Here in Idaho, we talk a lot about a “culture of life” and “family values.” But do our actions and policies reflect these lofty ideals?

For example, we know from data and research that the best way to prevent abortion is to provide access to safe and effective birth control, as well as age-appropriate sex ed. One has only to review the body of research gathered on the National Institutes of Health website to see that abortion bans don’t reduce the number of abortions.

If policymakers were serious about their stated policy position of “protecting life” by reducing abortions, they would use data to craft policies that address the perceived problem.

Instead, we’ve got a situation where women facing life-threatening situations are being airlifted out of the state while the U.S. Supreme Court debates how many organs a woman should be able to lose before her life is considered in danger.

This is a culture of life? Ok, sure.

Our so-called leaders talk a lot about supporting families. But what are they doing to support families of all kinds? Well, first of all, they are selective about what they consider to be “real” families. And that’s an issue right there. They only want to support certain families that they approve of.

The National Bureau of Economic Research finds that each dollar spent on Medicaid for children yields a return of $1.78 in future tax revenue and economic benefit.  So, why are we continually trying to restrict access to affordable healthcare for families in Idaho?

And if we care so much about children, why did our local Senators reject federal funds to feed hungry children over the summer? Even if their concern was the “cost of administration,” we supposedly have these massive budget surpluses. Why aren’t we investing these so-called surpluses in our communities and families?

Our legislators have time to create policies that tell everyone, from librarians to doctors, how they think the job should be done, but can’t be bothered to repeal the sales tax on groceries. Families pay a higher tax on their groceries than my business pays on its income here in Idaho.

Our legislators have all the money in the world to put into slush funds to defend the laws they know are unconstitutional, but suddenly there’s no money available to put into the unfunded affordable housing account. Something that would help families.

Plus, let’s not forget about the cap on the homeowners exemption put in place in 2016. You want to help families stay in their homes? Get rid of the cap and return the exemption’s peg to rising home values. But, no, we’ll let homeowners continue to bear 70% of the property tax burden while legislators pass policies that result in Idaho being one of the states with the highest levels of youth suicide in the country.

Let’s stopping taking these policymakers at face value when they say they support families and life. Because their actions and legislative priorities show they don’t.

Miranda Marquit, Master of Business Administration, is a nationally recognized financial expert, writer, podcaster and speaker. She is chair of the Bonneville County Democratic Central Committee.