It was called the #WomenBetrayed rally – one of more than fifty rallies held nationwide on July 28, calling for a halt to tax money for Planned Parenthood. In Concord, New Hampshire, the theme was given point by an urgent consideration: the state’s Executive Council is expected to take up a Planned Parenthood contract soon.
“If we believe in New Hampshire values, if we believe in Live Free or Die even before birth, every one of you needs to get on the Internet and find out the name and the contact details of your Executive Councilor. These five gentlemen control the fate of Planned Parenthood [in] New Hampshire,” said Susan Olsen of Warner. “We have an opportunity, everyone on these grounds today, to make an immediate difference in stopping feeding the beast.” She was one of several speakers urging contact with Councilor Chris Sununu, a potential swing vote, who has supported Planned Parenthood in earlier contract votes. “Let’s change that gentleman’s mind.”
A coalition of national prolife groups planned one rally in Washington in response to the video exposés of Planned Parenthood. (A third video, more nauseating than the first two, was released today by the Center for Medical Progress.) The idea spread, with local groups sponsoring rallies in various cities. On July 28, rallies all over the country sent the message: get Planned Parenthood out of the taxpayers’ pockets. Defund PP. Privatize PP.
New Hampshire’s rally coalition was led by New Hampshire Right to Life, with president Jane Cormier serving as master of ceremonies. On a sweltering day, she welcomed about 150 people to the State House plaza in Concord. Alluding to the CMP videos, she said, “We need no longer have any fear in taking up that debate” about Planned Parenthood funding. “No more fear. Don’t let anyone shut your voice down.”
Executive Councilor Dave Wheeler updated the ralliers about the pending Executive Council vote. While the next Council meeting is August 5, it’s not a sure thing that PP will be on the agenda for a family planning contract. “[The Health and Human Services] Commissioner tells me there are proposals coming from 3, 4 or 5 different contractors for these services. And remember what happened in 2011 when Councilors Wieczorek, St. Hilaire & I voted against the Planned Parenthood funding, the federal government sent money directly to Planned Parenthood and went around the state of New Hampshire. So that possibility is out there as well.”
If the August 5 agenda includes PP, “You can rest assured that I will not vote to give Planned Parenthood that contract. We’re starting to get these nice notes from Planned Parenthood here, they’ve got flowers on them, and a sticker, and they say ‘don’t defund women’s services.’ You know, it’s kind of funny that they’re embarrassed to say ‘don’t defund abortion.’ They won’t say it, but that’s what our issue is. We’re not against cancer screenings and the other things. Just stop doing the evil, and maybe we could support the good you do.”
A gallery from the Concord #WomenBetrayed rally:
Rep. Sue DeLemus (R-Rochester) shared the story of her own abortion. “I’m sorry we don’t don’t have people [here] in protest today of our movement. Those people are the people I want to reach the most. … I went ahead and had my baby killed. I know I’ve been forgiven, but it still hurts like hell. I hope you all take away from this that’s it’s still painful to me, and painful for any women who decides to kill her baby. And if Planned Parenthood was here today, I would look them right in the eye and say shame on you. Do you hear me, Planned Parenthood? I just want this message to get out.”
Ann Marie Banfield, Cornerstone Action: “Cornerstone is 100% behind de-funding Planned Parenthood. It’s very important that you watch the unedited videos so that you can be aware of what’s going on. What they do with their money is their business. But what they do with OUR money is OUR business.”
Father Christian Tutor OSA, rector, All Saints Anglican Church in Concord, reflected on the jarring effect of the “Civility and Compassion” sign on display at a nearby abortion facility. “About six months ago, I was privileged to go to Poland and visit Auschwitz. There was a display that had I don’t know how much human hair that was taken and shaved from all of those who had been killed in the death camps. And information given at that time by the guide was that the Nazis didn’t consider the people they killed as human. They were not human. So of course they [the Nazis] would use as much of the person as possible to gain more money and to make it worthwhile. So hair was made into blankets. We know that a lot of these people who were killed were used in experiments, horrible experiments that led to their death. There was human skin also taken from these victims, made into leather that were turned into shades for lamps. Now we know all of this. Now what is the difference, my dear people, between what happened in Nazi Germany and what is happening today under the auspices of Planned Parenthood? Nothing. That is exactly what Planned Parenthood is doing. Civility. Compassion. Do you see that civility and compassion for the unborn? What do we do, then? Stand on the sidelines, like so many people of good will at the time of the Nazis, and not proclaim the horror that we see? Or are we going to be counted among the righteous who stand up and say ‘no more’? We have to help our brothers and sisters, we have to point out to all those who support planned Parenthood that it is no different what they are doing than what was done in Nazi Germany. That we do it with compassion and civility – but we also point out that if they truly value compassion and civility that the proclaim by their placards on their front lawn, that they would give to those unborn persons, the human being within the womb, a chance to live.”
Former Speaker of the New Hampshire House, William O’Brien: “Planned Parenthood is dragging us into a culture of death. It is offensive that they make us complicit. This cannot stand. What can we do? … [Our job is] contributing to pro-life organizations…. Ensuring that pro-life candidates are elected to federal and state offices. It is telling Executive Councilor Sununu not to give our taxes, more money, to the merchants of death such as Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. Let us join this fight; let us win this fight.”
Hillary Seeger, who chose adoption for her son and was able to reunite with him 21 years later: “You need to look at a picture of my son and his wife – his pregnant wife – and my granddaughter, and you need to realize that if I had gone to Planned Parenthood, it [wouldn’t have been] one abortion. It was three lives just right there. Please think. My son is not ‘tissue.’ Nobody’s son or daughter is ‘tissue.’ Go forward and lobby to de-fund this.”
Rep. Josh Moore (R-Merrrimack): “There are a lot of young people out here who have a special role in this. A new generation willing to rise up and fight this thing to the core. We will fight to destroy this evil as it stands. It is seriously ironic that Planned Parenthood has destroyed themselves. They have admitted that this baby is worth something for parts. It’s a disgusting thing, but they’ve actually just destroyed themselves.
This is the first thing in the Declaration of Independence: life. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We can’t pursue happiness if we don’t stand up for life. Consider running for public office. Take this thing back. We own this thing. We’ve got this. We will win. Let’s go out and fight, ladies and gentlemen.”