Signs of Life at Walmart

Picture1By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

gallagher@paprolife.org

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Report Details Troubles at Pennsylvania Abortion Center

HillcrestBy Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

gallagher@paprolife.org

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

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

The failures included:

  • Outdated medication and supplies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

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

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

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

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

Happy Book Lovers Day

 

August-9-National-Book-Lovers-DayThese days there seems to be a holiday for everything. As someone who spent much of his childhood with his nose in a book, today is a celebration I can really get behind—Book Lovers Day.  Recently I read two pro-life books that I thought were particularly interesting, and I thought I would share some thoughts on them in honor of the day.

The first is Not Equal: Civil Rights Gone Wrong by Ryan Bomberger. Yes, the same Ryan Bomberger who is the keynote speaker at this year’s Celebrate Life Banquet September 28, 2017 in Harrisburg.  Ryan’s book addresses important pro-life issues such as abortion, adoption, liberal feminism, free speech, and religious liberty. What I appreciated most about his book is that it is primarily a series of articles he’s written over the years so it is an easy read for those who can only sit with a book for a short period at a time.  The great thing is, if you pick up his book now, when you attend the Celebrate Life Banquet September 28th you can get it signed!

The second book I wanted to mention is Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer by Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer.  In this book the authors examine all the aspects of the trial of Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortionist who committed infanticide in his filthy and unsanitary abortion office in Philadelphia.  I was admittedly a little hesitant to read this—I’ve never been a fan of horror movies or literature, but the authors do a great job of applying an unbiased, journalistic viewpoint to the situation.

The links to the books above will take you to where the books can be purchased on www.amazon.com.  Before purchasing them, please visit www.smile.amazon.com and choose the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation Education Fund as the charity you support so a portion of your purchase will benefit our life-saving work.  Happy reading, and email me at lifelines@paprolife.org and let me know what you think of these pro-life books.

Father’s Day Reflections

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With Father’s Day approaching, I find myself reflecting on the lessons my father taught me…and not the lessons of how to fish, tie my shoe, ride a bike, or even drive…but lessons of how to be a man. How to stand up for what you believe in, how to admit when you are wrong (one I’m admittedly still working on), and how to stand up for those who can’t defend themselves, among many others.

It’s that last lesson—standing up for those who can’t defend themselves– that stands out for me the most.  Maybe it’s because I’m the oldest of four living siblings, but I have always felt I have an obligation to work toward making the world a better place, mainly by doing what I can to help those who need it most.

That is why I am pro-life—I believe that not just as a father, or even just as a man, but as a human being I have an obligation to defend pre-born babies who can’t defend themselves—we all do!

That is why I find the argument that I shouldn’t express my thoughts about the horror of abortion just because of my gender absolutely wrong.  I have never understood what my gender has to do with whether or not I can speak out against injustice.  Certainly it was not only slaves who spoke out against slavery…men joined women in speaking out for women’s suffrage, and I don’t have to be the victim of a crime to know that crime is wrong.  The morality, or immorality, of a statement (e.g. “all life deserves protecting”) is independent of the person who makes the statement.

So this Father’s Day, and every day, I encourage all fathers, indeed all humans, to stand up against injustice against the most vulnerable among us.  I guarantee you that leaving a legacy of a life-respecting society is better than any tie you can get your Dad this Father’s day!

Troubled Harrisburg Abortion Center Closed

Hillcrest closed sign 2017

Photo credit: Undefeated Courage

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

The sign on the door says it all—the troubled Hillcrest abortion facility in Harrisburg is closed until further notice.

The PA Department of Health ordered Hillcrest to suspend operations after a surprise inspection June 5th uncovered new safety violations.

“The department concluded that it was no longer safe for the facility to continue providing medical services to women,” said PA Health Department Secretary Karen Murphy

Several Pennsylvania state Senators recently sent a letter to the Secretary of the PA Department of Health, asking why the abortion center’s license had not been revoked.

The letter followed the release of a 44-page document noting the health and safety failures of the long-time abortion operation.

Violations included everything from failing to maintain proper medical credentials to maintaining supplies that were 13 years old. Hillcrest also performed a number of abortions without having a nurse present. In addition, staff members failed to undergo the criminal background checks mandated for seeing patients under 18 years old.

Hillcrest’s troubles date back at least six years, when the abortion outfit was first cited for safety failures. The abortion center has been cited four times since, with the latest report suggesting that the violations have become more egregious.

Pennsylvania passed a law in 2011 requiring abortion facilities to meet basic health and safety standards. The law was a response to the massive tragedy in West Philadelphia, where abortionist Kermit Gosnell was ultimately convicted of killing three full-term babies and causing the death of a female immigrant patient, Karnamaya Mongar.

 

Senators Demand Answers for Failed Inspection at Abortion Facility

Senate_Chamber,_Pennsylvania_State_Capitol_Building

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

gallagher@paprolife.org

A trio of Pennsylvania state Senators are asking why the license of a Pennsylvania abortion operation was not revoked, once serious health and safety violations were uncovered.

Senators Joe Scarnati, Bob Mensch, and John DiSanto have sent a letter to Health Department Secretary Karen Murphy which states, “The DOH inspection report portrays a facility which is clearly unsafe and unhealthy for both patients and staff alike. Given this, we would like an explanation as to why DOH did not immediately move to suspend or revoke Hillcrest Women’s Medical Center’s license upon finding such numerous egregious violations.”

State health officials have cited Hillcrest for the fourth time in six years for violating Pennsylvania law. The violations run the gamut, from failing to have proper medical credentials to performing abortions without a nurse present. Staff members failed to complete the criminal background checks necessary for dealing with patients under 18 years old. Some supplies were so outdated they could be traced back to 2004.

The Senators note, “These health and safety violations are obviously deeply troubling. However, even more problematic appears to be DOH’s response, which was to allow the abortion clinic to continue operating while granting Hillcrest a six month grace period to correct the cited ‘deficiencies.’”

In 2011 Pennsylvania enacted an abortion center regulations law requiring abortion facilities to undergo unannounced inspections. The legislation grew out of the massive tragedy in West Philadelphia, where abortionist Kermit Gosnell killed living full-term babies and caused the deaths of female patients in a squalid facility labeled a “House of Horrors” by prosecutors.

The law was designed to prevent “future Gosnells” from setting up shop in Pennsylvania. But some legislators now worry the law is not being sufficiently enforced, as evidenced by Hillcrest’s long trail of troubles.

Vice-President Pence’s Commencement Address at Grove City

PenceGCC-264x160Vice President Mike Pence, a stalwart pro-lifer, recently made another stop in Pennsylvania, giving the commencement address at Grove City College.  For his full remarks click here, but of particular note was this comment: “And I can’t tell you how proud I am to be Vice President to a President who stands without apology for the sanctity of life and all the God-given liberties in the Constitution of the United States.”

The Trump Administration has given pro-lifers a renewed sense of hope after eight years of pro-abortion President Barack Obama.  Some of the administration’s pro-life accomplishments so far include:

  • Vice President Mike Pence’s speech at the 2017 March for Life in Washington DC represented the first time a sitting Vice President spoke at the March.
  • President Trump reinstated a policy that prevents organizations receiving federal foreign aid from performing abortions or promoting them.
  • President Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. He is a pro-life Justice in the mold of the late beloved Justice Antonin Scalia.
  • President Trump appointed avid pro-lifers to key cabinet positions including Kellyanne Conway as Senior Advisor, Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services, Nikki Haley as UN Ambassador, and Ben Carson as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
  • President Trump even signed an executive order saying his administration will “provide regulatory relief for religious objectors to Obamacare’s burdensome preventive services mandate, a position supported by the Supreme Court decision in Hobby Lobby.”

These pro-life accomplishments give advocates renewed hope that we will be even more successful in changing people’s minds and reminding them that they can always choose life.

Inspection Uncovers Numerous Safety Violations at Harrisburg Abortion Center

HillcrestBy Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

Gallagher@paprolife.org

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.

 

 

Remembering Vulnerable Mothers This Mother’s Day Weekend

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

gallagher@paprolife.org

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     I stopped in my local grocery store and found a vibrantly colorful display of balloons, roses, and carnations, signaling the start of this weekend’s Mother’s Day celebrations.

Some of us who are mothers will celebrate with bouquets and brunches, cookouts and candy. Hugs and kisses from the children who delivered motherhood to us will remind us of the tremendous gift we have received in birthing and nurturing our offspring.

But, perhaps before the festivities are in full bloom, could you take a moment with me to pray for those pregnant mothers who, on the eve of Mother’s Day weekend, have entered abortion centers?

Pray that they may have a change of mind and choose life, and that they will have all the support that they and their children need, both now and in the future.

“Roe” Wanted Roe v. Wade Reversed. THAT is Her Legacy.

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

gallagher@paprolife.org

180px-Norma_McCorvey

     You can hear a smile in a voice.

It is one of those interesting facts of communication that I learned in a radio journalism class which proved to be helpful far beyond the confines of the classroom.

As a reporter, I heard a range of emotions in the interviews that would be recorded for broadcast–sadness, anger, pride.

Over the past few days, I have been reminded of a voice that answered the phone when I was working on a story about abortion.

The voice belonged to the “Roe” of the tragic U.S. Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, which brought about the legalization of abortion nationwide in 1973. Her real name was Norma McCorvey, and by that time, she had renounced the court decision that bore her pseudonym. She was striving to right a horrible wrong, to save the lives of preborn children, and to spare their mothers unspeakable pain and heartache.

Ironically, she was not the person I was calling to interview, so our conversation was quite brief.

But I heard much in her voice: Kindness. Compassion. Caring.

Norma McCorvey was once part of the abortion industry. But she died a pro-life champion.

It is common for those involved in court cases to wish the court had ruled differently. It is incredible for a winner of a case to wish she had lost.

“Roe” wanted Roe v. Wade to be overturned. This would be like saying the winning team of the last Super Bowl wished the second half never would have happened and that they had lost the biggest football game of the year.

But it was true. I could not only hear it in her voice–it was also apparent in the actions that she took to try to reverse a Supreme Court ruling that has led to the deaths of more than 59 million preborn children and the haunting grief of millions of mothers and fathers, grandparents and siblings.

Some Millennials may not know that the woman behind Roe, Norma McCorvey, reversed course and adopted a pro-life point of view. They may be stunned to learn that the woman who was the subject of the nation’s best-known abortion case never had an abortion herself–that the pregnancy that led to her being the subject of a court case ended in birth and subsequent adoption.

But as spectacular as Norma’s story may be, in a sense, it is not entirely unique.

Dr. Bernard Nathanson, the founder of the pro-abortion lobbying group known as NARAL, left the abortion industry behind and became an ardent supporter of the right to life. Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood center director, left the business as well and now assists those who want to make a similar, life-affirming exit. Carol Everett, a former abortion center owner, became a passionate defender of life.

Add to that all those women who are a part of the Silent No More Awareness campaign–women who had abortions, but who now regret them. They are breaking the code of silence surrounding abortion so that other women can avoid such horrific tragedy.

These women cannot be silenced. And neither can Norma. Her voice lives on in video and in the minds of those touched by her call for the nation to embrace mothers and their children–and to abandon Roe v. Wade.

For if Roe no longer believed in Roe v. Wade, why should the Supreme Court? If the Court cannot hear the silent cry of the preborn child, perhaps quite soon it will listen to the words of women such as Norma. They are women who were once deceived by the lies of the abortion industry, but who found their voice when they rediscovered the hope that lies in fighting for life.

The nation owes it to Norma, and to all those other women, to end the epic human catastrophe caused by Roe v. Wade and to discard the unjust court decision once and for all.