At 22 weeks pregnant, Students for Life Capital Area Regional Coordinator, Michele Hendrickson, visited the offices of several Congressional Representatives in Washington, D.C. with other millennials yesterday to bring up their concerns about abortion.
Hendrickson reflected on the day when she wrote, “The biggest disappointment of the day? Meeting with Congressman Tim Ryan’s (D-OH) Chief of Staff.”
“The Congressman recently came out stating that he has “changed his mind” on the issue of abortion, but it wasn’t clear how extreme his views were until we heard it straight from his Chief of Staff, Ron Grimes,” she wrote.
Ohio Democrat Rep. Tim Ryan recently published an Op-Ed announcing that he had switched his views on abortion.
Rep. Ryan wrote in part:
“There are many factors involved when a woman decides to end a pregnancy, and over the past 14 years in political office, I have gained a deeper understanding of the complexities and emotions that accompany the difficult decisions that women and families make when confronted with these situations.
“I was elected to political office at a young age, and being raised in a Catholic household, always considered myself pro-life. My faith is important to me, and like many Catholics I strive to adhere to its principles, especially one of the essential and highest teachings of “judge not, lest ye be judged.” I’ve heard firsthand from women of all ages, races and socioeconomic backgrounds about the circumstances and hardships that accompany this personal choice, which we should not judge…
“Today, I am a 41-year-old father and husband whose feelings on this issue have changed. I have come a long way since being a single, 26-year-old state senator, and I am not afraid to say that my position has evolved as my experiences have broadened, deepened and become more personal. And while I have deep respect for people on both sides of this conversation, I would be abandoning my own conscience and judgment if I held a position that I no longer believed appropriate.
“I have come to believe that we must trust women and families — not politicians — to make the best decision for their lives.”, Rep. Ryans said.
When the pro-life students tried to meet directly with Rep. Ryan they were greeted by his Chief of Staff, Ron Grimes, instead.
The group of young people brought up their concerns about abortion, sharing personal stories of friends or family members heavily burned by this issue.
Grimes told the group that Rep. Ryan’s position supporting late-term abortion is one that “was not new” and that “had developed over his many years in office.”
Grimes also emphasized to the national pro-life group that Rep. Ryan, “Simply disagrees with your position.”
In a video the group posted of their conversation with the Congressman’s Chief of Staff – you can hear him tell a very pregnant Hendrickson, “This is your decision, not the federal government’s.”
Hendrickson then asked Grimes, “So would you agree that Congressman Ryan does not believe in legal protection for females like Lucy?” she asked pointing to her unborn daughter.
To which Rep. Ryan’s Chief of Staff replied, “Yes, that is correct.”
Hendrickson said that at twenty-two weeks and kicking, Lucy was there in person and represented in a 3D ultrasound she had taped to a letter,”When we first began our talk, I handed Mr. Grimes the letter, telling him the photo was of my 22-week-old preborn daughter, and joked that “of course the Congressman would want to keep a picture of her because she’s so cute, right?” Mr. Grimes smiled and replied agreeing that she was cute. He held this letter during our entire conversation glancing down at her picture as he spoke.”
But, Hendrickson said she had to speak up after Grimes kept implying that killing an unborn child in the womb was a woman’s choice, “While listening to this man dismiss everything the students had shared and avoid addressing the humanity of the preborn child in the same way the Congressman had failed to do in his op-ed, I had to speak up and asked him to consider my preborn daughter, Lucy,” Hendrickson said.
In addition to Rep. Ryan, Students for Life also visited Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-NC) office after she sabotaged a vote on the pro-life Pain Capable Unborn Protection Act, which would have banned later term abortions. The bill was supposed to be up for a vote on the day of the March for Life but Rep. Ellmers paved the way for the bill to be pulled.
Read their account here.
The group said that they wanted to remind Rep. Ellmers and the entire GOP that millennials do care about social issues, especially concerning abortion,
Following Rep. Ellmers successful efforts to thwart the vote one conservative columnist tweeted this scathing rebuke, “Renee Ellmers is the GOP’s Abortion Barbie.”
After a pro-life protest outside Rep Ellmers office the day the GOP pulled the vote, Ellmers wrote a letter where she stated, “It’s unimaginable to me why some outside parties would seek to target strong, pro-life conservative women and men who are serving in Congress.”
Former nurse and pro-life blogger Jill Stanek, who once held a late term abortion survivor in her arms and who organized that protest at Ellmer’s office responded, “Who are they, Congresswoman Ellmers? It is unimaginable to me that you might consider yourself part of that crowd,” she said.