Pro-Life Apologetics Spread the Truth

By Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director

Dr. Bernard NathansonDr. Bernard Nathanson

The panic is almost palpable.  Abortion supporters are screaming proverbial “Fire!” all over social and mainstream media, attempting to create mass hysteria over recent developments.  Facts are distorted, truths half-told. Why are they ramping up their rhetoric?

The Alabama ban on abortions. The Ohio and Georgia bills protecting babies at early stages of development. The Down Syndrome Protection Act passed by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. These are just a few among several other legislative efforts to defend the only unprotected class of Americans, the pre-born.

Seemingly all of a sudden, the 40+ years that pro-lifers have worked to change laws are showing signs of progress.

And while all this is certainly an encouragement to those of us on the side of life, we cannot rest easy.  We have a two-fold mission: change laws and change hearts and minds. And neither is easy to do.

So now is the right time for all of us to self-enroll in Pro-Life Apologetics 101.

Apologetics is the systematic defense of a held belief. We pro-lifers must be ready to defend our position amongst the most persistent arguments for abortion. Often this may require a bit of historical research or googling of statistics, but it is well worth it if we can dispel some of the myths that continue to drive the abortion culture.  There is not a single argument for abortion that cannot be answered with science, history, logic, or personal witness.

Take for example, one of the most common arguments that our society will return to the days of illegal back alley abortions, which abortion supporters claim were the cause of countless deaths prior to Roe vs. Wade.  This allegation is meant to strike fear in our hearts, conjuring up horrible images of women suffering from infections due to unsterile instruments and untrained abortionists.

So how do we respond?

First, let’s acknowledge that legalized abortion puts women at risk for those very same things.  Consider the deplorable conditions of Gosnell’s abortuary, where for over 30 years, grown and just-birthed women died, while others were infected with STD’s due to unsterilized instruments.  Consider the Planned Parenthood in Philadelphia, made famous recently by Rep. Brian Sims’ outrageous bullying toward peaceful citizens, which failed 13 of the last 23 inspections. Do we honestly think these are the only two abortion centers not providing a “safe” sterile abortion?  Even in the cleanest of facilities, abortion remains a procedure with multiple risks for women and death to every child.

Secondly, let’s be clear about where abortion advocates get their numbers.

When the sexual revolution, women’s liberation, and the abortion movement all collided in the late 60’s, the co-founder of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (later NARAL)  abortionist Bernard Nathanson and his cohorts played off this fear and used the media to spread false statistics.

Nathanson, who later became an outspoken figure in the pro-life movement, confessed to these numbers being fake:

“We aroused enough sympathy to sell our program of permissive abortion by fabricating the number of illegal abortions done annually in the U.S. The actual figure was approaching 100,000 but the figure we gave to the media repeatedly was 1,000,000. Repeating the big lie often enough convinces the public. The number of women dying from illegal abortions was around 200 – 250 annually. The figure constantly fed to the media was 10,000.”

“These false figures took root in the consciousness of Americans convincing many that we needed to crack the abortion law. Another myth we fed to the public through the media was that legalizing abortion would only mean that the abortions taking place illegally would then be done legally. In fact, of course, abortion is now being used as a primary method of birth control in the U.S. and the annual number of abortions has increased by 1500% since legalization.”

In Aborting America (1979) Nathanson writes that since these false statistics were useful to the abortion “revolution”, why would NARAL go out of its way to correct them?

Abortion supporters still rely on these fictitious figures to feed fears and create hysteria.  And it is not beneath them to create additional misleading statistics, like abortion only being 3% of Planned Parenthood’s services. Or that a majority of Americans support abortion on demand throughout pregnancy.

But as students of truth and defenders of life, we can counter the inaccurate, irrational arguments used by abortion supporters to manipulate the American public. Perhaps repeating the truth often enough will convince the public.

There are many excellent resources available to educate ourselves and others, including our website at paprolife.org.

Let’s get busy. Let the truth spread like fire!

 

What you can do to respond to Rep. Brian Sims

brian sims

 Our office has been inundated with calls and emails regarding Rep. Brian Sims’ self-promoted harassment of a peaceful pro-life prayer warrior. People are outraged and want to know what to do.

First, contact your state representative and Speaker of the House Mike Turzai to let them know that the people of PA will not tolerate this disgusting behavior from an elected official.Click here to find your rep.

Secondly, sign the petition calling for Rep. Sims resignation which has over 26,000 signatures already but needs every single pro-life Pennsylvanian to be on it. Click here to sign the petition.

Thirdly, you can join others in supporting the work of the Pa Pro-Life Federation as we endeavor to educate on life issues and promote legislation that protects and honors the dignity of all life, from conception to natural death. Click here to donate now!

We cannot be silent in the face of this egregious act of aggression toward pro-lifers exercising their Constitutional rights!

The Birth Privilege of Brian Sims

newborn babe arms outstretched

 By Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director

While not one major network has covered the story, thanks to social media, most people are aware of State Representative Brian Sims’ disgraceful harassment of a peaceful, prayerful, pro-life witness in front of a Philadelphia Planned Parenthood. In his eight minute tirade, which he filmed and posted online, proudly showcasing his bullying of “an old white woman”, the elected official assails her for her “white privilege.”  Sims is also white, but apparently he handles his “white privilege” in a morally superior fashion. Or at least that’s his self-perception.

Cambridge English Dictionary defines white privilege as “the fact of people with white skin having advantages in society that other people do not have.”

But what about “birth privilege”?  Would that not be defined then as “the fact of people who are allowed to be born having advantages in society that other people  (those denied birth) do not have”?

Unlike 61 million babies, Sims was allowed to live and grow inside his mother’s womb until he was ready to breathe his own air.  He was small, vulnerable, completely dependent, and completely human right from the moment of conception when his unique combination of DNA, never to be repeated again, came into existence.  He didn’t become human, like he didn’t become white.  He always was.

He wasn’t his mother’s body, some extension of her like a tooth or birthmark.  He was, genetically, an entirely different human being within her body. He was and is her child.

Everyday Sims enjoys the privilege of being born, enabling him to experience liberty and pursue happiness, to seek public office, to speak out for those he feels are under-represented. But not all are so lucky. Birth privilege is perfectly summed up in a now famous statement made by President Ronald Reagan: “I’ve noticed everyone who is for abortion has already been born.”

Those with birth privilege are in the position of power and strength over the weak and defenseless, the pre-born. So doesn’t that make abortion the ultimate form of bullying?

Sims, a former football player, a youngish lawyer, and an empowered public official, clearly bullies the lone, powerless, older woman. He berates her verbally, mocking her because of her age, race, and faith.  He attacks her character by asking how many children she had clothed that day.  He calls her a hypocrite.  And when she tries to walk away without comment, he follows.  And this blatant act of bullying was such a source of pride, he publicized it himself!

Of course, Sims is comfortable lording his physical presence and social status over someone less formidable than he.  After all, he advocates for abortion, which does the exact same thing: the strong and empowered refuse to recognize the dignity of those smaller and powerless, and they then proceed to destroy them.

Once we lose respect for the most vulnerable human life, it should come as no surprise that no one is off limits. Not babies. Not the elderly. Not innocent prayerful women. No one. Nothing is sacred.

We can only pray that Brian Sims, like many one-time abortion supporters,  repents and has a conversion of heart. Perhaps then, he can use his birth privilege to make this world one in which no human life is ever again bullied to death.

 

 

Town Hall Meetings Bring Life-Saving Information to Local Communities

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Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director, addressing crowd at the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation’s Town Hall tour.

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

Audible gasps filled a meeting room not far from the battlefield of Gettysburg. The assembled crowd was reacting to the news from New York, where pro-abortion Governor Andrew Cuomo had signed a bill allowing abortions up to the moment of birth.

Many in the crowd had come to find out how to prevent Pennsylvania from becoming another New York, as far as the life issues are concerned. They listened attentively, applauded often, and inquired how they could sign a petition to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, urging him to protect innocent children from harm.

Gettysburg was the first stop in the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation’s popular Town Hall Tour. It will be followed next week with stops in Altoona, Pittsburgh, Erie, Hazleton, and Bethlehem (where pro-abortion Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders recently held his own Town Hall event).

The presentations are jam-packed with important information about promoting life in the culture, in the state Capitol, and in local communities. After the Town Hall in Gettysburg, people crowded around the information table, eager to pick up fact sheets to share with others–especially women facing challenging pregnancies.

We’ve been holding these Town Halls for years now, but there was something especially significant of beginning this year’s tour in Gettysburg. The city is synonymous with defending the soul of the nation–and isn’t that just exactly what pro-lifers are doing today, amidst tremendous challenges from politicians defending late-term abortions and failing to erect legal barriers to infanticide.

In his famous Gettysburg Address, President Abraham Lincoln stated that all men are created equal. The pro-life movement believes the same. And because of that dedication to equality, pro-lifers defend life from the very moment of conception to the instant of natural death.

In the immortal words of Lincoln:

The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

To learn more about our Town Hall tour, visit www.paprolife.org .

Let’s Respond to the Hatred of Late-Term Abortions with Love

sleeping baby

 By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

The headlines happen to be filled with hatred for humanity this week.

One news story notes that the Governor of North Carolina has vetoed a bill to stop infanticide.

Another breaks the news that a Presidential candidate, Democrat Pete Buttigieg, defends abortions up to birth, calling it “a personal decision.”

It seems horrific enough that Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion, has led to abortions during all nine months of pregnancy. But the fact that politicians are defending the practice seems incomprehensible.

Make no mistake–late-term abortions and infanticide are vile hate crimes against both mother and child. They are brutal, ghastly, and painful–and should not be permitted in a civilized society.

How can we respond to these atrocities? What can we say when a candidate dismisses late-term abortion as just another choice, as if it were as simple as asking for more caramel in your latte?

We can begin by contemplating the words of slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, who famously stated, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

We must respond to the darkness and despair of abortion and infanticide with the light of life-giving options. We need to redouble our efforts to reach out to pregnant women facing challenging circumstances. We must recommit ourselves to educating people about the painful truths about abortion and infanticide.

We need to show public officials how deep and how wide our love is for preborn babies and their mothers and fathers. We need to gently but courageously remind candidates of this fundamental truth: all human life is precious and deserves protection, no matter what the circumstances.

We need, in the end, to demonstrate why pro-life is indeed pro-love.

 

Down Syndrome Protection Act Re-Introduced

Chloe Kondrich 2019

 By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

The Down Syndrome Protection Act has been reintroduced in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and referred to the House Health Committee. 

The popular bill passed the House last session by an overwhelming, bipartisan, veto-proof majority, but stalled in the state Senate.

The common sense legislation would ban abortions for the sole reason of a Down syndrome diagnosis. 

Research shows that the vast majority of children who receive a Down syndrome diagnosis in the womb lose their lives to abortion.

Many parents report being pressured by doctors to turn to abortion after receiving a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome.

This comes at a time when people with Down syndrome are making tremendous strides in our communities and in the nation as a whole. They contribute greatly to our families, schools, and workplaces, and their lives should be protected.

The latest Down syndrome bill is sponsored by House Speaker Mike Turzai (R–Allegheny County) and state Rep. Kate Klunk (R-York County). The bill has also garnered dozens of co-sponsors from all across the political spectrum.

As Rep. Klunk stated in a news release announcing the bill, “We have a responsibility to protect those who don’t have a voice. We have a responsibility to stand up against eugenics. And, we have a responsibility to stand up to say that a baby with Down syndrome has a right to life and should not be discriminated against in the womb. Individuals with Down syndrome live lives full of dignity, value and love. We must embrace these lovable human beings for the amazing individuals they are and not allow policies that erase them from existence. They are truly lives worth living.”

Action Item: If you live in Pennsylvania, please call your state Representative and urge him or her to support the Down Syndrome Protection Act. 

Pennsylvania Teen Shows the Tremendous Gift of Children with Down Syndrome

Chloe at police officer's grave

 

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

This is an incredible story of life, death, disability, and the power of an innocent child to bring people unity, hope and peace.

Chloe Kondrich, a teenager with Down syndrome, has won worldwide acclaim for her advocacy efforts on behalf of children with disabilities. Chloe’s father, Kurt, left his job in law enforcement to join Chloe in her advocacy efforts.

A decade ago, Kurt lost a close friend when a fellow Pittsburgh police officer, Paul Sciullo, was among a trio of officers killed in an ambush. The loss was devastating to the community and to Kurt personally.

When he took Chloe to her appointments at Children’s Hospital, he would stop at a nearby cemetery where Officer Sciullo was buried. There, Chloe formed a bond with the fallen officer, whose photograph adorns his tombstone.

During a visit with Sciullo’s parents, Chloe said, “I see Paul up in heaven and he’s holding a baby. It’s a baby boy. It’s his brother. His name’s David and (Paul’s) holding him in heaven.”

The parents started to cry. Unbeknownst to the Kondrich family, 43 years earlier, the Sciullos had miscarried a baby. He was a boy, and the Sciullos had discussed naming him David.

As Kurt remarks, “I don’t know what I did right to be given a daughter as awesome as this.” Chloe shined a very bright light in the darkest valley for the Sciullo family, and her father believes she proved that unborn children who die in the womb are in Heaven.

Yet, Kurt lives with the daily reality that children such as Chloe are truly endangered. That is because of the high abortion rate for unborn babies who have been diagnosed with Down syndrome. It is estimated that the vast majority of parents who receive a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis choose abortion.

Kurt believes many individuals simply do not know the abilities of children with Down syndrome. Nor do they realize the resources that are available to them. The absence of knowledge leads to unnecessary barriers to inclusion and causes discrimination against those with an extra chromosome.

To address this pressing issue, the Kondrich’s were instrumental in passing Chloe’s Law, a Pennsylvania statute which provides positive information and support to parents who have received a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis.

The Kondrich family is now advocating for legislation that would protect children with Down syndrome from abortion in Pennsylvania. The bill passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives by an overwhelming, bipartisan, veto-proof majority last year, but stalled in the Senate.

House Speaker Mike Turzai (R—Allegheny County) and Rep. Kate Klunk (R—York County) have announced plans to introduce a similar bill this year.

At a news conference at the state Capitol, Rep. Klunk spoke eloquently of the profound gift represented by children with Down syndrome.

And in a news release announcing plans to introduce the bill, Rep. Klunk stated, “We have a responsibility to protect those who don’t have a voice. We have a responsibility to stand up against eugenics. And, we have a responsibility to stand up to say that a baby with Down syndrome has a right to life and should not be discriminated against in the womb.

“Individuals with Down syndrome live lives full of dignity, value and love. We must embrace these loveable human beings for the amazing individuals they are and not allow policies that erase them from existence. They are truly lives worth living,” Rep. Klunk said.

Meanwhile, at a media event last year, Speaker Turzai said, “We’re raising the concern in Pennsylvania because of some tragic trends in European countries. In Iceland, they’ve become notorious for the claim that Down syndrome has been nearly eliminated. What they fail to mention is that Iceland has a 100 percent abortion rate of pre-born children with this diagnosis.

“I believe in the dignity of every human being. None of us are born perfect, and we all have something beautiful to contribute. Pennsylvania is a loving, compassionate community, and we want to extend welcome and support to Down syndrome families. They need to know they’re not alone,” Speaker Turzai added.

For the Kondrich family, the legislative effort is part of a personal crusade to show the world that every life matters—including the lives of the most vulnerable. The goal is to restore a culture of Life where people “Embrace don’t erase” Down syndrome and end this prenatal genocide which is the ultimate extreme form of prejudice, discrimination, profiling, bigotry, and hate on innocent human beings who commit no acts of evil or violence.

A short video of this amazing story was made in NYC when Chloe received a prestigious award from Good Counsel Homes for her advocacy efforts: https://youtu.be/dFGFvi7xLx0

The Final Countdown at the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

Microphone

By Katy Schriner, intern

As I was growing up, I’ve always heard of the phrase “Life is a journey”. Particularly with my life, I can say that it has been a HUGE journey. I have been through some of the best things in life as well as some of the worst. Some of the worst experiences I’ve encountered were getting diagnosed with Autism at a young age, my family losing our home to black toxic mold, financial issues and my mother going through cancer. However, I can say now that the best outweighs the worst. All of these horrific situations I encountered have shaped me into becoming the woman that I am today. There have been doctors that told my parents that I would never graduate from high school, have a job, and that I would end up living in a home.

Through the strength of God and the dedication my mother had to prove the doctors wrong, she has been the reason for all of my success. Really quickly, let me give you a brief list of SOME of the things I have accomplished. Some of the biggest accomplishments that I have done throughout my life thus far as a 22-year-old are graduated high school, gotten my driver’s license, gotten accepted into college (the best university ever! Penn State), passing all of my college courses with flying colors, joined a few clubs, danced at Penn State THON for raising money for the Four Diamonds Fund for children with pediatric cancer, have learned to pick and choose my friends and finally to learn to love myself and to understand my strengths and weaknesses. In just a couple of weeks, I will be able to add two more things to my long list of accomplishments: completing my internship at the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and to graduate from college.

During my time with the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, I have learned SO much about abortions, all the laws being enacted in Congress or trying to be get passed, the effects from an abortion, all the resources women can go to, and all of the events that the Pro-Life movement provides to the community. I had met so many incredible people throughout my time at the Federation such as Joe Murphy, Senator Judy Ward, Ruth Santino, State Representative Andrew Lewis, and several others. This internship has also gotten me a chance to really see our world for what it actually is (which is dark and sickening). This is the first time, other than THON, I’ve felt like I am making an impact on the world. I am proud to say that I am pro-life and I am well educated on the topic now thanks to everyone at the Federation.

I have learned so much from Michael Ciccocioppo, Bonnie Finnerty, and most importantly Maria Gallagher. These three individuals have taught me all I need to know about the pro-life movement and I couldn’t thank them enough for bringing me in like family and giving me the opportunity to do some work in my field. I have also learned that I excel at verbal communications and besides having a huge passion for radio, I also have found an old/new passion for writing. With all the techniques and skills that I have learned from the classroom to my internship, I can say that I have grown stronger as a communications major and I will feel prepared to get an entry level job to show whatever place I decide to work what I am capable of doing. Don’t worry viewers, I still have a couple more weeks until I am done here but as for now, I can promise that I will keep writing my heart out and will write the truth and give someone a different perspective to view.

Thank you to everyone– my family, friends, school teachers, college professors, and employers who believed in me! Without everyone who has pushed me to do my best or motivated me to prove someone wrong, I wouldn’t be who I am right now at this very moment. I really need to start giving myself credit for all the hard work I do but of course I don’t like to take all the glory for my accomplishments. Last but not least, I would like to thank all the dedicated and passionate people for all their hard work in efforts to end legal abortions in America. I believe that abortion will end one day but as for now, keep fighting and showing everyone in the world that every life matters. And remember, there’s always a reason to choose life.

A Letter to Young Women

 By Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director

Dear young woman,

You don’t know me but I feel compelled to reach out to you.  I want to apologize to you about that awful billboard.  A county health department was wrong to put it up.

Perhaps you drove by it. Or saw it on social media.  I’m sorry. I’m so sorry that you are being told you can only take control of your future by rejecting motherhood, by aborting the innocent life growing within. I am sorry that the pregnant woman on the left looks destroyed while the college grad on the right glows with pride, implying that there is only one true path to success. That’s a false narrative that builds on fear.  It’s meant to scare you into believing that a pregnancy will totally ruin your future.  And I want to tell you, from personal experience, that’s just not true.

billboard offensive

I was overcome with anxiety and uncertainty when I found out I was pregnant my freshman year.  The campus doctor urged an abortion.  In her mind, I would be a fool to trash a good scholarship at a prestigious university. As the billboard depicts, she saw only one path, and gave me only one choice.

I’m sure she considered herself compassionate, even empowering.  She wasn’t. I wish I could meet her now.  I want to show her MY billboard.

my graduation with Tim and Caitlin (2) (1)

I want to show her my husband, five children, three grandchildren, and my Master’s Degree. And I want to tell her I have no regrets about walking out of her office that day with a baby girl growing in my 18 year old belly, transferring to a school back home, and graduating four years later. I want to tell her a baby did not destroy my future, but an abortion would have.

I acknowledge that the journey was not easy. Not by any means, but every sacrifice, every bump, every single hardship was so worth it. That is a story for another day.

Please take note, dear sister, that you need not surrender your child’s life in exchange for a future. They are not mutually exclusive. In fact, it’s possible the child from an unexpected pregnancy will add a brightness to your future that you could never have envisioned.

The best paths to a successful and meaningful life are those that honor the sacredness and dignity of life.

Don’t let a misguided billboard, a campus doctor, or anyone fool you into thinking otherwise.

Yours in Life,

A former young woman, Bonnie

Unplanned: The Story of Abby Johnson

Image result for unplanned movie

By Katy Schriner, intern

This Friday, March 29th, Unplanned will be released in theaters all across the United States. This is the story about a former Planned Parenthood worker, Abby Johnson, who was in fact the youngest Planned Parenthood center director in the nation. She also was a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood, where she fought, she thought, to help women and enact legislation. What made her decide to embrace the Pro-life movement was when she found out about what Planned Parenthood really did when it came to unborn children and the counseling they provided for women, which led to 22,000 abortions that Abby was involved with. She was also a witness to an abortion where she saw the unborn child fighting for his life. Ever since that incident, she quit Planned Parenthood and joined the 40 Days for Life Campaign and now is one of the most passionate pro-life speakers in America.

Like any other topic that is about Pro-life or abortions, there were some issues that came along with the movie. Weeks before the movie was to be released, Hollywood decided that the film should be rated R for the reason of “some disturbing, bloody images”. But the co-director Chuck Konzelman feels otherwise, that Hollywood restricted the film because of politics. This has prevented teenagers in the world from seeing the truth about Planned Parenthood and the full effects of abortion and what happens to the mother. Konzelman fears that the movie’s R-rating will scare families away, at exactly the wrong time. However, there was an open letter from different leaders, actors and Academy Award-winners asking parents to not be discouraged from allowing their teenagers to see this movie.

We as Americans have this “shield” from seeing the truth and wanting to “keep secrets” away from society. Well enough is enough and that is what Unplanned is trying to do: uncover the real truth behind Planned Parenthood and show the world about what we are doing to innocent lives and how we are affecting our society today, tomorrow, and our future by having abortion in existence. This is a way to keep the conversation going showing kids, teenagers, college students and adults what lies behind the curtains and revealing the truth about our one true enemy: disrespect for human life.