On this frosty Monday, there's time to catch up on some powerful stories from the Sunday papers -- actually, the Sunday magazines. Yesterday's Globe Mag featured "My Late-Term Abortion," by Gretchen Voss, at once a blistering indictment of the federal "Partial Birth Abortion" ban and the story of Voss and her husband dealing with the termination of their first pregnancy. Voss discovered her baby had a neural tube defect and would most likely live only a very short, painful life if she did not abort. As she puts it, "Everyone said, of course it's the right thing to do -- even my Catholic father and my Republican father-in-law, neither of whom was ever "pro-choice." Because suddenly, for them, it wasn't about religious doctrine or political platforms. It was personal -- their son, their daughter, their grandchild. It was flesh and blood, as opposed to abstract ideology, and that changed everything." Something our elected leaders in Washington haven't yet thought about, apparently...and another reason to march on Washington! You cannot read this piece and remain unmoved.
The NYTimes Mag ran a cover story bringing to light a far less headline-grabbing issue -- sex slavery, right in the house next door. My jaw dropped as I read about the practice of luring, kidnapping, or outright purchasing girls as young as 11 or 12, from Eastern Europe and Latin America, moving them into captivity in suburban America, and forcibly pimping them out to dozens of men each day. Several "brothels" like this were discovered in Union County, NJ -- including Elizabeth, where I grew up! These girls are beaten, drugged, psychologically abused, and of course repeatedly sexually assaulted -- all for profit by these international cartels. And apparently, Homeland Security doesn't see a problem -- to them it's a "vice" crime that gets lumped in with generic prostitution cases. I was literally shaking with anger and disbelief as I read this -- we have a half-assed war on drugs in this country, but we can't do anything about cutting the demand for underage sex slaves?! This is an international problem as well...sorry to bring all the bad news at once, but this is utterly appalling. Also, find out what's being done to combat this at International Justice Mission.