Texas Abortion Ruling is A Wake-Up Call

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

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.

U.S. Supreme Court Jeopardizes Women’s Health and Safety with Ruling

Supreme Court

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.

Comparing the Presumptive Major Party Nominees on Abortion

This is a great piece that compares presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump and presumptive Democrat Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on abortion. Please share this on your social media pages, give a copy to your pro-life friends, and have as a handout at fairs, festivals, and carnivals at your pro-life booth.

2016 Presidential Candidate Comparison Piece

Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation Applauds House for Passage of Dismemberment Abortion Ban


The Pennsylvania Pro Life Federation would like to congratulate the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for passing, in a bipartisan vote of 132 to 65, House Bill 1948 a common sense piece of legislation which bans brutal dismemberment abortions.

“These common abortions are performed on fully developed, preborn babies at their most vulnerable, and when they should be the safest,” said Maria Gallagher, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation Legislative Director. “In a dismemberment abortion, fully-formed babies are brutally torn apart limb from limb. We’ve seen ultrasound images of these babies clapping, dancing, and reacting to stimuli from outside the womb. Surely we can all agree that they do not deserve to be torn apart in the most horrific and gruesome way possible,” Gallagher added.
Dismemberment abortions have been described by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in Gonzales v. Carhart as a procedure that is “laden with the power to devalue human life.” Of the approximately 1 million abortions performed annually in this country, almost 9% are performed by dismemberment. Approximately 1,550 Pennsylvanians died from this abortion method in 2014.
Former abortionist Dr. George Flesh has been quoted as saying:
“Tearing a developed fetus apart, limb by limb, is an act of depravity that society should not permit. We cannot afford such a devaluation of human life, nor the desensitization of medical personnel it requires. This is not based on what the fetus might feel but on what we should feel in watching an exquisite, partly formed human being dismembered.”
“Most countries are civilized enough to realize pre-born babies should not be torn apart. There are only seven countries in the world, including human rights-violating countries such as North Korea and China, that allow this terrible act. Pennsylvanians deserve better,” stated Michael Ciccocioppo, executive director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, the Pennsylvania affiliate of National Right to Life. “This is an important first step in removing us from that stigma. Now we call on the Pennsylvania Senate to act quickly to concur and on Governor Wolf to sign the bill to protect his most vulnerable constituents.”

Donald Trump Wins Support From State Pro-Life Group

Picture1FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                       CONTACT:  MARIA GALLAGHER, PA PRO-LIFE                                                               717-541-0034

June 20, 2016                                                                                                                         

HARRISBURG, Pa. –Presumptive GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump has won the support of Pennsylvania’s largest single issue pro-life organization.

The Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation voted unanimously in State College this past weekend to give its political action committee’s support to Mr. Trump.

“Donald Trump will be a dedicated defender of innocent human life in the White House,” said Maria Gallagher, PAC Director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.He has pledged to appoint Justices to the U.S. Supreme Court who will interpret the law, rather than aggressively making laws from the bench. In sharp contrast, his opponent, presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, would have a radically pro-abortion litmus test for judicial nominees,” Gallagher added.

Mr. Trump also supports a ban on gruesome late-term abortions, in which fully-developed, living babies are killed in their mothers’ wombs. Meanwhile, Mrs. Clinton voted against the Partial-Birth Abortion Act, which was supported by a vast majority of Americans.

In addition, Mr. Trump will safeguard our hard-earned taxpayer dollars from being used to support organizations that perform abortions. Mrs. Clinton, in contrast, opposes a ban on tax funding of abortions, despite national public opinion polls which show that nearly seven in 10 Americans, including Millennials and women, oppose taxpayer funding of abortion.

“When it comes to safeguarding precious babies and their mothers from harm, Donald Trump is the clear choice for President,” Gallagher said. “He recognizes the distinct value of human life and has pledged to protect it from its earliest stages—something that Mrs. Clinton, sadly and tragically, refuses to do.”

The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation is a grassroots right-to-life organization with members statewide.  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.


Small Step from Abortion to Infanticide



Infanticide. Dictionary.com defines it as “the act of killing an infant”.

It isn’t something we like to think about in “polite” circles. If we do, we consider it something that happens “over there” in “less civilized” countries. After all, we would never kill a baby once he or she has been born…they need our protection and love, right?

The unfortunate and gruesome reality is, infanticide is happening right here in the United States, many times every day, maybe even right in your community.

Consider the case of Kermit Gosnell, the abortion “doctor” who specialized in late-term “abortions”.  Since Gosnell wasn’t a very good doctor, he didn’t want to go through the trouble of killing the baby in utero (an actual abortion).  Instead, he would anesthetize the mother, induce labor, and after the baby was born, kill him or her…..usually by snipping their spinal cord at the base of their neck with a pair of scissors. Make no mistake about it, these were babies who would have survived with the proper care, but Gosnell lied to his victims and killed their babies.

I can hear the naysayers now…Gosnell was a monster, an outlier…those cases do not happen every day!

The unfortunate, and brutal, reality, is that these cases happen more often than you may think. Granted, most abortionists try to make sure the baby is dead before being removed from the womb, either by pulling the child apart limb from limb, as in a dismemberment abortion, or by burning the baby to death with an injection of saline.  However, there are many stories of babies who survived their abortion.  Worse are the stories now coming out of babies who survive the abortion procedure, but the abortionist takes matters into his or her own hands and kills the baby…either by stabbing the baby to death, strangling the baby, or in most cases, cutting the baby’s spinal cord, as Mr. Gosnell did.  In recent Congressional testimony, current and former abortion workers admit that, at best, if a baby is born alive, they will ignore him or her until he or she dies on his or her own.

None of this is to say an abortion is better than infanticide.  In either case, the life of a living human being is ended against his or her will. The larger point is, we need to realize the horrors of all pro-life issues—abortion, infanticide, assisted suicide, and euthanasia and work to help those around us to always choose life

The Lesson of Harambe the Gorilla



Much outrage has been expressed recently over the death of a silverback gorilla at a Cincinnati zoo.  For those unfamiliar with the story, a four year old boy fell into the gorilla’s cage and the gorilla was shot because he was manhandling the child and did not respond to calls from his handlers to leave the boy alone.

Since the event, there has been a great deal of outrage over the decision to shoot the animal instead of tranquilizing it.  Whomever is to blame (and there is probably more than enough to go around), this incident provides an opportunity to share a pro-life message with abortion advocates.

The outrage over the shooting of the gorilla implies that the gorilla’s life had some level of intrinsic value.  The gorilla’s value comes from his species’ general ability to socialize and empathize.  It is the same intrinsic value that we all have, despite race, gender, intelligence, or any other attribute or quality.  This value is what makes us all equal.

Unfortunately, some don’t recognize that everyone has that intrinsic value.  Abortion advocates would contend that preborn babies don’t have the same value as the rest of the human race, and therefore it is acceptable to kill them if their existence would cause an inconvenience for others.

The death of Harambe is an excellent opportunity to talk about the intrinsic value of all living things.  I would encourage you, when you come across someone outraged over the death of this beautiful animal, talk to them about how their outrage should also be directed to those who callously devalue human life.  Your conversation may be the one to help someone choose life!

Doctor Prescribed Suicide

Prescription Pad And Pills (Newscom TagID: depfirstlight016079.jpg) [Photo via Newscom]

Prescription Pad And Pills (Newscom TagID: depfirstlight016079.jpg) [Photo via Newscom]

When most people think about pro-life issues, their thoughts turn immediately to the issue of abortion. However, at the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation we also believe that end of life issues such as euthanasia and assisted suicide are equally important, and we are very active in protecting the Pennsylvania law that prevents assisted suicide. However, recent legislation in New York serves as a reminder that we need to be ever vigilant against assisted suicide in Pennsylvania.

It is important to understand that assisted suicide is really doctor-prescribed suicide. Where assisted suicide has been legalized, there is no assistance. The way it works is a doctor provides his or her patient who has a prognosis of less than 6 months to live with a prescription for a lethal dose of pills. That person then just takes that prescription to their local pharmacist who fills it like any other prescription, puts it in a bag, and wishes them a great day. They then take death home and ingest the pills when they feel like it. There is no oversight…no doctor assisting the patient…there is no assistance at all…just a person who has been given horrible news and a bottle of instant death.

It is also important to understand that the number one reason people give for wanting to commit doctor prescribed suicide is not severe pain as most assisted suicide advocates would have you believe; it is not even a lack of ability to take care of yourself, but it is simply the fear that you will someday not be able to care for yourself anymore. People who are considering suicide don’t need a bunch of pills, what they need is someone to be there for them and help them through a difficult time.

As if doctor prescribed suicide isn’t bad enough, it is only an interim step towards its advocates’ ultimate goal. The main group advocating for these horrible laws is called Compassion and Choices. That all sounds well and good, until you realize that Compassion and Choices is nothing more than the old Hemlock Society rebranded. They are not going to stop with doctor-prescribed suicide, what they really want is euthanasia…the ability for the state to decide that someone’s life isn’t worth continuing and kill them…even if it is against their will. Euthanasia advocates know theirs is not a popular opinion right now, but they also know if they can get people to accept assisted suicide, euthanasia is the next logical step. All you have to do is consider what is going on in Belgium where people are going to other countries for medical care because they are afraid their doctor will decide their life is not worth continuing anymore. Belgians are even wearing bracelets that say “please don’t euthanize me”. If we want to ensure that doesn’t happen in the United States and especially here in Pennsylvania, it starts with preventing assisted suicide laws such as what was recently approved by a New York assembly health committee, and what has been introduced in the Pennsylvania legislature, from becoming law.

To help make sure Pennsylvania does not approve doctor-prescribed suicide, the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation has joined a coalition of like-minded organizations such as disability rights groups and others who are scared to death of the implications of assisted suicide and euthanasia. You can learn more about the Pennsylvania Coalition to Stop Doctor-Prescribed Suicide, and sign up for email updates, at noassistedsuicidePA.org.  Help us show people that no matter what their circumstances, there is always a reason to choose life.

Eggs–A 2016 Summer LifeLines “sneak peek”

The Federation just wrapped up its annual pro-life student essay contest, and as always the entrants were amazing and the judges had a difficult time choosing a winner.  Since I will be on the road all this week on our town hall tour, I thought I’d share the winning essays with you as a sneak peek of what will be featured in the Summer LifeLines magazine.  This essay, written by 12th grader Miguel Mendoza, won 1st place in the senior high category. Enjoy!

Miguel Mendoza

Miguel Mendoza

Bald eagles, the enduring symbol of this nation’s spirit, freedom, and pursuit of greatness have received protection by law from those who would wish ill upon this majestic bird. In 1940, the United States passed a strict federal law known as the Bald Eagle Protection Act that focused on guarding not only the national bird, but also the bald eagle’s eggs. If one were to come across those eggs in the wild, it would be considered a serious offense to destroy them. If done so, the penalty would be equivalent to shooting an adult eagle out of the air.

Reverend Tadeusz Pacholczyk, author of The Ethics of Stem Cell Research, states, “By the force of law, we acknowledge the scientific truth that the eagle’s eggs, that is to say, the embryonic eagle inside that egg, is the same creature as the beautiful bird that we witness flying overhead.”  Consequently, this demonstrates the government’s awareness to pass laws that protect not only the adult but also the youngest individual of that species.

This can be applicable to the recent concept of stem-cell research in the field of medical science. Stem-cell research has taken on special attention for its potential health benefits and also for its moral side effects produced by the utilization of human embryos to give way to stem cells. In short, stem cells are an important way for the body’s cells to be restored. They function as unspecialized cells that have the capacity to grow into several specific types of cells, such as a cell that can produce new red blood cells.

The practice of stem-cell research appears to favor the use of embryonic stem cells since those cells have the ability to become any type of body cell. Adult stem cells are also utilized and have the potential to become numerous different cells, but not all. Some scientists hope to cure certain diseases like diabetes using embryonic stem cells.

With guidance from Church doctrine and teachings, I have come to the conclusion that I am in favor of most stem cell research, which normally uses cells from adult tissue, which presents no moral conflict. Nonetheless, a moral problem surfaces when researchers use the early stages of a fertilized egg to harvest stem cells, which ultimately destroys the once living human embryo. Although good results may arise from embryonic stem cell research, it by no means justifies the cruelty in the destruction of innocent human life.

The Church directly opposes any alterations to early human life. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s document, The Gift of Life (Donum Vitae), instructs that, “The human being is to be respected and treated as a person from the moment of conception…” I believe that life is a precious gift that we were given. Although not fully developed, human embryos are alive and therefore possess existence.  Remorsefully, their lack of mouth, eyes, and arms make them vulnerable to the evil works of man. Even though the aim of this research is to produce beneficial outcomes, the immoral means used to arrive at the sought after good does not validate the process. The life of a person should not lend itself as a dispensable commodity on behalf of someone else.

In regards to the bald eagle, people realized how its eggs were as important as the eagle itself, and therefore required protection for its conservation. The bird’s value was noticed and so it was reasonable to protect the bald eagle in all its stages of life. The same notion holds true for humans, who are more valuable than any other species on the planet combined. Unfortunately, human beings do not recognize their own inner beauty and uniqueness. They are willing to protect the embryos of other animals but fail to protect themselves first from what Reverend Pacholczyk describes as the, “dismemberment on the altar of stem cell sacrifice.”



The Splendor of Truth–A “sneak peak” at 2016 Summer LifeLines

The Federation just wrapped up its annual pro-life student essay contest, and as always the entrants were amazing and the judges had a difficult time choosing a winner.  Since I will be on the road all this week on our town hall tour, I thought I’d share the winning essays with you as a sneak peek of what will be featured in the Summer LifeLines magazine.  This essay, written by 7th grader Marie Therese Heil of Camp Hill, won 1st place in the junior high category.  Later this week, we’ll be posting the 1st place senior high winning essay. Enjoy!

Marie Therese Heil

Marie Therese Heil

The Federation just wrapped up its annual pro-life student essay contest, and as always the entrants were amazing and the judges had a difficult time choosing a winner.  Since I will be on the road all this week on our town hall tour, I thought I’d share the winning essay with you as a sneak peek of what will be featured in the Summer LifeLines magazine.  This essay, written by 7th grader Marie Therese Heil of Camp Hill, won 1st place in the junior high category.  Later this week, we’ll be posting the 1st place senior high winning essay. Enjoy!

Rhetoric plays a large role in the abortion debate.   By purposefully relying on ambiguous and oblique terminology, abortions-rights activists, who frequently prefer to be called by the more-positive sounding name of “pro-choice,” try to mask the reality of abortion.

A typical semantic obfuscation regarding abortion is the term “women’s health.”  Abortion has been linked to a number of diseases, including breast, cervical, and ovarian cancer; long-term infertility; and psychological problems, including an increased risk of suicide.  However, in Pennsylvania, of the six abortion providers found on Abortion.com, four have the term “Women’s Center” in their names (making them sound like women’s social organizations), while another has “Women’s Medical Center.”[1]  Looking at their websites, it is obvious that the main business of these clinics is providing abortions, which clearly shows that they are not concerned with overall  “women’s health.”  This linguistic fog in the naming of abortion clinics takes its lead from Planned Parenthood, the largest single provider of abortions in the United States.  If a woman were looking to Planned Parenthood for assistance in becoming a parent, she would be out of luck.   While if she wanted an abortion, she would be directed to the local Planned Parenthood “health center,” a woman who needs assistance for infertility is primarily directed to an external website.

The terms for abortions also attempt to take away the stigma of this action.  “Emergency contraception” does not only have a contraceptive effect, but it can also “prevent a newly-conceived embryo from implanting in the womb, causing an abortion.”[2]   Abortions themselves are frequently termed “procedures” or “terminations.”   As David Grimes, one of the “world’s leading abortion scholars,”[3] wrote, “According to the accepted definition of abortion, removing a fetus from the uterus after 23 or 24 weeks gestation is not an abortion.  Hence other terms should be used for these interventions.  Examples include feticide, labor induction, dilation and evacuation (D&E), hysterotomy, termination of pregnancy or combinations of these.  However, ‘abortion’ should not be used for these procedures, since the word is not applicable after viability.”[4]  The preferred words used to describe an unborn child are “embryo,” “fetus,” and “tissue,” objectifying – that is, degrading into the status of an object – a human being.

David Grimes himself wrote, “Incorrect, misleading, and inflammatory language obfuscates, rather than illuminates, the discussion around abortion. Words matter. We should all choose them carefully.”[5]  Agreed.  When the words “fetal tissue” mask the unique humanity of an unborn child and when the rhetoric of “women’s health” and “reproductive rights” hide the truths about how abortion hurts women, it is time for all of us who care about the unborn to speak a word of truth: abortion is murder.

[1]“Pennsylvania Abortion Clinics,” Abortion.com, retrieved from http://www.abortion.com/abortion_clinics_state.php?country=United%20States&state=Pennsylvania.

[2]Patrick Craine, “World’s top authority on morning after pill says women must be told it may cause abortions,” Life Site News, 22 February 2013, retrieved from https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/worlds-top-authority-on-morning-after-pill-says-women-must-be-told-it-may-c.

[3] “David A. Grimes,” The Huffington Post, retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-a-grimes/.

[4]David A. Grimes and Gretchen Stuart, “Abortion  jabberwocky: the need for better terminology,” Contraception: An International  Reproductive Health Journal,  February 2010, p. 93, retrieved from http://www.contraceptionjournal.org/article/S0010-7824(09)00415-6/fulltext.

[5]David A. Grimes,  “6 Things To Understand When Talking About Abortion,” The Huffington Post, 9 February 2015, retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-a-grimes/abortion-terminology-things-to-understand_b_6175430.html.