Join our team as a Donation Processor/Secretary

The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation is searching for a part-time Donation Processor/Secretary. The position reports directly to the Executive Director and works on-site at the Federation’s State Headquarters in Harrisburg, PA. Applications to work remotely will not be considered.

The Donation Processor/Secretary performs computer data entry, answers telephone inquiries, and provides secretarial support to the Legislative and Education Directors.  Must be detail-oriented and have experience with Microsoft WORD and EXCEL.  Familiarity with fundraising software would be helpful, but is not expected. 

Because there is a lot of flexibility in scheduling work hours, this is an ideal position for a parent with school-age children, or anyone with other responsibilities who is looking for a part-time position.  Come join our team knowing that you are doing your part to protect innocent human life from conception to natural death.

Interested candidates should send a cover email with attached resume to Betty Berry, Office Administrator, at . Address any questions regarding the position to Betty by email or by calling 717-541-0034. The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation is the largest single-issue, nonprofit, nonpartisan pro-life organization in Pennsylvania. For more information visit .

Save the Baby Humans, Too!

By Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director

While on vacation, we tend to sleep in.

But there we were at the crack of dawn, trekking to the beach, drawn to the promise of new life.

We were to meet up with locals trained in protecting loggerhead turtles, a species officially labeled as “vulnerable.” Mama turtle had buried her 100+ eggs about 60 days previously, using back fins to methodically sculpt a deep hole in which her progeny would be well-protected. Signs indicated that the eggs had begun to hatch and babies emerge.  But not all. Some required rescuing or they would die.

The golf cart brigade that monitors the nests every morning staged an intervention. They would dig out the buried babies and set them on a path to life into the ocean. And they welcomed us to share in the experience.

We stood on the periphery, watching the team carefully dig into the deepest pockets of the nest. Anticipation was building.  Digging and more digging. Finally, the announcement—a baby was found! Cheers erupted. We crowded around, eager to glimpse the little survivor.

And then more babies. And more. We marveled at each and every teeny turtle, rejoicing in their saved lives.

We then helped to place about three dozen babies on the beach facing the water.  We watched their painstaking crawl to their new home, a struggle necessary for developing the stamina and strength needed for ocean survival.

It was a beautiful experience. A different kind of pro-life moment, yet one that parallels the heroic efforts made every day to rescue baby humans.

Like these naturalists, trained volunteers and dedicated employees invest time and pool resources to save human babies from death by abortion, rejoicing at each and every life saved and mother supported.

“Save the baby humans” could very well be the mantra of the 2700 pregnancy resource centers throughout our country. Countless people are alive today because of their efforts to support a mother and her child, both before birth and after.

In 2019 alone, pregnancy resource centers served roughly 2 million women, men, and youth with nearly $270 million in services at little or no cost, according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute.

But ironically, while those who save baby turtles are universally acclaimed for their good work, those who strive to protect helpless, vulnerable human babies are being vilified.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has grossly mischaracterized pregnancy resource centers, calling for them to be shut down across the country. Dozens of centers have been vandalized and even firebombed by abortion extremists, destroying material goods and delaying counseling services that actually empower the very women that abortion advocates claim to care about.

It’s mind-boggling that some people who regard the destruction of a turtle egg as egregiously immoral have no problem with the purposeful destruction of human life.

Since the Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973, the same year Roe had been decided, pre-born turtles have had more legal protections than pre-born humans.

We can and should protect both.

Like baby turtles, some baby humans require rescuing or they will die.  Pregnancy resource centers provide the intervention.  They rescue innocent children, a “vulnerable species,” from a violent death by abortion. They provide the needed support for mother and baby, digging them out of their own proverbial hole, setting them on a path for life, and rejoicing in the unique gift of every single human life.

In this post-Roe world, we need to ask ourselves a question:

If we encounter pre-born humans at risk of dying, would we do less to save them than we do for pre-born turtles?

Governor’s Claims are Without Merit in Lawsuit Against Constitutional Amendment



HARRISBURG, PA – The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation issued the following statement in the wake of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s lawsuit against a Constitutional Amendment which would keep abortion out of the PA Constitution:

“The Pennsylvania General Assembly has a right to seek to amend the Constitution, and to do so without the consent of the Governor,” said Maria Gallagher, legislative director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.

“Prior to Roe v. Wade, the common law, statutory law, and case law of Pennsylvania all prohibited abortion. Therefore, Gov. Wolf’s claims that this Amendment is ‘removing rights’ from the Constitution or ‘scaling back’ on a fundamental right of privacy that includes a right to abortion is false,” Gallagher said.

Such a right never existed in the Pennsylvania Constitution. There is no reference to ‘abortion’ in the PA Constitution nor is there any case construing the PA Constitution to include a right to abortion,” Gallagher added.

Pro-abortion groups, however, have filed a lawsuit–currently before the PA Supreme Court–trying to get the current Court to find a non-existent right to abortion in the Constitution and to force taxpayers to fund abortion.

This Amendment simply states that the Constitution itself does not mandate these things and it leaves the decision of what the law should be regarding abortion to the elected representatives of the people–not to the Court. 

In the absence of this amendment, the Court could usurp the legislative function and require that abortion be allowed on demand up until birth and also require that taxpayers fund it—all contrary to the will of the people!

************************************************************************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.

Pennsylvania Does Not Need MORE Abortion


July 12, 2022                                                                                  717-541-0034

The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation issued the following statement in response to Governor Wolf’s abortion-related Executive Order.

Pennsylvania Does Not Need MORE Abortion

“Governor Wolf wants Pennsylvania to become an abortion magnet.  We already have over 32,000 abortions a year in the Commonwealth, equating to five kindergarten classes lost each and every day. Rather than pushing for even more abortion and competing with radical states like New York and New Jersey for abortion tourism, we should concentrate on providing compassionate care and tangible support for pregnant women in need and their vulnerable children.”

This quote is attributed to Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.

************************************************************************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.

Secrets Surrendered, Hearts Healed

by Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director

It’s the babies. Always the babies.  Every time I set up an educational display, it’s the fetal models that draw people to our table like moth to flame. And that was the case at Creation Music Festival, a Christian music event attended by tens of thousands of people each year.

It’s become a predictable pattern.  The babies are spotted from a distance. People approach, touch them, hold them, marvel at them.  A conversation ensues. Information is shared. Stories are told. Many different stories.

Like the woman told to abort her child twenty-four years ago, after a sonogram revealed that her child had no brain.  She refused and instead prayed that a future test would show a different result. It did. Her daughter was born perfectly healthy. 

Two different women told me their stories of getting pregnant as teens and being pressured to abort by their families. Despite feeling alone and unsupported by those closest to them, both women refused abortion, choosing open adoption instead. Both have a beautiful, loving relationship with the children who once grew within their bodies. One even shared the picture of her six-year-old biological son who is thriving with his adoptive family.

Over four days, I talked with hundreds of people and listened to dozens of stories. Many young children delighted in holding our babies and posing for pictures. The one group I did not anticipate the babies attracting, however, were those who were post-abortive.

Never before had so many people disclosed to me that they had one or more abortions.  All of them said they silently bore shame and grief for years afterward.

One woman came to our table with her teenage son. She was born into a politically-connected liberal family that counted Faye Wattleton, the former head of Planned Parenthood, as a close friend. Raised to think abortion was no big deal, she had a few.  But she was not at peace.  She suffered. She regretted. She mourned.  She felt that she had been lied to.  It was only through a relationship with Christ, she said, that she finally found forgiveness and peace.  And she wants her son to learn from her journey and be armed with the truth.

Then there was another young woman looking to start a Respect Life ministry in her church, hoping to use some of the literature we had on our table.  She told me that she had an abortion many years ago. Anytime abortion was brought up at church, she would inwardly panic, thinking her body language would reveal to everyone the secret she carried for so long. It was by encountering another post-abortive woman who shared her testimony that she finally got the courage to talk about her abortion. She found healing in a program called Surrendering the Secret. Now she hopes to help others choose life.

On the last day, it was a man that stopped by.  With his long hair, red bandana, and heavily tattooed body,  I could easily imagine him riding his Harley to the festival. He almost walked by, but suddenly turned around. He stared at the babies. “Hard to believe that we even have to tell people they are human beings,” he said. I agreed. 

Then he shared his story. When he was a young man, he discovered his wife had an affair with his own brother. She became pregnant. Heartbroken over the dual betrayal, he paid for her abortion.  For many years it haunted and grieved him. He told me he wasn’t always a Christian but is now.  It is how he has found forgiveness, healing, and love.

There were several others who disclosed their abortions. They didn’t have to.  They could have walked by.  They could have stopped and not shared that piece of themselves.  But they did stop. Did share.  They want others to know. Not just their woundedness, but their redemption.  Not just their hurt, but their hope.  

As we enter a post-Roe America, let’s remember that so many have been wounded by abortion. Some are healed. Many are not. They sit at our tables, in our pews, and on the other side of our computer screens.

Let us love them into the truth. Let us pray for their healing. Let them feel our acceptance, not judgment. Let us be bridges, not walls. 

It’s often said that the church is not so much a museum for saints, but a hospital for sinners.  Let us say the same for the pro-life movement.

Roe v. Wade Overturn: A Victory for Women and Children 

U.S. Supreme Court Decision Returns Abortion Issue to States

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the tragic 1973 ruling known as Roe v. Wade represents a victory for women and children throughout the country.

Roe v. Wade is a deeply flawed decision which rightly has now been tossed into the ash bin of history,” said Maria Gallagher, legislative director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, the Keystone State affiliate of National Right to Life.  

More than 63 million preborn children have lost their lives to this abominable decision. In addition, countless mothers have been left to grieve babies lost to abortion. With today’s landmark ruling, the issue of abortion policy rightfully returns to the states, where the public, through their duly elected representatives, can pursue policies that protect preborn children and their mothers from harm,” Gallagher added.  

“We commend the High Court for recognizing the truth that a so-called ‘right’ to abortion appears nowhere in the U.S. Constitution,” Gallagher said. “This is a day of victory for the most vulnerable among us.”

Statistics from the PA Department of Health show that more than 32,000 abortions occurred in the Commonwealth in 2020, the latest year for which statistics are available. “Imagine how many kindergarten classes of children have been lost to abortion in PA. It’s mind-boggling,” Gallagher said.

In Pennsylvania, abortion totals would be much higher were it not for the many pregnancy resource centers which provide free counseling and material assistance for pregnant women facing challenging circumstances. Pennsylvania’s state-assisted Pregnancy and Parenting Support Program offers true alternatives and options to women in their time of need. 

No pregnant woman in Pennsylvania should feel as if she is alone. Pregnancy help centers stand ready to offer no-cost assistance and the emotional support every pregnant woman deserves,” Gallagher added. 

Welcome to Post-Roe America

by Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

As I joined with people from around the country in a spirited rendition of God Bless America, a feeling of intense gratitude swept over me.

This was the first time I had sung the beloved hymn in the post-Roe era. The song took on a new meaning, as I reflected on the fact that the worst decision in the history of American jurisprudence had been swept away on a tide of sound judicial reason. This is the moment I had been awaiting for decades—when our nation finally would be free of the tyranny of Roe.

I had prayed each day for years for this victory—boldly claiming that it would happen in my lifetime. The thought that any grandchildren I might have in the future would be post-Roe babies sent my spirit soaring.

I realize that much work remains to be done to protect precious preborn babies and their mothers from harm throughout the country—including the Commonwealth in which I live, Pennsylvania. But the fact that the decision on abortion policy now rests with the people, through their duly-elected representatives in the states, fills me with awe. God bless America indeed.

Shedding Light on Pro-Life Truths in an Unexpected Place

By Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director

I am quite used to talking about life issues, even debating them with those whose views differ from my own.  I just don’t usually do it in the grocery store. With a soon-to-be 8th grader.

Yet, there I was, in the coffee aisle, talking big topics with my friend’s grandson, who we’ll call Kevin.

I was delighted to bump into the two of them and chat for a bit. Before saying our goodbyes, Kevin asked me where I worked and what I did.  He listened and then politely informed me that unlike his grandmother and me, he is “pro-choice.”

He went on to explain that a woman who is a victim of rape or incest should not be forced to carry and birth a baby.  Knowing Kevin, I was sure this was coming from a place of compassion. He felt deep sorrow for women enduring such trauma and believed that continuing a pregnancy in those circumstances would only make the situation worse.

I sensed from his pause and steady gaze that he expected me to respond.

I smiled at him, thankful that he was willing to listen.  I gently asked him if he has ever met anyone conceived from rape or from incest.  “No.”

I told him that I have, and that I could never look at them and say they weren’t deserving of life because of the manner in which they were conceived. I pointed out that the perpetrators of such crimes, if caught and convicted get jail time, but the innocent child brought into existence gets a much harsher sentence in abortion: death. 

There was much more I could say, especially about whether choosing life over abortion helps women to heal, but left it at that. I could see he was thinking it over. I invited him to reach out to me anytime he has a question and that I would be happy to hear him out and dialogue.

It wasn’t long. A few minutes later, as I worked my way through the meat section, Kevin was back.  He had more questions he wanted me to address, eager to hear how I would respond.  What about children born into poverty?  Or a dire pre-natal diagnosis?  What about when the mother’s life is in danger?

For a good 20 minutes we talked. I answered each question while shoppers careened their carts around us. Who knows what bits and pieces were overheard?

I said it was wrong to impose our personal standards of “a worthwhile life” onto others.  Surely, people born poor or with a disability or in foster care are glad to be alive. We should not consider their lives less valuable than ours.

Instead, we should do our best as a society to reduce suffering to the extent that we can rather than eliminate humans who suffer. If we choose to eliminate everyone who might experience suffering at some point in their life, who should live? 

With regard to a dire prenatal diagnosis I pointed out that even in this modern age, doctors and tests sometimes are wrong. But even if a diagnosis is correct, does a child not deserve a chance to be born, to be held and loved by his parents, to receive medical intervention, to be treated with compassion and dignity? Why must he be killed in utero?

I also shared that due to modern medical practices, rarely is a pregnant woman’s life in jeopardy, but if that situation does arise, it is usually later in pregnancy.  At that point an abortion is far more threatening to the mother’s life than delivering the child prematurely and striving to save both lives.

We covered several other topics, including death with “dignity.” It was an intense conversation.

To his credit, Kevin listened and nodded, displaying a maturity and civility that seems to be lost on this issue. He never once interrupted me but thoughtfully listened to all I had to offer, sometimes asking follow-up questions.  I again told him to stay in touch and let me know if he wants to talk again.  He extended his hand and warmly shook mine, thanking me for my time and information.

As I headed for the dairy section, I marveled at this young man and our exchange, wishing I could replicate the conversation in every supermarket in the country. I don’t know exactly what Kevin believes now about abortion, but I believe to some extent he was enlightened. And his openness was encouraging. 

Perhaps this is a good model for all of us. So often we are afraid of talking about abortion for fear of offending, disagreeing, arguing. Let us have the courage to engage with others and the wisdom to have productive, civil discourse that sheds more light than heat. Perhaps in this way, one conversation at a time, we can change minds and hearts and ultimately, the culture.

When the “Experts” Get it Wrong

By Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director

A day after his fourth birthday, a team of educational experts told us our youngest child was severely autistic. During the hours-long assessment in which he was whisked away from us and surrounded by unfamiliar adults, the team concluded that he couldn’t talk.  In reality, he wouldn’t talk, an attached toddler hampered by anxiety that was amplified by the circumstances.

As my husband and I listened to their diagnosis, we experienced both surprise and heartbreak. We suspected he might be somewhere on the spectrum. But severely, profoundly autistic?  I had taught such students in a fully inclusive classroom, some who were completely non-verbal and facing challenges that I didn’t see my son having.

When I voiced doubt about the results, I was told by the Ph.D. leading the team that I was simply in denial. She recommended a restrictive diet and possible placement in a school for children with autism.

Fourteen years later, after a mix of public, Catholic, and homeschool education, some speech and occupational therapy, dozens of amazing teachers and encouraging mentors, we have reached a milestone.

This week our son walked across the stage to receive his diploma. He graduated. From a traditional Catholic high school. With few accommodations.  His strong grades excused him from all finals. He has a job and a driver’s license. He is a happy, gentle soul. In the fall he will be off to college, having been accepted at all three schools to which he applied.

So how did that team of experts get it so wrong?

There is no doubt our son is on the spectrum. He faced many sensory and developmental challenges growing up. Haircuts, barking dogs, and circle time at preschool launched him into meltdowns. Later, he struggled with public speaking, time management, and trying anything new, whether food, activity, or even shoes. By middle school, his anxiety was so great, we resorted to homeschooling for two years, one of the best decisions we ever made.

So yes, he has autism. But he also had far greater potential to overcome and to thrive than the “experts” predicted. Their methodology was flawed, resulting in an incorrect conclusion.

We are learning that some tests commonly used during pregnancy are also flawed. The New York Times  reported earlier this year that analysis of certain prenatal blood tests showed incorrect positive results about 85 percent of the time.  Tragically, some couples given these diagnoses choose to abort their child. Many of them may have aborted perfectly healthy children. But even if not perfectly healthy, did their children not deserve even a chance at life?

I cringe to think of the day when the medical experts begin testing in utero for autism. How accurate will that test be? Will children thought to be on the spectrum be targeted for death as children with Down syndrome are today? How many more beautiful lives will be stolen from our world?

Whenever a diagnosis of any sort is given, we must remember that each and every person deserves the chance to live, grow, and love to the extent that they are capable.  We shouldn’t place qualifications or limits on any one’s life because of perceived obstacles.

Sometimes “experts” just get it wrong. Despite great gains made in medicine and education, predicting the future for any one individual is an inexact science. As much as we think we know, there are no crystal balls revealing what awaits any human life. There is no way to measure perseverance.  There is no test for human resiliency. No statistic on the power of love.

As for our family, much of the expert guidance we received throughout our son’s childhood was helpful. But we were always a bit guarded because of the initial diagnosis he was given. No one knows or loves your child as you do, so it’s important to trust your own instincts.

In watching our son proudly walk across the stage at graduation, I realized that his journey was actually comprised of millions of baby steps made possible by the encouragement and support of so many people in his life. Sometimes it was two steps forward, one step back, but he kept on.  And in doing so, he showed us all that he was much more capable than that first team of experts had thought.  

In Less Than Ideal Circumstances, Beauty Can Still Bloom

by Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director

It was the Spring morning I’d been longing for. Brilliant sunshine embraced me as I stepped outside with my freshly-brewed coffee, observing the green wave of new life that creeped over my backyard.

As I strolled beyond the cultivated garden beds, I spotted the unexpected. Beyond the back fence, amidst last season’s decomposing yard debris, perched at the foot of a withered woodpile, was a magnificent singular white hyacinth.

This lone bulb must have been accidentally uprooted last year and transplanted to a less than ideal home, the wildly overgrown woods where we dump clippings and weeds.

Yet, somehow that bulb found just enough light, warmth, and nourishment to produce a majestic flower that filled me with joy by its very existence. I thought it more beautiful than any other flower in my yard. It not only survived, it thrived, and it was all the more glorious for the contrast it provided to its own barren and bleak surroundings.  

It was a little metaphorical signpost from our Creator, a reminder of both the potential and resiliency of life, especially human life.  How many of us have been thrown into less than ideal circumstances, and yet managed to survive? How many of us were born into such a situation?

Our society mistakenly leads us to believe that we can only welcome new life at the ideal time, in the ideal place, with the ideal partner.  And when any of those conditions are not met, some believe that it is better for everyone’s sake, including the child’s, to reject that budding life so full of potential and resiliency. How many babies are aborted every single day, never being given any chance at life because circumstances are perceived to be less than ideal?

When a young woman faces an unplanned pregnancy, she is uprooted into an unfamiliar world that she can find frightening. It can be difficult to see past the present moment of fear and uncertainly. Thrown into rocky soil, she may be unsure if she can become rooted again and provide for herself and her child.  

But nature itself reflects the buoyancy of the human spirit, the untold potential, the possibilities that can be.

Let us be that society that provides enough light, warmth, and nourishment that envelopes her as she brings forth new life. Let us help her look beyond the imperfect situation of the present moment and envision the hyacinth that might be awaiting. Let us say with our lips and show with our actions this simple but often forgotten truth: that in less than ideal circumstances, beauty can still bloom, life can still blossom, and the world made infinitely better for it.