The next 40 Days for Life campaign begins on September 26 and ends on November 4. Learn more about the peaceful pro-life witness at 40daysforlife.com, where you can also look up your local campaign in order to sign up for vigil hours.
Kickoff rallies for the Manchester and Greenland, N.H. campaigns will take place at 2 p.m. on Sunday, September 23. Manchester’s rally will take place at Ste. Marie Church, and you can RSVP online. Greenland’s rally will be in the Greenland town offices parking lot; learn more on the Facebook event page.
New Hampshire Right to Life Banquet
The annual benefit banquet benefiting the New Hampshire Right to Life Committee will take place October 4, 2018 at the Executive Court in Manchester. See the NHRTL web site for details and ticket information. The featured speaker will be Sue Ann Browder.
St. Charles 5k Road Race
The 22nd annual St. Charles 5k race is coming up on Labor Day, September 3. Get details at the race web site and register today. Runners and walkers alike are welcome at this terrific event that benefits the work of St. Charles School, where the “Running Nuns” provide academic, social, emotional and behavioral services in a therapeutic setting for male and female students in grades K-8.
Primary Election Day: September 11, 2018
The primary election for New Hampshire federal, state and county offices is Tuesday, September 11. If you are eligible to vote in a primary (contact your town clerk with any questions about that), you can find a sample ballot now at your town hall or at the Secretary of State’s web site. Now’s the time to do your research on the candidates.
I wrote awhile ago about some 2018 New Hampshire House life-issue votes. If your state reps are running for re-election, you might be interested in how they voted on things like conscience rights for medical personnel (HB 1787; the motion was “inexpedient to legislate” so a Nay vote indicated support for the bill), and on abortion statistics (HB 471; the last motion on the bill was “inexpedient to legislate” so a Nay vote indicated support for the bill).
Before last week, the last time Planned Parenthood of Northern New England heard “no” from the Executive Council was in 2011. When PPNNE’s Title X contract proposal was rejected that year, the agency mysteriously obtained a compensatory federal grant without a public hearing or process of disclosure. How did that happen? New Hampshire Right to Life filed suit at that time to get information about the grant, with the help of Alliance Defending Freedom and local allied attorney Michael Tierney. The case has slowly made its way through federal courts. This week, ADF filed a petition for a hearing on the case at the U.S. Supreme Court.
In a post on NHRTL’s Facebook page the day the petition was filed, NHRTL President Jane Cormier commented that in the wake of the recent Executive Council vote against a PP contract, “[W]e must NOT allow this backdoor funding to happen again. NHRTL will fight against the federal government usurping NH fiscal decisions. Hopefully, the Supreme Court will hear this case.”
New Hampshire Right to Life’s banquet last week was the usual cheerful gathering. Dinner service began later than scheduled, thanks to a lot of mingling and laughter. High school and college students filled some of the tables, with the young men looking various shades of uncomfortable in their jackets and ties. A few candidates made the rounds. Everyone applauded the evening’s honorees.
Then Julia Holcomb started talking, and the vast banquet hall went silent. “You could hear a pin drop on the floor in the back of the room,” reported one of her listeners later.
Julia is with the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. She’s a happy woman who has built a good life: married for 30 years, mother to seven children with her husband. Her story is about another child, her first, lost at five month’s gestation to a saline abortion when Julia was 17. (Does anyone born since 1990 know what that is? Inject saline into the mother’s uterus, scald the baby to death, deliver dead baby. State of the art in the late twentieth century.) The abortion was coerced. The father was and is rich and famous. The relationship did not survive the abortion by very long. Her own account is far more compelling than any description I could provide; take the time to watch a video of her testimony here.
It’s tough to take phrases like “choice” and “reproductive justice” seriously after hearing from Julia Holcomb. Slogans fade away in the face of a woman speaking with such courage and honesty.
Not even forty years of Roe v. Wade can discourage or silence us.
Pro-life New Hampshire was out in force today in Concord, with people of all ages coming together to celebrate life and renew their commitment to moving past Roe. My thanks go to the New Hampshire Right to Life Committee for organizing and sponsoring the day’s events. By my count, I was one of 350 people filling the sidewalk on Main Street between the State House and St. John’s church. Many of my longtime friends and colleagues were there. They won’t mind when I say that as much as I love seeing them, I was overjoyed by all the new faces at the march. The pro-life movement is growing all the time. So many young people! How can I not be full of hope?
Usually, the march goes south on Main Street, passing in front of the Feminist Health Center. This year, we were diverted around the block, for reasons which escape me. A couple of dozen abortion advocates stood near the FHC anyway with their signs and their chants. They had to chant for quite awhile. It took a half hour for the line of pro-lifers to pass a given point, since as always we obeyed the terms of the city permit: stay out of the street, and don’t block the sidewalk. You want 350 people walking two abreast? Works for me. Our message stays out there that much longer.
Who came? Young parents pushing kids in strollers. People in wheelchairs. State reps. Clergy and nuns (and why not, since the Reproductive Rights Caucus leader is so proud to be Catholic?). Church groups. High school & college students. This is just a hint of what I know I’ll see in Washington in a few days. Enormously encouraging, all of it.