Idaho senator yells at students lobbying for birth control

Idaho senator yells at students lobbying for birth control

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A state senator shouted at University of Idaho students affiliated with Planned Parenthood trying to schedule a meeting with him to discuss birth control and sex education.

Republican Sen. Dan Foreman said he would call law enforcement officials if they attempted to visit his office at the Capitol again.

The students, who had traveled nearly 300 miles (483 kilometers) from the Moscow campus to participate in a Boise lobbying event, were trying to schedule a meeting with Sen. Dan Foreman to discuss birth control and sex education.

Foreman, a Republican from Moscow, emphatically refused to speak with them in an exchange that several people recorded on camera.

"Abortion is murder. I'm a Roman Catholic and a conservative Republican," Foreman is shouting on the video. "I think what you guys are doing stinks."

A voice on the video, which has been posted to multiple social media accounts, can be heard saying "that's your choice."

"It's my choice, so stay out of my office," Foreman said. "Next time you walk into my office, you'll be dealing with Idaho State Police."

Paul Dillon, public affairs director for Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho, said in a phone interview that Foreman's response to their meeting request was scary and students were not at the Capitol to talk about abortion.

Instead, the students were encouraging lawmakers to vote in favor of a bill that would allow women to receive up to a 12-month supply of prescribed birth control and promote better sex education on college campuses.

"He was completely unhinged," Dillon said. "Even if you disagree with what we have to say, there's no excuse for that kind behavior. He was being a bully."

Dillon said his group purposefully scheduled meetings with lawmakers from northern Idaho regions because the students were coming from Moscow.

Foreman did not immediately return a request for comment.

However, Foreman tweeted Monday that Planned Parenthood goes against everything he believes in. He said in a separate tweet that "saving the lives of my constituents" was his priority and students should talk about "killing babies" with Democratic Sen. Maryanne Jordan of Boise.

Jordan said she would be filing a complaint against Foreman to Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill.

"It's one thing to disagree with policy, it's another thing to position something like that against another lawmaker," Jordan said in response to Foreman's tweet on Monday. "This type of behavior is beneath the Idaho Senate."

Ethics complaints against lawmakers are typically anonymous, so while Jordan confirmed she is filing a complaint, she did not disclose many details as to what would be included in the complaint.

Foreman's Twitter account appeared to have been deleted later Monday evening.

Other meetings students scheduled with state lawmakers were peaceful, Dillon said, even if the lawmakers disagreed with their talking points.

Dillon said Sen. Bob Nonini, a Republican from Coeur d'Alene, waved a rosary while talking to students about abstinence but did not shout or demean the students.

This isn't the first time Foreman has been recorded having an outburst. Last year, bodycam video from the Latah County Sheriff's Department showed Foreman swearing and shouting insults with an unseen and unidentified male on Sept. 14 — the first day of the county fair in Moscow.

"Go straight to hell, you son of a (expletive)," Foreman can be heard saying in the footage.

The deputy then asked Foreman to move along.

Foreman has also faced scrutiny over an email response to a constituent's concerns over climate change. Foreman called global warming "nonsense" and said it was a scam used by left-wing fanatics to raise taxes.

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