Pennsylvania Senator Votes to Overturn Hobby Lobby Decision

This week, U.S. Senator Bob Casey Jr. from Pennsylvania voted to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties.

Stop Abortion MandatesThe U.S. Senate failed Wednesday to pass the bill, which aimed to overturn the high court’s decision and force religious people who own businesses to violate their beliefs.

Our Executive Director Michael Ciccocioppo told that he is disappointed with Casey for supporting measures to overturn the high court’s ruling.

“The U.S. Supreme Court rightly affirmed religious liberty a few weeks ago when it ruled that the families who own Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties can exercise their religious beliefs,” Ciccocioppo said. “The high court agreed that business owners should not be forced to violate their beliefs by providing abortion-causing drugs/devices to their employees.”

“We are disappointed that Sen. Casey has abandoned our nation’s founding principle of religious freedom by trying to overrule the Supreme Court’s decision,” he added. “We agree with Justice Samuel Alito that, had the Supreme Court ruled against Hobby Lobby and Conestoga, business owners could be forced to cover third-trimester abortions and assisted suicide.”

While we gained a victory over the HHS Mandate, we can’t stop working now. There are other abortion-expanding aspects of Obamacare that are still in effect. Read about them here.

Clearing Up Some Confusion on the Hobby Lobby/Conestoga Case

I’ve noticed a lot of confusion this week in reports about the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the HHS Mandate. Here are two clarification points for you as you’re reading about the case:

Supreme CourtFirst — Many media outlets are saying the two companies, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, oppose providing birth control coverage to their employees. This is not true. The family owners of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga opposed only four of the 20 types of contraception that the government requires employers to provide. The families argued that the four types aren’t just contraception; they can be abortion-causing, life-destroying. Abortion is what the families object to paying for.

Second — Some pro-abortion groups claim that the four drugs/devices in question don’t cause abortions because they don’t interrupt a pregnancy. However, these groups define pregnancy as beginning when the embryo implants in his/her mother’s uterus. They fail to acknowledge that a new human life begins before that point. According to biologists, a new human being forms at the moment of fertilization. The four drugs/devices may sometimes work by preventing an embryo from implanting in the womb, thus killing him or her. That’s why the families who own Hobby Lobby and Conestoga are opposed. They do not want to be forced to pay for the destruction of innocent human lives.

As you read news about the case, please keep these facts in mind.

Supreme Court Upholds Religious Freedom for Business Owners

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the overreaching Obamacare HHS Mandate on Monday.

“This is a victory for religious freedom,” said Michael Ciccocioppo, executive director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life FederatioGaveln. “Government cannot force business owners to pay for abortion-causing drugs for employees.”

“This decision renounces the Obama administration’s attempts to overreach the basic provisions of Obamacare by imposing unlawful mandates on Americans,” Ciccocioppo said.

The high court ruled in favor of family-owned businesses Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, a Lancaster-based Mennonite company. Both objected to paying for abortion-causing drugs for their employees.

Click here to read the full Supreme Court decision.

Who Really Has Women’s Best Interests at Heart?

Planned Parenthood with its bright pink logo and its catchy slogans claims to have women’s best interests at heart. But it doesn’t take much to see past the façade.

The abortion provider fights vehemently for “access to women’s reproductive health care” (translation: abortion). They oppose any and all abortion regulation laws – including those PlannedParenthood1meant to protect women’s health – all in the name of access.

But when it comes to real health care access issues, Planned Parenthood isn’t just silent. They’re actually promoting a law that cuts off access to basic health care for women and their families.

I’m talking about Obamcare.

Planned Parenthood is one of the biggest proponents of the federal health care law. The problem is that as more people sign up for new insurance plans, they are finding that their new plans exclude specialist doctors and highly-reputable health care centers, according to a report by the National Right to Life Committee.

National news outlets also are picking up on the restricting effects of the law. In an Oct. 21, 2013, piece in USA Today, Annika McGinnis wrote:

“In New Hampshire, the exchange has just Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, which greatly reduces the number of hospital options, says State Sen. Andy Sanborn. Since more than 90% of doctors are affiliated with specific hospitals, the new plans will also exclude many doctors, he added. Plans don’t include the capital’s Concord Hospital, and the next-closest hospital uses Concord doctors, Sanborn said. So, he said, people will have to drive to a third hospital an hour away. They’ll even have to call an ambulance from a far-away hospital to pick them up, he said.”

And this is just one of many examples.

Planned Parenthood conveniently ignores the fact that Obamacare is forcing families to travel further to find basic health care. As long as women can have easy access to abortions, nothing else matters to them.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to conclude that Planned Parenthood cares only about abortion. No matter what.

Learn the Latest Pro-Life News and Information at Our Spring Town Hall Tour

This winter seemed as though it would never end, but the signs of spring are finally appearing. I love the warmth and hope that spring holds. It reminds me that good things are ahead.

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Micaiah Bilger during our 2013 Town Hall Tour

I feel the same way during our annual Pro-Life Town Hall Tour, which is coming up April 28 to May 6.

It’s a time when we travel across the state and connect with pro-lifers, sharing the latest information about pro-life issues and ideas for restoring a culture of life in our state.

This year, we’ll be talking about the effects of Obamacare on abortion and euthanasia, notorious abortionists in our state, pro-life progress in Pennsylvania, tools for communicating the pro-life message, and more.

I really enjoy the time I spend talking with people before and after the meetings. I always feel so hopeful after hearing about what pro-lifers are doing in their towns to support and encourage families to choose life.

Please join me and our Executive Director Michael Ciccocioppo to learn, connect, and be inspired for life. Join us in:

Gettysburg – Noon to 1:30 p.m. Monday, April 28
West Chester – 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, April 28
Danville – Noon to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 29
Lewistown – 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, April 29
Clarion – 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, April 30
New Castle – Noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, May 1
Latrobe – 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, May 1
Huntingdon – Noon to 1:30 p.m. Friday, May 2
Mechanicsburg – 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, May 6

For details, contact us at or 717-541-0034.

Pennsylvania Remains a Leader in the Fight for Life

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

A national group recently claimed that Pennsylvania is losing ground, as far as the fight for life is concerned.

Thankfully for Pennsylvanians, this is actually NOT the case.

Capitol-front-viewLargePennsylvania has made incredible progress in defending innocent human life in the past three years. We’ve seen at least six abortion facilities shut their doors. Abortion totals have nosedived nearly 5 percent. We’ve also passed landmark legislation such as our abortion center regulation law, which ensures that abortion facilities follow the same safety standards as outpatient surgery centers. And we enacted a law guaranteeing that no taxpayer funding of abortion will occur in the Keystone State under the health insurance exchange created by the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

The prosecution of abortionist Kermit Gosnell also awakened a number of Americans to the horrors that can occur inside a legal abortion facility. Gosnell and his associates–who killed infants and whose negligence resulted in the death of a female patient–have been brought to justice.

The political arm of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion operation, is targeting Pennsylvania because of the stunning victories we have achieved on the pro-life front.

It can easily be argued that, in the past few years, Pennsylvania has made more pro-life progress than in the past twenty years. That is due to pro-lifers across our state, who are calling and emailing our public officials as never before, lobbying on behalf of life. And we must also thank our state legislators and our Governor for their steadfast determination to protect babies and their mothers from harm.

Pennsylvanians have every reason to be proud of our pro-life achievements. They are helping to not only save lives, but improve the quality of life for our citizens.

Do Our Tax Dollars Fund Abortions?

The issue of tax dollars paying for abortions can be complex and confusing. But it is happening, and taxpayers deserve to know the truth.

abortion-is-not-healthcareYou may remember that in 2013, Pennsylvania legislators passed Act 13, which stops taxpayer funding of abortion in the health insurance exchange created in the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

It was a big victory for Pennsylvania. We know that more abortions occur when tax dollars pay for them. We also know that polls consistently show a strong majority of Americans don’t want their tax dollars to pay for abortions.

Unfortunately, there are other avenues through which our tax dollars pay for abortion.

The nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, received $540 million in taxpayer funding in 2012. While the agency isn’t supposed to use that money for abortion, some former Planned Parenthood employees have said they do it anyway.

Another way our tax dollars go toward abortion is through the United Nations Population Fund. The U.S. gives millions to the UNFPA and other organizations that perform abortions overseas. Disturbingly, this includes support for the forced abortions that take place because of China’s One Child policy.

As if this isn’t enough, lately I’ve seen a growing push from pro-abortion advocates to overturn the pro-life Hyde Amendment, which protects our taxes from pay for abortions in health care programs such as Medicaid.

We have created a new petition to help us in our work to protect our tax dollars from paying for the deaths of innocent preborn babies. Sign the petition here.

Pennsylvania Law Stops Abortion Health Insurance Scheme

I am so thankful that we passed House Bill 818 here in Pennsylvania.

The bill, which is now Act 13, prevents our tax dollars from being used for abortion by opting out of abortion coverage in the state health insurance exchange created in Capitol-front-viewLargeObamacare.

Act 13 actually made a bigger impact than most people probably realized at first. In states that didn’t pass a law like ours, their residents may be misled into supporting even more abortions.

Recent news reports say the government is placing more power and money into the hands of Planned Parenthood. Several of the abortion giant’s state affiliates (none here in Pennsylvania, thankfully) received navigator grants to help uninsured people sign up for health insurance.

It’s not hard to guess how Planned Parenthood will “guide” Americans when it comes to choosing a health care plan. Planned Parenthood makes their money doing abortions, and the more people with abortion coverage in their health insurance, the more women will have abortions. The more abortions, the more money for Planned Parenthood. What a great scheme, right?

But thanks to Act 13, that’s not going to happen here in Pennsylvania. We said no to abortion coverage in our state insurance exchange plans. We said no to biased counseling and no to our tax dollars being spent on abortion.

It’s clear even more now than ever before why we needed to pass Act 13. I’m so thankful for Pennsylvania saying a big YES to life!

Thanks To You, No Taxpayer Funding of Abortions!

Thanks to you, it happened!


Legislative Director Maria Gallagher and Education Director Micaiah Bilger with a copy of House Bill 818, signed by Governor Tom Corbett.

Thanks to you, Pennsylvania taxpayers will not have to pay for abortions under the health insurance exchange created by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

House Bill 818, which became law as Act 13, ensures that Pennsylvania opts out of elective abortion coverage in the state health insurance exchange created through Obamacare.

Our team worked round the clock to ensure that you and your family would not be forced to pay for the expansion of abortion in the Commonwealth.

Lives will be saved, mothers will be empowered, and your hard-earned tax dollars will be safeguarded as a result of this remarkable legislative achievement.

Please join us as we work to make the next miracle happen. Donate today or volunteer with a pro-life chapter in your area!

Governor Signs Bill Protecting Pa. Tax Dollars from Abortion

Legislation Allows the Commonwealth to Opt-Out
of Elective Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Exchange

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Governor Tom Corbett signed into law Monday a measure to protect Pennsylvania tax dollars from being spent on abortion.

House Bill 818, which passed the state House in April and Senate on June 5, ensuresChoose Life! that Pennsylvania opts out of elective abortion coverage in the state health insurance exchange created through the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.

“House Bill 818 is a true taxpayer protection bill,” said Maria Gallagher, legislative director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation. “We thank Governor Corbett and the legislators for protecting taxpayers’ interests and preserving Pennsylvania’s longstanding and time-tested policy that prevents taxpayer funding of abortion.”

The Affordable Care Act includes a provision allowing states to opt-out of abortion coverage in the health insurance exchanges. Pennsylvania joins more than 30 other states that have, or are in the process of, enacting opt-out legislation.

“National polls show the majority of women and men – on both sides of the abortion issue — agree that our tax dollars should not be spent on abortion,” Gallagher said. “Without this legislation, Pennsylvania taxpayers would be forced to support the abortion industry.”

House Bill 818 includes exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother, which are the same exceptions that apply to Medicaid funding of abortion in Pennsylvania. Therefore, the Pennsylvania bill is in line with state law and the U.S. Constitution.

The bill was sponsored by state Rep. Donna Oberlander, R-Clarion.