Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, President of Operation Rescue Troy Newman, and former nurse Jill Stanek, known for her testimony for BAIPA (Born Alive Infant Protection Act) were among those arrested in the hall outside the office of Speaker of the House John Boehner on Wednesday as they protested lack of action on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
A vote on the Pain-Capable bill had been promised for January 22nd, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, but it was derailed by a group led by Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) and Jackie Walorski (R-IN). Pro-life advocates were angered that Boehner pulled it at the last minute, and since then they have been waiting to see what action House leadership would take. None has been forthcoming, and so this protest was planned. Mahoney and Newman had these remarks:
“The pro-life community in the midterm elections spent hours manning phones, walked hundreds of miles passing out literature, donated millions of dollars to candidates to give Speaker Boehner the historic majority he has in the House today,” Mahoney said. “And for all that incredible hard work, we were promised on January 22 that a vote would be held banning abortions after 20 weeks. On the eve of the Roe v. Wade memorial, that vote was shelved.”
“We were told yesterday that this is the most pro-life Congress that has ever been installed,” Newman added. “And yet a ban on late-term abortions – which the vast majority of Americans believe should be passed immediately – has languished in the House.”
The photo of protestors at Renee Ellmer’s office in January indicate they were more numerous than yesterday, yet none were arrested. Katie Mahoney said, “They know we’re coming. We met with Boehner’s office last week.” Today, however, after giving statements and offering prayers, the protestors were arrested.
Jill Stanek: …As a registered nurse, my purpose for being there has to do with my testimony of holding a 21 week-old abortion survivor until he died. He would have been saved by an abortion ban such as this bill.
I’m upholding his memory and reminding these Republicans who are dithering for whatever reason – that while they do this, babies are dying excruciating deaths every day. Trying to reorient this discussion to the babies is my reason for talking….
We have two goals today. First of all, in our own way we want to pressure the GOP leadership in the House to present the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act for a vote. From various sources on Capitol Hill, I have heard that we have already had an impact. There really wasn’t any particular rush felt on this issue, and now there is. The other goal is to reorient this discussion back to the babies, who are literally being drawn and quartered on a daily basis. People don’t seem to have any sense of urgency about making that stop.
Bound4LIFE: Your team is billing this as a sit-in/pray-in. Why prayer?
Jill Stanek: That’s what sets us apart from other protests. We are Christians first, called to defend the defenseless and be a voice for the voiceless.
This isn’t a Sharpton-esque sort of venture; we are entering into this with a lot of thought and prayer….
In my remarks today, I’ll speak about holding an aborted baby at Christ’s Hospital in Illinois – the baby that became the reason for the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which was introduced in the Illinois State Legislature. As a state senator, Barack Obama voted against that bill four times.
You know, I expect that from Democrats. But we shouldn’t expect Republicans to covertly block pro-life legislation – because they’re afraid or not invested in the issue beyond simple “I’m pro-life” platitudes. Many of them are also not very cogent on life issues, as we’ve seen the past few years. Their job isn’t just to introduce pro-life bills and vote on them: they have to sell the American people on why we value life. If they haven’t done anything on this at the three-month mark, on April 22 we are going to come back with a bigger crowd.
I have several remaining questions. Why were the protestors in January not arrested and those who were there yesterday were? Boehner had advance knowledge of the protest—why did he allow things to come to such an impasse today? Did he think they were bluffing? Did he hope they would protest, be arrested, and quietly go away? I do know the spotlight was brighter in January with thousands of pro-life marchers in D.C.
I’ve been reading Jill Stanek’s blog for years, and the 20-weeks marker of the Pain-Capable bill brings her back full circle to the aborted-alive baby she held who started her on her pro-life activism. She exposed that practice of letting babies who survived abortion die without medical treatment, testifying in Illinois and in Washington, D.C., and was a driving force in the passage of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, going toe to toe against Obama when he was in the Illinois legislature. She took on Obama, and I don’t expect her to let up on Boehner.