Writings and observations

First take

The background of the abortion case that led to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals throwing out an Idaho abortion law, well told in a Slate article, makes for great reading – and pondering. The pregnant woman involved, Jennie Linn McCormack, “a single mother of three living off child support checks,” had given herself an abortion in the fall of 2010, “mostly out of desperation: There were no abortion clinics anywhere in southeast Idaho, and an abortion in Salt Lake City, 138 miles away, could cost $2,000. So McCormack procured abortion pills online and took five. She hadn’t realized that her fetus was between 19 and 23 weeks old—and that she was much too far along in her pregnancy to have a safe nonsurgical abortion.” That incident made its way by word of mouth to local police, who arrested her, and local prosecutors, who took her to court. Had they won, she would have been subject to imprisonment for five years. The case was ultimately dismissed (for lack of evidence). A question for supporters of the Idaho law: Would the state have been safer had this mother of three been imprisoned for five years?

Question to ask, with Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s appearance at Idaho Falls, is how much support within the party he has. Based on quotes from prominent people there, that seems a bit unclear. Frank Vandersloot of Idaho Falls (and Melaleuca) was co-sponsor of the event, said “Rubio can make the average guy understand,” VanderSloot said. “We need to elect someone as a party that can be re-elected.” But that may be an endorsement (over other Republican prospects), or not. Quotes from Senator Jim Risch and Representative Raul Labrador (who has joined up with Senator Rand Paul) fall into a similar territory. Speaking more generally, and less optimistically, former gubernatorial candidate Russ Fulcher said, “I think the GOP is going to beat each other to death.”

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