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  • Outdated medication and supplies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.

Pushing Doctors to Perform Assisted Suicide

Assisted suicide 2

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

The old Hemlock Society wants to push doctors to perform assisted suicide–which is more aptly described as doctor-prescribed suicide.

Under the revised name of Compassion & Choices, they want the American Medical Association to end its long-standing opposition to the lethal practice. You can urge the AMA to stand strong by clicking here.

In addition, the lawyer who tried to create a Roe v. Wade-style judicial edict for assisted suicide is now suing a California hospital that refused to perform doctor-prescribed suicide. As ethics expert Wesley Smith notes:

The lawsuit illustrates where the assisted suicide/euthanasia movement wants to go. As in Ontario, Canada, they want doctors and hospitals to be forced to participate in assisted suicide or get out of medicine.
For resources for fighting the threat of doctor-prescribed suicide in Pennsylvania, visit www.noassistedsuicidepa.org .

Pennsylvanians Join Vice-President at March for Life

28 Marchers making their way up Constitution Ave

People from across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will be joining Vice-President Mike Pence at the March for Life in Washington, D.C. today in a show of solidarity with pregnant women, their children, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable Americans.

“We thank the Vice-President for his steadfast commitment to the most important human rights issue of our time—the right to life,” said Maria Gallagher, legislative director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, an affiliate of National Right to Life. “We also commend President Donald Trump for taking concrete steps to ensure that protecting innocent human life is not merely a campaign slogan, but a matter of public policy.”

President Trump recently reinstated the Mexico City policy, which ensures that our hard-earned tax dollars will not be spent on organizations that perform or promote abortions overseas. He has also nominated Cabinet members who are dedicated to defending the sacredness of life. And he has pledged his support for the No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act, recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, which would guarantee that tax dollars are safeguarded.

“The Pennsylvanians who are marching today are thankful to the Trump Administration and to those members of Congress who want to protect our tax dollars from being spent on the abortion industry. Public opinion polls show that 60 percent of Americans agree that their tax money should not be used for abortion.  We thank the Administration and the House for taking to heart the will of the people,” Gallagher added.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans gather in Washington, D.C. each January to commemorate the anniversary of the tragic 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision known as Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion throughout the country.

“Those who attend the March for Life are marching in memory of the more than 59 million preborn children killed through legal abortion over the past 44 years. They are also showing their solidarity with the countless mothers and fathers who continue to grieve the loss of those children,” Gallagher said.

“They also march with the hope that comes with news that the number of abortions are declining both in the Commonwealth and across the country. No pregnant woman in Pennsylvania should feel as if she is alone—concrete help and support are available by calling the Real Alternatives hotline at 1-888-Life-aid,” Gallagher added.   

 

 

How Many Abortions Happened in YOUR County in 2015?

babies on a light background

The annual Pennsylvania Department of Health report about abortion statistics may look like just a bunch of numbers to some people, but to those of us who are pro-life, each number represents an innocent life lost to abortion.

In 2015, Pennsylvania lost 308 fewer babies to abortion than it did in 2014, according to the report. That’s the equivalent to about twelve kindergarten classes of children whose mothers chose life.

The state statistics show 31,818 abortions occurred in the Keystone State in 2015. Over 80% of the abortions that occurred in Pennsylvania in 2015 happened in four counties: Allegheny, Dauphin, Northampton, and Philadelphia.

Below are the numbers of abortions reported, based on the county where the woman lives:

2015-pa-ab-stats_page_06 2015-pa-ab-stats_page_05

For the full PA Department of Health report, click here.

The 2015 total represents a 51.6 percent decrease from the record high number of 65,777 in 1980 and is the fewest ever recorded in the Commonwealth.

Much work still remains. Please consider getting involved with one of our pro-life chapters in a county near you. You could help save a baby’s life. Click here to find a chapter in your area.

Good News–Abortion Totals in PA Drop to Record Low!

babies on a light background

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The number of abortions in Pennsylvania declined in 2015 to a record low—a welcome development for women and children in the Keystone State, according to the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, an affiliate of National Right to Life.

Statistics just released by the Pennsylvania Department of Health show 308 fewer abortions occurred in PA in 2015 compared to 2014. In all, 31,818 abortions took place in PA in 2015—the lowest number ever recorded in the Commonwealth.

“The downward trend in abortions in the Keystone State is encouraging news for Pennsylvania women and families,” said Maria Gallagher, legislative director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation. “Technological developments such as 4D Ultrasound have helped show the humanity of the preborn child, and have aided in strengthening the bond between mother and baby.”

Pennsylvania women and children are also benefiting from the comprehensive counseling and life-affirming support offered by pregnancy resource centers, which provide everything from ultrasounds to life skill classes, and from diapers to daycare referrals for pregnant women and their families.

“The abortion rate in Pennsylvania would be much higher were it not for the state’s Alternatives to Abortion program, which is administered by Real Alternatives, Inc. (www.realalternatives.org ),” Gallagher added. “This ground-breaking program provides women with encouragement and resources so that they are fully supported during their pregnancies. Real Alternatives centers, along with other pro-life pregnancy help centers throughout the Commonwealth, are offering a much-needed lifeline to women and children.”

“When women receive comprehensive support and affirmation, they are far more likely to choose life for their babies,” said Kevin Bagatta, President and CEO of Real Alternatives, Inc.

The Department of Health figures indicate that abortion totals decreased in a number of counties, including Philadelphia, Dauphin, Lehigh, and York, helping to bring about the statewide decline in abortions.

Troubling, however, is the number of repeat abortions. The figures show that in more than 47 percent of cases, Pennsylvania women who had abortions in 2015 had had at least one previous abortion and, in some cases, four or more prior abortions.

“Women in challenging circumstances deserve better than abortion,” said Gallagher. “We must continue to reach out to women to let them know that help is available for themselves and their babies—and that no one has the right to coerce them into having an abortionist end the lives of their children.”      

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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.

The Splendor of Truth–A “sneak peak” at 2016 Summer LifeLines

The Federation just wrapped up its annual pro-life student essay contest, and as always the entrants were amazing and the judges had a difficult time choosing a winner.  Since I will be on the road all this week on our town hall tour, I thought I’d share the winning essays with you as a sneak peek of what will be featured in the Summer LifeLines magazine.  This essay, written by 7th grader Marie Therese Heil of Camp Hill, won 1st place in the junior high category.  Later this week, we’ll be posting the 1st place senior high winning essay. Enjoy!

Marie Therese Heil

Marie Therese Heil

The Federation just wrapped up its annual pro-life student essay contest, and as always the entrants were amazing and the judges had a difficult time choosing a winner.  Since I will be on the road all this week on our town hall tour, I thought I’d share the winning essay with you as a sneak peek of what will be featured in the Summer LifeLines magazine.  This essay, written by 7th grader Marie Therese Heil of Camp Hill, won 1st place in the junior high category.  Later this week, we’ll be posting the 1st place senior high winning essay. Enjoy!

Rhetoric plays a large role in the abortion debate.   By purposefully relying on ambiguous and oblique terminology, abortions-rights activists, who frequently prefer to be called by the more-positive sounding name of “pro-choice,” try to mask the reality of abortion.

A typical semantic obfuscation regarding abortion is the term “women’s health.”  Abortion has been linked to a number of diseases, including breast, cervical, and ovarian cancer; long-term infertility; and psychological problems, including an increased risk of suicide.  However, in Pennsylvania, of the six abortion providers found on Abortion.com, four have the term “Women’s Center” in their names (making them sound like women’s social organizations), while another has “Women’s Medical Center.”[1]  Looking at their websites, it is obvious that the main business of these clinics is providing abortions, which clearly shows that they are not concerned with overall  “women’s health.”  This linguistic fog in the naming of abortion clinics takes its lead from Planned Parenthood, the largest single provider of abortions in the United States.  If a woman were looking to Planned Parenthood for assistance in becoming a parent, she would be out of luck.   While if she wanted an abortion, she would be directed to the local Planned Parenthood “health center,” a woman who needs assistance for infertility is primarily directed to an external website.

The terms for abortions also attempt to take away the stigma of this action.  “Emergency contraception” does not only have a contraceptive effect, but it can also “prevent a newly-conceived embryo from implanting in the womb, causing an abortion.”[2]   Abortions themselves are frequently termed “procedures” or “terminations.”   As David Grimes, one of the “world’s leading abortion scholars,”[3] wrote, “According to the accepted definition of abortion, removing a fetus from the uterus after 23 or 24 weeks gestation is not an abortion.  Hence other terms should be used for these interventions.  Examples include feticide, labor induction, dilation and evacuation (D&E), hysterotomy, termination of pregnancy or combinations of these.  However, ‘abortion’ should not be used for these procedures, since the word is not applicable after viability.”[4]  The preferred words used to describe an unborn child are “embryo,” “fetus,” and “tissue,” objectifying – that is, degrading into the status of an object – a human being.

David Grimes himself wrote, “Incorrect, misleading, and inflammatory language obfuscates, rather than illuminates, the discussion around abortion. Words matter. We should all choose them carefully.”[5]  Agreed.  When the words “fetal tissue” mask the unique humanity of an unborn child and when the rhetoric of “women’s health” and “reproductive rights” hide the truths about how abortion hurts women, it is time for all of us who care about the unborn to speak a word of truth: abortion is murder.

[1]“Pennsylvania Abortion Clinics,” Abortion.com, retrieved from http://www.abortion.com/abortion_clinics_state.php?country=United%20States&state=Pennsylvania.

[2]Patrick Craine, “World’s top authority on morning after pill says women must be told it may cause abortions,” Life Site News, 22 February 2013, retrieved from https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/worlds-top-authority-on-morning-after-pill-says-women-must-be-told-it-may-c.

[3] “David A. Grimes,” The Huffington Post, retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-a-grimes/.

[4]David A. Grimes and Gretchen Stuart, “Abortion  jabberwocky: the need for better terminology,” Contraception: An International  Reproductive Health Journal,  February 2010, p. 93, retrieved from http://www.contraceptionjournal.org/article/S0010-7824(09)00415-6/fulltext.

[5]David A. Grimes,  “6 Things To Understand When Talking About Abortion,” The Huffington Post, 9 February 2015, retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-a-grimes/abortion-terminology-things-to-understand_b_6175430.html.

Stop Dismemberment Abortions

PA Pro-Life Federation Calls for End to Horrors of Dismemberment Abortion

Joins in call for swift passage of Dismemberment Ban Legislation

 HARRISBURG, PA. –The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation today joins a bipartisan group of legislators to call for the swift passage of the Dismemberment Ban in the Pennsylvania legislature.  These barbaric abortions, mostly performed in the second trimester, are brutal for babies and harmful for mothers.  They need to be outlawed.

“These common abortions are performed on fully developed, preborn babies at their most vulnerable, and when they should be the safest,” said Maria Gallagher, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation Legislative Director.  “When doctors in Philadelphia can operate on these tiny humans while they are still in their mother’s womb to save their lives, it is barbaric and cruel to be pulling them apart limb-from-limb in the most excruciatingly painful way possible.”

Dismemberment abortions, which are performed on unborn babies as old as 24 weeks in Pennsylvania occur after the baby has brain waves, legs, arms, every organ in place, and have even developed teeth and fingernails.  This abortion method has been described by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in Gonzales v. Carhart as a procedure that is “laden with the power to devalue human life”.  Of the approximately 1 million abortions performed annually in this country, almost 9% are performed on these pre-born babies.  Approximately 1,550 Pennsylvanians died from this abortion method in 2014.

Former abortionist, Dr. George Flesh has been quoted as saying:

“Tearing a developed fetus apart, limb by limb, is an act of depravity that society should not permit. We cannot afford such a devaluation of human life, nor the desensitization of medical personnel it requires. This is not based on what the fetus might feel but on what we should feel in watching an exquisite, partly formed human being dismembered.”

“Ultimately, the taking of any human life, especially the most vulnerable among us, is a tragedy and should be illegal,” stated Michael Ciccocioppo, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, the Pennsylvania affiliate of National Right to Life.  “Imagine the outcry if once a day, someone walked in to a Pennsylvania nursery and brutally killed 4-5 babies by ripping them apart…yet that’s what is happening to these babies in their mother’s womb and 61% of Pennsylvanians agree this is wrong and must end now!”

We urge the General Assembly to quickly pass this legislation.

Diagram of a dismemberment abortion

Diagram of a dismemberment abortion

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.

Do You Know How Many Babies from Your County Were Aborted?

The annual Pennsylvania Department of Health report about abortion statistics may look like just a bunch of numbers to some people, but to those of us who are pro-life, each number represents an innocent life lost to abortion.

In 2014, Pennsylvania lost 18 more babies to abortion than it did in 2013, according to the report. That’s a 0.1-percent increase – a tiny number to statisticians; but to us, it’s almost a whole kindergarten class of children who were denied their right to life.

The state statistics show 32,126 abortions occurred in the Keystone State in 2014. The vast majority of the abortions occurred in four counties: Allegheny, Dauphin, Northampton, and Philadelphia.

But every county lost babies to abortion in 2014. Whether you live in a big city or in the backwoods, your neighborhood is missing babies because their moms had abortions. Below are the numbers of abortions reported, based on the county where the woman lives:

PAabtn1

PAabtn2PAabtn3Click here to find the full state abortion report for 2014.

The good news is that the 2014 total represents a 51.2 percent decrease from the record high number of 65,777 in 1980. The dramatic decrease in abortions over the past few decades can be attributed to a number of factors, including protective laws such as the Abortion Control Act, which provides for informed consent, parental consent, and 24-hour waiting periods for abortion.

Much work still remains. Please consider getting involved with one of our pro-life chapters in a county near you. You could help save a baby’s life. Click here to find a chapter in your area.

Report: 18 More Babies Die in Abortions in 2014; 32,126 Total

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Abortions increased slightly statewide in Pennsylvania in 2014, according to figures released by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

“Even a slight increase in the abortion totals is troubling,” said Maria Gallagher, legislative director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, the state affiliate of National Right to Life. “Eighteen more preborn children lost their lives to abortion in 2014, compared with the previous year. That’s nearly the equivalent of one kindergarten class,” said Gallagher.FIG6

The DOH statistics show 32,126 abortions occurred in the Keystone State in 2014. The vast majority of the abortions occurred in four counties: Allegheny, Dauphin, Northampton, and Philadelphia.

Still, the 2014 total represents a 51.2 percent decrease from the record high number of 65,777 in 1980. The dramatic decrease in abortions over the past few decades can be attributed to a number of factors, including protective laws such as the Abortion Control Act, which provides for informed consent, parental consent, and 24-hour waiting periods for abortion.

The closing of abortion centers, the advent of 4D ultrasound technology, and the rise of social media have also had an effect in lowering abortion totals over the last decade.

“The abortion rate in Pennsylvania would also be much higher were it not for the state’s Alternatives to Abortion program, which is administered by Real Alternatives, Inc. (www.realalternatives.org ),” Gallagher added. “This ground-breaking program provides women with comprehensive counseling and material aid so that women are fully supported during their pregnancies.

“Real Alternatives centers, along with other pro-life pregnancy help centers throughout the Commonwealth, are offering a much-needed lifeline to women and their families. Women can receive everything from diapers to day care referrals, and from mentoring to maternity clothes, thanks to these incredible centers,” Gallagher said.