The New York Post’s Sunday celebrity photo section on June 9 featured a photo of actress and talk show host Busy Philipps with the caption, "Speaking up! Busy Philipps testifies to a House Judiciary Subcommittee about her decision to have an abortion and a woman’s right to choose in Washington DC."
What you don’t see in the photo are the two women sitting merely a foot or so to Busy’s left — women whose very right to exist Busy would not affirm.
The event was a Congressional hearing on “Threats to Reproductive Rights in America” chaired by New York Democrat Jerry Nadler. There were 5 pro-choice women: two abortion doctors, a lawyer, an ACLU representative, a young activist, and — added last for star power — Ms. Philipps.
The two pro-life witnesses were both abortion survivors.
Melissa Ohden survived a saline abortion. Her harrowing testimony (here) and in her book "You Carried Me" involve exactly the kind of situation that is at issue in the battle in Congress over the proposed Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.
Ohden was born alive in spite of an attempted abortion, and initially left to die:
"This abortion procedure involved injecting a toxic salt solution into the amniotic fluid, that was meant to poison and scald me to death. I soaked in that toxic solution over a five-day period as they tried time and time again to induce my birthmother’s labor … When I was finally expelled from the womb … my arrival into this world was not so much as a birth, but an accident, a 'live birth' after a saline infusion abortion … I was initially 'laid aside,' after my grandmother instructed nurses to leave me to die … In the words of Nurse Jan, who received me in the NICU that day, 'a tall blond nurse,' courageously rushed me off to the NICU, shouting out, 'she just kept gasping for breath, and so I couldn’t just leave her there to die!'"
Remember how Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, on the heels of New York passing Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s horrific abortion law, described the similar proposed infanticide legalization in his state? The born-alive baby would be “kept comfortable” while the parents and doctor decided his or her fate? There is nothing comfortable about desperately trying to breathe, or suffering from the physical effects of an abortion procedure. But Melissa was a fighter then, and she fights now — for the recognition and healing of abortion survivors.
Busy Philipps, straightforward and clear in her testimony about her own abortion at 15, could not answer the question posed by Texas Republican Louie Gohmert, which he asked several different ways: Should a baby born alive, like Melissa Ohden, have the right to life?
"Although I played a doctor on television, sir, I am actually not a physician … I don't believe that a politician's place is to decide what's best for a woman. It's a choice between a woman and her doctor.”
Pressed again, she answered: "I'm not speaking about birth, sir, I'm speaking about abortion.”
Seated next to Melissa was Christina Bennett, an African-American prolife speaker and activist. In her testimony, she said that in 1981, her mother had scheduled an abortion at Mount Sinai Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut, but:
"A black elderly janitor approached my mother after seeing her crying in the hospital hallway. She asked her if she wanted to have her baby and when she said yes, she told her God would give her the strength to have me. When she went to leave my mother was called into the doctor’s office where she could see he hadn’t cleaned up the blood from the last abortion which disgusted her. He insisted she stay and when she said she wanted to keep me he said, 'You’ve already paid for this. You’re just nervous.' She repeated her desire to keep me and he yelled at her screaming 'Don’t leave this room,' but she walked out."
Bennett said: “I support bodily autonomy but abortion always impacts two bodies. Just as my heart is beating today, it was beating inside of my mother’s body. I was never just a part of my mother’s body.”
Virginia Republican Ben Cline spoke: “Two of the women were not talking about the important decisions affecting their lives. They’re talking about their lives. The ability to even be here today. And that is significantly different.”
A pretty celebrity like Busy Philipps gets attention, for “speaking up!” but, sadly, not for her numbness of heart towards these women when they asked, poignantly, where was the protection for our lives?
But are we surprised? The abortion rights dogma has no room for survivors.
Maria McFadden Maffucci is the editor of the Human Life Review, www.humanlifereview.com, a quarterly journal devoted to the defense of human life, founded in 1974 by her father, James P. McFadden, Associate Publisher of National Review. She is President of the Human Life Foundation, based in midtown Manhattan, which publishes the Review and supports pregnancy resource centers. Mrs. Maffucci’s articles and editorials have appeared in the Human Life Review, First Things, National Review Online, National Review, Verily, and Crux. A Holy Cross graduate with a BA in Philosophy, she is married to Robert E. Maffucci, and the mother of three children. Her interests include exploring opportunities for individuals with special needs. To read more of her reports — Click Here Now.
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