Time to Correct the Error of Roe

by Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director

Even decades after slavery was abolished, there was a time in our country when it was legally acceptable to separate people by race. In fact, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of racial segregation in the 1896 case Plessy vs. Ferguson, protecting the doctrine of Separate but Equal. It would be upheld by the Court seven times.

It took 58 years for the Court to see the error of its ways. It’s impossible to quantify the tremendous damage that Plessy did in stalling equal rights for all Americans. Finally, the Court’s landmark decision in the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education case determined racial segregation of school children to be unconstitutional, and it became a cornerstone of the civil rights movement that led to de-segregation of other institutions.

Today, it’s hard for us to imagine how the Court in 1896 could have possibly thought that such a practice was constitutionally protected.  The doctrine of Separate but Equal with regard to race was long overdue for the ash heap of history.

In similar fashion, another Supreme Court precedent, should join it.  Where Plessey marginalized people based on race, Roe marginalizes people based on age and location. In a day of 4-D ultrasounds, fetal surgery, and ever-changing viability, it’s hard to imagine how the Court in 1973 could have possibly thought abortion to be a constitutionally protected right.

In every pregnancy, two separate and equal humans exist. From the moment of conception, a genetically unique human is formed, one who is inside the mother, yet NOT the mother.  Perhaps a different gender, eye color, or hand dominance. A person who has never before existed and never will again. A person whose future is impossible to predict and whose impact on the world can only be imagined.

Clearly human, created of human parents. Clearly living, as demonstrated by rapid growth. It is intellectually dishonest to say this is not a living human being.

In challenging this, the abortion supporter will frequently invoke personhood, saying that we are not really people with inherent dignity and rights until we possess sentience, abilities to feel, dream, plan, etc. Yet, one must ask, does a newborn infant possess these qualities? Or those with limited cognitive capacity? Or those tortured by addiction?  Are they, or others in likewise vulnerable situations, not persons?

Personhood cannot be qualified by arbitrary social constructs.  Defining personhood should be based on objective truth, and scientifically speaking, the indisputable truth is that human life begins at conception, just as it was indisputably true that our human dignity is not a function of race.

Justice Blackmun, in his Roe majority opinion, acknowledged that if the personhood of the fetus is someday established, Roe is doomed to collapse, as the 14th Amendment clearly protects the fetus’ right to life.

That day has come. Forty-nine years later, at the tragic cost of 63 million American innocent lives, wounded mothers, forsaken fathers, and a fractured society, it’s time to correct the error of Roe.

While Separate but Equal based on race has no place in our society, equal rights based on biology certainly should be guaranteed. Situational circumstances do not change an objective truth of who we are and how we came to be. We all have inherent worth from the moment of our conception. Every person, once in existence, should have the right to live.

Pennsylvania Abortion Totals Increase

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE             CONTACT:  MARIA GALLAGHER, PPLF
January 4, 2022  717-541-0034

Pennsylvania Abortion Totals Increase;
Pandemic Partly Responsible for the Rise

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The number of abortions in Pennsylvania increased in 2020 by 3.5% according to the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, the Keystone State affiliate of National Right to Life.

Statistics released by the Pennsylvania Department of Health show 1,105 more abortions occurred in 2020 compared to 2019. In all, 32,123 abortions took place in 2020—a year when the COVID-19 pandemic swept through the Commonwealth.

In a year when the Wolf Administration refused to allow Pennsylvanians to undergo elective surgeries, abortion operations were permitted to perform abortions unabated.  

“The increase in abortions in Pennsylvania is truly alarming,” said Maria Gallagher, legislative director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation. “When many other businesses were forced to shut their doors, the abortion industry, led by abortion giant Planned Parenthood, continued to operate.

“Every abortion represents the tragic loss of an innocent human life. In addition, mothers are left to grieve children who are lost to abortion. It is a family tragedy of epic proportions,” Gallagher added. 

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. 

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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.

Back Alley Abortion Comes Home

by Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director

The two red lines sent her into a state of panic.

A call to Planned Parenthood confirmed she need not come in for an examination.  A tele-med appointment would now suffice. And it would cost less.

Within an hour, the prescription was ready. Two little pills would be her “lifeline.”

No one will ever know. This is safe.  This is easy. They told me so. This will give me my future back.

She wanted to believe all that. Hours later, reality proved otherwise.

Tears rained down her face while she tried to muffle cries and endure excruciating cramps.

Blood. Everywhere. Severely weakened, all she could do was lay on the cold floor for hours.

Hemorrhaging and pain would last for weeks. The trauma forever.

No one told her.

No one told her that women have died from these pills. That thousands have serious complications.

No one warned that the “tissue” she passed would have a little nose and perfectly formed upper lip.

No one explained she’d deliver a tiny baby, her baby into a toilet, an image she would never be able to unsee.

She was further along than suspected.  But a doctor never examined her. Instead, a stranger prescribed an abortion via computer.

She never felt more alone. Scared. Wounded.

This is mail-order abortion. This is what the FDA, the agency that is supposed to safeguard our health, is now allowing. 

This is what the abortion industry is selling. “Tele-health” that kills preborn babies and seriously puts women’s physical and emotional health at risk.

Back alley abortion has come into the home.

We mustn’t let it.  We must warn all the young women susceptible to the lies and deceptions of the abortion industry. We must assure them of our help and support.

We must protect them and their precious children, even when our government will not.

Should women have to rely on abortion to succeed?

By Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director

On December 1, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health regarding Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban.  One argument put forth by the pro-abortion side was reliance.   In other words, the so-called right to abortion must be preserved because women have come to rely on it.     

In her opening statement, Department of Justice Solicitor General Elizabeth Prologar said, “The Court has never revoked a right that is so fundamental to so many Americans and so central to their ability to participate fully and equally in society.”

Can Prologar hear herself? Can she hear how profoundly anti-woman this argument is? She, and by extension our government, claims that abortion, the deliberate killing of one’s own child, is necessary for women to participate “fully and equally in society.”

Women can’t succeed without abortion. Is there a more misogynistic statement?

It is this line of thinking that allows Hollywood producers, Wall Street executives, and corporate management to tell women facing an untimely pregnancy to “get rid of it.” 

It is this warped mentality that encourages men to wash their hands of their responsibility as fathers, protectors, and providers. 

It is this pathetic worldview that says a woman’s fertility is a barrier to success. In order to compete with men, she must “apologize” for her own completely natural life-giving superpower by killing her own child.

Furthermore, this reliance mindset damages efforts to offer true support to women and families. Why offer paid maternity and paternity leave, remote work options, affordable child care, academic alternatives, or material and emotional support to women and families, when motherhood could have been “avoided” via abortion?

What kind of society have we created that some women feel they cannot acquire an education, advance their career, or find fulfillment unless they sacrifice their unborn child’s life?  This is pitiful progress in terms of the women’s movement.

Rather than removing the child from the sanctuary of the womb, we should be removing educational, vocational, and economic barriers for the women nurturing the next generation.

Shattering glass ceilings should not require shattering human lives.

While Prologar says the Court has never before revoked a right so fundamental to Americans as abortion, she is wrong. What could be more fundamental than the right to life itself?  In Roe the Court revoked that right, tragically denying “full and equal participation in society” to 62 million preborn Americans.

During arguments, Justice Samuel Alito pointed out that the South once relied on segregation in creating a society based on white supremacy.  It was an improper reliance, he acknowledged, based on an egregiously wrong understanding of what equal protection means.

The same can be said for abortion.  It is an improper reliance based on an egregiously wrong understanding of the law.  No one should have to rely on sacrificing a precious human life in order to participate fully and equally in society.

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.

The Road Not Taken, or Even Mentioned

by Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director

My body is not their property. So said Madi, a 21-year-old college senior who was 13 weeks pregnant.  Featured in a recent ABC News story, Madi flew to Mississippi’s lone abortion facility, with her mother’s blessing nonetheless, to get the abortion she could no longer get in Texas, stating, “I had to keep in mind that I was doing this for me.” 

At 13 weeks, Madi was in her second trimester, and her child was about 3 inches long, the size of a peach. His heart was beating, his gender distinguishable, and his vocal cords newly formed. He could respond to light touch, turning his mouth toward it, an indication of the rooting reflex used when nursing. Madi’s baby could even hiccup. His little body was physically joined to but genetically separate from his mother. His body was not her property.

But no one seems to tell Madi this fact. Rather the entire ABC News segment focuses on aborting her child as THE only choice, leaving out information on any other option.

Missing is any evidence of an ultrasound, perhaps because seeing her baby would have changed Madi’s mind as it does to the majority of women considering abortion.

Missing is the hundreds of easily accessible pregnancy resource centers equipped to help Madi materially and emotionally through her pregnancy and long after.

Missing is the father of the baby, with whom she said she had been in a committed relationship.  Co-creator of this new life, he is denied any role as to whether his child lives or dies.

Missing is any mention whatsoever of the other A-word: adoption, and the fact that for every baby placed for adoption there are 36 couples waiting to grow their family.

Missing are specifics of how the “procedure” is done, whether the baby feels pain, and where his little body ends up.

And missing is just one person to say “Yes, you can do this and I will help you.” Even Madi’s mother is willing to exterminate her own grandchild so that her daughter can get back to her “typical college life.”

With abortion dominating headlines due to Supreme Court cases, we can expect more liberal media stories sympathetic to the abortion industry. Indeed, poor Madi is upheld as a new Norma McCorvey of sorts, the original Jane Roe, who was used by the abortion lobby and then tossed aside.  McCorvey actually never got an abortion though, and her daughter lives today. Madi’s child does not.

Among the many things Madi is never told in this thinly veiled propaganda piece is that she doesn’t have to choose between her child and her future.  That she should be empowered and supported to return to school and chase her dreams. That she can take responsibility for her child to whom she is already a mother.  That she engaged, by her own admission, in baby-making behavior that indeed made a baby.

Also unspoken are the long term consequences of abortion. While Madi gushes over the kindness of abortion staff, one must wonder where any of them will be when a more mature Madi, perhaps trying to conceive one day or watching her next child’s ultrasound, awakens to the reality of the precious life she sacrificed.  Where will the abortion advocates be when the anxiety, addiction, depression, relationship issues, and suicidal thoughts that plague many post-abortive women come to haunt Madi?

No one reminds her that pregnancy is temporary, but abortion forever. And forever is a long time to feel the ache of grief and guilt over a child needlessly killed.

Equipped with truth about the baby within her and supported by family and community, Madi might have taken another road. All she needed was someone to tell her the plain truth that yes, her body is not their property, and it never was…even when she was 13 weeks old in her own mother’s womb.

Letter to Pitt’s Board of Trustees

The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation sent the following letter along with thousands of petition signatures on October 15, 2021.

Dear Trustees,

Enclosed please find the names of thousands of people who have signed our petition calling on the University of Pittsburgh to cease its research using the body parts of aborted babies.

These gruesome experiments, which include grafting human scalps onto laboratory mice, are unethical and a violation of time-tested principles of responsible research.

We are especially troubled by published reports alleging that human organs were harvested from babies whose hearts were still beating. These reports, based on documentation collected by the Center for Medical Progress and Judicial Watch, raise significant questions about whether the research at issue is in violation of state and federal statutes.

We have learned that you have hired an outside legal firm to investigate this research. But we are mystified by reports that the results of that investigation may not be released to the public. In the interest of complete transparency, we further call on you to make public the findings of this investigation.

As taxpayers whose hard-earned tax dollars help to support the University of Pittsburgh, we call upon you to stop conducting dehumanizing research using aborted baby body parts.

Sincerely,

Susan Rogacs                                                                        Michael Ciccocioppo

President, Board of Directors                                             Executive Director