Yes, Women Are Sacred and Deserve to Be Treated That Way

Woman on beachBy Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director gallagher@paprolife.org

The tweet I saw pop up in my Twitter feed this week shook me to the core:

Women don’t want to be sacred.

The quote did not come from a male supremacist group, but from the pro-abortion lobbying group known as NARAL.

Upon further reflection, I realized that I should not be surprised by the tweet. After all, the abortion industry has been known to subject women to substandard treatment, failing to recognize their dignity. Consider the abortion center in Harrisburg, PA, which racked up 44 pages worth of safety violations, or the “House of Horrors” run by abortionist and serial killer Kermit Gosnell in West Philadelphia.

And then there is the not-so-subtle fact that about half of the babies whose lives are taken in utero in abortion facilities around the country are of the female persuasion.

The tweet went on to say:  We want to be treated as equals. 

There should be no objection to that, but the concept of women being sacred and the desire to be treated as equal to men are not mutually exclusive. All human beings are sacred, possessing an inherent dignity that can never be lost.

The evidence that the pro-life movement considers all women sacred–from the moment of conception to the instant of natural death–shows the high degree of respect with which the pro-life cause treats women.

The fact that a group fails to recognize the sacred nature of womanhood is incredibly sad, and provides yet another example of why such groups do not speak for the majority of American women today.

 

 

Abortion is No Cure for Domestic Violence

Woman--sad

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

gallagher@paprolife.org

It is one of the most painful situations that can befall a woman–one that can lead to feelings of powerlessness, sadness, and despair. National statistics indicate that, every minute in this country, 20 people are assaulted by an intimate partner. It’s a crime that’s often hidden from public view, played out in bedrooms, kitchens, and living rooms, where a cry for help is often unheard.

No woman should ever be subjected to physical, emotional, or psychological violence. Neither should her unborn child.

It is important to recognize that abortion does not cure domestic violence. A woman battered while pregnant can all too often end up battered again following an abortion.

Statistics show that as many as 60 percent of abortions may be coerced–meaning a woman is being pressured into a choice she does not want to make. The individual exerting the pressure could be her abuser.

Women need to be empowered to leave abusive situations–for their sake and the sake of their children. To all those who work to support women facing such scenarios, thank you. And to all those women who escape abuse and choose life for their children, you are among the hidden heroes that make America great.

 

 

 

Planned Parenthood Fails Inspection After Inspection

WomanBy Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director gallagher@paprolife.org

“Care. No matter what.”

That is a favorite slogan of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion operation, which performs more than 320,000 abortions a year.

But records from the Pennsylvania Department of Health show that the abortion giant has failed inspection after inspection since the beginning of the year.

A March inspection of a Planned Parenthood in Harrisburg showed that the abortion center failed to maintain a sanitary environment.

An April inspection of a Planned Parenthood in Warminster revealed that the abortion operation failed to ensure that emergency equipment was available in case a patient had to be resuscitated. A follow-up inspection in August showed that staff failed to inform the state of a serious incident in which a patient’s uterus was perforated. The patient was not transported to a hospital, but did later up in an emergency room hemorrhaging.

An August inspection at a Planned Parenthood in Allentown revealed the facility failed to administer Immune Globulin to an Rh-negative patient. Rh-negative is a type of blood group that does not contain the Rh antigen in red blood cells. Staff also failed to remove expired medications from an emergency kit.

The Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania failed inspection in August, when it was cited for building violations which could have threatened the safety of patients.  Meanwhile, the Planned Parenthood on Locust Street in Philadelphia also failed a building inspection in August, due, in part, to obstruction in the stairways.

These multiple violations at various Planned Parenthood facilities in Pennsylvania show that the abortion giant does not have an unblemished safety record. Rather, numerous health and safety violations could potentially jeopardize the well-being of patients.

These safety failures provide yet more evidence why Planned Parenthood should not be receiving our hard-earned taxpayer dollars. It would be far better to redirect those funds to federally qualified health centers which provide comprehensive care to women, including Mammograms–something that no Planned Parenthood in the country provides.

 

 

 

.

Abortion Center Touted by Governor Fails Inspection–Again

Stethoscope

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director, gallagher@paprolife.org

An abortion facility touted by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards has failed inspection—again.

You may recall that the Governor—who prides himself as a former Planned Parenthood clinic escort–and the Planned Parenthood chief—who opposes any restrictions on abortion—held an event in Warminster in April to discuss the “devastating effects federal budget cuts to Planned Parenthood would have” for Pennsylvanians.

At the time, Richards stated, “For many, Planned Parenthood is their only health care provider and they would have nowhere else to go.”

But the Governor and the abortion center chain operator failed to mention an annual registration survey the Department of Health conducted at Planned Parenthood Keystone-Warminster eight days before. The inspection showed that the Planned Parenthood facility was not in compliance with state health department regulations.

Now comes a new inspection—and more violations.

An unannounced inspection on August 22nd found the facility “failed to conform to all applicable State Laws.”

This facility—praised by Governor Wolf—failed to report the fact that a woman’s uterus was perforated during an abortion—a serious incident requiring notification to the state. According to the report, (which can be found at https://sais.health.pa.gov/CommonPOC/content/publiccommonpoc/QAsurvey.asp?FACID=00188701&PAGE=1&NAME=PLANNED+PARENTHOOD+KEYSTONE+%2D+WARMINSTER&SurveyType=H%20&COUNTY=) , after the patient was discharged, she ended up in a hospital emergency room. She was hemorrhaging, and required additional care at the ER.

The fact that this serious incident was not reported to the state leads one to wonder how many times Planned Parenthood fails to report complications from abortion. It also leads one to question the accuracy of the complication totals reported each year by the state health department.

The previous inspection found that the Warminster Planned Parenthood failed to ensure that “all required emergency equipment was available” for resuscitation when abortions were performed.”

The troubles at Warminster are just one more reason why federal health care dollars should be redirected away from embattled Planned Parenthood and given to federally qualified community health centers which can provide comprehensive, competent care.

But the situation also brings up the question: Why does Pennsylvania’s Governor continue to defend an organization that routinely fails to follow basic health and safety requirements?

It would appear that, once again in Pennsylvania, politics is interfering with women’s health.

15 Years of Pro-Life Progress

Baby Superman with mother

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director gallagher@paprolife.org

As I approach my 15th anniversary with the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, the Keystone State affiliate of National Right to Life, it’s a good time to look back at the pro-life progress that has occurred in both the Commonwealth and our nation during the last decade and a half.

Abortion totals are at their lowest level in Pennsylvania since the state first began keeping statistics after the legalization of abortion. The fact that more than 32,000  preborn Pennsylvania children die each year from abortion is still a massive tragedy, but we are making progress in persuading more women in challenging circumstances to choose life for their children.

Part of that effort is our innovative Internet outreach program. We have reached more than a half a million teenagers with life-saving and life-changing information. Add to that the hundreds of thousands of people we reach each year through radio broadcasts, television interviews, website views, and social media posts.

One of our statewide oratory contest winners won the National Right to Life Oratory contest. He is now spreading the pro-life message far and wide as a diocesan priest.

At least a half dozen abortion facilities have closed their doors in Pennsylvania because they could not or would not meet basic health and safety standards. The renewed scrutiny of abortion facilities came after the passage of our common sense abortion center regulation law, which requires unannounced inspections of abortion centers.

Fifteen years ago, I thought that the tragic U.S. Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade would have been overturned by now. But the enthusiasm for Roe has significantly waned when you stop to consider that national polls show most Americans oppose most abortions. The misguided court ruling, which led to the heinous practice of partial-birth abortion, will ultimately fall under its own weight.

I hope that I am around to see that milestone.

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

22059103501_7de9d58fe3_b

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.