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!

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.

 

Reaching Out to Pregnant Women Facing Challenges

huggies-3d-fetus-blind-ultrasound-mom

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

gallagher@paprolife.org

One of the greatest attributes of the pro-life movement is the concern it shows to pregnant women facing serious challenges in their lives.

There is no woman in Pennsylvania–or across the country–who should feel as if she is being forced into abortion. Help is as close as the nearest cell phone or Internet connection.

The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation has the most comprehensive list of PA pregnancy care centers on the World Wide Web. Chances are you or a friend can find a center within driving distance of home. You can find the complete list here.

You can also call the toll-free hotline at 1-888-Life-Aid.  Compassionate, caring individuals are ready to take your call.

To be pro-life is to be pro-woman…both supportive of the woman carrying a child…and of the daughter inside her mother’s womb.

Signs of Life at Walmart

Picture1By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

gallagher@paprolife.org

Signs of life can definitely be found at Walmarts across the country.

A recently released survey found that child-related items are among the top selling-products at a number of the retail giants’ mega stores.

For instance, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the top-selling item at Walmart is Legos! Peanut butter and jelly, a childhood staple, is the top seller in Maine, while apple juice, a perennial favorite of the younger set, wins top honors in Colorado.

Baby products take the lead in Arkansas Walmarts, diapers are a hot commodity in Iowa, and kid-friendly Jell-O leads the pack in Rhode Island.

What this retailing survey shows is that children remain a vital part of the American Family, despite four decades of abortion on demand. While abortions in the U.S. total nearly a million per year, abortion numbers overall are at their lowest level since the tragic 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade.

Although election results are an important indicator of where the nation is headed, a trip to your local superstore holds some key clues as well. Life is indeed winning in America–from the White House to Walmart!

 

 

Report Details Troubles at Pennsylvania Abortion Center

HillcrestBy Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

gallagher@paprolife.org

We now have a better idea of what led state officials finally to crack down on a troubled central Pennsylvania abortion center.

A report on the PA Health Department website dated July 8th offers details of the myriad of health and safety violations found at the Hillcrest Women’s Medical Center in Harrisburg in June.

The failures included:

  • Outdated medication and supplies
  • Lack of documentation that a consultant physician had proper credentials for advising staff to ensure satisfactory treatment of patients
  • Medication stored in refrigerators with inappropriate temperatures
  • Failure to provide a sanitary environment. Deficiencies included ceiling tiles stained with an unidentified brown substance, torn padding on exam tables, and a front yard with grass measuring two to three feet high.

Reading the 12 page report, it’s no wonder health officials shut Hillcrest down–but the closure came only after a complaint letter from state Senators demanding to know why the abortion facility was still open after a previous 44-page list of health and safety violations.

The latest report includes plans of correction for all the deficiencies cited. But, with Hillcrest failing inspection after inspection in the past, how can we trust the management to safeguard the health and safety of women?

Hillcrest has been closed until further notice by order of the state until it could be re-inspected.

However, Hillcrest has failed women time and time again with its abysmal safety record. It is time for the facility to be shut down once and for all.

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!