Top Posts 2017, Part 2: a Hard-Fought Victory

Part one is at this link.

Here are the blog’s top five posts, measured by number of views. We’ll do it like a pageant…runners-up first, ending with the winner.

#5: New Hampshire House Approves Fetal Homicide Bill

State House, Concord NH

Not to put any spoilers in here, but SB 66 – the fetal homicide bill – was the most closely-watched bill of the year in Concord, as far as Leaven for the Loaf’s readers were concerned. You’ll see more about this further along in the list.

This post documents the intense debate and five votes that went into House passage of SB 66.


#4: Pro-life Women Disinvited from Women’s March in Washington, D.C.

There was a Women’s March in Washington in January (how quickly we forget!), and pro-life women were told to stay home and behave themselves. Well, no, we weren’t told to behave – just to stay away.  Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa of New Wave Feminists refused to take that particular order.


#3: 40 Days for Life Local Opening Events

Readers wanted news about the spring 2017 40 Days for Life campaigns. The team in Greenland, New Hampshire continued its faithful witness, while campaign leader Beth Gaby brought 40DFL back to Concord.

The next 40 Days for Life campaign begins February 14, 2018.

40 Days for Life vigil, Concord NH
Final vigil hour, 40DFL Spring 2017, Concord NH

#2: New Contact Information for Federal Reps

The 2016 federal election left readers ready to stay in touch with New Hampshire’s solidly pro-abortion federal delegation. Don’t let up! Maybe it’s time to invite them to the March for Life in Concord or Washington (or Concord AND Washington) so they can broaden their horizons a bit.


#1: Governor Signs Fetal Homicide Law as Families Look On

This one left all of 2017’s other posts in the dust. I wasn’t the only one to rejoice in the signing of a fetal homicide law, almost two decades after the first such bill was introduced in Concord. Sarah and Griffin’s Law was named for two children whose families simply would not quit working for the law.

Families celebrate passage of N.H. fetal homicide law
Moms Deana Crucitti & Ashlyn Rideout (front); dads Nathan Crucitti & Daniel Kenison (rear middle & right) after SB 66 was signed into law.

Governor Chris Sununu followed through on his commitment to sign fetal homicide legislation if it came to his desk. He had plenty of company as he did the deed.

Gov. Sununu signs SB 66
Gov. Chris Sununu signs SB 66, New Hampshire’s fetal homicide law

I went to the State House for the signing ceremony, unsure if I could get in. I had been told it would be a quiet event in the Governor’s office. Didn’t work out that way. Griffin Kenison’s extended family was there, several generations deep. The Crucitti family was there. The elected officials who doggedly persisted in seeing the bill through were there. The festivities were moved to the Executive Council chamber to accommodate the crowd.

I told Griffin’s great-aunt that day that I had just about given up on ever seeing a fetal homicide law in New Hampshire. I’ll never forget the look she gave me as she said, “Shame on you.” She was right. Her family’s hope and persistence will inspire me for a long time to come.

N.H. Student Pro-Life Essay Contest Underway

I’m pleased to share this announcement from the New Hampshire Knights of Columbus.

Respect Life Essay Contest


The NH Knights of Columbus is once again sponsoring a Student Respect Life Essay contest. The contest is open to any Junior High School (grades 6,7,8) and Senior High School (grades 9,10,11,12) student in New Hampshire. The NH Knights of Columbus will make up to six cash awards of $100.

The theme: ”How would you respond to claims that Pro-Life denies a woman’s ‘choice’?”

DEADLINE: Midnight, December 15, 2017

RULES: Essays may not be longer than 500 words; typed, and submitted as a PDF or Word Document via email to Include student name, age, grade, school, parent name and address, phone, parish and email.  Students may obtain help & information, including from parents, teachers, friends, and internet but the essay itself must be their own work.

Further contest details may be obtained from KofC NH contest chairman John P. Matuszewski (603-434-4098) or KofC NH State Pro-Life Chairman Ron Distasio (603-595-7837).

Editor’s Note: As long as we’re looking at opportunities for students, check out the 40 Days for Life app, available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play. Within the app is information about the $4040 College Scholarship available from 40 Days of Life. Full-time graduate or undergraduate students who are involved in the pro-life movement are eligible to receive the scholarship. Application deadline is December 15, 2017. 

Invitation from 40DFL Manchester for October 13, 2017

I’m happy to pass to you this message from Sheila of the Manchester, New Hampshire 40 Days for Life campaign. While this particular observance is addressed to Catholic participants, all 40DFL activities are as always open to all who share the 40DFL mission: bringing together the body of Christ in a spirit of unity during a focused 40-day campaign of prayer, fasting, and peaceful activism, with the purpose of repentance, to seek God’s favor to turn hearts and minds from a culture of death to a culture of life, thus bringing an end to abortion.

As you know, this is the 100 year anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima. The 13th of each month is a special day to honor her under her title “Our Lady of Fatima.” 

If you are familiar with the messages of Fatima, you know they are especially relevant today and most significant in terms of the evil of abortion and bringing the most effective spiritual weapons to bear against the onslaught of Satan.

There are still vigil slots open for October 13th at Planned Parenthood in Manchester. I’d like to make this a day that we have total coverage, and I’d like to hold a special rosary and have the Our Lady of Fatima statue present.

Please let me know as soon as possible if you can come on the 13th, and if so, at what time.

You’ll find contact information for Sheila and the local campaign’s leadership team at That’s where you’ll find the calendar for vigil signups as well.

“…It Takes You” to launch 40 Days for Life

Gatherings in Manchester and Greenland set the stage for New Hampshire’s 40 Days for Life campaign, set to begin September 27. Worldwide, campaigns will soon be underway in more than 300 cities.

Jen Robidoux

Jen Robidoux, vice-president of New Hampshire Right to Life and a former 40DFL campaign leader, told the Manchester crowd, “It doesn’t take a whole bunch of people to make a difference. It takes you. Be that one.” She recalled how her involvement with NHRTL and her work with 40DFL began with personal invitations. Her activism grew out of those one-on-one conversations. “[40 Days for Life] is not an in-your-face campaign. It’s a how-can-I-help-you campaign.”

Sheila DePuydt

Manchester’s new campaign director is Sheila DePuydt, a veteran of 40DFL campaigns in Ohio. She noted the difference between Ohio, where 40 Days for Life is well-known, and New Hampshire, where “that’s not the case.” She’s accustomed to hearing from people who are reluctant to pray outside abortion facilities, preferring to pray at home for all the lives in the balance. While acknowledging the value of such prayer, she pointed out “Jesus did not stay at home.”  “There’s something about physically being there,” peacefully and prayerfully, outside the places where abortion is taking place.

Greenland campaign leader Jackie McCoy reported, “It was sweltering hot yesterday at the Fall, 2017 40 Days for Life Kick off Rally, but that didn’t stop 30 plus people from attending. This will be our 17th 40 Days for Life campaign here at the Lovering Center. The first campaign was in the Fall of 2009.”

40 Days for Life in Greenland NH. Photo provided courtesy of Phyllis Woods.

Sheila provided a handout with guidelines reinforcing the Statement of Peace that every 40DFL participant must sign. One thing on the sheet stood out to me: “Keep in mind that most people are not wanting to know if the unborn is human. They’re wanting to know if you are.”

Music at the Manchester event was provided by students from Northeast Catholic College under the direction of Debbie Harne.

Click here for links to information about local 40DFL campaigns


Taking to the Airwaves for 40 Days for Life

My thanks to Sheila D. and her Manchester 40 Days for Life team for letting me help promote the upcoming 40 Days for Life campaign, and my thanks to Rich Girard for welcoming me to his Girard at Large show. (An uncivil hour, but so goes morning radio!)

Here’s the link:

So who’s in for the campaign’s first hour, 7 a.m. Wednesday, September 27? Check out the campaign near you.