NH CD2: Kuster uses graveyard theme to accept pro-abortion group’s endorsement; pro-life women speak out for Garcia

Call this a tale of two press conferences. This week, a pair of endorsements came out in the Second Congressional District race between incumbent Ann Kuster and challenger Marilinda Garcia. Quite a contrast.

Kuster stands in front of symbol of death to accept abortion advocates’ endorsement

NARAL-NH has endorsed Ann Kuster for re-election. That was altogether predictable. What I couldn’t have predicted is that a member of Congress would think it clever to stand in front of a skeleton figure while accepting an endorsement for her abortion advocacy. If a picture is worth a thousand words, I need say no more about this.

Congresswomen Ann Kuster (D-NH) accepts NARAL endorsement, 10/20/14.
Congresswomen Ann Kuster (D-NH) accepts NARAL endorsement, 10/20/14. Photo from Cornerstone PAC press release http://eepurl.com/6thWX

Pro-life women join Women Speak Out PAC to support Marilinda Garcia

A couple of days ahead of the Kuster spectacle, Women Speak Out PAC announced a $50,000 independent-expenditure ad buy in support of Marilinda Garcia. Women Speak Out PAC is a partner of the Susan B. Anthony List, which is dedicated to electing pro-life women and promoting pro-life legislation at state and federal levels. Three New Hampshire women from the Second Congressional District spoke at a press conference kicking off the ad campaign. They are pushing back on Ann Kuster’s pro-abortion message.

Marilyn Musgrave, representing Women Speak Out PAC, called Garcia “a strong young woman who is courageous, who opposes taxpayer funding of abortion, who knows that banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy is the compassionate thing to do.”

College student re Kuster: “By  refusing to protect the next generation, she is hurting my generation.”

Sarah Koski
Sarah Koski

Sarah Koski is a college student and a voter in Ann Kuster’s district. She wonders if she even registers on Kuster’s radar. “Ann Kuster and her friends have fabricated this lie that somehow leading a successful life as a young woman is completely incompatible with being a pro-life conservative Republican. This is untrue. I am one of many women who respect the sanctity of life at every stage. Ann Kuster does not represent me.

“She says that she cares about us and that she’s going to protect our rights. But in reality, she treats me like I lack the capacity to have a life outside of myself. That’s not the kind of representation that I want. We know that abortion kills innocent children. We also know that it hurts women. We need to make sure that we band together and make sure that we reveal this truth about Ann Kuster: by refusing to protect the next generation, she is hurting my generation. I think it’s high time that this demeaning attitude towards women come to an end.”

Koski is looking forward to entering the post-college job market. She has started giving serious consideration to what paycheck deductions are about. Just what, she wonders, are our representatives doing with that money? “Ann Kuster’s fiscal record is very clear. As it pertains to abortion, she voted against the No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act. Which means that she’s in favor of letting my money be used to fund abortions on demand. I’m not alone in this concern. The majority of Americans, 72% of Americans, believe that we should not allow our tax money to go towards funding abortions on demand. 72% agree that it is wrong for my representative to take my money and use it to fund something that I fundamentally disagree with and find immoral. The good news is that we have the opportunity to change that this November. We have an opportunity to send a new voice to Washington. And I sincerely hope you will join me in that effort.”

Garcia “would be a champion for life … Ann Kuster is not our champion.”

Margaret Carnahan at podium with Karen Testerman (dark jacket), Christine Peters (center), and Rep. Jeanine Notter (right front)
Margaret Carnahan at podium with Karen Testerman (dark jacket), Christine Peters (center), and Rep. Jeanine Notter (right front)

Margaret Carnahan of Concord is one CD2 voter who is tired of being represented by an abortion extremist. “I cannot say [Kuster] represents me. When the opportunity came for the Congresswoman to show a compassionate way to protect unborn babies five months and older in the womb, she chose not to support that legislation” – the Unborn Child Pain-Capable Act, a post-20-week abortion ban. “Worse, she voted no, she would not protect unborn babies, even though the babies were old enough to recognize their mothers’ voices and to feel pain.Carnahan spoke of a friend’s child born at 30 weeks. “One pound thirteen ounces. When I went to the NICU and saw all the micro-preemie babies, my heart went out to them. We saw one little boy named Jacob, born at 22 and a half weeks gestation. He was fighting for life. What we learned from seeing Jacob and Isabella is that a baby looks when outside the womb the same as when inside the womb – a complete living human being. I saw the tenacity to live. They needed a protector and a champion to speak on their behalf.

“Ann Kuster is not our champion and she is not a protector of the unborn child. She does not reflect our values. She does not reflect our compassionate heart. Marilinda Garcia would be a champion for life, who would reflect a woman’s heart towards life.”

“I’m beginning to think a little bit differently about what our daughters face”

New Hampshire women who vote pro-life have a message for Ann Kuster.
New Hampshire women who vote pro-life have a message for Ann Kuster.

Christine Peters of Amherst is the mother of four. She says her daughter’s about to become a teenager, “so I’m beginning to think  little bit differently about the issue of Planned Parenthood [whose PAC backs Kuster] and choice and what my daughters face for messaging that’s being targeted toward them.” She added that her own experience as a CareNet crisis pregnancy center volunteer broadened her pro-life perspective. “I began to change how I thought about it. It became a little less about the babies – although I’m in favor of saving babies – and more about those women who are facing crisis pregnancies. When you look at Ann Kuster, you cannot call her pro-choice. She is 100% pro-abort. There is no choice for women who walk into Planned Parenthood. That is the war on women and our unborn. Send extremist Ann Kuster into retirement and give Marilinda Garcia a chance to reflect a view that will prepare the way for our daughters, giving them the choices they really truly need.”

For more information about Women Speak Out PAC, go to womenspeakoutpac.com. You can read more about the Susan B. Anthony List at sba-list.org



Assorted NH notes for a busy week

New Hampshire’s a lively place these days. A recent court decision that was good for educational choice might have an unexpected bearing on pro-life activists. There’s an election next week, in case the glut of political ads in your mailbox isn’t enough of a clue. Events are crowding the calendar. Here’s the smorgasbord; help yourself.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court just did what?

New Hampshire Supreme Court building. Ellen Kolb photo.

After I was finished doing the happy dance over the state Supreme Court’s recent decision on the education tax credit (Duncan v. State of NH), I heard from various sources that the denial of standing to the plaintiffs (leading to dismissal of the case) might not augur well for plaintiffs in other cases who can’t prove direct harm from a challenged law. Does this mean that the plaintiffs in Reddy v. Foster, the buffer zone suit, might lack standing since the law hasn’t actually been used against them yet? That’s what at least one defendant has already asserted in an affidavit, and Duncan might have a bearing on the point. It’ll be interesting to see if this comes up at the status hearing on Reddy later this month.

One possible scenario: the anti-free-speech “buffer zone” law stays on the books, unenforced. Perhaps no one will be granted standing to sue until the law IS enforced. In that situation, abortion advocates could crow about a hollow legislative victory while pro-life witness continues unabated. That’s strictly speculation, but it’s an interesting possibility. See you in court.

What blog visitors are reading

Jim Lawrence (photo from lawrenceforcongress.com)
Jim Lawrence (photo from lawrenceforcongress.com)

For what it’s worth, the two most-clicked-on Leaven for the Loaf posts in the past few days have been on Second Congressional District candidate Jim Lawrence and U.S. Senate candidate Jim Rubens. People seem to be checking out the underdogs this week. Leaven’s interview with Bob Smith is getting attention as well.

Not one, not two, but three CD2 candidates with some pro-life credentials

Rep. Marilinda Garcia (photo from marilindagarcia.com)
Rep. Marilinda Garcia (photo from marilindagarcia.com)

The Republican primary in the Second Congressional District (CD2) is becoming heated. I’ll leave commentary on that to other observers. What’s unusual is that Marilinda Garcia, Gary Lambert and Jim Lawrence all have voting records at the state level that give abortion advocacy groups fits. Lambert had only a single two-year term, so his record is thin. Nevertheless, all three can claim to have supported some pro-life legislation while in Concord.

CD2 voters can ask Gary Lambert about a 2010 survey in which he said “I am personally pro-life but I do not believe the government should dictate what a woman can or cannot do on this issue.” I hasten to add that once elected in 2010, Lambert supported a fetal homicide bill and a ban on partial-birth abortions (as did Garcia in the same term), and he opposed a motion to kill an informed consent bill. 

Gary Lambert (photo from nh.gov)
Gary Lambert (photo from nh.gov)

Lambert’s personally-opposed-but statement can still be squared with those votes, since none of the bills would have prevented a woman from obtaining an abortion. In fact, the fetal homicide bill did not address abortion at all. Abortion advocacy groups fought all those bills anyway. Go figure.


The Pray for Life Center in Manchester is hosting a baby shower this Sunday, September 7. More information here.

40 Days for Life begins September 24 in Manchester (outside PP on Pennacook Street) and Greenland (outside the Lovering Center). Register at 40daysforlife.com for access to the vigil calendars where you can sign up for an hour (or lots of hours) of prayerful, peaceful pro-life witness. Opening rallies: September 21 in Greenland, September 22 in Manchester.

New Hampshire Right to Life’s annual banquet has featured some great speakers (as with Kristan Hawkins in 2013), and this year’s event promises more of the same. Julia Holcomb is the headliner at NHRTL’s banquet on Thursday, October 2 at the Executive Court banquet facility on Mammoth Road at the Manchester-Londonderry town line. Reservations are now being accepted.

“Living Life to the Fullest” is the title of an all-day event at St. Patrick church in Newport NH on Saturday, November 8. Four sessions will address aging, bioethics, end-of-life care and advance directives.

The primary election is next Tuesday, September 9. The general election is November 4. If you think you’re too busy to vote, ponder this: every single seat in the New Hampshire legislature is up for grabs. That’s enough to get me going to the polls.

Next Leaven for the Loaf newsletter coming soon

The next email newsletter for blog subscribers is scheduled to go out Monday, September 8, featuring information on contested state rep primary races where pro-life incumbents face challengers. Don’t miss it. Subscribe by clicking the “newsletter” button on the Leaven for the Loaf Facebook page or subscribe to the blog directly.

Do you have a life-issues event coming up? Please add Leaven for the Loaf to your contact list: ellen@leavenfortheloaf.com

Parting shot

An observation from Cathy Kelley, as published in the Pray for Life Center weekly update for August 28:

After bringing a woman in for an abortion a man was told to leave the premises. Seems PP [in Manchester] was not happy he had a gun in his holster. The woman was picked up later by a man carrying a knife. The employees say they are intimidated by people holding rosary beads and brochures. REALLY???”


NH GOP CD2 candidates Garcia & Lambert have a voting record on the life issues

New Hampshire’s Second District Congresswoman, Democrat Ann Kuster, has a battle ahead of her next year. There will be at least two Republicans competing to get past the GOP primary and onto the November ballot.

Col. Gary Lambert (photo from Google public profile)
Col. Gary Lambert (photo from Google public profile)
Rep. Marilinda Garcia (photo from marilindagarcia.com)
Rep. Marilinda Garcia (photo from marilindagarcia.com)

Gary Lambert served as state senator from Nashua for one term. His campaign web site highlights his experience as a Marine Corps veteran, but I still think of him as Senator Lambert. Marilinda Garcia is serving her fourth term as a state representative from Salem and is now seeking the CD2 seat. Both candidates’ web sites emphasize economic issues.

So where are they on the right to life? Their Concord records look good, based on votes in 2012. Lambert was on the short end of some Senate votes to shunt aside good bills, indicating his willingness to keep conversations going even when there was no straight-up-or-down vote at stake.

HB 217, fetal homicide (I wrote an overview of the bill here): Lambert and Garcia supported the bill. When Governor John Lynch vetoed it, Garcia voted to override the veto. The House override vote fell just short of the necessary two-thirds.

HB 228, prohibiting the use of public funds for abortion services: Garcia voted yes. When the bill got to the Senate, it was tabled, with Lambert opposing the tabling motion.

HB 1659, Women’s Right to Know (informed consent for abortion): Garcia was absent from the final House vote on the bill, but she earlier opposed a motion to kill it. The Senate killed the bill, with Lambert voting against the Inexpedient to Legislate (ITL) motion.

HB 1660, to limit post-20-week abortions: Garcia voted yes. In the Senate, where the bill was sent to interim study and never heard from again, Lambert opposed the interim study motion.

HB 1679, a ban on partial-birth abortion, which passed and is now on the books: Garcia and Lambert supported the bill, and they both voted to override Gov. Lynch’s veto. This one did not affect the legality of abortion overall; it just ruled out the killing of a partially-emerged child as an abortion method. Remember that when abortion advocates start calling Garcia or Lambert “anti-choice.”

HB 1680, abortion statistics: here’s a weird one. Rep. Garcia was the chief sponsor of a bill calling for the collection of abortion statistics. It passed, but it did nothing to bring stats reporting to New Hampshire. It was amended into nothingness.The final bill called on the Health and Human Services committee to set up a subcommittee to advise the General Court (House & Senate) “on the collection of data regarding induced termination of pregnancy statistics.” There was never any follow-up. This paper “win” was therefore not substantive. For what it’s worth, the gutted bill passed both Houses without a recorded roll call (division vote in House, voice vote in Senate).

HCR 31, commending pregnancy care centers that provide life-affirming options without doing abortions: Garcia voted for the resolution in the House, where it passed by a single vote. The Senate passed it on a voice vote.

HCR 41, urging Congress to find the U.S. grant to Planned Parenthood of Northern New England null and void: this was a way for legislators to express their annoyance at the federal government for helping PPNNE get around the state’s decision to reject its Title X contract in 2011. Garcia voted yes, Lambert voted no, and the resolution failed.

I can attest to the calm and respectful manner in which both candidates conducted themselves at the State House during hearings and discussions on these bills. They have the temperament of bridge-builders. It remains to be seen how that holds up during what is sure to be a lively campaign.