Weekend reading, 6/17/16

Here are my favorite items from other blogs this week. Have a wonderful Father’s Day weekend!

Wesley Smith: Declaration Against Euthanasia; “I’ve signed. Have you?”

As California becomes the latest state to legalize assisted suicide, Wesley Smith urges defiance.

“The Physicians’ Alliance Against Euthanasia has an excellent declaration that doctors and lay persons can sign….This is in accord with my urging doctors to hang ‘This is an assisted suicide free zone,’ sign in their offices. The proper response to legalized euthanasia/assisted suicide is total non-cooperation. I’ve signed. Have you?”

Read the full post and the Declaration. 

Danny David: “Congresswoman condemns fetal tissue procurement; ‘this is online shopping for baby body parts'”

Danny David of Live Action News reports on the latest from Congress’s Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, convened to investigate evidence that abortion providers are trafficking in the remains of aborted children. He quotes Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler:

“The Select Panel’s investigation revealed that the Procurement Business technician performs every conceivable task in the harvesting process, immediately after an abortion. For this, the procurement business is charged a fee by the clinic—even though the clinics are not incurring any additional costs in the process. Thus, they are making money off of this horrific act.”

Read the full post. 

Ryan Bomberger of the Radiance Foundation has the meme of the week…

I haven’t read Ryan Bomberger’s new book, Not Equal: Civil Rights Gone Wrong, but with a promo like this, I’m sure inclined to go find it.

 

Texas judge dismisses charge against pro-life undercover journalist

David Daleiden speaking at Values Voters Summit 2015.. Photo by Ellen Kolb
David Daleiden speaking at Values Voters Summit 2015.. Photo by Ellen Kolb

When I last reported on David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress, CMP recordings had just been seized by California officials. It was one more retaliatory legal headache for the journalist whose undercover videos revealed trafficking in body parts by Planned Parenthood affiliates.

Now, another state’s politically-motivated prosecution of Daleiden has taken a hit. A Texas judge has dismissed a charge against Daleiden for trafficking in body parts. You read that right: the local prosecutor decided to go after Daleiden, not Planned Parenthood.

Peter Breen is Special Counsel with the Thomas More Society, which is defending Daleiden. Remarking on the dismissal of the Texas charge, he said, “The Harris County prosecutors were in such a rush to criminalize David Daleiden that they did not properly obtain grand jury approval of each of the elements of the charged misdemeanor.” Breen’s full statement is here.

The judge who dismissed the charge may or may not have been aware of the recent revelation that Planned Parenthood’s legal team received confidential materials about the Daleiden case from the district attorney prosecuting the case.

Breen had something to say about that, too:

“The recent filings by the Harris County District Attorney confirm that the DA shared confidential documents and information with abortion provider Planned Parenthood, colluding with it in the prosecution of David Daleiden. These filings also include evidence that appears to show that the DA’s office worked with Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast to undermine the Texas Attorney General’s independent investigation of that abortion provider. The conduct of Harris County prosecutors in this case is outrageous and illegal. We look forward to pressing our motion to quash this indictment in court.”

I’m sure California prosecutors are keeping an eye on Texas, wondering how far a politically-motivated prosecution can go.

New CMP video questions “consent” for fetal tissue donation


Recordings and other materials belonging to David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress were seized this week by agents for the California Department of Justice. Shortly before the seizure, CMP released this video regarding a Planned Parenthood consent form to be signed by women obtaining abortions. The form claims that donated “fetal tissue” “has been used to treat and find a cure for such diseases as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and AIDS.” On the video, even a PP-supporting doctor couldn’t swallow that.

See more investigative footage on the CMP web site.

The Attorney General in charge of California’s DOJ is Kamala Harris, whose political campaigns have benefited from contributions from PP and other abortion advocacy agencies to the tune of $81,000, according to LifeNews.com. Harris is running for a U.S. Senate seat this year.


PP doctor spills the beans – and still the tax dollars keep flowing

[Update: see Abby Johnson’s open message to Dr. Nucatola: “I used to harvest fetal tissue for Planned Parenthood just like you”]

Want to crash your web site? Post a video of a Planned Parenthood doctor dining on a salad while she describes how the fetal-body-parts market fits into PP’s business model. A pair of undercover reporters posing as buyers for a biologics company captured the conversation on video for The Center for Medical Progress. The video was released today. The Center’s web site looks like this at the moment:

center for medical progress 404

 

Allow me. Here are nine minutes of video that manage to be harrowing without a single graphic bloody image.

Let Dr. Nucatola’s words come back to you the next time you see a “Care, No Matter What” sign.

Planned Parenthood has issued a response to the video. (It’s a hoot to hear PP use the term “well-funded group” as an epithet.) From Eric Ferraro, VP of Communications for Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

“In health care, patients sometimes want to donate tissue to scientific research that can help lead to medical breakthroughs, treatments and cures for serious diseases. Women at Planned Parenthood who have abortions are no different. At several of our health centers, we help patients who want to donate tissue for scientific research, and we do this just like every other high-quality health care provider does — with full, appropriate consent from patients and under the highest ethical and legal standards. There is no financial benefit for tissue donation for either the patient or Planned Parenthood. In some instances, actual costs, such as the cost to transport tissue to leading research centers, are reimbursed, which is standard across the medical field.

“A well-funded group established for the purpose of damaging Planned Parenthood’s mission and services has promoted a heavily edited, secretly recorded videotape that falsely portrays Planned Parenthood’s participation in tissue donation programs that support lifesaving scientific research. Similar false accusations have been put forth by opponents of abortion services for decades. These groups have been widely discredited and their claims fall apart on closer examination, just as they do in this case.”

Did you catch the “lifesaving scientific research” part? Probably won’t help the dead child much. And did you notice that “fetal” never made it into the statement next to “tissue”?

Here in New Hampshire, the Executive Council will meet on July 22. In June, the Council approved family planning contracts with several agencies, but Planned Parenthood of Northern New England was conspicuous by its absence from the agenda. The biennial family planning contract for PP is usually worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Will such a contract come up on the 22nd? If it does, will Dr. Nucatola’s words give the slightest pause to the three Councilors whose support for Planned Parenthood is already a matter of public record?

 

How a landfill figures into NH’s March for Life

Once a year at 9 a.m. on a January Saturday, people gather at the gate outside Concord, New Hampshire’s transfer station and landfill. They pray and hold signs, regardless of bitter weather. They park their cars along the roadside, since no one builds parking lots at landfills to accommodate demonstrations. It seems an odd place for a gathering, especially since there’s a March for Life later in the day a mile or so away, in far more conventional surroundings. Why pray at a landfill?

Because it’s a burial ground. The remains of between fifty and eighty aborted children were discovered there in 1988. It didn’t take long to identify the abortion provider. He was scolded for improperly disposing of medical waste, and he promised to do the job right (incineration?) in the future.  Twenty-seven years later, the dump is now the transfer station, and human remains are still in the former landfill. Annually since 1989, January visitors have gathered to honor the memory of the children.

From NHRTL’s Winter 1989 newsletter

My files yielded up an old New Hampshire Right to Life newsletter, with this account of the aftermath of the discovery of the babies’ remains. I’ve taken the liberty of correcting a couple of typos in the original text.

Babies’ bodies found in Concord landfill: The grisly discovery of the bodies of aborted babies in the Concord Landfill remains a focal point of Pro-life interest this January. Although the news was widely published in Concord, it received only brief mention across the state.

The bodies were discovered by dump workers in trash bags containing medical waste and contaminated material (sic). Further investigation has disclosed that the bodies were traced to the Concord Obstetrics and Gynecology Professional Assoc. It is possible that such “waste material” has been dumped at the landfill illegally for upwards of five years.

New Hampshire Right to Life, along with other concerned individuals and organizations, has been trying to recover the bodies for decent burial. Bishop [Odore] Gendron, of the Roman Catholic Diocese of New Hampshire, has offered to bury the bodies which may be recovered, in land donated by Mount Calvary Cemetery. [Permission for removal of the remains was denied.]

Gov. John Sununu has expressed shock and anger at the find. NH Right to Life has written to ask the Governor’s help in retrieving the most recently discovered bodies, and to seek his influence in passing legislation resubmitted to provide for the proper and dignified disposal of human remains, including fetal remains. This bill is similar to one passed by the [N.H.] Senate in 1986, and killed in the House. Testimony at that time suggested that there was no need for such legislation as no problems existed.

Chairman Marie Taylor of RTL has received cooperation from the Governor and the Attorney General in her attempt to find out as much as possible about this regrettable situation. 

Efforts to have a memorial service at the landfill on Jan. 21 were slowed recently as a permit was refused for inside the dump [property]. Marie Taylor was told that any gathering inside the dump could slow down traffic in and out. NH Right to Life was later granted a permit to allow various religious groups to gather outside the landfill in brief prayer for those babies buried there.

The first gathering: a U.S. Senator makes the trip

Sen. Gordon Humphrey at Concord landfill, January 1989. (Concord Monitor photo)
Sen. Gordon Humphrey at Concord landfill, January 1989. (Concord Monitor photo)

I was at the first memorial service in 1989, as one of the speakers. I hope I was brief; I don’t remember what I said, but I sure remember a biting wind. The featured speaker – and the only reason reporters came to see what was going on – was New Hampshire’s U.S. Senator Gordon Humphrey. (The photo here is a scan of a clipping from the Concord Monitor’s coverage of the event.) He was blunt and refreshing, as was his custom. He wrapped up with a poem he had composed the evening before. I recall the faces of a few bemused reporters who obviously hadn’t expected a literary premiere. The last few lines:

Here lie the remains of helpless infants destroyed, 

Midst filth and rotting trash.

And here lies mercy, and here lies decency,

And here lies virtue, and here lies justice.

With the children, murdered and deeply mourned.

It still happens: news from Rhode Island

Here’s a statement issued this week:

In light of the recent discovery of a fetus in a local sewage facility, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence has reached out to the East Providence police and offered to provide a proper burial in one of their Catholic cemeteries.

Bishop Thomas J. Tobin said, “The fetus that was discovered is a child of God. That it was found in a sewage treatment plant is profoundly disturbing. This baby deserves a decent and dignified burial which the Church is anxious to provide.”

“We also pray for the spiritual and personal well-being of this child’s mother,” Bishop added.

[Update, June 2015: “Unclaimed RI baby finally laid to rest“]

The witness continues

At 9 a.m. this coming Saturday, a small group will gather for prayer outside the gate of the Concord transfer station, just as people have gathered every year since 1989.  Concord neighbors arriving to drop off their trash will wonder what’s going on, and the people who have come to pray will be happy to tell them. There probably won’t be any U.S. Senators on site, and the press coverage will probably be a bit thin.

But still, once upon a time, human remains were dumped there as trash. This bears remembering.