What I’ve Learned About How Abortion Affects Women

Woman on beachBy Katy Schriner, intern, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

Over the past four decades, Roe v. Wade is the case that allowed for abortion to be legal in the United States. The law has led to nearly 61 million deaths of unborn children across the United States. Over that time, this law has allowed doctors to perform this outrageous practice that doesn’t only hurt the unborn baby but also the mother. Not a lot of doctors who perform those abortions tell patients that. What those doctors aren’t also telling are the mental effects that come with getting an abortion–effects such as depression, emotional distress, and many more.

Luckily, there are places like Rachel’s Vineyard that help women heal post-abortion. The program allows the mother to examine her abortion experience, identify the way it has affected her life and helps the mother to acknowledge any kind of unresolved feelings she may have struggled with after abortion. Rachel’s Vineyard has programs located in Canada, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, and 49 locations in the United States. Besides Rachel’s Vineyard, there are other resources for mothers who are unsure about going through a pregnancy or who have taken a first abortion pill. There are pregnancy help centers that provide free and confidential assistance to pregnant women and new mothers. In Pennsylvania, there are more than 200 centers that offer this kind of assistance.

As a college student, I have experienced some of my friends’ and professors’ opinions when it comes to abortion. Their opinions tend to be more of the pro-choice/pro-abortion philosophy (depending on whom I was talking to) but that has never stopped me from maintaining my viewpoint on the subject matter. I had several friends who I have grown up with having kids and never thinking about abortion. I know there are challenging circumstances facing pregnant women, but now I have learned that I am more pro-life then anything after all of the research I have done to understand what the Pro-Life Movement is all about.

Hearing the Cries of the Victims

APR_Girl_VerticalBy Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

In the wake of a tragedy, it is important to listen to the voices of the family members who have been left behind. That is why, at trials, victim statements are so powerful–they put into words the trauma and anguish of losing a family member to violence.

Abortion is such a tragedy. We cannot hear the silent screams of the babies who are killed in their mothers’ wombs. But we can pay attention to the testimony of mothers who have experienced the profound loss of a child to abortion.

The Silent No More Awareness Campaign (www.SilentNoMoreAwareness.org) gives voice to these courageous mothers. They underwent abortions, at times under heavy pressure. They have now come to regret those abortions, and they want to share their experiences with the world.

Take for instance Nicole from Illinois:”Immediately after, I sat there in recovery, crying and bawling. I had wanted to keep my baby, but I was so sick. However, I immediately regretted my decision, and I felt like a horrible mother. I should’ve fought my way through the pregnancy.”

Or Janet from California: “My sister took me the first time to a Planned Parenthood clinic, and it was wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am, over and never discussed again. I didn’t dare bring up being upset about it. It wasn’t allowed.

Or Sue from Oklahoma: “I really didn’t have a clue.  This was back in the 70’s when abortion wasn’t as widely publicized as it is today.  Back then we were still being told that it wasn’t a real baby, just a clump of cells. No one came to me and told me I was ending the life of a human being.  No one.

Or Laura from Utah: “I cannot change what happened but I can share about it and speak out, in the hopes that perhaps one woman out there will make a different, wiser, better choice-a life-giving rather than a life-taking choice. I pray that that will be the case!”

When I did a search of the Silent No More website, 2,331 records came up of women who wanted to speak out about their abortion regrets. Their tear-filled testimonies must not be ignored.

 

 

 

Yes, Women Are Sacred and Deserve to Be Treated That Way

Woman on beachBy Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director gallagher@paprolife.org

The tweet I saw pop up in my Twitter feed this week shook me to the core:

Women don’t want to be sacred.

The quote did not come from a male supremacist group, but from the pro-abortion lobbying group known as NARAL.

Upon further reflection, I realized that I should not be surprised by the tweet. After all, the abortion industry has been known to subject women to substandard treatment, failing to recognize their dignity. Consider the abortion center in Harrisburg, PA, which racked up 44 pages worth of safety violations, or the “House of Horrors” run by abortionist and serial killer Kermit Gosnell in West Philadelphia.

And then there is the not-so-subtle fact that about half of the babies whose lives are taken in utero in abortion facilities around the country are of the female persuasion.

The tweet went on to say:  We want to be treated as equals. 

There should be no objection to that, but the concept of women being sacred and the desire to be treated as equal to men are not mutually exclusive. All human beings are sacred, possessing an inherent dignity that can never be lost.

The evidence that the pro-life movement considers all women sacred–from the moment of conception to the instant of natural death–shows the high degree of respect with which the pro-life cause treats women.

The fact that a group fails to recognize the sacred nature of womanhood is incredibly sad, and provides yet another example of why such groups do not speak for the majority of American women today.

 

 

Women’s Lives Transformed Through Ground-Breaking Program

Real Alternatives mother and childBy Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director gallagher@paprolife.org

The young woman stands at a crossroads between compassion and cold-heartedness. Family and friends have abandoned her, believing that her pregnancy is a problem to “be gotten rid of.” And yet, a caring stranger is willing to support both the woman and her baby, equipping her with the tools that will help her succeed at motherhood, college, relationships, and the rest of the elements of her life.

The support system she finds at Pennsylvania’s Alternatives to Abortion program is kind-hearted, clear-thinking, and loving. The program is administered by Real Alternatives, Inc. and, over the past two decades, has helped more than 200,000 women and their families to find solace, hope, and encouragement for the future.

As writer Frederica Matthews-Green stated so eloquently, “They (Women have) said if I’d only had one person to stand by me, and it could have been a stranger, but they’d say I needed somebody to be a sister to me, I needed someone to be a friend . . . I would have had that baby. And, that’s what you do in maternity homes and crisis pregnancy centers and in offering adoption services. You are that friend . . .”

The statewide network of nearly 100 non-profit agencies and close to 350 counselors reaches out to women of all backgrounds and walks of life with services that are 100 percent free. The success stories are inspiring…women finishing their GED’s and obtaining gainful employment…women leaving dangerous abusive relationships…women empowered to become effective decision-makers for themselves and their families.

As Kellyanne Conway, now a counselor to the President, once said, “Your trophy does not sit on a shelf . . .the trophy for your hard work plays on a swing, moves a tassel during a graduation ceremony, and yes even one day experiences the joy of motherhood.”

One incredible aspect to Real Alternatives is the cost savings it provides for taxpayers. For instance, in fiscal year 2015-16, the taxpayer savings amounted to an estimated $317 million because more than 15,000 clients were receiving proper prenatal care. Add to that a tax savings of $106 million because of clients ensuring that their children received proper immunizations.

Pennsylvania’s abortion totals are now at the lowest level recorded since the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion on demand. Part of that success story has to be attributed to the milestones achieved by Real Alternatives.

The award-winning program has had a ripple effect throughout the country. As Real Alternatives President & CEO Kevin Bagatta stated, “If it wasn’t for the keystone state – 12 states wouldn’t have programs helping women and saving babies.”

As Governor of Indiana, current Vice President Mike Pence had this to say about Real Alternatives’ impact on the Hoosier state: “Real Alternatives provides positive, life-affirming services for Hoosier women and families. It is important to not only ensure that pregnant women receive proper prenatal care, but also the emotional and physical support they need for a healthy pregnancy. Real Alternatives helps ensure that women in need are connected with all the community and social services resources available to them to support them both during and after their pregnancy.”

Real Alternatives provides an important safety net to women and their families as they face the challenge of an unexpected pregnancy. Born in the Keystone State, it is an idea which should bloom and flourish throughout the U.S., according to a bipartisan group of Pennsylvania leaders.

“Hopefully, one day, there will be programs like Real Alternatives helping women and their children in all fifty states,” said Pennsylvania Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati.

“There are many important lines in the state budget. But there are not many lines that you can point to and say that every dollar we put into the program is saving lives. Real Alternatives and the work you do is important, and we are saving lives.”

For more information about Real Alternatives’ life-saving and life-changing program, visit www.realalternatives.org .