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April 26 — May 2 ONLINE LETTERS 

Cornerstone, legislators Chickened out

The Cornerstone Institute and Idaho legislators chickened out by backing away from links between abortion and breast cancer.

After the furor over the links between breast cancer and abortion, many retreated to the safety of political rhetoric when the issue became heated. In the end, Idaho women may pay the bill.

First, 11 Democrats walked-out of the session when Minority Leader Wendy Jacquet began to cry following Bill Sali citing evidence showing a link between breast cancer and abortion.

Then the back-peddling began.

Jacquet, who is a breast cancer survivor, seems to forget she was the one who brought up the subject in the first place by denouncing the research. Did she think somebody wouldn't offer a rebuttal? Jacquet "fears they may stigmatize breast-cancer victims." Would she rather prevent breast cancer or eliminate stigma?

Janice McGeachin (R-Idaho Falls) and Julie Lynde of the Cornerstone Institute back-peddled by saying they opted not to include breast cancer-abortion research, in literature distributed to women considering abortions because it didn't have adequate scientific backing

Then why is the information on their website and why have 3 separate court decisions sided with the link of breast cancer to abortions.

Unfortunately instead of dealing with the issue individuals jumped to unfounded conclusions. I was ashamed of Bruce Newcomb's role as Speaker of the House and his handling of the situation. Only Bill Sali faced the controversy head on. He didn't dodge the issue. The rest could take a lesson from his example. Bill, there was no need to apologize for your conduct on that day.

--Dan Ryals, Boise

Sheila's No Sali

Sali is not alone. If you think that Bill Sali is the only Republican candidate running for Butch Otter's Congressional seat with extreme views on abortion, think again. Five of the Six Republican candidates, including Sali, have publicly declared that they will support legislation that bans abortion under any circumstance, even in instances of rape, incest and the health of the mother. That is scary. I have a hard time believing that such a view represents more than a small minority of Idahoans. Sheila Sorensen is the only Republican candidate that refuses to take such a radical approach. As can be seen from her seventeen years as an Idaho legislator, Sorensen has a time-tested record of refusing to bend to the whim of such hard core political action groups, and instead basing her political decisions on standing up for what's right for Idaho. That's responsible leadership. Sorensen is what Idaho needs.

--Renae Hall,


Semanko's The Man

This year we have the choice of several outstanding candidates in the Congressional primary.

For the benefit of our voters and overwhelming support for Norm Semanko, I want to provide my observations.

Characteristics that make Norm our best representative in Washington include his...:

• strong desire to make a real difference

• ability to listen and analyze the facts, then make a decision

• honesty and trustworthiness

• sincere desire to look out for the average Idahoan (he's turned down out of state money)

• prior experience on Larry Craig's staff

For example, my 19 year old son initiated meetings regarding medical science with Norm. Norm consistently sought facts and information and requested further meetings over college breaks.

Norm's not interested in being a career politician; he's just a down home guy who fits in with everyone.

These attributes and Norm's style gives Idaho a better chance that Washington will listen to our voices and work toward a better America in a global economy.

Take an opportunity to visit Norm at a local get-together (see www.norm.semanko.org for dates).

You'll come away with the same opinion; Norm is a guy that you can count on to "do the right things."

--Ron Mayhew,


Idaho needs a reliable true conservative to replace Butter Otter in Congress. Norm Semanko is that person. He is a conservative in the likeness of Larry Craig. He is energetic and an intelligent thinker, solid in his beliefs, and he will listen to YOUR concerns. He was raised in North Idaho and has lived in Lewiston, Twin Falls and Eagle. He knows ALL of Idaho. He knows his way around Washington, DC, too, because of the experience he gained working for my husband in the US Congress. Even then he showed himself to be a leader. He is NOT a moderate pretending to be a conservative. He is NOT an off again/on again resident of Idaho. He is NOT a one issue candidate. His campaign is NOT funded by personal wealth or out of Idaho interests. He is NOT a lightening rod for personal causes. Rather he IS a man who will represent Idaho solidly in Congress, who WILL be able to work with the other members of Congress to make things happen for the benefit of Idahoans. He WILL deal with the many different issues Congress must face with common sense like we do in Idaho. He knows the issues, believes in limited government, individual rights, protecting families, honoring our troops, protecting public lands and protecting our borders. He has the enthusiasm and the will to take on this tremendous responsibility. Join me on May 23 to vote for Norm Semanko for Congress.

--Suzanne Craig (Mrs. Larry)


Lu-NA! Lu-NA!

Tom Luna is running for superintendent of public instruction, and let me assure you he is the only candidate who will move the public education system from status quo to exceptional. That is why he has the support of my group, Idahoans for Excellence in Education.

Tom has a proven record of education improvement. He led the effort to bring the ISAT and Achievement Standards to our schools, giving teachers, parents and students new tools with which to measure performance and take action. Tom is a nationally-recognized expert in issues facing rural school districts.

Some of Tom's opponents claim to be supporters of education reforms, such as giving parents a choice on where their children go to school. But I know they are in fact supporters of "business as usual." I am frankly amazed to listen to these other candidates. They sat silently on the sidelines while we pushed for education improvement. Now they suddenly act as though they are champions of innovation. They are not. They should also know that voting for a bill containing the word "charter," doesn't make them charter school advocates.

Tom Luna has been active in the fight to make our schools better. I hope you will join me in supporting Tom Luna for Superintendent of Public Instruction on May 23.

--Darrel Deide, Chairman

Idahoans for Excellence in Education


Tom Luna and I worked closely together on the development and implementation of Idaho's Achievement Standards and the ISAT. Tom convinced the Legislature to adopt these education tools. As a result of Tom's work, the bar has been raised. Now every parent, teacher and student in Idaho has the information they need to have a successful education experience. Every four years we elect our state superintendent of schools. Every four years candidates come forward and tell us things they know we want to hear about improving education. Then four years later nothing has changed, and we are still talking about the same things. This time is no different. If you are tired of this empty rhetoric and you want proven leadership, then Tom Luna is your candidate. Tom has proven his ability to bring real improvement to public education. That is why President Bush endorsed Tom's candidacy and appointed Tom to serve as a senior education official in his administration. That's also why Governor Batt, more than 50 state legislators and many other education, business and political leaders have endorsed Tom Luna for Superintendent of Public Instruction. On May 23, please vote for Tom Luna to lead our schools.

--Fred Tilman ,

Former Chairman of the House Education Committee,


Yaaaay Shiela!

I'm a retired teacher and I think the federal government is off-base on the education issue. No Child Left Behind has devolved from a noble idea into a federal monstrosity that does more harm than good to our educational system in Idaho.

There is a role for the federal government to play in education ˆ I agree with congressional candidate Sheila Sorensen that the U.S. Department of Education should set educational goals, not standards. There‚s a big difference, and what may work well in one school district may fail horribly in another. Sorensen has also talked about using the Department of Education as a clearing house for best practices ˆ a resource for educators to use to find out what is working for some teachers, and what isn‚t working for others. One thing is clear, cookie-cutter solutions won‚t prove effective in educating our children.

Sorensen has practical solutions in mind when it comes to improving education. Throughout her entire legislative career Sheila Sorensen sought out sensible solutions. If we send her to Congress, we can expect her to address federal legislation with this same approach.

--Jane Crase,


Reader's View

As a post-abortive woman and soon to be licensed RN, I know the importance of receiving complete, un-biased, and accurate information before giving consent for a medical/surgical procedure. Especially one that will impact the health and psychological well-being of women for the rest of their lives.

I applaud and thank Rep. Bill Sali, Rep. Janice McGeachin, and Sen. Bunderson for their hard work this session. They courageously stepped in and defended the rights of women and the pre-born. Despite fierce opposition, they persevered and made this legislation happen. Before you jump on the band-wagon of attack against Rep. Sali, you should make an effort to become better informed.

Although much controversy has been raised in the last several days, and the media has distorted some of the facts, Rep. Bill Sali is to be commended for compassionately and courageously upholding the dignity of women by standing up for the truth regarding the possible effects of abortion on women.

It is important that we be willing to speak out and bring awareness to our community about the negative effects of abortion. These physical, emotional, and spiritual consequences of abortion are real, and often very devastating.

Through several studies over the last several years, it has become apparent that a link does exist between abortion and breast cancer.

It has been shown that abortion is a risk factor for breast cancer. Abortion does increase the risk that a woman will develop breast cancer, especially if she has an abortion during her first pregnancy, at a young age, and/or if she already has other risk factors present.

Our legal system seems to agree that a link exists between abortion and breast cancer. In recent years, 3 lawsuits have been settled out of court regarding this issue. This has demonstrated that legally, it is important and necessary for women to be warned of their increased risk of breast cancer after having an abortion.

To conjecture that Mr. Sali was implying that all women who have had breast cancer have had abortions is ludicrous. Have all people diagnosed with lung cancer been smokers?

Remember, it took huge lawsuits and many deaths and diagnosis of cancer before the tobacco industry was held responsible for warning its consumers of the risks they faced from smoking. This is much the same. Huge money is to be lost when the link between abortion and breast cancer is firmly and publicly recognized. The abortion industry doesn't want us to know, thus, they will do what they can to refute the evidence.

It is crucial that even if the smallest possibility exists that abortion will increase a woman's chances of developing breast cancer that we provide her with that information. She deserves to be fully informed and educated regarding her risks and her possible choices. Let's make sure we give her nothing less than the truth.

Even the Planned Parenthood Federation of America has admitted that a link exists, "Interruption during the first trimester of a first pregnancy causes a cessation of cell differentiation, which may result in a subsequent increase in the risk of cancerous growth in these tissues." (1994).

If you need solid medical evidence, see the following medical journal articles for more information. (1) Thorp, J.M., Hartmann, K.E., and Shadigian, E. (2002). Long-term physical and psychological health consequences of induced abortion: review of the evidence. Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey. 58 (1), 67-79. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc. (2) Schlafly, A. L. (2005). Legal implications of a link between abortion and breast cancer. Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. 10 (1) 11-14. Tucson. AAPS.

--Barbara Gough, ASN

Regional Coordinator, Silent No More Awareness Campaign

Director, Silent No More Idaho


Volunteer Coordinator, Bill Sali for Congress

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