A note for readers, especially those long-suffering souls who have followed this pro-life blog since it was a hatchling seven years ago: a couple of years ago, I promised you a sort of best-of anthology from the first five years of the blog. (If you’ve forgotten, I forgive you.) That project, like a child with a mind of her own, has gone off in another direction.
The longer I worked on the manuscript, with all of the necessary prefaces to the posts in order to provide updates, the more I realized that the updates are the real story.
And so, a new e-book is simmering away on the figurative front burner. I am reaching out to some of the people whose stories I’ve had the privilege to share, hoping to discover where they’re heading now. I’m re-visiting places and recurring events, ready to give them a fresh look. I’m taking a look at how the Granite State has moved in terms of public policy. (That might be a short chapter.)
There’s good news to go along with all the challenges we face in New Hampshire regarding respect for life. We have neighbors people doing inspiring work. I’m excited about catching up with everything.
The goal: when I’m done writing, and after the whole edit-illustrate-format cycle(s), I’ll have a short book worth sharing with you. Stay tuned.
A New Year’s toast: to life! Thank you to the readers who have sustained Leaven for the Loaf, and thank you to everyone whose pro-life work has kept me inspired and challenged all along the way. Join me now as I pack away some artifacts of the year just ended.
It’s a mixed bag of topics for the most-viewed posts of 2018.
Gosnell: Film Review. In the hands of an inept screenwriter or the wrong director, this true-crime story could have gone badly awry. The makers of Gosnell got it right. The film will be coming to on-demand video and DVD in early 2019.
But Wait, There’s More. This was a brief report on an ill-advised bill that would have nullified New Hampshire’s parental notification law. The House later killed the bill.
Trust Women, You Say? Start Here. Coverage of January’s hearing on a bill, HB 1707, that would have established comprehensive informed consent requirements for abortion.
A Genteel Rant on Party Unity. In which I’m reminded (yet again) that political-party-linked activism is not always helpful in building a culture of life.
Abortion Statistics: “Inexpedient to Legislate.” “Two hundred [N.H.] legislators voted like people who are afraid of evidence-based public health policy and afraid of political retribution from abortion providers.” Another statistics bill has been introduced for 2019.
Slamming Shut a Doorway to Assisted Suicide. A state senator let slip that her proposed study committee on end-of-life issues was actually a path to an assisted suicide law. Her fellow senators took her at her word and killed her bill. A similar bill is on the way for the coming legislative session.
Why I’m Voting No on Question 2. A ballot question about adding a “privacy” amendment to the state constitution passed, not long after I posted this cautionary message. Time will tell if my concerns had merit.
I reported from the state and national Marches for Life in 2018, and I plan to do the same in 2019. On January 12, less than two weeks from now, you can attend any portion of the day-long program of events that accompany the march in Concord. The March for Life in Washington will be held the following Friday, January 18.
2018 brought two more 40 Days for Life campaigns. The next one is coming up in a little over a month, and you’ll be hearing more from me about that in the coming days.
I went to St. Louis, Missouri for the third annual Pro-Life Women’s Conference last June. The first PLWC in 2016 was organized by Abby Johnson and the team at And Then There Were None. Since then, the conference has grown to include a diverse group of speakers and attendees guaranteed to broaden the horizons of anyone working in the pro-life movement. For just one example, read the message from one of this year’s featured speakers, Savannah Marten: “We find the tables we need to be sitting at.”
The next Pro-Life Women’s Conference is scheduled for June 2019 in New Orleans. I’m already saving my pennies for it. Check out the event’s web site; you might want to make the trip, too.
Best Short Video: “Desperate Measures”
For media in 2018, the Gosnell film is in a class by itself. For short video, I was glad to find and share “Desperate Measures” by Sidewalk Advocates for Life. Featuring former abortion workers who are now committed pro-lifers, the video is a direct response to recent sit-ins and “rescues” at abortion facilities. The message is don’t do it – and here’s the better way to carry out peaceful pro-life witness.
I’ll be back at the State House to report on 2019 legislation including buffer zone repeal, abortion statistics, and death penalty repeal. I’ll venture to claim that since 2012, no other New Hampshire blog has covered life-issue bills in Concord to the extent attempted by this little enterprise called Leaven for the Loaf. I aim to keep it going.
When my travels lead me to inspirational people and places, you’ll hear about them.
Over a year ago, I had intended to publish an anthology of Leaven posts – and I’m glad I didn’t! The manuscript was not ready for prime time. In 2019, on a much more modest scale than first envisioned, the anthology will be ready.
As longtime readers will have noticed, Facebook and Twitter became significant extensions of the blog in 2018, especially during coverage of marches and conferences. If you’re not following those social media feeds yet, I invite you to do so.
I ask the indulgence of my discerning readers as I dispose of a bit of housekeeping. Please follow along and I promise we’ll get back to changing the world ASAP.
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Thank you kindly. See you later this week with a report on the abortion statistics vote in the New Hampshire House.
Leaven for the Loaf’s most popular posts for 2017 are heavy on State House action, reflecting an eventful year. But wait – there’s more. Here’s a review of five of the ten most-viewed posts from 2017. Watch for the top five later this week.
January’s March for Life in Concord was sponsored once again by New Hampshire Right to Life, with featured speaker Jennifer Lahl. People came from all over New Hampshire, peacefully resolved to defend the right to life.
On the same day that the House debated a fetal homicide bill, it also took up a bill from the Commerce committee related to trusts. Lo and behold, the trusts bill referred to “unborn person.” The trusts bill somehow got by without scrutiny from the same people who were afraid a fetal homicide law would confer personhood.
My thanks to Rep. Jeanine Notter, who came to the gallery the day of the debate to show me the Commerce bill. The irony of the term “unborn person” was not lost on her.
In their Concord testimony, opponents of fetal homicide legislation usually gave a pro forma gee-I’m-sorry nod to bereaved parents before going on to say that the legislation would interfere with women’s rights. I decided it was time to highlight the women whose children had died in utero in legal limbo: dead due to someone else’s actions, but not a victim under law.
A dedicated group of volunteers is working to open another shelter for pregnant and parenting women in New Hampshire. This post is from last April, and the effort to find and fund a house is still underway.
“All nine months: that’s how far into pregnancy abortion is legal in New Hampshire. Viable, non-viable, with or without ‘anomalies’: all irrelevant. What’s more, any abortion-minded woman in New Hampshire is entitled to a dead baby, not merely a terminated pregnancy.
“Rep. Keith Murphy and ten co-sponsors brought forward HB 578 in an effort to push back against that bit of barbarity. Murphy took Justice Blackmun at his word as expressed in Roe v. Wade: the state may assert an interest in the preborn child once that child is viable.
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