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Welcome to The Vine, where every week I strive to bring you updates from around the pro-life community to help you keep up with the ever constant battle to save lives. If you aren’t plugged-in, it is my sincere hope that The Vine will allow you to get familiar with those on the front lines and find your place among them.

If you asked anyone what news came out of St. Louis, Missouri in November, you’d no doubt hear about the uproar over the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson. Across the country, everyone knows about the protests and riots in the wake of a young, black man shot to death after charging at a police officer. Even the President of the United States took time to speak about the incident.

What you won’t hear about is the quiet arrival on an ambulance to the only abortion mill left operating in the state. Lights and sirens off, as is customary, the ambulance pulled up to Planned Parenthood in St. Louis for the 27th time in 5 years to transport a woman to a hospital. What happened? Nobody knows. Officials in the city are loathe to release any information that might shed light on why women are routinely harmed at their Planned Parenthood. According to Operation Rescue, an inspection performed in January 2013 revealed the following:

… filthy conditions including rusty surgical tables, suction abortion machines, IV stands, and other equipment and “copious amounts of dust” everywhere. Other violations included poor or non-existent infection control protocols and expired, improperly handed drugs.

Without knowing anything about her, there is no way to know if the latest victim of Planned Parenthood will survive whatever they did to send her to the hospital. But there will be no protests, no riots, no speech by the president. No collective national thought will be given to her because Planned Parenthood has been given free reign in America to injure and/or kill anyone they want. One should not wait for a statement forthcoming from Planned Parenthood on the status of the unknown woman.

In the irony of all ironies, Planned Parenthood did, however, make a statement about the death of Michael Brown. Noted by Ryan Bomberger at Townhall, Planned Parenthood, “leading racial profiler and killer of black lives,” tweeted: “#Ferguson, #MikeBrown’s death, and violence against people of color are an issue for all of us.” Bomberger rightfully took them to task in a post well worth the time to read in full.

Considering the inspection of the St. Louis Planned Parenthood, passing laws requiring clinics to be as clean as the medical facilities they pretend to be should be a no brainer. Yet, while the state of Virginia passed such laws in 2011, efforts to protect people do no good if they are not enforced. Reported by streiff at RedState, the situation in Virginia has become so dire under Governor Terry McAuliffe that the newest Kermit Gosnell, abortionist Steven Brigham, has successfully set up shop there. Brigham, who’s license to kill unborn children was suspended in 2010, has been charged with numerous crimes including murder, which he committed in his secret late-term abortion clinic in Maryland.

So what is McAuliffe’s answer to a known criminal operating in the state of Virginia? To break down the laws that would protect Virginians from the murderer! Writes streiff, “All of this serves to underscore the fact that abortion is a business. It is not a women’s health issue. It is certainly not a “reproductive health” issue.” Planned Parenthood helped elect McAuliffe and now he is rewarding them. Simple as that. If you’d like to contact Governor McAuliffe before he gives Brigham free reign in Virginia, you may do so here.

Fortunately, as is always the case in the fight for the unborn, not all the news is bad. On Black Friday, the CDC released their Abortion Surveillance Report which revealed the overall number of abortions was down in 2011; the most recent year available to report. Jake, at RedState, has a fantastic break-down of the numbers in which he states, “The number of abortions in 2011 was the lowest in all 10 years surveyed.” There is, of course, data found within the CDC’s report that indicates where more work is needed, such as an increase in abortions by unmarried women to 85.5%, but knowing these will help us to effectively focus our efforts.

The CDC report also found that the majority of abortions continue to be by young women, which highlights an important reason why pro-life youth are so vital to saving unborn babies. Who best to understand what a young, pregnant woman is going through than another young person? To that effect, the recent release of the short film, Mitosis, by 18-year-old director Hannah Victoria, aims to help young people understand the importance of each and every life. The film was funded by a small Kickstarter campaign and is available on YouTube. As she told Live Action News, Victoria hopes Pregnancy Resource Centers will be able to use the film to further their life-saving work.

The film is a timely gift to the pro-life community, coming at the beginning of a month in which the majority of Americans will be focused on giving to those in need. Blessing Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRCs) is the focus of Students For Life’s December Event-in-a-Box and includes information on how to hold a “diaper drive” for your local PRC. Good things happen when pro-lifers come together and you needn’t be a student to help your PRC this season.

Until next week, I pray blessings for you and for all committed to life in The Vine. Please feel free to email or tweet me with any stories you’d like to see covered or any organizations you’d like to see as the Branch For Life. And don’t forget to check out The Vine’s list on Twitter to stay up-to-date on current news in the pro-life movement!