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. We were charged with, “Crowding, Obstructing, or Incommoding.” 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

35 thoughts on “Why I chose to get arrested at Speaker Boehner’s office”

  1. Power to the people!

    American democracy relies on engaged and active citizens – protesting, voting, gathering, and making one’s voice heard.

    This is a great example of how political power can be guided by citizens willing to do what it takes to bring issues to light.

       12 likes

  2. Thank you Jill for bringing more light to this issue. I too am a nurse. You witness and stand makes me proud of you and the pro-life movement. Keep standing for life.

       11 likes

  3. Jill, if you’re planning on getting arrested again in a few months please–the pre-arrest pedicure is on me! I mean it. Thank you for all you do.

       15 likes

  4. I know the Father’s Heart is so pleased when we take a bold stand for Life and the Kingdom of God.

    Way to expose all of those cowardly, spine-less, weak-willed frauds Jill

    (I was going to call them men but they clearly don’t qualify.)

       10 likes

  5. Den –

    Two be fair – this bill at the house isn’t saying that – it’s saying ‘we’re okay with abortions for most of the pregnancy – just cut off a bit of time at the end and make sure you abort by then’.

    Refine your argument though – it can’t be that short and poorly thought out – it’s like saying “if you don’t like rape, don’t rape people”. There’s a victim you have to consider – and the baby most definitely doesn’t like abortion – so again, believe what you want to believe, but at least believe it with a better argument.

       15 likes

  6. I fully support what you did and the reasons for it.

    (For those of you who may not know — paddy wagon is a slur against the Irish.)

       6 likes

  7. “(For those of you who may not know — paddy wagon is a slur against the Irish.)”
    I honestly had no idea. Learn something new every day.

       3 likes

  8. We should also avoid such terms as “nip it in the bud”, “niggardly”
    “chink in the armor”, “scot free”, getting someone’s “Irish up”, “spic and span”, 10 foot pole, “Indian summer” and “(czech)ered past”.

       6 likes

  9. Mary –

    At times, depending on the audience – yes.

    Just like once when you freaked out when I implied you were old.

       1 likes

  10. EGV,

    As I recall you were being condescending. I don’t appreciate that. I’m very proud of my age and my life experiences. Its no different than talking down to someone because of their race or ethnicity. I would think someone as enlightened as you would know better.

    Directing a slur at someone is unacceptable. Otherwise there are plenty of words and phrases being used that someone can complain is a “slur”.

    Geez EGV, and to think I “liked” both your posts prior to this.
    I thought we were setting a new record.

       3 likes

  11. I don’t even understand the meaning of the word condescending!

    Okay – just wanted to make sure it wasn’t “demeaning words are okay for me to use but not others”.

    I only see you use ‘thug’ in a positive light, so you get a free pass. :-)

       2 likes

  12. EGV,

    “I don’t even understand the meaning of the word condescending!”
    I’m not surprised.

    I’m just pointing out how ridiculous this whole “slur” nonsense can get.

    You don’t know what a load that is off my shoulders.

       1 likes

  13. That’s really scary, to protest and to go to jail, I am really grateful.

    Thank you for your service to this country, Newman, Mahoney and Staneck. And especially to Mahoney, who especially brings great meaning and honor to the term ‘paddy wagon’! :)

    I HATE getting arrested. You know this fight is getting real when they call the politics police. And you know Bohner was frightened when he pressed THREE charges.

    Others will be surprised by this news of his betrayal. Elmers is still beguiling her district, by making it appear she didn’t lead this farce against the people, when she clearly did. It’s like a silent wink to certain constituents.

    It forces alot of questions, and demands that others seize the day. Carpe Diem, Babies, Carpe Diem! Seize the present moment in Holy Love… Something about it in the wake of the release of the “Selma” film, and all the Rev. MLK stood for… some people will read that and HATE, others, those who understand that many members of the KKK voted for Obama knowing well what he stood for, will get it.

    Rape victims and ‘poor black women’ DO NOT NEED abortion. They should have their voices heard, not hijacked by the likes of Ellmers (R-NC), Bohner, Paul, and McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Walorski (R-IN)

    “McMorris Rodgers’ office wouldn’t comment on the decision to cave to what one pro-life member of the House called the “abortion industry,” deferring to others in GOP leadership on that decision, but did profess her own pro-life credentials in an emailed statement to Breitbart News.”

    75% of Millennials are against abortion on some level… so who or what exactly are these ladies winking at?

    from the same briebart article: “On Tuesday, Ellmers and Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) removed their names as co-sponsors of the legislation. Both, however, took to Facebook to say that they supported the Pain Capable bill and would vote “yes” on it.

    “To clear up any misinformation, I will be voting tomorrow to support H.R. 36 – The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protect Act Resources bill. I have and will continue to be a strong defender of the prolife community,” Ellmers wrote.

    The vote on the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act was to take place on Thursday, when hundreds of thousands of members of the pro-life community will participate in the annual March for Life on the national mall.

    In a statement to Breitbart News, Conservative Review Senior Editor Daniel Horowitz said that McMorris Rodgers should condemn her conference’s Republican members in her speech at the March For Life on Thursday.

    McMorris Rodgers’ office would not answer questions about that on the record. Her office instead referred Breitbart News to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s team, as it is McCarthy who makes decisions about legislation that goes to the floor in conjunction with Speaker John Boehner.

    McCarthy’s office hasn’t immediately responded to a request for comment.”

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/01/21/renee-ellmers-leads-gops-cave-on-abortion-on-eve-of-march-for-life/

    How EXACTLY did McMorris Rodgers make it into the MFL as a SPEAKER?? It’s frekin cold there, should we not stand one second on the mall to protest not only feticide, but also frauds, haters and liars?

    This is what the other team is saying: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/14/20-week-abortion-ban_n_6472034.html and more specifically their Agitprop machine:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/17/health/complex-science-at-issue-in-politics-of-fetal-pain.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

       3 likes

  14. http://www.ellmers.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=49&sectiontree=6,49&itemid=664

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/renee-ellmers-explains-stance-against-abortion-bill/article/2559085

    And this shows the klan is pretty tight on the hill: http://gotnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/119990759.jpg

    then there’s this which is a little gossipy and slanderous, however, it’s a thing that possibly esplains the other thing: http://www.alipac.us/f9/dc-sources-%93rep-kevin-mccarthy-rep-renee-ellmers-having-affair%94-317038/

    It sounds like this quartet is behind kind of the core of the division. They just don’t want to admit that the pro-life movement is not the real problem, and that economy and immigration reform and the fed can be handled if only we pesky pro-lifers can stop protesting and making so many fussy demands… here’s the thing… the economy is going to suffer whence the population declines=basic common sense + immigration reform is going to be impossible when the economy is stumped via a declining native population = immigrating population that needs work is more than willing to fill the demand. Immigration reform has to admit this, and the reality of abortion behind the failed immigration reform policy / core focus of the GOP. Abortion needs to be the focus, because it is. If that statement doesn’t make sence to you, then you need to get an intern, or maybe 20, on these simple, scary, but true facts, pronto GOP contender, because they are facts and they are not going away even remotely soon=THIS is YOUR issue, because it is our issue as the under 35 crowd.

    Rand Paul: the fed is going to be the last thing on anyone’s mind as long as their children and grandchildren are facing a medicated reality due to the fact that they stand a 1/4 chance of having an intimate experience with abortion, which scars and torments families, “rape victims” and “poor black women” included. If your trget audience is millennials, you need to start addressing the millennial dilemma, which is “how do we survive Planed Parenthood being in schools without becoming a victim of the statistic.” That is a humble stat, btw… from what I have experienced, more than 1/4 of women have abortions. Plan B is now bought with condoms, and so… yeah, this issue is not going away, if anything its becoming MORE relevant to millennials.

    In shying away from it, Bohner is dating himself, as well as proclaiming that his main constituency is a blue-haired(before the dye job) special interest group that rallies around anything other than the controversial and challenging and who are, sad as it is, facing the repercussions of this culture of death, alot sooner and with much harsher consequences to the cowardly betrayal of their position of authority, and betrayal of youth, than will the millennial mainstream for decades upon decades to come.

    This was the democrat she ran against in 2010, random FYI: http://www.ontheissues.org/NC/Bob_Etheridge.htm

       3 likes

  15. After doing all that research, uh, I think I get who Elmers ‘silent wink’ was at; ie Kevin McCarthy. It didn’t make sense until I processed all that information: :( which is sickening, because it seams to add up right. And he of course did it for Bohner… who did it for… who… ? ? ? Obama ? no…

       3 likes

  16. Mary,

    The word niggardly is etymologically unrelated to the adverbial form of the racial epithet nigger. The two are easily confused though. Perhaps, that was your point.

       2 likes

  17. Trust in the Lord first, but still I don’t enjoy the public will being disregarded and disrespected by the ELECTED reps. I think democracy is the most superior form of government but good Lord, is there a Kirby BIG enough to clean up the House, Senate, and the whole rest of them?

       4 likes

  18. “American democracy relies on engaged and active citizens – protesting, voting”

    And justice for the unborn relies on us voting GOP and removing the pro-aborts from office.

       4 likes

  19. Funny how they can show pictures of a fetus reacting to smoke and nicotine in the bloodstream, but they don’t seem to react to the heinous & painful vulgarity of late-term abortion.

       8 likes

  20. Hi MoJoanne,

    Exactly. And in this day and age that’s all someone needs to “take offense”. I’m convinced people dedicate their lives to being offended as often and as much as possible.

    And to think “rap artists” make millions using the most vile racist and sexist epithets.

       4 likes

  21. truth

    I enjoy that on a thread in which the board’s namesake got arrested because of the GOP massively failing to deliver on bringing forth even a barely adequate bill – that you state that justice relies on voting for that party.

    I hope even you can see the irony in that statement.

    Jill got arrested because in her eyes, that party delivered the complete opposite of justice for the unborn.

       3 likes

  22. “but they don’t seem to react to the heinous & painful vulgarity of late-term abortion”

    Oh, some of them do. They believe they are full of compassion when they recommend the child receive a painkiller before his mother pays to have him ripped apart.

       7 likes

  23. Maybe it would have stood a better chance of passing if it had been a 28 week bill.

    Why did Carly Fiorina claim “At 20 weeks, or five months into a pregnancy, an unborn child feels pain”?

       0 likes

  24. Okay, so this is from, “counting Corpses: a look inside the world of abortion pathology,”

    http://www.thelifeinstitute.net/blog/2013/10/30/counting-the-corpses-a-look-inside-the-world-of-abortion-pathology/

    Listen to this one pathologists story, where the fetus literally is frozen in terror at the pain he felt as his short life was being terminated:

    “The head was at the bottom of the container, when I pulled it, he had this expression of such utter horror it flipped me wayyyy out, my PA saw it and ran, literally left work and went on disability (Im serious here). It was like a headless screaming baby, like it had been born at least for a split second to realize it was screwed and let out one agonal yelp. The story of this reverberated around the department, someone actually accused me of doing what should have been a ME case and threatened to call the medical board! Im not joking, I woke up once shortly after that in a cold sweat with piss running down my leg….not pretty.””

    No… these stories have to be heard. This is NOT over. Bohner just tested a boundry he is going to FAIL at claiming as GOP territory, because this has to be a party cause, or else America, literally is hopeless. Abortion as torture has ended, its over in American, we can stop this. As much as people hate hearing about this, they don’t want to think they are the reason why tortuous feticide is common in America, and the fact of the matter is that while they are drinking their five dollar starbucks laté some small child is being decapitated for fun by a doctor who has crossed the line into utter madness.

       3 likes

  25. I take it no one can explain why Carly said what she did.

    Oh well, I did read somewhere that she has a propensity for making unsubstantiated statements.

       0 likes

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