Weekend Reading: when a 14-year-old fears losing abortion access

You may have seen this post from TheFederalist.com already, since it has (quite rightly) been shared far and wide since it went up on December 14. Read and ponder If George Stephanopoulos’s Daughter Wants An Abortion, Can I Have Her Baby?

You may think that an odd title. Joy Pullman, author of the post, explains it.

On “The View” Tuesday, George Stephanopoulos’ wife Ali Wentworth claimed the couple’s 14-year-old daughter reacted to Donald Trump’s win by “screaming ‘no abortions’ really loudly”….Wentworth said both their daughters were terrified by Hillary Clinton’s loss.

Pullman continues:

Well, I can’t get inside this child’s head or this family’s atmosphere. But it sure sounds like someone has been frightening this young lady, and that someone is not Donald Trump. Somewhere this child got the ideas that a) women should vote according to whatever politician most supports their power to evacuate their uteruses at will, and b) Trump can ban abortion.

Pullman could have taken several directions after this. She chooses to write a message to the frightened 14-year-old, who according to her mother “hasn’t kissed a boy yet” and is thus dealing with abortion only on a what-if level.

With the help of the many people everywhere in this country and world who are waiting to surround and support you, you can go through pregnancy and birth and raise your child. If you are really young or in really terrible circumstances, that might be exceedingly difficult. So you have another option to give your child a happy life with a mother and father who will read him or her picture books, take your child on walks, hold your child’s hand during an emergency room visit, and wake up a dozen times a night when that sweet baby has a fever.

It’s called adoption. Thirty-six vetted, loving, wonderful families are on waitlists to adopt every single available baby in this country.

Don’t settle for the excerpts I’ve provided here. The full post is worth your time.  Joy Pullman could have spent 500 words on a political approach or on criticizing the young woman’s parents – and how many of us would have been unable to resist doing that, if the post had been ours to write? Instead, she deals with politics and parenting as briefly as possible before turning her attention to the fearful 14-year-old.

Maybe the information and encouragement Joy Pullman offers the young woman can reach her parents as well.


 

The next hundred days

Donald Trump is president-elect. All of New Hampshire’s Members of Congress and U.S. Senators next term will be pro-abortion women. In a contest between two men who have voted repeatedly to send public money to abortion providers, the New Hampshire governor’s race went to the candidate with one fewer PP contract nod to his credit.

No whining. There’s work to be done.

Politicians are deciding which policies they want to push hardest in their first days and months in office. The first hundred days set the tone for the rest of the term.

The politicians have to wait until they’re formally sworn in. Voters don’t. For us, the first hundred days start now.

balloons-cropped

Since culture precedes politics:

Spend time with family. Don’t let politics steal your joy.

Spend time with friends with a sense of humor.

Pray if you are so inclined, and include regular time for prayer in community. Literally put this on your calendar now, before the November and December holidays crowd everything out. Pray for civil recognition of the innate right to life of each human being. Pray for discernment. Pray in thanksgiving. Pray for elected officials. Pray to keep the long view in mind.

If you’re already volunteering or working for a pro-life agency or project, re-commit for 2017 – and tell others about your work.

At Pathways Pregnancy Care Center (l-r): Angel Marshall, Lesley Wotten, Gail Betts, Betty Reeg, Shannon Buteau (with daughter Willa),Kathy Perry.
Staff and volunteers at Pathways Pregnancy Care Center in Littleton, New Hampshire. All photos in this post by Ellen Kolb.
And then:

Put the Governor’s office on speed-dial (603-271-2121). Chris Sununu will be sworn in as governor January 5.

vote checkmarkGo to your town clerk’s office and become an independent voter. Make your involvement with political parties situational and tactical. A party with a pro-life platform does not necessarily have a full slate of pro-life candidates.

Swear off donations to political parties. Donate to individual campaigns or pro-life PACs instead. If a party solicits your support, ask politely if they can guarantee that your money will never be used to elect a pro-abortion politician. (That’s a trick question.)

Make a list of your elected representatives for 2017, state and federal, with contact information. For starters, here’s a link to the new New Hampshire House roster.


Become familiar with the nh.gov website, especially the pages for the General Court (legislature), Executive Council, and Governor. Learn how to read the legislative and Council calendars.

Once the legislative session begins in early January, stay informed on life-issue bills being considered. On the state level, I hope you’ll find this blog to be one trustworthy resource.

Make one trip to the State House just to take a tour. Soak up the atmosphere. It’s your State House.

Reps Hall (800x600) (640x480)

Learn the basics of testifying before the legislature. The Diocese of Manchester is one resource.

When politicians say “women’s health” when they mean “funding abortion providers”, call them out. Every. Single. Time

U.S. Senators and Members of Congress take office January 3. On that day, email or write Carol Shea-Porter, Ann Kuster, Jeanne Shaheen, and Maggie Hassan with your good wishes. Identify yourself as a pro-life New Hampshire voter.

The week of January 22 (anniversary of Roe v. Wade), go to your federal representatives’ local offices and introduce yourself to the staff. Deliver a short, upbeat pro-life message.

Send President Trump a pro-life message on Inauguration Day via email or phone.

Personally invite someone you know to join you when you attend a hearing or a rally or when you stop by a politician’s office.

Tell your own story. You have one: caring for a fragile loved one, experiencing a challenging pregnancy, witnessing on the sidewalk, living with a disabling condition, any number of things. Share what you know. Get comfortable doing that. Then be willing to tell your story to legislators and policymakers.

Commit to public witness.

  • Be part of New Hampshire’s march for life on January 14. Watch nhrtl.org for more details. There will be events that day beginning as early as 9 a.m. If you can do only one thing, go for the midday march that begins at the State House. Bring your kids, and bundle up.
  • Attend the March for Life in Washington on January 27. If you can’t afford the trip, donate a dollar or two to someone who’s going,  as a token of solidarity and encouragement.
  • Participate in a prayer vigil outside an abortion facility.  If you can make a weekly or monthly commitment, so much the better. See nhrtl.org for a list of ongoing events statewide with contact information.
hundreds strong at the 2013 March for Life in Concord
March for Life in Concord

“Like” and follow Manchester, New Hampshire’s 40 Days for Life Facebook page. 

Arrange a carpool to Concord the day of a hearing on a life-issue bill. Hearing dates will be announced beginning in January.

If you are a health care professional, prepare to testify to public officials in defense of the right to life. I assure you that your colleagues with different views are already active.

Attend conferences like the one recently sponsored by the Diocese of Manchester on “Understanding Human Trafficking and What You Can Do.”

If your health care provider isn’t standing up for the right to life for each human being regardless of age, health, or condition of dependency, find another provider for 2017. Let the old one know why you’re leaving.

If you’re upset about any aspect of this election or someone’s reaction to it, get over it.  Every moment spent in recrimination is a moment wasted.

Be charitable, decisive, and relentless.

In political terms, be pro-life like it’s your job – because it is.

Jennifer Robidoux on Pennacook Street
Peaceful prolife witness on Pennacook Street

 

Edited to update links.

Hyde Amendment turns 40; will it get to 41?

The Hyde Amendment, a restriction on taxpayer funding of Medicaid abortions, turns 40 later this week. If you haven’t already discovered the #HelloHyde web site, please check it out. On the home page, you’ll meet some of the Medicaid kids who may owe their lives to the amendment.

Something else you’ll see on the site are the goals of the #HelloHyde coalition: celebrate the lives saved by the Hyde Amendment, and strengthen the amendment so it protects children conceived in violence. (Currently, Medicaid will fund abortions of children conceived through rape or incest.)

The Hyde Amendment is under attack. It has always had its detractors, who now sense a vulnerable moment in this election year. This is just one more thing at stake in November: the politically-connected abortion industry wants more of your money. The people who win seats in Congress will determine whether the industry will get it.

I wrote this today at DaTechGuy Blog, about the anniversary of the Hyde Amendment and what the presidential candidates are saying.

Abortion providers have tried to torpedo the Hyde Amendment since the day it was proposed. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is a determined foe of Hyde.Slate quotes her as saying that it “mak[es] it harder for low-income women to exercise their full rights.” Clinton and candidates in step with her are prepared to coerce all taxpayers into subsidizing abortion.

Donald Trump is reportedly willing to support the Hyde Amendment, according to Marjorie Dannenfelser, chairwoman of Trump’s pro-life coalition.

[Quoting hellohyde.org] The Hyde Amendment’s life-saving impact is hard to overstate. Both supporters and opponents agree that the Hyde Amendment has prevented over a million abortions. The disagreement, sad to say, is over whether that’s a good thing.

Read the rest of the post. 

hellohyde
Graphic by HelloHyde.org

Adoption & the Governor

As the saying goes, even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Case in point: this recent tweet from New Hampshire governor and U.S. Senate candidate Maggie Hassan.

Beautiful.

Each of the children in the photo has a birth mother who whatever her circumstances managed to choose life for her child. We get to see their smiles now. Families get to love them now. And for one day at least, candidate Hassan took a break from promoting the interests of the industry that would have ended the lives of these children in utero upon the mothers’ request.


 

Notes from Exec Council meeting, part 2: meet the Commissioner

For part 1, see Notes and Photos from Council meeting. 

DHHS Commissioner Jeffrey Meyers (standing in foreground at right) at the Executive Council.
DHHS Commissioner Jeffrey Meyers (standing in foreground at right) at the Executive Council.

We know now that every  New Hampshire Executive Councilor knew when the June 29 meeting began how he intended to vote on the family planning contracts with two abortion providers. The prepared statement by Councilor Chris Sununu that was posted to social media immediately after the vote confirmed that his “swing” vote was swung some time ago.

State department heads or their deputies attend Council meetings in order to answer any questions the Councilors may have about proposed contracts. (That’s why most of the chairs in the chamber are taken by the time members of the public arrive.) Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeffrey Meyers was on hand for questions from Councilors Joe Kenney and David Wheeler about the contracts with Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and the Joan Lovering Center.

Meyers, by the way, was confirmed as Commissioner in January. During the confirmation process, he told Councilors that he would bring back a PP contract. He followed through.

The Q and A at the Council meeting – almost entirely thanks to the diligence of Councilors Kenney and Wheeler – highlighted a few things not known by the general public. Family planning funds are tied into behavioral health money, for one thing. Another tidbit: the family planning funds may be used for agency “infrastructure.”

While Meyers’s intention regarding the contracts was clear, one Councilor told me that the actual contracts, totaling over a hundred pages, were not available to him for review until they were posted to the public, five days before the meeting.

[Audio of the June 29 meeting is available on the Executive Council web page.] Continue reading “Notes from Exec Council meeting, part 2: meet the Commissioner”