Listen to Survivors

teenagersBy Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

A positive development in our society is a subtle change in language. Rather than speaking about victims, increasingly we talk of survivors.

“Survivors” is a more empowering word, indicating that someone has overcome a gross violation in the past.

However, the mainstream media tend to ignore the survivors of abortion.

These are the individuals born after the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade. They know that they could have been legally aborted, but their mothers chose life.

However, they have not survived Roe unscathed. They know that there are brothers, sisters, cousins, and potential friends missing because of legalized abortion. Some of them even know the staggering number–more than 60 million preborn babies killed under Roe.

A number of these hearty souls will converge on Washington, D.C. in January for the annual March for Life. It is important that we listen to these survivors’ stories. They can enlighten us and convict us to do even more to protect precious children and their mothers from the harm of abortion.

If you are one of the survivors, I salute you! Know that your very presence is a gift to all of us.

The Abortion Industry Betrays Women

Sad woman at the window

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

The devastating impact that the abortion industry has had on women is crystal-clear in the recently-released book, The Abolition of Woman by Fiorella Nash.

Nash is a women’s rights activist, stating at the beginning of her book, “Like many women of my generation, I like to imagine that I would have been a suffragette if I had been living over a hundred years ago…”

She experienced in pro-life feminist groups a “relief that pro-life women had a ‘safe place’ to go intellectually, and the capacity to fight for equality without being forced to go against their own consciences.”

She holds that the abortion industry has betrayed women, based on an ideology that denies science. “Denial has always been a necessary defense mechanism for abortion advocates, but rather than have the courage to face scientific realities head-on, many supporters of abortion hide behind ever more elaborate and misleading language to conceal the truth of what abortion involves.”

Such obfuscation includes referring to unborn babies as “products of conception” or “pregnancy tissue.” The height of this hypocrisy came when former Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards “continued to refer to ‘our involvement with fetal tissue research’ when members of her own organization had been caught on camera candidly discussing the value of baby livers and eyeballs.”

To be pro-life is to be pro-woman–to recognize the full humanity of both mother and child. It is to celebrate life at all its stages and phases, and to empower women to make life-affirming decisions for themselves and their families. One can advocate strongly for both women and preborn babies and not shortchange either one of them.

 

Each Child a Miracle

Baby beautifulBy Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

“Such a big miracle in such a little child.”

That’s the message affixed to one of the walls at the headquarters of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, where I work.

The motto succinctly celebrates the dignity and value of each child–before and after birth.

When I was working as a secular journalist, I wrote many, many stories about abortion. But at that time I did not know the fundamentals of fetal development.

For instance, I did not realize that at just 19 days after conception, the baby’s eyes start to develop. I had no clue that at 42 days, the skeleton is complete and reflexes are present. I was ignorant of the fact that at 43 days, electrical brain wave patterns can be recorded, meaning that thinking is taking place in the brain.

Each of these milestones, in and of itself, is a miracle. When you put them all together, you have a magnificent child of priceless worth.

If you do not know the markers of the development of an unborn child, I invite you to visit https://www.paprolife.org/your-babys-development/ Chances are you will be just as amazed as I was at what you find.

And the next time you hear someone talk about an unborn child as just another “choice,” think about the development of the baby in the womb, and take a minute to ponder the miracle that is every child.

Planned Parenthood and the Language of Double-Speak

Leanna Wen

 

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

The double-speak coming out of Planned Parenthood these days is truly outrageous.

As a woman, I was appalled when I heard new Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen tell hosts of CBS This Morning that the abortion giant provides “lifesaving care.”

This claim ignores the fact that Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion operation in the country, ending the lives of more than 300,000 preborn babies each year.

Wen further stated that she wants a society where “we trust all people to make the best decisions for themselves and their bodies.” But when she refers to “all people” she is excluding the human beings inside their mothers’ wombs. They never get to make a decision about their bodies, because they are denied a chance to live.

She refers to people of color, yet seems to be in denial about the fact that a disproportionate number of the babies aborted each year are African-American. This flies in the face of advocacy for minority rights.

As a doctor, Wen says that “My job is to give medically accurate information to my patients and allow them to make the best choices about their health.” But she fails to mention the adverse health effects abortion can have on women, including a greater likelihood of depression, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, and eating disorders.

Planned Parenthood may have new leadership, but its tragic song remains the same: more children dying, more women crying. Rather than trusting women, Planned Parenthood shows its utter distrust in their ability to problem solve and parent. It also dishonors women by severing the sacred bond between mother and child. “Banned Parenthood” would be a more accurate name.

Save Lives with Your IRA

Baby ballerina

 

By Michael Ciccocioppo                                                                                                      Executive Director                                                                              ciccocioppo@paprolife.org

They say two things are inevitable: death and taxes!  The first you don’t control.  But there are ways you can control the amount of taxes you pay—especially if you are 70 ½ or older and have an individual retirement account (IRA).

As the 2018 tax year comes to a close, please consider making a gift to the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation Education Fund from your IRA to reap important tax benefits while also helping save preborn babies’ lives and sparing their mothers from the devastating effects of abortion.

Here’s how it works. Federal legislation allows individuals 70 ½ or older to make gifts directly from their IRA to qualifying charities like the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation Education Fund.  These gifts are excluded from your gross income, which means lower taxes for you. Your gift can also count as part of your required minimum distribution for 2018. This is an easy, convenient, and tax-beneficial way to make a gift from one of your major assets.

To qualify for these benefits in 2018:

  • You must be 70 ½ or older at the time of your gift
  • The gift must transfer directly from your IRA to the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation Education Fund
  • Your gift must be received on or before December 31, 2018
  • Your combined IRA gift(s) cannot exceed $100,000 per year

Seek your own legal and tax advice and instruct your IRA custodian to issue a check directly to the:

Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation Education Fund

4800 Jonestown Rd, Ste 102

Harrisburg, PA  17109-1741

There is no better way to save lives and to help us make sure that everyone in Pennsylvania knows that, There’s always a reason to choose LIFE!”

More Precious Than a Diamond

Baby sleeping

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

I vividly recall the diamond that my father bought to replace the ring that had been stolen from my mother in a hotel room during their honeymoon.

The diamond was small, yet exquisite to my child’s eyes. It was all that my father could afford. I found it to be elegant and regal, and so befitting my mother’s royal-like bearing.

The fact that the diamond was tiny made it no less spectacular to me. In fact, I believe that I respected it all the more–so much beauty contained in such a tiny package.

This memory reminds me of why it is so important to protect preborn children at the earliest stages of development. They are no less worthy of respect, just because they are small.

The heart of an unborn child can beat just 24 days after conception. Brain waves can be detected a mere 43 days post-conception. At 49 days, the preborn baby looks like a miniature doll with arms and legs, fingers, toes, and ears.

How grand the creation of a child is, only a few weeks after conception. Do supporters of legal abortion know such facts about fetal development, or does their political ideology blind them to the truth?

In any case, any unborn baby at any stage of development deserves complete legal protection. Our shared humanity demands it. One day, I believe that our U.S. Supreme Court will recognize it, too.

The Pro-Life Movement is a Youth Movement

prolife-998x697

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

I was once again reminded recently that the pro-life movement is indeed a youth movement.

A college student approached me about an internship with the National Right to Life affiliate for which I work, the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation. She was thrilled at the prospect of learning how to spread the pro-life message both in her local community and across the Commonwealth.

I also heard from a young woman who was eager to accompany me to pro-life events. She said she greatly admired the work we do at the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and she wanted to be a part of it.

It should be no surprise why the i-Generation–named for the ubiquitous nature of the iPhone–is so passionate about the pro-life cause. They are the survivor generation, because they have survived the tragic U.S. Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade. As a result of Roe, nearly a million precious preborn babies lose their lives each year. These young people have lost brothers, sisters, cousins, and potential friends because of legal abortion. Their hearts grieve for the lost members of their generation.

We will see the youth sector of the pro-life movement on full display at the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., on January 18th. High school and college students from across the country will converge on the nation’s capital to show their solidarity with pregnant women and their babies. It is incredibly inspiring to see so many young people fired up for life.

The i-Generation may have a reputation for being so obsessed with their cell phones they don’t care about the world around them. Don’t believe it. They are not just the future of the pro-life movement–they are its energetic present. May they be the generation that will finally toss Roe to the ash heap of history!

Pro-Life Victories at the Polls

Choose Life!

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative/PAC Director

In spite of an incredibly challenging election year, pro-life candidates managed to achieve some key victories at the polls November 6th.

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives…buoyed by bipartisan support for the pro-life cause…retains its pro-life majority following the contentious election. Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania Senate also held onto its pro-life advantage despite some difficult election contests.

Pro-Life Candidates Rise to the Challenge of Redistricting

The new Congressional districts in Pennsylvania represented a great challenge for pro-life candidates. This was not unexpected, since the PA Supreme Court—which is dominated by pro-abortion Democrats—threw out the old Congressional map and replaced it with one placing pro-life candidates at a disadvantage. Still, pro-life candidates managed to secure nine of the 18 seats in PA’s Congressional delegation.

It is important for us to begin lobbying the new Congressional representatives so that they know that the pro-life issue matters to many of their constituents. We must be no less energetic than before in lobbying for legislation that protects pregnant women and their babies from the harm of abortion.

The Presidential Firewall

Fortunately, our pro-life President, Donald Trump, continues to fight for the right to life. As a result, even if the U.S. House of Representatives tries to pass pro-abortion legislation, it will not advance past the President’s desk. This in essence creates an Executive Branch firewall against dangerous pro-abortion bills. The fact that Republicans retain control of the U.S. Senate is also good news for the President’s strict constructionist judicial nominees.

A Study of Contrasts

Contrast

               Since the beginning of September when the hearings to confirm now Justice Brett Kavanaugh began, pro-abortion activists have been in hysterics.  Paid pro-abortion protesters have been disrupting public meetings and trying to interrupt Senate proceedings.  Worse, they’re not done yet.  Congressman Jerrold Nadler, who is in line to head up the House Judiciary committee if the Democrats win a majority in the US House of Representatives, plans an investigation into Justice Kavanaugh if he becomes Chair of the Judiciary Committee.

The actions of the pro-abortion crowd stand in stark contrast to the love and quiet strength shown by pro-lifers.  We are in the midst of the fall Forty Days for Life Campaign during which prolifers hold vigils outside pregnancy centers. They take a peaceful, prayerful approach to sharing the truth about abortion.  This past weekend was Life-Chain Sunday during which dozens of life chain events were held across Pennsylvania (and hundreds all over the country).  At these events pro-lifers silently stood together in solidarity, praying for the end to the horrors of abortion.

While the confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh was a huge victory, there’s much work left to do to end legal abortion.  Consider participating in a Forty Days for Life vigil or joining your local chapter of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and standing in solidarity with the pro-life community against the horrors of abortion. You can lovingly support those who are facing an unexpected pregnancy and remind them that there is always a reason to choose life.

Beauty is Overcoming the Ugliness of Abortion

Child with flowersBy Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

“Beauty will save the world,” wrote author Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

I believe this is especially true when it comes to the issue of abortion.

Abortion is inherently ugly, its gruesomeness shown in the suctioning of a preborn baby’s body and the ripping apart of tiny legs and arms. It is a ghastly enterprise, perhaps best demonstrated in the story of West Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who was ultimately convicted of murdering three full-term babies and causing the death of a female immigrant patient, Karnamaya Mongar. Gosnell plied an ugly trade and is suspected of killing hundreds of babies by “snipping” their spinal cords.

In sharp contrast, a baby is inherently beautiful, as indicated by the “oohs” and “ahhs” which accompany the miracle known as birth. To see the face of a newborn is to catch a glimpse of heaven. It stirs the soul and lifts the spirit–as all beauty does.

With each abortion, the abortionist is killing beauty. He or she is depriving the world of an unrepeatable, intrinsically lovely creation.

The pro-life movement challenges our nation and our world to rediscover beauty–the beauty of a baby’s eyes, the gorgeousness of a smile, the preciousness of little feet.

In celebrating life we are celebrating beauty, that other-worldly attribute which will indeed save the world.