EDITORIAL

Advocating for Women’s Rights and Gianna Jessen

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On April 6, 1977, Gianna Jessen was born. It was never supposed to happen. Born two months premature, and as a result of a failed saline abortion, Gianna survived while the abortion doctor was forced to do something he never anticipated: sign the newborn’s birth certificate. Gianna spent three precarious months in the hospital, fighting for her life (again). She was then placed in foster care until a loving family adopted her. As a child, she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and many doubted if she would ever be able to walk. She went on to do much more than that; she has even run several marathons.

Jessen has testified and advocated for unborn children throughout the world, in places like the United States, Australia and Great Britain. She is enormously popular in Italy, appearing on talk shows and media outlets since 2012. One of her favorite lines: “I am not a right. I am a human being.”

Last Friday, January 19, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill requiring medical care for babies like Gianna who survive botched abortions. It includes fines and even imprisonment for medical professionals failing to comply. The next day, in Washington, D.C., the 2018 Women’s March took place, correctly advocating for women’s rights and wrongly supposing that such rights include access to abortion. Gianna Jessen said it best, at the 2015 congressional hearing investigating Planned Parenthood’s controversial fetal tissue “donations.” Addressing the nation’s largest abortion provider, she asked, “If abortion is about women’s rights, then where were mine?”