New Video from Daleiden & Center for Medical Progress

“How can we ever make America great again as long as our laws and our policies say our children are worth more dead than alive?” David Daleiden posed the question at the Values Voter conference in Washington, D.C. earlier this month. He announced to the crowd that a new Center for Medical Progress video was forthcoming. This week, he delivered, documenting further the body-parts business that is integrated with the abortion industry.

In this new video, he interviews whistleblower Holly O’Donnell, former procurement technician for StemExpress, a company which worked in conjunction with Planned Parenthood affiliates to obtain fetal body parts. The video includes undercover footage of lab workers sorting “POC” (products of conception, i.e. aborted children), and here’s fair warning that some viewers may find the video hard to take.

At Values Voter, Daleiden started his presentation with a self-deprecating remark about his tendency to speak too long, adding that if he did, “You can always call the California Attorney General’s office and they will be happy to send eleven jackbooted thugs to carry me off the stage.” California is where 15 charges were filed against Daleiden and colleague Sandra Merritt over the CMP videos – and where 14 of those charges were dismissed on grounds of “legal insufficiency.”

David Daleiden at Values Voter Summit 2017. Photo by Ellen Kolb.

It’s been two years since CMP’s first video was released. Yet, said Daleiden, Planned Parenthood and its allies continue “the lie that my videos are highly edited. In reality, my videos are highly accurate. After two years, Planned Parenthood still cannot deny that the people featured on these videos are their own top abortion doctors, speaking their own words that have so shocked and outraged the public, captured on camera for all the world and all of history to see.”


He is confident that President Trump would sign a bill to keep public funds from going to Planned Parenthood “if the Senate would do its job, abolish the filibuster and restore constitutional order. We are just one vote away from zeroing out [funding].” He pointed out that when Trump proposed an end to defunding efforts if PP would stop doing abortions, PP declined.

“I promise you I am not backing down in the face of Planned Parenthood’s attacks. I am all in to defeat them in every courtroom….Please continue to share these videos….[I]f we stay focused and work together, we will hasten the day when there is no longer a price tag on human life.”

See the video of David Daleiden’s speech at the 2017 Values Voter Summit: http://www.valuesvotersummit.org/archive-2017?videoId=5604081942001

 

“We Love Them Out”: 5 Good Minutes With Meagan and Laura of And Then There Were None

And Then There Were None was founded by Abby Johnson in 2012, and in five years, hundreds of abortion-facility workers have come through ATTWN’s assistance program. All have left the abortion industry, with help from the only organization dedicated to offering spiritual and material support for such a decision.

How?

“We love them out.” That’s from Laura Ricketts of ATTWN, who with Meagan Weber represented the group at an exhibit table at the 2017 Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. They love their work, and it shows. They kindly and quickly agreed to an impromptu interview with me, which I found more constructive than anything happening on the main stage.

How do you get someone who’s doing abortion work to approach you?

Laura: The short answer is love. We love them out. The longer answer is we have several initiatives that we follow through on, including sending handwritten cards into the abortion clinics to reach out to the workers.  We do a mailing of postcards that have our information inviting them to look us up, letting them know that they can quit, we can help. Sometimes we send flowers to the clinic. If there’s a situation that happens in a community, something specific surrounding that clinic, whether it’s something horrible that might have happened with a patient, or whether there are some unkind – well-meaning, but unkind – pro-life people on the sidewalk, we will send an apology into that clinic and say “I’m sorry.”

How many people have been assisted by ATTWN?

Meagan: To date since we were founded in 2012, we’ve received over 380 workers into our assistance program. That includes seven full-time abortion-providing doctors. We’ve transitioned them all out of the industry into life-affirming work and hope & healing in Christ.

What do well-meaning people do that makes your job harder?

Meagan: Graphic imagery. Inflammatory language such as abortion mill, abortuary, murderers – I mean, yes, abortion is an act that is complicit with murder. But who comes to Jesus Christ because you’re saying “you’re a dirty rotten sinner”? Same concept. We want to affirm their value as a human being, uniquely and distinctly created by God first and foremost. I’d also say trespassing on property [doesn’t help]. We have to flip that and say if we had a bunch of Planned Parenthood employees come into our pregnancy centers and go to the waiting room, [they’d be] violating the privacy of women who are seeking our services. And then they would be telling them “they’re lying to you, They’re not going to give you truthful information about your pregnancy and your options, and it’s your right to have an abortion…” We would never tolerate that happening. So we need to make sure we’re not doing that to them. If we’re truly concerned for the woman who goes into the clinic, who did not receive our information on the sidewalk, we should wait for her, be there for her on the way out.

Laura: Creating an environment around the clinic that feels unsafe or hostile is going to drive the women into the clinic for their abortions faster. And it’s also going to make the workers inside the clinic very distrustful of people who do call themselves pro-life who are scaring them a little bit.

Learn more about And Then There Were None at prolove.com and abortionworker.com and on Facebook. Learn more about Laura’s own work as a birth and bereavement doula at filumenabirth.com, and about Meagan at her Facebook page.


Changing the way we talk about criminal justice: Craig DeRoche and Justice Fellowship

Craig DeRoche of Justice Fellowship (craigderoche.com photo)
Craig DeRoche of Justice Fellowship (craigderoche.com photo)

Sometimes, the things I stumble into are far more rewarding than the things I plan. Such was the case at the recent Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. I had looked forward to a panel on abolition of the death penalty, featuring two speakers not normally found in a roomful of social conservatives. I saw shortly before I left for Washington that the scheduled panel on criminal justice had been changed: new name, new speakers. Not what I expected.

And that’s fine. If I’d gotten what I expected, I’d have missed the pleasure of meeting Craig DeRoche, executive director of Justice Fellowship. I met him in the conference’s exhibit hall, and I wish I’d had the presence of mind to record our conversation. A real interview would be a treat.

Hearing how I had been hoping for a conference session on the death penalty, he warned me that wasn’t his topic for the day. Instead, he was there to speak about criminal justice and addiction, and how so many people tied up in one are also tied up in the other. Craig describes his mission this way: “to change the American justice system and the way we treat those afflicted with or affected by addiction.” Justice Fellowship is the advocacy arm of Prison Fellowship, the ministry founded by the late Chuck Colson.

Craig isn’t working from a theoretical perspective. A former Speaker of the House in Michigan, his addiction to alcohol led to two arrests. He knows firsthand about rehab and court-ordered conditions, and about how addiction and prosecution affect whole families. He now knows what a public official’s life looks like to search engines after a fall from grace. He knows what it feels like to realize that prosecutors just might have political motives for some of their decisions. Now, with so much behind him, he could be forgiven for wanting to retreat from the public eye. Instead, he’s guiding Justice Fellowship.

At the end of our conversation, he handed me his book Highly Functional, gratis. I stayed up late that evening to read it. I recommend it for the down-to-earth manner in which he narrates the messiest parts of his life without sensationalism or self-pity. How he got from where he was – youngest Speaker ever in the Michigan House – to where he is makes for a story that just might hit some familiar notes for anyone who is or has lived with a “highly functional” substance abuser.

Towards the end of the book, he relates a story about how legislation supported by the Justice Foundation has done well in some states. Asked how he got bipartisanship on the bills, he rejected the very term. Instead, he said, principles and values won the day. It’s a fascinating chapter of the book, enriched by the comments on the same bills by an NAACP executive who supported them. Craig’s summary gave me something to think about.

I assured the crowd that the ability to convene discussions about principles and where they align has been discouraged in modern politics and the media. The government, federally and in the states, is set up where no one can win outright. This is done for good reason. To believe that compromise involves the disregard of principle is to feed on and encourage the worst human behavior possible for a person in elective office.

“Never Be Silenced”: Ryan Bomberger on the power of words

Ryan Bomberger at Values Voter Summit 2014
Ryan Bomberger at Values Voter Summit 2014

“Never be silenced.”

That was Ryan Bomberger’s opening, not his conclusion, when he spoke to a room full of people at the Values Voter Summit in Washington this year. He had my attention from the start.

I had heard Bomberger once before, at the national March for Life, on a bitter and overcast January day. That was when I first heard of him and his Radiance Foundation. He deals in blunt truths delivered with exuberance and a wry sense of humor. His organization distributes bright, eye-catching handouts with large headings that make the reader stop short. That’s his style: upbeat, challenging, optimistic. “I self-identify as a person who loves the Lord and who loves people enough to tell the truth. Love illuminates.”

This attracted a lawsuit for "trademark infringement."
This attracted a lawsuit for “trademark infringement.”

He is biracial – “which gives me an interesting perspective on race” – which makes the fact that he’s being sued by the NAACP somewhat curious. The Alliance Defending Freedom has the story about Bomberger’s parody on the NAACP’s name, arising from a 2004 NAACP resolution defending the “right to choose.” The outcome of that piece of litigation ought to be interesting.

He is one of the human beings who could have been aborted under abortion-regulation laws with exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape. “We need to defend ALL life.” He capitalized “ALL” simply by the force with which he uttered the word.


He wanted his Values Voters listeners to leave with a determination to speak up. “Silence is never an option. Words are revolutionary. That’s why evil does everything it can to silence those words. Remember, God spoke creation into existence. You never know whose shackles will fall off when you use the power of words.”

Never come after Ryan Bomberger as a speaker. If not for my notes, I’d have no idea who came next on the program. His speech is as fresh in my mind now as when I heard it in Washington last month. Quite a challenge, really: reclaim language from abortion advocacy and careless journalism, and use it along with prayer and action to celebrate and defend life.

Challenge accepted.

Note, 5/19/15: The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled in favor of the Radiance Foundation in the lawsuit filed against the Foundation by the NAACP.