of you spoke up in response to a serious threat to religious freedom – a well-meaning but misguided compromise to add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes, while trying to minimize the damage to religious freedom.
Again, your voice was heard in a big way, getting the clear attention of the backers of the measure. And your support allowed us to work the halls of the capitol every day – talking to key legislators and even hosting people like Barronelle Stutzman, the Washington florist who told her powerful story to lawmakers.
What happened with that threat to religious freedom? The key senator who was spearheading it has announced that he is backing off for this session.
The lesson is that your involvement makes a big impact. Thanks for your voice, your prayers and your support that makes this ministry possible!
Director of Advocacy