Building a Brighter Future
First things first. I want to extend a huge end of the year thank you to all our precinct captains for stepping up in 2023. You were the face of the Democratic Party to the voters in your precinct and voice of the voters to the Central Committee. Thanks to your active participation, we have all but 10 of our 73 precincts covered. This is a remarkable accomplishment given that just a few years ago we had fewer than 30 active precinct captains. As a result, we found ourselves exposed to an attempted GOP takeover. Fortunately, it failed. Since then, thanks to Tom Sanner, Paula Marano, Brian Seguin, Tom Hearn, and Anthony Porto at the IDP, we are building a united and active team. The message is clear that Democrats are here to stay.
I read a disturbing article in the Idaho Capitol Sun this week comparing maternal health care for Idaho women with that of women in Nicaragua; one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. Written by Becca Renk, an Idahoan living with her family in Ciudad Sandino, the article compares recent women’s health care outcomes, and it is not favorable to Idaho women. For example, “Nicaragua had 31.4 deaths compared to Idaho’s maternal mortality rate of 40.1 deaths per 100,000 births in 2021.”
One of the key distinctions affecting birthrates in Idaho is the recent passage of our state’s regressive Abortion bill. Senate Bill 1309 banned abortions in Idaho except for cases of rape, incest and when the mother’s life is at risk. In instances of rape or incest, a woman seeking an abortion is now required to report the crime to police and provide a copy of the criminal report to an abortion provider before undergoing the procedure. It also restricts this procedure to the first trimester of pregnancy. Moreover, the bill makes it illegal for doctors to perform abortions that do not comply with these restrictions. Doctors caught performing illegal abortions face two to five years in prison and the loss of their state medical license.
An unforeseen consequence of this law has been the decision of many licensed obstetricians to discontinue practicing medicine in Idaho. As a result, women living in rural parts of Idaho, such as Bonner County, no longer have easy access to maternal healthcare.
I encourage you to read the article. Then, if you are as shocked as I was, copy the link and include it in a message to your state representatives with the words “Shame on you for denying women the right to maternal healthcare!” That’s what I did.
Our Library Network Needs Your Support
The next Community Library Network Trustees meeting is this Thursday, December 21, at 1 PM at the Post Falls Library at 821 N. Spokane St. You should know that our opposition turns out in force to support the right-wing agenda and they are very vocal. Therefore, if you are a Community Library Network patron, please try to attend so we can effectively counter their messaging.
Your Efforts Are Appreciated
Finally, I want to close my message by sending a huge thanks to everyone who contributed hard-earned dollars or precious time to support our organizing efforts. I also wish to acknowledge the work of those who took the time to express your views by submitting letters to the editor this year. One way or another, you have all demonstrated your commitment to the values we all share.
I hope each one of you enjoys a wonderful Holiday with whoever you hold dear.