Pushing Doctors to Perform Assisted Suicide

Assisted suicide 2

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

The old Hemlock Society wants to push doctors to perform assisted suicide–which is more aptly described as doctor-prescribed suicide.

Under the revised name of Compassion & Choices, they want the American Medical Association to end its long-standing opposition to the lethal practice. You can urge the AMA to stand strong by clicking here.

In addition, the lawyer who tried to create a Roe v. Wade-style judicial edict for assisted suicide is now suing a California hospital that refused to perform doctor-prescribed suicide. As ethics expert Wesley Smith notes:

The lawsuit illustrates where the assisted suicide/euthanasia movement wants to go. As in Ontario, Canada, they want doctors and hospitals to be forced to participate in assisted suicide or get out of medicine.
For resources for fighting the threat of doctor-prescribed suicide in Pennsylvania, visit www.noassistedsuicidepa.org .

Why This Veteran with Cancer Opposes Assisted Suicide

JJ Hanson & family

J.J. Hanson is a natural fighter. He fought for his country as a Marine. He combatted cancer as a civilian. And now he is battling doctor-prescribed suicide in his role with the Patients Rights Action Fund.

In 2014, Hanson was told he had four months to live, after having been diagnosed with brain cancer. But he has refused to give up on his life, or the lives of other people placed in vulnerable positions by some insurance companies and members of the medical establishment.

As he told the Daily Signal, “People who are making end-of-life decisions have basically been told ‘We’re not going to give you what you’d like to get, but we will give you assisted suicide,’ which is very scary for someone like myself.”

Hanson’s wife, Kristen, is supporting him wholeheartedly in his fight against doctor-prescribed suicide. Kristen told the Daily Signal, “It’s really not about offering more choices. It takes choices away from patients like J.J. who want to fight,”

To read more about the Hanson’s fight, click here.

To find out how you can stop the legalization of doctor-prescribed suicide in Pennsylvania, click here.

Thank You for Choosing Me

Ryan and Michael NRL Convention 2017

Celebrate Life Banquet speaker Ryan Bomberger with our Executive Director Michael Ciccocioppo

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director gallagher@paprolife.org

Celebrated pro-life speaker Ryan Bomberger has written a fascinating letter of thanks to his adoptive father, who is suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. Our friends at National Right to Life have published the entire letter here, but here is just a sample of the eloquent missive:

“I would never be who I am today without you, helping to shape that Input. Your dedication unleashed undeniable purpose. You refused to accept the world’s low expectations, especially for the ten racially diverse and handful of differently abled children you had adopted that many would have written off as ‘unwanted.’ You and mom shattered the myth of the ‘unwanted’ child, loving each of us, helping us find divine imprint on our lives.”

You will have the exceptional opportunity to hear about Ryan Bomberger’s amazing journey at our Celebrate Life Banquet September 28 at the Hotel Radisson Harrisburg in Camp Hill. Register now to reserve your seat for this not-to-be-missed event!

Women’s Lives Transformed Through Ground-Breaking Program

Real Alternatives mother and childBy Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director gallagher@paprolife.org

The young woman stands at a crossroads between compassion and cold-heartedness. Family and friends have abandoned her, believing that her pregnancy is a problem to “be gotten rid of.” And yet, a caring stranger is willing to support both the woman and her baby, equipping her with the tools that will help her succeed at motherhood, college, relationships, and the rest of the elements of her life.

The support system she finds at Pennsylvania’s Alternatives to Abortion program is kind-hearted, clear-thinking, and loving. The program is administered by Real Alternatives, Inc. and, over the past two decades, has helped more than 200,000 women and their families to find solace, hope, and encouragement for the future.

As writer Frederica Matthews-Green stated so eloquently, “They (Women have) said if I’d only had one person to stand by me, and it could have been a stranger, but they’d say I needed somebody to be a sister to me, I needed someone to be a friend . . . I would have had that baby. And, that’s what you do in maternity homes and crisis pregnancy centers and in offering adoption services. You are that friend . . .”

The statewide network of nearly 100 non-profit agencies and close to 350 counselors reaches out to women of all backgrounds and walks of life with services that are 100 percent free. The success stories are inspiring…women finishing their GED’s and obtaining gainful employment…women leaving dangerous abusive relationships…women empowered to become effective decision-makers for themselves and their families.

As Kellyanne Conway, now a counselor to the President, once said, “Your trophy does not sit on a shelf . . .the trophy for your hard work plays on a swing, moves a tassel during a graduation ceremony, and yes even one day experiences the joy of motherhood.”

One incredible aspect to Real Alternatives is the cost savings it provides for taxpayers. For instance, in fiscal year 2015-16, the taxpayer savings amounted to an estimated $317 million because more than 15,000 clients were receiving proper prenatal care. Add to that a tax savings of $106 million because of clients ensuring that their children received proper immunizations.

Pennsylvania’s abortion totals are now at the lowest level recorded since the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion on demand. Part of that success story has to be attributed to the milestones achieved by Real Alternatives.

The award-winning program has had a ripple effect throughout the country. As Real Alternatives President & CEO Kevin Bagatta stated, “If it wasn’t for the keystone state – 12 states wouldn’t have programs helping women and saving babies.”

As Governor of Indiana, current Vice President Mike Pence had this to say about Real Alternatives’ impact on the Hoosier state: “Real Alternatives provides positive, life-affirming services for Hoosier women and families. It is important to not only ensure that pregnant women receive proper prenatal care, but also the emotional and physical support they need for a healthy pregnancy. Real Alternatives helps ensure that women in need are connected with all the community and social services resources available to them to support them both during and after their pregnancy.”

Real Alternatives provides an important safety net to women and their families as they face the challenge of an unexpected pregnancy. Born in the Keystone State, it is an idea which should bloom and flourish throughout the U.S., according to a bipartisan group of Pennsylvania leaders.

“Hopefully, one day, there will be programs like Real Alternatives helping women and their children in all fifty states,” said Pennsylvania Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati.

“There are many important lines in the state budget. But there are not many lines that you can point to and say that every dollar we put into the program is saving lives. Real Alternatives and the work you do is important, and we are saving lives.”

For more information about Real Alternatives’ life-saving and life-changing program, visit www.realalternatives.org .

Keeping Tomorrow Alive

Carol Tobias“Keeping Tomorrow Alive” is a refreshing theme for a convention. And the 2017 National Right to Live Convention is certainly living up to that innovative motto.

National Right to Life President Carol Tobias noted that the theme is two-fold: “We keep tomorrow alive by bringing more and more people into the right-to-life movement to keep this fight going; people who will work beside us in our endeavors to protect innocent human life. But it’s also about an idea, a goal, that human life is to be valued and cherished and respected. Life is to be lived!

Tobias concedes the pro-life movement faces significant challenges: preborn babies who have as many legal rights as an appendix…babies with disabilities who are considered unworthy of being born…the growing push toward “assisted suicide”…and Planned Parenthood falsely claiming that abortion is “health care.”

And yet, Tobias notes that pro-lifers are eternally optimistic, for good reason.

“We keep tomorrow alive by changing hearts and minds, educating newcomers and bringing them into the movement; by educating our young people so that they have the arguments to bolster their pro-life convictions, and by helping women who have aborted a son or a daughter to realize that they are welcomed and encouraged to join our ranks in the fight to protect innocent human life,” Tobias said.

To view portions of the National Right to Life convention, visit www.nrlconvention.com.

Watching Pro-Life History Being Made Through Cyberspace

Keeping Tomorrow AliveBy Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

One of the reasons I was initially persuaded to enter the field of journalism was because I liked the idea of having a front row seat to history as it was being made. That dream came true for me, as I was able to report on Presidents and Vice Presidents, First Ladies and Second Ladies, former astronauts and even a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

When I moved from the political beat to the life beat, working full-time in the pro-life movement, I did not initially realize that I still had a prime seat for watching history-in-the-making. It was just from a different vantage point, and it is often by means of an Internet connection.

And so this year I am a virtual visitor to the National Right to Life convention, watching fascinating general sessions via www.nrlconvention.com . The convention theme of Keeping Tomorrow Alive is on full display, as speaker after speaker notes the incredible strides that are being made to protect and defend the generation yet to be born.

It was electrifying to hear David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress,  whose undercover videos of Planned Parenthood officials exposed the alleged trafficking of baby body parts, say that, on every front, Planned Parenthood is facing the end of its abortion empire.

Daleiden adroitly noted that “the worth of a human being is more than the sum of his or her body parts.”

In any other context, such a statement would be hailed by women’s rights activists as undeniably true.

The courageous citizen journalist wisely pointed out that “each new little member of the human family is an asset and not a liability.”

And the truth of that statement makes Daleiden’s prediction about the fate of the pro-life movement entirely conceivable: “If we keep steady, we can win.”

History is, indeed, being made at the 2017 National Right to Life Convention. If you couldn’t make it to Milwaukee this year in the conventional manner, take the cyber route. You won’t be disappointed!

 

 

 

We Protect Butterflies–Why Not Babies?

ButterflyBy Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

I celebrated the first day of summer this year with a trip to a nearby butterfly garden. Entering that sacred space was a breathtakingly beautiful experience. I stood in awe as these elegant creatures fluttered above my head, then gracefully descended to a leaf, a flower, or a slice of pineapple. The intricacy of their design delighted my eyes and captivated my heart. As I was preparing to leave this lovely sanctuary, I noticed a sign which indicated that taking a butterfly out of this protective space was not permitted. A garden guide carefully checked our bags and clothes to make sure that we had no butterflies tagging along. At that moment, it struck me what care, concern, and compassion are shown to these delicate insects. How can it be that people universally recognize the beauty of butterflies–but not the human child cocooned in a mother’s womb? Why do so many invest so much time and energy in protecting butterflies, while many babies are unprotected, courtesy of the tragic U.S. Supreme Court ruling known as Roe v. Wade? While gazing at a butterfly can be an awesome experience, the butterfly’s beauty pales in comparison to that of a baby. I hope to live to see the day when all babies are permitted a chance to live outside their mothers’ wombs–and to see the mysterious glamour of butterflies with their own eyes.

 

 

 

Troubled Harrisburg Abortion Center Closed

Hillcrest closed sign 2017

Photo credit: Undefeated Courage

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

The sign on the door says it all—the troubled Hillcrest abortion facility in Harrisburg is closed until further notice.

The PA Department of Health ordered Hillcrest to suspend operations after a surprise inspection June 5th uncovered new safety violations.

“The department concluded that it was no longer safe for the facility to continue providing medical services to women,” said PA Health Department Secretary Karen Murphy

Several Pennsylvania state Senators recently sent a letter to the Secretary of the PA Department of Health, asking why the abortion center’s license had not been revoked.

The letter followed the release of a 44-page document noting the health and safety failures of the long-time abortion operation.

Violations included everything from failing to maintain proper medical credentials to maintaining supplies that were 13 years old. Hillcrest also performed a number of abortions without having a nurse present. In addition, staff members failed to undergo the criminal background checks mandated for seeing patients under 18 years old.

Hillcrest’s troubles date back at least six years, when the abortion outfit was first cited for safety failures. The abortion center has been cited four times since, with the latest report suggesting that the violations have become more egregious.

Pennsylvania passed a law in 2011 requiring abortion facilities to meet basic health and safety standards. The law was a response to the massive tragedy in West Philadelphia, where abortionist Kermit Gosnell was ultimately convicted of killing three full-term babies and causing the death of a female immigrant patient, Karnamaya Mongar.

 

Jury’s Verdict in Philadelphia Abortionist Kermit Gosnell’s Trial

The following statement can be attributed to Michael Ciccocioppo, executive director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, following today’s verdict in the murder trial of  abortionist Kermit Gosnell: 

Gosnell“The Kermit Gosnell case is a tragedy on so many levels, not just for our Commonwealth but for our nation. Officials believe Gosnell actually killed hundreds of newborn babies and injured their mothers, but he destroyed most of the evidence.  These were heinous crimes and Gosnell had to be held accountable,” Ciccocioppo said.        

“For the sake of all Gosnell’s victims, let us never forget the rampant disregard for life that was allowed to continue for decades in our state. We hope that in the future politics will not stand in the way of protecting the health and safety of women and newborns. 

“In the wake of the Gosnell tragedy, Governor Tom Corbett and the state legislature took action to ensure that abortion facilities would be regularly inspected and would be subject to the same standards as outpatient surgery centers. 

“This is really the most that can be done under the tragic U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, which brought us abortion on demand and the unspeakable tragedy of Gosnell.  It’s time to take a second look at Roe—in memory of Gosnell’s victims,” Ciccocioppo added.

The untold pro-life side of the Abington abortion dispute

Recently, an eastern Pennsylvania health system announced plans to stop offering abortions once it merges with a Catholic health system next year.

Now, the planned partnership is rumored to fall apart because, you guessed it, people are upset about ending abortions.

Abington and Holy Redeemer health systems have not announced the details of the planned merger, but Abington officials said it plans to continue offering non-abortion reproductive services.

News articles in the past few days emphasize the outrage of doctors, clergy, patients and others who don’t like the decision. People are filing petitions and threatening to quit, inundating top hospital administrators with letters, and more – all because they want abortions to continue.

And news articles give the impression that nothing has been said or done on the pro-life side. It takes a little digging to find out how involved pro-lifers have been at Abington.

A 2010 Philadelphia Inquirer article on Abington Memorial Hospital’s website sheds some light on the community’s pro-life stance.
According to the article: “For as long as anyone at Abington can remember, one subject has dominated the public portion of the annual (hospital board) meeting: abortion. Members of the antiabortion community, filling the room, hoped and prayed (2010) would be the year, finally, the board would change its policy.”

During that 2010 meeting, the Rev. Mark Rudolph told the board how the hospital saved his son’s life after a serious car accident.

“How can a hospital that’s so committed to skill and ability to preserving life also have a hand in destroying it?”

Two pro-life physicians at Abington also spoke, and a petition signed by 4,000 people was given to the board asking them to end abortion practices at the hospital. In 2009, a similar petition had 3,000 signatures, according to the article.

Along with attending the meetings, people from the pro-life community met every month outside the hospital for a prayer vigil to end abortions. This tradition has been going on for 30 years.

Finally, in 2012, the merger brought hope amid the persistent prayers and petitions. The health system agreed to stop performing abortions when it merges with Holy Redeemer.

Sadly, though, the recent news reports do not mention these people’s long-term efforts to defend the unborn.

Hopefully, Abington will remember the passion these pro-life people have for protecting innocent lives and stick to its plan to stop doing abortions.