Federation, NRLC Condemn Violence in Colorado Planned Parenthood Shooting

Three people are dead and nine more injured after a crazed gunman shot at people Friday from a Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Colorado Springs.

Pro-lifers across the nation quickly condemned the horrific violence, which does not appear to be motivated by abortion politics. While the alleged gunman Robert Lewis Dear’s motives remain unclear, he was certainly not pro-life.

According to LifeNews.com, Dear appears to have no association with the pro-life movement and those who know him say he is an awkward man who never discussed religion or abortion. The profile they paint is far from a caricature of a pro-life activist who has an issue with the Planned Parenthood abortion business and more of a loner or renegade who may have mental health issues and, at a minimum, is a bit “off.”

We at the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and our national affiliate, the National Right to Life Committee, condemn the violence that happened in Colorado Springs and at all abortion facilities across the U.S.

Our official position on violence is this: We support only peaceful efforts to restore the right to life and strongly condemn any acts of violence against advocates of abortion.  Such violent acts are not “pro-life” and only hurt the cause of generating respect for human life. We do not take part in or condone any illegal activity in the fight against abortion.

Carol Tobias, president of NRLC, also issued a statement immediately after the shooting, condemning the violence. She said: “National Right to Life, which represents 50 state affiliates and more than 3,000 local chapters, unequivocally condemns unlawful activities and acts of violence regardless of motivation. The pro-life movement works to protect the right to life and increase respect for human life. The unlawful use of violence is directly contrary to that goal.”

Every loss of life is tragic, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the Colorado Springs victims and their families.

New TV Show Teaches Pro-Lifers to Answer Tough Questions

One of the first things I did when I began working in the pro-life movement was to attend a National Right to Life Convention.

oliviagansturner91The workshop “When They Say, You Say” was highly recommended, and I quickly found out why. Presenters Olivia Gans Turner and Mary Spalding Balch walked us through the most difficult questions that pro-lifers face and taught us how to respond logically, tactfully and compassionately. Turner and Balch addressed questions like “How many children have you adopted?” and “Won’t ending abortion lead to child abuse?” and “What about back alley abortions?”

I left the workshop with an 18-page handout and pages of notes. Throughout my first year here, I read, re-read and memorized that handout. I carried it with me whenever I did presentations or interviews. It’s now in a folder at my desk, tattered and faded from use.

It helped me to think through the tough questions and understand how to articulate my position. And now I often share bits and pieces of it when I give talks.

NRLC recently developed the workshop into a TV miniseries. “When They Say, You Say” is a five-part series that will air on EWTN all this week. The show will be on at 6:30 p.m. and 3 a.m. EST. Find details here.

I’d highly encourage people to watch the show. “When They Say, You Say” was such a valuable resource for me. I hope it will be for you, too.

Pope Francis in Pennsylvania — and the Pro-Life Cause

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

It’s been called the biggest event in the U.S. since the Superbowl—and tickets have been scooped up faster than tickets for a Taylor Swift concert.

popefrancis42It is the arrival of Pope Francis in the U.S. People of all different faiths and walks of life are looking forward to the pontiff visiting the East Coast from September 22-27.

Philadelphia will be one of the Holy Father’s stops, and the City of Brotherly Love has been preparing for a long time for his historic tour.

Pope Francis’ visit to Pennsylvania coincides with the World Meeting of Families, which will also be taking place in Philadelphia. If you are attending the event, be sure to stop by the National Right to Life/Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation display table. You can chat with staff members, connect with other pro-lifers, and grab some important pro-life materials.

Whether you plan to see the Pope along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway or view him from the comfort of your living room, make it a point to honor his visit by engaging in some pro-life activity. It is the gift that, quite literally, can last a lifetime.

As Pope Francis once stated, “All of us must care for life, cherish life, with tenderness, warmth…to give life is to open (our) heart, and to care for life is to (give oneself) in tenderness and warmth for others, to have concern in my heart for others. Caring for life from the beginning to the end. What a simple thing, what a beautiful thing…So, go forth and don’t be discouraged. Care for life. It’s worth it.”

Sen. Casey Won’t Support Effort to Defund Planned Parenthood

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

U.S. Senator Bob Casey, a Pennsylvania Democrat, told the Associated Press that he will not support the effort in Congress to defund Planned Parenthood, despite the recent controversy over the embattled organization.

abortion-is-not-healthcareCasey told the AP he would oppose legislation to end government funding for Planned Parenthood because “they provide all kinds of primary health care” for women and because of the federal ban on using federal money for nearly all abortions.

While Planned Parenthood has touted its breast cancer screenings, the organization does not provide mammograms. A recent Fox News report noted that the health care services provided by Planned Parenthood would also be available from primary care physicians under Obamacare.

Planned Parenthood has been embroiled in controversy for weeks following the release of undercover videos showing high-ranking Planned Parenthood doctors talking about financial compensation for aborted baby body parts. The videos also show Planned Parenthood doctors discussing manipulating abortion techniques to harvest baby organs, which would be a violation of federal law.

Casey has described himself as pro-life, but National Right to Life says his pro-life voting record is only 20 percent.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania’s other U.S. Senator, Republican Pat Toomey, is co-sponsoring legislation to defund Planned Parenthood and preserve federal funding for women’s health services.

“Recently, we have seen horrific videos further demonstrating that Planned Parenthood has an appalling disregard for human life,” said Sen. Toomey.  “While I support women’s health, there is no reason why taxpayers should be providing hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies each year to this organization.  Those dollars should instead be used to help community health centers or other organizations that provide affordable health care services to women. In addition, I hope the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services will investigate whether, indeed, the law banning the sale of body parts was broken by Planned Parenthood.”

Toomey circulated a letter to HHS Secretary Burwell and Attorney General Lynch asking the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as the Department of Justice, to conduct an investigation to determine whether Planned Parenthood violated any laws. Toomey also helped to circulate a letter to Burwell asking that she fully cooperate and assist with any investigation into Planned Parenthood as a result of the recent video revelations.


Why Does Society Push Abortion on Women in Crisis?

One of the things that compelled me to work in the pro-life movement was when I began to realize that abortion isn’t a choice that most women want to make.

Abortion is sold as the solution to a pregnant woman in crisis. If she is poor or abused, if Sadwomanshe lacks support from her partner or family, if she is still in school, our society tells her she should have an abortion. Many times, it’s the only “choice” she is offered.

Our sister affiliate, Texas Right to Life, recently wrote about the issue for National Right to Life News Today:

Pregnancy magnifies these tragedies in the woman’s life, and the natural conclusion for many is that by eliminating the preborn child, the crisis will go away. In reality, the crisis remains without the child who seems to be exacerbating her ordeal. (Alithea Williams, a pregnancy center volunteer) shares the story of a woman who was utterly under the control of her child’s father. He had the power to have her deported or ejected penniless onto the streets. “She was completely dependent on him and he was physically and emotionally abusive,” the volunteer shared.
But forcing the woman to abort her child proved to be an effortless endeavor for the abusive man; he took her from the pregnancy center to the abortion mill, and the child was dead within hours of their encounter.
Abortion is portrayed as a woman’s right – an inviolable badge of her autonomy and freedom. And yet, every day countless women are forced and coerced into unwanted abortions, and the abortionists who operate under the auspices of “women’s rights” do absolutely nothing to counteract these disasters. “Silent complicity with abusive boyfriends is not what feminism has fought for,” said the volunteer.

A few weeks ago, I read about abortion advocates pushing the U.S. to provide abortions for the girls victimized by Boko Haram. As I read the reports, I kept wondering, is abortion really the best we can offer these victims? The more stories I read, the more women I talk with, the more I feel heartbroken that abortion is often the only solution our society offers pregnant women in crisis.

Thankfully, pregnancy resource centers are working hard to change that by helping both mom and baby through the crisis. They provide free pregnancy and parenting support, options counseling and more. If someone you know is pregnant and needs help, click here to find free, confidential, caring support.

It’s time that we remind our society: Why can’t we love them both?