Jeanne Mancini, President of March for Life in Washington, DC, has announced that they are bringing the March for Life to Pennsylvania on Monday, May 18, 2020. Mark your calendars now for a rally at the State Capitol in Harrisburg at 11:00 a.m. followed by the March for Life at Noon. Jeanne said, “Ending abortion in America – and Pennsylvania – will take the effort of every single pro-life person. Each of us must commit to making a difference for the pro-life cause.” Michael Ciccocioppo, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation said, “We are thrilled to be collaborating with the March for Life on this bold initiative and encourage pro-lifers across the Commonwealth to join us in marching together for LIFE.” For more information, please click HERE.
Our guest blogger is a junior journalism major at Franciscan University of Steubenville and a past winner of the PA Pro-Life Federation’s Oratory Contest.
A recent New York Times article claims that the term “pro-life” is purely a marketing term and that “Whatever the anti-abortion crusaders call themselves, they don’t care what happens to an unwanted child — not after the child is born — and they’ve never cared about the mother.”
The author also says that “The anti-abortion cause didn’t promote itself as ‘pro-life’ until the more punitive-sounding ‘anti-abortion’ label failed.” What this article misses is that the term ”pro-life” means exactly what it says, supporting and cherishing all human life, and if anything is punitive it’s abortion.
Abortion does not aid or help a woman feel safe because it is the intentional destruction of a human life that brings a woman pressure, heartbreak, regret, and a deadly quick-fix disguised as healthcare. Pregnancy may be difficult but it is not a punishment. It is a normal, natural opportunity to give, love and respect life. Those who choose to love and sacrifice when it’s hard are those who do the most good in the world. There are also others who tenderly care and are open to help with the difficulties that arise with an unexpected or crisis pregnancy.
Being pro-life acknowledges the humanity and uniqueness of all life at every stage, and that includes protecting as precious both the unborn child and his/her mother. The overused argument that pro-life only equals pro-birth is completely unfounded because it is those who support life who are actually giving a mother a choice, and not just a choice, but one that will help rather than hurt her.
Many women choose abortion because they feel they have no choice. Abortion is portrayed as the only solution to an unplanned or difficult pregnancy, but telling women their primary option is to either pay a substantial amount of money or have the taxpayers pay to have their child killed is no way to make a woman or her child feel safe.
These are not just words or ideals, there truly are other and better options for pregnant women, loving and helpful options. In Pennsylvania alone, there are hundreds of pregnancy care centers all across the state, not to mention countless churches, families and pro-life communities who are willing to give a woman and her child the love and care they need at a critical time.
The Pro-Life mission is one that treats all life with the dignity belonging to all humans, born and unborn. Women need to know that there really are loving assistance and the life-giving options that they deserve.
Her spirited bounce down the path to our display got my attention. Her wispy curls pulled into a ponytail and ample rosy cheeks melted my heart. As she got closer to us and saw the treasure that awaited, her big brown eyes twinkled. I was completely enchanted. She picked up the fetal model and her delight became palpable.
She first raised the baby in the air, marveling at it. She then imparted a gentle kiss.
Cradling the 30-week fetus in her arms, she listened as her mother softly whispered that this is what mommies grow in their bellies, a beautiful precious human life.
She’s only three years old, but she instinctively knows a truth that many adults and our world at large have long forgotten. She knew this truth even before her mother spoke a word. Life is precious. It is a gift to be celebrated and cherished. And protected.
She needed no prompting. Her affection was genuine and unlimited. Loving this baby came so naturally, even to a toddler.
She was the very last person with whom I interacted at Creation Music Fest, where we had shown the humanity of the preborn to thousands of people with our fetal model display, witnessing their fascination with life within the womb and their sadness at how disposable it has become. Our table was steadily busy for three days, and we had many productive and informative exchanges with passersby. This sweet little girl was the last to visit before we closed up. How perfectly profound, as she left me with a beautiful truth to take home and ponder.
We are all born pro-life.
Show a small child a fetal model or a picture of an ultrasound and ask him or her what it is. Do the same with an older child. They readily identify a baby, a living human being in its earliest form of development.
It is so clearly self-evident to those who have not had the world un-teach this to them. It is so clearly self-evident because it is nature’s beautiful plan, and the most innocent among us honor what is natural.
Abortion is the most un-natural thing in the world. And it violates what all of us, especially children, know to be right, true, and good.
We are all born pro-life, but some allow themselves to be corrupted by a confused world, becoming defenders and promoters of abortion. I think of this little girl and wonder how did these people get so very far away from a self-evident truth, one that is written on our very hearts?
Is it doubt, fear, desperation, misguided compassion, greed, rationalization, de-humanization or a combination of these that steal this basic truth from them? I don’t know the answer. What I do know is life begins at conception. Life is precious. Life is to be treated with dignity and protected from harm.
Even a 3 year old knows that. May she never allow the world to un-teach her that fundamental truth.
Your steady success tells me it is time for the next step.
Having already convinced humans that offspring can and should be avoided, due to the sacrificial demands imposed upon parents, it should be easy to convince those same humans that life inadvertently created should be destroyed. Of course, language is important here. Certain words, like baby, killing, living, and even human are to be avoided! Rather, be sure to emphasize reproductive freedom, health care, tissue and choice. Persuade both males and females that it is not only compassionate to “terminate an unplanned pregnancy”, but that those who oppose such measures are actually anti-woman.
The irony is rich, I know. We turn women against their own bodies, their own children, and convince them we are doing it for their own good. You might wonder how we could ever accomplish something so extreme. As we did with a particular race during the era of slavery, the key is de-humanization, which makes the violent removal of the little “parasite” so much more acceptable. We use words like embryo and fetus, referring to stages of development, so that the very young human seems more like an “it” than a “who”.
Remember, our first mission is to make abortion so commonplace that it is not only protected and promoted, but also paid for. All people will participate in the destruction of human life, either by active personal involvement, or passively via taxation. All will have blood on their hands.
Our subsequent mission is to make the annihilation of life within the womb such a sacred right that destruction of life outside the womb becomes equally acceptable. Afterall, wantedness is the criteria for the right to exist. Exterminating unwanted pre-born humans could only lead to exterminating unwanted born humans, especially those who place an undue burden on society’s scarce resources.
Humans have a clever phrase to describe this: slippery slope. And to our credit we have made excellent progress leading them down it.
Imagine the Enemy’s despair. His plan of human love blooming forth into new life is completely distorted, resulting in far fewer humans, deeply wounded families, and a bitterly divided society. Ingenious!
Our biggest threat, of course, are those who actually heed science and cling to the technically correct fact that human life begins at conception. Then there are those troublemakers who provide resources to support new life, thus negating the actual need to abort. And even worse are those pesky post-abortive women who speak up about their regrets, unmasking the false promises abortion offers. We must do what we can to silence them, never allowing their voices to thwart our mission.
Know how to undermine the opposition, my dear Wormwood. Don’t call them pro-life, but anti-abortion. Label them an insignificant minority of extremists. Manufacture a war against women. Accuse them of not doing enough for those who already exist. Mock how someone pro-life can value a tiny little “clump of cells” in a woman’s body when there is already so much suffering in the world. False dichotomies are our friend!
Oh Wormwood, I am thrilled with the success we have enjoyed so far. We have the so-called feminists on our side, as well as men who buy into their faux feminism, an eager press to spread our agenda, filthy rich corporations to fund it, and a gaggle of famous people to influence the masses. Who could ask for more?
The one thing to fear is that the opposition will persist through prayer, witness, education, and unrelenting advocacy for the innocent and defenseless. They will appeal to the inherent logic and compassion that the Enemy placed within each human. Having stood bravely in the face of great adversity, they have proved to be a convicted lot that should not be underestimated.
If they succeed in spreading the truth, our mission will be doomed.
Your affectionate Uncle and master of distortions,
The panic is almost palpable. Abortion supporters are screaming proverbial “Fire!” all over social and mainstream media, attempting to create mass hysteria over recent developments. Facts are distorted, truths half-told. Why are they ramping up their rhetoric?
The Alabama ban on abortions. The Ohio and Georgia bills protecting babies at early stages of development. The Down Syndrome Protection Act passed by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. These are just a few among several other legislative efforts to defend the only unprotected class of Americans, the pre-born.
Seemingly all of a sudden, the 40+ years that pro-lifers have worked to change laws are showing signs of progress.
And while all this is certainly an encouragement to those of us on the side of life, we cannot rest easy. We have a two-fold mission: change laws and change hearts and minds. And neither is easy to do.
So now is the right time for all of us to self-enroll in Pro-Life Apologetics 101.
Apologetics is the systematic defense of a held belief. We pro-lifers must be ready to defend our position amongst the most persistent arguments for abortion. Often this may require a bit of historical research or googling of statistics, but it is well worth it if we can dispel some of the myths that continue to drive the abortion culture. There is not a single argument for abortion that cannot be answered with science, history, logic, or personal witness.
Take for example, one of the most common arguments that our society will return to the days of illegal back alley abortions, which abortion supporters claim were the cause of countless deaths prior to Roe vs. Wade. This allegation is meant to strike fear in our hearts, conjuring up horrible images of women suffering from infections due to unsterile instruments and untrained abortionists.
So how do we respond?
First, let’s acknowledge that legalized abortion puts women at risk for those very same things. Consider the deplorable conditions of Gosnell’s abortuary, where for over 30 years, grown and just-birthed women died, while others were infected with STD’s due to unsterilized instruments. Consider the Planned Parenthood in Philadelphia, made famous recently by Rep. Brian Sims’ outrageous bullying toward peaceful citizens, which failed 13 of the last 23 inspections. Do we honestly think these are the only two abortion centers not providing a “safe” sterile abortion? Even in the cleanest of facilities, abortion remains a procedure with multiple risks for women and death to every child.
Secondly, let’s be clear about where abortion advocates get their numbers.
When the sexual revolution, women’s liberation, and the abortion movement all collided in the late 60’s, the co-founder of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (later NARAL) abortionist Bernard Nathanson and his cohorts played off this fear and used the media to spread false statistics.
Nathanson, who later became an outspoken figure in the pro-life movement, confessed to these numbers being fake:
“We aroused enough sympathy to sell our program of permissive abortion by fabricating the number of illegal abortions done annually in the U.S. The actual figure was approaching 100,000 but the figure we gave to the media repeatedly was 1,000,000. Repeating the big lie often enough convinces the public. The number of women dying from illegal abortions was around 200 – 250 annually. The figure constantly fed to the media was 10,000.”
“These false figures took root in the consciousness of Americans convincing many that we needed to crack the abortion law. Another myth we fed to the public through the media was that legalizing abortion would only mean that the abortions taking place illegally would then be done legally. In fact, of course, abortion is now being used as a primary method of birth control in the U.S. and the annual number of abortions has increased by 1500% since legalization.”
In Aborting America (1979) Nathanson writes that since these false statistics were useful to the abortion “revolution”, why would NARAL go out of its way to correct them?
Abortion supporters still rely on these fictitious figures to feed fears and create hysteria. And it is not beneath them to create additional misleading statistics, like abortion only being 3% of Planned Parenthood’s services. Or that a majority of Americans support abortion on demand throughout pregnancy.
But as students of truth and defenders of life, we can counter the inaccurate, irrational arguments used by abortion supporters to manipulate the American public. Perhaps repeating the truth often enough will convince the public.
There are many excellent resources available to educate ourselves and others, including our website at paprolife.org.
While not one major network has covered the story, thanks to social media, most people are aware of State Representative Brian Sims’ disgraceful harassment of a peaceful, prayerful, pro-life witness in front of a Philadelphia Planned Parenthood. In his eight minute tirade, which he filmed and posted online, proudly showcasing his bullying of “an old white woman”, the elected official assails her for her “white privilege.” Sims is also white, but apparently he handles his “white privilege” in a morally superior fashion. Or at least that’s his self-perception.
Cambridge English Dictionary defines white privilege as “the fact of people with white skin having advantages in society that other people do not have.”
But what about “birth privilege”? Would that not be defined then as “the fact of people who are allowed to be born having advantages in society that other people (those denied birth) do not have”?
Unlike 61 million babies, Sims was allowed to live and grow inside his mother’s womb until he was ready to breathe his own air. He was small, vulnerable, completely dependent, and completely human right from the moment of conception when his unique combination of DNA, never to be repeated again, came into existence. He didn’t become human, like he didn’t become white. He always was.
He wasn’t his mother’s body, some extension of her like a tooth or birthmark. He was, genetically, an entirely different human being within her body. He was and is her child.
Everyday Sims enjoys the privilege of being born, enabling him to experience liberty and pursue happiness, to seek public office, to speak out for those he feels are under-represented. But not all are so lucky. Birth privilege is perfectly summed up in a now famous statement made by President Ronald Reagan: “I’ve noticed everyone who is for abortion has already been born.”
Those with birth privilege are in the position of power and strength over the weak and defenseless, the pre-born. So doesn’t that make abortion the ultimate form of bullying?
Sims, a former football player, a youngish lawyer, and an empowered public official, clearly bullies the lone, powerless, older woman. He berates her verbally, mocking her because of her age, race, and faith. He attacks her character by asking how many children she had clothed that day. He calls her a hypocrite. And when she tries to walk away without comment, he follows. And this blatant act of bullying was such a source of pride, he publicized it himself!
Of course, Sims is comfortable lording his physical presence and social status over someone less formidable than he. After all, he advocates for abortion, which does the exact same thing: the strong and empowered refuse to recognize the dignity of those smaller and powerless, and they then proceed to destroy them.
Once we lose respect for the most vulnerable human life, it should come as no surprise that no one is off limits. Not babies. Not the elderly. Not innocent prayerful women. No one. Nothing is sacred.
We can only pray that Brian Sims, like many one-time abortion supporters, repents and has a conversion of heart. Perhaps then, he can use his birth privilege to make this world one in which no human life is ever again bullied to death.
As I was growing up, I’ve always heard of the phrase “Life is a journey”. Particularly with my life, I can say that it has been a HUGE journey. I have been through some of the best things in life as well as some of the worst. Some of the worst experiences I’ve encountered were getting diagnosed with Autism at a young age, my family losing our home to black toxic mold, financial issues and my mother going through cancer. However, I can say now that the best outweighs the worst. All of these horrific situations I encountered have shaped me into becoming the woman that I am today. There have been doctors that told my parents that I would never graduate from high school, have a job, and that I would end up living in a home.
Through the strength of God and the dedication my mother had to prove the doctors wrong, she has been the reason for all of my success. Really quickly, let me give you a brief list of SOME of the things I have accomplished. Some of the biggest accomplishments that I have done throughout my life thus far as a 22-year-old are graduated high school, gotten my driver’s license, gotten accepted into college (the best university ever! Penn State), passing all of my college courses with flying colors, joined a few clubs, danced at Penn State THON for raising money for the Four Diamonds Fund for children with pediatric cancer, have learned to pick and choose my friends and finally to learn to love myself and to understand my strengths and weaknesses. In just a couple of weeks, I will be able to add two more things to my long list of accomplishments: completing my internship at the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and to graduate from college.
During my time with the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, I have learned SO much about abortions, all the laws being enacted in Congress or trying to be get passed, the effects from an abortion, all the resources women can go to, and all of the events that the Pro-Life movement provides to the community. I had met so many incredible people throughout my time at the Federation such as Joe Murphy, Senator Judy Ward, Ruth Santino, State Representative Andrew Lewis, and several others. This internship has also gotten me a chance to really see our world for what it actually is (which is dark and sickening). This is the first time, other than THON, I’ve felt like I am making an impact on the world. I am proud to say that I am pro-life and I am well educated on the topic now thanks to everyone at the Federation.
I have learned so much from Michael Ciccocioppo, Bonnie Finnerty, and most importantly Maria Gallagher. These three individuals have taught me all I need to know about the pro-life movement and I couldn’t thank them enough for bringing me in like family and giving me the opportunity to do some work in my field. I have also learned that I excel at verbal communications and besides having a huge passion for radio, I also have found an old/new passion for writing. With all the techniques and skills that I have learned from the classroom to my internship, I can say that I have grown stronger as a communications major and I will feel prepared to get an entry level job to show whatever place I decide to work what I am capable of doing. Don’t worry viewers, I still have a couple more weeks until I am done here but as for now, I can promise that I will keep writing my heart out and will write the truth and give someone a different perspective to view.
Thank you to everyone– my family, friends, school teachers, college professors, and employers who believed in me! Without everyone who has pushed me to do my best or motivated me to prove someone wrong, I wouldn’t be who I am right now at this very moment. I really need to start giving myself credit for all the hard work I do but of course I don’t like to take all the glory for my accomplishments. Last but not least, I would like to thank all the dedicated and passionate people for all their hard work in efforts to end legal abortions in America. I believe that abortion will end one day but as for now, keep fighting and showing everyone in the world that every life matters. And remember, there’s always a reason to choose life.
You don’t know me but I feel compelled to reach out to you. I want to apologize to you about that awful billboard. A county health department was wrong to put it up.
Perhaps you drove by it. Or saw it on social media. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry that you are being told you can only take control of your future by rejecting motherhood, by aborting the innocent life growing within. I am sorry that the pregnant woman on the left looks destroyed while the college grad on the right glows with pride, implying that there is only one true path to success. That’s a false narrative that builds on fear. It’s meant to scare you into believing that a pregnancy will totally ruin your future. And I want to tell you, from personal experience, that’s just not true.
I was overcome with anxiety and uncertainty when I found out I was pregnant my freshman year. The campus doctor urged an abortion. In her mind, I would be a fool to trash a good scholarship at a prestigious university. As the billboard depicts, she saw only one path, and gave me only one choice.
I’m sure she considered herself compassionate, even empowering. She wasn’t. I wish I could meet her now. I want to show her MY billboard.
I want to show her my husband, five children, three grandchildren, and my Master’s Degree. And I want to tell her I have no regrets about walking out of her office that day with a baby girl growing in my 18 year old belly, transferring to a school back home, and graduating four years later. I want to tell her a baby did not destroy my future, but an abortion would have.
I acknowledge that the journey was not easy. Not by any means, but every sacrifice, every bump, every single hardship was so worth it. That is a story for another day.
Please take note, dear sister, that you need not surrender your child’s life in exchange for a future. They are not mutually exclusive. In fact, it’s possible the child from an unexpected pregnancy will add a brightness to your future that you could never have envisioned.
The best paths to a successful and meaningful life are those that honor the sacredness and dignity of life.
Don’t let a misguided billboard, a campus doctor, or anyone fool you into thinking otherwise.
March is Women’s History Month and also marks International Women’s Day, so I should whole-heartedly embrace this opportunity to celebrate my ancestral sisters, applauding their testing of boundaries and breaking of barriers. And for the most part, I do, humbly realizing that whatever I might accomplish, I stand on their shoulders. So why do I feel a sense of hesitation in marking these occasions?
Grateful for the political, scientific, and cultural achievements of women who have gone before me, I am simultaneously saddened by the collateral damage that has ensued in this continuing struggle toward equality. For sometimes in our effort to achieve one thing, we sacrifice another. And sometimes what is lost changes the very essence of who we are. For what does it profit a (wo)man to gain the world and lose (her) soul?
It seems in today’s media all women are lumped under the same broad banner of “the women’s vote” or “the women’s movement.” Unfortunately, the terms “feminist” and “pro-woman” are equated with supporters of abortion. Although many of us share a common vision of equal opportunities, we do not share a belief that abortion is a path toward liberation.
Rather, we “pro-life feminists”, often ignored during observances lauding women, understand abortion as another form of subjection: forcing women to choose between birthing the burgeoning life within versus ending it due to fear, rejection, pressure, or lack of resources, thus killing one life and wounding the other. Abortion advocates promote a world of either/or, yet ironically claim they are for choice.
Any celebration dedicated to women should promote a world of and/both. Women need not choose death for their children in order to walk through the doors our ancestral sisters opened for us. They deserve so much more. That is authentic feminism.
It is no small thing that we women are THE life-bearers of the entire species. We alone can grow human beings in our bodies, craft a cerebral cortex, knit a network of veins, erect a skeletal system. We alone can nourish this life with a perfect food forged by our miraculous bodies. We literally make the men and women of tomorrow with our very own cells. Now that’s power. A power given no man. A power and a privilege that should not be taken lightly. Or tossed away. Or aborted.
In our fight to have opportunities equal to those of men, some have “freed” themselves from what makes them uniquely women, confusing “equal to” with “same as”. Eager to embrace the masculine, with all its power and promise, they have forsaken the feminine, abandoning a gift that is given to women alone.
Does our capacity to give and nurture life receive its proper attention during these celebrations of women? Is the vocation of motherhood promoted and revered, alongside all the other amazing accomplishments women have achieved? Or does the lack of attention signify that motherhood is less fulfilling and a threat to career-building, and that abortion is a necessary evil in order for women to advance?
I am all for acknowledging the often heroic strides that women have made. But I find it sad that Margaret Sanger, a eugenicist who founded Planned Parenthood is well-known and revered, while the extremely accomplished Dr. Mildred Jefferson, a medical pioneer who led the National Right to Life Committee, is overlooked. I find it disturbing that on our journey to the board room, operating room, and courtroom, our fertility has become a “disease” to be treated rather than a gift to be treasured. And I find it tragic that life within the womb has become so easily disposable, and now even life outside the womb, whether newborn or elderly, is dispensable.
By nature, women are the bearers of life. Not an easy task by any means. A role that requires sacrifice, selflessness, and support. A role that is uniquely ours, a power and a privilege to be respected and revered, and THAT too is something we should celebrate.
On January 18, 2019, I eagerly accepted the position of Education Director at the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation. My former career as a teacher coupled with my life-long advocacy of life issues led me to believe this was the job for which I had long been searching. Part-time and close to home, I could still juggle the responsibilities of family life and volunteer work. In addition, I was blessed to work with authentically kind, compassionate, and committed people with whom I felt an instant bond.
The overwhelming joy I felt at this new chapter in my life was tempered, however, just three days later, when we learned that my active 82 year-old mother had pancreatic cancer. Her doctor surmised that she might live until Easter. Suddenly, everything was re-prioritized. How can I best spend these last precious months with my mom? How can I ease her pain? How can I help her and my dad, indeed all of our family, including her beloved 16 grandchildren prepare for her departure from this world?
As it turns out, my mom did not have a few months. She had 18 days. We were praying with her when she peacefully drew her last breath on February 8. During her brief but intense illness, my mom endured excruciating pain, some from the cancer and some from the innumerable blood clots that riddled her entire body. At times she called out in prayer, imploring God to take her, as her loved ones sat helplessly by, shedding tears as we stroked her face and held her hand.
When witnessing the slow but inevitable death of a loved one, there is a dark temptation to end their pain and hasten their journey home to God through doctor-prescribed suicide. But our family and its matriarch knew that was not our call. While we sought the best palliative care for her, we knew there was a plan, a timetable, a moment long ago determined when she would transition into eternal life. And as hard as her path was to get there, we could only love her on her way as best we could. During those 18 days, my mother gave us the ultimate pro-life witness: the peaceful surrender to life’s natural course, bravely bearing her suffering, giving US comfort with her courage, patience, and steadfast faith.
Such a testimony echoed a climactic moment 32 years earlier, when I returned home from college my freshman year to tell her I was pregnant. Seeing me crying in the kitchen, she became alarmed, thinking the very worst. I could hardly speak the words, but when I did, she said, “Is that ALL? I thought you were dying of cancer! A baby, we can deal with a baby!” Having lost a 16 year-old daughter in a car accident many years earlier, my mother believed that the worst thing a parent can endure is the loss of a child. My unexpected pregnancy was not an occasion for tears, but rather a chance to joyfully welcome new life. Sadly, this lesson was reinforced all the more just a few weeks later when my brother and his wife lost their daughter, my mother’s first grandchild, to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. We grieved the loss of baby Ashley, while treasuring the life growing within my 18 year old body.
Is it any wonder that I now work for a pro-life organization, one whose mission is committed to promoting the dignity and value of human life from conception to natural death? On my last outing with my mom, just days after learning of her terminal illness, I had the opportunity to show her where I would be working. Pulling up in front of the office, I explained what I would be doing for the Federation. She was happy for me, knowing that I was honored to do such important work with such good people. She didn’t mention it to me then, but I have since learned that my mother was a financial supporter of the PA Pro-Life Federation, dating back as early as 1990, when we were all still living in Scranton. She couldn’t have foreseen me working for the Federation, but now that I am, I feel sure she is blessing our good efforts from the other side.