Taking the Message of LIFE to Those Who Need it Most

Many of our ovFullSizeRenderer 40 chapters over the summer participated in fairs, festivals, and carnivals across Pennsylvania.  We recently asked two of our chapter presidents—Tim Broderick of People for Life in Erie County and Jeff Myers of Life 30:19, our Franklin County chapter, some questions about their participation in taking the pro-life message to the community.

Below are the answers from Tim Broderick…stay tuned next week for Jeff’s responses.

Editor’s note: some answers have been edited for space.

Editor: What is the most common question/statement you get while working at a fair/festival?

Tim: We hear a wide range of comments. Most all of them are friendly and positive, thankfully. The single most common statement is, simply “Thank you for being here!”

Another question that we often hear is very straight-forward and goes something like: “Why are you here?” Or simply, “What IS this?” The short answer might be: “This is a pro-life booth and we’re here to stop abortion!” But we like to be a little more circumspect. If a little child is asking, we might say, “We’re here to remind people that EVERYONE is important, no matter how SMALL they are.” On other occasions, we might gesture toward the unborn baby models and say, “We’re here because we think babies like this should be protected.” Most people get the idea.

Editor: Why do you participate in local fairs/festivals?

Tim: We believe that the right to life is a basic human right that should be on everyone’s mind.

Every person needs to hear and understand the pro-life message. But some of the people who need to hear it the most are not likely, for instance, to walk into a pro-life organization’s office, to visit a pro-life website, or to hear a pro-life sermon in some pro-life church. We try to take the message where those people can be found, if not at a rib fest, maybe a wine fest, a pumpkin fest, a fire company carnival, or maybe a country fair. We want to help “mainstream” the pro-life cause and make wholesome, pro-life attitudes a natural, everyday part of American culture.

We hope our booths can help at least in some small way to get some of our fellow Americans to “lighten up,” to get back in touch with who they really are as human beings, and to be able to marvel along with us at the amazing mysteries of human life.

Editor: What piece of advice would you give someone looking to participate at a pro-life booth at their local fair/festival?

Tim: Keep it real! We always try to make it obvious that we are just regular, every-day people who happen to have some interesting information that we like to share with our friends and neighbors.

Have fun! Sometimes smiles speak louder than actions, or words.

Tailor your booth and your message for everyone! All kinds — all kinds — of people can understand and relate to the idea of defending innocent human lives. The important thing is for people to know that they can make a difference if they want to.

Don’t do anything to narrow your audience to “pro-lifers,” or churchgoers, or people that you might identify with politically.

National Right to Life PAC Supports Donald Trump for President

NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:  MARIA GALLAGHER, PA PRO-LIFE 717-541-0034

HARRISBURG, Pa. –The political arm of National Right to Life, the nation’s leading pro-life organization, has announced its support of Republican nominee Donald Trump for President.

The announcement clearly indicates that Mr. Trump is the Presidential candidate who will safeguard the rights of the country’s most vulnerable citizens.

Earlier this summer, the political action committee of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, an affiliate of National Right to Life, endorsed Mr. Trump for the White House.

“Donald Trump has pledged to appoint U.S. Supreme Court Justices who will strictly interpret the Constitution, rather than making laws from the bench,” said Maria Gallagher, legislative/PAC Director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.

“In sharp contrast, Democrat Hillary Clinton has imposed a pro-abortion litmus test for Supreme Court nominees. Her radical stand is at odds with the vast majority of Americans, who oppose legal abortion in most circumstances, according to numerous public opinion polls,” Gallagher added.

Mr. Trump also supports a ban on taxpayer funding of abortion—a position supported by more than 60 percent of the electorate. Tragically, Mrs. Clinton has vowed to repeal the common sense Hyde Amendment, which bars taxpayer funding of abortion except in the rare cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.

While Mr. Trump supports a ban on grisly late-term abortions, Mrs. Clinton voted against the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act while serving as a U.S. Senator. The law, which bans a gruesome act in which a baby is partly delivered, then killed, was ultimately upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Mr. Trump is committed to protecting the lives of preborn babies and the well-being of their mothers. Mrs. Clinton would set our nation back 40 years by pursuing extremist policies that threaten the lives of innocent unborn children and the health and safety of American women,” Gallagher said.

More than 58 million preborn babies have died in the U.S. since the tragic 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion throughout the country. It is estimated that approximately one million children each year are lost to abortion in the U.S.

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The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation is a grassroots right-to-life organization with members statewide.  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.

 

Trump, Clinton, and the Right to Life

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative/PAC Director

Choice, Usa, America, Flutter, Flag, Red

“In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery and death.”

The author of those words was Anne Frank, the young girl who epitomized courage in the face of terror during the Holocaust. Such wise words from a teenager whose life was cut tragically short.

I believe, like Anne, that, in their heart of hearts, people want to do the right thing. And I believe that is no less true at election time.

The problem is, there is a great deal of confusion in our overall culture and in our politics. The truth is often masked, and that makes a voter’s search for the truth difficult.

But it is not impossible to discover the truth—despite media manipulation, political spin, and inflammatory rhetoric. As the old TV series “The X-Files,” announced: “The truth is out there.”

The truth is that life is a fundamental good, and that no one can enjoy any other right without first having the right to life. This means that the fundamental life issues—abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia—are pre-eminent issues, and should be considered before all other issues (as important as those issues may be) when voting.

The two major party candidates for President have dramatically different views on the life issues. Republican Donald Trump supports a ban on late-term abortions—abortions in which fully-developed, living babies are killed in the womb. Hillary Clinton, in contrast, voted against the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, which outlawed a gruesome practice in which a baby was partly delivered, then killed.

Donald Trump supports a ban on taxpayer funding of abortion. Hillary Clinton wants to wipe out the Hyde Amendment, which bars tax funding of abortion except in the rare cases of rape, incest, and to save the life of a mother. Research shows that abortion totals skyrocket when taxpayer funding of abortion occurs.

Donald Trump will appoint Justices to the U.S. Supreme Court who will strictly interpret the Constitution according to its text and history and not use the bench to legislate. Hillary Clinton has a pro-abortion litmus test for Supreme Court Justices. Because of the advanced ages of many of the members of the Supreme Court, the next President may appoint as many as four Justices. A President with a pro-abortion agenda could enshrine, or even expand, Roe for generations to come.

We have lost more than 58 million innocent babies to abortion since the tragic 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade. One million precious children die each year in our country because of Roe.

Countless mothers are left to grieve the children lost to abortion. Some turn to drugs and alcohol to numb their pain. Relationships frequently die with these abortions. Families are fractured, and limbs of the family tree are severed. For with each abortion, we lose the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren who may have been born to that particular person who died in Roe’s wake. Often, the abortion is not actually the woman’s choice—research shows that as many as 60 percent of abortions are coerced, meaning that a boyfriend, husband, parents, or even grandparents are making the decision for her.

One of only two people will be elected President—third party candidates or write-ins simply cannot generate enough votes to win the White House. Staying home on Election Day, or skipping the office of President when casting a ballot, is, in this election, a vote against babies and their mothers. It is also a vote for a culture that fails to respect the dignity of life from conception to natural death.

Please do not throw away your vote this critical year. Cast your vote for life. Future generations depend on it.

Senator Toomey’s Record on the Life Issues

Senator Pat ToomeyBy Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director  gallagher@paprolife.org

Now that we are within 100 days of the November 8th general election, people are starting to pay more attention to the nation’s political campaigns. A key question on the minds of those who view sanctity of life as the most important issue is how incumbent legislators have voted on both pro-life and pro-abortion legislation.

Thankfully, National Right to Life makes it easy for us. You can just go to www.nrlc.org, click on the Legislation tab, then on U.S. Senate Scorecard (2015-2016). There, you can view a comprehensive list of relevant legislation, along with the votes cast by each state’s U.S. Senators.

The NRLC scorecard for the 114th Congress, combined sessions, shows that Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey voted in favor of a ban on late-term abortions—a ban which would protect unborn children and their mothers from the harm of abortion once the preborn baby is 20 weeks old. Senator Toomey also opposed the Murray Amendment, designed to provide one billion dollars to abortion operations, including Planned Parenthood. He also opposed the Collins Amendment to preserve federal funding of Planned Parenthood, which is the nation’s largest abortion operation.

Senator Toomey supported passage of a pro-life reconciliation bill to defund Planned Parenthood and repeal anti-life provisions of Obamacare. In short, Senator Toomey scored a 100 percent pro-life voting record on the National Right to Life scorecard.

With high-tech tools such as this scorecard, voters can make informed decisions about candidates running for re-election to Congress. To view a complete comparison on Senator Toomey and his opponent Katie McGinty regarding the life issues, please click here.

Olympic Stories of Choosing Life

“You always dream of going to the Olympics and winning gold. I’ve learned over the years that there are lots of gold medals, but certain stories stick out and make a difference.” –Two-time Olympian and gold medalist Kerri Strug.

I love the Olympics.  It doesn’t matter if it is track and field, swimming, gymnastics, or any other Olympic event.  I love the patriotism shown by the athletes. I love the sheer strength of will on display.  What I love the most though are the stories that come to light of the personal challenges the athletes have to overcome.

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One such life-affirming story is that of Simone Biles who is often referred to as the most decorated gold medalist in world championship gymnastic history.  However, her story is even more impressive because of how it began. Biles was born into a fatherless home and to an “unfit” drug-addicted mother…the ideal target for Planned Parenthood. Thankfully, Biles did not become an abortion statistic, instead eventually going into foster care, and then ultimately being adopted. Biles’ new parents introduced her to gymnastics and now her story is just one example of a person who has made history because someone (in this case both her birth mother and her adoptive parents) chose life.

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Another powerful story is the witness of Olympian volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings.  In an interview with NBC, the three-time Olympic gold medalist (and we hope soon to be four time winner) compared competing in the Olympics to having children, saying:

“When you go through something that’s so momentous, and it’s either really hard or really inspiring, you kind of forget the details, and you just remember the feeling that you’re left with. Childbirth obviously leaves you with the best gift ever, and the Olympic experience has as well. But you forget the little things. And now that I’m here, it’s like, ‘Oh, my gosh. I forget how special this is.’ I literally get goose bumps 20 million times a day, because you see someone or something, and you’re inspired.”

Abortion advocates like to argue that abortion has to be necessary for women to continue their careers. After all, the argument goes, you can’t expect a woman to be able to have a successful career while raising children.  Jennings, with her 3 gold medals, is living proof that a woman can be successful in her career and raise children at the same time.

The Olympics are just getting started, so there will undoubtedly be more stories like Simone Biles’ and Kerri Walsh Jennings’ that stick out and remind us that there is always a reason to choose life.

Avoiding Another American Tragedy: Lessons from 3801 Lancaster

Kermit Gosnell

Kermit Gosnell

I recently watched the movie “3801 Lancaster: American Tragedy” about the house of horrors that was Kermit Gosnell’s abortion center.  There were a number of striking elements to the film (enough to fill several more blogs, so stay tuned). What struck me the most, however, was how much of his horror could have been prevented.

 

The fact of the matter is, there was plenty of evidence that Mr. Gosnell was not just committing horrible acts of infanticide, but also that he was a terrible doctor.  Going back as far as 1972 Gosnell participated in what is known as “The Mother’s Day Massacre,” when 15 women were bused from Chicago to Philadelphia where Gosnell performed abortions on them using an experimental device called a “super coil” without their knowledge.  Sadly, 9 of the 15 women suffered serious complications (including one who had to have a hysterectomy). Yet it was another 37 years before Gosnell was put out of business (and only then because he was caught selling drugs illegally).  Here are some of the signs during those 37 years that something wasn’t right:

–Reports from a former employee of Gosnell that he had unlicensed workers giving anesthesia, that he was using unsterilized equipment from one patient to another, that his facility was filthy, and more.

–Complaints from another doctor in the area (who ironically went on to become the head of the city’s health department) who referred several patients to Mr. Gosnell who all came back with the same venereal disease…one they didn’t have before going to see Gosnell.

–The death of a 14-year-old girl at the hands of Gosnell in 2002, and the subsequent lawsuit which the insurance company settled for 1 million dollars.

–One city employee did the right thing, and when she discovered Gosnell was scamming the citywide vaccination program, reported him and even filed a report identifying some of his most egregious transgressions. Sadly, her report went into a black hole.

–Only a few weeks after the employee filed her report, Gosnell’s sloppy practice killed female patient Kamamaya Mongar in 2009.

–Ironically, shortly after Mongar’s death, Gosnell applied to join the National Abortion Federation.  However the NAF denied Gosnell’s facility membership citing records that weren’t being kept properly, risks not being fully explained to patients, patients being left unmonitored, anesthesia being misused, and other violations. In fact, the NAF evaluator called it the worst abortion clinic she had ever inspected (although she never reported any of the violations to the proper authorities).

Let me be clear. Gosnell is not the only one with blood on his hands. Certainly you can find fault with his staff who participated in his misconduct.  Furthermore, you can look at the regulators at the city department of health, who were in Gosnell’s facility regularly collecting blood samples for testing and somehow magically didn’t notice anything amiss…or the PA Department of Health and the Department of State, both of which closed multiple complaints throughout the year against Gosnell and his facility after very little investigation and no further action.

The real question is, with the damage so broad, and so many to blame, what is being done to make sure it doesn’t happen again?  In 2011 Pennsylvania passed common sense legislation which requires abortion centers to meet certain basic conditions of cleanliness and allows for random, unannounced inspections from the Department of Health.

Winston Churchill famously said, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  Pennsylvania learned some difficult lessons from the Gosnell tragedy—but we must remain ever vigilant to ensure that would-be Gosnells do not set up shop in our Commonwealth again.

PRESS RELEASE: Donald Trump Would Appoint Justices Like Scalia

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                        

CONTACT:  MARIA GALLAGHER,

PENNSYLVANIA PRO-LIFE FEDERATION

717-541-0034                                                                                                                      

HARRISBURG, PARepublican Presidential candidate Donald Trump Monday renewed his call for U.S. Supreme Court Justices who will follow the Constitution rather than make laws from the bench.

During a rally which attracted thousands of people to Cumberland Valley High School outside Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Trump said that as President he would appoint Justices similar in philosophy to the late Justice Antonin Scalia. In sharp contrast, Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has pledged a pro-abortion litmus test for Supreme Court Justices.

“Donald Trump understands the havoc an activist bench has wreaked on our beloved nation,” said Maria Gallagher, legislative and political action committee director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, which represents more than 100,000 citizens throughout  the Commonwealth.

“Hillary Clinton will not appoint strict constructionists to the High Court. Rather, she is committed to naming Justices who will not only uphold the tragic 1973 ruling Roe v. Wade, but would expand it,” Gallagher added.  

 According to figures from the abortion industry itself, Roe has led to the deaths of more than 58 million unborn children in the U.S. It has also scarred countless numbers of women, who must live everyday with the grief of losing a child to abortion.

 The Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation PAC has unanimously endorsed Trump for President. Trump supports a ban on brutal late-term abortions. In sharp contrast, Clinton fought against the popular federal ban on Partial-Birth Abortion, which outlawed a gruesome practice in which a baby is partly delivered, then killed.

Can You be “Personally Pro-Life” and Not Act Like It?

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“He’s been not only a solid vote, but really, an ally”.—Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood on the Rachel Maddow show June 26th.

“He voted against dangerous abortion bans, he has fought against efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, and he voted to strengthen clinic security by establishing a federal fund for it.”—Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America in a press release July 22nd.

Despite these ringing endorsements from some of the most radical pro-abortion advocates out there, the Democrat nominee for Vice President, Senator Tim Kaine, claims to be personally pro-life. He tries to say he’s personally pro-life, but that politicians should not make decisions for women about their so-called reproductive health care.

Let’s be clear…there are many people out there who have a similar position, mainly because they haven’t taken the time to study the issue.  These people simply need to be educated, and once they understand that an abortion ends one life and permanently scars another, their position changes.

What’s truly disturbing is someone, like Senator Kaine, who hides behind his Catholic faith to say he’s personally pro-life, but has a 100% voting record from Planned Parenthood (which means in the 14 votes that matter to Planned Parenthood he’s voted with them 14 times).  By joining the Clinton ticket, Senator Kaine has even taken a position that is less pro-life than the 56% of Democrats who do not think taxpayers should be funding abortions.

The bottom line is, if you vote like you are pro-abortion, if you are praised by others as pro-abortion, you are probably not as pro-life as you pretend to be.

A Review of Pro-Life Movie “Hush”

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“Should we not be entitled to all the information, regardless of whether we want kids or not, regardless of whether or not that information is at odds with cultural norm?”

That is the question that is central to the documentary “Hush.”  This documentary looks at the truth about the physical and psychological damage abortion causes.  It highlights the misinformation told by abortion center workers and addresses how the medical community is complicit in hiding the truth.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the film is the journey writer-director and narrator Punam Kumar Gill takes as she explores these questions.  Punam starts the film identifying herself as a feminist, and admits she started this film with a pro-abortion viewpoint that informed consent laws are meant to scare women into not having an abortion.  As she dug deeper into the issue, she found more and more evidence of the medical community suppressing studies that showed a linkage between breast cancer and abortion, hiding research that shows a correlation between surgical abortions and pre-term births, and attempting to minimize the stories of women who have had serious psychological problems after an abortion.

Punam’s journey became more personal when, while doing her research, she tragically lost her first child to a miscarriage at 32 weeks. As she states, “When it’s your life at stake, it’s amazing how the information suddenly means something.”  By the end of the movie, Punam’s position has changed, and while she still identifies as “pro-choice,” she concedes that women deserve to have all the answers, and not a bunch of lies, when making important decisions that will impact their long-term health.

The film can be purchased through the website http://hushfilm.com/.  It is a great resource for pro-lifers to make sure they have all the information they need…which is the point of the informed consent laws to begin with!

Choose Life…and Hope

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“No matter how dark it is, all you need is a little ray of hope to overcome it.”

This quote by Indian film maker Anurag Prakash Ray has been at the forefront of my mind the past few weeks.  We’ve certainly experienced our fair share of darkness recently.  Between the senseless violence and death both overseas and even in our own cities, and the vitriolic rhetoric that comes with an election season, it is easy to lose hope and despair.  It would be easy to give up and ask “what difference can I make”?  It would be easy to focus on the darkness and miss the little rays of hope.

Instead, I encourage everyone to focus on those little rays of hope.

Focus on the women heading into an abortion center but choosing life after talking to a pro-life sidewalk counselor.

Focus on the women visiting a pro-life pregnancy resource center and finding out about the resources they need to choose life.

Focus on the abortion centers being forced to close because of lack of business.

Focus on legislative victories such as HB1948, which would ban the brutal practice of dismemberment abortion and change the legal cut-off for abortions from six months to five months in Pennsylvania, moving through the legislative process.

Focus on the parents who have chosen life for their child, despite doctor’s prognoses of challenges like Down syndrome, and recommendations to kill their child.

I recognize sometimes that’s sometimes easier said than done.  When every time we turn on the news we are faced with news of another shooting, or more death and destruction, it is easy to think we’ve lost and it is hopeless and not worth trying.

However, I leave you with this anonymous quote: “Sometimes life seems a dark tunnel with no light at the end, but if you just keep moving forward, you will end up in a better place.”

Our challenge is to keep moving forward through the dark tunnel of a culture of death. We need to continue praying as if it is up to God and working as if it is up to us. If we do that, and focus on those rays of light, we will end up in a better place where life is valued.