A Letter to Young Women

 By Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director

Dear young woman,

You don’t know me but I feel compelled to reach out to you.  I want to apologize to you about that awful billboard.  A county health department was wrong to put it up.

Perhaps you drove by it. Or saw it on social media.  I’m sorry. I’m so sorry that you are being told you can only take control of your future by rejecting motherhood, by aborting the innocent life growing within. I am sorry that the pregnant woman on the left looks destroyed while the college grad on the right glows with pride, implying that there is only one true path to success. That’s a false narrative that builds on fear.  It’s meant to scare you into believing that a pregnancy will totally ruin your future.  And I want to tell you, from personal experience, that’s just not true.

billboard offensive

I was overcome with anxiety and uncertainty when I found out I was pregnant my freshman year.  The campus doctor urged an abortion.  In her mind, I would be a fool to trash a good scholarship at a prestigious university. As the billboard depicts, she saw only one path, and gave me only one choice.

I’m sure she considered herself compassionate, even empowering.  She wasn’t. I wish I could meet her now.  I want to show her MY billboard.

my graduation with Tim and Caitlin (2) (1)

I want to show her my husband, five children, three grandchildren, and my Master’s Degree. And I want to tell her I have no regrets about walking out of her office that day with a baby girl growing in my 18 year old belly, transferring to a school back home, and graduating four years later. I want to tell her a baby did not destroy my future, but an abortion would have.

I acknowledge that the journey was not easy. Not by any means, but every sacrifice, every bump, every single hardship was so worth it. That is a story for another day.

Please take note, dear sister, that you need not surrender your child’s life in exchange for a future. They are not mutually exclusive. In fact, it’s possible the child from an unexpected pregnancy will add a brightness to your future that you could never have envisioned.

The best paths to a successful and meaningful life are those that honor the sacredness and dignity of life.

Don’t let a misguided billboard, a campus doctor, or anyone fool you into thinking otherwise.

Yours in Life,

A former young woman, Bonnie

Unplanned: The Story of Abby Johnson

Image result for unplanned movie

By Katy Schriner, intern

This Friday, March 29th, Unplanned will be released in theaters all across the United States. This is the story about a former Planned Parenthood worker, Abby Johnson, who was in fact the youngest Planned Parenthood center director in the nation. She also was a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood, where she fought, she thought, to help women and enact legislation. What made her decide to embrace the Pro-life movement was when she found out about what Planned Parenthood really did when it came to unborn children and the counseling they provided for women, which led to 22,000 abortions that Abby was involved with. She was also a witness to an abortion where she saw the unborn child fighting for his life. Ever since that incident, she quit Planned Parenthood and joined the 40 Days for Life Campaign and now is one of the most passionate pro-life speakers in America.

Like any other topic that is about Pro-life or abortions, there were some issues that came along with the movie. Weeks before the movie was to be released, Hollywood decided that the film should be rated R for the reason of “some disturbing, bloody images”. But the co-director Chuck Konzelman feels otherwise, that Hollywood restricted the film because of politics. This has prevented teenagers in the world from seeing the truth about Planned Parenthood and the full effects of abortion and what happens to the mother. Konzelman fears that the movie’s R-rating will scare families away, at exactly the wrong time. However, there was an open letter from different leaders, actors and Academy Award-winners asking parents to not be discouraged from allowing their teenagers to see this movie.

We as Americans have this “shield” from seeing the truth and wanting to “keep secrets” away from society. Well enough is enough and that is what Unplanned is trying to do: uncover the real truth behind Planned Parenthood and show the world about what we are doing to innocent lives and how we are affecting our society today, tomorrow, and our future by having abortion in existence. This is a way to keep the conversation going showing kids, teenagers, college students and adults what lies behind the curtains and revealing the truth about our one true enemy: disrespect for human life.

Why the Rise in Taxpayer Funding of Abortions in PA?

Image result for guy reschenthaler

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

A Pennsylvania Congressman wants to know why the Keystone State has seen a dramatic increase in taxpayer-funded abortions.

Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA 14th district) sent a letter this week to pro-abortion Governor Tom Wolf demanding answers to a series of pointed questions about Medicaid-funded abortions in the Commonwealth.

The reasons for Reschenthaler’s concerns are as clear as the abortion industry’s penchant for increasing abortions. While other states (excluding Nevada) recorded a decline in the number of abortions eligible for federal funding, Pennsylvania’s taxpayer-funded abortion rate rose astronomically during a recent four-year period.

In fiscal year 2013, Pennsylvania recorded 317 Medicaid-funded abortions, according to a recent study published by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). By fiscal year 2017, that number had skyrocketed to 982.

Federal funding of abortions in Pennsylvania is limited to the rare cases involving rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother. “Given the narrow scope in which taxpayer funds are permitted to cover abortions, I am alarmed by the significant increase and overall numbers of Medicaid-funded abortions in Pennsylvania compared to other states,” Reschenthaler told Wolf.

The GAO report stated, “when excluding Nevada and Pennsylvania, states reporting information showed an aggregate decrease in the number of abortions eligible for federal Medicaid funding they covered during the fiscal year 2013 through fiscal year 2017. When data from these states were included, there was an aggregate increase, as the number of abortions covered by Nevada and Pennsylvania was much higher in later years.”

The Congressman has asked the Governor to provide answers to the following questions:

  • What are the requirements in Pennsylvania for Medicaid funding of abortion?
  • What was the annual denial rate in Pennsylvania for Medicaid funding of abortion claims from FY 13 to FY 17?
  • Does Pennsylvania have protocols to prevent misuse of federal Medicaid spending for abortion?
  • What were the reported number of abortions eligible for federal funding covered in FY 18 in Pennsylvania?

Given the fact that poll after poll shows that citizens do not want tax money to pay for abortions, Pennsylvania’s taxpayers deserve answers. Now.

 

 

Live Action: All the Way Pro-Life

Lila Rose

By Katy Schriner, intern for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

In 2003, at the age of 15, Lila Rose decided that she wanted to create a presentation that showed the reality of abortion and to expose what abortion does to the preborn child. In 2006, at 18 years old, she started doing undercover investigations of the abortion industry. By 2008, Live Action was born, legally formed as a non-partisan, non-profit organization that has the largest and most engaged online following in the pro-life movement. Today, Live Action’s goal is to shift public opinion on the killing of preborn children and defend the rights of these most vulnerable among us by using compelling educational media, human interest storytelling, and investigative reporting to reveal the humanity of the preborn and expose the abortion industry exploiting women for profit.

Live Action gives strong viewpoints on the problems the pro-life movement has with abortion. There’s so many to choose from but I believe the most important ones to look at are Human Rights and whether abortions are “safe”. According to Live Action, they state that “all human beings have human rights, and we possess them by virtue of our humanity and not because they are granted to us by the government or other people. The most foundational human right is the right to life.” Another thing to add is the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights states in article 3: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and the security of person”. And article 6: “Everyone has the right of recognition everywhere as a person before the law”. The most important part of that section is the statement that says “If we hold to the validity of these statements, and if preborn children are human beings, then we would have to conclude that the youngest among us have the same inalienable right to life as those who are born. This really opens my eyes as it states in our human rights that EVERYONE has a right to life and that every voice matters, preborn or born.

Most people don’t educate themselves when it comes to abortion. Are abortions actually “safe?” There are 4 statements that answer the question on abortions being safe.

  1. Abortion is NEVER safe for preborn humans- it dismembers, suctions, or poisons them to death.
  2. Even if an argument could be made that legal abortion is safer for the women, if abortion ends an innocent human being’s life, then it isn’t ethical to legalize killing in order to make it supposedly safer for those participating in it.
  3. Abortions, whether legal or illegal, carry the risk of negative effects to women’s health. In other words, some women were hurt or killed in illegal abortions and some women are hurt and killed by legal abortions, too.
  4. The number of women who died from illegal abortions prior to Roe vs. Wade (1973) was greatly inflated by those lobbying for the legalization of abortion.

There was one statement that stood out to me the most when I was viewing Live Action’s website, which states, “Since the preborn are humans and since humans have human rights, it follows that “we ought to respect the preborn and protect them from abortion.”. Live Action has a lot of information on the reality of abortion, in terms of effects, laws, industries, etc. It’s important that we spread the truth about abortion, tell others about the pro-life movement and end legalization of abortion in America.

 

Down Syndrome Protection Act Being Re-Introduced

ChloeKondrich

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

The popular Down Syndrome Protection Act is being reintroduced in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

The bill bans abortion for the sole reason of a Down syndrome diagnosis. The legislation is a response to the high abortion rate among women whose unborn babies have been diagnosed with an extra chromosome.

During the last session, the House passed the legislation by an overwhelming, veto-proof, bipartisan majority of 139-56. However, the Down Syndrome Protection Act stalled in the PA Senate last year.

As the co-sponsorship memo states, “Most of us know of a family touched by a Down syndrome child, and know these children grow to lead joyful and fulfilling lives.”

The lead sponsors on the bill are House Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny County) and state Representative Kate Klunk (R-York County).

Karen Gaffney is the first living person with Down syndrome to receive an honorary doctorate from a college or university. At a rally at the state Capitol last year, Gaffney eloquently stated, “Those of us with Down Syndrome and our families face a very difficult future. We face a 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 first 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.”

Pennsylvania currently bans abortion after 24 weeks except to save the life of the mother, and at any time during the pregnancy if the woman’s only reason for abortion is to select the sex of the baby.

The Keystone State is already home to Chloe’s Law, which provides information and resources for parents who receive a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis. The law is named for Chloe Kondrich, a teenager who has become something of an international ambassador for children with Down syndrome.

Chloe’s Law “made progress educating parents regarding the quality of life that a person with Down syndrome can enjoy,” the co-sponsorship memo states. It goes on to say, “…the abortion rate for children with Down syndrome is still too high. It is time to protect Down syndrome children in the womb.”

Action Item: Pennsylvanians are urged to call their state representatives and encourage them to co-sponsor the Down Syndrome Protection Act.

 

San Francisco Walks for Life

Walk for Life West Coast

 

By Katy Schriner, intern, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

Recently the West Coast took a stand to speak out at the 15th annual Walk for Life in San Francisco. EWTN Pro-Life Weekly broadcasted the walk, talking to many different people, including preachers, students, parents, speakers of the pro-life movement and the co-founder of the Walk for Life. The crowd ranged from locals, students and people who had traveled from different states to attend the walk. CBS local affiliate KPIX has estimated that there were about 50,000 people in the crowd.

Dolores Meehan and Eva Muntean, co-founders of the Walk for Life, were inspired to start a walk when both of them attended the March for Life in Washington D.C. in 2000. From 2004 to 2019, the walk has grown steadily, with numbers skyrocketing from 7,500 to 50,000 people attending this year. The motto at this year’s Walk for Life is “Abortions Hurt Women”. The goal that these two women set every year is to motivate people to get involved, spread the word of the pro-life movement out to the communities and to stay committed throughout the whole year. Besides discussions with the co-founders of the Walk for Life, there were other interviews being conducted with pro-life leaders before the rally including Tina Whittington, Executive Vice President for the Students for Life of America. She discusses with Catherine Hardo, anchor of EWTN, about their organization’s mission and goals. The Students for Life has 1,200 groups all across the country who work with high school and college campuses to start their own pro-life club. Their goal is to impact the high school or college campus towards life, bring resources to their campus for pregnant and parenting students, and to educate their peers on what abortion is.

As I mentioned, there were several speakers who spoke at the Walk for Life Rally who were very inspiring and touched so many hearts in the crowd in San Francisco. 40 Days for Life gave out their 40-44 Scholarship, to a college student whose mission is to end abortion and to spread the word for the future. Morgan English (sophomore student at the University of Florida) and Anna Green (junior student at the University of Idaho) were presented the $4,040 scholarship for their incredible work and dedication towards life. But the most important speaker in my view was Patricia Sandoval.  She told her story about how she had three abortions, her experience working at Planned Parenthood and how she dug herself out of her darkness with her addiction to drugs and homelessness. During her speech, she emphasized that the abortionist never told her the truth about the full side effects of Post-Abortion Syndrome including anxiety, depression, the nightmares and suicidal thoughts. There was one specific part of her speech that I believe to be the most powerful and that was when she talked about her homelessness, drug addiction and how one day her life was changed. She discussed that she felt like she was a bum and described the type of dark place she was in. Until one day she decided to switch her life around, feeling God in her life for the first time and being able to speak about her experience with everyone especially women.

Stories like Patricia’s are ones that will touch your heart and make you realize how important the pro-life movement is. There were so many people at the walk ranging in age from little babies with their parents, to college students from Stanford University, to women in mid-life. One of the coolest events that happened was having women on stage and having the audience listen to the babies’ heartbeats on stage. While there are differences between the Walk for Life and the March for Life, the most important thing is that their missions are the same and will never change, and that will be to give the voiceless a voice and to keep fighting for life!

 

 

The New York Effect on the Pro-Life Movement

Baby sleeping

 

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

In recent days, our office at the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation has been receiving call after call from people wanting to volunteer for the pro-life movement. It seems that this is the effect of the bizarre pro-abortion law in New York and the equally strange legislation in Virginia. The legislation permits abortion up to birth–and offers no protection for those babies who survive botched abortions. People are very upset about what’s going on, but they want to do something positive to counteract it. It’s inspiring!

We have also received a number of emails from people wanting to join a local chapter of National Right to Life. In all my time in the pro-life movement, I have never before seen such an outpouring of activism.

We even received an email about a family who is considering moving from New York to Pennsylvania to escape Governor Andrew Cuomo’s abortion extremist regime. The inquiry came in the form of a question: What is the forecast for Pennsylvania? Is it in danger of going the way of New York?

Fortunately, Pennsylvania has pro-life majorities in both the PA House of Representatives and the Senate. Pro-life legislation is welcomed and encouraged. We are also home to the first-in-the-nation state-assisted pregnancy and parenting program, which is administered by Real Alternatives, Inc. Hundreds of thousands of women and their families have been served by this network of pregnancy resource centers.

But the Keystone State faces its own threats. Our Governor, Tom Wolf, once volunteered as a clinic escort for Planned Parenthood. He has a radically pro-abortion position, opposing a ban on brutal dismemberment abortions, where a baby is torn limb by limb from a mother’s womb.

The Commonwealth has also been hit by a lawsuit from the abortion industry, which wants to end our long-standing ban on Medicaid-funded abortions. This despite the fact that taxpayer-funded abortions are wildly unpopular in Pennsylvania.

Nationwide, the prospect of abortions up to the moment of birth has led not only to an outcry–but also action. The New York effect is sparking a renewed interest in the pro-life movement from people who steadfastly believe that babies should be protected–both inside and outside their mothers’ wombs.

Late-Term Abortion and Infanticide: Defending the Indefensible

newborn-1400757_960_720

 

By Maria V. Gallagher

I recall an incident that occurred when I was working as a journalist for the mainstream media. A woman from the pro-abortion lobbying group known as NARAL led a gaggle of reporters to believe that late-term abortions only occurred to save mothers’ lives.

Later, a national abortion industry spokesman admitted that the majority of those obtaining late-term abortions were teenagers. The spokesman indicated that the teens were uneasy about abortion, so they had delayed the decision to abort into the third trimester.

Now, we have a Virginia lawmaker openly and brazenly admitting that her bill would allow for abortions while a woman is in labor.  The bill will thankfully go nowhere, but the discussion is relevant nonetheless.

Here is the exchange between the lawmaker, Kathy Tran (D-Fairfax) and a fellow legislator, Todd Gilbert:

Gilbert: Where it’s obvious a woman is about to give birth, that she has physical signs that she is about to give birth. Would that be a point at which she could still request an abortion if she was so certified? She’s dilating.

Tran: Mr. Chairman, that would be a decision that the doctor, the physician, and the woman would make at that point.

Gilbert: I understand that. I’m asking if your bill allows that.

Tran: My bill would allow that, yes.

Not to be outdone, the Governor of Virginia, Democrat Ralph Northam, took the explosive situation a step further. On a radio show, Northam delivered a defense of what can only be described as infanticide: “If a mother is in labor…the infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and mother.”

To paraphrase Shakespeare, “To kill or not to kill, that is the question.”

One national poll showed that only 15 percent of Americans support late-term abortions. I would hazard a guess the number is even lower for those supporting “after-birth abortions.”

These politicians are completely out of step with the American mainstream. They express no compassion whatsoever for a baby–whether inside or outside the mother’s womb.

The time to act is now. Please share these stories of late-term abortion and infanticide propaganda with your friends and relatives. Let them know what these politicians stand for–a total contempt for the most innocent and defenseless among us.

 

Channel Sadness Over Abortion Law into Positive Action

Baby beautiful

 

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

I felt overcome with sadness when I learned that New York had passed a lethal law allowing abortions up to the moment of birth. I was doubly saddened when I discovered that babies born alive after botched abortions could be left to die in the Empire State.

But I refuse to give into despair. I know opportunities abound to protect innocent children and their mothers from the harm of abortion. So I have come up with a four-step plan I intend to follow in the wake of the New York tragedy:

  • Educate–I am doing everything possible to alert people to the dangers of the New York law. With information comes power. I have encountered so many people who are so sickened by the passage of this tragic law that they want to become more involved in the pro-life movement than ever before.
  • Contact my elected officials–I want my elected officials to know my stand on life, and that I do not want my state to go the way of New York. I am more energized than ever to defend Pennsylvania’s life-saving law, which includes informed consent, parental consent, and 24 hour waiting periods prior to abortions.
  • Support pregnancy centers–These centers reach out to women every day with life-changing support and comprehensive counseling. They provide a lifeline to women in challenging circumstances, and are vitally important in offering pregnant women life-affirming options for themselves and their families.
  • Engage in social media as never before–Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are powerful platforms for spreading a message of life and love. I refuse to give into the negativity on social media, and instead embrace a positive mindset that leads to posts which enlighten and energize my friends and followers.

New York is a national wake-up call. Pro-abortion forces would like to see abortion-up-to-birth laws in all 50 states. Working together, we can prevent that nightmare from ever occurring.

 

 

Mourning a New York Nightmare

Baby eyesBy Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

It used to be that, at a time of national tragedy, people would gather around their televisions and mourn together, unified by their common values.

In 2019, Facebook appears to be the place for complete strangers to grieve in solidarity with one another.

This was certainly true when Facebook users saw the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation’s post about New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signing a bill allowing abortion up to the moment of birth.

Here are some of the heartfelt comments we received beneath our link to the story:

How can this be happening in America in 2019???

Pray for New York.

My heart is so sad. 

What is this world coming to? 

So tragic, so sad.

This breaks my heart.

The emotion is real, and it is expressed by individuals both inside and outside the Empire State. It is a profound sorrow for the babies who will be lost as a result of this horrific law.

How can an individual respond to such a tragic turn of circumstances?

Raising our voices in defense of the sanctity of innocent human life is a necessary first step. Contacting our Congressional representatives, letting them know that we want to see safeguards for life at the federal level, is another critical move. Engaging with our state lawmakers to ensure that New York’s tragic error is not repeated in other states is important as well.

Those of us united in mourning must also be united in action to fight radical pro-abortion laws in peaceful, just ways. The future of our civilization depends on it.