Recommended reading: make your way over to Darlene Pawlik’s blog, The Darling Princess, for a critical look at an anti-human-trafficking task force in New Hampshire. Darlene is on target with her concerns about the “New Hampshire Human Trafficking Collaborative Task Force Advisory Committee” and its recent hire, a woman not unsympathetic to decriminalizing sexual exploitation.
It was frustrating news to see that an outspoken advocate of decriminalizing prostitution entirely, including buyers and pimps, would be taking the lead for the NH anti-trafficking task force. Her smooth talk of decriminalizing the sex trade to ensure safety for sex workers shields the most contemptible practice of human slavery. Her motives may be well-meaning, but she is terribly misinformed.
…Decriminalizing pimping and the sex trade would tie the hands of investigators. The buyers and the sellers would be able to continue their devastating business, while victims would have no clear way out. Sex trafficking is not an event, but a process and the results of that process. Sex trafficking cannot exist without the existence of prostitution.
The banner across the front of the Equality Center partially obscures the old Feminist Health Center sign. “Safe Legal Abortion IS Pro-Life.” The lawn sign says “Pray to End Sidewalk Bullying.”
No bullying, even the imaginary kind, was going on the other day as I joined a 6 a.m 40 Days for Life vigil hour in Concord. There was simple witness to the early-morning drivers on Main Street, to the city employee quietly sweeping the street, to the few pedestrians. Later in the day, other 40DFL participants took our place.
Not a sidewalk counselor? (I know I’m not.) Concerned about doing a 40DFL vigil hour solo? (Nowadays, I sure am.) Are you new at this and not sure how to get started? (We all were at some point.)
Get the information you need about 40 Days for Life and about the Concord and Greenland vigils. You’ll make a strong campaign even stronger. Remember that committing to the 40DFL Statement of Peace is a requirement for all vigil participants.
This is good news, and it’s a long time coming: Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, NH is welcoming Sarah Bascle, M.D., to its Women’s Wellness & Fertility Center of New England. The public is invited to an Open House on March 14 to meet Dr. Bascle and tour the new practice.
This won’t be just an abortion-free practice. It’ll be a practice staffed by professionals who know that fertility is understandable and manageable, it’s not a disease, and women don’t need to be “fixed.” The Open House is a good opportunity to learn more about NaPro Technology and restorative reproductive medicine, among the other specialties of the new OB/GYN practice.
When a woman in New Hampshire wants to find an obstetrician or gynecologist who neither performs nor refers for abortion, it’s an uphill battle. Harder still – impossible, in my experience – is finding a provider who isn’t fully invested in providing and promoting contraception.
My use of natural family planning was tolerated with some amusement by my longtime primary care provider. When she retired a few years ago, after we had known each other for a quarter of a century, she remarked that I was the only patient she had ever known who had used NFP and who understood her own body so well. (There’s a connection there.)
I welcome CMC’s work in expanding life-affirming options in New Hampshire, and I look forward to meeting Dr. Bascle.
The Works of Mercy ministry at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary parish in Rochester, New Hampshire has put together another program (they’re good at this sort of thing) exploring the life issues. This time, the topic is assisted suicide and euthanasia, which threaten the very nature of end-of-life care.
Two of the five speakers are well-known to me: Nancy Elliott is the director of Euthanasia Prevention Coalition USA, and Kurt Wuelper is a state representative. Nancy is a neighbor of mine, a former state rep, and I don’t think anyone in this neck of the woods knows more than she does about the status of end-of-life legislation nationwide. Kurt has proven adept at one of the harder political jobs: not just getting elected, but getting RE-elected. Kurt is on one of the toughest committees in Concord: House Judiciary, where he is a voice of reason.
This should be a worthwhile way to spend a Saturday. Details as I’ve been advised:
Where: Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Church, 189 N. Main Street, Rochester NH
When: Saturday, March 18, 2017, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Schedule: For those who wish, there will be a Mass at 8:00 a.m. All conference participants are welcome to breakfast during registration time beginning at 8:30. The conference begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m.
Cost & Registration: $15, with scholarships available; payment by March 15 is appreciated. Make out checks to OLHR, and mail them with registration form (linked above) to Works of Mercy c/o OLHR, 189 N. Main Street, Rochester NH 03867.
For more information, contact Nancy at email@example.com.
Spread the word, especially to your friends on the Seacoast and in Strafford County.
A postscript to yesterday’s New Hampshire House committee vote on buffer zone repeal, HB 589: Rep. Gary Hopper (R-Weare) read aloud to his fellow committee members a communication he had received from Deputy Attorney General Ann Rice in response to a query from him about what the state has spent so far defending the buffer zone law.
He read the letter aloud in a meeting that was open to the public; he posted it today on Facebook; his correspondent is a state employee; the topic was state business. Sounds like quotable stuff to me. So here is Deputy AG Rice to Rep. Hopper, as posted by Rep. Hopper this morning:
…So far, the Department has devoted 313.75 hours of attorney time in defending the buffer zone law, which equates to $43,611.25 (313.75 hours x $139.00/hr). We do not track the time that support staff devotes to any particular case so I cannot provide a cost for that. As far as future costs, that will depend on what the plaintiffs chose to do. If they appeal the decision to the US Supreme Court, we would file an objection, which I would estimate would involve approximately 40 hours of attorney time at $139/hr, or $5560 in cost. If the US Supreme Court accepted the appeal, the Department would likely devote several hundred hours on the appeal. I am unable to better estimate the amount of time required.
The plaintiffs could opt to refrain from further litigation unless and until a buffer zone is actually being considered. At this point, I cannot estimate if or when that would occur, or the amount of time that this office would spend on the litigation.
Recall that in the Supreme Court’s McCullen v. Coakley decision overturning a Massachusetts buffer zone law, taxpayers not only covered the cost for the state to defend an ultimately unconstitutional law but were later on the hook for $1.2 million in plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees.
I’m sure Massachusetts’ costs started small. Look where they ended up.
Guest post by Stephen Scaer of Nashua. Stephen was among the pro-lifers who witnessed for life at the January 21, 2017 “Women’s Day” of abortion advocacy in Concord, New Hampshire. Photos are by Phyllis Woods and are used with her kind permission. I encourage readers to look in the Comments below the post to find the reply from Veronica, who also was on the scene and who had a much more encouraging experience.
“Do you have a uterus?” asked the gray-haired woman as she and her companion walked past me as I was holding my “Dads for Life” sign at our counter protest at the Women’s Day of Action & Unity in Concord on Saturday.
“That’s a rather personal question.”
“You’re a man. You have to say ‘no,’ and you don’t have the right to say whether a woman should have an abortion.”
“Why not?” I asked, as she hurried away. I would have loved to have had a chance to follow her line of reasoning. I assume she wouldn’t assert that people without children had no right to speak out against child abuse, or that people who don’t own pets can’t speak out against animal cruelty. Moreover, although I’ve never been a woman, I have had some experience as an unborn child. But for the most part, these are the hit-and-run tactics the 25 or so pro-life protesters encountered.
For example, a woman looked at my sign and said ‘then you should be at home with your kid,’ and took off before I could point out that my daughter was standing 20 feet away with a “Tell Planned Parenthood #GoFundYourself” sign.
My daughter’s favorite hit-and-run was a woman who shouted “you’re nuts” as she darted past, carrying a sign that said “prove me wrong.”
Another woman asked, “Are you against war?”
“I don’t know what that has to do with abortion, but I suppose it depends on the war.”
“You pro-lifers are a bunch of hypocrites. You can’t be for war and against abortion. You can’t be pro-war and call yourself a Christian.” She walked away before I could ask her opinion about Christian war-mongers such as Eisenhower, Washington, the Roman soldiers who converted in the New Testament, and King David. I really wanted to know whether she thought Lincoln had any right to be pro-war and anti-slavery.
And then of course, there was the litany of “you can’t be pro-life if you don’t support [insert your favorite government social program here].”
One older man did wait to hear a few of my responses.
“You shouldn’t tell other people what to do with their bodies.”
“Should we legalize heroin?”
“I’m for legalizing marijuana, but not heroin.”
“Then you’re telling people what to do with their bodies. Also, the child in the womb is a separate body, with her own arm, legs, head, and set of chromosomes.”
“It’s not a person. It’s just a blob of cells.”
“It has everything you have. Are you just a blob of cells?”
“You people are crazy,” he responded, and walked away.
[New Hampshire Right to Life has on its Facebook page an album of photos from the January 21 event.]