Why I chose to get arrested at Speaker Boehner’s office

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When word came down the night of January 21 that House GOP leaders were reneging on their promise to hold a vote on the 20-week abortion ban the next day – the haunting 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v Wade decision – [WARNING: vulgarity alert], I was pissed off to the height of pisstivity. Sorry, that’s the most accurate way I can describe it.

How could GOP leaders have been so careless, cavalier, and apathetic as to let this lowest hanging fruit of a pro-life bill get away from them? How could they have been so cajoneless as to abandon the 20-week ban at the first sign of trouble? And just how low was their respect for the pro-life movement that they would dare to insult us on such a colossal scale?

And then to go silent about the ban for two full months following that debacle?

I’m boiling over again even as I type.

This is the backdrop for my decision to help organize a protest at Speaker Boehner’s office on March 25. As CNS News reported:

Stanek, a nurse who formerly worked at Christ Hospital in Chicago, became involved in the pro-life movement 16 years ago after she held a live baby who had survived an abortion and was left to die afterwards.

“I’ve been in this movement for 16 years, from the moment I held this little aborted baby, and I’ve never felt convicted to be arrested,” Stanek explained during the protest on Wednesday.

“I’ve always felt my voice was well-heard, speaking and writing,” she said. “But when this bill failed to be brought forward on Jan. 22, I was just so frustrated and disgusted with our Republican House leadership, that they would abandon these babies over political maneuvering.”

“I decided right then and there that I was willing to be arrested on behalf of this little baby that I held, and others like him,” she said.

So, on March 25, alongside several other pro-lifers, I marched to Speaker Boehner’s Longworth Building office to protest the hold-up…

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Three of us gave speeches. Here’s mine…

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Then, eight of us – six women and two men – sat in front of the locked door to Boehner’s office (it’s not as if he wanted anyone coming in anyway) and proceeded to get arrested. There were over twice as many Capitol police as protesters…

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At this point I don’t want to appear to dramatize the details of our arrest, because our experience truly was nothing compared to what other pro-lifers endure for the cause. But I know people are interested in details, so here goes.

When we were loaded into the paddy wagon I realized my plastic cuffs were so loose I could take them off! … a nice little blessing from God to ease my slight discomfort and to scratch some itches all the way around. I never let an officer know until it came time to cut them off, at which point I said don’t bother, and at which point the officer planning to do the cutting rolled her eyes.

We were taken to the Capitol Police processing center, about five minutes’ drive from the Capitol. Guards itemized our belongings and did a (noninvasive!) body search. I was glad I’d gotten a pre-prison pedicure, since they even had me remove my socks and shoes!

We were then taken to an interview room, two in each, and handcuffed to the wall (only one hand). We sat there a couple hours.

We were ultimately given three options: to pay a $50 fine and be released with no conviction but with an arrest record, to post bond and come back for a jury trial, or to pay nothing and go to jail to await a court hearing. We all chose the first option.

There were two holding cells. The guys - Pat Mahoney and Troy Newman – ended up in one, and I ended up in the other, alone, while my female friends remained handcuffed to the wall. How this happened is I said I had to go to the bathroom, so a guard took me to the remaining cell, where there was a toilet, and then forgot about me, I think.

This, too, was a nice little gift from God – to have a little alone time with Him and to briefly ponder life in a jail cell.

In all, I spent a little over five hours in the processing center – four hours in processing and one hour in a jail cell.

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One last thing – police confiscated our t-shirts as “evidence”! We are supposed to eventually get them back, but I’m not holding my breath. I should also mention Capitol police were courteous and even kind.

The dust hasn’t settled yet, but I feel good that our original goal was met. This was to refocus attention from political maneuvering back to the babies, and to rekindle traction to pass the 20-week ban in the House. By several accounts our protest has indeed sparked movement.

That said, we aren’t going away. Stay tuned for more information on that in the following days.

Here were some news accounts of our protest…

Christian Post“Exclusive interview: Jill Stanek explains her protest and arrest at Speaker Boehner’s office”
Cincinnati Enquirer: “Anti-abortion protesters target Boehner”
CNS News: “Pro-lifers arrested for praying outside Boehner’s office”
EWTN: News Nightly video report
LifeSiteNews: “Pro-life leaders arrested as they protest ‘betrayal’ on 20-week abortion ban outside Speaker Boehner’s office”
Live Action News: “Pro-life leaders arrested at #FreeTheBan sit-in held at Speaker Boehner’s office”
Patheos: “Speaker John Boehner’s office orders arrest of pro-life demonstrators”
Right Wing News: “Pro-life protesters arrested outside Speaker John Boehner’s office over 20-week abortion ban bill”
Roll Call: “Eight arrested in anti-abortion ‘pray-in’ outside Boehner’s office”
Townhall: “Protesters arrested while praying outside of Speaker Boehner’s office”
Washington Times: “Praying pro-lifers arrested outside of John Boehner’s office”
World Magazine: “Pro-lifers arrested outside John Boehner’s office”
WorldNetDaily: “Boehner gets judgment day in own office”“Boehner office meltdown: Protesters hauled to jail”; video of the arrests

Pro-life blog buzz 3-27-15

pro-lifeby Susie Allen, host of the blog, Pro-Life in TN, and Kelli

  • Secular Pro-Life says using signs for sidewalk counseling in front of abortion facilities can be good… or it can be very bad, depending on the kind of signs being displayed.
  • Wesley J. Smith says that unfortunately, another of his predictions is coming true. Doctors needing organs for transplant may soon seek to harvest organs from those whose death is considered “imminent”:

    I have repeatedly warned about articles published in medical and bioethics journals advocating killing the profoundly disabled or dying for their organs. The assault on the “dead donor rule” has now filtered down to the popular media. The Atlantic has an article advocating that dying patients be killed for their organs rather than having to actually, you know, die first….

    Allowing doctors to kill patients during organ harvesting would be an acute threat, particularly in a medical milieu growing increasingly utilitarian in outlook, cost cutting in approach, and devaluing of the equal worth of all human life.

    Knowing that doctors would kill for organs? I can’t think of a better way to sow distrust for the healthcare system generally, and organ transplant medicine specifically.

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  • Suzy B features an editorial from Carly Fiorina on the urgent need to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would prohibit abortion after 20 weeks gestation. Fiorina writes:

    Science supports those of us that believe in the sanctity of life. At 20 weeks, or five months into a pregnancy, an unborn child feels pain. At 20 weeks of life, an unborn child can suck his thumb, yawn, stretch, and make faces. An unborn child at 20 weeks IS a human life. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (S.1670) protects the unborn in limiting abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy; it is legislation that is vital in protecting the dignity of life.

    This is legislation that, polls show, 60% of Americans support. Despite our disputes throughout this nation on abortion, most Americans recognize that these procedures are cruel, are tragically most often elective, and must stop. We are a compassionate society and must apply our principles to all, not just the born.”

    Fiorina made similar remarks at the Iowa Freedom Summit in January.

  • Pro-Life Action League says it is not too late for you to sponsor a Way of the Cross on Good Friday in front of your local abortion facility. Check their locations and if your city is not listed, they have online all materials needed to sponsor one.
  • ProWomanProLife is pleased to see doctors taking a stand and fighting for their conscience rights in Canada. A group of physicians is challenging Ontario’s College of Physicians and Surgeons which “requires doctors unwilling to provide certain care, such as prescriptions for contraception, to refer patients in good faith to a ‘non-objecting, available, and accessible’ physician… [and] in medical emergencies… would be required to perform procedures themselves” or face disciplinary action.
  • Right to Life of Michigan shares two pro-life television ads that will begin airing soon (see more videos at the RTL MI YouTube page, under Compassion Project). One deals with children conceived from rape and the other with post-abortion pain. These short ads bring great awareness. This ad, below, tells part of Shauna’s powerful story:
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[Photo via zimbio.com]

Pro-life vid of day: American Idol contestant chooses life

Kimberly-Henderson-by Kelli

The Daily Mail shares the story of American Idol “reject” Kimberly Henderson, a mother of four who nearly aborted her little girl, Vaida Everly:

In a Facebook post, Henderson, who works as a full time nurse, explains that two years ago this week she had booked an appointment at an abortion clinic, but sat there for seven hours crying as she tried to make her decision….

“I had my mind made up. My boyfriend was cheating on me. I have small kids, what will people think?? I kept telling myself I’m all alone I need to do this….

I kept saying I’m on birth control this could not happen. I kept trying to justify it. But my heart was heavy. I felt like I was about to make a horrible horrible decision….

… I told the lady I changed my mind…. A young girl no older than probably 19 says to me…”Are you going to do it?” I told her I couldn’t… She said… “I wish I could be brave like you…” I told her she was brave and she could do the same thing.

She said she had to do it because of some serious circumstances… As I turned around she said… ‘When you see your baby’s face for the first time you’re gonna be so glad you walked out of here today.'”

Kimberly is seen in this viral video, singing to her daughter. The Daily Mail adds, “The clip – which has since been viewed more than four million times – landed the full-time nurse an opportunity to record her own track and since then her phone has apparently been ringing off the hook.”

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Email dailyvid@jillstanek.com with your video suggestions.

[HT: Susie Allen; photo via inquisitr.com]

Pro-life video of the day: Roe survivors for life

by Hans Johnson

Texas Alliance for Life made a video with women highlighting the ups and downs of the pro-life movement year by year since Roe v. Wade – represented by a woman who was safely born in that year.

Each expresses the hope that we all have – that “my generation will end abortion.”

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Email dailyvid@jillstanek.com with your video suggestions.

[HT: Jack Hargett]

Children’s book: Young boy’s aborted sister is a “happy ghost”

Sister-Apple-Sister-Pig-8-by Kelli

The story follows 3-year-old Lee as he and his father discuss his unnamed older sister, whom Lee sees as a ghost sitting by his side as dad and mom read stories to him. The young boy believes his sister is a ghost because “she lived before me, but Mama couldn’t keep her. Mama says she is a ghost.”…

Before the story wraps up with a family craft session to make a superhero costume for Lee, the boy’s uncle joins the conversation about his ghost sister.

When the uncle asks, “Why is your sister a ghost, Lee?”

The boy responds, “Mama had an abortion before she had me,” then reassures his uncle by saying, “Sister is a happy ghost!”

~ Mike Opelka, reporting on Mary Walling Blackburn’s children’s e-book Sister Apple, Sister Pig, The Blaze, March 24

Note: The book’s introductory page reads: “To Little Friends, earthly and unwordly. Masochists, look elsewhere; between these pages you will not find the ‘luxury of grief,’ culpability’s sharp sting or salty guilt.”

[HT: Carole; image from e-flux.com via The Blaze]

BREAKING: Jill Stanek, pro-lifers arrested at pro-life sit-in

by Kelli

UPDATE, 4:30 CST: Jill and at least two other protesters have now been released.

The planned sit-in/prayer vigil at Speaker John Boehner’s office today has culminated in the arrest of eight pro-life leaders, including Rev. Pat Mahoney and our own Jill Stanek.

Here is the speech that Jill gave just before she was arrested. Please be in prayer for these leaders, who were attempting to give voice to preborn children:

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There is also a Twitter campaign underway at #freetheban. Follow it here, and add your voice.

[HT: Daena]

Pro-life vid of the day: Human placenta project underway

by Hans Johnson

Most human organs are absolutely vital to our health and well-being. Even those we once considered to be vestigial have turned out to have a use we just didn’t understand before. But there’s one organ that is temporary – here and gone in less than a year.

The National Institutes of Health is funding The Human Placenta Project with $41.5 million to study this essential life-nurturing organ in everyone’s first cradle.

Let’s hope that the more is learned, the more respect there is for the purpose of these miraculous organs. That we don’t lose sight of the “forest” of babies because of these placental “trees”.

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Email dailyvid@jillstanek.com with your video suggestions.

[HT: TheBlaze]

Pro-life blog buzz 3-24-15

pro-lifeby Kelli

  • Kansans for Life reports that the late George Tiller’s “rubber stamper” abortionist, Ann Kristin Neuhaus, is continuing her attempts to get her medical license revocation overturned:

    This past January, the [KS Board of Healing Arts] issued a second revocation against Neuhaus on the single issue of incomplete medical files for those 11 teens. This was her “third strike” said the Board; she had been cited in past years for improper patient documentation and had violated her legal stipulation to amend her ways. The Board order characterized her as stubborn and “incapable of successful rehabilitation,” and assessed legal costs at just under $32,000.

    But earlier this month Neuhaus petitioned Judge Theis to again block the Board’s revocation and dismiss the legal expenses.

  • At Live Action News, Rebecca Downs has a short list of 10 well-known names who are pro-life converts. Would you add any names to this list?

DebKiel

  • Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life says a bill on abortion facility licensing has “passed through a second committee of the Minnesota House of Representatives“:

    The bill (H.F. 606), authored by Rep. Debra Kiel [pictured, left], R-Crookston, would require facilities that perform 10 or more abortions per month to be licensed by the state commissioner of health. It would also authorize inspections of abortion facilities (up to two inspections per year), with no prior notice required.

    Abortion centers in Minnesota currently are neither licensed nor inspected by any state agency — even though dangerous conditions and unscrupulous abortionists have been discovered in numerous other states. The proposed legislation would rectify this problem by applying the licensing requirements for outpatient surgical centers to abortion centers.

  • At ProLife365, Kevin Kukla calls out pro-abortion environmentalists, whom he believes “try to compensate for their unnatural sexual lifestyles by convincing us environmental activism is much more important” than saving human life:

    I realize not everyone who opposes animal testing or deforestation subscribes to the creed of the Culture of Death. I admit I am painting with a broad brush, to some degree.

    The point is, those who rail against the supposed destruction of Mother Earth often are doing so merely as compensation for NOT caring about the dignity of human life….

    The denial needs to end for liberals on abortion and other sinful behaviors.

    In reality, every person has an innate desire, by way of the Natural Law, to sacrifice for something greater than himself. Every person has a need to love and to be loved. Sacrificing babies in the name of preserving one’s lifestyle is not love. Using others for cheap sex is not love either. The Culture of Death, thus, can never satisfy the innate desires of the soul.

    No amount of hand wringing over poaching or global warming will fix that.

heatherbarwick

  • FRC Blog draws attention to an article on one woman’s feelings about being raised in a lesbian household. While the media paints solely a positive picture of gay parenting, it appears that some children are aching to know their biological parents:

    In her loving, gentle, but painfully honest open letter to advocates of same-sex marriage, Heather Barwick [pictured, right] describes being raised by two lesbians. Her mother and her partner loved Heather, but couldn’t replace her “deep-down unquenchable ache for a father, for a man.” Following are some excerpts from her moving piece, which is addressed specifically to same-sex partners raising children:

    … “Gay marriage doesn’t just redefine marriage, but also parenting. It promotes and normalizes a family structure that necessarily denies us something precious and foundational. It denies us something we need and long for, while at the same time tells us that we don’t need what we naturally crave. That we will be okay. But we’re not. We’re hurting….

    It’s not just me. There are so many of us. Many of us are too scared to speak up and tell you about our hurt and pain, because for whatever reason it feels like you’re not listening. That you don’t want to hear. If we say we are hurting because we were raised by same-sex parents, we are either ignored or labeled a hater.”

[Photos via mnhrcc.com and The Federalist]

Pro-life news brief 3-24-15

by JivinJ, host of the blog, JivinJehoshaphat

  • A member of 40 Days for Life was praying outside a Planned Parenthood in Austin, Texas, when someone in a car threw a flaming object at her:

    Police arrested a driver Monday night who they say threw a flaming object from a car near the Planned Parenthood clinic on East Ben White Boulevard near South Congress. Austin police received the call shortly after 6 p.m., and members of the bomb squad responded. No one was injured and nothing was damaged, police said.

  • A man in Pennsylvania was arrested for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl and discussing his plan to take her for an abortion:

    According to court papers, the child’s mother discovered the abuse when her daughter had a positive pregnancy test.

    Shenandoah police say a social worker from Massachusetts reported a man using the name “Carlos” from Shenandoah was looking to get an abortion for his 12-year-old girlfriend.

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  • A Chicago teenager charged with killing her mother in Bali is claiming her mother forced her to have two abortions and was attempting to force her to have a third:

    He said [Sheila] von Wiese-Mack had “forced” her daughter, Heather Mack [pictured far left], to have two earlier abortions and was seeking legal control so that she could compel a third procedure to terminate the teen’s latest pregnancy.

    Mack, 19, gave birth this week to a girl in an Indonesian hospital. She and her boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer [pictured left], 21, of Oak Park, are charged with murder in her mother’s August death. They could face a firing squad if convicted.

  • The New Hampshire Union Leader rips into Senator Jeanne Shaheen for her opposition to the Justice for Victims of Sex Trafficking Act:

    Sex trafficking is a crime that almost exclusively victimizes women and girls. According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, 90 percent of sex trafficking victims in the United States last year were female.

    Shaheen is refusing to help these abuse victims until Republicans agree to make taxpayers finance abortions. What a loathsome, cowardly, cynical thing to do.

Pro-life vid of the day: 4-D scans show smoking affects preborn

by Hans Johnson

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It has long been known that babies of smoking mothers are often underweight and can suffer from many health problems, but now through ultrasound we can see for ourselves that one is not only eating for two, but smoking for two.

A comparison study conducted by Dr. Nadja Reissland in the U.K. showed noticeable differences in the behavior of fetuses. The top row in the photo above shows a more agitated 32-week baby of a mother who smokes, while the bottom images show a more typically serene baby of a non-smoker at the same age:

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Email dailyvid@jillstanek.com with your video suggestions.

[HT: Kelli]

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Who Is Jill Stanek?

Jill Stanek is a nurse turned speaker, columnist and blogger, a national figure in the effort to protect both preborn and postborn innocent human life.

Read Jill's full bio »
What the Media says »

by Carder

young-ups-hearingIn 2014, your AUL team learned about Peggy Young, a pregnant mother who was a driver for UPS. Though other workers received a “lighter duty” accommodation for conditions like sprained ankles, Peggy was denied an accommodation during her pregnancy.

We knew how important it was for us to get behind Peggy – and the women she represents, to ensure that pregnant women are protected from discrimination in the workplace.

You see, if businesses are allowed to penalize – or even fire mothers for being pregnant, the risk of mothers choosing abortion increases.

~ Jeanneane Maxon describing their recent Supreme Court victory in Young v. United Parcel Service, Americans United for Life, March 25

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