Details announced for NH’s March for Life 2013

New Hampshire Right to Life, principal organizer of the state’s annual March for Life, has just released the schedule for next month’s event. The date is Saturday, January 19, in Concord. The main event is the rally on the State House plaza at 11:15 a.m. followed by the march itself beginning at 11:45. The route begins at the plaza and goes south on Main Street to St. John the Evangelist Church, passing the Feminist Health Center abortion facility on the way.

Lunch will be available after the march (donations accepted) in the St. John’s activity center, 72 South Main Street, and a program will follow from 1-3 p.m.

Earlier in the day, at 9 a.m., there will be a brief memorial service at the Concord landfill on Old Turnpike Road, commemorating the aborted children whose bodies are buried there with the trash. Some years ago, human fetal remains were spotted in the landfill and were quickly traced to a local abortion provider, who was ultimately reprimanded for improper disposal of “medical waste.” Pro-life activists were unsuccessful in their attempts to have the remains removed from the landfill to be given a dignified burial. Every year since then, people have come together on the day of the state March for Life to pray at the site.

For more information, go to www.nhrtl.org or call the Right to Life office at 603-626-7950.

 

 

 

My December Lists: Gratitude & Favorites

Why not “My Christmas Lists”? Because it’s Advent, silly.

Four retiring (for now) elected officials from New Hampshire who deserve a lot more credit than they’ll ever seek:

  • Executive Councilor Dan St. Hilaire (R-Concord), whose votes on Title X contracts put him into a spotlight he never sought but refused to dodge. 
  • Senator Fenton Groen (R-Rochester), who stepped down to concentrate on his family-run business. A more compassionate man would be tough to find.
  • Rep. Sue DeLemus (R- Rochester), who lost her re-election bid. Her own experience as a post-abortive woman informed every vote she cast on the life issues. She brooked no nonsense when anyone in the room started up about “choice” when what was meant was “abortion.”
  • Rep. Kathy Lauer-Rago (R-Franklin), who chose not to run again, preferring to put future efforts into school choice initiatives. Among other things, she co-sponsored informed consent legislation as well as a resolution commending pregnancy care centers.

Two candidates I hope I’ll hear from again: Debi Warner and Michael Tierney, just because they both have good humor and tenacity to spare.  Dr. Warner, a psychologist from Littleton, ran unsuccessfully for the state senate in district 1. She’s a gem and a credit to her district. Tierney, a pro-life attorney, ran for Executive Council in a district that was drawn to make roadkill out of any Republican nominee, as I described here .  He got 42% of the vote as a first-time candidate.

Candidates I hope I never hear from again: Nope. Not going there. This is about gratitude.

One newly-elected state representative I’ll be watching: Jane Cormier. This lady is fasten-your-seat-belt material. Watch & be amazed at her July 17 speech at the Values Bus tour in Concord.

New Hampshire’s most underrated pro-life activists of 2012: The students of the College of Saint Mary Magdalen in Warner. They made my day anytime they came to Concord with their public, polite, unapologetic witness for life. I tip my hat to College president Dr. George Harne.

Events that encouraged me this year:

  • All three religious freedom rallies held in Concord.
  • The first meeting with other charter school parents after the state Board of Ed started playing games with funding this fall. Kate Baker‘s determination is an amazing phenomenon. Read about her work with NEO New Hampshire .

Three books I loved this year:

  • Peace, They Say by Jay Nordlinger,  about the Nobel Peace Prize and its winners – some deserving, some outrageous, some nearly forgotten. Smooth writing, enlightening reading.
  • Unplanned by Abby Johnson, which has pride of place as the first book I bought for my Kindle. Johnson walked away from the abortion industry, after spending years defending it. Some of her most incisive comments are about the pro-lifers she encountered along the way, not all of whom did their cause credit.
  • 50 Hikes North of the White Mountains by Kim Nilsen, about which I’ve already raved in my Granite State Walker blog.

Three sites I bookmarked this year:

  • Conscience Cause (www.consciencecause.com) was created by defenders of religious liberty moved to action by the HHS mandate. The site is simple and straightforward, and it explains the mandate while providing links to more information.
  • Patheos (www.patheos.com) claims to be “hosting the conversation on faith.”  It’s a sprawling, rowdy web site with something to engage and enrage everyone. There are diamonds in the dust, though, and about once a week I find something particularly thought-provoking.
  • National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com) is my favorite site for news and commentary, because that’s where I can get Jay Nordlinger & Jonah Goldberg & Kathryn Lopez all in one place.

Three things I can celebrate now that the 2012 campaign is over:

  • Family dinners. I now could honestly sit at my dinner table with a bowl of corn flakes and love it as long as it’s with my family.
  • Reading the paper. I mean real made-from-trees paper. I get plenty of my news online, but with the campaign’s time crunches, that was my only way to stay current. The Saturday after the election, I sat at my kitchen table with the Union Leader and the weekend Wall Street Journal and spent an unhurried hour reading them. What a splendid luxury.
  • Going to Mass at my home parish, since I’m no longer in a different town every weekend.
  • And all of the above must be qualified with “…until next time.”

About Time: an Alternative to Guttmacher Institute

I note with great pleasure the rollout of the Charlotte Lozier Institute. The Lozier Institute is the education and research arm of the Susan B. Anthony List, which promotes the election of pro-life women and men to Congress. The Lozier Institute looks to me like a breakthrough in policy research.

For years, the Guttmacher Institute has been relied upon by policymakers at all levels for statistical information about abortion and reproductive health care (which are two different things – repeat after me: abortion is not health care). Formerly an arm of Planned Parenthood, the organizations allegedly split in the late 1970s. However formal the split may be in a legal and financial sense, Guttmacher is hand-in-glove with PP on policy.

Guttmacher’s statistics and findings are given entirely too much credence at the State House, as I’ve seen through the years. I have to remind lawmakers from time to time that any “statistics” Guttmacher reports about New Hampshire are based on voluntarily-reported information from abortion providers, since the state of NH does not collect abortion statistics. Most of the NH statistical information reported to Guttmacher about abortions comes from PPNNE. PPNNE then sends its lobbyist to Concord to fight efforts to enact a bill to require the state to collect statistics. PP-reported figures go to Guttmacher, which bases policy research on those numbers, and then the research is used by PP to advance its mission. Fuzzy math, cozy relationship.

I am looking forward to learning what the Lozier Institute is able to do to provide a clearer picture of how abortion is affecting us as individuals and as a community. It’s encouraging to know that the parent organization, SBA List, has been extremely supportive of efforts in NH and elsewhere to require public health authorities to gather accurate information. How many abortions in NH? How old are the mothers? At what gestational age are pregnancies terminated? What about morbidity and mortality for the mothers, both short- and long-term? Who’s doing these procedures? Where?

I recommend supporting the Lozier Institute’s research. It will take time, but I hope legislators and public health officials will soon see that Guttmacher isn’t the only kid on the block.

On WH Tours, Preborn Children Count

Do not adjust your sets, as the saying goes. This is a truth-stranger-than-fiction item. I have not seen the original document on which the story is based, and if it turns out to be bogus, I’ll be right back to offer my profound apologies.

LifeNews.com reports here that pregnant visitors to the White House are supposed to register their preborn children as visitors in their own right when booking a White House tour. This is mind-boggling, coming from a consistently pro-abortion Administration. Anyone care to ask Jay Carney about this at the next press briefing?

Introduction: “Still Talking About This”

“I can’t believe we’re still talking about this.”
I must have heard those words fifty times in the past year in Concord, spoken by fellow citizens who style themselves “pro-choice” and are truly surprised that pro-lifers are still active.

Still talking about what? About abortion, how it became legal, and how it has grown into a lucrative business for abortion providers; about women facing challenging pregnancies and sometimes facing the aftermath of terminating those pregnancies; about paying for it and subsidizing the industry.  We’re still talking because there is no way to shut down a debate when lives are at stake.

To the great dismay of abortion advocates, New Hampshire legislators in the past year have taken up a number of bills that touch on abortion.  Every session has some abortion debate, but 2011-12 has been remarkable for the sheer volume of life-issue legislation. Most of the bills are consistent with U.S. Supreme Court decisions that are based on Roe. With the exception of two measures to ban late-term abortion and “partial-birth” infanticide, the bills provide mere regulation, long-overdue and badly needed. One bill is simply an attempt to get the state to order abortion providers to report statistics.

New Hampshire currently is the Wild West where abortion law is concerned. Women’s safety and public health policy would seem to call for a degree of regulation and oversight, even if one were to put aside the fact that each abortion takes a human life. Abortion advocates are  loud and angry over each and every one of the bills, however, drawing no distinction among parental notification (enacted over a veto), funding restrictions, statistical reporting, and a late-term ban. To them, it’s all one big attack on Choice, part of a larger effort to set women back.

This is worse than nonsense. What I see being set back are the rights of women and men who choose not to pay even indirectly for the operation of an abortion facility.  I see people lobbying to keep abortion undocumented, so that public health officials will continue to be in the dark about how many New Hampshire women make this “choice” every year. I hear testimony to the need for eugenic abortion, which is a throwback to one of the 20th century’s worst ideas. I hear women who should know better equate a 24-hour waiting period with an outright ban on abortion.

Both in New Hampshire and elsewhere, we need to meet this with more than hand-wringing and the occasional letter to the editor. I offer this blog as a tool and a guide to action for all who share my determination to bring an end to the carnage wrought by Roe. I will undoubtedly use the blog sometimes just to vent. At all times, though, I am mindful that if I do this right, I’ll be reaching people who disagree with me. Persuasion is always possible. Of course, I have no doubt that someone over on the other side is working to persuade me right back. Fair enough.

I write as a woman who came of age in the years shortly after Roe v. Wade. When I was in high school and a dear friend “had” to have an abortion, I chipped in with some friends for the $250 cost. I found the idea of abortion regrettable & uncomfortable, but it was after all my friend’s body & my friend’s choice. Over the following five years, many experiences combined to leave me incapable of denying the humanity of the child in uteroThe dignity of both mother and child are absolute, regardless of what any court may decide.

Just as the state rep who heads the Reproductive Rights Caucus is careful to mention that she’s Catholic, I should be candid about my religious background. While raised Catholic, I spent most of my adolescence shrugging off religion. Later, it wasn’t being Catholic that made me pro-life. It was recognizing the miracle of life that brought me back to professing the Catholic faith. This has been significant in more ways than I could have imagined when I was a young woman.

As for politics, I call myself a recovering Republican. I fall off the wagon now and then, but I am a registered “undeclared” voter, in New Hampshire parlance. The rest of the world knows me as “independent.” It is true that nearly every candidate I support runs as a Republican. It is also true that GOP leaders tend to take pro-life voters for granted. By not signing up with the party, I can help whatever candidates I choose, and the party need not get annoyed with me for failing to back every candidate on the ticket.

So yes, we’re still talking about this. Pro-lifers cannot be effective if they stay huddled together. I propose that we step out in faith and leaven the loaf of public discourse. Let’s begin.