Post-veto, a clarifying moment on Twitter

Yes, Governor Chris Sununu vetoed the odious abortion insurance mandate. I’ve thanked him. I hope readers will do likewise.

Nothing in the veto changes his attitude toward abortion. The veto indicated respect for those who disagree with him, just as it indicated concern that the mandate would have cost the state money. That’s as far as it goes.

Three people came together in a Twitter exchange a few hours after the veto to clear this up for pro-life voters.

First, this from Sen. Dan Feltes (D-Concord, @DanFeltesNH), who hopes to get the Democratic nomination for Governor this fall. He pitched his customary reproductive-rights spiel. “Despite claiming to be pro-choice, @GovChrisSununu has repeatedly turned his back on reproductive health care access. Today, Sununu sided with insurance companies and the far-right over Granite State women and denied them affordable access to safe, legal abortion. #nhpolitics”

Mere minutes later came this reply from a gentleman working for the Governor’s re-election (@brvihsta), formerly on the Governor’s staff. He helpfully pointed out that Planned Parenthood has not suffered under the Governor’s leadership, despite the fact that he has disappointed them twice in five years (more about that here, under “an interesting anniversary”). “He is pro-choice. The vast majority of insurance plans already cover these services, & all this bill would have done is jeopardized federal funding during a pandemic. @ChrisSununu has brought forward state contracts for Planned Parenthood *every year* as Governor. #nhpolitics”

A state representative (@prudhommeobrien) summed it up well in her reply to Mr. Vihstadt. She does not trash the Governor, nor has she ever done so in my hearing. She is a thoughtful individual. But she does have a habit of calling things as she sees ’em. “I see. So even when he throws pro-lifers a bone, he tries to hit them in the face with it.”

Ouch. But yes.

Gratitude for the veto is a good thing. It’s downright essential, in my book. Acknowledgment of the conscience rights of Granite Staters is always refreshing to see.

Maybe that’ll extend to keeping tax dollars away from abortion providers someday.

Perhaps that’s a conversation to be had on the campaign trail.

Area screening of “Hush” attracts viewers – and deniers

Last night’s screening of the documentary Hush at the Nashua (N.H.) Public Library attracted a modest audience. It also attracted online criticism and denial of its documented claims.

I don’t know how many of the deniers actually saw the film.

This was the second time I watched it, and if anything it increased my respect for the director who refuses to shut up about her findings and experience, even in the face of disbelief or outright condescension. Something on my Twitter feed this morning serves as a brief illustration: “Unfortunate this film gets any play. It ignores available scientific evidence & distorts issue.” (At least that tweet was polite.)

The lengthy list of references at the end of the film was displayed very quickly, and only a screenshot would allow close scrutiny. There’s an abbreviated list at, as long as “available evidence” is at issue.

Director Punam Kumar Gill is steadfastly pro-choice but refuses to turn away from research pointing to conclusions that most abortion advocates don’t want to hear: links between abortion and breast cancer, between abortion and subsequent preterm births, and between abortion and adverse physical and psychological outcomes for women. She’s still pro-choice. She is also, as one of her interviewees put it, pro-information.


I’ve already written about the documentary elsewhere, albeit briefly. A few thoughts about last night’s screening:

I recognized four elected officials in the audience, all of whom remained afterward for conversation. New Hampshire’s lack of an informed consent law for abortion and failure to collect abortion statistics were topics of interest.

The film ended twenty minutes before the library closed for the evening. A library employee assured us we were welcome to stay for discussion as long as the building stayed open. I can attest that discussions continued outside on the library plaza after closing time.

No facilitator was needed. As soon as the lights came up, about four groups formed spontaneously. One woman who was there said this morning that her group’s discussion led to her, a pro-lifer, having a conversation (not an argument) with a pro-choice viewer of the film, lasting several hours off-site. The film’s director and producers would probably be pleased at that.

By far, most of the people who attended were women. I overheard several of them talking about bad experiences with condescending doctors. They don’t trust health care providers to be candid with them about abortion or anything else. It was only a generation or two ago that such medical condescension was recognized as misogyny, treating women as less-intelligent creatures who really oughta leave their health (and that of their children) to the professionals.

There was a collective gasp from the people seated near me during the film as the director was shown being escorted off the premises of a cancer research agency. All she, a pro-choice woman, had wanted to do was ask questions regarding information the agency promulgated online and in print dismissing any link between abortion and breast cancer.

The library hosted the screening after a city resident asked for it and kept following up until she heard “yes.” Maybe that gives you ideas.

“Hush” documentary: free screening in Nashua, 9/22

photo7-215x215Thanks to the diligent efforts of a Nashua resident, the groundbreaking documentary “Hush” will be shown free of charge at the Nashua Public Library on September 22 at 7 p.m. I saw this film a few months ago before its official release, and I recommend it to anyone – regardless of position on the right to life – who is concerned about women’s health. There’s no other documentary like this. A pro-choice director and a pro-life producer got together for the project with one common concern: women’s health, and whether abortion has affected it. They present their alarming and enlightening findings in the film, without sensationalism.

This excellent documentary is worth seeing. It’s less than two hours long, so the screening won’t run too late. Bring your friends & spread the word. Students, this is for you, too.

I wrote this after seeing the film last April.

Pro-choice documentary filmmaker Punam Kumar Gill and pro-life producer Joses Martin explored that subject, not knowing where it would lead. What they found was clinical evidence of a link between abortion and breast cancer – a link that has been “hushed up.” They also saw how in different parts of the world, preborn girls are usually the ones targeted in sex-selection abortions. Gill and Martin saw the money-making side of the abortion industry and the effects of abortion on a woman’s later pregnancies.

“Hush” is the result. Gill remains pro-choice, but she doesn’t deny or turn away from her infuriating findings. She calls for open, honest dialogue.

Thursday, September 22, 7 p.m. at the Nashua Public Library: your evening will be well-spent.