Pick of the Web 12/13/13

Help yourself to a weekend’s worth of links!

A terrible auto collision on I-89 a few days ago has highlighted once again the crying need for a fetal homicide law in New Hampshire. The New Hampshire Union Leader reports here on the deaths of two adults and a preborn child who were killed when a man attempted suicide by driving into oncoming traffic. The suicidal man survived the wreck and is facing charges. Rep. Leon Rideout (R-Lancaster) has introduced a fetal homicide bill for consideration in 2014; more on that here on the blog next week.

I love March for Life’s suggestions for what to do with a bored Member of Congress. Not every suggestion requires being an elected official, so look them over and see what inspires you.

South Africa’s Nelson Mandela has died at age 95. A leader of immense persistence and influence, his renunciation of political violence unfortunately did not extend to a rejection of abortion. Dr. Alveda King recalls him with respect and candor in “How I Failed Nelson Mandela.”

The latest annual report from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America is out, showing that PP benefited from half a billion dollars in taxpayer funding in the most recent fiscal year. The Susan B. Anthony List has prepared a fact sheet about the report, and National Right to Life’s Dave Andrusko writes about Five Takeaways From PPFA’s Annual Report.

Anyone who thinks Pope Francis is going to put aside Catholic teaching on respect for life needs to catch up on some reading. Yesterday, he called human trafficking “a crime against humanity … whoever uses and exploits the person, even indirectly, makes himself an accomplice of this abuse.”  Last Sunday, he challenged “throwaway culture” (cultura di scarto). “The victims of such a culture are precisely the weakest and most fragile human beings – the unborn, the poorest people, sick elderly people, gravely disabled people… who are in danger of being ‘thrown out,’ expelled from a machine that must be efficient at all costs. This false model of man and society embodies a practical atheism, de facto negating the Word of God that says: ‘Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness.’

The European Parliament narrowly rejected a nonbinding policy that would have promoted abortion as a “right.” The matter is sure to come up again.

Southern New Hampshire food pantries and soup kitchens need our help. You can find opportunities to donate and volunteer at the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter, Corpus Christi food pantry in Nashua, New Horizons in Manchester, and the New Hampshire Food Bank.

The movement is broad: meet secularprolife.org

In the course of writing about the life issues, I’ve communicated with a lot of people I’ve never met in person. Some of us are online pen pals, basically. I just got a little present from one of them.

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bumper stickers from secularprolife.org

How’s that for a gesture of good will? I love it.

I believe in God. My correspondent doesn’t. We have in common the knowledge that a preborn human being is nothing less than … well, human.

If you’d like more information about Secular Pro-life, go to www.secularprolife.org. Look for their banner at the national March for Life, too.

Schedule announced for New Hampshire’s March for Life January 2014

New Hampshire Right to Life has just released the schedule for next months’s March for Life in Concord. The date is Saturday, January 18, a few days ahead of the 41st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.

9 a.m. at the Concord Landfill on Airport Drive: memorial service for the preborn children whose remains were found discarded in municipal trash years ago. At that time, prolife activists sought and were refused permission to relocate the remains. Every year since, prolife New Hampshire’s observance of Roe has begun with a brief public service at the landfill’s gate.

10 a.m.: Catholic Mass at St. John the Evangelist Church, 72 South Main Street, about a mile south of the State House

11:15 a.m.: rally on the State House plaza. Address is 107 N. Main, but you can just look for the golden dome. Bring a sign if you’d like, or pick one up at the rally.

Jeanneane Maxon of Americans United for Life (courtesy nhrtl.org)

Jeanneane Maxon of Americans United for Life (courtesy nhrtl.org)

11:45 a.m.: march from the State House, proceeding south on Main Street past the Feminist Health Center (an abortion facility), ending at St. John the Evangelist Church

1 p.m.: program at St. John’s parish center. Hot drinks and food will be available. It’s all free, but bring a donation if you can.

The principal speaker at the program will be Jeanneane Maxon, an attorney with Americans United for Life. I last spoke with her when she came to New Hampshire to testify in favor of the House resolution supporting pregnancy care centers in 2012. Along with the testimony by directors of PCCs in New Hampshire, Jeanneane’s calm and clear presentation to the legislative committee helped to assure that PCCs got the support from the House they deserved. Jeanneane is also on the board of Abby Johnson’s And Then There Were None, the ministry to workers who choose to leave the abortion industry.

Bundle up against the January cold and come to Concord! If the march itself is a problem for you because the weather is bitter or you have limited mobility or you’re traveling with fussy little ones, you can go straight to St. John’s at midday and meet up with the marchers as they arrive.

Photos of 2013’s event here.

On this date, 2012: the passing of Nellie Gray

Nellie Gray, founder of the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., died one year ago today. When she organized the first march, held in 1974 on the first anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, I doubt she had any idea how important her project would become. In this four-minute video from the March for Life organization, released after Nellie’s death, some pro-life heroes in their own right share their appreciation for this remarkable woman.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3p0HKfJl-HI

By the numbers 5/13/13

+34: net approval rating for Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. 2014: the year Shaheen will seek re-election.

+5: net approval rating for Sen. Kelly Ayotte. 2016: the year Ayotte may seek re-election, if she chooses.

U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte

U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte

Those figures are from a recent New England College poll. Shaheen is of course a leading abortion advocate. (Dispute that description? Show me one case in which she’d support an abortion restriction.) Ayotte is pro-life. She has taken a hit recently over her votes on Second Amendment-related bills & procedures. It’s tough for me to go along with any characterization of her as weak on the Second Amendment OR as “giving criminals a pass” per a recent TV ad. By the way, have the people who supported that ad already forgotten about Ayotte’s prosecution of Michael Addison for killing Officer Michael Briggs?

One Twitter feed to follow: @NHFB. The New Hampshire Food Bank offers many volunteer opportunities and dates for food drives.

Two: number of Marches for Life last week, one in Canada and one in Italy. Tens of thousands of people turned out for each one. See coverage on the home page of LifeSiteNews today.

March for Life 2013 Belonged to the Young

Nothing underscores the tenacity of the pro-life movement like the overwhelming number of college students from all over the country who converged on Washington, DC today for the 39th March for Life.  In the best way, I felt my age as I rejoiced in the fact that opposition to Roe is not a one-generation phenomenon. Moreover, as I listened to these young people today, it’s clear that their commitment to respect for life is not limited to the preborn. Roe v. Wade at 40 looked creaky today.

Thousands upon thousands of us, of all ages, marched together from the Mall past the Capitol to the Supreme Court. It took well over two hours. Under the watchful eyes of Capitol police, a few counter-protesters demonstrated on the sidewalk in front of the Court. Perhaps the light snow kept their numbers down.

We rallied on the Mall near the Washington Monument for an hour and a quarter before the March began. The biggest cheers at the rally went to former Sen. Rick Santorum who addressed the crowd with his wife Karen and several of their children alongside. Sen. Rand Paul had a well-received turn at the mic as well.

I lost count of the college groups, identified by the banners they carried. My photos show only a few. I didn’t get pictures of the groups from Yale, Penn State, Georgia Tech, Dartmouth, Northeastern, University of Michigan … I could list about twenty more. That doesn’t count the groups without banners.

Whenever the March gets news coverage, the participation by Catholic groups is impossible to miss. Less heralded are other religious communities along with groups like students from secular colleges and health care professionals. With my photos, I’ve tried to show some of the marchers who ordinarily fly under the radar. Respect for life is more widespread than you might think. So is opposition to Roe.

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This was one of the subtler references to the President on the signs at the March.

This was one of the subtler references to the President on the signs at the March.

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Florida State

Florida State

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Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) speaking at the pre-March rally

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) speaking at the pre-March rally

Ruben Verastegui of Students for Life got a huge ovation.

Ruben Verastegui of Students for Life got a huge ovation.

 

President Obama on the Incomplete Journey

“Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm.” Thus speaketh our President in his second inaugural address on this MLK Day.

True enough, sir. See you in Washington on Friday for the March for Life.