What’s in Store for 2019 on the Life Front?

Baby ChristmasBy Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

As 2018 draws to a close, the New Year remains a mystery in many ways. Still, 2019 can be a year of encouraging progress on the pro-life front. Here are some of the events and activities that are in store for the year ahead:

  • The March for Life is of great importance–this year and all years. The March steps out in Washington, D.C. on January 18th. Hundreds of thousands of dedicated individuals–many of them high school and college students–are expected to flood the streets of the nation’s capital in a peaceful, prayerful show of solidarity for pregnant women, babies, and fathers.
  • Judges will still be key. President Donald Trump has promised to nominate judges to the federal bench who will uphold the Constitution and who will not be activists, such as those who claimed a false “right” to abortion in Roe v. Wade in 1973. In Pennsylvania, voters will have the opportunity to cast ballots for judges for the Supreme Court, the Superior Court, and Commonwealth Court.
  • Local chapters will bring the pro-life message to their communities. Local chapters of National Right to Life and the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation will be proclaiming the sanctity of innocent human life at fairs, festivals, and other events in their counties.
  • Students will be engaged and energized through pro-life contests. Both National Right to Life and the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation sponsor essay contests for students. You can find details here and here. In addition, high school students can take part in the National Right to Life Oratory Contest if they have won a statewide contest, such as the Pennsylvania Pro-Life oratory competition mentioned here.
  • Social Media will be buzzing with pro-life news and information. You can find both National Right to Life and the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. You can also become part of the regular online discussion by sharing spectacular pro-life videos and articles with your friends and followers.

Working together, we can make 2019 a year of growth and significant accomplishment for the pro-life movement–and save lives and change hearts in the process. Happy 2019!

 

10 Reasons to Love the Pro-Life Movement

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While driving into my office one day, I began to think of all the reasons that I love the pro-life movement. Although this is not an inclusive list, it does begin to express the gratitude I feel for this life-saving, life-changing movement:

1. It recognizes the intrinsic worth of the most vulnerable among us. It sees beyond appearances and stereotypes and attests to the value of the preborn, the infirm, and the elderly.

2. It is filled with young people. They give heart and hope to this incredible movement.

3. It is peopled with seasoned veterans, who enrich us with their wisdom and inspire us with their perseverance.

4. It is a movement of love. It is powered and sustained by a profound love for one’s fellow man and woman.

5. It is hopeful. It sees beyond the death and destruction of Roe v. Wade and envisions an America that is abortion-free.

6. It reaches out to women and men who have suffered from abortion. It is dedicated to the principle that individuals whose lives have been shattered by the scourge of abortion can find healing and hope.

7. It is peaceful, calling for a non-violent revolution of love.

8. It is inclusive, including people of all races and nationalities. It does not discriminate based on background or ethnicity.

9. It reaches out to the poorest among us–the preborn child.

10. It is compassionate, extending friendship to people in desperate circumstances and undergoing trying times.

The pro-life movement is truly one of America’s greatest treasures. I am thankful to all of you who make it so!

Guide to President George H. W. Bush’s Pro-Life Achievements

George HW BushBy Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

I must admit, I was ignorant of President George H.W. Bush’s Pro-Life achievements.

It’s been three decades since he was elected leader of the free world, so I imagine I was not alone.

But for the sake of history, it is important that we educate ourselves about Bush 41’s record of accomplishment on the pro-life front.

Here’s what I found out:

  • The Bush Administration wanted the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the tragic Supreme Court ruling which brought us abortion on demand for any reason, and for no reason, during all nine months of pregnancy.
  • The Bush Administration stated that “protection of innocent human life–in or out of the womb–is certainly the most compelling interest that a state can advance.”
  • Of the radical Freedom of Choice Act, which would have established a pro-abortion policy beyond Roe, President Bush said, “It will not become law as long as I am President of the United States.”
  • President Bush vetoed ten bills with pro-abortion provisions, including taxpayer funding of abortion.
  • The President defended the “Mexico City Policy,” which prevents taxpayer funding of organizations that promote or perform abortions overseas. He also banned abortions at U.S. military bases, with the rare exception of saving the mother’s life.
  • President Bush banned thousands of federally-funded clinics from counseling or referring for abortions.

These are just some of the many pro-life milestones during the Bush 41 administration. As we mourn the loss of this pro-life President, let us be thankful for the graceful manner in which he strove to protect innocent human life.

Pro-Life: A Celebration of Humanity!

Baby ChristmasBy Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

During my recent vacation, I had a chance to watch a movie that came out some time ago. A few lines of dialogue reminded me of the pro-life movement.

Referring to a show, one of the characters described it as a “celebration of humanity.”

To me, that is exactly what the pro-life movement is–a celebration of humanity. We celebrate the humanity of the child in the womb. We honor the humanity of a mother in difficult circumstances. We recognize the humanity of a father facing the prospect of lost fatherhood through abortion.

We also celebrate the humanity of people with disabilities, the elderly, and the infirm. We see all as precious human beings, deserving of our support and protection.

Another line from the film spoke of celebrating people of all races, sizes, and shapes. Again, the pro-life movement came to my mind. We work to end the black genocide caused by the abortion industry in the African-American community. We educate the Latino community, the Asian community, and the Native American community about the harm abortion causes women and about the development of the preborn child.

In defending the lives of preborn children, we defend the smallest among us. We recognize the dignity and worth of all individuals–no matter the shape of their development.

Humanity is at the heart of the pro-life movement. We work each day to protect humanity from the grave dangers that come in the form of abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia. Our work will not end until the lives of all innocent people are protected and cherished.

Life at the Fair

Erie People for Life Chrerry Festival 2012b

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

She came to the festival booth with a secret–a life-affirming secret that she had been permitted to share. The year before, she had visited this very educational table and taken a soft-touch fetal model to show a pregnant woman considering abortion. The result? A life had been saved, and a mother had been spared a lifetime of grief.

Such is the power of pro-life educational displays at summer fairs and festivals. Local chapters of National Right to Life and the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation have been busy this summer, spreading the pro-life message at various community events. From fetal models to educational flyers, the materials on display persuade with a hope-filled message which cannot be denied.

One person reaches out to another with the scientific fact–that every human life is precious and needs to be protected. I recall vividly taking a little one to a church festival–and how she marveled at the models of preborn babies on display. They left an indelible impression which caused her to become passionately pro-life.

It may sound like a simple thing, handing a fetal model to a festival-goer. But in some communities, this is a profound act of courage. Abortion activists rail at fetal models–even going so far as to try to ban them from fairs. What they really fear is that people will find out the truth–that life begins at conception and that every abortion is an unspeakable tragedy.

Congratulations to those chapter volunteers who are rebuilding a culture of life in their communities. They make life worth celebrating!

Setting the Record Straight: Scott Wagner Has Strong Pro-Life Stand

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Republican candidate for Governor Scott Wagner

 

 

The following statement can be attributed to Michael Ciccocioppo, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation:

“For the second time in weeks, Senator Scott Wagner’s record on the life issues has been misrepresented. Senator Wagner has a 100 percent pro-life voting record.

“For those not familiar with Senator Wagner’s record, here are the facts:

·  Scott Wagner is a cosponsor of Senate Bill 3, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks and outlaw dismemberment abortions.

·  Scott Wagner is a cosponsor of Senate Bill 300, which would defund Planned Parenthood.

·  Scott Wagner has denounced the horrific impacts Roe v Wade has had on the preborn and has fought  to ensure that the Pennsylvania Department of State would not repeat the mistakes that led to the lack of enforcement that enabled abortionist Kermit Gosnell to ply his trade in West Philadelphia.

·  Scott Wagner sponsored a trip to Washington, D.C. for a group of pro-life advocates so they could participate in the March for Life.

“While national, liberal interest groups like Planned Parenthood are pledging to spend millions of dollars on the radical pro-abortion candidate for Governor, Tom Wolf,  those of us who truly are pro-life should be coming together. Anyone who spreads misinformation about a candidate’s pro-life record is falling into Planned Parenthood’s trap.”

 

Signs of Progress, 45 Years After Roe v. Wade

Baby Superman with motherBy Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

gallagher@paprolife.org

As we mark the 45th anniversary of the tragic U.S. Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade, I would like to offer 45 reasons for hope for the cause of protecting innocent human life:

  1. Statistics show the number of abortions in the U.S. are on the decline.
  2. Polls show the Millennial Generation is more pro-life than young people of generations past.
  3. President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order barring taxpayer funding of organizations that perform and promote abortions overseas.
  4. The White House supports no federal funding for abortion giant Planned Parenthood.
  5. Vice-President Mike Pence has been outspoken in his defense of innocent human life.
  6. Strict constructionist Neil Gorsuch now sits on the U.S. Supreme Court.
  7. The President has vowed to appoint Supreme Court Justices who will not legislate from the bench, hastening the day; when Roe v. Wade will be overturned.
  8. The annual March for Life continues to attract huge crowds, largely made up of young people.
  9. Pregnancy resource centers are reaching out to pregnant women everyday with compassion, love, and support.
  10. The number of pregnancy resource centers in the U.S. far outnumber abortion facilities.
  11. Abortion centers are closing all across the country.
  12. Congress boasts a pro-life majority, as do many state legislatures throughout the nation.
  13. 4D ultrasound technology is showing babies smiling in their mothers’ wombs.
  14. Women who regret their abortions and who want to help other women avoid similar heartache have found their voice in organizations such as the Silent No More Awareness Campaign.
  15. Healing retreats such as those of Rachel’s Vineyard are bringing hope to women scarred by abortion.
  16. A number of Planned Parenthood workers have left their jobs in the abortion industry and have become powerful spokespeople for the pro-life cause.
  17. Abortion survivors such as Melissa Ohden are speaking out about being targeted for abortion when they were preborn babies.
  18. A number of men are taking responsibility for pressuring their wives and girlfriends into having abortions.
  19. Scientific research supports the pro-life contention that abortion hurts women physically, mentally, and emotionally.
  20. The blogosphere is filled with pro-lifers willing to share their knowledge.
  21. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter allow the pro-life movement to get accurate information out into cyberspace.
  22. Nurses who work with premature infants are sharing their experiences about the fragility of human life.
  23. A number of abortionists have stopped doing abortions and now promote life instead.
  24. College students are organizing and motivating their classmates to support pregnant women on campus.
  25. Teens for Life are finding innovative ways to promote life in their communities.
  26. Local chapters of National Right to Life are educating people about the life issue at area fairs and festivals.
  27. State affiliates of National Right to Life are passing pro-life laws and changing hearts and minds about abortion.
  28. Campaigns to legalize doctor-prescribed suicide have failed much more often than they have succeeded.
  29. Popular culture is recognizing the humanity of the preborn child by sharing Ultrasound  videos and praising “baby bumps.”
  30. People with Down syndrome are showing why it is inhumane to abort a child diagnosed with a disability in the womb.
  31. New attention is being focused on the brutal practice of dismemberment abortion, where a child is torn limb by limb from a mother’s womb.
  32. An increasing number of people are questioning the practice of sex selection abortions, in which babies are aborted just because of their sex.
  33. The gruesome practice of  partial-birth abortion, in which a baby is partly delivered, then killed, has been outlawed.
  34. A number of members of Congress are determined to shine a spotlight on allegations of baby body part harvesting in the abortion industry.
  35. Public opinion polls continue to show most people oppose most abortions.
  36. Polls also indicate that the vast majority of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion.
  37. Polls demonstrate that most Americans oppose late-term abortions.
  38. A number of states have passed laws ensuring that no taxpayer funding of abortion can occur in the health insurance exchanges created by Obamacare.
  39. Many Congressmen want to make the Hyde Amendment, which bars taxpayer funding of abortion except in rare cases, permanent.
  40. A distinguished counselor to the President, Kellyanne Conway, spoke at the March for Life.
  41. Women across the country are courageously stating that Planned Parenthood does not speak for them.
  42. People with disabilities are leading the fight against doctor-prescribed suicide and euthanasia.
  43. Some people who joined the pro-life movement way back in 1973 continue to serve the cause with dignity and honor.
  44. A number of celebrities, such as actress Patricia Heaton, are bucking the Hollywood trend and boldly proclaiming their pro-life views.
  45. The end of Roe v. Wade is in sight, given anticipated changes in the makeup of the Supreme Court.

 

Discovering the Right to Life Through Faith

Baby sleepingBy Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director gallagher@paprolife.org

It is entirely possible to adopt a pro-life position based solely on reason. After all, science shows us that the baby’s heart starts beating at 24 days after conception; brain waves can be detected 43 days after fertilization.

Since every being in creation has a beginning, conception is the logical marker for determining the initiation of life. And, once a human life is initiated, the boy or girl should be protected. No religious creed is required to subscribe to that position.

Still, some look to faith to answer the question of when life begins, or to validate their position on abortion.

To me, one of the most telling verses in the Bible comes from the Gospel of St. Matthew, Chapter 25: “Amen, I say what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for Me.”

The least among us are preborn children. They have no money, no voice of their own. They are small in stature and, under the tragic U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, they are largely unprotected under the law.

But according to Christian Scripture, whatever is done, or left undone, for these little ones is done, or not done, for Jesus, the Son of God.

Therefore, a Biblical imperative exists to defend the lives of preborn children. In honoring them, Christians honor God.

Again, one can come to a pro-life position entirely based on scientific evidence. But for those who look to the Bible for direction, the right to life is as clear as the waters of Baptism.

 

Life as the Inalienable Right

Olde Courthouse LewistownBy Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director gallagher@paprolife.org

In the shadow of the Olde Courthouse in Lewistown, Pennsylvania, people from all different faiths and walks of life gathered to recognize life as an inalienable right.

The peaceful protest was just one of the many held throughout the country this past weekend in a show of quiet solidarity for pregnant women and their babies.

The Life Chain events are known for their calm dignity and prayerful presence. At the Lewistown event, the soulful hymns were punctuated by inspiring speeches illustrating the many pro-life successes of 2017.

We have a man on the U.S. Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, who is determined to strictly interpret the law, rather than actively make laws from the bench. An Executive Order ensures that no taxpayer funding will support organizations that perform and promote abortions overseas. Stellar pro-life individuals have filled the President’s Cabinet, and, for the first time this past January, a Vice-President addressed the annual March for Life.

In Pennsylvania, abortion centers that could not or would not meet basic health and safety standards have shut their doors. Abortion totals are at their lowest rate in the Keystone State since the tragic 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade. A new optimism and a renewed commitment flow through Pennsylvania’s pro-life ranks.

Life Chain 2017 marks a turning point in the history of our Commonwealth and of our nation–and that is cause for celebration!

Reaching Out to Pregnant Women Facing Challenges

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By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

gallagher@paprolife.org

One of the greatest attributes of the pro-life movement is the concern it shows to pregnant women facing serious challenges in their lives.

There is no woman in Pennsylvania–or across the country–who should feel as if she is being forced into abortion. Help is as close as the nearest cell phone or Internet connection.

The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation has the most comprehensive list of PA pregnancy care centers on the World Wide Web. Chances are you or a friend can find a center within driving distance of home. You can find the complete list here.

You can also call the toll-free hotline at 1-888-Life-Aid.  Compassionate, caring individuals are ready to take your call.

To be pro-life is to be pro-woman…both supportive of the woman carrying a child…and of the daughter inside her mother’s womb.