Fortresses of Courage in the Wilderness of Mourning

Woman in wilderness

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

As I write these words, I know of two women who are accompanying loved ones on their final journeys. One is a wife, tending to her dying husband. The other is a daughter, spending the remaining precious moments with her ailing father.

At such times, the crush of emotions can be overwhelming. The torrent of sadness pouring over one’s soul. The deep longing for opportunities missed. The chilling realization that goodbye will come all too soon.

These women are fortresses of courage in the face of death. They deal with its stinging reality everyday, yet they manage to share smiles with friends and co-workers who desperately wish they could relieve them of their current pain.

Yet, at such times, there is also a special grace that shines through the wilderness of mourning. It is the realization of the inherent, unmistakable value of life–that life, in all its complexity, is worth living.There can be gratitude for the celebrations in days past…thankfulness for the memories shared.

These two women are witnesses to their loved ones’ lives. They are the cheering section, even in those final, difficult moments when eternity beckons. They are the caregivers who give their beloved the wings to fly back home to God.

While it is painfully hard to serve as a bystander in such circumstances, it is also ennobling. For in living life to the fullest, these unrepeatable human beings are teaching us all how to live. And they are sharing the lesson with us that each life is to be treasured and protected until the point of natural death.

 

 

Wolf Veto: A Sad Day for PA Women

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HARRISBURG, Pa. –Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has ushered in a policy that will do grave harm to women, as a result of his veto of an important telemedicine bill.

The measure, known as Senate Bill 857, would have banned the telemedicine distribution of dangerous drugs, such as the abortion pill RU-486.

“The women of Pennsylvania deserve to be protected from the harm that can be caused by tele-abortions,” said Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, an affiliate of National Right to Life.

This veto sends the disturbing message that women’s health will be compromised in order to placate the abortion industry,” Gallagher added.

RU-486 can cause a number of complications, including excessive bleeding, vomiting, and nausea. Without the restrictions contained in Senate Bill 857, women will be forced to deal with these possible dangerous side-effects on their own, without a physician physically present.

Senate Bill 857 passed the Senate, then passed the House with the insertion of a key amendment halting the dispensing of dangerous drugs by telemedicine. The Senate concurred with the amendment, sending the legislation to the Governor for his review.

“Once again, Governor Wolf has sided with the abortion industry over the interests of the women of Pennsylvania. The veto is appalling and demonstrates how out of touch the Wolf Administration is when it comes to medical care for women,” Gallagher said.   

Stop and Smell the Hypocrisy!

by Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director

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Governor Tom Wolf has enacted far-reaching measures to protect the most vulnerable from Covid-19, closing schools, places of worship, and non-essential businesses for weeks. Citizens are sacrificing freedoms and finances for a greater good.

Yet, while stay-at-home orders have been issued for the entire state, Wolf allows the eviction of some from their first home in their mother’s wombs.  Amidst the myriad of closures, abortion centers remain open.

The irony is tragically rich and the hypocrisy blatant. Abortion essential? A life-sustaining business? Isn’t it quite the opposite?

And now, Wolf recklessly promises to veto Senate Bill 857, the Telemedicine Bill, because it prohibits dangerous abortion pills being dispensed via phone or video.

These are women who would not have been examined by a physician. Women who don’t know exactly how far along they are. Women who may have an ectopic pregnancy, or multiple pregnancies, or high blood pressure, or other complicating factors.

Wolf somehow believes it is “life-sustaining” to prescribe a pill that will starve a growing baby and then expel it. Does he realize there could be hemorrhaging or baby parts left behind or a dozen other scenarios that necessitate a trip to a hospital emergency room or that could jeopardize a woman’s life? Does he realize the trauma a woman may endure when holding her own lifeless child in her hands?

By insisting abortion drugs be included in a telemedicine bill, he contradicts the recommendation of the FDA.

So protective of access to abortion, Wolf is willing to trade every Pennsylvanians’ access to telemedicine for it, revealing an incredibly inconsistent life ethic.

If he believes in sustaining life, he should stop supporting those who steal it.

He should close the abortion centers and promote life-sustaining options to women facing difficult pregnancies.

And he should not hold health care hostage to the powerful, profitable abortion lobby.

Philadelphia Abortion Center Fails to Ensure Parental Consent for Abortions

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By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

A Philadelphia abortion facility has failed to ensure parental consent for some abortions, a clear violation of the long-standing Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act.

PA Health Department inspectors found that, in half of the ten pediatric medical records reviewed, the Philadelphia Women’s Center neglected to obtain parents’ permission before administering chemical abortions.

The RU-486 abortions took place in February, May, June, July, and November of last year, without the parental oversight required by state law.

The health inspection report states that a “request was made…on February 12, 2020, for a policy that addressed parental consent for medications that are included in the termination of a pregnancy for pediatric patients. None was provided.”

In case after case, the health department documents that “there was no parental or legal guardian consent” for the use of Mifepristone and Misoprostol, the drugs used in RU-486 abortions.

Lack of parental consent for abortions in Pennsylvania is egregious under any circumstances and violates a key provision of the 1989 Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act, which was the basis of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling known as Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Other provisions of the landmark law include a 24-hour waiting period for abortions and informed consent, meaning that a woman must be told the risks of abortion and alternatives to abortion prior to an abortion taking place.

Ironically, the Health Department report also shows that the Philadelphia Women’s Center “failed to establish a patient safety committee, as required by the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Act of 2002.”

In addition, Health Department inspectors found in February that the abortion center “failed to establish an infection control committee.”

Given the crisis ultimately created by the COVID-19 pandemic, this omission is all the more alarming—especially in Philadelphia, which is now considered a Coronavirus hot spot.