A Pro-Life Christmas Story


By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

I vividly recall the scene, since the details are forever etched in my memory.

I stood before the abortion center, knowing that each car parked there represented a tiny, irreplaceable human being who was being led to death.

It was a sobering sight–all the more so because it was near Christmas.

There is something particularly surreal about being present at an abortion facility at Christmas time. After all, at this time of year we recall an unmarried teenage Mom who gave birth to the child Christians would call the Savior.

Mary, of course, had her Joseph. Far too often, women today are left abandoned by the fathers of their children. It is that desperation that can lead them to the abortion center door.

Thankfully, however, there are so many people who are willing to stand in the gap to support pregnant women at their time of need. No pregnant woman should be made to feel as if she is all alone. A supportive, compassionate team may be as close as the nearest pregnancy resource center.

May pregnant women this Christmas find all the love they need to bring their babies into this world–a world which is desperately in need of the hope their children can provide.

Pregnant and Without a Job, She Found Help

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

I had just picked up some coffee, hoping the jolt of java would help me power through the rest of my day.

As I approached the intersection, I saw her, holding a sign which read, “Pregnant. No job.”

I beeped my horn and signaled for her to come up to my car window. I knew handing her cash was not enough–she needed much more than a few dollars could bring. She needed hope, compassion, companionship–not to mention a car seat and baby clothes.

What she needed was downtown–at a pregnancy resource center.

I quickly gave her the name of the center. The stoplight turned and I had to join the parade of traffic passing through the intersection.

But my conscience would not allow me to abandon this woman, or the distressing situation in which she found herself. So I ultimately circled back, parked the car, and approached her again–this time with cell phone in hand, ready to give her the address of the pregnancy center.

I explained to her the resources and services which the center could provide. She seemed a bit incredulous, not realizing that there was an entire facility dedicated to serving the needs of pregnant women, free of charge.

Pregnancy resource centers provide a critical safety net for women who find themselves in difficult situations. The comprehensive counseling and mentorship which the centers provide can be crucial to a pregnant woman’s journey.

Internet ads, billboards, and flyers can all help to spread the word. But sometimes the best messenger is another person, who can carry the message of love through a personal interaction.

I am so grateful for my local pregnancy center, and the many centers which dot my state. They provide a safe haven for women and their babies during difficult times, and contribute greatly to the quality of life in our communities.

They are a beacon in the darkness, and their light of hope shines brightly during these stressful times.

May We Always See the Miracle of the Unborn Child

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

I will forever remember the intensity of those eyes.

I would gaze into them as I was nursing, and they would pierce my soul. I never felt so connected with my baby girl as I did when I looked into her pale blue eyes.

Science tells us that a baby’s eyes start to develop a mere 19 days after conception. These windows to the soul carry with them so much possibility and promise.

Yet, nearly 900,000 times a year in the U.S. alone, that possibility and promise come to a terrifying end. The culprit is abortion, which forever steals from those eyes of the majesty of sunsets, the glory of flowers, the pristine wonder of new fallen snow.

So much of our humanity is expressed through our eyes. Who among us has not been deeply touched by the kindness expressed through the eyes of someone who truly cares for us?

As I was in church the other day, I saw a man lift up a baby and stare joyfully into her eyes. It was a moment of profound connection—sacred time.

Part of the tragedy of abortion is that the mother is robbed of the experience of gazing lovingly into her baby’s eyes. The bond between mother and child is severed in a most violent and heartless way. In fact, it is only in denying the humanity of the preborn child that abortion is able to flourish. It is through intellectual blindness that abortion proliferates.

As advocates for life, it is incumbent upon us to teach the world about the development of the unborn child. People need to know that by the 10th week post-conception, a preborn baby can move her eyes into a squint. Our fellow travelers on this earth need to know just what is at stake with every abortion—the loss of an unrepeatable human life.

May we always see the miracle inherent in a preborn child and share that miracle with the world!

A Day of Hope at the Supreme Court


By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

It was a day that had been decades in the making.

The presentation of oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in the pivotal case known as Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization stirred my soul. Finally, I felt, the Supreme Court was listening to reason.

Sloganeering and catchy memes had no place at the High Court. Rather, Justices were compelled to listen to the many ways the 1973 decision known as Roe v. Wade had failed to settle the abortion debate.

At stake was more than a 15-week ban on abortion in Mississippi. For this is the case that could finally overturn Roe and restore the issue of abortion to the people in the individual states, where it belongs.

The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation was among the many groups that filed friend-of-the-court briefs. In our well-reasoned brief, we argued strongly that both pregnant mother and preborn child deserve protection and care, and that modern obstetrical practice demanded Roe’s demise.

The Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court have proven to be an unpredictable lot. But for the first time in a long time I am hopeful that I will see the day of Roe’s end.

And that day cannot come soon enough.

U.S. Supreme Court Ruling: A Victory for Women and Their Children

HARRISBURG, Pa. –The U.S. Supreme Court should be applauded for its landmark ruling banning abortion facilities from mailing abortion drugs to women.

“This is a victory for women and their children, in Pennsylvania and throughout the country,” said Maria V. Gallagher, legislative director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, an affiliate of National Right to Life.

“Abortions-by-mail violate the very idea of sound medical practice and high-quality care for patients,” Gallagher said. “By pushing this dangerous practice, the abortion industry had demonstrated once again it is far more concerned about expanding abortion rather than safeguarding the health and safety of women,” Gallagher added.

A recently released report by the Pennsylvania Department of Health shows that, in 2019, 285 abortion complications were reported, an astronomical increase of 59 percent from the 2018 totals. The vast majority of the complications involved baby body parts being left in the mother’s womb, followed by bleeding and infection. 

A Pennsylvania abortion operation announced this week it was expanding abortion in the Keystone State by offering abortion drugs by mail. Planned Parenthood Keystone’s website stated individuals could receive the drugs at home “instead of coming into one of our health centers.”

Since the Supreme Court ruling, the page of the website detailing the abortions by mail program has been removed.

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

Pro-Life Leader: Senator Marsha Blackburn

By Maria V. Gallagher,
Legislative Director

            In her new book, The Mind of a Conservative Woman, U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) cites the sanctity of innocent human life among the principles she holds most dear.

            Her appreciation for the lives of the most vulnerable grew out of an experience she had when she was young, playing piano for a worship service. She reports that many of the people who attended the service had Down syndrome.

            “As I got to know them, I was always struck by how happy they were, how productive they seemed to be and in their own special way. Their sweet spirit and joyous singing would thrill me.”

            Blackburn was deeply saddened by the fact that the majority of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in their mothers’ wombs are aborted. “Who are we to say that such lives are not beautiful and productive and meaningful in their own way? Where did we get the right to decide who deserves death and before even one day of these lives is lived?” Blackburn asks.

            Her experience spawned her strong opposition to the pro-abortion agenda of the world’s largest abortion operation, Planned Parenthood.

            “It is the arrogance of this organization that gets me most,” Blackburn writes. “They dare to tell mothers that they have the right to decide if the child they bear should live or die…When a child is aborted, a life is ended. Always. Forever.”

            Blackburn is among the strong women in Congress who boldly and unapologetically stand up for the rights of the most innocent and helpless among us. With her book, she is once again raising her voice against what she describes as the barbarism of abortion.

            It is women like Blackburn who are leading the U.S. onto the path of pro-life victory. Countless numbers of lives will be saved and hearts will be changed as a result of their efforts.

Biden’s Running Mate Represents Extreme Pro-Abortion Politics

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Democrat Joe Biden’s selection of California U.S. Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate demonstrates that, when it comes to abortion politics, the Democratic ticket is extreme.

            “Kamala Harris voted to use our hard-earned tax dollars to pay for abortion,” said Michael Ciccocioppo of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation Political Action Committee. “Harris has also voted for taxpayer funding of abortion providers.

            “Public opinion polls have shown, time and time again, that Americans do not want their taxpayer dollars to pay for abortion. As a result, Harris is clearly out of the mainstream,” Ciccocioppo added.

            Biden’s running mate supports the policy of abortion on demand for any reason during all nine months of pregnancy. Harris co-sponsored a bill that would invalidate nearly all state and federal limits on abortion. She even voted against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would ensure medical care for babies who survive botched abortions.

            “The Biden-Harris ticket is just what the abortion industry ordered,” Ciccocioppo said. “They want to subsidize abortion businesses, threatening the health and safety of women and their preborn children. A Biden-Harris Administration would be a disaster for women and babies throughout the U.S.”

Supreme Court Ruling: A Sad Day for the Nation’s Women

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE          CONTACT: MARIA V. GALLAGHER, PPLF

June 29, 2020                                    717-541-0034 gallagher@paprolife.org
               

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The U.S. Supreme Court, in a narrow 5-4 ruling, has struck down a Louisiana law which required abortionists to have admitting privileges at local hospitals.

            The High Court ruled in June Medical Services L.L.C. v. Russo that the admitting privileges requirement represented an “undue burden” for women seeking abortions. Chief Justice John Roberts concurred with Justices Stephen Breyer, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and Justice Elena Kagan in the controversial decision.

            Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and Justice Clarence Thomas dissented from the Supreme Court majority decision. 

            “Women in Pennsylvania and this nation deserve the best possible medical care. It is alarming when basic protections are not in place to ensure their safety. That said, every abortion is lethal for a preborn child and potentially harmful for the mother, both physically and emotionally,” said Maria Gallagher, legislative director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, an affiliate of National Right to Life.

            In his dissent, Justice Thomas wrote, “Today a majority of the Court perpetuates its ill-founded abortion jurisprudence by enjoining a perfectly legitimate state law and doing so without jurisdiction.”

            “We look forward to the day when the High Court will reverse Roe v. Wade, the tragic 1973 ruling which has resulted in the deaths of more than 61 million preborn children and left millions of women to grieve babies lost to abortion,” Gallagher added.

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

“Gospel of Life” Stands the Test of Time

Pope John Paul II

 

 

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

The year 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of an incredible document defending the sanctity of human life.

“Evangelium Vitae” or “The Gospel of Life” by Pope John Paul II has definitely stood the test of time. Its powerful arguments are as relevant today as they were two-and-a-half decades ago.

The Pontiff issued this warning about attacks on human life:

…not only is the fact of the destruction of so many human lives still to be born or in their final stage extremely grave and disturbing, but no less grave and disturbing is the fact that conscience itself, darkened as it were by such widespread conditioning, is finding it increasingly difficult to distinguish between good and evil in what concerns the basic value of human life.

In contrast, Pope John Paul II offered his “Gospel of Life”:

…the splendour of truth which enlightens consciences, the clear light which corrects the darkened gaze, and the unfailing source of faithfulness and steadfastness in facing the ever new challenges which we meet along our path.

The Pope also presented a powerful Biblical rationale for preserving and protecting life from the very moment of conception.

The New Testament revelation confirms the indisputable recognition of the value of life from its very beginning. The exaltation of fruitfulness and the eager expectation of life resound in the words with which Elizabeth rejoices in her pregnancy: “The Lord has looked on me … to take away my reproach among men” (Lk 1:25). And even more so, the value of the person from the moment of conception is celebrated in the meeting between the Virgin Mary and Elizabeth, and between the two children whom they are carrying in the womb. It is precisely the children who reveal the advent of the Messianic age: in their meeting, the redemptive power of the presence of the Son of God among men first becomes operative.

The Gospel of Life is available online here. In these difficult days, reading or re-reading this classic work can help give you the strength you need to speak out boldly and convincingly for the sacredness of life.

Nursing Home Crisis Fuels Effort to Impeach Governor Tom Wolf

Elderly holding hands

 

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

A shocking number of deaths at Pennsylvania nursing homes has led to an effort to impeach Democratic Governor Tom Wolf.

“We must not and cannot ignore the more than 3,000 deaths in Pennsylvania’s nursing homes and long-term care facilities that are directly linked to Wolf’s and his secretary’s unconscionable orders to admit infected COVID-19 patients,” said state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler).

Metcalfe has introduced House Resolution 915, which calls for the impeachment of the Governor following the massive loss of life in Pennsylvania linked to the Coronavirus crisis.

The southwestern Pennsylvania lawmaker has introduced five articles of impeachment, one of which specifically deals with the callous manner in which nursing home residents have been treated during the pandemic.

Article IV of the impeachment resolution states, “Governor Wolf failed in his duty to protect the citizens of this commonwealth who are most vulnerable to COVlD-19: residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

“Although Governor Wolf had ample notice that residents of nursing homes
and long-term care facilities were at severe risk of contracting
and dying from COVID-I9, Governor Wolf failed to direct the
Department of Health to develop and implement a comprehensive
plan to protect them. More than two-thirds of all COVID-I9-
related fatalities in this commonwealth have occurred in nursing
homes and long-term care faciities.”

In a news release, Metcalfe, who has attracted 24 co-sponsors for his resolution, added, ““Pennsylvania citizens deserve and demand far better than a petulant socialist dictator with a well-documented history of unconstitutional and unlawful misbehavior cowardly occupying the governor’s office. No individual or regime is above the law. The time for Wolf’s impeachment is now!”