Infanticide Without Representation

Want to change the stigma around infanticide? Easy: just rename it. The catch-all term “reproductive rights” will cover it. That’s the protocol that’s been adopted by my Member of Congress, at any rate.

Congressman Chris Pappas
Congressman Chris Pappas (D-NH)

I recently sent an email message to Congressman Chris Pappas (D-NH) regarding the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. I asked him to support a discharge petition that would bring the bill to the House floor for a vote. I pointed out that the bill was about taking care of newborn children who survive attempted abortion. I said that I knew we disagreed on abortion, but surely we could find common ground on caring for infants.

What I received in return was an email from Pappas’s office about his support for reproductive rights. It was obviously a form letter, designed to address anything even remotely touching on abortion. Just one problem there: I hadn’t written to him about reproductive rights; I had written to him about caring for newborns.

Congressman Chris Pappas thinks caring for newborns is a threat to reproductive rights, if those newborns are the survivors of an attempt to kill them in utero. This is the man representing my district in Congress.

Here’s his message in full. Note well the contact information he kindly provides at the end.

Thank you for contacting me regarding reproductive rights. I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me, as it helps me better represent you and New Hampshire’s priorities in Congress.

I believe that every American is afforded the right to privacy and should have the freedom to make personal decisions about their health care.  I am committed to ensuring that women have access to the full range of reproductive health care choices. As a nation, we should focus on our common ground and shared goals – educating our children on sexual health, bolstering economic opportunity, and protecting our civil liberties.

Access to proper health care should be a right, and when women are denied the freedom to make their own personal health care decisions we not only limit their liberties but also their economic opportunities. We owe it to ourselves and to our neighbors to be as compassionate and understanding of their personal medical decisions as possible. Please know that I will keep your views in mind when considering legislation concerning reproductive rights.

Thank you again for sharing your thoughts on this important matter, and I look forward to keeping in touch. I strive to maintain an open dialogue with the people of New Hampshire about issues that matter to our state. If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact my Washington, DC office at (202) 225-5456 or my Dover office at (603) 285-4300. I also encourage you to keep up with the work I am doing by signing up for my weekly update at https://pappas.house.gov/contact/newsletter.

“We owe it to ourselves and to our neighbors to be as compassionate and understanding of their personal medical decisions as possible.”  That sentence only makes sense in the context of the born-alive bill if you think infanticide is a “personal medical decision.” Someone else’s decision, of course; the doomed child has no voice.

“Access to proper health care should be a right…” Abortion isn’t health care, and neither is infanticide.

A change of heart is always possible, even for Members of Congress. My Congressman needs to hear from people who have enough compassion and understanding to assure him that’s it’s OK to support care for newborn children who have survived abortion.

More than once in the course of writing about life-issue legislation, I’ve asked a question: is a woman seeking abortion entitled to a terminated pregnancy or a dead baby? What happens when the induced abortion results not only in termination of pregnancy but in a live birth? In an uncharitable moment, I wrote that the dead-baby caucus was in charge.

I guess I was right.

In related news, the next Congressional election will be on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

A contrast in N.H. Second Congressional District race

In New Hampshire’s Second Congressional District this November, incumbent Ann McLane Kuster faces Jim Lawrence.

I’ve had occasion to mention each of them before. Here’s a quick review.

Jim Lawrence files his candidacy papers with NH Secretary of State, 2016. Ellen Kolb photo.
Jim Lawrence files his candidacy papers with NH Secretary of State, 2016. Ellen Kolb photo.

Jim Lawrence’s statement to pro-life voters at a rally, as he sought the GOP nomination for the 2nd District in 2014:

“I have always been a strong advocate for protecting the sanctity of life. During my three terms in the New Hampshire House as a state representative, I was a strong voice for the pro-life movement with a perfect voting record supporting pro-life issues. This is one of the reasons I was selected by my colleagues to be one of three House members to speak on the House floor in support of parental notification. Representative Ann Kuster is wrong on this issue and many others. This is why I am running to defeat her this November. If I am elected to be your Congressman, I will continue my resolve to support pro-life issues just as aggressively as I have before.”

Ann Kuster, accepting NARAL’s endorsement in 2014, chose a macabre if apt visual backdrop.

Congresswomen Ann Kuster (D-NH) accepts NARAL endorsement, 10/20/14.
Congresswomen Ann Kuster (D-NH) accepts NARAL endorsement, 10/20/14. Photo taken from Cornerstone PAC press release, http://eepurl.com/6thWX.

I wrote at the time, “NARAL-NH has endorsed Ann Kuster for re-election. That was altogether predictable. What I couldn’t have predicted is that a member of Congress would think it clever to stand in front of a skeleton figure while accepting an endorsement for her abortion advocacy. If a picture is worth a thousand words, I need say no more about this.”


 

Weekend Reading: know your rights; Zika; women betraying women

Gerard Nadal, M.D.: A doctor takes on the betrayal by the Supreme Court’s women – of other women (gerardnadal.com)

“As chemical abortions take deeper root, and as hospitals increasingly absorb the lucrative business from the closing of local clinics, the issue of the Texas law will shrink in importance; but the abandonment of women by all three women on the highest court in the land will live and grow in infamy. It will be seen by future generations for what it truly is.” Read the rest of the post.

Jonathan S. Tobin: Planned Parenthood undoes a Zika bill (commentarymagazine.com)

“Funding for Zika was defeated in the Senate on…when Democrats voted it down. Like all Congressional spending bills, this one contained a variety of provisions that came out of the dickering between the two bodies. Among the ‘poison pills’ that offended Democratic sensibilities was a provision that excluded Planned Parenthood from the funding…

“Yet the reason this bill failed can be boiled down to one memo and the memories of the government shutdown crisis of 2013. Faced with the choice of either offending Planned Parenthood or failing to pass a bill that provided the Zika money they had been demanding be allocated for months, the Democrats chose the latter. Moreover, they did so because they were also sure that no matter how partisan and divisive their own behavior, Democrats have come to believe that the media will blame Republicans for any Congressional standoff.” Read the rest of the post.

40 Days for Life podcast: what are your rights on the sidewalk?

From the 40 Days for Life headquarters’ podcast library comes reassuring information about the rights of peaceful witnesses outside abortion facilities. Here’s the link; the relevant information begins around the 8:45 mark.