Lawsuit Demanding Taxpayer Funding of Abortion is Without Merit

Baby girl

 

 

With abortions at record low levels in Pennsylvania, it is clear that demand for abortion is declining. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that abortion facilities want to find a way to increase their clientele.

As a result, fifteen of the seventeen abortion centers in Pennsylvania have filed a lawsuit, seeking to end Pennsylvania’s long-standing ban on Medicaid abortions. They want to overturn a 1985 state Supreme Court ruling which affirmed the Medicaid abortion ban as Constitutional.

Decades after that Supreme Court ruling, nothing has changed–except the desperation of abortion businesses to prop up their sagging industry.

The 1980s era ruling noted that the Commonwealth has a policy of preference for childbirth over abortion. Despite the protestations of abortion advocates, that has not changed.

Neither has the High Court holding that, just because an individual can exercise a “choice,” that does not mean that taxpayers must subsidize it. Indeed, public opinion polls have consistently shown that the vast majority of taxpayers do not want to pay for abortions.

A lawyer for the plaintiffs in this latest lawsuit claims that poor women suffer because they cannot obtain an abortion. But the suit fails to recognize the many documented ways that women can suffer as a result of abortion–psychologically, physically, and spiritually.

The plaintiffs also ignore the concrete help that is available to Pennsylvania women facing challenging circumstances. Women are receiving everything from diapers to formula to assist them during tough times.

The answer to the problem of poverty is not abortion. Abortion only creates more problems for Pennsylvania women.

Forcing taxpayers to foot the bill for abortions is an unconstitutional overreach. As a result, this latest lawsuit is just one more way the abortion industry is trying to require individuals to violate their consciences–all for the benefit of the abortion businesses’ almighty dollar.

Maria V. Gallagher is Legislative Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.

What I’ve Learned About How Abortion Affects Women

Woman on beachBy Katy Schriner, intern, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

Over the past four decades, Roe v. Wade is the case that allowed for abortion to be legal in the United States. The law has led to nearly 61 million deaths of unborn children across the United States. Over that time, this law has allowed doctors to perform this outrageous practice that doesn’t only hurt the unborn baby but also the mother. Not a lot of doctors who perform those abortions tell patients that. What those doctors aren’t also telling are the mental effects that come with getting an abortion–effects such as depression, emotional distress, and many more.

Luckily, there are places like Rachel’s Vineyard that help women heal post-abortion. The program allows the mother to examine her abortion experience, identify the way it has affected her life and helps the mother to acknowledge any kind of unresolved feelings she may have struggled with after abortion. Rachel’s Vineyard has programs located in Canada, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, and 49 locations in the United States. Besides Rachel’s Vineyard, there are other resources for mothers who are unsure about going through a pregnancy or who have taken a first abortion pill. There are pregnancy help centers that provide free and confidential assistance to pregnant women and new mothers. In Pennsylvania, there are more than 200 centers that offer this kind of assistance.

As a college student, I have experienced some of my friends’ and professors’ opinions when it comes to abortion. Their opinions tend to be more of the pro-choice/pro-abortion philosophy (depending on whom I was talking to) but that has never stopped me from maintaining my viewpoint on the subject matter. I had several friends who I have grown up with having kids and never thinking about abortion. I know there are challenging circumstances facing pregnant women, but now I have learned that I am more pro-life then anything after all of the research I have done to understand what the Pro-Life Movement is all about.

Taxpayers Will be Outraged at Suit Requiring Taxpayer Funding of Abortion

Woman--sad

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                       CONTACT: MARIA V. GALLAGHER

January 16, 2019                                                                               717-541-0034

                                                                                           gallagher@paprolife.org

Taxpayers Will Be Outraged at Suit Requiring Taxpayer Funding of Abortion

Harrisburg, PA—Taxpayers across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will be outraged by a lawsuit demanding that hard-earned tax dollars be spent on abortion.

Abortion facilities in Pennsylvania have filed a suit that would require taxpayer-funded Medicaid money to be spent on abortion in an attempt to overturn the Keystone State’s long-standing ban on the practice.

“Poll after poll has shown that taxpayers in the U.S. do not want their tax money to be spent on abortion, period,” said Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, an affiliate of National Right to Life. “This lawsuit flies in the face of the will of the people to safeguard their money from abortion,” Gallagher added.

The lawsuit, known as Allegheny Reproductive Health Center v. Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, represents a giant step backward in both the protection of tax money and the protection of women and their preborn children from the harm of abortion.

“Research shows quite clearly that taxpayer funding of abortion is greatly unpopular. At a time when Pennsylvania’s abortion totals are at a record low, abortion businesses are trying to capture a lucrative market to prop up their sagging industry. This is a lose-lose proposition—for taxpayers and for pregnant women,” Gallagher said.

Pennsylvania’s law is constitutional and should be upheld, Gallagher added.

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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.

Life By the Numbers

Ultrasound and womanBy Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

Life is all about numbers. SAT scores. Batting averages. Football yardage.

But do you know some of the memorable numbers in the lives of preborn children?

3–the number of weeks when an unborn child’s eyes develop and the heart starts beating

6–the number of weeks an unborn baby’s skeleton is complete and brain waves develop

9–the number of weeks when an unborn baby begins to swallow

11–the number of weeks when an unborn baby begins to suck her thumb

16–the number of weeks when an unborn baby begins kicking

18–the number of weeks when an unborn baby can cry

20–the number of weeks when hair appears on an unborn baby’s head

1 million--the approximate number of unborn children killed by abortion each year.

60 million+–the number of unborn children killed since Roe v. Wade, the tragic U.S. Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion.

The milestones in the development of an unborn child are miraculous. The statistics about abortion are sobering. Share these figures with the young people in your life. They have a right to know.

The March for Life: A Legacy of Love

Mike Pence at MarchBy Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

The world’s largest pro-life event steps out January 18, when hundreds of thousands of people are expected to converge on Washington, D.C. for the annual March for Life.

High school and college students, mothers and fathers, grandparents and children will be showcasing their opposition to Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision which brought us abortion for any reason up to the moment of birth.

Pennsylvania will be well-represented at the March, as numerous chapters of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation will be sponsoring buses to the peaceful, passionate gathering.

In honor of the March, we decided in this issue of LifeLines to feature the words of two veteran marchers who have a lifetime worth of experience championing the rights of pregnant women and their babies.

The Legacy of People for Life

“People for Life began its March for Life tradition by chartering a bus to the very first March for Life in 1974,” said Tim Broderick, President of Erie’s People for Life, a chapter of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation. Broderick also serves on the Federation’s Board of Directors.

“Since then, we have not missed a single year. When I began volunteering with our organization on a weekly basis, in January 1995, I was already aware of the bus trip, but only vaguely. I declined to go along on the bus trip that year, thinking the whole thing was just for entertainment and not ‘serious’ pro-life work. I decided to go in 1996, however, mainly out of curiosity. I found the experience moving beyond words, and I rode back to Erie on ‘Cloud Nine’ and stayed there for about a week!

“Having become more involved in leading People for Life over the years, it has been part of my job to supervise the bus trip. Thankfully, I have been able to attend each and every March for Life since my 1996 experience. It never gets old. Some of it is very routine now, but each March for Life is unique and has its own unique flavor, and it grows larger and larger with nearly every passing year.

“Our March for Life bus trip has grown as well, from a single motor coach in 1974 to as many as five of the newer and larger motor coaches in recent years. And there have been spin-offs, with at least five other groups now sending their own buses from the three-county area that we used to serve exclusively.

“As a moving and uplifting experience, perhaps the March for Life is ‘entertainment’ after all. But it has also become, without a doubt, a tremendous symbol of pro-life love–and pro-life resolve–for the entire world. Thanks to generous news coverage by our local TV news departments, our bus trip is doing its little part to bring that message of love and resolve to as many people as possible,” Broderick added.

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The Pro-Life Generation

“I have attended the March many years and I attended the first March for Life as a sophomore in college,” said Dr. Denise Wilcox, southeast regional director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and Pennsylvania’s delegate to the National Right to Life Board of Directors.

“We rode in a VW bus from Morgantown West Virginia. We didn’t have any heat in the bus either but we were sure our voices would overturn Roe vs Wade if we just chanted loud enough as we marched down the avenue. Now I ride in a heated coach bus, and I arrive to meet thousands of people who make me feel that this nation has so much hope and promise!

“I realize that the young people in the crowd have outnumbered my generation and I realize too that I have finally passed the torch to them. Each year the 1973 decision to legalize abortion has been weakened by state and federal legislation. I pray that I will one day see this decision overturned. Then, I can ride to DC and celebrate that day with a March to commemorate the lives that will be saved!” 

A Day in the Life of the Pro-Life Movement

NRLLifeWorthDefendingBy Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

When the men of the U.S. Supreme Court issued the tragic ruling Roe v. Wade in 1973, I suppose they thought they had settled the issue of abortion.

But 46 years later, the issue is anything but settled.

I have been reminded of that truth this week, in my work at the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, an affiliate of National Right to Life.

Calls have been pouring in from people wanting to make a public stance against abortion. An enthusiastic college student wants to partner with us to grow his campus pro-life group. And a second student–equally on fire for life–begins a long-anticipated internship with us next week.

And that is just a tiny taste of what’s been going on in the pro-life movement in Pennsylvania as 2019 is still in its infancy.

Nearly a half-century after Roe, the ranks of the pro-life movement are swelling…people are more engaged than ever before…and young people are embracing the call to protect innocent human life.

A day in the life of the pro-life movement is filled with successes, both large and small. And nothing is as powerful as the knowledge that an innocent human life…vulnerable to destruction…has been saved.

As the journey to overturn Roe continues, countless lives are being saved along the way. And that is a cause for great hope–both for the pro-life movement and for our nation.

Actress-Director’s Greatest Regret? Her Abortion.

Penny Marshall 2I was saddened recently to learn of the death of actress-director Penny Marshall, who proved to be a trailblazer in both playing comedy and in directing heartwarming movies. She was perhaps best known for her portrayal of “Laverne” in the hit series “Laverne & Shirley.”

Curious about her life, I decided to read her memoir, which has the comedic title My Mother Was Nuts.

I learned about her childhood in New York–how her mother ran a dancing school because she loved to entertain. I learned about the interesting chain of events that led to her directing the box office hit Big. And I learned about some unexpected pregnancies in her life and their effect on her.

The first pregnancy occurred when she was young and unmarried. Before telling her mother or her boyfriend, she “wanted to think through my options, because maybe, just maybe, I might come up with a solution.”

She went on to write, “The most obvious option was to get an abortion in Juarez. I knew some girls who’d gone there. But I ruled it out immediately.”

She went on to have a baby girl, who grew up to have three children of her own.

But that is not where the story ended.

Later in life, she became pregnant again. She spoke with a variety of people, who offered a wide range of advice. She asked herself questions such as “Would I be able to live with myself if I didn’t have the baby?”

A man she knew offered to serve as a surrogate father. She declined. And she continued to struggle with what to do.

“I had never had an abortion, and I didn’t want to be that person who did,” she wrote.

In the end, she did have an abortion. She wrote, “I did it with a heavy heart.”

She went on to write, “It’s the one thing I’ve regretted most.”

Countless numbers of other women have faced the same life-long regret. I look forward to the day when abortion is unthinkable, and their tears will be no more.

Taking a Deeper Look at PA Abortion Statistics

Sad woman at the window

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

Figures recently released by the Pennsylvania Department of Health show the total number of abortions in Pennsylvania are at an all-time low.

Still, looking deeper at the statistics, certain trends emerge that are of serious concern.

For instance, late-term abortions…abortions performed at 21-23 weeks…rose to 436. Keep in mind that Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf vetoed a bill that would have changed the abortion limit in PA from 24 weeks to 20 weeks gestation to reflect changes in viability. Thanks to medical breakthroughs, doctors and nurses are able to save babies at ever-earlier stages of development. The bill would have also banned the brutal practice of dismemberment abortion, where a baby is torn limb by limb from a mother’s womb.

Meanwhile, the abortion pill RU-486 accounts for an increasing number of abortions in Pennsylvania. These chemical abortions–also known as medical abortions–account for 11,496 of the 30,011 abortions performed in the Commonwealth.

Also of concern is the number of repeat abortions in the Keystone State. Nearly half of the abortions–14,172–were performed on women who had anywhere from one to four or more previous abortions. This demonstrations the disturbing trend of abortions being used as a method of birth control.

Nevertheless, the downward dip in abortions in Pennsylvania is welcomed news. The closure of abortion facilities, advances in ultrasound technology, and the concrete support provided by pro-life pregnancy resource centers have all helped to make this miracle happen.

Good News for Mothers and Babies as Abortions Hit Record Low in PA

Ultrasound with couplePress Release from the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

HARRISBURG, Pa. –The annual total of abortions in Pennsylvania have reached a record low, according to figures released by the PA Department of Health.

             The yearly report shows 30,011 abortions occurred in the Commonwealth in 2017—down from the 30,881 which took place in 2016, a decrease of nearly three percent. Nearly 84 percent of the abortions occurred in five counties: Allegheny (6,140), Dauphin (1,152), Delaware (1,016), Northampton (2,772), and Philadelphia (13,999).

“The fact that abortions are now at a record low is good news for mothers and babies in Pennsylvania,” said Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, an affiliate of National Right to Life. “While every abortion is a tragedy, this historic low number is an important milestone,” Gallagher added.

The decline in abortions can be attributed to a number of factors. “Technology has created a window to the womb, thanks to advancements in Ultrasound. Women are much more likely to choose life for their babies, if they view an Ultrasound in a supportive environment,” Gallagher said.

“In addition, abortion totals in Pennsylvania would be much higher were it not for the caring pregnancy resource centers administered by Real Alternatives and other groups. These life-affirming organizations provide everything from diapers to day care referrals, along with comprehensive counseling to pregnant women,” Gallagher added.

Still, one troubling trend is the disproportionate number of abortions performed on African-American women and the rise in abortions among Latina women. A total of 12,865 African-American babies died from abortion in 2017, while 3,038 Hispanic babies were aborted the same year.

“We grieve every abortion, because it is the taking of an innocent, unrepeatable human life. Yet, Pennsylvanians can take great pride in the decline in abortions, which has been aided by the loving alternatives to abortion that exist in the Commonwealth,” Gallagher added.

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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.

This Can Hurt a Lot

Busy Philipps

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

In her memoir, This Will Only Hurt a Little, actress Busy Philipps reveals that she had an abortion when she was a teenager.

At the time of what would have been her baby’s due date, she went on a tour of Europe. She speaks of her feelings following the abortion:

“I still cried regularly in bed at night, sure not only that I had murdered a baby but that I was also going to hell. How would God ever forgive me? How would my own father? How would I?”

Whenever Busy visited a cathedral during her trip to Europe, she would “light a candle and pray for forgiveness. Pray for my baby. Pray that God would allow me to have beautiful children in the future.”

At the Vatican, she found herself looking into the eyes of Pope John Paul II. He “then took my cheeks in his hands and said something softly in Italian, I guess? A prayer for me.” She remembers that his eyes were soft, and “that he really had love for me.”

The exchange occurred on her due date.

Women who have had abortions need healing and hope. When they cry out to heaven, we must be ready to respond to their tears with compassion.

Sadly, from the rest of the book, it appears that she believes in keeping abortion legal. I pray that one day she will recognize that the state should protect women and children from going through what she and her baby underwent. Meanwhile, let us as pro-lifers always approach women who have had abortions with the tenderness of Pope John Paul II.