In the shadow of the state Capitol, a Harrisburg abortion center which has operated for decades has accumulated a myriad of health and safety violations.
The revelations can be found in an inspection report for the “Hillcrest Women’s Medical Center” posted on the Pennsylvania Department of Health website here.
The number and breadth of violations are truly alarming. No full-time person was in charge of operating the facility. No registered nurse was on duty to assist patients before and after at least 55 abortions had been performed. The facility failed to document the name and dosage of anesthesia used on a number of patients.
In addition, Hillcrest failed to secure drug samples—a dangerous situation. A February tour of the facility revealed a number of outdated medication and supplies.
The procedure room had swabs for sexually transmitted diseases that had expired 13 years before. Inspectors found needles and syringes in paper wrapping that had deteriorated and were yellow with age.
Investigators also determined that Hillcrest violated the state Child Protective Services law. That law requires that employees who have “significant likelihood of regular contact with children in the form of care, guidance, supervision or training” must obtain three background checks: one from the Pennsylvania State Police, one from the Department of Human Services, and one from the FBI.
Inspectors reviewed medical records, personnel files, and conducted staff interviews. They found that, even though Hillcrest saw patients under the age of 18, “background checks were not completed for employees.”
The egregious safety violations at Hillcrest show the importance of Pennsylvania’s abortion center regulation law, which ensures regular inspections of abortion facilities. Pennsylvania simply cannot depend on abortion facilities to police themselves.
People from across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will be joining Vice-President Mike Pence at the March for Life in Washington, D.C. today in a show of solidarity with pregnant women, their children, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable Americans.
“We thank the Vice-President for his steadfast commitment to the most important human rights issue of our time—the right to life,” said Maria Gallagher, legislative director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, an affiliate of National Right to Life. “We also commend President Donald Trump for taking concrete steps to ensure that protecting innocent human life is not merely a campaign slogan, but a matter of public policy.”
President Trump recently reinstated the Mexico City policy, which ensures that our hard-earned tax dollars will not be spent on organizations that perform or promote abortions overseas. He has also nominated Cabinet members who are dedicated to defending the sacredness of life. And he has pledged his support for the No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act, recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, which would guarantee that tax dollars are safeguarded.
“The Pennsylvanians who are marching today are thankful to the Trump Administration and to those members of Congress who want to protect our tax dollars from being spent on the abortion industry. Public opinion polls show that 60 percent of Americans agree that their tax money should not be used for abortion. We thank the Administration and the House for taking to heart the will of the people,” Gallagher added.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans gather in Washington, D.C. each January to commemorate the anniversary of the tragic 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision known as Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion throughout the country.
“Those who attend the March for Life are marching in memory of the more than 59 million preborn children killed through legal abortion over the past 44 years. They are also showing their solidarity with the countless mothers and fathers who continue to grieve the loss of those children,” Gallagher said.
“They also march with the hope that comes with news that the number of abortions are declining both in the Commonwealth and across the country. No pregnant woman in Pennsylvania should feel as if she is alone—concrete help and support are available by calling the Real Alternatives hotline at 1-888-Life-aid,” Gallagher added.
HARRISBURG, Pa. – The number of abortions in Pennsylvania declined in 2015 to a record low—a welcome development for women and children in the Keystone State, according to the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, an affiliate of National Right to Life.
Statistics just released by the Pennsylvania Department of Health show 308 fewer abortions occurred in PA in 2015 compared to 2014. In all, 31,818 abortions took place in PA in 2015—the lowest number ever recorded in the Commonwealth.
“The downward trend in abortions in the Keystone State is encouraging news for Pennsylvania women and families,” said Maria Gallagher, legislative director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation. “Technological developments such as 4D Ultrasound have helped show the humanity of the preborn child, and have aided in strengthening the bond between mother and baby.”
Pennsylvania women and children are also benefiting from the comprehensive counseling and life-affirming support offered by pregnancy resource centers, which provide everything from ultrasounds to life skill classes, and from diapers to daycare referrals for pregnant women and their families.
“The abortion rate in Pennsylvania would be much higher were it not for the state’s Alternatives to Abortion program, which is administered by Real Alternatives, Inc. (www.realalternatives.org ),” Gallagher added. “This ground-breaking program provides women with encouragement and resources so that they are fully supported during their pregnancies. Real Alternatives centers, along with other pro-life pregnancy help centers throughout the Commonwealth, are offering a much-needed lifeline to women and children.”
“When women receive comprehensive support and affirmation, they are far more likely to choose life for their babies,” said Kevin Bagatta, President and CEO of Real Alternatives, Inc.
The Department of Health figures indicate that abortion totals decreased in a number of counties, including Philadelphia, Dauphin, Lehigh, and York, helping to bring about the statewide decline in abortions.
Troubling, however, is the number of repeat abortions. The figures show that in more than 47 percent of cases, Pennsylvania women who had abortions in 2015 had had at least one previous abortion and, in some cases, four or more prior abortions.
“Women in challenging circumstances deserve better than abortion,” said Gallagher. “We must continue to reach out to women to let them know that help is available for themselves and their babies—and that no one has the right to coerce them into having an abortionist end the lives of their children.”
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.
By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Now that we are within 100 days of the November 8th general election, people are starting to pay more attention to the nation’s political campaigns. A key question on the minds of those who view sanctity of life as the most important issue is how incumbent legislators have voted on both pro-life and pro-abortion legislation.
Thankfully, National Right to Life makes it easy for us. You can just go to www.nrlc.org, click on the Legislation tab, then on U.S. Senate Scorecard (2015-2016). There, you can view a comprehensive list of relevant legislation, along with the votes cast by each state’s U.S. Senators.
The NRLC scorecard for the 114th Congress, combined sessions, shows that Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey voted in favor of a ban on late-term abortions—a ban which would protect unborn children and their mothers from the harm of abortion once the preborn baby is 20 weeks old. Senator Toomey also opposed the Murray Amendment, designed to provide one billion dollars to abortion operations, including Planned Parenthood. He also opposed the Collins Amendment to preserve federal funding of Planned Parenthood, which is the nation’s largest abortion operation.
Senator Toomey supported passage of a pro-life reconciliation bill to defund Planned Parenthood and repeal anti-life provisions of Obamacare. In short, Senator Toomey scored a 100 percent pro-life voting record on the National Right to Life scorecard.
With high-tech tools such as this scorecard, voters can make informed decisions about candidates running for re-election to Congress. To view a complete comparison on Senator Toomey and his opponent Katie McGinty regarding the life issues, please click here.
A recent article in the Worcester county Maryland paper The Dispatch titled “Battle Waged to Save Trapped Cat from Euthanasia; National Group Sparks Letter Writing Campaign to Elected Officials” caught my eye. The article is about a cat named Oliver, who was part of the colony cared for by the local Community Cats Coalition. Oliver was trapped in the area, during an effort to rid the area of rabid animals, and now apparently awaits its fate with the county’s Animal Control Department.
Oliver may or may not be rabid, so last week a group called Alley Cat Allies interceded with a letter to the Worcester County Commissioners urging them to allow the Animal Control Department to turn Oliver over to the local Community Cats Coalition organization to quarantine the animal for as long as it takes to ensure it is not rabid at its own expense and effort. After getting little in the way of response from the commissioners, shelter staff or Animal Control Chief Susan Rantz, Alley Cat Allies on Tuesday reached out to its vast membership to intercede on Oliver’s behalf and, as a result, over 56,000 emails were reportedly sent to the Worcester County Commissioners.
Now, you may be asking why we’re talking about some random cat in Maryland, but my point is simple. If a stray, potentially rabid cat can get 56,000 emails, how many more emails, calls, etc. should the pro-life movement be able to generate for pre-born babies, and other vulnerable humans?
The question is not meant to disparage the vast number of pro-life volunteers and staff who spend countless hours praying outside abortion centers, writing letters to the editor, helping pro-life pregnancy centers, or otherwise working to protect the most vulnerable among us. Truly, these volunteers are on the front-line of the movement, and are its heart and soul.
Rather it is meant as a challenge to all of us. If a cat can get that kind of response, we should be able to get an equal, if not greater, response for pre-born babies. Surely the lives of pre-born babies are worth more than that of a cat (as much as I love cats). We need to see this response for Oliver as a challenge to all of us…is there one more thing we can do to protect those who can’t speak for themselves? Is it spending an extra hour per week praying at an abortion center? Maybe it’s forwarding that “call to action” email we received to ten more people (after answering the call to action ourselves of course). Perhaps it is that “thank you” call to your pro-life legislator after he or she votes the right way on an important bill. Whatever it is, each of us needs to consider what that “one more thing” may be, and then put that plan into action. A cat’s life doesn’t depend on it, but the life of a pre-born baby just might!!!
It is always interesting when the rhetoric of abortion advocates meets reality.
Consider the abortion rhetoric “her body, her choice”. Abortion advocates use this rhetoric much as today’s teenagers use the word “like”—indiscriminately, and reflexively. Occasionally though, the fact that there is a second person impacted, when an abortion occurs hits home in a way that cannot be ignored.
Such was the case in Wellsboro PA recently when 25 year old Danielle Reddig was arrested and charged with multiple drug charges including drug delivery resulting in death and involuntary manslaughter.
The victim in this case was her pre-born son Collin, described as “a beautiful, handsome little guy” by deputy coroner James Daugherty. Due to his mother’s repeated drug use while Collin was in the womb, Collin died a little more than an hour after he was born by emergency cesarean. The autopsy lists Collin’s cause of death as maternal drug use. Prosecutors note repeated positive tests for opiates, codeine, and morphine in Reddig’s pre-natal urine test, as evidence she used drugs throughout her pregnancy.
Now, if an unborn child is “just a bunch of cells” and not really a person, as abortion advocates try to pretend, shouldn’t Reddig have the “choice” to do whatever she wanted to her body without regard to her son? However, as prosecutors in this case, pro-lifers, indeed anyone who has ever seen an ultrasound image knows, the choices Reddig made affected a second life—Collin’s life—thereby nullifying her right to do whatever she wanted.
As pro-lifers, all we can do is pray that the loss of her son is the wake-up call Reddig needs to turn her life around. With a lot of prayer and support maybe someday she can use her loss as an example of the illogic of the “her body, her choice” argument.
I think you could draw many life lessons from the Disney movie, “Finding Dory.”
The long-awaited sequel to the cinematic classic “Finding Nemo” tells the story of one brave fish’s quest to find her parents.
Dory suffers from short-term memory loss. But at the beginning of the movie, we see her loving parents are very supportive of her and celebrate her every accomplishment.
This brought to my mind a couple of key points. One is how too many in the medical community often discourage parents whose unborn children have been diagnosed with disabilities or difficult health problems.
It has been reported, for instance, that the abortion rate for a Down Syndrome diagnosis is 90 percent. Unfortunately, too many doctors fail to offer encouragement to parents who have been given a challenging prenatal diagnosis, focusing on the hardships rather than the blessings.
Abortion activists demand exceptions in abortion restrictions for “fetal anomalies,” which is a euphemism for disabilities or medical problems. But, just because someone is handicapped in some way, that does not make them any less human. In fact, caring for that individual, showing compassion to her, can actually make us, in a sense, more human.
Also noteworthy is that a character who tries to help Dory–Hank the octopus–also has a disability, in that he has one tentacle missing. Yet, he proves very adept at moving himself–and the story–forward.
The other thought that crossed my mind was on the other side of the spectrum, the elderly. Someone who has been diagnosed with dementia is also deserving of our protection–especially from those who would have that individual succumb to euthanasia or assisted suicide.
Kudos to the creators of “Finding Dory” by celebrating true diversity–the diversity that comes from those who are differently-abled. May our children learn the movie’s life lessons and carry them on throughout their lives.
I have often wondered what it felt like for pro-life activists the day the men of the U.S. Supreme Court handed down the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade. To see abortion-on-demand legalized throughout the country must have been a profoundly painful feeling. But even those with much foresight could not have envisioned the aftermath of Roe: more than 58 million dead…countless numbers of women maimed and wounded…legions of men forced to grapple with the reality of lost fatherhood.
But I do know what it felt like on June 27, 2016, when the Supreme Court handed down Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt. I felt such an overwhelming sadness, knowing that the women of Texas would no longer have the safeguards that protected their health and safety when entering abortion centers. It was a stinging defeat, and I fear for our nation.
Then, I remembered something: Justice Stephen Breyer had written the decision. Breyer had been appointed by President Bill Clinton. And I, in a completely misinformed and misguided vote, had once cast my ballot for Clinton.
I understand that I am only one individual. But in that moment, I realized that a mistake I had made long ago had contributed, if only in a small way, to the disastrous court ruling.
I know I will never make that mistake again. I will never vote for a President who would appoint pro-abortion Justices to the Supreme Court. Because, although justice in America is supposed to be blind, it sees too often the talking points of the abortion industry and regurgitates them.
This Supreme Court decision is a wake-up call. The most important aspect of Election 2016 is the course it will set for the Supreme Court. A President who pledges to appoint pro-abortion Justices will expand Roe. And that would haunt us for generations to come.
HARRISBURG, Pa. – The U.S. Supreme Court has dealt a tragic blow to the health and safety of women with its ruling striking down provisions of a common sense Texas law regulating abortion centers and abortionists.
“The Supreme Court has sided with abortionists over women in this disturbing decision,” said Maria Gallagher, legislative director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, the Pennsylvania affiliate of National Right to Life. “Women’s health and safety could be severely compromised as a result of this ruling.”
The Texas law required abortion facilities to follow basic health and safety standards and for abortionists to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. States have moved to more closely scrutinize abortion centers in the wake of the Kermit Gosnell tragedy. Gosnell was a West Philadelphia abortionist who was convicted of killing three full-term babies and causing the death of a female patient in what prosecutors called a “House of Horrors.”
“Before the revelations about Gosnell, hair and nail salons were more stringently regulated than abortion facilities. The Gosnell case clearly showed that the abortion industry has not been policing itself—that the state needs to step in to protect women. We are saddened that the Supreme Court has issued a ruling that could prevent future Gosnells from being put out of business,” Gallagher said.
“This is a tremendous loss for the women of America,” Gallagher added.