Taxpayers Will be Outraged at Suit Requiring Taxpayer Funding of Abortion

Woman--sad

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                       CONTACT: MARIA V. GALLAGHER

January 16, 2019                                                                               717-541-0034

                                                                                           gallagher@paprolife.org

Taxpayers Will Be Outraged at Suit Requiring Taxpayer Funding of Abortion

Harrisburg, PA—Taxpayers across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will be outraged by a lawsuit demanding that hard-earned tax dollars be spent on abortion.

Abortion facilities in Pennsylvania have filed a suit that would require taxpayer-funded Medicaid money to be spent on abortion in an attempt to overturn the Keystone State’s long-standing ban on the practice.

“Poll after poll has shown that taxpayers in the U.S. do not want their tax money to be spent on abortion, period,” said Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, an affiliate of National Right to Life. “This lawsuit flies in the face of the will of the people to safeguard their money from abortion,” Gallagher added.

The lawsuit, known as Allegheny Reproductive Health Center v. Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, represents a giant step backward in both the protection of tax money and the protection of women and their preborn children from the harm of abortion.

“Research shows quite clearly that taxpayer funding of abortion is greatly unpopular. At a time when Pennsylvania’s abortion totals are at a record low, abortion businesses are trying to capture a lucrative market to prop up their sagging industry. This is a lose-lose proposition—for taxpayers and for pregnant women,” Gallagher said.

Pennsylvania’s law is constitutional and should be upheld, Gallagher added.

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The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation is a grassroots right-to-life organization with members statewide.  As the state affiliate of National Right to Life, PPLF is committed to promoting the dignity and value of human life from conception to natural death and to restoring legal protection for preborn children.

Why I Still Believe in the March for Life

March for Life--Washington Monument

 

By Jessica Resuta, guest blogger

For years through conversations with friends, social media posts and public statements, I have heard many pro-life people dismiss the importance of the March for Life in Washington D.C. with reasons such as that it’s only one day, or it’s all talk and no action.

As a young college undergraduate who has attended the March annually since 2008, I can state with confidence that an event like the March for Life is actually crucial to creating a culture that values life.

But why march? If one already speaks to peers about the value of life, assists young mothers, the elderly and the sick, why is this event necessary?  

In response, the March goes hand in hand with the day to day actions we perform to protect the sanctity of life in our homes, communities and beyond.  If it was truly what is often portrayed by the media as merely a loud protest or pep rally or a political statement, I would agree that it doesn’t exactly make a difference or serve a purpose.  But the reality is that it is an event unlike any other and for a noble purpose.

The March is a unique cause and experience as hundreds of thousands of people from all ages, races, backgrounds, and religions join as one people united in an acknowledgement of the value and vulnerability of human life in all its stages. Furthermore,  it is not only the opportunity to gather together to make a public witness, but it is a chance to be reassured that we are not alone in this mission and to show the world that they are not alone, that there really are people who care and love and act. In that crowd of hundreds of thousands are people who have lovingly and courageously been dedicated to respecting life. There are parents, teachers, religious and political leaders, children and college students, people who truly work and act to create an impact.  

  No, for me the March has never been just a good hurrah or a mere political statement, not that I don’t have a strong interest in politics, but it is that chance after another year of actively supporting the culture of life daily to unite with others and proclaim to the world that all human life is sacred and precious and that we are not afraid to declare so publicly.  It is a day of life, peace, joy and prayer.

We need to take a public stand because the protection of life is such a fundamental issue, if not the fundamental issue in society.  To put it simply, if there is no life there are no people, and with no people there is no society.

From abortion to euthanasia, these threats to human life in its most crucial stages are so urgent and have been going on for so long that it calls for a public proclamation from those who say they are pro-life; a proclamation that there are indeed hundreds of thousands who will love and protect life at all stages and work to see the end of any injustices.  

The March for Life, this public proclamation, is a sign of hope that we have not given up on defending the innocent and defenseless, but also a sign that we will not weaken our stance. Even while facing opposition or unfavorable laws or leaders, we will not desert those who depend on us whether it be the unborn, the elderly, or even our own children whose future social climate depends partly on us.  This is what the March for Life truly demonstrates: the witness of those who love and I repeat it is necessary for building a culture that respects life.

In the words of the great musical Les Miserables  “The time is now. The day is here!” If we don’t take a stand for life now, who will?

Jessica Resuta is an undergraduate journalism major at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio

What I am Marching for

March for Life bannerBy Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

If I am fortunate enough to make it to the March for Life in Washington, D.C. this week, here’s what I will be marching for:

**An end to the mauling, mistreatment, and killing of nearly a million unborn children each year;

**The empowerment of women to make life-affirming decisions for themselves and their families;

**The protection of people with disabilities, including those in the womb;

**The care of the frail elderly who are vulnerable to calls for doctor-prescribed (assisted) suicide;

**The re-establishment of a culture of caring in our nation;

**An end to the exploitation of women by the lucrative abortion industry;

**A rediscovery of the humanity of the child in the womb;

**A re-invigoration of the rights of fathers, who currently have no legal say in the abortion of their children;

**The legacy established by my parents and all those who fought for life under trying circumstances;

**The freedom of my daughter to live in a world without abortion.

What will you be marching for?

Sisters of Life Bring Joy to Philadelphia

Sisters of LifeBy Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

I recently had the opportunity to spend some time with the Sisters of Life at their Visitation Mission in Philadelphia. The Sisters came to the City of Brotherly Love some time ago at the invitation of Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput.

Joy radiates from the Sisters as they welcome visitors to their wreath-covered, robin egg blue doors. Sister Grace Dominic says pregnant women learn about them mostly through word of mouth. The women come from various backgrounds and represent a number of different religions. All are greeted with the same heart-felt love.

The pregnant women who come to their doors also have a variety of needs. They may require shelter, food, or the steadfast support of one person who will love both them and their babies.

As the website for the Sisters of Life states, “The Sisters and Co-workers of the Visitation Mission are eager to listen to you, your hopes and your struggles.  We can help find real possibilities during a difficult time.  We want to walk with you and see you thrive.”

The Sisters were the brainchild of a former Archbishop of New York, who wanted to unleash the feminine genius for the cause of life. As the website records, “The Sisters of Life is a contemplative/active religious community of women founded in 1991 by John Cardinal O’Connor for the protection and enhancement of the sacredness of every human life.”

Just sitting with the Sisters, having a cup of tea, one can feel the warmth they bring to their life-saving, life-changing work. They are models of kindness and compassion to women struggling in the midst of challenging circumstances.

To each woman they encounter they bring a message of hope and healing–something sorely needed in the abortion capital of Pennsylvania.

With abortions declining in Philadelphia County, I have to believe that the Sisters are making a real difference in this mission territory. May they continue to encourage the women of Philadelphia for decades to come.

 

Hope Rising From the Ashes of the Gosnell Tragedy

Hope CenterBy Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

In southeast Pennsylvania–the same area of the Commonwealth where abortionist Kermit Gosnell engaged in his horrendous killing spree–stands a monument to hope.

In fact, hope is its name.

The Hope Pregnancy Center in Philadelphia launched a decade ago. It is seeing more clients than ever and is instilling optimism in a place that’s seen its share of darkness and despair.

Its enthusiastic director, Marlene Downing, offers the compassion and vision which have made the Hope Center a shining light in the City of Brotherly Love. Her effervescence is contagious, and brings with it the likelihood of continued growth for the pregnancy resource center.

According to the latest figures from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, abortions have declined in Philadelphia County–in no small part because of facilities such as the Hope Center, which provide loving options to women facing challenging pregnancies.

A single mother herself, Marlene provides an incredible role model to the women who walk through the center’s doors. She is a living example of resilience and determination.

You cannot walk away from the Hope Center without have a renewed sense of possibility about the city where Gosnell once plied his grisly trade.

Life By the Numbers

Ultrasound and womanBy Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

Life is all about numbers. SAT scores. Batting averages. Football yardage.

But do you know some of the memorable numbers in the lives of preborn children?

3–the number of weeks when an unborn child’s eyes develop and the heart starts beating

6–the number of weeks an unborn baby’s skeleton is complete and brain waves develop

9–the number of weeks when an unborn baby begins to swallow

11–the number of weeks when an unborn baby begins to suck her thumb

16–the number of weeks when an unborn baby begins kicking

18–the number of weeks when an unborn baby can cry

20–the number of weeks when hair appears on an unborn baby’s head

1 million--the approximate number of unborn children killed by abortion each year.

60 million+–the number of unborn children killed since Roe v. Wade, the tragic U.S. Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion.

The milestones in the development of an unborn child are miraculous. The statistics about abortion are sobering. Share these figures with the young people in your life. They have a right to know.

The March for Life: A Legacy of Love

Mike Pence at MarchBy Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

The world’s largest pro-life event steps out January 18, when hundreds of thousands of people are expected to converge on Washington, D.C. for the annual March for Life.

High school and college students, mothers and fathers, grandparents and children will be showcasing their opposition to Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision which brought us abortion for any reason up to the moment of birth.

Pennsylvania will be well-represented at the March, as numerous chapters of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation will be sponsoring buses to the peaceful, passionate gathering.

In honor of the March, we decided in this issue of LifeLines to feature the words of two veteran marchers who have a lifetime worth of experience championing the rights of pregnant women and their babies.

The Legacy of People for Life

“People for Life began its March for Life tradition by chartering a bus to the very first March for Life in 1974,” said Tim Broderick, President of Erie’s People for Life, a chapter of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation. Broderick also serves on the Federation’s Board of Directors.

“Since then, we have not missed a single year. When I began volunteering with our organization on a weekly basis, in January 1995, I was already aware of the bus trip, but only vaguely. I declined to go along on the bus trip that year, thinking the whole thing was just for entertainment and not ‘serious’ pro-life work. I decided to go in 1996, however, mainly out of curiosity. I found the experience moving beyond words, and I rode back to Erie on ‘Cloud Nine’ and stayed there for about a week!

“Having become more involved in leading People for Life over the years, it has been part of my job to supervise the bus trip. Thankfully, I have been able to attend each and every March for Life since my 1996 experience. It never gets old. Some of it is very routine now, but each March for Life is unique and has its own unique flavor, and it grows larger and larger with nearly every passing year.

“Our March for Life bus trip has grown as well, from a single motor coach in 1974 to as many as five of the newer and larger motor coaches in recent years. And there have been spin-offs, with at least five other groups now sending their own buses from the three-county area that we used to serve exclusively.

“As a moving and uplifting experience, perhaps the March for Life is ‘entertainment’ after all. But it has also become, without a doubt, a tremendous symbol of pro-life love–and pro-life resolve–for the entire world. Thanks to generous news coverage by our local TV news departments, our bus trip is doing its little part to bring that message of love and resolve to as many people as possible,” Broderick added.

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The Pro-Life Generation

“I have attended the March many years and I attended the first March for Life as a sophomore in college,” said Dr. Denise Wilcox, southeast regional director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and Pennsylvania’s delegate to the National Right to Life Board of Directors.

“We rode in a VW bus from Morgantown West Virginia. We didn’t have any heat in the bus either but we were sure our voices would overturn Roe vs Wade if we just chanted loud enough as we marched down the avenue. Now I ride in a heated coach bus, and I arrive to meet thousands of people who make me feel that this nation has so much hope and promise!

“I realize that the young people in the crowd have outnumbered my generation and I realize too that I have finally passed the torch to them. Each year the 1973 decision to legalize abortion has been weakened by state and federal legislation. I pray that I will one day see this decision overturned. Then, I can ride to DC and celebrate that day with a March to commemorate the lives that will be saved!” 

Meeting a Miracle

Children littleBy Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

I had the opportunity to interview a veteran of the pro-life movement. He has been volunteering in the movement for decades, beginning when he was in college. At that time, a young woman was heading up the pro-life club at Villanova University. He was captivated by the cause and the co-ed, whom he later married.

Tom has been a leader in one of the local chapters of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation for years. I asked him what made him continue with the chapter’s work. He said he has been hosting chapter meetings at his house for 30 years, so it would be fairly difficult for him to excuse himself. And he doesn’t want to.

Tom now works for one of the busiest pro-life pregnancy resource centers in the Commonwealth. Just in the last few years, they’ve seen the number of ultrasounds they perform for clients skyrocket. They are strategizing ways to grow even further.

I happened to talk to Tom on his birthday. I asked him if he would ever retire from the pro-life movement. He said he thought he would be involved until his last breath.

I am so thankful for people like Tom who are incredibly dedicated to the pro-life cause. Tom has now given most of his life to it–and he does not regret it. With people like Tom at the helm, there is no shortage of pro-life miracles that can occur.

In fact, he’s met some of those miracles. He spoke of the amazing feeling of being introduced to a young person whose life has been saved with the aid of a pregnancy center. It is awe-inspiring–and it demonstrates why Tom has remained with the pro-life movement for 40 years.

Here’s hoping he lives another 40!

Look Her in the Eyes

Baby eyesBy Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

I was captivated by a baby girl I saw recently in church. Her eyes were filled with wonder, taking in everything within her environment.

This chance encounter made me reflect upon the development of an unborn child. At just 19 days after conception, the eyes begin to develop. Imagine that.  Less than three weeks after egg and sperm have united, the birth of sight begins. It is truly incredible.

By the 9th week after conception, the preborn child will be able to squint–a quite human response.

If we could look her in the eyes at that point, would any of us say that abortion is a rational option?

The fact is, the humanity of an unborn child is established from the start. A cycle of growth and development has begun which, if uninterrupted, will lead to birth. Think of the other milestones within a preborn child’s life cycle: the heart beats at 24 days after conception…arms and legs are forming at 28 days…the skeleton is complete at 42 days.

If we could look into that child’s eyes…at any point in her mother’s womb…would we say she is undeserving of life?

It is true that much of the development of the unborn child is hidden from us most of the time. But technological breakthroughs such as 4D Ultrasound have given us a window to the womb, allowing us to see the unborn child as never before. We know so much more now than the Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court did in 1973, when they issued their tragic ruling Roe v. Wade. 

Let us look at all preborn children with the eyes of love, knowing that they are as deserving of protection as each one of us.

 

A Day in the Life of the Pro-Life Movement

NRLLifeWorthDefendingBy Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

When the men of the U.S. Supreme Court issued the tragic ruling Roe v. Wade in 1973, I suppose they thought they had settled the issue of abortion.

But 46 years later, the issue is anything but settled.

I have been reminded of that truth this week, in my work at the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, an affiliate of National Right to Life.

Calls have been pouring in from people wanting to make a public stance against abortion. An enthusiastic college student wants to partner with us to grow his campus pro-life group. And a second student–equally on fire for life–begins a long-anticipated internship with us next week.

And that is just a tiny taste of what’s been going on in the pro-life movement in Pennsylvania as 2019 is still in its infancy.

Nearly a half-century after Roe, the ranks of the pro-life movement are swelling…people are more engaged than ever before…and young people are embracing the call to protect innocent human life.

A day in the life of the pro-life movement is filled with successes, both large and small. And nothing is as powerful as the knowledge that an innocent human life…vulnerable to destruction…has been saved.

As the journey to overturn Roe continues, countless lives are being saved along the way. And that is a cause for great hope–both for the pro-life movement and for our nation.