“Personally pro-life”?


There has been a lot of talk recently of politicians like Vice-Presidential candidate Tim Kaine who claim to be “personally pro-life.” While they say they do not support abortion personally, mainly because of their faith, they refuse to allow their faith to impact their public policy position.

This bears a question…if not for religious beliefs, why is abortion wrong?

At the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, we are a non-religious organization. We have people of all faiths, and some of no faith at all, who are part of our organization.  We believe that being pro-life goes beyond one’s religious beliefs and is a basic human right.  We believe every human life, from conception to natural death, has value, and deserves to be protected.

So how do we “prove” the preborn child is a human being?  The good news is, we don’t have to…modern science and medical technology have already done so.  Ultrasound images have truly become a window to the womb, where we can see a pre-born child reacting to his or her mother’s voice, dancing to music, and responding to stimuli.

Unfortunately, those who support abortion choose to turn a blind eye to science when it comes to fetal development.  They ignore the discovery by researchers at Northwestern University of tiny sparks that erupt from the egg at the exact moment of conception.  They discount the Oxford study that found a pre-born baby’s heart begins beating just 16 days after conception.  Day after day, week after week, there is more and more evidence that life begins at conception.

At the core of the pro-life movement is the science that a pre-born child is a human being.  Once that is established, as science and medical technology has done, the question then becomes, which lives are worth protecting…and who makes those decisions?

Certainly the “less than human” or “not worth protecting” argument isn’t a new one…It is the same argument presented by Hitler and his supporters when they argued that Jews, and others of non-Aryan descent were “sub-human” and not fit to live. Not coincidentally it is the same argument used by Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger when she referred to some as “human weeds which threaten the blooming of the finest flowers of American civilization”.  Hitler, Sanger, and other proponents of eugenics in general and abortion specifically argue that some among us are not fit for civilization and should be eliminated.

The question for those who are not pro-life is simple…who gets to decide?  In other countries the life of a child of one gender is not worth the same as the life of a child of another.  Certainly most of us, even those who support abortion, can agree that is barbaric.  Yet many abortion advocates condone killing a child because he or she has an extra chromosome.  Those who support doctor-prescribed suicide are fine with killing people who they deem don’t have what they consider a quality life.

This is why the question of human rights is so crucially important. Once we recognize the pre-born child as a human, the rest is simply a matter of semantics.  Who decides what constitutes a “defect” in a child that makes him or her unfit for life and deserving of an abortion….red hair, green eyes, premature balding in older age?  At the end of life, who decides what constitutes “quality of life”?  Right now, the standard for euthanizing someone is if they have less than six months to live, but what if someone decides to make that 60 months?

The fact of the matter is, once we go down the slippery pro-abortion slope of determining which lives are worth allowing to continue, and which should be terminated, whether for the convenience of others, or for any other reason, we can’t turn back.  That is why the abortion issue goes beyond an issue of religious belief and is a human rights issue.  That is why those who claim to be “personally pro-life” should be fighting to protect all lives!

Will We See Roe v. Wade Overturned in Our Lifetime? It All Depends on the General Election!

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR:  This is from the fall edition of LifeLines Magazine.  If for some reason, you don’t get a copy, email us at lifelines@paprolife.org to be added to the mailing list.

By Michael Ciccocioppo, Executive Director   ciccocioppo@paprolife.org

Imagine with me for a moment: Headlines from every media outlet announcing:

Roe v. Wade Overturned:  States Free to Protect Children from Abortion

These are the headlines we have been waiting to read ever since January 22, 1973 when the Supreme Court of the United States announced its decision to take away the right of states to ban abortion.

Fifty states’ laws banning or severely limiting abortions were declared unconstitutional based on a fictitious “right to privacy” found nowhere in the Constitution. And when Roe v. Wade was paired with another decision that same day, Doe v. Bolton, abortion-on-demand was essentially legalized for any reason during all nine months of pregnancy.

Those of us in the pro-life movement who believe that Roe was wrongly decided are in good company. 

Villanova law professor Joseph W. Dellapenna, author of Dispelling the Myths of Abortion History, has written, “The opinion [in Roe] is replete with irrelevancies, non-sequiturs, and unsubstantiated assertions. The Court decides matters it disavows any intention of deciding—thereby avoiding any need to defend its conclusion. In the process the opinion simply fails to convince.”

According to Paul Stark writing for LifeNews.com, “Even many scholars sympathetic to the results of Roe have issued harsh criticisms of its legal reasoning. In the Yale Law Journal, eminent legal scholar John Hart Ely, a supporter of legal abortion, complained that Roe is ‘bad constitutional law, or rather … it is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be.’”

Overturn of Roe Depends on the 2016 Presidential Election

 The election of pro-life candidate Donald Trump will hasten the overturn of Roe and save the lives of millions of innocent preborn babies while sparing mothers of the physical, psychological, social and spiritual harm caused by abortion. Good for babies. Good for women.

The election of pro-abortion candidate Hilary Clinton will preserve Roe for generations to come and assure the continued horrific destruction of the lives of millions of preborn babies and wreak untold havoc on the physical, psychological, social and spiritual lives of their mothers. Bad for babies. Bad for women.

This is the reality before the voters because it is the president who has the responsibility to appoint justices to the Supreme Court for lifetime terms. And at the top of the to do list of a “President Trump” or a “President Clinton” will be to appoint a justice to replace the pro-life Justice Antonin Scalia who died in February, 2016.

Mr. Trump told David Brody of CBN that he believes that Roe was “wrongly decided.”  He has vowed to appoint strict constructionist justices to the Supreme Court–Justices in the mold of Scalia who will rule on cases based on a strict interpretation of the Constitution as it was written by the founders. 

Strict constructionist justices will see that there is nothing in the Constitution guaranteeing a so-called right to abortion or privacy. A majority of such justices will one day overturn Roe.

 Since many members of the Supreme Court are likely to retire or die in office during the term of the next president, a “President Trump” would appoint as many as four more justices.  This would flip the Court to a majority who would overturn Roe once and for all!

Mr. Trump is the only pro-life candidate for president who will flip the Supreme Court on abortion.

The Hill reported in February that during a recent forum, “a person in the crowd asked (Mrs.) Clinton whether she would impose a ‘litmus test’ upon potential Supreme Court justices other than on the issue of being pro-abortion.” 

 Mrs. Clinton replied, “I do have a litmus test, I have a bunch of litmus tests.” After naming a number of very liberal requirements she would have for any of her nominees to the Supreme Court, she added, “…we’ve got to make sure to preserve Roe V. Wade, not let it be nibbled away or repealed.”

Mrs. Clinton is the pro-abortion candidate for president who will use the Supreme Court to enshrine and expand abortion.

Remember that news headline we have all been waiting for?

Roe v. Wade Overturned:  States Free to Protect Children From Abortion

If we elect Mr. Trump as the next president, most of us reading this article will actually see that headline in the foreseeable future.

If we elect Mrs. Clinton as the next president, most of us will never live to read this headline.

Restoring a Culture of Life Depends on the 2016 Presidential Election

Pro-life voters are not “single-issue” voters.  We are concerned about a wide array of issues.  We just prioritize all those issues and place bringing an end to abortion at the top of the list.

Besides appointing Supreme Court justices who will either overturn or enshrine Roe, the president influences whether we have a culture of life or a culture of death through pronouncements, policies and executive orders.  Here is a brief summary of the direction our nation will go under a Trump or a Clinton presidency:

Mr. Trump wants to stop federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which performs over 300,000 abortions each year across America.  Mrs. Clinton is endorsed by Planned Parenthood and invited the national president, Cecile Richards, to address the Democratic National Convention to thank Clinton for pledging her unwavering support for the abortion giant.

Mr. Trump wrote that, “Public funding of abortion providers is an insult to people of conscience at the least and an affront to good governance at best.”  He opposes taxpayer funding for organizations which perform abortions.  Mrs. Clinton wants to repeal the Hyde Amendment, a common sense measure which has had bipartisan support for more than three decades  preventing government funding for abortion except in the rare cases of rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother.

Mr. Trump wants to repeal Obamacare which requires abortion as a covered service in state health insurance exchanges unless a state opts out, as Pennsylvania has wisely done.  Mrs. Clinton pledges “to defend Obamacare and build on its successes.”

Mr. Trump is against the late-term partial-birth abortion procedure according to his book, The America We Deserve, published in 2000.  Mrs. Clinton voted against the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban when she was a U.S. Senator.

Mr. Trump opened a column in the Washington Examiner:  “Let me be clear — I am pro-life. I support that position with exceptions allowed for rape, incest or the life of the mother being at risk. I did not always hold this position, but I had a significant personal experience that brought the precious gift of life into perspective for me.”  Mrs. Clinton flatly told Chuck Todd, on Meet the Press, “The unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights.”

Finally, Mr. Trump is supported by the National Right to Life Committee Political Action Committee and endorsed by the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation Political Action Committee. Mrs. Clinton is endorsed by Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest pro-abortion political action committee.

“None-of-the-Above” Is Not on the Ballot 

Finally, some people tell me they would never vote for Mrs. Clinton because she is so pro-abortion. But they say they are not comfortable voting for Mr. Trump for various reasons. They are contemplating not voting at all, or writing in some other name for president.

Let’s face it, the next president will be Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton.  Anything other than a vote FOR TRUMP is a vote FOR CLINTON. Every vote counts, and that non-vote could have been the vote that would have given us a pro-life president and the headline:

Roe v. Wade Overturned:  States Free to Protect Children From Abortion


Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. at the Pennsylvania Pro-life Federation Celebrate Life Banquet Harrisburg, Pa., Sept. 29, 2016

EDITORS NOTE: Archbishop Chaput gave an inspiring and educational speech at the 2016 Celebrate Life Banquet. The text of his speech is below. You can also tune in to PCN Sunday at 4:30 P.M. and hear it yourself.

Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.

For the past 43 years we’ve been living the consequences of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that effectively legalized abortion on demand. And the abortion struggle of the past four decades teaches us a very useful lesson. Evil talks a lot about “tolerance” when it’s weak. When evil is strong, real tolerance gets kicked out the door. This in turn explains a lot about our current cultural climate. To put it simply: Evil cannot bear the counter-witness of truth. It cannot co-exist peacefully with goodness, because evil insists on being seen as right, and worshiped as being right. Therefore, the good must be made to seem hateful and wrong.

The very existence of people who refuse to accept evil and who seek to act virtuously burns the conscience of those who don’t. And so, quite logically, people like the people in this room, people who march and lobby and speak out to defend the unborn child will be – and are – reviled by political leaders and news media and abortion activists who turn the right to kill an unborn child into a shrine for personal choice.

Seventy years ago, abortion was a crime against humanity. Four decades ago, abortion supporters talked piously about the “tragedy” of abortion and the need to make it safe and rare. But not today. Not anymore. Now abortion is not just a so-called “right,” but a right that claims positive dignity, the license to demonize its opponents and the precedence to interfere with constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech, assembly and religion. We no longer tolerate abortion. We celebrate it. We venerate it as a totem.
People sometimes ask me if we can be optimistic, those of us who are religious believers, about the future of our country. My answer is always the same. Optimism and pessimism are equally dangerous for the believer because both God and the devil are full of surprises. But the virtue of hope is another matter. We have every reason to hope. Scripture tells us we must live in hope, and hope is a very different creature from optimism. Hope is the grace to trust that God is who he claims to be, and that in serving him, we do something fertile and precious for the renewal of the world.

Our lives matter not because of who we are. They matter because of who God is. His mercy, his justice, his love — these are the things that move the galaxies and reach into the womb to touch the unborn child with the grandeur of being human. And we become more truly human ourselves by seeing the humanity in the poor, the weak, the elderly and the unborn child — and then fighting for it.

Over the past 43 years, the prolife movement has been written off as defeated and finished too many times to count. Yet here you are tonight again, disappointing your critics and refusing to die. And why is that? It’s because no court decision, no law and no political lobby can ever change the truth about when human life begins and the sanctity that God attaches to each and every human person, born or unborn.

As I was gathering my thoughts for tonight, a line from Psalm 89 came back to me again and again: [Lord,] make us know the shortness of our life that we may gain wisdom of heart. The time we have in this world is brief. The choices we make have real substance – precisely because we come this way in life only once, and the world will be better or worse for our passing.

So our presence here together tonight has a meaning much larger than a nice meal and a good conversation about shared values. It’s an opportunity to remember that God put us here for a purpose. He’s asking us turn our hearts to building the kind of world that embodies his love and honors the sanctity of the human children he created.

So based on what I’ve seen in the American prolife experience over the past 43 years, I’d like to offer a few “dos” and “don’ts” for building a culture of life. I’ll begin with the “don’ts.”

First, don’t let yourselves be bullied into silence.

Democracy depends on people of conviction carrying their beliefs into public debate — respectfully, legally and non-violently, but vigorously and without apology. Real pluralism demands that people with different beliefs should pursue their beliefs energetically in the public square. This is the only way a public debate can be honest and fruitful. We should never apologize for being prolife, or for advancing our beliefs in private or in public.

Second, don’t let divisions take root.

St. Augustine said that we need to be united in the essentials, free in the debatables, and charitable in all things. Diverse prolife opinion is part of the movement’s richness. As a bishop, I’ve always been baffled by how much energy can be wasted on internal prolife bickering. We can never allow our differences to become personal. Acrimony within the prolife movement is a gift to our opponents. It’s also a form of theft from the unborn children who will suffer the consequences of our division.

Third, don’t get trapped by politics — especially partisan politics.

The more prolifers tie themselves to a single political party, the less they can speak to society at large. In the United States, Catholics — both on the left and the right — have too often made the mistake of becoming cheerleaders for a specific candidate.

Fourth don’t create or accept false oppositions.

Dialectical thinking, and by that I mean the idea that most of our options involve “either/or” choices, is deeply misleading. Back during the 2008 presidential election, we saw the emergence of so-called prolife voices that argued we should stop fighting the legal struggle over abortion. Instead we should join with “pro-choice” supporters to seek “common ground.”

Their argument was simple: Why fight a losing battle on the legal, cultural and moral fronts since — according to them — we haven’t yet made serious progress in ending legalized abortion? Let’s drop the “divisive” political battle, they said, and instead let’s all work together to tackle the economic and health issues that might eventually reduce abortions.

Of course, many of these voices turned out to be flacks for the Obama presidential campaign. In reality, the Obama White House has been extraordinary for its refusal to compromise on anything involving so-called “reproductive rights,” and for its belligerent hostility to prolife and religious liberty concerns.

But we need to look beyond the current White House to recent American history. Did Americans take a gradual, social-improvement road to “reducing” racism? No. We passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Nor have I ever heard anyone suggest that the best way to deal with murder, rape or domestic abuse is to improve people’s access to psychotherapy and job training. We make sexual assault illegal — even though we know it will still sometimes tragically occur — because it’s gravely evil. It’s an act of violence, and the law should proscribe it. Of course, we also have a duty to improve the social conditions that can breed domestic and sexual violence. But that doesn’t change the need for a law.

Likewise, if we really believe that abortion is an intimate act of violence, then we can’t aim at anything less than ending abortion. It doesn’t matter that some abortions have always occurred, and that some abortions will always occur. If we really believe that abortion kills a developing, human life, then we can never be satisfied with mere “reductions” in the body count.

Fifth and finally, don’t hate the adversary.

People who support a so-called “right” to abortion are our opponents, but they’re never our “enemies.” Abortion-friendly lawmakers and organizations, and even people who despise us for what we believe, are not our enemies. They’re brothers and sisters. We need to trust in the long-term power of love — the true power of God – to convert the human heart even in the face of our own failures. We can never allow ourselves to become bitter. The great second century Church Father, Irenaeus of Lyon, warned early Christians that we’ve been sent like sheep into the midst of wolves. The moment we become wolves ourselves, we lose.

OK, so much for the don’ts. What about the “dos,” how should we proceed?

Here’s the first and most important do. It’s very simple: Do become martyrs. Be ready and willing to pay a price for your beliefs. In today’s world, we may never be asked to shed our blood in witnessing for our faith. But we do see character assassinations, mud-slinging and lies against good people every day in the public media. And we should be ready to bear the cost. Nothing, not even our good name, should stop us from doing what we know to be right.

Here’s the second do. Keep hope alive.

Cultivating a spirit of joy is not an act of self-deception. It’s a way to acknowledge that God is on our side, and that human nature, created by God and despite the damage of original sin, is also on our side. Nothing is more inspiring than happy warriors. I’ve never in my life seen a joy-filled pro-abortion event. And I’ve always found that instructive.

Here’s the third do. Be strategic.

Being sheep in the midst of wolves doesn’t mean we can also be dumb as rocks. Prolife organizations are always outspent by pro-abortion forces. Our efforts are dwarfed by their money. We rarely have their access to friendly media, foundations and circles of power. But this can be a blessing disguised as a curse. It forces us to be creative, long-term thinkers and resourceful with our modest means.

Being strategic means planning ahead, working together and outsmarting our adversaries. To achieve these goals, we need a big dose of realism. We should never dream or whine about all the things we could do with the millions of dollars we don’t have. We need to focus on the real dollars we do have.

Two fishes and five loaves of bread, well invested — in other words, given to the Lord — fed a multitude. History shows that guerrilla wars, if well planned and methodically carried out, can defeat great armies. And we should never forget that the greatest “guerrilla” leader of them all wasn’t Mao Zedong or Che Guevara, but a young shepherd named David, who became a king.

Here’s the fourth and final do. Remember that renewing the culture, not gaining power, is our ultimate goal.

Culture is everything. Culture is our “human ecology.” It’s the environment where we human beings breathe not only air, but ideas, beliefs and values. Getting political power has its short-term value. But it’s not what prolifers are finally about. Our real task, and our much longer-term and more important goal, is to carry out what the late Pope John Paul II called the “evangelization of culture.”

We need to work to change the culture. And that demands a lifelong commitment to education, formation and, ultimately, conversion. Only genuinely holy persons really change the world. And therein lies our ultimate victory: If we change one heart at a time, while we save one unborn life at a time, the day will come when we won’t need to worry about saving babies, because they’ll be surrounded by a loving and welcoming culture.

Will I see that day with my own eyes? I don’t think I can hold my breath that long. But then I never expected to see a Pope from Argentina or the fall of the Iron Curtain either. We may not see that day in our own lifetimes, but the children of your grandchildren will. The future depends on our choices and actions right here, right now, tonight — together.

I want to end with one final thought. I spent nine happy years of my life as a young bishop in Rapid City, South Dakota. The reason for that happiness was the people I served. Dakotans have a sanity that comes from their closeness to a very beautiful but also a very hard land. In the Dakotas, if you behave like a fool in the way you mistreat the land, or ignore the weather, or abuse the environment – well, very soon you’re a dead fool. So Dakotans get character or they get gone, pretty quickly.

Pennsylvania is a long way from South Dakota. It has its own beauties and its own problems. But the human realities are very much the same. Pennsylvanians can be a skeptical breed. The cultural, legal and political terrain here can be very rough. It takes people of exceptional character, people with the courage to fight the good fight at great personal cost, to endure and achieve anything good.

A lot of those good people are in this room tonight. Your character, your faith and your dedication to the sanctity of the human person matter. They matter not just now; and not just here in our Commonwealth; and not just for the thousands of people your work influences without even knowing their names. Your commitment to human life matters eternally, because some lives will be lived only because your voice at the decisive moment for a young mother made them possible.

So no matter how tired you get, no matter how hard the work becomes, no matter who praises you or who condemns you, the only thing that finally matters is this: God is good; he never abandons his people; and because of his love, and because of the witness of people like you in the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, the future is ours. And the best is yet to come.

So may God bless the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, and send it the supporters and resources and generous donors it needs, because we’ve never needed its witness and its service to human dignity more than we do today.

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



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.

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.


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


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                        




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.