Y’know what’s worse than being in the path of a hurricane? Having loved ones in the path, when you’re far away and can’t do a whole lot to help. I’m with Fausta, in that my mind is elsewhere right now.

Of course, it’s altogether possible that Irma will come up the coast and visit my neighborhood after she’s done with Florida. It’s a sign of the times that the thought of being assailed by Irma is easier to grasp than the thought of an ineffectual GOP majority in Washington.

So, hurricane thoughts:

Be prepared, just like they taught us in Scouts. If it’s not a hurricane now, it’ll be an ice storm in December or a blizzard next March. Don’t be That Person going after the last water, bread and milk at the grocery store. (Because I am likely to be That Person, and I hate competition.)

Storm-chasers are a special breed, and I’m still trying to figure out if that’s a good thing. Neighbors of mine are indulging themselves by heading south to observe Irma, up close and personal. Part of me is looking forward to their reports, which are sure to be fascinating – and part of me is thinking “y’all are plumb crazy.”

If you haven’t seen this one, join me in a toast to the Delta crew that flew a 737 to San Juan as Irma bore down – and then out, the last plane to leave before air traffic control closed up shop for the duration.

Finally, let’s spare a thought for everyone caught up in the western fires. That part of the USA could use the rain that those of us to the east and south are enduring. I’m off to Washington state shortly, and I’ve been warned to expect ash on everything the way we New Englanders get springtime pollen.

May you and yours be safe in the face of storms of all kinds.

Ellen Kolb is a writer and pro-life activist living in New Hampshire. Read more of her work at EllenKolb.com/blog.

Don’t forget that Da Tech Guy is hosting Robert Stacy McCain for “Buffet, Books, & Blather” in Leominster on September 9.

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I heard anecdotes about a man with a pro-life sign being assailed during the recent Boston demonstration/counterdemonstration, and then found that an Esquire writer tweeted a short video of the incident.    (Language alert.)

The guy was carrying a poster with photos of preborn human beings on the upper half of the poster, visible in the video. (I should add that these were not bloody-baby pictures. If there were any photos of aborted remains on the lower part of the poster, I didn’t see them due to the camera angle.) He was pursued – or as the Esquire writer put it, “made to part ways with his sign” – by masked assailants, who tore the photos off the poster one by one. Among the screaming voices was a woman’s, saying something that sounded like “I chose to have my baby but I’m glad I had a choice!”

At least that particular woman had the integrity to speak her mind without hiding behind a mask and without vandalizing anything.

In Pete’s coverage of the recent Boston demonstration/counterdemonstration,   he noted that the unifying factor among the disparate “counter” groups was anti-Trump sentiment to a greater or lesser degree. I don’t dispute that. I think that sentiment was accompanied by more than a dash of abortion advocacy, of a kind that was around long before Trump and will sadly be around long after he moves on.

I have no idea who the man with the poster supported for President; perhaps like me he’s at risk of being hashtagged #NeverTrump. Those masked hooligans who vandalized his sign didn’t care. The evidently harbored antipathy to the right to life and to anyone promoting it. Trump didn’t even need to be a factor for them.

That was one incident, involving relatively few people, in a place where tens of thousands of people had congregated for various purposes. Maybe the masked vandals who tore up photos of the preborn humans weren’t representative of the larger crowd. Then again, maybe they were.

Mayor and President alike tweeted approval of the day’s peaceful demonstrators speaking out against hate. It was a day for broad strokes, not fine details, so maybe incidents like the one I’ve described escaped the politicians’ notice.

But is it something other than hate when masked people carrying sticks menace a man holding a poster? Is it peaceful to rip up a sign someone’s holding, as long as no one sustains physical injury?  I’m pretty sure that if I, as a pro-lifer, were to tear up a sign held by someone, I’d be charged with simple assault under the laws of my state. (Rightly so, I might add.) Maybe the Boston police had to pick their battles, so to speak, and sign-ripping wasn’t a law enforcement priority the day of a mass rally. Understandable, from a tactical point of view. But I believe the Boston sign vandals got a pass that wouldn’t have been afforded to anyone tearing up a pro-abortion sign.

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Ellen Kolb is a writer and pro-life activist living in New Hampshire. Read more of her work at EllenKolb.com/blog.

I’m rambling a bit here, but all these disjointed thoughts about some life issues seem to be drifting together.

There’s nothing new under the sun, says the book of Ecclesiastes. What’s strange to me is old news to someone in a different place or situation.

I’m thinking in particular of two women from Canada whom I recently met, and of the parents of Charlie Gard, whose story you may already know (see Pete’s reflection on Charlie’s death).

Charlie Gard is at rest now, and his parents in their grief are at least spared further attention from the European Commission on Human Rights, which denied them custody of their critically-ill son. When they started seeking treatment for their baby – AND raising money for it, so the National Health Service in their country (Britain) couldn’t plead lack of resources – I’m sure they were shocked to find out that a hospital could deny them custody. The “experts” knew better. The “experts” were going to ration care, since the parents wouldn’t ration it themselves.

It can’t happen here, I thought. We don’t have a single-payer system for health care (at least not yet). I ventured to say as much to a few people. Two of them gave me a where-have-you-been look and reminded me about Justina Pelletier. Shame on me for needing to be reminded.

Nothing new.

The Canadian women I mentioned were attending a pro-life conference with me, and we chatted over coffee as we waited for the day’s work to begin. They told me about their province where a “bubble zone” law is in effect and where doctors who don’t do abortions are obliged to refer abortion-minded patients to more accommodating providers.

I was surprised at what they said, until I reflected that my own state has a buffer zone law, although no abortion provider will use it for fear of litigation which will result in the law being thrown out. (Our law is modeled on the one the Supreme Court threw out in the McCullen case from Massachusetts.) Likewise, conscience protections for health care providers have been defeated again and again in my state legislature, although so far no statute requires abortion referrals.

Nothing new. The details are different between my state and their province, but the issues are the same.

My Canadian companions weren’t complaining, though. They spoke in matter-of-fact tones, without hand-wringing. They go out to witness near abortion facilities anyway. They support physicians and other providers whose conscience rights are at risk. They refuse to shrug and go home, thinking “game over.”

What a witness they were to me, in their quiet way.

For that matter, there was no “game over” for women at that pro-life conference who spoke about “adverse prenatal diagnosis.” Those moms we listened to were all told during pregnancy that they had defective babies. The language varied, but the message was the same. All were told they could abort. All said no (and I’m sure a few said “hell, no”).

The outcomes: some of the children died in infancy – but they died in the arms of their parents, not in the custody of the state. Other children were born and, lo and behold, had none of the maladies that had been diagnosed or predicted prenatally by the “experts.” Still others were born with complex conditions that proved manageable and treatable.

Among the lessons: doctors don’t know everything. Nothing new there.

That brings me back to the family of Charlie Gard. I’m sure that neither of his parents woke up one day and said, “Gee, I think I’ll be pro-life today!” They weren’t pursuing a cause. They were defending their son. They weren’t denying the reality of their son’s condition, but they defended their own right to be parents and Charlie’s rights as well, first to receive treatment and then to die in their loving arms.

One unexpected situation at a time, one appalling governmental policy at a time, all the people I’m thinking about refused to say game over. The family of Charlie Gard, the Canadian women who refused to be discouraged, the mothers who were told their kids were hopelessly imperfect: I have things to learn from each of them.

And that’s nothing new.

When does independence in a politician become inconsistency? Does it matter? An election held near my town this week says it does – and that inconsistency sometimes just doesn’t pay.

The race was for a state senate seat. The candidates were two experienced politicians – one an alderman in the state’s largest city, the other a former state senator trying to reclaim his old seat. The district sprawls over a Democrat-leaning large city and several GOP-leaning towns. In the previous two elections, the district alternated between Republican and Democratic winners. In short, the usual indicators showed no hard advantage for either of this week’s candidates.

The Democrat won, and it wasn’t close. “A stunning repudiation of the Trump-[state governor] agenda,” crowed the state Democratic director, in a statement that was probably drafted on election night 2016 and kept in a drawer for a day like yesterday.

Nice try at grabbing the credit, but neither the President nor the Governor had a thing to do with it. Consistency, and neighbors who respected it, made the difference.

The Democrat is a down-the-line party man. Local voters who agreed with him on issues had every reason to come out and vote.  Apparently, some voters who disagreed with him didn’t find a compelling alternative on the one-race ballot.

The Republican, a nice enough guy with a positive voting record in many respects, was nevertheless inconsistent. Sometimes he voted along party lines, sometimes he didn’t, and sometimes he see-sawed on a topic.

  • The state party is pro-right-to-work and anti-casino (the latter, mostly because of the effect a casino would have on local small businesses in the hospitality and lodging industries). This week’s candidate was the opposite.
  • The candidate supported Medicaid expansion when it came up for a vote a couple of years ago, despite uncertainty in how to fund it – effectively making a promise to indigent residents without having the resources to back it up.
  • The party, on paper anyway, is pro-life; the candidate had been on the prevailing side five years ago when the state senate rejected an informed-consent-for-abortion measure on a 12-11 vote. Even so, he had pro-life votes as well over the years, including a splendid series of votes against anti-First-Amendment zones outside abortion facilities.

Call it independence or call it inconsistency, but it didn’t work out for him this week, even though he may be a nice guy and an experienced public servant. In a special election, with nothing else on the ballot, too many people couldn’t get excited enough over his mixed record to get to the polls.

I overheard a conversation this morning between a state GOP official and a GOP state representative. The party official detailed the things the party had done in the state senate race: door knocking, phone calls, ads, poll standers, the whole routine. The state rep then gently broke the news to her: it wasn’t the party that lost the election. It was the candidate. “That Medicaid expansion vote killed him.” And that was a friend of the candidate talking.

Independence of mind and spirit and conscience – that’s one thing. Throwing on a party’s mantle and expecting it to cover a multitude of inconsistencies – that’s another. When there’s only one race on the ballot, a candidate’s record looms large.

Here I’ll quote Skip Murphy of Granite Grok, a friend of DTG, who has been known to preach this particular message with a revivalist’s fervor: consistency breeds trust yields votes. 

Inconsistency breeds special election result like yesterday’s.

Ellen Kolb blogs about New Hampshire life-issue policy at Leaven for the Loaf and looks farther afield in ellenkolb.com

In the wake of the U.S. Senate’s non-vote on repealing Obamacare, one of the better memes now circulating features a gallery of chattering Senators, adorned with the legend (I’m paraphrasing) “Stuff like this is why Trump won.”

Yup. That, and the fact that he’s not Hillary Clinton.

Was his election a one-term holding action, or was it a political watershed? Will he leave behind anything but memories of his tweets? Six months after the election, I still can’t tell. At least he’s not Clinton – but that’s a low bar to clear.

There have been pluses. President Trump has seen at least one project through from beginning to end: the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, who may yet prove to be a worthy successor to the late Justice Scalia.  Trump has acknowledged Obamacare’s attacks on religious liberty, publicly announcing that the Little Sisters of the Poor could stop worrying about the government trying to coerce them into getting involved in the contraception business. (He stopped short of blocking enforcement of the odious contraceptive mandate altogether.) In a recent speech in Warsaw, he unambiguously affirmed NATO’s Article Five to an audience that wasn’t quite sure he’d do that.

Those are encouraging moves, as far as they go.

What I haven’t seen in the past six months – to pick just one item – is progress on the Obamacare mess.  The Senate, with its non-vote on Obamacare repeal, has just handed Trump a golden opportunity to set his mark on substantive policy. If he settles for the we’re-just-going-to-let-it-fail line, he’ll squander his chance.

If Donald Trump wants to repeal Obamacare as badly as Barack Obama wanted to impose it, he’ll go back to the voters, face to face, to make the case for repeal.

Not tweets. Not press conferences. Not surrogates. The situation calls for Trump himself, barnstorming, addressing voters in person, encouraging focused action. He demonstrated last year as a candidate that he knows the drill.

He – and we – have nothing to lose from such an effort, given the unbelievable failure of the GOP legislative majority to act.

About the first six months of Trump presidential tweets: where some see pugnacity in the more abrasive posts, I see contempt. (Tomato, tomahto.) I also see fodder for a hundred Democratic Congressional campaign ads. And I see zero chance that the President will moderate his tone. He would probably remind me that he wasn’t elected to be moderate.

I’m inspired by the Independence Day posts from Juliette & Christopher of DTG’s Magnificent crew. Each celebrated a beauty not to be found in the political world I often choose to inhabit.

In the same vein, I offer an unapologetic plug for a friend’s project, inviting all New Hampshire-area DTG readers to attend something special.

Come to hear Massenet’s oratorio “Marie-Magdaleine” on July 22. One performance will be at 2 p.m. at Northeast Catholic College in Warner, and the other will be at Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge at 7 p.m. The performance at the College is donations-accepted, while the one at Cathedral of the Pines has (I think) a $10 admission fee. Call 603-781-5695 for more information.

I’ll be going out of my way to hear one of these performances. Why?

Sheer beauty. With the first note, I know workaday concerns will fall away for awhile. The next deadline, the next gosh-forsaken tweet, the next bill to pay: all will be in abeyance for an hour or two as I undergo the attitude adjustment that’s one of music’s little gifts.

Hope. For my husband and me, Northeast Catholic College is a favorite place, dedicated to education in faith and reason. It’s a place of encouragement and challenge and laughter. The world’s a better place because it exists. Likewise with Cathedral of the Pines, which was established by grieving parents in memory of their son, who died in the service of our country during World War II. It was a true act of hope for those parents to experience such terrible loss and then go on to create a place of peace and tranquillity.

Encouragement. I think you’ll find encouragement simply by being in the same room with the producer of these performances. I’m acquainted with her. She’s a pro-life warrior, a conservative woman, an opera singer, and a patron and leader of nonprofit agencies that enrich the community. Oh, and she was formerly a volunteer legislator (which is how we roll in the Granite State). When things look discouraging – and as a legislator and a volunteer activist, she has some experience with bad days – she responds dynamically and positively. No whining.

You go, girl.

If you’re inclined to attend the performance in Warner, be aware that the College is offering Mass (11:30) and a light lunch (12:30) before the 2 p.m. show, with RSVPs requested. (More about that here.)

Let it be known that this is not a paid promotion. I just want to share good news.

The State House and the White House and my work as a writer will all still be there after the show. When I turn back to them, I’ll be refreshed and ready for whatever comes along. Beautiful music, whatever the source, has that effect on me. Maybe on you, too.

I’ll tag this one “culture victories,” not “culture wars.”

Ellen Kolb blogs about New Hampshire life-issue policy at Leaven for the Loaf and looks farther afield in ellenkolb.com

“It’s important to build community in a culture that wants to silence pro-life women and their beliefs.” — Melissa Ohden.

Challenge accepted.

In a time of handmaids who don’t want to see Planned Parenthood privatized and states that want to gag pro-life documentarians, there’s more pro-life work going on than will ever be documented by trending hashtags. Good to know, when encouragement can seem hard to come by.

I just returned from Orlando and the second annual Pro-Life Women’s Conference. The conference is the brainchild of Abby Johnson, a woman who puts the “active” in activist: former Planned Parenthood manager, now pro-life, and founder of And Then There Were None, a ministry to abortion workers who want to leave the industry.

She and her team gathered a unique array of speakers, sponsors and exhibitors to inform and challenge the women who came from all over the country to attend the conference. People whose work doesn’t get much coverage in conventional media told their stories. Women whose choices aren’t celebrated by today’s “progressives” (sic) were there to encourage other women who may yet face something like an adverse prenatal diagnosis.

This wasn’t a political event, yet it was unmistakably a boost to anyone like me who’s an advocate for pro-life public policy. The atmosphere was dynamic, not defensive. The women I met there were positive without being saccharine. The things they’re doing, quietly and under the radar, are making people’s lives better. St. John Paul II would call it building a culture of life.

And there was some attitude in the room. Call it joyful and defiant determination. Heady stuff.

Here are a few observations and links from the conference, when you’re ready to turn away from everyday headlines for awhile. There’s good news out there.

  • The women who took the stage first had all heard the same thing from doctors during their pregnancies: something’s wrong with your pregnancy; it’s OK to abort. Some of the diagnoses proved to be accurate, others not. These mothers talked about where they found support, and where they didn’t. Some brought their children with them, so we could see what an “adverse diagnosis” looks like: a person, not a concept or a sentence. Lacey Buchanan: “I get the privilege of raising an exception.”
  • And speaking of exceptions and the right to life, I love Rebecca Kiessling. I’d heard her speak before, but she’s absolutely worth hearing again. Hear her, and you’ll never look at rape-and-incest exceptions the same way again. She’s one of those exceptions.
  • Exhibitors included Democrats for Life (yes!), Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians, and Secular Pro-Life. You never know when someone will share your commitment to defending human dignity. Secular Pro-Life can take credit for one of the best stickers in sight: Call Me an Extremist, But I Think Dismemberment is Wrong.
  • Are there pro-life doctors, who won’t do abortions, or refer for them? Yes, and I saw three of them in one place at the conference. Asked if she worked in a hostile environment, one of the physicians answered, “Not since moving to a pro-life practice.” May their number increase. Check out the American Association of Pro-Life OB/GYNs site, just because it’s good to know they’re out there.

I could go on, and I probably will, on other sites. You get the idea, though: dynamic and committed women, without a handmaid in sight. That’s life beyond the hashtags.

Hulu got some free publicity last week when several costumed “handmaids” showed up in the New Hampshire House gallery to protest a fetal homicide bill, which would allow prosecution for acts of violence causing the death of a preborn child.

“Handmaids” in the N.H. House gallery. Photo by Beth Scaer; used with permission, all rights reserved.

The bonneted “handmaids” were inspired by the Hulu original series The Handmaid’s Tale, based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 dystopian novel. The story is about “handmaids” used by men for sex and surrogate childbearing in a society where fertility is at a premium. In the story, women are used, sex is coerced, and the government is fine with that: bad situations all around.

So what does The Handmaid’s Tale have to do with a fetal homicide bill?

Following the lead of the ACLU, abortion lobbyists, and perhaps UltraViolet, the bonneted protesters in the House gallery apparently believed that a bill recognizing unborn victims of violence was somehow an attack on women’s rights. New Hampshire’s bill specifies that it would not apply to any decision made by a pregnant woman, including abortion; the protesters nonetheless objected to the bill. The “handmaids” were silent right up to the point when the House passed the bill anyway. That was enough to provoke a handmaid or two to call out “shame!”

I wonder how that “shame” sounded to the man sitting nearby in the gallery whose pregnant daughter had been injured in an auto collision and whose injuries had led to the death of her preborn child, a boy named Griffin. The child was delivered in the aftermath of the crash, but died shortly thereafter. Because his injuries had been sustained in utero, his death could not be considered a homicide under law, regardless of any culpability that the driver may have had for the mother’s injuries. Since then, Griffin’s grandfather has fought for fetal homicide legislation.

In the 2009 Lamy decision, the New Hampshire Supreme Court had to overturn a drunk driver’s homicide conviction. That driver had slammed into a taxi at 100 miles per hour. The taxi driver’s son was delivered by emergency c-section but died two weeks later from injuries sustained in utero as a result of the crash. That was no homicide, ruled the Court, with obvious regret.

The unanimous Lamy decision included this nudge to legislators: “Should the legislature find the result in this case as unfortunate as we do, it should follow the lead of many other states and revisit the homicide statutes as they pertain to a fetus.” Now, in 2017, that nudge just might yield a fetal homicide law. Might. Abortion advocates are fiercely lobbying the Governor to veto the bill, in spite of the Governor’s previously-announced support for the measure. They successfully beat back another fetal homicide bill five years ago when a previous Governor cast a veto.

The women whose losses I’ve described sustained serious physical injuries themselves, and prosecutors had the option (which in the Lamy case was exercised) of filing criminal charges against the party responsible for those injuries. The deaths of their children, though, were not crimes under current New Hampshire law. The women’s childbearing choices were thwarted. Their reproductive rights were compromised in deadly ways, and the law could not recognize that.

Apparently, women who choose to carry their pregnancies to term aren’t exercising the kind of reproductive rights the costumed “handmaids” wanted to promote. Go figure.

The main impact of the bonneted protesters was to bring Hulu’s program to the attention of many people in the State House who hadn’t been aware of it. I hope Hulu appreciated the free promotion.

Ellen Kolb blogs about New Hampshire life-issue policy at Leaven for the Loaf and looks farther afield in ellenkolb.com

My local Sunday paper had an above-the-fold headline the other day: “Obamacare rate could see big spike in NH next year.” This refers only to my state, where an unidentified government official leaked to the press a document projecting an average Obamacare-exchange premium rate increase of 44%.

The headline could easily have said “another spike.” Obamacare-linked price hikes are old news. Still, I’m glad this wound up on the front page. That indicates that at least one assignment editor doesn’t take big increases for granted.

The story said that the document was stamped Confidential and Draft Only and Not for Distribution. I wish I knew who leaked it so I could deliver my personal thanks. I don’t like being surprised during enrollment season. The principal factor in the projected increase, according to the news report (I haven’t read the actual document), is Medicaid expansion. Without that, the projected increase is closer to 17%.

I don’t want my neighbors covered by Medicaid expansion to get sicker or forgo mental health care or substance abuse treatment. What irks me is that anyone in government or media could be surprised or distressed that expansion actually leads to cost increases and distortions in how health care is provided.

I hope no one’s surprised when the resulting premium increases for my non-Medicaid neighbors leads to changes in their behavior, such as dropping insurance altogether.

Last year’s price spike finally pushed me over the edge and out of the market. In the government’s view, I am uninsured, having opted for a healthshare program that Obamacare benignly tolerates. My husband has retained a conventional policy, and we’re keeping records to see how our costs compare over time.

Ideal? No. My costs are pretty much under my control, right up to the time I’m badly injured or develop a serious medical condition. I would then be at the mercy of my fellow sharers and of the bean-counters in my healthcare providers’ offices. Further, I am waiting uneasily for the Obamacare fans to amend the law so that healthshare programs are no longer penalty-free. Frankly, I think that kind of amendment is likely to come much sooner than any Republican health-insurance reform.

Medicaid is permanently expanded. I believe that. So will there be any health insurance “fixes” this year that would head off a 44% average increase in premiums on my state’s exchange next year? I don’t see how, no matter who’s in the White House. I’m pessimistic about the financial aspect of government health insurance because I’ve seen over the past five years that elected officials can’t even get the little things right.

By “little,” I don’t mean unimportant. I’m thinking of Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate. That’s the government policy that treats being a woman as a pre-existing condition by calling women’s contraceptives “preventive” care. Business owners who offer health insurance to employees, and who have moral objections to coerced involvement in their employees’ birth control decisions, have had to go to court to escape the mandate.

President Trump’s recent religious-liberty order was tightly limited and it did not undo the mandate. The Little Sisters of the Poor will benefit from his order, because he’s taken a personal interest in their case. Dozens of other mandate challengers are still making their way through the courts, with only these words from the President’s order to comfort them along the way: [cabinet departments] “shall consider issuing amended regulations, consistent with applicable law, to address conscience-based objections to the preventive-care mandate.”

In five years, regardless of the party in power, Congress has failed to repeal the mandate. A Republican president has managed only to tell his people to “consider issuing amended regulations.” The Supreme Court has had the chance to throw out the mandate as a religious liberty violation, and it has not done so.

I can’t trust them to fix even one small but critical aspect of health care policy. I sure can’t trust them to fix the whole thing. Bring on the spikes.

Ellen Kolb blogs about New Hampshire life-issue policy at Leaven for the Loaf and looks farther afield in ellenkolb.com

Four years ago today, a jury was deliberating the fate of Kermit Gosnell. That trial ended with Gosnell serving life in prison for murder and manslaughter.

Today, a GOP-majority Congress, with a GOP president looking on, can’t agree on when or how to prevent taxpayer funds from going to abortion providers.

What does the spine-snipping abortionist have to do with abortion funding? Only this: a member of Congress who remembers Gosnell’s crimes with disgust is unlikely to support sending tax dollars to an abortion industry that fights regulation.  Conversely, a member of Congress who supports tax funding of abortion providers, or who is indifferent to that funding, is someone who has forgotten or ignored the crimes of Kermit Gosnell and his many enablers.

While the Gosnell trial was going on in Pennsylvania, abortion-related legislation was being considered in my own state. I remember a representative of NARAL dismissing Gosnell as an “outlier.” There was no need to tighten up  abortion regulation, said the lobbyist, since there were no Gosnells in our fair state (she said). Representatives of local abortion providers echoed the “outlier” line.

To this day, my state has no limit on when abortions may be performed or who may perform them. There’s no law requiring treatment of infants who survive attempted abortion. There’s no requirement for abortion facilities to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical facilities. There’s no collection of abortion statistics, including statistics on maternal morbidity and mortality, and therefore no way to spot an abortion provider who injures women the way Gosnell did.

Every attempt to pass laws to prevent future Gosnells has been resisted by lobbyists for the abortion industry. And still, there are elected officials belonging to a nominally pro-life party who can’t quite figure out how to keep that industry from picking my pocket. I don’t let state officials off the hook, either; they’re the ones who award state contracts to abortion providers.

I hear the nervous whispers from officeholders who buy the 3% lie: but these agencies do so much good…

Spare me. An agency that lobbies against laws to protect women’s health and safeguard children who survive attempted abortion is not “doing good.”

I understand the nature of budgets and the need for consensus and prudence. This anniversary, though, this reminder of Gosnell, renders me impatient to see an end to public funding of abortion providers.

(While I’m mentioning Gosnell, allow me to recommend the recent book Gosnell: the Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer by Ann McElhinney & Phelim McAleer. It’s not just about Kermit Gosnell. The authors make sure that the people who helped bring him to justice get their due.)

Ellen Kolb writes at EllenKolb.com and blogs about life issues in New Hampshire at Leaven for the Loaf.
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