A resolution encouraging residents to "mourn the innocents" lost to abortions by flying flags at half-staff easily passed the Idaho House on Wednesday, one week after it sailed through the state Senate.
The resolution, promoted by the pro-life organization Day of Tears, says "more than 62 million unborn children have perished" since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its Roe v. Wade decision on Jan. 22, 1973, legalizing abortion nationwide.
The resolution, which passed the House 48-20, designates every Jan. 22 as the "Day of Tears," on which the "citizens of Idaho" are "encouraged to lower their flags to half-staff to mourn the innocents who have lost their lives to abortion."
Legislatures in West Virginia, Alabama, Louisiana and Arkansas have passed similar resolutions.
State Rep. Barbara Ehardt, a Republican, sponsored the resolution.
"What we're actually doing is we are creating a day of remembrance, it's helping us to remember an egregious wrong that's been perpetrated on our kids, on the United States," Ehardt said, according to KTVB.
"And I hope we don't have to continue to remember it because I believe that in less than a year from now, we are going to be able to celebrate because the laws are going to be changed and it's going to be sent back to the states as it should," she added, referencing an upcoming Supreme Court decision that is expected before July. "That is my hope."
Opponents charged that the resolution was politicizing the flag.
"This isn't about whether you're pro-life or pro-choice. … Your vote today should not be informed in any way, shape or form by your feelings about abortion and its legality," said House Minority Leader Ilana Rubel, a Democrat. "This is about the proper treatment of our flag. Period. Full stop."
The resolution, Ehardt said, is not forcing anyone to lower the flag.
"For private businesses to consider lowering their flags at half-staff, there's no mandate," Ehardt said. "There's nothing that would fly in the face of honoring others who pass on, but we will admit that we lowered that flag for many reasons and to honor a large segment who's no longer here, I believe, would be a good use of those who would like to join in with this."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/September15
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.