Abortion is No Cure for Domestic Violence

Woman--sad

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

gallagher@paprolife.org

It is one of the most painful situations that can befall a woman–one that can lead to feelings of powerlessness, sadness, and despair. National statistics indicate that, every minute in this country, 20 people are assaulted by an intimate partner. It’s a crime that’s often hidden from public view, played out in bedrooms, kitchens, and living rooms, where a cry for help is often unheard.

No woman should ever be subjected to physical, emotional, or psychological violence. Neither should her unborn child.

It is important to recognize that abortion does not cure domestic violence. A woman battered while pregnant can all too often end up battered again following an abortion.

Statistics show that as many as 60 percent of abortions may be coerced–meaning a woman is being pressured into a choice she does not want to make. The individual exerting the pressure could be her abuser.

Women need to be empowered to leave abusive situations–for their sake and the sake of their children. To all those who work to support women facing such scenarios, thank you. And to all those women who escape abuse and choose life for their children, you are among the hidden heroes that make America great.

 

 

 

Planned Parenthood Fails Inspection After Inspection

WomanBy Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director gallagher@paprolife.org

“Care. No matter what.”

That is a favorite slogan of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion operation, which performs more than 320,000 abortions a year.

But records from the Pennsylvania Department of Health show that the abortion giant has failed inspection after inspection since the beginning of the year.

A March inspection of a Planned Parenthood in Harrisburg showed that the abortion center failed to maintain a sanitary environment.

An April inspection of a Planned Parenthood in Warminster revealed that the abortion operation failed to ensure that emergency equipment was available in case a patient had to be resuscitated. A follow-up inspection in August showed that staff failed to inform the state of a serious incident in which a patient’s uterus was perforated. The patient was not transported to a hospital, but did later up in an emergency room hemorrhaging.

An August inspection at a Planned Parenthood in Allentown revealed the facility failed to administer Immune Globulin to an Rh-negative patient. Rh-negative is a type of blood group that does not contain the Rh antigen in red blood cells. Staff also failed to remove expired medications from an emergency kit.

The Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania failed inspection in August, when it was cited for building violations which could have threatened the safety of patients.  Meanwhile, the Planned Parenthood on Locust Street in Philadelphia also failed a building inspection in August, due, in part, to obstruction in the stairways.

These multiple violations at various Planned Parenthood facilities in Pennsylvania show that the abortion giant does not have an unblemished safety record. Rather, numerous health and safety violations could potentially jeopardize the well-being of patients.

These safety failures provide yet more evidence why Planned Parenthood should not be receiving our hard-earned taxpayer dollars. It would be far better to redirect those funds to federally qualified health centers which provide comprehensive care to women, including Mammograms–something that no Planned Parenthood in the country provides.

 

 

 

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Discovering the Right to Life Through Faith

Baby sleepingBy Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director gallagher@paprolife.org

It is entirely possible to adopt a pro-life position based solely on reason. After all, science shows us that the baby’s heart starts beating at 24 days after conception; brain waves can be detected 43 days after fertilization.

Since every being in creation has a beginning, conception is the logical marker for determining the initiation of life. And, once a human life is initiated, the boy or girl should be protected. No religious creed is required to subscribe to that position.

Still, some look to faith to answer the question of when life begins, or to validate their position on abortion.

To me, one of the most telling verses in the Bible comes from the Gospel of St. Matthew, Chapter 25: “Amen, I say what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for Me.”

The least among us are preborn children. They have no money, no voice of their own. They are small in stature and, under the tragic U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, they are largely unprotected under the law.

But according to Christian Scripture, whatever is done, or left undone, for these little ones is done, or not done, for Jesus, the Son of God.

Therefore, a Biblical imperative exists to defend the lives of preborn children. In honoring them, Christians honor God.

Again, one can come to a pro-life position entirely based on scientific evidence. But for those who look to the Bible for direction, the right to life is as clear as the waters of Baptism.

 

Abortion Center Touted by Governor Fails Inspection–Again

Stethoscope

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director, gallagher@paprolife.org

An abortion facility touted by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards has failed inspection—again.

You may recall that the Governor—who prides himself as a former Planned Parenthood clinic escort–and the Planned Parenthood chief—who opposes any restrictions on abortion—held an event in Warminster in April to discuss the “devastating effects federal budget cuts to Planned Parenthood would have” for Pennsylvanians.

At the time, Richards stated, “For many, Planned Parenthood is their only health care provider and they would have nowhere else to go.”

But the Governor and the abortion center chain operator failed to mention an annual registration survey the Department of Health conducted at Planned Parenthood Keystone-Warminster eight days before. The inspection showed that the Planned Parenthood facility was not in compliance with state health department regulations.

Now comes a new inspection—and more violations.

An unannounced inspection on August 22nd found the facility “failed to conform to all applicable State Laws.”

This facility—praised by Governor Wolf—failed to report the fact that a woman’s uterus was perforated during an abortion—a serious incident requiring notification to the state. According to the report, (which can be found at https://sais.health.pa.gov/CommonPOC/content/publiccommonpoc/QAsurvey.asp?FACID=00188701&PAGE=1&NAME=PLANNED+PARENTHOOD+KEYSTONE+%2D+WARMINSTER&SurveyType=H%20&COUNTY=) , after the patient was discharged, she ended up in a hospital emergency room. She was hemorrhaging, and required additional care at the ER.

The fact that this serious incident was not reported to the state leads one to wonder how many times Planned Parenthood fails to report complications from abortion. It also leads one to question the accuracy of the complication totals reported each year by the state health department.

The previous inspection found that the Warminster Planned Parenthood failed to ensure that “all required emergency equipment was available” for resuscitation when abortions were performed.”

The troubles at Warminster are just one more reason why federal health care dollars should be redirected away from embattled Planned Parenthood and given to federally qualified community health centers which can provide comprehensive, competent care.

But the situation also brings up the question: Why does Pennsylvania’s Governor continue to defend an organization that routinely fails to follow basic health and safety requirements?

It would appear that, once again in Pennsylvania, politics is interfering with women’s health.

Sharing Our Adoption Stories

Baby ballerina

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director gallagher@paprolife.org

When I was a little girl, I learned that my mother’s favorite cousin, Valeria, had been adopted into the family. She was an individual with many gifts, including a talent for ballet and art. My father’s wish was that someday Valeria would paint a portrait of my mother that we could hang with pride in our living room.

Valeria lived far away, in the western part of the United States, so my mother was unable to see her. But a phone call from Valeria was a major event in our home and brought tremendous joy to my mother’s heart.

When Valeria passed away, she left my sister and me stacks and stacks of savings bonds. Apparently she had been buying them for us over the years, but never told my mother. The bequest came at a time when our family was in severe financial straits, so I was exceedingly grateful to the ballerina benefactor that I had never actually met.

Research indicates that, when a woman is distressed by an unexpected pregnancy, she views adoption as the worst option–worse than abortion. While we should do all we can to support women who wish to parent their children, for those who believe they are unable to parent at this time, we must share with them the beauty of adoption.

We need to share our adoption stories. They can save lives, and help form families made and sustained by the heart.

 

15 Years of Pro-Life Progress

Baby Superman with mother

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director gallagher@paprolife.org

As I approach my 15th anniversary with the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, the Keystone State affiliate of National Right to Life, it’s a good time to look back at the pro-life progress that has occurred in both the Commonwealth and our nation during the last decade and a half.

Abortion totals are at their lowest level in Pennsylvania since the state first began keeping statistics after the legalization of abortion. The fact that more than 32,000  preborn Pennsylvania children die each year from abortion is still a massive tragedy, but we are making progress in persuading more women in challenging circumstances to choose life for their children.

Part of that effort is our innovative Internet outreach program. We have reached more than a half a million teenagers with life-saving and life-changing information. Add to that the hundreds of thousands of people we reach each year through radio broadcasts, television interviews, website views, and social media posts.

One of our statewide oratory contest winners won the National Right to Life Oratory contest. He is now spreading the pro-life message far and wide as a diocesan priest.

At least a half dozen abortion facilities have closed their doors in Pennsylvania because they could not or would not meet basic health and safety standards. The renewed scrutiny of abortion facilities came after the passage of our common sense abortion center regulation law, which requires unannounced inspections of abortion centers.

Fifteen years ago, I thought that the tragic U.S. Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade would have been overturned by now. But the enthusiasm for Roe has significantly waned when you stop to consider that national polls show most Americans oppose most abortions. The misguided court ruling, which led to the heinous practice of partial-birth abortion, will ultimately fall under its own weight.

I hope that I am around to see that milestone.

Lessons from Las Vegas

Las Vegas

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director, gallagher@paprolife.org

Our nation is now hurting. The biggest mass shooting in modern U.S. history has left a trail of heartache which extends far beyond the glitzy confines of Las Vegas, Nevada. The senseless violence is beyond comprehension.

So many families, so many couples have been ripped apart by a savage act of domestic terror. A number of media outlets have rightly focused on the many heroes who are working to save the lives of those injured in the melee, and to shine a spotlight on the selfless courage of the first responders to the scene.

The tragic incident puts two things in focus:1.) the preciousness of every single human life, no matter the age; and 2.) the valor of those willing to put their own lives on the line to attempt to save the lives of others. As we grieve as a nation, let us redouble our efforts to instill greater respect for all innocent human life, from the dawn to the twilight of life.

Life as the Inalienable Right

Olde Courthouse LewistownBy Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director gallagher@paprolife.org

In the shadow of the Olde Courthouse in Lewistown, Pennsylvania, people from all different faiths and walks of life gathered to recognize life as an inalienable right.

The peaceful protest was just one of the many held throughout the country this past weekend in a show of quiet solidarity for pregnant women and their babies.

The Life Chain events are known for their calm dignity and prayerful presence. At the Lewistown event, the soulful hymns were punctuated by inspiring speeches illustrating the many pro-life successes of 2017.

We have a man on the U.S. Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, who is determined to strictly interpret the law, rather than actively make laws from the bench. An Executive Order ensures that no taxpayer funding will support organizations that perform and promote abortions overseas. Stellar pro-life individuals have filled the President’s Cabinet, and, for the first time this past January, a Vice-President addressed the annual March for Life.

In Pennsylvania, abortion centers that could not or would not meet basic health and safety standards have shut their doors. Abortion totals are at their lowest rate in the Keystone State since the tragic 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade. A new optimism and a renewed commitment flow through Pennsylvania’s pro-life ranks.

Life Chain 2017 marks a turning point in the history of our Commonwealth and of our nation–and that is cause for celebration!

The Tragic Love Story of Governor Wolf and Planned Parenthood

Lovebirds

cartoon by Dan Bartkowiak

Romeo and Juliet…Lancelot and Guinevere…Pocahontas and John Smith…tragic love stories abound throughout our culture. However, none of those love stories are nearly as tragic, or have had near the devastating impact, as the love story between pro-abortion Governor Wolf and Planned Parenthood.

The “relationship” between Governor Wolf and Planned Parenthood goes back to his days as a private citizen when he acted as a volunteer “escort” at a Planned Parenthood in York.  As an escort, Wolf would go out to the vehicles of mothers as they arrived at Planned Parenthood and prevent them from hearing the loving and supportive statements of pro-lifers outside the abortion center.  It blossomed into Planned Parenthood spending thousands of dollars supporting Governor Wolf’s election in 2014. It is no wonder then that Governor Wolf repeats Planned Parenthood’s lies every chance he gets and that just last week, he visited and praised the Elizabeth Blackwell abortion center in Philadelphia, despite it failing over 50% of its safety inspections.

The love story between Governor Wolf and Planned Parenthood is tragic for the over 17,000 Pennsylvania babies who die at a Planned Parenthood abortion center every year.  It is time for Governor Wolf to end his partnership with Planned Parenthood and start helping people remember there is always a reason to choose life.

Troubled Harrisburg Abortion Facility Closes

HillcrestBy Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

The embattled Hillcrest  Women’s Medical Center has shut its doors.

Government sources have confirmed that Hillcrest has voluntarily relinquished its license to operate as an abortion facility.

The abortion center had until August 31st to fix the myriad of health and safety problems discovered during an inspection earlier this year. That inspection yielded an astounding 44 pages worth of violations.

A group of state Senators demanded to know why the state Health Department allowed the facility to remain open, given its abysmal safety record. A follow-up inspection resulted in Hillcrest being shuttered until it could meet basic health standards.

But the deadline for compliance came and went with little indication the abortion center would reopen. A notice posted by the local natural gas company indicated that the gas had been shut off. A subsequent notice by the electric company said the electricity would be cut off if $1,600 in bills was not paid within the week.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health website now lists Hillcrest as “closed.” For the health and safety of central Pennsylvania women, the closure is long overdue.