Ellen KolbFebruary 26, 2015Leave a comment

Taking a field trip to CPAC

Author Eric Metaxas signing books at CPAC '14. The CPAC on-site bookstore is a treat.

Author Eric Metaxas signing books at CPAC ’14. The CPAC on-site bookstore is a treat.

I’ll be heading down to Washington tomorrow for a much-too-short one-day stop at the Conservative Political Action Conference. That’s like trying to do Disney World in a day. As I’ve done during the past two CPACs, I’ll be listening for how candidates address (or ignore) the right to life. Americans United for Life and the Susan B. Anthony List will be offering presentations away from the main stage.

I’ll be tweeting and Instagramming (both @leaven4theloaf) plus posting to Facebook on Friday, with full posts to follow.  I hope you’ll join me online.


Posts from CPAC ’13: day 1, day 2, day 3, photo gallery, & Eric Metaxas’s excellent speech on religious liberty and the Obamacare contraceptive mandate

Posts from CPAC ’14: day 1, day 2, and my free advice for anyone planning to take a trip to CPAC



Ellen KolbFebruary 25, 2015Leave a comment

“The co-founder of NARAL says stop the killing.”

If you can read only one online post today, click away from mine onto this one: “Terry Beatley fulfills promise to former abortion doctor.”   Beatley is a woman whose pro-life journey has taken her to some interesting places, including a face-to-face meeting with Dr. Bernard Nathanson in 2009. Nathanson co-founded the abortion advocacy group NARAL, but he later became outspokenly pro-life.

Read the whole article. The words that jumped out to me, the ones we ought to share far and wide today, are these.

Toward the end of the in-depth interview, Beatley found herself unexpectedly saying: “If you have a message for America, I will gladly deliver it for you. … I will tell your story, the story of deception but also the story of personal redemption.”

Beatley recalled how Nathanson paused for a moment before replying, “Teach of the strategy of how I deceived America and that the cofounder of NARAL says, ‘Love one another; abortion’s not love. Stop the killing; the world needs more love.’”

This very day, NARALPro-Choice America is sponsoring what it calls #StopTheBans day, in an effort to derail late-term abortion legislation nationwide. Nathanson’s message is a fitting answer.

h/t Jill Stanek for bringing the catholicherald.com post about Terry Beatley to my attention. Catholic Herald is a publication of the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia.


Ellen KolbFebruary 22, 2015Leave a comment

Mother Nature’s buffer

Winter observations: New Hampshire, like the rest of the region, is having an exceptionally snowy season. This coincides with the current 40 Days for Life campaign. While a Planned Parenthood lobbyist works the State House halls to urge legislators to keep the buffer zone law, her co-workers in Manchester are letting Mother Nature do the buffering. The sidewalk outside the Manchester facility looked like this when I arrived at 7 a.m. last Thursday for my vigil hour.

Sidewalk at 24 Pennacook Street in Manchester NH, 2/19/15. Planned Parenthood office is on the right.

Sidewalk outside PP in Manchester NH, 2/19/15. Planned Parenthood office is on the right.

Everyone has it tough with all the snow this month. But somehow, I’m not surprised I found this particular sidewalk in the shape it was in last Thursday.

Note the path carved out in the middle of the snowpile. That was done by a member of the local 40DFL leadership team on Wednesday, first day of the 40DFL campaign. Six inches of snow fell after he did the shoveling. What you see in the photo is what I found the following morning. See the wall of snow at the end of the walkway? The other side of that wall is the entrance to the PP patient parking lot. That tells me that the snow was piled there sometime between Wednesday morning and Thursday morning.

Buffer, anyone?

When I saw the situation Thursday, I did my best to clear a few parking spaces at the edge of the street, knowing that Thursday is a big day for sidewalk counseling at the facility year-round, independent of 40DFL. Later in the day, another volunteer took a crack at clearing the sidewalk on PP’s side of the street. One has to be careful to move the snow into the pile – the wall, really – between sidewalk and street. It’s illegal to shovel the snow into the street, just as it’s illegal to trespass on PP property.

PP employee lot was plowed, presumably by a contractor. Where did the contractor put the snow?

PP employee lot was plowed, presumably by a contractor. Where did the contractor put the snow?

From the opposite direction of top picture in this post: PP, the buried sidewalk, the edge of Pennacook Street.

From the opposite direction of top picture in this post, from left to right: PP, the buried sidewalk, the edge of the street.

Pennacook Street across from PP, 2/19/15.

PP’s employee lot on the left, residences on the right, a more-or-less two-way street in between.

The day after these pictures were taken, a citywide even-side-only parking rule went into effect to allow plows widen the streets a bit more. At least one of PP’s neighbors is making inquiries to the public works department about who is responsible for keeping the sidewalk passable. As I said, everyone has it tough while this weather pattern holds.

The snow will melt eventually. With or without it, 40DFL continues.



Ellen KolbFebruary 18, 2015Leave a comment

NH House kills bill to keep taxpayers out of the abortion business

A bill to prevent New Hampshire funds from being used to subsidize abortion providers went down to defeat this morning. Rep. Warren Groen (R-Rochester) sponsored the bill, HB 677,

Here’s the link to the roll call. The vote was 216-142 on an “inexpedient to legislate” (ITL) motion. Voting against the motion was the right thing to do.

A few notes about the vote:

  • Three Democrats bucked their party by opposing the ITL: Roger Berube (D-Somersworth), Amanda Bouldin (D-Manchester), Alan Cohen (D-Nashua). The other 139 votes against ITL came from Republicans.
  • A Republican representative has advised me that the speaker’s leadership team did not take a formal position beyond advising the Republican caucus that the Judiciary Committee had recommended ITL. Majority Leader Jack Flanagan (R-Brookline) and Deputy Speaker Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) voted ITL; majority whip Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) opposed the motion; Speaker Shawn Jasper of Hudson was presiding and did not vote.
  • Thirty-eight representatives are listed as “not voting.” That makes no distinction between excused absences and simply ducking the bill. The House Journal for the day’s proceedings will be ready in a week or so, with excused absences listed.
  • When a similar bill came up in 2012, (HB 228, also sponsored by Rep. Groen), the House voted to pass it, 207-147. The Senate later tabled the bill.


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