Must-Read Link: Debunking Media Falsehoods on Born-Alive Bill

If you are on Twitter, follow Alexandra DeSanctis. Now, not later: @xan_desanctis. She is a National Review journalist focused on the life issues. She has an article online today that is much better than anything I could write about media coverage of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act and the U.S. Senate’s recent vote on it.

As an independent voter, I don’t go looking for excuses to trash either major party (although both offer numerous opportunities). As a blogger and a huge fan of the First Amendment, I don’t go looking for excuses to trash journalists (see previous parenthetical remark). DeSanctis in her post today, though, goes after Senate Democrats and some journalists. Tough to argue with her on this one. An excerpt:

In defense of their “no” votes on this eminently reasonable legislation [the Born-Alive bill], Democrats mustered a host of lies — including, most prominently, the easily disprovable claim that the bill is anti-abortion and restricts women’s access to necessary health care.

All one would need to do to determine whether these claims were accurate is refer to the text of the legislation, which every single Democratic senator failed to do. That is for an obvious reason: The bill text did not substantiate their assertions. Nothing in the legislation limits access to abortion or regulates particular abortion methods. The only way it touches on abortion procedures at all is that it protects infants who have survived them.

But Democrats have gotten away with their transparently political rationalizations for turning a blind eye to infanticide because the vast majority of the media is complicit in peddling them. From the moment Virginia governor Ralph Northam uttered his now-infamous endorsement of infanticide (which he attempted to clarify, but never walked back) to the moment Democrats killed the born-alive bill on the Senate floor, media outlets have been engaged in, at best, a wholesale blackout and, at worst, an effort to themselves contort the substance of the legislation.

I recommend her post in full.

Is any party or any politician or any media outlet permanently invested in defending infanticide? I’d prefer to think not. Until we know for sure, though, we need to call out the dead-baby caucus at every opportunity.

Sorry – “dead-baby caucus” is not a bridge-building term. But being unwilling to protect children who survive attempts to kill them: what am I supposed to call that?


I am heartened to hear from readers who are letting Senators Shaheen and Hassan know that their Born-Alive vote was…let’s say disappointing. (There. Is that a bridge-building term?) The Senators offer contact information on their respective web sites, including office locations and hours in New Hampshire and Washington. Each senator’s site also has an email contact form.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s site

Sen. Maggie Hassan’s site

Senators Shaheen and Hassan Vote Against Protecting Abortion Survivors

The U.S. Senate failed to advance the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act today when a cloture motion fell short of the 60 votes needed to prevent a filibuster. New Hampshire Democrats Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan voted No on the bill to prohibit a health care practitioner from “failing to exercise the proper degree of care” in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion.

The bill’s chief sponsor is Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE). After hearing speeches from Democrat colleagues who called the bill a threat to “reproductive health care,” he said, “I know a lot of opponents of this bill sincerely believe the talking points that they read from their staffs. We’ve heard speech after speech after speech that have nothing to do with what’s actually in this bill. I urge my colleagues to picture a baby that’s already been born, that’s outside the womb gasping for air. That’s the only thing that today’s vote is actually about. We’re talking about babies that have already been born. Nothing in this bill touches abortion access.”

Senators Hassan and Shaheen refused to support the bill to protect abortion survivors.

From Senator Hassan on Twitter (@SenatorHassan): “Tonight, I voted NO on yet another partisan attack on reproductive health care. Women, families and their doctors are capable of making these complicated medical decisions without government interference.”

From Senator Shaheen (@SenatorShaheen): “The bill forced by Senate Republicans today would significantly interfere with the doctor-patient relationship & pose new obstacles to a woman’s constitutional right to make her own decisions about her reproductive health.”

If “reproductive health care,” “a woman’s constitutional right to make her own decisions,” and “complicated medical decisions” include infanticide, then the New Hampshire Senators’ tweets and votes make sense. Otherwise, I have no idea what bill they thought they were voting on.

New contact info for N.H.’s federal reps

Update to the Hundred Days assignments: our federal representatives have been sworn in, and here are the ways to contact them.

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen
U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)

To send an email, use the contact form on her Senate web page: http://www.shaheen.senate.gov/contact/contact-jeanne

Washington, D.C. office: 506 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510, phone 202-224-2841.

Sen. Shaheen has six offices in New Hampshire: Manchester, Nashua, Keene, Dover,  Berlin, and Claremont. Addresses and phone numbers are on her web site.

You can also communicate with her via Facebook and Twitter, @SenatorShaheen

U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan
Sen. Maggie Hassan (nh.gov photo)

Contact Sen. Maggie Hassan using the contact form on her web site.

Washington, D.C. office: B85 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510, phone 202-224-3324.

Manchester office: 1200 Elm Street, Suite 2, Manchester NH 03101

Facebook and Twitter: @SenatorHassan

Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (First Congressional District)
Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (congress.gov photo)

Email her via the contact page at her Congressional site, https://shea-porter.house.gov/contact.

Washington, D.C. office: 1530 Longworth House Office Building, Washington DC 20515, 202-225-5456.

Dover office: 660 Central Ave., Dover NH 03820. Expect more offices to open in the coming months.

Facebook and Twitter: @RepSheaPorter

Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster (Second Congressional District)
Rep. Annie Kuster (photo from congress.gov)

Email contact form: https://kuster.house.gov/contact/email-me 

Washington, D.C. office: 137 Cannon House Office Building, Washington DC 20515, 202-225-5206.

Nashua office: 70 E. Pearl Street, Nashua NH 03060, 603-595-2006

Concord office: 18 N. Main Street, 4th floor, Concord NH 03301, 603-226-1002

Littleton Office: 33 Main St., Suite 202, Littleton NH 03561, 603-444-7700.

Tweet to her: @RepAnnieKuster


 

The First Amendment and would-be Sen. Hassan

Gov. Maggie Hassan (nh.gov photo)
Gov. Maggie Hassan (nh.gov photo)

We’ve seen New Hampshire’s Governor Maggie Hassan in action for two terms. So what would a Senator Hassan look like, if she should prevail over incumbent U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte on November 8?

Look back at one policy decision ratified by Hassan in 2014: the buffer zone law.

Buffer zones and the First Amendment

New Hampshire’s buffer zone law gives abortion facility managers the right to determine whether and where the First Amendment may be exercised within 25 feet from an abortion facility.

Maggie Hassan signed the law despite the fact that a challenge to a substantially similar law from Massachusetts was pending before the Supreme Court. Two weeks after the New Hampshire law was signed, the U.S. Supreme Court threw out the Massachusetts law on First Amendment grounds. Hassan continued to defend New Hampshire’s version. She still supports it, even though no abortion facility in New Hampshire has put a zone into effect, as of October 2016. The facility managers know that litigation would doom the New Hampshire law.

Hassan signed the New Hampshire measure into effect even though the Court’s First-Amendment decision on the Massachusetts law was unanimous.


That’s what Governor Hassan thinks of the First Amendment as it applies to nonviolent pro-life demonstrators. Now she wants to become Senator Hassan, with power to confirm (or refuse to confirm) nominees to federal judgeships, including Supreme Court seats.

Dodging the First Amendment 

I reported in 2014 on the form letter I received from Hassan’s office two months after I and many other people had petitioned her not to sign the bill into law. An “assistant director of citizen services” wrote back.  Hassan wouldn’t even reply over her own signature. No skin off my nose, to be sure, but I caught the dismissal.

My 2014 post includes the full text of the letter from Hassan’s assistant. Not once in the letter did the assistant director of citizen services mention the First Amendment. No mention of the Supreme Court. No mention of the Masasachusetts law or the grounds on which it had been invalidated.

Watch your language

The 2014 letter is echoed in some of the language on Hassan’s Senate campaign web site (which has a high enough search ranking already without my linking to it): all-purpose terms, equally available for misuse whether the topic is nonviolence or a Senate seat.

The following bullet points are taken directly from my 2014 post reacting to the letter from Hassan’s assistant. Listening to 2016’s campaign messages, nothing’s changed.

  • “Critical health services.” In other words, cancer screening and contraception and abortion are all “critical.” Huh? The intentional direct taking of human life has nothing to do with “health.”

  • “Access…privacy…safety.” No mention that laws are already on the books against blocking access, against harassment including invasion of privacy, against violence. That was what doomed Massachusetts’s original buffer zone law – the failure to enforce existing laws first.

  • “Affordable access to basic health care coverage is critical to the economic security of women and families.” Knowing that abortion is part of what Hassan defines as “health care,” she’s saying – excuse me, her assistant is saying – that kids are disposable if they come up short in a woman’s cost-benefit analysis.

  • “…without fearing for their safety…” In the fantasy world occupied by the Governor and supporters of the buffer zone law, people standing in silent witness outside an abortion facility are no different from people entering an abortion facility bent on murdering the employees….In the real world, peaceful witnesses have just as much reason to fear violence as do an abortion facility’s employees.

A Seat in the Balance

I have heard from many people of good will who want me to reconsider my adamant refusal to support either major presidential candidate. The shape of the Supreme Court is the usual argument.

I understand the concern. Note well, though, that presidents can only nominate judges. The Senate confirms, or refuses to confirm. It’s the firewall against presidential whackery from any party’s standardbearer.

That’s why I think New Hampshire’s Senate race is at least as important as the presidential one – more important, actually, for those of us who have no top-of-the-ticket preference.

Candidate Hassan made a ceremony out of signing the buffer zone law, and now she wants a seat in the body that confirms jurists who will rule on First Amendment cases.

This is one race where I have no problem making a choice.

 

Adoption & the Governor

As the saying goes, even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Case in point: this recent tweet from New Hampshire governor and U.S. Senate candidate Maggie Hassan.

Beautiful.

Each of the children in the photo has a birth mother who whatever her circumstances managed to choose life for her child. We get to see their smiles now. Families get to love them now. And for one day at least, candidate Hassan took a break from promoting the interests of the industry that would have ended the lives of these children in utero upon the mothers’ request.