I’m indebted to Karen Testerman and TheGosnellMovie.com for reminding me of this anniversary: two years ago today, journalist Kirsten Powers called out her professional colleagues for their silence about the crimes of Kermit Gosnell. She effectively shamed major news organizations into covering the trial of an abortionist from whose activities they would have preferred to avert their gaze.
See her groundbreaking article from USA Today, 4/11/13. It was all the more effective coming from a woman not associated with the pro-life movement. Gosnell snipped the spines of children who survived attempts at late-term abortion. He ran a facility that left some women injured or worse. In Powers’ own words, “This is not about being ‘pro-choice’ or ‘pro-life.’ It’s about basic human rights.”
Abortion advocates went into damage-control mode as soon as Powers put the spotlight on Gosnell’s trial. A NARAL Pro-Choice America “Blog for Choice” post was particularly fascinating in a watching-a-train-wreck sort of way, with the writer claiming, “The horrific conditions in Gosnell’s clinic are an example of what happens to women and our basic dignity when abortion isn’t available through safe and legal providers.” I wrote a post of my own in response, “NARAL blames pro-lifers for Gosnell”, pointing out that Gosnell was operating legally, and he was “safe” as far as the state of Pennsylvania was concerned.
Kermit Gosnell wound up in jail for his crimes, including his role in the death of Karnamaya Mongar. (At last report, he was unrepentant.) Never forget what he did – and never forget what Kirsten Powers did.
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.”
If you can read only one online post today, click away from mine onto this one: “Terry Beatley fulfills promise to former abortion doctor.” Beatley is a woman whose pro-life journey has taken her to some interesting places, including a face-to-face meeting with Dr. Bernard Nathanson in 2009. Nathanson co-founded the abortion advocacy group NARAL, but he later became outspokenly pro-life.
Read the whole article. The words that jumped out to me, the ones we ought to share far and wide today, are these.
Toward the end of the in-depth interview, Beatley found herself unexpectedly saying: “If you have a message for America, I will gladly deliver it for you. … I will tell your story, the story of deception but also the story of personal redemption.”
Beatley recalled how Nathanson paused for a moment before replying, “Teach of the strategy of how I deceived America and that the cofounder of NARAL says, ‘Love one another; abortion’s not love. Stop the killing; the world needs more love.’”
This very day, NARALPro-Choice America is sponsoring what it calls #StopTheBans day, in an effort to derail late-term abortion legislation nationwide. Nathanson’s message is a fitting answer.
h/t Jill Stanek for bringing the catholicherald.com post about Terry Beatley to my attention. Catholic Herald is a publication of the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia.
Call this a tale of two press conferences. This week, a pair of endorsements came out in the Second Congressional District race between incumbent Ann Kuster and challenger Marilinda Garcia. Quite a contrast.
Kuster stands in front of symbol of death to accept abortion advocates’ endorsement
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.
Pro-life women join Women Speak Out PAC to support Marilinda Garcia
A couple of days ahead of the Kuster spectacle, Women Speak Out PAC announced a $50,000 independent-expenditure ad buy in support of Marilinda Garcia. Women Speak Out PAC is a partner of the Susan B. Anthony List, which is dedicated to electing pro-life women and promoting pro-life legislation at state and federal levels. Three New Hampshire women from the Second Congressional District spoke at a press conference kicking off the ad campaign. They are pushing back on Ann Kuster’s pro-abortion message.
Marilyn Musgrave, representing Women Speak Out PAC, called Garcia “a strong young woman who is courageous, who opposes taxpayer funding of abortion, who knows that banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy is the compassionate thing to do.”
College student re Kuster: “By refusing to protect the next generation, she is hurting my generation.”
Sarah Koski is a college student and a voter in Ann Kuster’s district. She wonders if she even registers on Kuster’s radar. “Ann Kuster and her friends have fabricated this lie that somehow leading a successful life as a young woman is completely incompatible with being a pro-life conservative Republican. This is untrue. I am one of many women who respect the sanctity of life at every stage. Ann Kuster does not represent me.
“She says that she cares about us and that she’s going to protect our rights. But in reality, she treats me like I lack the capacity to have a life outside of myself. That’s not the kind of representation that I want. We know that abortion kills innocent children. We also know that it hurts women. We need to make sure that we band together and make sure that we reveal this truth about Ann Kuster: by refusing to protect the next generation, she is hurting my generation. I think it’s high time that this demeaning attitude towards women come to an end.”
Koski is looking forward to entering the post-college job market. She has started giving serious consideration to what paycheck deductions are about. Just what, she wonders, are our representatives doing with that money? “Ann Kuster’s fiscal record is very clear. As it pertains to abortion, she voted against the No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act. Which means that she’s in favor of letting my money be used to fund abortions on demand. I’m not alone in this concern. The majority of Americans, 72% of Americans, believe that we should not allow our tax money to go towards funding abortions on demand. 72% agree that it is wrong for my representative to take my money and use it to fund something that I fundamentally disagree with and find immoral. The good news is that we have the opportunity to change that this November. We have an opportunity to send a new voice to Washington. And I sincerely hope you will join me in that effort.”
Garcia “would be a champion for life … Ann Kuster is not our champion.”
Margaret Carnahan of Concord is one CD2 voter who is tired of being represented by an abortion extremist. “I cannot say [Kuster] represents me. When the opportunity came for the Congresswoman to show a compassionate way to protect unborn babies five months and older in the womb, she chose not to support that legislation” – the Unborn Child Pain-Capable Act, a post-20-week abortion ban. “Worse, she voted no, she would not protect unborn babies, even though the babies were old enough to recognize their mothers’ voices and to feel pain.Carnahan spoke of a friend’s child born at 30 weeks. “One pound thirteen ounces. When I went to the NICU and saw all the micro-preemie babies, my heart went out to them. We saw one little boy named Jacob, born at 22 and a half weeks gestation. He was fighting for life. What we learned from seeing Jacob and Isabella is that a baby looks when outside the womb the same as when inside the womb – a complete living human being. I saw the tenacity to live. They needed a protector and a champion to speak on their behalf.
“Ann Kuster is not our champion and she is not a protector of the unborn child. She does not reflect our values. She does not reflect our compassionate heart. Marilinda Garcia would be a champion for life, who would reflect a woman’s heart towards life.”
“I’m beginning to think a little bit differently about what our daughters face”
Christine Peters of Amherst is the mother of four. She says her daughter’s about to become a teenager, “so I’m beginning to think little bit differently about the issue of Planned Parenthood [whose PAC backs Kuster] and choice and what my daughters face for messaging that’s being targeted toward them.” She added that her own experience as a CareNet crisis pregnancy center volunteer broadened her pro-life perspective. “I began to change how I thought about it. It became a little less about the babies – although I’m in favor of saving babies – and more about those women who are facing crisis pregnancies. When you look at Ann Kuster, you cannot call her pro-choice. She is 100% pro-abort. There is no choice for women who walk into Planned Parenthood. That is the war on women and our unborn. Send extremist Ann Kuster into retirement and give Marilinda Garcia a chance to reflect a view that will prepare the way for our daughters, giving them the choices they really truly need.”
Rep. Leon Rideout was more than a colleague when he spoke yesterday to the New Hampshire House’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety committee. He spoke as a grandfather whose grandson Griffin died shortly after his premature birth triggered by an auto collision – and who in the eyes of the law was no victim at all. He spoke as father to Ashlyn, who was 7½ months pregnant with Griffin and was herself injured in the collision, caused by another driver ignoring a traffic signal. He spoke for his large extended family, who helped fill the public section of the hearing room.
Rideout is sponsoring HB 1503, a fetal homicide bill that he’s calling Griffin’s Law. It should be a no-brainer. Of course, the last try in 2012 should have been a no-brainer, too. The first efforts around 1990, promoted by the late Rep. Carolyn Brady (R-Manchester), should have gained traction at the time. But they didn’t. Rep. Rideout’s family wanted to make sure that everyone in the room knew why the law is necessary.
He apparently has colleagues who aren’t yet sold on the idea. Rideout took to Facebook today to call on HB 1503 supporters to reach out to Rep. David Huot (D-Laconia).
“Thank You To Everyone That Came to The Hearing and Showed Support. It was a Great showing !! We have a Battle before the Committee Execs #Griffinslaw Rep Huot is going to bring an amendment that basically guts the bill and leaves NH basically where it is today Please E mail / Call Him and tell him not to amend HB 1503 Phone: (603)524-7641 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org”
Huot is reportedly attempting to accommodate the concerns of abortion advocates. He might want to read Lamy first.
Rideout made a point of reminding the committee about the Lamy case, in which the state supreme court suggested that the legislature amend the homicide statutes to address what happened in situation’s like Griffin’s. He handed a copy of the case to each committee member.
The “blue sheet,” signed by people who couldn’t attend the hearing but wanted to register an opinion on the bill, had many signatures. Many were from fellow state representatives who had to attend their own committee hearings. Almost all the names on the sheet had “support the bill” checked off.
The New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union and NARAL Pro-Choice NH showed up to try to put the brakes on the bill. Devon Chaffee for NHCLU and Laura Thibault of NARAL each made an effort to acknowledge the grief of families like Rep. Rideout’s who lose a child and find that the criminal justice system has nothing to say to the assailants. Then came the Buts and Howevers. “This does not go far enough to safeguard a woman’s rights,” said Chaffee. “This tends to erode women’s rights. While this bill includes an exemption for abortion, if passed it will contribute to the nationwide effort to establish a framework to overturn Roe v. Wade,” added Thibault.
The bill explicitly does not apply to ANY fetal death that occurs at the mother’s behest. This means abortion wouldn’t trigger any charge against anyone. Further, thirty-eight states already have fetal homicide laws, according to Rideout, and not one has been overturned. Clear enough? Not to NHCLU and NARAL. They simply can’t abide fetal homicide laws. Chaffee went so far as to say New Hampshire law already covers fetal homicide. The Lamy case puts the lie to that.
It’s fitting that Chaffee and Thibault found their testimony bracketed by Griffin’s grandparents. Rep. Rideout opened the hearing. Later, Shirley Kenison-Ward, “Grammy Shirley,” made sure the committee knew this was no transitory cause. “We’re on a crusade,” she said tearfully, with a relative standing next to her displaying photos to the committee. “Our family is on a mission to make sure if a person causes bodily harm or death to an unborn child due to violence or criminal behavior, there will be consequences.”
Will the bill be gutted, as Rep. Rideout fears? What language is Rep. Huot proposing? What could possibly allay the fears of abortion advocates while still allowing the criminal prosecution of people who cause a pregnant woman like Ashlyn to lose her son only weeks before she was due to give birth? It is likely to be a few days before the CJPS committee takes a vote. Rep. Leon Rideout will be watching very closely.