Weekend reading, 4/22/16

Every Friday, I’ll offer you links to three posts of the week from other blogs and news sources to take you into the weekend. My favorite writers, a fresh take on a familiar topic, or just plain interesting stuff: look for the cream of the week’s crop right here (after you read Leaven’s posts, of course). 

Mollie Hemingway: 11 Quick Takeaways From This Week’s U.S. House Hearing On Aborted Baby Parts Trafficking (thefederalist.com)

“Abortion clinics and the businesses that purchase aborted baby parts likely conspired to violate federal laws against fetal human organ trafficking, expert witnesses at a House hearing testified yesterday. Evidence of a widespread market for unborn baby parts — down to the tongue, scalp, eyes — was introduced at a testy hearing of the House Select Panel on Infant Lives.” Read the rest of the post…

Justine Worden: “To My Georgetown Sisters” (womenspeakforthemselves.com)

“Some of my peers may be very excited about [PPFA president Cecile Richards speaking at Georgetown]. However, as a Catholic, pro-life, female at Georgetown…[it] keeps me up at night to know that the face of the pro-abortion movement will be given an unchallenged platform to promote her agenda to a room full of my fellow Hoyas, whom I hold dear to my heart as my sisters and brothers. This concerns me primarily because this is a matter of life and death. Women and men who go into the event without a definitive stance on the issue, or who perhaps are facing an unintended pregnancy, will be exposed to a message that overwhelmingly encourages abortion, coming from a woman who treats it as nothing of consequence. This very event could lead audience members down the irreversibly devastating path of abortion.” Read the rest of the post…

Tod Worner: “The Day Solzhenitsyn Schooled Harvard on the Decline of the West” (aleteia.org)

[Quoting Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn] “We have placed too much hope in political and social reforms, only to find out that we were being deprived of our most precious possession: our spiritual life … [our life’s task] has to be the fulfillment of a permanent, earnest duty so that one’s life journey may become an experience of moral growth, so that [we] may leave life a better human than one started it.” Read the rest of the post…

After a grim week, a way forward – and a surprise no-show on EC agenda

Writers more gifted than I have responded and reacted in every possible forum to the Planned Parenthood physician captured on video discussing the procurement and sale of fetal body parts. Initial shock and revulsion have had their way with me. It’s time to look ahead. How?

First, act locally. In my area, that means watching the Executive Council to see how they deal with PP contracts.

By the way, I was surprised when the agenda for next Wednesday’s Council meeting was posted today without an item for a Planned Parenthood contract. I certainly expected one, knowing that their last round of state funding was due to expire June 30 (see this post from January 2014). 

Second, I’m going to reflect on two posts from people full of heart and hope.

Shawn Carney (40daysforlife.com photo)
Shawn Carney (40daysforlife.com photo)

From Shawn Carney of 40 Days for Life: “We take risks when we are outraged. I challenge you to take a risk and use this video as a point of action, not to dwell on it and get depressed about the state of our culture – that is paralyzing and doesn’t do anyone any good. Instead, face and mourn the reality of abortion, pray and then act. I know the motivating power of frustration because the first-ever 40 Days for Life campaign came from frustration. That frustration led to prayer and prayer led to a peaceful 40-day campaign that has now been done in 579 cities in 30 countries.” Read The Question on Everyone’s Mind. 

Abby Johnson (E. Kolb photo)
Abby Johnson (E. Kolb photo)

And from Abby Johnson, ex-PP worker and founder of And Then There Were None, came an open letter addressed to one but meant for all. In Dear Dr. Nucatola: I used to harvest fetal tissue for Planned Parenthood just like you, she writes, “We believe that your life holds infinite value and worth. You matter to us. As hard as I fight to save unborn babies, I fight just as hard to save people like you from the grips of the abortion industry.” It’s a sobering and thoughtful reminder – to me, anyway – that the woman on video, nibbling on salad and sipping wine and describing how to abort a child without crushing the valuable parts, is still capable of making choices that could change her life.

Finally, looking ahead doesn’t mean forgetting what’s happened – not by a long shot. I am bookmarking three things for future reference: the transcript of the full-length video made by the Center for Medical Progress, the nine-minute CMS video that stunned me, and Mollie Hemingway’s sharp review of how major news outlets covered the story: The Bad, Worse, and Ugly: Media Coverage of Planned Parenthood’s Organ Harvesting Scandal.


Mollie Hemingway on Democrats, the abortion lobby, and the human trafficking bill

Mollie Hemingway (photo: thefederalist.com)
Mollie Hemingway (photo: thefederalist.com)

Worth reading in full: Mollie Hemingway of The Federalist writes about how the human trafficking filibuster proves that the abortion lobby controls Democrats.  It doesn’t paint a pretty picture of what goes on in Washington. I wrote a few days ago about how New Hampshire’s senators split on the human trafficking bill.

Hemingway describes the alarming speed with which abortion advocates were able to change the course of the legislation:

“Prior to March 10, no Democrats opposed the bill and Planned Parenthood and NARAL didn’t issue a peep about it. Since the afternoon of March 10, when Barbara Boxer dropped her support and Planned Parenthood decided to launch its public relations campaign against the bill, Planned Parenthood has tweeted some 60 times trying to gin up opposition — more than 60 percent of its tweets during that time. Cecile Richards, the head of Planned Parenthood, tweeted a couple dozen times, also beginning on March 10. And NARAL tweeted against the bill nearly 47 times, again beginning on March 10. Heck, almost like it was all coordinated.”

Read her full post here.

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Doorways, and why they matter

A bit of thought-provoking reading to take into your weekend: check out this post by Mollie Hemingway in The Federalist. The title of her piece might put you off: “Virginia’s blood-spattered abortion clinics and onerous hallway widths.” Keep reading her essay. It all comes together.

As abortion regulations are enacted around the nation, representatives of the abortion industry raise bitter objections to putting architectural requirements into clinic regs. Why should a woman seeking abortion care how wide the hallways and doorways are inside the abortion facility? Isn’t this an attempt to force facilities to shut down, since remodeling an existing office is almost never cost-effective in the abortion industry?

No. The width of halls and doorways in a health care facility is a matter of patient safety, not provider convenience. Try evacuating an unresponsive patient from a clinic in an emergency situation. Suddenly, those wide doors and halls make sense.

I’ve kept a copy of the grand jury report on Kermit Gosnell, from January 2011. It’s basic reading for anyone, of any persuasion, who’s going to remark on abortion-facility regulations. The night Gosnell’s abortion-and-infanticide practice was finally raided, his sedated patients couldn’t walk on their own. Extricating them was a problem, since halls and doorways weren’t designed to accommodate stretchers (page 21, grand jury report).

Those women weren’t trapped by the dirty equipment throughout the facility, or by the jars of aborted children scattered around. Block those out of your mind, if you can. Imagine that the only problems were narrow doorways and halls. Women were stuck too long because Gosnell did not care enough about women’s health to provide for emergency access.

Amazingly, long after the grand jury report, after Gosnell has been convicted and imprisoned, abortion providers still fight laws like the one in Virginia that prompted Mollie Hemingway to write her post.

I think any legislator or bureaucrat considering regulations on abortion facilities should buy a tape measure. Then go take some photos and make some measurements: an abortion facility’s doors and hallways, and another ambulatory-care facility’s doors and hallways. Have the local EMTs show you what they take into a building to bring out an immobile patient – again, take photos and measurements.

That’s sketchy data, but it’s a start. You want data-driven regulations? Fine. Collect the data. I am skeptical of anyone who tells me that my rights as a woman can only be respected by guaranteeing that I’m entitled to two different safety standards, two different door widths, two different hallway requirements.

If abortion advocates think abortion is health care, they can treat it like health care, right down to the width of the doorways.