The Other Pandemic

by Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director

pandemicPhoto by David Veksler on Unsplash

 

Right now we are united in a heroic effort to protect each other from an invisible, aggressive enemy. Choosing to exercise self-restraint and self-denial, we’ve adopted a new normal and together face an uncertain future. We are making sacrifices to protect the most vulnerable members of our society because we recognize their value and dignity.

How very beautiful.

And how very pro-life.

For decades, the pro-life movement has been protecting the weakest and most vulnerable from certain death by fighting a different pandemic, the widespread killing of preborn children.

Our current situation certainly calls for extraordinary measures, yet there is a tremendous and tragic irony at play here.  We’re taking unprecedented steps in an effort to save lives, but, in actuality, only some lives.

While businesses close, schools teach virtually, and life as we know it comes to a halt, Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers remain open.

While we take severe measures to stop an invasive virus from claiming life, some medical practitioners invade the womb for just that purpose.

Covid-19 has claimed over 100 precious lives in the US thus far, but abortion claims the lives of almost 3000 precious babies every single day, with the death toll to date exceeding 61 million.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

At a time when we are all sacrificing for the good of the other, should we not re-consider the “other” we’ve been sacrificing in legalized abortion?

Isn’t it time to recognize their humanity, their value, their dignity? To unite as a country in protecting and providing for the weak and vulnerable on the other end of the life spectrum?

Our country is demonstrating that we have the capacity to change and adapt in the face of a life-threatening virus.  We can do the same for the virus that has infected our culture, turning mother against her own child. We can save the next generation.

Among them may be the one who finds the antidote to a highly contagious virus, preventing a deadly world-wide pandemic.

 

Hyperbole and Half-Truths Keep Abortion Unsafe

Photo by camilo jimenez on Unsplash

Photo by camilo jimenez on Unsplash

by Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director

Planned Parenthood is sounding the siren, alerting supporters in an email to the grave threat they face.

“… as the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the June Medical Services case, we’re faced with a terrifying possibility: that our rights could be gutted in a few short months.”

Hyperbole and half-truths.

This case is NOT about abortion “rights” or access. And it is not brought by women seeking abortions but by abortion centers seeking to maximize profits. Whether providers even have legal standing to file suit as a third party is itself questionable.

This IS a case about protecting the safety of women.

The abortion industry thrives on misinformation, doing everything it can to hoodwink supporters into believing that they truly care about women.

But they don’t.

If they did, they would provide medical care that meets standards required at any other out-patient surgical facility. They would employ qualified doctors who have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles, so that, if ever needed, emergency care could be sought.  They would recognize that abortion complications do happen and that they can be deadly to a woman.

The reality is that the abortion industry sets their bar for women’s health much lower than the bar for their profit margin.  Consequently, vulnerable young women, who’ve paid hundreds of dollars to entrust themselves to what is often an itinerant abortionist with whom they have no prior relationship, put their health and lives at risk.

According to a Wall Street Journal editorial, five abortionists at June Medical Services did not have hospital admitting privileges. When the Louisiana legislature passed a law to remedy that situation, one abortionist retired, three failed to make a good-faith effort to obtain privileges, and one was discovered to have had no medical school training to perform abortions.

Upholding the duty to protects its citizens, the state of Louisiana said women deserve better.  Like 14 other states, their legislature raised the bar on the abortion industry, acting to protect women from substandard care by requiring admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

And now the abortion industry is challenging that common-sense regulation at the Supreme Court, while its largest provider claims, “our rights could be gutted in a few short months.”

What “rights”?  The right to an untrained doctor? Or one who can’t earn admitting privileges to a hospital due to incompetence?  Or is too apathetic to even try?  The right to delayed treatment of a perforated uterus or a fetal arm left behind?

What about the rights of young women who surrender their babies and bodies to the hands and tools of the abortionist? Is any abortion, whether unsafe, unsterile, and unregulated, better than an abortion that holds the provider to a reasonable level of accountability?

If the abortion industry is unwilling to enact basic safety guidelines that protect women, hasn’t the back alley just simply moved to the front office?

Yes, Planned Parenthood is sounding the siren, but it’s certainly not the one meant to rescue a wounded woman from a botched abortion. It’s the one meant to rescue them from any regulation that might diminish their profits.

Wolf wants YOU to pay for Abortions

wolf stands with PP

by Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director

Can you imagine all the good you could do with $3 million?

Rather than do good, Governor Tom Wolf, would gift it to the abortion industry. His current proposed state budget allocates a hefty sum of tax money- your money, my money- for the abortion giant.

Wolf, a former Planned Parenthood escort, claims this is to protect “access to reproductive health care,” doublespeak for the abortion industry. Abortion is not health care, obviously, as it aims to kill, not heal.

Planned Parenthood sought to replace federal dollars that it lost when it refused to comply with federal regulations. But let’s be clear: Planned Parenthood defunded themselves when they chose abortion, not women’s health, as their top priority. Services such as Pap smears and breast exams have been steadily declining, while the rate of abortions and profits have steadily increased. (Learn more here.)

Meanwhile, abortion facilities throughout the state chalk up violation after violation, often failing annual inspections and offering substandard care to women. (See inspection results.)

Wolf may claim that the state funding wouldn’t be used directly for abortions. But it could pay for the electricity that powers the suction machine or for the water that wipes up spilled blood. Or the salary of the abortionist.

Claiming 83 innocent lives every day, abortions in Pennsylvania totaled 30,364 in 2018.  The vast majority (87%) were done in six counties, mostly in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh regions. The largest age group having abortions (30.5%) was 25-29 years old. Forty-seven percent of the women seeking abortion had already had at least one previous abortion, with 1,291 women having as many as four or more abortions. Thirteen percent of all abortions were performed after the first trimester, which means that 3960 pain-capable babies endured a violent death. (See report here.)

Do hard-working citizens throughout the Commonwealth really want to finance this?

Governor Wolf thinks so, often marketing his loyalty to the abortion industry as necessary to provide “health care” to the poor and to minorities.

But that’s not true. Better options exist.

Comprehensive health care, regardless of ability to pay, is available to women and families in need at 387 Federally Qualified Health Clinics throughout the state.  In addition, over 200 Pregnancy Resource Centers throughout the Commonwealth offer material, emotional, and financial support to women facing difficult pregnancies, and they do all that at no cost to clients.  Real Alternatives works with many of these centers, assisting with temporary shelter, adoption information, and educational decisions, among other services. This is where Governor Wolf should direct the $3 million.

But perhaps Wolf feels beholden to Planned Parenthood. After all, they donated $1.5 Million to his 2018 campaign, and then spent another $2.5 Million to support other pro-abortion candidates.

Wolf’s cozy relationship with the abortion industry continues, but we, the taxpayers, shouldn’t have to finance it.

Contact your state legislators today and urge them to vote NO on any budget that requires us to subsidize the abortion industry.

Speaker Mike Turzai, PA House Members Continue to Champion Pro-Life Movement, Down Syndrome Protection from Abortion

TURZAI-ABORTION-PRESSER

Press Release from the Office of the Pennsylvania Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mike Turzai

Representative Kate Klunk and Speaker of the House Mike Turzai in April 2019 introduced the Down Syndrome Protection Act in Pennsylvania as House Bill 321. This bill prohibited the abortion of any child on the sole basis of a diagnosis of possible Down syndrome.  Representative Klunk and Speaker Turzai held a press conference in support of their bill on March 20, 2019.

During the 2017-18 Session, Speaker Turzai previously prime-sponsored the same legislation alongside then-Representative Judy Ward as House Bill 2050. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed HB2050 on April 16, 2018 with a bipartisan, veto-proof vote of 139-56. 115 Republicans and 24 Democrats voted to protect those unborn children with Down syndrome. Unfortunately, the Senate failed to bring the bill forward for a vote in the prior session.

Representative Klunk and Speaker Turzai were determined to get the Down Syndrome Protection Act to the Governor’s desk this 2019-20 session. The state House of Representatives passed House Bill 321 on May 14, 2019 with a bipartisan vote of 117-76. 102 Republicans and 15 Democrats voted to protect these vulnerable unborn children. On November 20, 2019, the state Senate passed HB 321 by a vote of 27-22, with 25 Republicans in support, as well as one Democrat and one Independent.

Governor Wolf, however, issued a veto on November 21, 2019, depriving these unborn children in Pennsylvania of protection against abortion. The Governor’s veto underscores the importance of electing pro-life candidates at every level of government.

Currently, five states have enacted legislation prohibiting abortion based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome, including Indiana and Louisiana in 2016, Ohio and North Dakota in 2017, and Kentucky in 2019. Statues like the Down Syndrome Protection Act allow state legislators across the country to challenge Roe v. Wade’s U.S. Supreme Court Ruling.

Dr. Karen Gaffney, an advocate in support of the bill last session and public speaker with Down syndrome, visited our Capitol to emphasize the urgent need to ban the eugenic practice of eradicating Down syndrome through abortion, as Iceland has been promoting:

“Those of us with Down syndrome and our families face a very difficult future,” Dr. Gaffney said, “We face the possibility of wiping out all of the tremendous progress we have made. Just as we are making so much progress, a whole industry has grown up focused on prenatal screening – screening that would end our lives before we take our fist breath. Now that you can test for Down syndrome before birth, there are many ‘experts’ in the medical community that say this extra chromosome we carry around is not compatible with life. Not compatible with life? After everything we have done, I would say we are more than compatible. We are what life is all about. Our lives are worth living and our lives are worth learning about.”

Dr. Gaffney and many other individuals with Down syndrome are thriving.  We must work to change hearts and minds so that someday soon Pennsylvania can protect all the unborn.

PA Gov. Budget: A Pipeline to the Abortion Industry? 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                       CONTACT: MARIA V. GALLAGHER PPLF February 7, 2020                         717-541-0034  gallagher@paprolife.org   

Gov. Tom Wolf

Gov. Tom Wolf                                                             

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s proposed budget includes a line item that may represent a pipeline to the abortion industry.

            The line item in the Department of Human Services budget calls for $3 million for “Access to Reproductive Health Care.”

            The description of the line item is vague, but lawmakers question whether the grant represents a gift to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion operation.

            “The Governor appears to be trying to sneak in funding for an organization that performs and promotes the taking of innocent human life. This is appalling,” said Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, an affiliate of National Right to Life.

            “The policy of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is to promote childbirth over abortion. How can we trust that Pennsylvanians’ hard-earned tax dollars will be protected from abortion?” Gallagher added.

            “Public opinion polls consistently show that Americans do not want tax dollars to be spent on organizations that perform abortion. We call on the state legislature to ensure that Pennsylvania taxpayer funds are protected from the abortion industry,” said Gallagher.    

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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.

The Next “Generation” of Abortion: A Call to Action

woman covering eyes sad

By Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director

Two red lines. She sunk into a sea of panic. Fear blinded her.

She called the clinic, but no physician would see her in person. Rather, she was given a Telemed appointment with a doctor via computer.

Within an hour, two pills were ready, a “lifeline” amidst the waves that tossed her about.

No one will ever have to know. It’s early, just a clump of tissue. This is safe.  This is easy. This will give me my future back.

She believed all that.  She wanted to believe all that.  Reality said otherwise.

The excruciating cramping induced tears to rain down her face. The bleeding seemed interminable, weakening her until all she could do was lay on the cold, tiled floor.

For weeks, not days, the agony lasted. She was never more alone.

No one had told her.

No one told her that the “tissue” she’d pass would have a tiny nose and upper lip.

No one explained she’d deliver a tiny fragile human into a toilet, an image she could never unsee.

She was further along than suspected.  But a doctor never examined her. He simply prescribed the abortion drug via computer.

Who is she?

She is any woman in crisis who turns to the abortion industry. A daughter, a sister, a wife, a friend. And she is in danger.

As more surgical facilities close, chemical abortions steadily rise, ensuring the strong profit margin of the abortion industry.  Profit at the expense of desperate young women who’ve received little information, even less counseling, and no examination.

Three abortion facilities in Pennsylvania have applied for telemedicine status, one of which failed its recent inspection.

Abortions are not sinus infections. Antibiotics are not equivalent to drugs that kill and expel a fetus. And put a woman’s life at risk.

With no physical examination, an ectopic pregnancy goes undetected. So do twins.  So does any undiagnosed medical condition that could endanger her life.

Had she gone to a Pregnancy Resource Center, someone would have held her hand, wiped her tears, given her options, offered her hope. She would have been told about the Abortion Pill Reversal. Her child might be alive today. She could live at peace with her decision.

But the “ease” of a Telemed abortion, the temptation to hide a secret, the myth that this would be easy and even “good” for her, all these coalesced into an irreversible decision. A tragic decision.

This is the next “generation” of abortion that not only kills the next generation, but threatens the present one.

Please take action today. If we don’t, blood will be on all our hands.

Legislative alert: Call your PA state Senator today to urge them to support the House Amended Version of the Telemedicine Bill 857 which would prohibit Telemed Abortions. Find your legislator here.

Acorns and Oak trees: Rebutting the Flawed Logic of Abortion Advocates

acorns and oak trees pic

By Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director

Good writing should illumine truth.  That was my goal in writing a recent op-ed on abortion. Its publication elicited a response from a retired professor that unfortunately clouds the issue with flawed logic and a denial of known scientific facts.  For the sake of clarity and in pursuit of truth, let’s look at his claims.

Writing that a zygote is a form of life that “has the POTENTIAL to become one (or more) humans”, the professor asserts that a zygote is “certainly not a person, any more than an acorn is an oak tree.” He later likens a zygote to a gnat.

This common argument confuses potentiality and actuality. So let’s clarify. An acorn is actually the same species as an oak tree, but simply in an earlier stage of the life cycle. This is true of a zygote who, created of human parents and bearing human DNA, actually belongs to the human species.

So what is the difference between an acorn and oak tree, or a zygote and adult?  Age.  An acorn is not an oak tree in the same way a toddler is not a teenager. But an acorn is a potential oak tree in the same way that a zygote is a potential adult.

One cannot say that a zygote is not human. Nor can we say that an adult is more human than a fetus because of age.

In fact, the word “fetus” comes from the Latin for offspring.  Can two human beings create offspring that is anything other than human?

But there’s more erroneous reasoning. The professor asserts that preborn children, even if human, are not persons, stating, “As the embryo/fetus develops, it comes ever closer to becoming a person.”

Using the pronoun “it” is a typical tactic to dehumanize the preborn baby boy or girl, although gender has already been determined. But how do we define personhood?

Miriam Webster defines person as “human, individual” and defines individual as “existing as a distinct entity.” Is the zygote a distinct entity?

At conception, a combination of DNA occurs that is unique and unrepeatable, forming a person that has never existed before and never will again.  Genetically differentiated from the mother, the zygote exists as a distinct entity, not just part of the mother like a leg or kidney. The mother does not have two hearts, two brains, or four arms.   A distinct individual human person exists within her.  That’s not a religious claim, that’s scientific fact.

And this science makes arguments for bodily autonomy fall flat, for when the humanity of the preborn is recognized, we acknowledge just what we are destroying in abortion, a smaller, younger, more vulnerable us. We were once they.

While the professor makes several other fallacious claims, he curiously admits, “No one is FOR abortion.”

I wonder why, if all we are killing is a “gnat.”

Perhaps, deep down, even the professor doesn’t believe his own flawed logic. Nor should anyone else.

How the Pro-Life Movement Can Achieve Real Consensus

Baby sleeping 2020

 

 

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

 As we approach the 47th anniversary of the tragic U.S. Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade, some may be wondering why we persist to try to protect every human life, from conception to natural death. Wouldn’t it be better, these individuals say, to just draw a line at abortions after the first trimester of pregnancy?

In fact, some people wrongly believe that Roe itself bans abortions after 12 weeks gestation. But when Roe is considered with its companion case, Doe v. Bolton, the ruling actually allows for abortions for any reason or no reason during all nine months of pregnancy. That is how we have ended up with states such as New York passing bills lifting all restrictions on abortion.

There is no doubt that second and third trimester abortions are especially heinous, given what we know about the development of the preborn child. But every abortion ends an innocent, irreplaceable human life.

If we were to pass a law banning abortions after the first trimester in most of the states, chances are that that would effectively end the national dialogue on abortion. We would be closing the door to future abortion restrictions.

What’s more, the majority of preborn babies would not be protected, since most abortions occur in the first trimester. For instance, in Pennsylvania, of the 30,364 abortions which occurred in the Commonwealth in 2018, 26,404 occurred at less than 13 weeks gestation.

Imagine passing a law against abortion—and still, 26,404 children would lose their precious lives!

It is true that the pro-life movement has been successful in an incremental, or step by step, approach to restricting abortion. For instance, laws requiring informed consent, parental consent, and 24-hour-waiting periods have decreased in abortions. In Pennsylvania, the Abortion Control Act, which contained such restrictions, succeeded in cutting the abortion rate in half.

Our goal as a pro-life movement is not to end abortions after the first trimester. Our goal is to ensure that each individual child is welcomed in life and protected under the law. When it comes to common ground or consensus, the point of agreement we should be aiming for is to help people see the humanity of the preborn child at all its stages of development. We should also work to assist people to understand the vast help and resources that are available to pregnant women in difficult circumstances.

Helping all preborn children and helping all pregnant women—that’s where our consensus should lie.

 

Unsung Heroines

newborn getting weighedPhoto by Christian Bowen on Unsplash

By Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director 

Recently, a well-known, highly-respected columnist in Central PA revealed something she has hidden for far too long. And I want to applaud her.

Nancy Eshelman is to be commended for publicly revealing her secret of 57 years of having placed a child for adoption. Too often birth mothers who have gifted another family with a precious new life are hidden in the shadows and their story remains a mystery.  But every one of them does have a story.

Nancy’s story recounts the stigma that surrounded her unplanned pregnancy at the tender age of 15 and the shame she was made to feel at that time. She should not have been made to feel that way then, and no young woman today should feel that shame. On that point our society has evolved, but we still have work to do.

Without judgment as to the circumstances, a woman carrying human life within her deserves unconditional support and protection. Her body is providing shelter and nourishment to a human being who is unrepeatable and irreplaceable. She is giving life to the next generation and most likely, generations beyond that. She is already a mother.

Nancy’s story does not stop with the baby boy she placed for adoption, with whom she happily reunited years later. It carries on with his children and grandchildren and will continue with subsequent generations.  All because one woman, Nancy Eshelman, gave the gift of life, even under the less than ideal of circumstances.  The impact is immeasurable, the consequences infinite.

Let us recognize the adoption option as a noble choice.

Let us celebrate all birth mothers who grow and bear life, and in an act of selfless love, bestow a cherished child to another mother and father. These women are truly unsung heroines. These women give life.

NY Times Admits Abortion is Losing, but Why?

you can't deFetus

by Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director

At first glance, it’s shocking.  An article in the left-leaning New York Times recently admitted that abortion supporters are losing ground to pro-lifers. “How a Divided Left is Losing the Battle on Abortion” makes for an interesting read, but falls short in addressing the underlying reason for pro-life gains.

According to writers Elizabeth Dias and Lisa Lerer, “Miscalculations and an unexpected victory by President Trump have put abortion access at its most vulnerable point in decades.”

They identify several “miscalculations.” Complacency that developed during the pro-abortion Obama era.  Accusations that Planned Parenthood is more political than patient-oriented. Disconnect between the powerful national abortion lobby and smaller independent abortion centers.

And this surprising acknowledgement: the extremist position of political candidates who support government-funded abortion up through birth, “leaving little room for the complex views on the issue that most Americans hold.”

Clearly, there is discord among the abortion ranks, and for good reason. One woman compared the current climate to the pre-Roe years, insisting abortion rights advocates must rebuild their grass-roots power.

But we are so NOT pre-Roe.

Too much has happened since then. Things we cannot un-see, un-hear, or un-know, factors that the NY Times article fails to address but which certainly account for a robust and flourishing pro-life movement.

We’ve seen the undeniable humanity of the pre-born baby through advanced ultrasound technology, a tool not available pre-Roe.

We’ve heard the pained testimonies of post-abortive women haunted by regret, and we’ve heard the shaken voices of workers who’ve exposed the lies of the abortion industry after abandoning it.

We now know that a majority of women feel coerced into aborting, countering the falsehood of empowerment, and we now know that pain-capable babies are killed in a way that preserves their organs for harvesting and sale, reducing them to a mere commodity.

No, we are in a much different place than 1973. We are now post-Roe, with 61 million lives lost, and countless wounded.

That is the miscalculation not acknowledged in the article- that 47 years of legalized abortion has provided all the evidence needed to prove it is wrong.  This evidence has formed a tenacious resolve in the heart of the pro-life movement, a resolve to never rest until the genocide of the pre-born is ended.  

While the left will remedy their miscalculations, raising billions more to spread pervasive propaganda, they may underestimate the power of a convicted people.  The pro-life movement, operating on a shoe-string budget, bolstered by dedicated volunteers, and united in a noble mission, will never cease to proclaim truth, shed light, and defend life.

We are here to stay, and in the end, life will win!