Ventriloquists at Work: Hartford Goes After Pro-life Pregnancy Help Center

This is a ventriloquist’s dummy. You can make it say anything you want.

Wikimedia Commons photo of Charlie McCarthy doll with case
“Charlie McCarthy.” Wikimedia Commons photo  

This is a pregnancy help center. The Hartford, Connecticut City Council is trying to treat it like a dummy.

St. Gerard's Center for Life, Hartford CT
St. Gerard’s Center for Life/Hartford Women’s Center, Hartford, Connecticut. (Facebook photo)

A newly-passed Hartford ordinance would require the Hartford Women’s Center, operated by St. Gerard’s Center for Life, to post certain language to address the fears of abortion advocates who think deception is at the core of what the HWC does.

The Hartford Councilors are not the only ventriloquist wannabes out there, just the latest.

A California law seeks to force pro-life pregnancy help centers to promote state-funded abortions via signage inside the centers. That one’s been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra.

The Hartford ordinance passed 7-2 on December 11, a few weeks after a packed-house public hearing. The seven city councilors who voted “yes” had an eye on California case, though. Peter Wolfgang of the Family Institute of Connecticut notes,

…in a last-minute change, the Hartford City Council altered the ordinance so that it goes into effect next July, instead of the original language which had it going into effect 30 days from its passage.

Why next July? Because the Supreme Court’s term – presumably including a decision on the California law – wraps up at the end of June.

Read my post at DaTechGuy blog about the Hartford and California cases and the Family Institute of Connecticut’s statement on the recent Hartford City Council vote

Abortion investigators charged in California; another undercover video released

From LifeSiteNews.com: David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt of the Center for Medical Progress have been charged in California with 15 felony violations of recording confidential conversations in connection with CMP’s undercover investigation of body-parts trafficking by Planned Parenthood affiliates.

Texas authorities tried the same thing awhile ago, and later had to drop the charges.

CMP isn’t backing down. Today, it released a new video featuring a conversation with an Arizona abortionist. The abortion provider talks about Arizona’s law requiring care for children who survive attempted abortion. Seem that the determination of whether a child has survived depends in part on who’s in the room.

Coincidentally, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America is spearheading a #PinkOut day on social media, encouraging PP supporters to sport pink pro-PP profile images and posts. And Then There Were None, an organization for former abortion workers, suggests an alternative:

 

9th Circuit upholds California law requiring pregnancy care centers to advertise abortion

Shannon Bream of Fox News has just reported that the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a California law mandating that pro-life pregnancy care centers advertise abortion services.

The law that went into effect early this year requires pregnancy care centers to post a notice including this language: “California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services (including all FDA-approved methods of contraception), prenatal care, and abortion for eligible women.”

Alliance Defending Freedom represents the plaintiffs challenging the law in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Harris. ADF’s Matt Bowman said today,

“It’s bad enough if the government tells you what you can’t say, but a law that tells you what you must say—under threat of severe punishment—is even more unjust and dangerous. In this case, political allies of abortionists are seeking to punish pro-life pregnancy centers, which offer real hope and help to women. Forcing these centers to promote abortion and recite the government’s preferred views is a clear violation of their constitutionally protected First Amendment freedoms. That’s why other courts around the country have halted these kinds of measures and why we will be discussing the possibility of appeal with our clients.”

Charles Donovan of the Lozier Institute wrote about the law upon its passage.

“The new law’s text was reportedly written by a pro-abortion pressure group. It singles out pro-life facilities. The intent is clearly to put them out of business. Under penalty of crippling fines of $500 and $1,000 per “offense,” the law would make licensed pro-life medical clinics directly contradict their baby-saving mission, and violate their staffers’ consciences, by advertising for abortion providers.

“…What? you ask? No government body would dare impose such a totalitarian violation of Americans’ individual consciences? No lawmaker would dare coerce a group to do the exact opposite of what its whole purpose is? No politician would dare force private entities to refer clients to their competition? No law could tell selected private groups they must utter government-mandated speech, especially speech they regard as damaging to the person receiving it? And surely no court would uphold such an obviously unconstitutional trampling of individual liberty?

“But unbelievably, all this is exactly what has happened.”

 


“Killing is not caring”: L.A. Archbishop slams new assisted suicide law

(h/t to the Diocese of Manchester and the Catholic Education Resource Center for bringing this to my attention.)

Assisted suicide is now legal in California.  Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles is not mincing words as he responds to this human rights disaster. His inspiring statement is full of challenge and resolve. A few excerpts:

With the new “End of Life Options” law we are crossing a line — from being a society that cares for those who are aging and sick to a society that kills those whose suffering we can no longer tolerate.

Our government leaders tell us that granting the right to choose a doctor-prescribed death is compassionate and will comfort the elderly and persons facing terminal and chronic illness.

But killing is not caring. True compassion means walking with those who are suffering, sharing their pain, helping them bear their burdens. Loving your neighbor as yourself is not a duty we fulfill by giving our neighbor a lethal dose of pills.

Assisted suicide represents a failure of solidarity and will only increase the sense of isolation and loneliness that many people already feel in our society. With this new law, we are abandoning our most vulnerable and frail neighbors — dismissing them as “not worthy” of our care and as a “drain” on our limited social resources.

…The proper response to an unjust law is conscientious objection.  And this is an unjust law. 

A person does not stop being a person, does not lose his or her dignity or right to life — just because he or she loses certain physical or mental capacities. Indeed, it is when people are most vulnerable that they are most in need of our compassion and love.

Read the full splendid statement at catholiceducation.org. It’s worth sharing.


One step forward, two steps back: this week in other states

State House, Concord NH
What’s going on under other State House domes?

When it comes to life-issue legislation – and bills on most other topics, for that matter – the Granite State seldom breaks new ground. Watch what’s going on in other states, and you’ll have a good idea of what’s coming up in Concord. Here are a few of this week’s notable items.


NEBRASKA: On May 27, legislators repealed the state’s death penalty. They overrode Governor Pete Ricketts’s veto by a 30-19 vote. (Nebraska has a unicameral legislature.) From the New York Times coverage of the vote: “Opponents of the death penalty here were able to build a coalition that spanned the ideological spectrum by winning the support of Republican legislators who said they believed capital punishment was inefficient, expensive and out of place with their party’s values, as well as that of lawmakers who cited religious or moral reasons for supporting the repeal. Nebraska joins 18 other states and Washington, D.C., in banning the death penalty.”

New Hampshire’s last attempt to repeal the death penalty fell short of passage but gained surprising support from two prominent legislators who had previously been death penalty advocates. One heart at a time …

IDAHO: The federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals may or may not be the Circuit with the most decisions later overturned by the Supreme Court, depending on your source, but here’s the latest from those judges for what it’s worth. Today, they overturned Idaho’s Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. Grounds: parts are “unconstitutionally vague,” create an “undue burden,” and “it categorically bans some abortions before viability.” Help yourself to the whole decision.

CALIFORNIA: On May 26, a bill to compel pro-life pregnancy care centers to promote abortions was passed by the California Assembly. It now goes to the state senate. Apparently, abortion providers are having so much trouble appealing to women that they need to enlist privately-funded pregnancy care centers to help with publicity. See coverage in Breitbart and LifeNews.

Pending hearings in MASSACHUSETTS: Closer to home, Massachusetts Citizens for Life says two interesting bills will have hearings at the State House in Boston on June 2. One would lower the age of consent for abortion to 16, eliminating use of the state’s parental notification statute for minors aged 16 and above. The other, strongly supported by MCFL, would amend the definition of “clinic” in the general laws and would require inspection and licensing of non-hospital abortion facilities.

I recall writing two years ago about the statement by a New Hampshire Health and Human Services official that “there is no such thing as an abortion clinic” in our state. Definitions matter. It will be interesting to see how the Massachusetts bill fares.