By Katy Schriner, intern, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
The first question that came to mind was “What is the Pro-Life Movement?” According to National Right to Life, their mission is to “work through legislation and education to protect innocent human life from abortion, infanticide, assisted suicide and euthanasia.” This organization is the oldest and largest and has been considered the “flagship of the pro-life movement”. The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, an affiliate of National Right to Life, has a mission statement that is similar to that of the NRLC. Their goal is “to seek legal protection and societal respect for the right of every child to live, and promote viable alternatives to abortion, such as adoption and assisted parenting.” Pennsylvania Pro-Life works at the state level to ensure that that goal is realized in the Keystone State.
As I am starting my journey at the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, I am beginning to learn more about not just the movement and what it’s all about, but also the resources that someone can access to find information and ways to get involved in the movement. For starters, the NRLC has over 3,000 local chapters and right-to-life affiliates in the United States. For those who don’t know what a “chapter” is, it is a local group that plays a major role in the pro-life movement. There are nearly 40 chapters in Pennsylvania. The functions of these chapters include the following:
- Provide educational material and resources
- Send qualified speakers
- Maintain local media contacts
- Provide school and public libraries with pro-life books and pamphlets
- Keep abreast of state and national pro-life developments in order to educate
- Follow current political activity and legislation on both the state and federal level
- Encourage the support of pregnancy service groups
- Conduct membership drives and various fundraising events
As you can see, the truth behind the pro-life movement is that it is vast, welcoming, and loving. And remember, there’s always a reason to choose life!
By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director
2018 was a year of accomplishment for the pro-life movement in Pennsylvania–despite incredible odds.
Here are some of the highlights:
- Teens Reached–The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation achieved the magnificent milestone of reaching more than 600,000 teenagers through our innovative partnership with the website TeenBreaks.com. In a number of cases, TeenBreaks connected teens with local pregnancy resource centers which could meet their needs.
- Media Presence Expanded–The Pennsylvania pro-life movement expanded its reach to Pennsylvania citizens through hundreds of online articles, radio commentaries, and podcasts.
- Pennsylvania abortions dropped to their lowest level on record. While even one abortion is too many, we rejoice that abortions have reached a record low in the Keystone State.
- Social Media Presence Blossomed–We now post regular daily updates not only on the social media platforms Facebook and Twitter, but on Instagram and Pinterest as well. This has allowed us to reach a whole new audience with our life-affirming message.
- Down Syndrome Protection Act passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives by an overwhelming bipartisan majority. The bill would have banned abortion for the sole reason of a Down syndrome diagnosis. Unfortunately, the PA Senate never voted on the bill, but there is always hope for next year.
- Pro-life majorities maintained. Despite an especially challenging election year, Pennsylvania maintains pro-life majorities in the state House and state Senate.
With these achievements, there’s no telling what we can accomplish in 2019!
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!
It is a question that is often asked of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation–Why do pregnant women choose abortion over adoption? Attorney Kristi Burton Brown poses the question in a thought-provoking piece on LifeNews.com. And she offers tips to pro-lifers to further promote adoption. You can read the column here.
The latest edition of our half-hour radio program, LifeLines, is now available on the Web. In this edition, you’ll learn the latest information about pro-life legislation…how the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation is reaching out to teens…and why 2012 could be the year of the unborn child. You can listen to the radio program here: http://cid-55b4e145ee2332ce.office.live.com/browse.aspx/.Public/.Public