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Last night was supposed to be a rout

by | Mar 30, 2017

But Den of Lions turns out to be Field of Mice

Editor’s note. The following is an encouraging update from Barth Bracy, executive director of Rhode Island Right to Life, NRLC’s state affiliate.

Planned Parenthood had been working for months hatching their most aggressive campaign in years…

  • They began with a “fake news” media blitz so intense that, even before their signature bill was unveiled and filed, I was hit with phone calls from every local media outlet and even from the Wall Street Journal.
  • They ran social media campaigns, phone banks, and even door-to-door canvassing operations in support of a lobbying campaign as sophisticated as it was deceptive.
  • The day before the hearings, we learned that an HBO VICE NEWS production crew would be present to memorialize what was supposed to be their triumph…
  • … after which they would proceed to AS220 for a Celebratory Comedy Fundraiser for the Planned Parenthood PAC.

But with your help, we turned the tables, ate their lunch, and set them back on their heels!

Right up to the last moment, we were worried. Things looked bad. They were out early, in massive numbers, and with expensive signage.

But stalwart pro-life Rhode Islanders kept trickling in, our ranks swelling to the hundreds. By the time the hearings began, we matched them woman for woman, man for man, lawyer for lawyer (thank you Joe Cavanagh!), pediatrician for abortionist (thank you Drs. Ciancaglini and Cretella!), student for student (thank you PC for Life!), scientist for spin-doctor (thank you Fr. Nic!), articulate advocate for vulgar activist (thank you Genevieve Kineke), and saints for scoundrels (thank you Fr. Healey and Carol Owens!).

Testimony alternated back-and-forth between each side until after midnight. Scores of pro-life witnesses delivered powerful testimony, especially the women from Silent No More. Some of our best testimony came near the end with Tyler Rowley masterfully rebutting a physician/abortion advocate, and Susan Yoshihara delivering our closing argument, a fact-check during which she refuted so many false claims made by Planned Parenthood’s “expert witnesses” throughout the course of the long evening.

But what I was anticipating to be the climactic moment of the night turned out to be a very revealing DUD.

As you know, we have been burning the candle at both ends in our intense lobbying against their extreme, signature bill. Burning through our meager coffers to run ads, mailings, and action alerts, we had succeeded, even prior to the hearings, in convincing over 20% of the cosponsors to pull their names from the bill. Our efforts resulted in significant media coverage and in bill sponsors issuing a press release along with constituent emails accusing us of a deceptive campaign of misinformation.

Rep. Edith Ajello, the primary sponsor, introduced the bill lamenting what she believed to be unfair treatment from us, quoting at length from our action alerts.

Being that seven of the Judiciary Committee members were cosponsors of the bill, many of whom are attorneys, and all of whom had accused us of spreading misinformation. I was expecting a showdown when I took to the podium to walk them through our charges against their extreme bill.

I believed that I was walking into a lion’s den and, make no mistake, I was loaded for bear and looking forward to a turkey-shoot, to mix metaphors. But what I found was not a lion’s den, but a field of mice!

Not one of these representatives who have been accusing us publicly and to their constituents of willfully spreading misinformation dared even ask even one question of me or engage in any debate whatsoever!!!

I can honestly say that this was the most pathetic display of cowardice that I have witnessed at the State House during my nine-year tenure.

And I say this not to rub salt in their wounds, but because their deafening silence is an admission that they are guilty of having made spurious claims to their constituents and slander against Rhode Island Right to life and the Rhode Island Catholic Conference. If you received such an email from your state Representative, I urge you to reply to them demanding an apology… and that they remove their names from this bill.

For those who want to watch the hearings, they are available for online viewing at Capital TV Video on Demand. Once we have a bit of time, we will post clips on our Facebook Page.

Categories: Pro-Lifers