Many news organizations are running a retrospective of the Triangle Shirtwaist factory tragedy on the 100th anniversary of the date that 146 women died in that sweatshop. Many of the young women who died that day were immigrants who were locked in the factory; when the fire broke out, they had no choice but to leap to their deaths.
The AP story (this one linked from the Times Herald) focuses the significance of this event as a turning point for organized labor and draws a parallel between those early day so of union organization and today's
The March 25, 1911, fire that killed 146 workers became a touchstone for the organized labor movement, spurred laws that required fire drills and shed light on the lives of young immigrant workers near the turn of the century.
The 100th anniversary comes as public workers in Wisconsin, Ohio and elsewhere protest efforts to limit collective bargaining rights in response to state budget woes. Labor leaders and others say one need only look to the Triangle fire to see why unions are crucial.
"This is a story that needs to be told and retold," said Cecilia Rubino, the writer-director of "From the Fire," an oratorio inspired by the Triangle fire. "We don't have that many moments in our history where you see so clearly the gears of history shift."
While the labor movement has in the past made great strides in improving working conditions, unions are no longer critical to enforcing fair labor practices; indeed, there is a vast body of law called "labor law" that prevents employers from exploiting workers. Workers no longer need to buy into the "protection" that orgainzed labor claims to offer. And while its worth noting that the labor movement had some noble origins, the movement itself is not quite so altruistic these days as they would have you believe. The so-called critical "right" of collective bargaining has more to do with keeping labor leaders and Democrats entrenched in the power to which they have become accustomed than it does with securing worker protections.
But this is the quote from the AP piece that really grabbed my attention:
Suzanne Pred Bass, a Manhattan psychotherapist and theater producer, is the great-niece of Katie Weiner, who survived the Triangle fire, and of Rose Weiner, who did not.Modern liberalism may have saved women from sweatshop conditions, but it has not eliminated the practice of exploiting women. Indeed, modern liberalism encourages and covers up the exploitation of young women, all in the name of "protecting their rights."
Bass ticked off the reasons why people remain fascinated by the Triangle fire after 100 years.
"It's the youth of these women," she said. "It's the tragedy, it's the changes it spawned and it's the immigrant experience."
I speak, of course, of abortion. And the fact that the "Abortion Doctor" Kermit Gosnell operated with impunity in his West Philadelphia house of horrors for over thirty years while those in power turned away for fear of the mere consequences of being viewed as infringing on a "woman's right to choose." It says a lot indeed about woman's worth to the left. The Inquirer today has a brief article about the "complete regulatory collapse" that led to complaints about Gosnell going nowhere:
Gosnell had a long history of injuring his patients and had let his malpractice insurance lapse nearly a year earlier in violation of state law.
Lawyers at Pennsylvania's Department of State, charged with weeding out bad doctors, were told about the lapse and Barger's lawsuit - along with many others - but took no action. Barger's lawyer said he suspected that Gosnell had paid his client privately to walk away.
Barger's case provides a window into the state's system to discipline doctors, one that relies heavily on physician self-reporting and state investigators whose effectiveness has been questioned. It's a system that patient-safety advocates and a leading ethicist say is broken.
Gosnell "was able to go on despite complaints for a long time," said Arthur Caplan, director of the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Bioethics. "That is not acceptable."
Think about how much the right to an abortion outweighs the right to life in this country: "not acceptable" is the harshest possible term that Arthur Caplan can bring himself to use in describing this horrific situation.
I speak also of the recent Planned Parenthood exposes which further illumniated for the world the pro-choice agenda. Michelle Malkin:
In 2007, while an undergrad at UCLA, Live Action’s Lila Rose visited a local campus Planned Parenthood clinic posing as a 14-year-old minor seeking an abortion after being impregnated by a 23-year-old man. California’s mandatory reporting laws require abortion providers to report statutory rape involving girls under the age of 16. Rose secretly captured video of her visit in which the staff advised her to “figure out a birth-date that works,” to obtain the abortion and avoid getting the man in trouble with the law.On the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Factory tragedy, instead of celebrating the victory of the now irrelevant and antiquated institution of organized labor, perhaps we should be asking ourselves why the exploitation of young women seems to consistently be a secondary consideration in some of the most notable of the triumphs of the left.
Instead of vowing to do more to protect girls from predators, Planned Parenthood threatened to sue Rose to shut her up.
That same year, a teenager came forward in Ohio to blow the whistle on how a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Cincinnati had ignored her cries for help after her father — who had been molesting her for three years from the age of 13 — forced her to have an abortion.
She told an abortion staffer, who was required by state law to report suspected abuse to police. But the women’s health provider so beloved by liberals on Capitol Hill did nothing.
Another Ohio teenage victim of sexual abuse filed suit against Planned Parenthood after the soccer coach who abused her at age 14 forced her to undergo an abortion.
“Although she used a junior-high school I.D. and the coach, 21, paid with a credit card and driver’s license,” the Coshocton (Ohio) Tribune reported, “Planned Parenthood failed to report the abuse.”
Thirteen-year-old Shantese Butler was left permanently injured and infertile after a botched Planned Parenthood abortion. Students for Life of America reported that Shantese was left with “severe abdominal bleeding, severe vaginal injury, severe injury to the cervix, significant uterine perforation and a small bowel tear.”
In addition, parts of the unborn child were found inside Shantese’s abdomen.
And don’t forget the Nebraska Planned Parenthood clinic that refused to disclose the terms of a settlement with another victim whose botched abortion resulted in a perforated uterus, massive blood loss, an emergency hysterectomy, permanent infertility, seizures and lifelong pain and suffering.
According to the suit obtained by Life News, the woman told the abortionist and his assistants to stop, but was told: “We can’t stop.”
The Planned Parenthood employees held her down to complete the procedure.
None of this is disclosed on Planned Parenthood’s informational Web site aimed at teenage girls, of course. Instead, the group aggressively advises pregnant girls under 18 on how to avoid telling their parents about visiting their abortion clinics through a process known as “judicial bypass.”
What other enterprise receives taxpayer support to entice children to hide their health decisions from their own mothers and fathers?
Planned Parenthood is a $1-plus billion business that rakes in one-third of its budget from government grants and contracts at both the state and federal levels.
Congress has interrogated banking, energy, health insurance, tobacco and oil execs — treating them like serial killers before the cameras. When will they finally de-fund a corrupt industry that has real blood on its hands?