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.

Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer

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“…a filthy, flea-infested, excrement covered clinic with expired medicine, machinery and unsanitary instruments staffed by unlicensed, untrained employees.”

No, this isn’t a description of a local haunted house.  It is an inside view of the infamous “House of Horrors” abortion facility Kermit Gosnell ran in Philadelphia, as described in the new book “Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer” by Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer.

The book does an informative job of walking the readers through the case itself, the grand jury hearing and subsequent trial, and introducing the villains and heroes involved.  It tells the story of Karnamaya Mongar, the woman Kermit Gosnell was convicted of killing…or as Gosnell referred to her “the Indian woman.”  It talks about the complicity of the state of Pennsylvania, media outlets, and the Philadelphia medical community in Gosnell’s crimes.  Finally, it gives chilling insight into Gosnell, as seen when the authors interviewed Gosnell in prison.

Partially in response to the horrific conditions found at Gosnell’s facility, in 2011 Pennsylvania passed a common sense bill further regulating abortion facilities.  The men and women of the Pennsylvania legislature should be commended for taking action to protect the health of safety of women-when so many other public officials did not.

Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court recently heard arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.  In the first major abortion case in nearly a decade, the court will rule on the constitutionality of Texas law HB2 and determine whether commonsense reform intended to increase women’s health and safety is an undue burden on abortion facilities.  These Texas regulations came out of the trial of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell and his “house of horrors”.  They simply require abortion facilities to have admitting privileges with a hospital within 30 miles and to meet some basic quality of care, facility cleanliness, and safety standards.

The real question is, if the big abortion lobby want abortions to be “safe” as they claim (never mind the fact an abortion is NEVER safe for the baby) why do they support clinics like Gosnell’s “house of horrors”.  According to a University of California study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology last year, complications to the mother are reported in approximately 2.1 % of the abortions that occur in the United States.  That’s despite the fact that only 27 of the 50 states require abortion facilities to report complications…and even in many of those states the reporting is lacking.  So even if we assume those numbers are correct, that means of the approximately 90 abortions that are performed just in Pennsylvania today, 2 women will have some kind of complication (not to mention all the others scarred for life mentally).  Clearly that number will only go up if states aren’t allowed to hold abortion facilities to the same standards as nail salons and tattoo parlors.  Is that really what abortion advocates want?

The question to be decided by the Supreme Court is whether or not these regulations create an “undue burden” on abortion facilities. The good news is that the Supreme Court upheld stricter requirements in 1983 saying they were important to “ensuring public health”.  Even more recently in Planned Parenthood v Casey in 1992 the court determined laws making abortion more difficult or more expensive do not necessarily create an undue burden.

With the passing of Justice Scalia, the court is currently split between 4 conservative justices and 4 liberal justices.  Justice Anthony Kennedy is generally the swing vote on abortion cases, and during arguments he appeared to be open to allowing the regulations to stand in the interest of women’s health.  It is vital we keep Justice Kennedy, and the entire court, in our prayers as they weigh the merits of this case.

Tom Wolf Endorsed by Radical Abortion Group NARAL

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative/PAC Director

The Democratic candidate for governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, has the backing of the pro-abortion PAC known as NARAL.

Capitol-front-viewLargeA press release said that Wolf, whose TV ads portray him as an affable cabinet maker, “happily accepted” the endorsement.

“I am thankful to NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC for their support,” Wolf was quoted as saying.

NARAL supports abortion on demand for any reason during all nine months of pregnancy. The special interest group opposes all protective laws, including restrictions on late-term abortions and bans on taxpayer funding of abortion.

The endorsement clearly indicates that a Wolf administration would attempt to turn back the clock on the significant gains Pennsylvania has made in protecting women and children in the aftermath of the massive Kermit Gosnell tragedy. Gosnell was ultimately convicted of killing three full-term babies and causing the death of a female patient in his abortion center “House of Horrors.”

Back in the Gosnell era, abortion centers in the Keystone State went uninspected for 15 years or more. The Gosnell grand jury said the refusal to inspect resulted from the pro-abortion political stands of former Governors Ridge and Rendell.

Governor Tom Corbett took swift action in response to the Gosnell case, holding bureaucratic ideologues responsible, retooling the state health department, and insisting on inspections of abortion facilities.

Governor Corbett also signed into law Pennsylvania’s landmark abortion center regulation act, which placed the Commonwealth at the forefront of national efforts to safeguard the health and safety of women. At least a half-dozen abortion facilities closed because they either could not or would not abide by these basic safety standards.

The media should consider asking Wolf whether the NARAL endorsement means that he also rejects unannounced inspections of abortion facilities and the common sense safety standards that are now protecting women in Pennsylvania.

Pa. Candidate for Governor Is Still Not Answering Gosnell Question

Pennsylvania candidate for governor Allyson Schwartz still isn’t commenting about the Kermit Gosnell abortion horrors, and people are starting to wonder.

Schwartz, a Democratic candidate in the primary, ran an abortion center in Philadelphia for 13 years, according to LifeNews.com. The abortion center was just a few miles from Gosnell’s “house of horrors.”Capitol-front-viewLarge

A letter to the editor recently appeared on the Harrisburg Patriot-News website, PennLive.com, calling for transparency from Schwartz by asking her to answer if her center referred patients to Gosnell’s center.

Kermit Gosnell was convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of three infants who were born alive after failed abortions. He also was held partly responsible for the death of a female patient who died after receiving an overdose of anesthesia from Gosnell’s unlicensed staff.

It was pro-abortion politics in the first place that allowed Gosnell’s abusive practices of butchering women and killing babies to continue unchecked for so many years.

For the sake of women and preborn babies, we cannot accept “no comment” as an answer when it comes to Gosnell.

Gosnell Not Alone in Inhuman Treatment of Babies Born Alive after Failed Abortions

The two breaking pro-life news stories this week have a lot in common.

First, the Kermit Gosnell murder trial is wrapping up with closing arguments Monday. The prosecution says Gosnell murdered four late-term babies by delivering them alive and then snipping the backs of their necks to kill them. He also is charged with the third-degree murder of a female patient. (The judge dropped three additional first-degree murder charges last week.) Gosnell’s defense claims he killed the babies while they were still in the womb.

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Second, the undercover investigation group Live Action released two shocking new videos of late-term abortion centers. In the Bronx, abortion staff said they put babies in jars of toxic fluid to ensure their deaths. And if the baby is born alive at home before the abortion? Flush it down the toilet, says a staffer.

Live Action founder Lila Rose linked their horrific findings to the gruesome practices at Gosnell’s center in Philadelphia.

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“Dr. Kermit Gosnell is not an anomaly,” Rose said. “The gruesome and inhuman practices exposed in Gosnell’s ‘House of Horrors’ are business as usual for the abortion industry in America. These children’s lives are brutally destroyed when they are the most defenseless. This isn’t ‘choice’; this is murder.”

White House refuses to respond to Gosnell horrors in Philly

Until last week, most national media outlets were not covering the on-going murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia.

Then awareness campaigns on Twitter, press conferences, and a coluultrasoundmn published in USA Today finally attracted national coverage of the abortionist’s grotesque practices.

It even reached the ears of President Obama. Unsurprisingly, his administration ignored questions about taking action to protect women and babies from abortionists like Gosnell.

According to The Hill:

“White House spokesman Jay Carney on Monday called the trial of a Pennsylvania abortion doctor accused of performing partial-birth abortions and killing one woman ‘unsettling,’ but ducked follow-up questions over the administration’s views on the matter.

“Pressed on whether the president believed that the Gosnell case should lead to legislative changes on abortion policy, Carney repeatedly sidestepped questions, saying only that ‘the president’s position on choice is clear’ and echoing former President Clinton’s statement that abortions should be ‘safe, legal, and rare.’

“Carney was asked if the trial should provoke Congress to consider legislation such as the Born Alive Act. Obama opposed a state version of the bill as an Illinois state senator.

“’You’re asking for hypotheticals about legislation or proposed legislation that I haven’t seen,’ Carney responded.”

The facts, Mr. Carney, are that abortions aren’t “rare” – 1.2 million babies are killed in abortions every year in the U.S. They aren’t “safe” – just look at Gosnell’s practices and the new unfolding story of similar things happening at a Planned Parenthood in Delaware.

Babies are being killed inside and outside of the womb. Women are being injured and killed from abortions. The Gosnell horrors should serve as a wake-up call to our nation that we need to restore legal protections for women and babies, born and preborn.

Abortion centers held to higher standard

Kermit Gosnell

Harrisburg, PA – Stronger regulations for abortion centers go into effect today across Pennsylvania, providing greater protection for women’s health and safety.

“For far too long, abortion facilities in Pennsylvania have been operating with little accountability” said Maria Gallagher, legislative director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation. “The Kermit Gosnell tragedy in West Philadelphia, where seven newborn babies and one female patient were killed, was a wake-up call. This new law is an important step in helping to protect the health and safety of women in Pennsylvania.”

Act 122, which passed on Dec. 22, 2011, requires that abortion facilities be licensed as outpatient surgical facilities and subject to regular inspections. It also divides facilities into two categories: Class A facilities perform surgeries with local anesthesia only, and Class B facilities perform surgeries with anesthesia where the patient is not fully conscious.

When facilities were notified of the new requirements in January, 17 submitted exception requests. The Department of Health said Monday it expects 14 of the 22 facilities to qualify to perform surgical abortions.

Of the remaining eight facilities, one voluntarily closed, two have been licensed through hospitals and the rest will only be allowed to perform medication-induced abortions that do not require surgery.

“We are hopeful that the state Health Department will be closely monitoring abortion facilities to ensure that they comply with the new law, and that swift and decisive action will be taken against abortion centers that violate health and safety standards,” Gallagher added.

State regulators ignored complaints and failed to visit Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society for years. In the clinic, which was described as a “house of horrors,” Gosnell reportedly delivered hundreds of babies alive and then killed them by severing their spinal cords.

The Gosnell case showed that greater scrutiny of abortion facilities is needed to prevent such tragedies in the future.

What Would Martin Luther King Jr. Say About Abortion?

Today our nation commemorates the legacy of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Alveda King, the niece of MLK and a dedicated pro-life advocate, notes her uncle was strongly pro-life. “Were he alive today, he would be working to secure peace and justice for those in the womb and healing for a nation that is still pained by over 53 million missing lives,” King says. The toll abortion has taken on the African American community is enough to shock the conscience of every American.

According to the US Census Bureau, African Americans comprise 12.4% of the American population; however, over 30% of the nation’s abortions are done on black women. Recently released data from the New York City Department of Health shows the Big Apple hitting a 40% abortion rate. As if that number wasn’t appalling enough, when the data is broken down all racial lines, around 60% percent of New York City’s abortions are done on black women. In other words, 1,448 African American babies are aborted for every 1,000 born. Among black teens in New York City, that number jumps to a staggering 72% abortion rate or 2,360 abortions for every 1,000 babies born.

Right here in Pennsylvania, the Department of Health has reported that in the city of Philadelphia nearly half of all black babies are aborted.

Center for Disease Control data shows that since Roe vs. Wade (1973) abortion has been the leading cause of death among African Americans. More African Americans have lost their lives to abortion than to heart disease, cancer, accidents, violent crimes or AIDS- combined.

African Americans are a prime target of the abortion industry. In analyzing the location of the nation’s abortion centers, some have found a disproportionate number situated in majority-black neighborhoods. (http://www.lifenews.com/2011/08/29/report-proves-planned-parenthood-targets-blacks-hispanics/) One such center was that of Kermit Gosnell, the disgraced abortionist from Philadelphia who is now charged with murder after the deaths of at least two women and seven newborn infants at his facility.

According to the Grand Jury report, the Gosnell abortion business preyed upon low-income black women. These women were subjected to absolutely deplorable conditions. Basic health considerations were ignored and abortions were being performed by unlicensed and even untrained staff using unsanitary surgical instruments. For political reasons, pro-abortion governors permitted the PA Department of Health to cease regular inspections of abortion facilities, thus giving Gosnell a free pass.

It wasn’t until Gosnell was caught running an illegal prescription drug trade that his abortion center was finally raided. The findings were appalling. Newborn infants were found to have been born alive and then killed after birth using scissors. The Grand Jury estimates hundreds of babies met that fate, many of whom were likely African American.

The Pennsylvania General Assembly responded by passing Senate Bill 732, a law intended to increase government oversight of abortion centers. Moments after passage of the bill, State Representative Margo Davidson, an African American lawmaker from Philadelphia, addressed the House chamber. In tears, Rep. Davidson said she was especially grateful for the legislature’s action because her own cousin was one of Gosnell’s victims. She had died from complications from a botched abortion at his Philadelphia facility.

The Gosnell case made national headlines but his business strategy of targeting low-income black women is not an anomaly in the abortion industry. This goes back to the beginning of the modern pro-abortion movement with Planned Parenthood’s founder Margaret Sanger, an unabashed eugenicist.

Despite its claims otherwise, the pro-abortion movement does a grave disservice to African American women and the greater African American community. Abortion advocates fail black women when they rally against common sense clinic regulations, which could have prevented the Gosnell tragedy. They fail black women when they work to undermine crisis pregnancy centers, which are an invaluable resource for so many low-income black women. And they fail the African American community by denying basic humanity to black babies in the womb.

Martin Luther King, Jr. boldly envisioned an America in which everyone would be free to share in the same opportunities as everyone else. The Plessy vs. Ferguson (1896) Supreme Court case infamously decided that African Americans should be classified as “separate but equal” under the law. It took the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education (1954) case to declare that the “separate but equal” distinction was “inherently unequal.” But then the Court did a complete turnaround with Roe vs. Wade in 1973. The court took civil rights back to where they stood before the Plessy decision. In legalizing abortion-on-demand, the Court ruled that a group of people, namely unborn children, did not deserve any legal protection whatsoever. For this reason, Roe vs. Wade is completely antithetical to King’s Dream.

Abortion has not made our society more equitable. In fact, it has done the opposite. Abortion has allowed society to arbitrarily decide whose lives are valuable and whose are expendable. True equality treats all human life the same, regardless of race, stage of development or condition of dependency. Abortion prevents millions of African Americans from sharing in King’s Dream and it must be ended.