Attendees pose with signs for photos at the Idaho Democratic Convention on June 18, 2022, in Downtown Boise. (Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Capital Sun)
The Idaho Democratic Party approved a resolution Saturday at its statewide convention that opposes laws that restrict abortion and calls for supporting access to reproductive health care.
Protecting abortion and reproductive rights have been themes during the first two days of the Idaho Democrats’ convention in downtown Boise. Several Democratic political candidates, legislators and delegates called for protecting and codifying the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in light of a leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion published this spring that would overturn Roe v. Wade’s guarantee of a right to an abortion.
Idaho has a trigger law in place, passed by the 2021 Idaho Legislature, that would criminalize abortion as felony in the state 30 days after any U.S. Supreme Court decision is issued that overturns Roe v. Wade.
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The Democrats’ resolution was adopted by a voice vote of convention delegates.
It states, in part, that “the Idaho Democratic Party supports access to reductive health care and the right of persons to bodily autonomy” and “the Idaho Democratic Party opposes laws restricting abortion and pregnancy prevention methods.”
Resolutions can be thought of as value statements that include calls to action.
Delegates also approved a slate of other resolutions, including resolutions that call for increasing voting accessibility and maximizing early voting options, protecting library collections and library personnel and supporting Reclaim Idaho’s Quality Education Act ballot initiative, which would increase funding for education by raising corporate income tax rates from 6% to 8% and crating a new tax bracket for Idahoans making more than $250,000 as individuals.
New Idaho Democratic Party platform calls for support for education and equity for all Idahoans
On Saturday, convention delegates also approved the 2022 Idaho Democratic Party platform, which calls for supporting quality and accessible health care for all and equity, justice and opportunity. The platform itself does not specifically mention Roe v. Wade, abortion rights or access to reproductive health care.
The platform is intended to reflect the beliefs, values and policies of the party, said Rep. Colin Nash, D-Boise. A platform committee worked on drafts of the party platform for about a month. Based on feedback from the convention on Friday, the platform committee shortened its drafts to focus more on concise value statements as opposed to detailed policy proposals.
“The Idaho Democratic Party does not stand for one issue or position; we have a broad set of policies that we believe in,” Nash told convention delegates.
Committee members read the platform aloud in English and in Spanish.
The party platform delegates approved Saturday is based on:
- A quality education for every student.
- An economy that works for all.
- Equity, justice and opportunity for all.
- Quality and accessible health care for every Idahoan.
- Strengthening democracy, fighting extremism and ending corruption.
- Protecting natural resources.
“This platform is exactly what I want to go sell to Idaho,” Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Terri Pickens Manweiler told delegates. “It’s exactly what I want to talk to every single Idahoan about when I visit their communities, their counties — rural and urban — and it will give me an opportunity to inject my own personal beliefs in the platform and it doesn’t pigeon toe me to something that may or may not be something I can get elected on. This platform will get me to be your next lieutenant governor.”
About 250 people attended the convention, including 113 delegates and 40 proxy delegates, organizers said. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this was the party’s first convention since 2018. The Democrats’ convention began on Friday with speeches by Manweiler and gubernatorial candidate Stephen Heidt.
The convention concludes Sunday in downtown Boise with the Black caucus breakfast.
The Idaho Republican Party’s convention runs July 14 through July 16 at College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls.
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