Numb to the sale of body parts? Pretend they’re flags

The Center for Medical Progress isn’t finished documenting Planned Parenthood professionals talking about trafficking in body parts. Here’s today’s release.

News coverage? Journalist and commentator Mollie Hemingway has a piece in The Federalist today headlined “Ideas for reporters struggling to cover Planned Parenthood,” which indicates the apparent trouble her professional colleagues are having with the PP news.

Hemingway sees a difference between press coverage on CMS’s Planned Parenthood videos and another recent news story. Nine people in Charleston, South Carolina were murdered on June 17 by a white supremacist (I’m not even going to say “alleged,” in view of the shooter’s statements). The murders were followed by a controversy over the Confederate flag that (God help us) has virtually eclipsed the people who were murdered. What Hemingway cites from The New York Times gives you an idea of what she found:

“The New York Times has run stories and essays on the Confederate flag 149 times since June 17 (and only 39 of those mention [the murderer]), 41 of those in the first six days. That compares to three stories on Planned Parenthood during the same window, just 7 percent of what you’d expect if the New York Times considered those stories merely of equal importance.”


What would it take for the Planned Parenthood medical professionals in these videos to get the same kind of attention as the Confederate flag, never mind the Charleston murderer? Maybe if the health care [sic] professionals been discussing the sale of Confederate flags rather than body parts, they’d have been hounded out of their jobs and even professions by now. Would PP’s president have apologized merely for the “tone” of the conversations? Would she have doubted the veracity of a video showing her own employees if they’d been discussing procurement of a symbol of the slave-dependent Confederacy?

But no, Dr. Nucatola (the physician in the first video) wasn’t talking about flags. She was talking about intact livers from preborn children. She still has her job, and PP has circled its wagons. And now there’s a new phrase in PP’s vocabulary: “lifesaving medical research.” That’s what intact organs are for, and if you have a problem with that, then … I’ll let PP lobbyists finish the sentence.

Hemingway doesn’t stop with noting a disparity in news coverage. She goes on to suggest to her colleagues that there are some unexplored angles to the PP story. She lists a couple of dozen. For example:

“How far along in a pregnancy must a woman be for her child’s organs to be considered worthwhile for procurement, sale and transfer? How much does the value of a child’s liver, heart, lungs, etc., increase with time? Do the sales of baby organs form a significant enough part of Planned Parenthood’s business model to result in, say, filibustering of protections for late-term unborn children?…How did the Center for Medical Progress obtain the video? Who are they? Why haven’t the media ask[ed] tough questions of abortion clinics, historically? When Indiana passed a religious freedom bill, various media outlets roamed the countryside searching for vendors with religious objections to same-sex marriage, such as the owners of Memories Pizza. What questions might be posed to abortion clinic owners and managers around the country? Does the failure of the media to cover abortion well encourage undercover journalism operations, such as the one by Center for Medical Progress?”

I think this is too important to leave to The New York Times. It took a national reporter (Kirsten Powers) to shame major media outlets into covering Kermit Gosnell – but while the press benches at the Gosnell trial were nearly empty, the Philadelphia Inquirer was there to cover the trial, albeit as a local story. Maybe local reporters need to ask questions of local PP officials – questions like the ones Hemingway proposes.


Mollie Hemingway on Democrats, the abortion lobby, and the human trafficking bill

Mollie Hemingway (photo: thefederalist.com)
Mollie Hemingway (photo: thefederalist.com)

Worth reading in full: Mollie Hemingway of The Federalist writes about how the human trafficking filibuster proves that the abortion lobby controls Democrats.  It doesn’t paint a pretty picture of what goes on in Washington. I wrote a few days ago about how New Hampshire’s senators split on the human trafficking bill.

Hemingway describes the alarming speed with which abortion advocates were able to change the course of the legislation:

“Prior to March 10, no Democrats opposed the bill and Planned Parenthood and NARAL didn’t issue a peep about it. Since the afternoon of March 10, when Barbara Boxer dropped her support and Planned Parenthood decided to launch its public relations campaign against the bill, Planned Parenthood has tweeted some 60 times trying to gin up opposition — more than 60 percent of its tweets during that time. Cecile Richards, the head of Planned Parenthood, tweeted a couple dozen times, also beginning on March 10. And NARAL tweeted against the bill nearly 47 times, again beginning on March 10. Heck, almost like it was all coordinated.”

Read her full post here.


Spread the word: abortion money doesn’t belong in anti-trafficking bill

The U.S. Senate voted this afternoon on the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. New Hampshire’s Senators split, with Ayotte voting yes and Shaheen voting no. While the vote on a procedural motion was 55-43, with four Democratics joining Republicans in the majority, the bill needed 60 votes to advance.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH). Photo by Matthew Lomanno.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH). Photo by Matthew Lomanno.

Understand this: abortion funding is holding up the bill. The Act contains language similar to the Hyde Amendment to prevent any funds allocated under the Act from being used for abortion. Abortion advocates are refusing to support the bill because they can’t squeeze any money out of it for abortion providers.

The bill is stalled because abortion funding is more important to one group of Senators than helping survivors of human trafficking. This is what abortion extremism looks like. Shout that from the housetops.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH (official Senate photo)
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). Official Senate photo.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen was all set with a press release after the vote. “Human trafficking is too important an issue to be stalled because of unrelated measures aimed at restricting women’s access to healthcare. I’m disappointed that partisan language was inserted in this bill that could lead to a dramatic and unprecedented restriction on abortion coverage in the future. We ought to remove that controversial language and act on this bill in a bipartisan fashion.”

Guess what, Senator? Your colleagues DID vote today in bipartisan fashion in favor of the bill.

Senator Shaheen considers taxpayer funding of abortion essential. You want your funds kept away from the abortion industry? That’s a no-no, according to New Hampshire’s senior senator; that’s “restricting women’s access to health care.”

Senator Kelly Ayotte had a statement of her own. “I am disappointed that Senate Democrats are now blocking this measure, and I hope partisan disagreements will be resolved so we can pass this bipartisan legislation and help victims of these terrible crimes.”

Very nice. I support her in this. Did you notice something, though? Her statement didn’t mention that abortion funding was the sticking point. NHGOP chair Jennifer Horn issued a statement as well, taking Senator Shaheen to task for her vote. Again, no mention of abortion funding.

Why the dodge? Shaheen’s vote wasn’t merely partisan. It was extremism in action, cast in the conviction that you and I owe the abortion industry money.

Spread the word.

 

February 8: a day of prayer for victims of human trafficking

I’d like to believe such things as human trafficking are imaginary or merely historical, but then I’d have to ignore too much.

A couple of years ago, I heard personally from a woman who had been trafficked sexually as a teenager. This wasn’t some runaway who had been taken in by a pimp in the big city, not that such a situation would have been any better. No, this woman, Theresa Flores, had been a 15-year-old high school student in an American midwestern suburb when she was drugged and then sexually assaulted as the attackers taped the assault. By threats of exposing the tape and later by threats of harming her unwitting family, the attackers forced Flores into two years of working for them as a slave sold into prostitution.

Impossible? I can only wish. Flores now travels far and wide to share her story and to increase awareness of how prevalent human trafficking is today in the United States. She rightly calls herself a survivor. She is doing what she can to spare other people what she went through.

Not all trafficking is sexual. Only a few miles from where I live, just across the river, two people were convicted a decade ago of depriving several migrant agricultural workers from Jamaica of their passports and the wages that had been promised to them.

There are various special observances sponsored by advocacy groups who want to bring a halt to human trafficking. One of those days is tomorrow, February 8, the feast of St. Josephine Bakhita.

Bakhita was a Sudanese woman born in the middle of the nineteenth century. Kidnapped and sold into slavery as a child, tortured by her “owners,” she ultimately wound up in Italy. Eventually, a court ruling freed her. She adopted the Catholic faith, and entered a convent while retaining a missionary spirit: “her mind was always on God, and her heart in Africa.”

She died on February 8,1947, and has since been recognized as a saint by the Catholic church and as patroness of Sudan and of all victims of trafficking. The anniversary of her death is an especially apt time to spend time in prayer for all people who are being bought and sold as commodities.

I wish this were something past – a sorry part of the human condition from which we have all turned in horror. It’s not. There are still people in slavery, some very close to home – still people selling other people – and still people who create the market by “buying” the services of the trafficked victims.

A couple of bills are pending in the New Hampshire legislature this year in an effort to fight this plague. One would create a civil right of action for trafficking victims, while the other seeks to do that plus strengthen existing state anti-trafficking legislation.

People aren’t property. I pray for the day when that can go without saying.

 

 

 

 

Watch out for “quick fixes”; 40DFL campaign concludes; WMUR story of interest

Affirming life without “quick fixes”

Suggesting that a pregnant woman has to give up her child for adoption to make reparation for premarital sex is no different from the pro-choice mother imposing abortion on her daughter to make reparation for “unprotected sex”. Both attitudes are truly misogynistic and anti-life.

That’s from Béatrice Fodor in 400 Words for Women. In this thought-provoking post, she asks pro-lifers to take a fearless look at their own approach to women experiencing crisis pregnancies. Start your week by reading her short and challenging essay about the “quick-fix mentality.”

Another 40 Days for Life campaign wraps up …

Tune in next spring for the next 40DFL effort in your area. The international director, Shawn Carney, posted in an email this morning that 476 women are known to have chosen life for their children as a result of 40DFL prayer witnesses outside abortion facilities.

I hate seeing metrics used in this context. I hate scorecards and polls about pro-life work, as though standing up publicly for life should depend on whether the numbers keep going up. I understand why someone tracks the figures, though. In a way, those numbers force us to consider the actual women who make up that “476.” Each has her own story. The numbers may also provide a small measure of reassurance to the pro-lifers who ask if their participation makes any difference. Yes, your peaceful and patient witness matters.

Locally in southern New Hampshire, the Greenland and Manchester campaigns ended with special gatherings for the volunteers. My hat’s off to the 40DFL organizers in both places. Bob Melnyk and Jackie McCoy come to mind immediately, but I know there are many other dedicated people who kept the campaigns going. My thanks and respect go out to all of them.

… and there are still opportunities for prayerful witness

To stay up to date with the schedules for peaceful pro-life vigils outside abortion facilities in New Hampshire, the best source I know is NHRTL’s email alert list. You can email info@nhrtl.org and ask to be put on the list.

Tune in Wednesday for WMUR report on human trafficking in NH

I just saw a promotional spot on TV for this, and I’m sorry I have no further information – not even from the WMUR web site! WMUR-TV, the ABC affiliate in Manchester, New Hampshire, is presenting a locally-produced special report this Wednesday, November 6, on the 11 p.m. newscast. The subject: human trafficking in New Hampshire.

I haven’t previewed the report. In fact, I know nothing about it beyond what I saw in the brief promo. I’m pretty sure that I glimpsed Theresa Flores on the screen, as one of the people being interviewed. I have heard her speak about her own nightmarish experience as a victim of trafficking when she was a teenager. It was hard for me to believe that a teenager from a quiet suburb could be coerced into the sex industry without her parents’ knowledge, until I heard Theresa talk about what happened to her.

As a woman and a mother, few things make my skin crawl like realizing other women and other women’s children are caught up in human trafficking today, here in New Hampshire. I’d like to believe such things don’t happen, or if they do, that it’s only in big cities far away. Theresa ripped off my blinders. I’m going to watch WMUR’s report to hear what she and the other people interviewed – including local law enforcement officials – have to say about what’s happening.

I know that earlier special reports are available on the WMUR web site. Perhaps this one will be posted there as well after it airs.

I doubt WMUR’s report covers the nexus between human trafficking and the abortion industry. It’s left to reporters like the brave souls at Live Action to report on that.

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