PA Lawmaker Seeks to Expand Abortion

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

The days of the slogan “safe, legal, and rare” are long gone in Pennsylvania. Some lawmakers make no secret of the fact that they do not want abortion to be rare–in fact, they are making every effort to increase abortions in the Commonwealth.

A co-sponsorship memo by state Rep. Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny County) is the latest example of this disturbing trend.

The proof lies in the subject line of the memo: “Expanding Access to Abortion.”

Rep. Frankel wants to expand the “pool of providers” by having non-doctors perform abortions. As he states, “I am introducing legislation that would allow physician assistants, nurse-midwives, and certified registered nurse practitioners to prescribe medication abortion.” 

He is referring to chemical abortions, which are rapidly eclipsing surgical abortions as the leading cause of death of preborn babies in Pennsylvania. A number of legitimate safety concerns–both physical and psychological– have been raised about chemical abortions for mothers.

Rep. Frankel is in the minority in the PA House of Representatives, but abortion giant Planned Parenthood is doing its best to change that, pouring countless dollars into campaigns to replace pro-life lawmakers with pro-abortion zealots. This is why it is incumbent upon voters to know the stands of office-seekers when it comes to the life-or-death issue of abortion.

Pennsylvania is home to a staggering 32,000 abortions each year.
We cannot afford policies that seek to expand that number even further.

A Ring Symbolizing Life

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

I wear on my finger a symbol of the Culture of Life.

It is a ring with two dates: 1972, the year before the tragic U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade was decided, and 2022, the year Roe was finally overturned.

The ring comes courtesy of COL (Culture of Life) 1972, a family owned and operated company in Pennsylvania. The company offers clothing and other merchandise which celebrates the incomparable gift of life. It was founded as an alternative to retailers that support Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion operation.

Each time I look at the ring, I am reminded of the nearly 50-year struggle to rescind a dangerous and lethal Supreme Court ruling. I mourn the more than 63 million preborn children who died as a result of that traumatic decision.

But I also have tremendous hope–that wrongs can be righted…that bad decisions can be reversed…and that compassion and sanity can be restored.

In essence, I wear an unusual type of promise ring–a symbol of the promise of the beauty of life. I wear the ring in expectation of a future in which each preborn baby and her mother are treasured and protected, and life is respected as a fundamental good.

Op-Ed: Setting the Record Straight

By Senator Judy Ward

Over the past few weeks, my Senate colleagues have had to continually correct false and misleading statements regarding the recently passed Senate Bill 106. Sadly, the misrepresentations have continued, and it has become increasingly necessary for me as a sponsor of one of the bill’s amendments to join them in their efforts.

Senate Bill 106 consists of five different amendments to the Pennsylvania constitution with the subjects being the election of the Lieutenant Governor, legislative disapproval of regulations, voter ID, auditing of elections by the Auditor General, and taxpayer funding of abortions. 

These amendments become part of the Pennsylvania constitution if the legislature passes Senate Bill 106 in two consecutive legislative sessions followed by a majority of voters approving each of the amendments individually at the ballot box. 

To correct what has been reported in numerous media outlets, if this legislation is approved by voters, it would not be the result of undemocratic procedures and a General Assembly that was deaf to the will of the people. Rather, Senate Bill 106 gives the people of Pennsylvania a voice. It would be the most democratic and fair method for lawmaking that is available to us as citizens, as it requires both representative democracy when our legislature votes on the amendment and direct democracy where the people get the final say at the ballot box.  

There have been many falsehoods circulating about what the amendments would do. The most egregious are the reports on the amendment relating to abortion. 

For background, Allegheny Reproductive Health Center is suing the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, arguing that there is a right to abortion in our Constitution. This is despite previous court precedent and state and federal law that indicate otherwise. This “right” they are asking the court to find would apply to all nine months of pregnancy and would force taxpayers to pay for abortions.

The amendment would simply preserve the status quo, keeping the fate of abortion policy out of the hands of the courts and in the hands of those who are accountable to the people, their elected representatives in the legislature. 

There have been claims that the amendment is an abortion ban. This is completely false. Unfortunately, the falsehoods don’t stop there. Some have reported that if this amendment goes into effect, people’s ability to use in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments will be at risk. Others state that ectopic pregnancies will be forced to term regardless of if doing so would kill the mother, or that D&C procedures will be outlawed, forcing those who have miscarriages to risk serious infection and disease. None of those statements are true.    

Here are the facts. Should the abortion provision of Senate Bill 106 be approved by the voters, Pennsylvanians will continue to have a statutory right to an abortion under Pennsylvania’s Abortion Control Act. That Act would remain in place and unchanged.  Medicaid will continue to cover both non-elective abortions and voluntary abortions involving cases of rape or incest but will still withhold funding for all other elective instances. IVF, ectopic pregnancies, and D&C procedures would be allowed under the same rules that exist today, and doctors will continue to save women’s lives in the event of life-threatening complications during pregnancy.  

With Senate Bill 106, the fate of abortion law in Pennsylvania will be left up to the people’s elected representatives through the legislative process. Policymaking on abortion will be taken out of the hands of the courts and placed exactly where it belongs; in the hands of the people, first through a ballot referendum and then through their elected officials.  

Our job as elected representatives is to create public policy that represents the will of the people. I can think of no better way to do that than by putting these issues in front of the voters through Senate Bill 106.

A Pro-Life Christmas Story

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

I vividly recall the scene, since the details are forever etched in my memory.

I stood before the abortion center, knowing that each car parked there represented a tiny, irreplaceable human being who was being led to death.

It was a sobering sight–all the more so because it was near Christmas.

There is something particularly surreal about being present at an abortion facility at Christmas time. After all, at this time of year we recall an unmarried teenage Mom who gave birth to the child Christians would call the Savior.

Mary, of course, had her Joseph. Far too often, women today are left abandoned by the fathers of their children. It is that desperation that can lead them to the abortion center door.

Thankfully, however, there are so many people who are willing to stand in the gap to support pregnant women at their time of need. No pregnant woman should be made to feel as if she is all alone. A supportive, compassionate team may be as close as the nearest pregnancy resource center.

May pregnant women this Christmas find all the love they need to bring their babies into this world–a world which is desperately in need of the hope their children can provide.

Pregnant and Without a Job, She Found Help

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

I had just picked up some coffee, hoping the jolt of java would help me power through the rest of my day.

As I approached the intersection, I saw her, holding a sign which read, “Pregnant. No job.”

I beeped my horn and signaled for her to come up to my car window. I knew handing her cash was not enough–she needed much more than a few dollars could bring. She needed hope, compassion, companionship–not to mention a car seat and baby clothes.

What she needed was downtown–at a pregnancy resource center.

I quickly gave her the name of the center. The stoplight turned and I had to join the parade of traffic passing through the intersection.

But my conscience would not allow me to abandon this woman, or the distressing situation in which she found herself. So I ultimately circled back, parked the car, and approached her again–this time with cell phone in hand, ready to give her the address of the pregnancy center.

I explained to her the resources and services which the center could provide. She seemed a bit incredulous, not realizing that there was an entire facility dedicated to serving the needs of pregnant women, free of charge.

Pregnancy resource centers provide a critical safety net for women who find themselves in difficult situations. The comprehensive counseling and mentorship which the centers provide can be crucial to a pregnant woman’s journey.

Internet ads, billboards, and flyers can all help to spread the word. But sometimes the best messenger is another person, who can carry the message of love through a personal interaction.

I am so grateful for my local pregnancy center, and the many centers which dot my state. They provide a safe haven for women and their babies during difficult times, and contribute greatly to the quality of life in our communities.

They are a beacon in the darkness, and their light of hope shines brightly during these stressful times.

May We Always See the Miracle of the Unborn Child

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

I will forever remember the intensity of those eyes.

I would gaze into them as I was nursing, and they would pierce my soul. I never felt so connected with my baby girl as I did when I looked into her pale blue eyes.

Science tells us that a baby’s eyes start to develop a mere 19 days after conception. These windows to the soul carry with them so much possibility and promise.

Yet, nearly 900,000 times a year in the U.S. alone, that possibility and promise come to a terrifying end. The culprit is abortion, which forever steals from those eyes of the majesty of sunsets, the glory of flowers, the pristine wonder of new fallen snow.

So much of our humanity is expressed through our eyes. Who among us has not been deeply touched by the kindness expressed through the eyes of someone who truly cares for us?

As I was in church the other day, I saw a man lift up a baby and stare joyfully into her eyes. It was a moment of profound connection—sacred time.

Part of the tragedy of abortion is that the mother is robbed of the experience of gazing lovingly into her baby’s eyes. The bond between mother and child is severed in a most violent and heartless way. In fact, it is only in denying the humanity of the preborn child that abortion is able to flourish. It is through intellectual blindness that abortion proliferates.

As advocates for life, it is incumbent upon us to teach the world about the development of the unborn child. People need to know that by the 10th week post-conception, a preborn baby can move her eyes into a squint. Our fellow travelers on this earth need to know just what is at stake with every abortion—the loss of an unrepeatable human life.

May we always see the miracle inherent in a preborn child and share that miracle with the world!

A Day of Hope at the Supreme Court

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

It was a day that had been decades in the making.

The presentation of oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in the pivotal case known as Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization stirred my soul. Finally, I felt, the Supreme Court was listening to reason.

Sloganeering and catchy memes had no place at the High Court. Rather, Justices were compelled to listen to the many ways the 1973 decision known as Roe v. Wade had failed to settle the abortion debate.

At stake was more than a 15-week ban on abortion in Mississippi. For this is the case that could finally overturn Roe and restore the issue of abortion to the people in the individual states, where it belongs.

The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation was among the many groups that filed friend-of-the-court briefs. In our well-reasoned brief, we argued strongly that both pregnant mother and preborn child deserve protection and care, and that modern obstetrical practice demanded Roe’s demise.

The Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court have proven to be an unpredictable lot. But for the first time in a long time I am hopeful that I will see the day of Roe’s end.

And that day cannot come soon enough.

U.S. Supreme Court Ruling: A Victory for Women and Their Children

HARRISBURG, Pa. –The U.S. Supreme Court should be applauded for its landmark ruling banning abortion facilities from mailing abortion drugs to women.

“This is a victory for women and their children, in Pennsylvania and throughout the country,” said Maria V. Gallagher, legislative director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, an affiliate of National Right to Life.

“Abortions-by-mail violate the very idea of sound medical practice and high-quality care for patients,” Gallagher said. “By pushing this dangerous practice, the abortion industry had demonstrated once again it is far more concerned about expanding abortion rather than safeguarding the health and safety of women,” Gallagher added.

A recently released report by the Pennsylvania Department of Health shows that, in 2019, 285 abortion complications were reported, an astronomical increase of 59 percent from the 2018 totals. The vast majority of the complications involved baby body parts being left in the mother’s womb, followed by bleeding and infection. 

A Pennsylvania abortion operation announced this week it was expanding abortion in the Keystone State by offering abortion drugs by mail. Planned Parenthood Keystone’s website stated individuals could receive the drugs at home “instead of coming into one of our health centers.”

Since the Supreme Court ruling, the page of the website detailing the abortions by mail program has been removed.

************************************************************************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.

Pro-Life Leader: Senator Marsha Blackburn

By Maria V. Gallagher,
Legislative Director

            In her new book, The Mind of a Conservative Woman, U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) cites the sanctity of innocent human life among the principles she holds most dear.

            Her appreciation for the lives of the most vulnerable grew out of an experience she had when she was young, playing piano for a worship service. She reports that many of the people who attended the service had Down syndrome.

            “As I got to know them, I was always struck by how happy they were, how productive they seemed to be and in their own special way. Their sweet spirit and joyous singing would thrill me.”

            Blackburn was deeply saddened by the fact that the majority of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in their mothers’ wombs are aborted. “Who are we to say that such lives are not beautiful and productive and meaningful in their own way? Where did we get the right to decide who deserves death and before even one day of these lives is lived?” Blackburn asks.

            Her experience spawned her strong opposition to the pro-abortion agenda of the world’s largest abortion operation, Planned Parenthood.

            “It is the arrogance of this organization that gets me most,” Blackburn writes. “They dare to tell mothers that they have the right to decide if the child they bear should live or die…When a child is aborted, a life is ended. Always. Forever.”

            Blackburn is among the strong women in Congress who boldly and unapologetically stand up for the rights of the most innocent and helpless among us. With her book, she is once again raising her voice against what she describes as the barbarism of abortion.

            It is women like Blackburn who are leading the U.S. onto the path of pro-life victory. Countless numbers of lives will be saved and hearts will be changed as a result of their efforts.

Biden’s Running Mate Represents Extreme Pro-Abortion Politics

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Democrat Joe Biden’s selection of California U.S. Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate demonstrates that, when it comes to abortion politics, the Democratic ticket is extreme.

            “Kamala Harris voted to use our hard-earned tax dollars to pay for abortion,” said Michael Ciccocioppo of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation Political Action Committee. “Harris has also voted for taxpayer funding of abortion providers.

            “Public opinion polls have shown, time and time again, that Americans do not want their taxpayer dollars to pay for abortion. As a result, Harris is clearly out of the mainstream,” Ciccocioppo added.

            Biden’s running mate supports the policy of abortion on demand for any reason during all nine months of pregnancy. Harris co-sponsored a bill that would invalidate nearly all state and federal limits on abortion. She even voted against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would ensure medical care for babies who survive botched abortions.

            “The Biden-Harris ticket is just what the abortion industry ordered,” Ciccocioppo said. “They want to subsidize abortion businesses, threatening the health and safety of women and their preborn children. A Biden-Harris Administration would be a disaster for women and babies throughout the U.S.”