“Roe” Wanted Roe v. Wade Reversed. THAT is Her Legacy.

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

gallagher@paprolife.org

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     You can hear a smile in a voice.

It is one of those interesting facts of communication that I learned in a radio journalism class which proved to be helpful far beyond the confines of the classroom.

As a reporter, I heard a range of emotions in the interviews that would be recorded for broadcast–sadness, anger, pride.

Over the past few days, I have been reminded of a voice that answered the phone when I was working on a story about abortion.

The voice belonged to the “Roe” of the tragic U.S. Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, which brought about the legalization of abortion nationwide in 1973. Her real name was Norma McCorvey, and by that time, she had renounced the court decision that bore her pseudonym. She was striving to right a horrible wrong, to save the lives of preborn children, and to spare their mothers unspeakable pain and heartache.

Ironically, she was not the person I was calling to interview, so our conversation was quite brief.

But I heard much in her voice: Kindness. Compassion. Caring.

Norma McCorvey was once part of the abortion industry. But she died a pro-life champion.

It is common for those involved in court cases to wish the court had ruled differently. It is incredible for a winner of a case to wish she had lost.

“Roe” wanted Roe v. Wade to be overturned. This would be like saying the winning team of the last Super Bowl wished the second half never would have happened and that they had lost the biggest football game of the year.

But it was true. I could not only hear it in her voice–it was also apparent in the actions that she took to try to reverse a Supreme Court ruling that has led to the deaths of more than 59 million preborn children and the haunting grief of millions of mothers and fathers, grandparents and siblings.

Some Millennials may not know that the woman behind Roe, Norma McCorvey, reversed course and adopted a pro-life point of view. They may be stunned to learn that the woman who was the subject of the nation’s best-known abortion case never had an abortion herself–that the pregnancy that led to her being the subject of a court case ended in birth and subsequent adoption.

But as spectacular as Norma’s story may be, in a sense, it is not entirely unique.

Dr. Bernard Nathanson, the founder of the pro-abortion lobbying group known as NARAL, left the abortion industry behind and became an ardent supporter of the right to life. Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood center director, left the business as well and now assists those who want to make a similar, life-affirming exit. Carol Everett, a former abortion center owner, became a passionate defender of life.

Add to that all those women who are a part of the Silent No More Awareness campaign–women who had abortions, but who now regret them. They are breaking the code of silence surrounding abortion so that other women can avoid such horrific tragedy.

These women cannot be silenced. And neither can Norma. Her voice lives on in video and in the minds of those touched by her call for the nation to embrace mothers and their children–and to abandon Roe v. Wade.

For if Roe no longer believed in Roe v. Wade, why should the Supreme Court? If the Court cannot hear the silent cry of the preborn child, perhaps quite soon it will listen to the words of women such as Norma. They are women who were once deceived by the lies of the abortion industry, but who found their voice when they rediscovered the hope that lies in fighting for life.

The nation owes it to Norma, and to all those other women, to end the epic human catastrophe caused by Roe v. Wade and to discard the unjust court decision once and for all.

The “Dred Scott argument” for Abortion

mother_and_child     Anyone who has been part of the pro-life movement for any length of time knows that there are certain arguments that the abortion industry and its allies make reflexively.  Perhaps they believe that if they continue repeating these poor arguments, their case will magically improve.

One such argument is the idea that Roe v. Wade is “settled law” and pesky pro-lifers should stop trying to rehash an issue that the Supreme Court has already ruled on.  I like to call this the “Dred Scott argument”, which is why I thought it would be an interesting one to explore during Black history month.

In Dred Scott v. Sanford, Scott was an enslaved Black man who sued for his freedom.  Sadly, in what many constitutional scholars now consider one of the worst Supreme Court decisions ever, the Justices ruled that neither Scott, nor anyone else of African heritage, could claim US citizenship, thus allowing the tragic practice of slavery to continue.

What does this have to do with Roe v. Wade and abortion in America?  As in the Dred Scott case, a terrible mistake was made in the Roe v. Wade decision.  In Dred Scott, the Justices determined one person was not as important as others simply because of his race…in Roe v. Wade, five Supreme Court Justices found a “right to privacy” in the U.S. Constitution that had never been there before, and used that newfound “right” to justify the killing of almost 60 million people and counting.

Many people did not agree with the Dred Scott decision. Should they have all just given up and gone home to allow the injustice of slavery to continue?  Of course not.  They doubled down on their efforts to have everyone, no matter what race or ethnicity, recognized as equal…and eventually succeeded in getting the 13th amendment passed and slavery abolished.  The same principle applies to pro-life advocates.  Just because the Constitution was misinterpreted doesn’t mean we pack our bags and go home…it means we continue to fight to end the injustice of abortion so that one day Roe v. Wade will fall into the ash heaps of history—where it truly belongs.

Pennsylvania Senate Votes to Ban Brutal Dismemberment Abortions

Diagram of a dismemberment abortion

HARRISBURG, Pa. –A ban on the brutal practice of dismemberment abortions has been approved by the Pennsylvania Senate.

The measure, Senate Bill 3, will make it illegal to cause “the death of an unborn child by means of dismembering the unborn child and extracting the unborn child one piece at a time from the uterus through the use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments.”

Under the measure, the legal limit for abortions in Pennsylvania would also change from six months’ to five months’ gestation, reflecting the fact that modern technology has been able to save babies at ever-earlier stages of development.

“Taking the life of an unborn child by tearing the baby limb by limb from a mother’s womb is cruel and unconscionable. It is a gruesome practice which most Pennsylvanians want to see banned, according to a statewide poll of Commonwealth residents.  Not one Pennsylvania child should be subjected to this form of brutality—and not one mother should have to grieve a child killed in such a barbaric way,” said Maria Gallagher, legislative director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, an affiliate of National Right to Life.

Senate Bill 3, which is sponsored by state Senator Michele Brooks (Crawford, Erie, Mercer, and Warren Counties), provides exceptions for the mother’s life or for the “substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.”

“Poll results show that support for a dismemberment abortion ban in Pennsylvania is actually higher among women than men,” Gallagher added. “Sixty-four percent of PA women want to see this heinous practice banned once and for all.  And they applaud those women lawmakers who are leading the fight to end this ultimate form of child abuse.”

 The bill now moves to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for consideration. A similar bill overwhelmingly passed in the House of Representatives last legislative session.

Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer

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“…a filthy, flea-infested, excrement covered clinic with expired medicine, machinery and unsanitary instruments staffed by unlicensed, untrained employees.”

No, this isn’t a description of a local haunted house.  It is an inside view of the infamous “House of Horrors” abortion facility Kermit Gosnell ran in Philadelphia, as described in the new book “Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer” by Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer.

The book does an informative job of walking the readers through the case itself, the grand jury hearing and subsequent trial, and introducing the villains and heroes involved.  It tells the story of Karnamaya Mongar, the woman Kermit Gosnell was convicted of killing…or as Gosnell referred to her “the Indian woman.”  It talks about the complicity of the state of Pennsylvania, media outlets, and the Philadelphia medical community in Gosnell’s crimes.  Finally, it gives chilling insight into Gosnell, as seen when the authors interviewed Gosnell in prison.

Partially in response to the horrific conditions found at Gosnell’s facility, in 2011 Pennsylvania passed a common sense bill further regulating abortion facilities.  The men and women of the Pennsylvania legislature should be commended for taking action to protect the health of safety of women-when so many other public officials did not.

National Right to Life Committee Press Release Regarding Nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch

For immediate release: Tuesday, January 31, 2017
For more information: Tatiana Bergum, (202) 626-8825, mediarelations@nrlc.org

National Right to Life Committee Commends President Trump
For His Selection of Judge Neil Gorsuch as Successor to Justice Scalia

WASHINGTON – Today, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of 50 state right-to-life affiliates, commended President Donald Trump for his selection of Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the U.S. Supreme Court seat vacated by the February 2016 death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

“All too often, our efforts to protect unborn children and other vulnerable humans have been overridden by judges who believe they have a right to impose their own policy preferences,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life.  “We are heartened that Judge Gorsuch appears to share Justice Scalia’s view that federal judges are constrained to enforce the text and original intent of constitutional provisions, and on all other matters should defer to democratically elected lawmakers.”

As a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit since 2006, Gorsuch has not reviewed any state or federal abortion laws. However, he showed support for conscience rights in two cases involving Obamacare mandates. He dissented from a ruling hostile to Utah’s attempts to curb funding for Planned Parenthood (Planned Parenthood Association of Utah v. Herbert). Gorsuch’s 2006 book The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia argued against the legalization of assisted suicide, and defended the idea that “human life is fundamentally and inherently valuable, and that the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong.”

“Pro-life legislators and activists nationwide can have high confidence that as a Supreme Court justice, Neil Gorsuch will not join those who have nullified past efforts to protect the lives of unborn children and other vulnerable humans,” said Douglas D. Johnson, Senior Policy Advisor for National Right to Life.

Founded in 1968, National Right to Life, the federation of 50 state right-to-life affiliates and more than 3,000 local chapters, is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement, NRLC works through legislation and education to protect innocent human life from abortion, infanticide, assisted suicide and euthanasia

Pennsylvanians Join Vice-President at March for Life

28 Marchers making their way up Constitution Ave

People from across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will be joining Vice-President Mike Pence at the March for Life in Washington, D.C. today in a show of solidarity with pregnant women, their children, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable Americans.

“We thank the Vice-President for his steadfast commitment to the most important human rights issue of our time—the right to life,” said Maria Gallagher, legislative director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, an affiliate of National Right to Life. “We also commend President Donald Trump for taking concrete steps to ensure that protecting innocent human life is not merely a campaign slogan, but a matter of public policy.”

President Trump recently reinstated the Mexico City policy, which ensures that our hard-earned tax dollars will not be spent on organizations that perform or promote abortions overseas. He has also nominated Cabinet members who are dedicated to defending the sacredness of life. And he has pledged his support for the No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act, recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, which would guarantee that tax dollars are safeguarded.

“The Pennsylvanians who are marching today are thankful to the Trump Administration and to those members of Congress who want to protect our tax dollars from being spent on the abortion industry. Public opinion polls show that 60 percent of Americans agree that their tax money should not be used for abortion.  We thank the Administration and the House for taking to heart the will of the people,” Gallagher added.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans gather in Washington, D.C. each January to commemorate the anniversary of the tragic 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision known as Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion throughout the country.

“Those who attend the March for Life are marching in memory of the more than 59 million preborn children killed through legal abortion over the past 44 years. They are also showing their solidarity with the countless mothers and fathers who continue to grieve the loss of those children,” Gallagher said.

“They also march with the hope that comes with news that the number of abortions are declining both in the Commonwealth and across the country. No pregnant woman in Pennsylvania should feel as if she is alone—concrete help and support are available by calling the Real Alternatives hotline at 1-888-Life-aid,” Gallagher added.   

 

 

How Many Abortions Happened in YOUR County in 2015?

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The annual Pennsylvania Department of Health report about abortion statistics may look like just a bunch of numbers to some people, but to those of us who are pro-life, each number represents an innocent life lost to abortion.

In 2015, Pennsylvania lost 308 fewer babies to abortion than it did in 2014, according to the report. That’s the equivalent to about twelve kindergarten classes of children whose mothers chose life.

The state statistics show 31,818 abortions occurred in the Keystone State in 2015. Over 80% of the abortions that occurred in Pennsylvania in 2015 happened in four counties: Allegheny, Dauphin, Northampton, and Philadelphia.

Below are the numbers of abortions reported, based on the county where the woman lives:

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For the full PA Department of Health report, click here.

The 2015 total represents a 51.6 percent decrease from the record high number of 65,777 in 1980 and is the fewest ever recorded in the Commonwealth.

Much work still remains. Please consider getting involved with one of our pro-life chapters in a county near you. You could help save a baby’s life. Click here to find a chapter in your area.

Good News–Abortion Totals in PA Drop to Record Low!

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HARRISBURG, Pa. – The number of abortions in Pennsylvania declined in 2015 to a record low—a welcome development for women and children in the Keystone State, according to the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, an affiliate of National Right to Life.

Statistics just released by the Pennsylvania Department of Health show 308 fewer abortions occurred in PA in 2015 compared to 2014. In all, 31,818 abortions took place in PA in 2015—the lowest number ever recorded in the Commonwealth.

“The downward trend in abortions in the Keystone State is encouraging news for Pennsylvania women and families,” said Maria Gallagher, legislative director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation. “Technological developments such as 4D Ultrasound have helped show the humanity of the preborn child, and have aided in strengthening the bond between mother and baby.”

Pennsylvania women and children are also benefiting from the comprehensive counseling and life-affirming support offered by pregnancy resource centers, which provide everything from ultrasounds to life skill classes, and from diapers to daycare referrals for pregnant women and their families.

“The abortion rate in Pennsylvania would be much higher were it not for the state’s Alternatives to Abortion program, which is administered by Real Alternatives, Inc. (www.realalternatives.org ),” Gallagher added. “This ground-breaking program provides women with encouragement and resources so that they are fully supported during their pregnancies. Real Alternatives centers, along with other pro-life pregnancy help centers throughout the Commonwealth, are offering a much-needed lifeline to women and children.”

“When women receive comprehensive support and affirmation, they are far more likely to choose life for their babies,” said Kevin Bagatta, President and CEO of Real Alternatives, Inc.

The Department of Health figures indicate that abortion totals decreased in a number of counties, including Philadelphia, Dauphin, Lehigh, and York, helping to bring about the statewide decline in abortions.

Troubling, however, is the number of repeat abortions. The figures show that in more than 47 percent of cases, Pennsylvania women who had abortions in 2015 had had at least one previous abortion and, in some cases, four or more prior abortions.

“Women in challenging circumstances deserve better than abortion,” said Gallagher. “We must continue to reach out to women to let them know that help is available for themselves and their babies—and that no one has the right to coerce them into having an abortionist end the lives of their children.”      

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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.

Get out your working boots!!!

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Pennsylvania recently received some tremendous, life affirming news.  By the end of the year, three more Planned Parenthood affiliates will be closing their doors. Affiliates in Chambersburg, Gettysburg, and Scranton will no longer be telling women they can’t handle their unexpected pregnancy and referring them to another Planned Parenthood facility that will kill their child and scar them emotionally, if not physically, for life.  This is exciting news for pre-born babies and their mothers, but it is also a time for reflection and re-dedication.

It is important to note that closings like these are becoming more the rule than they are the exception.  Planned Parenthood is closing these “feeder centers” throughout the country. Ironically, Planned Parenthood receives half a billion dollars of taxpayer dollars annually. These closings are a sign that even Planned Parenthood is not immune to the trend toward pro-life ideology happening across the country, and especially here in Pennsylvania.

What the closing of these centers, and the other centers like them around the state, means, is that the work of pro-life pregnancy resource centers is that much more important.  Women who are experiencing an unexpected pregnancy still will need somewhere to go for help and counsel.  The good news is, with the closing of these centers, there will be less fake help and poor counsel.  We know the pro-life pregnancy centers in these areas stand ready to fill in the void and show these mothers how valuable they and their babies are…the question is, what can you do to help?

Here are some suggestions how you can support your pro-life pregnancy resource center:

  1. Volunteer—Pro-life pregnancy centers need people with many different skills, from talking to women who are pregnant, to answering phones, to vacuuming and dusting.
  2. Collect—Many of these centers help women by providing them with baby supplies. Consider conducting your own “baby shower” with friends and family and donating the items to your local center.
  3. Share—Let people know about the great work these centers do. Share their social media posts and help them spread the word that they exist to help women.
  4. Participate—Many of these centers have various events throughout the year, fundraising, volunteer, or otherwise. Consider participating in these events and showing your support.

The closing of these Planned Parenthood centers is certainly good news, but as one avid pro-lifer recently stated “Now is not the time for dancing shoes, it’s time for working boots”.

An Historic Election

Editor’s Note: From the desk of our Executive Director, Michael Ciccocioppo

This election was historic in many ways. We had a Presidential candidate who strongly opposed abortion and pledged to appoint pro-life justices to the Supreme Court.  He gave an extremely powerful and impassioned explanation of partial-birth abortion in the third debate.  Planned Parenthood and their abortion-minded allies spent more money, time, and resources than ever before opposing the pro-life presidential candidate, and pro-life candidates up and down the ballot.  One party adopted the most pro-life platform ever, while the other adopted the most radically pro-abortion position ever.

In the end, the nation elected the pro-life Donald Trump to be the 45th President of the United States. Not only did the American people stand up and resoundingly reject the radically pro-abortion Hillary Clinton, they have given President-elect Trump a pro-life Senate and US House of Representatives to support him in his efforts to protect those most vulnerable.

It would be easy to revel in our victory, but there is much work to be done.  As President-elect Trump said so eloquently in his acceptance speech, “So it’s been what they call a ‘historic event’. But to be really historic, we have to do a great job.”

As pro-lifers we need to support President-elect Trump, his pro-life advisors, and our pro-life Congress in doing everything possible to appoint Justices to the Supreme Court who will overturn Roe vs Wade and protect those at the end of life.  We need to let our legislators know we support them in voting for pro-life legislation…and thank them when they vote the right way.  We need to be continue to talk to our friends, family, and neighbors and keep explaining why it is so important to treat all human beings with respect and dignity from conception to natural death.

Let’s help President-elect Trump make his election historic for all those precious babies who are counting on us, not just here in Pennsylvania but across the country and around the world!