Challenging Preconceptions About Roe

Supreme CourtBy Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

I was disheartened recently while watching Fox News coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court.

A news anchor cited a misleading poll purporting that more than 60 percent of Americans support Roe v. Wade, the tragic Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion on demand. The anchor was interviewing an editor with the Washington Examiner newspaper. When the editor tried to explain the false impression left by the poll, the anchor quickly shouted him down.

The fact is that most Americans do not know that Roe meant abortions for any reason during all nine months of pregnancy. They also do not realize that Roe led to the outrageous practice of partial-birth abortion, where a baby is partly delivered, then killed. They also do not recognize the fact that Roe gave rise to the massive tragedy in West Philadelphia, where abortionist Kermit Gosnell was ultimately found guilty of the murders of three full-term babies and the death of a female patient, Karnamaya Mongar.

A Fox News Sunday interview left me similarly disappointed. The head of the abortion lobbying group NARAL was interviewed, without counterpoint, about the Supreme Court. The NARAL spokeswoman claimed that most people are “pro-choice” because they believe in compassionate, healthy choice.

But abortion is not compassionate for the child who is killed. And how can it be a mark of compassion when you leave a woman to grieve a baby who has been unnecessarily lost to abortion?

“Choice” is unhealthy when it results in the death of a baby in the womb. It is also quite unhealthy for those mothers who turn to alcohol and drugs to numb their pain.

The compassionate, healthy choice in the abortion equation is the choice for life. If only mainstream news anchors would recognize that fundamental truth, we would be well on our way to building a culture of life. Until that day comes, we must work through polite persuasion to convince the news media of the rightness of the pro-life cause.

 

Pro-Life Hero: Jess Socrates

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By Matthew Wagner, Education Director

Editor’s Note:  This post is a continuation of a series of about “Pro-Life Heroes”…individuals who are making a difference for the pro-life movement in their communities.  One of the things I’ve always been impressed with is how there are so many different talents within the pro-life movement. Jess Socrates, a pathologist in York PA has one such unique program to show the humanity of the pre-born child. Enjoy his story and stay tuned in the coming weeks for future “Pro-Life Heroes” blogs. If you know of someone we should talk to who is making a difference for those who can’t defend themselves, email lifelines@paprolife.org.

Matt: Tell me your background. Where did you grow up and what brought you to the United States?

Jess: I was born in the Philippines, a cradle Catholic. The majority of Filipinos are Catholic. I did all my education in the University of the Philippines where both of my parents were faculty. It was the only way all of us nine siblings could get an education. I immigrated to the US in 1976 to join my family. There is a longer story to this that has something to do with Martial Law in the Philippines. I initially did not want to come here but eventually decided that it was the best thing to do for my safety and future. No regrets. I did my Pathology residency at York Hospital where abortions were performed. The first time I had a fully-formed saline aborted baby in my hands, I asked my assistant what I should do with the baby next. She came over with a garbage can (red bag) and directed me to throw the dead baby in the trash. This was an experience that I can never forget. All aborted and miscarried children ended up in the garbage can – to be incinerated with the rest of the hospital’s biological waste. I told myself that I will not let this happen wherever I would work in the future.

Matt: Why is the sanctity of all human life so important to you?

Jess: Every person deserves to live his natural life. As a physician who took the Hippocratic Oath, which includes the phrase “I will not give to a woman a pessary to cause abortion,” I am bound to respect the sanctity of human life before birth. Natural law dictates that no one can take life away from another.

Matt: Describe for me how you exercise respect for human life and how you got started doing this.

Jess: Every human is a living being should be allowed to live. No one should kill anyone regardless of a person’s age. Shortly after I started working at Hanover Hospital in 1980, I approached the administration and presented to them a simple plan. Instead of discarding remains of miscarried children who do not get a fetal death certificate in the red bag, I, the pathologist, would save these and eventually find a proper means to bury them. The hospital checked with the lawyers and approved my proposal. (In Pennsylvania, children miscarried before 16 weeks of gestation do not get a “fetal death certificate.” So, in the eyes of the law, they never existed.) I saved all remains in formaldehyde after removing all identification. I looked for opportunities to bury these children properly.  In a period of over thirty years, three groups of miscarried children were buried. The first children were buried in a Catholic Church graveyard; the second batch were placed in the coffin of a deceased with consent from family; the third were buried in the grounds of another Catholic church. Eventually, the hospital adopted a formalized program as described.

Matt: How long have you been doing this?

Jess: Thirty-eight years

Matt: How many babies would you say you have buried over the years?

 Jess: Approximately? At least 100

Matt: When you bury the babies, do you notify their next of kin?

Jess: YES. The parents are first asked if they are willing for the hospital to bury their deceased child’s remains. They sign a consent form. Their names and contact information are saved so that they can be informed when their child will be buried. The funeral services are open to immediate family.

Matt: What is your vision for this program?

Jess: All miscarried (and aborted) children should be given a proper funeral. Shared burial should be offered to parents who are considering abortion. The remains of their aborted child can be buried as well. Without getting into the politics, this program demonstrates to everyone that these children we are burying are people too. When the public becomes aware of this, their false perception that a baby in the womb is nothing but a piece of tissue will change. I feel that if this is done all throughout the country (or world for that matter) we will abolish abortion forever.

Matt: How would you suggest others who may be interested in doing something similar to what you are doing get started?

Jess: Determine if a local hospital buries miscarried children. If not, then there is an opportunity to get into this program. In my experience, it is easy to get the support of the community (funeral homes, florists, and cemetery). My hospital does not spend a single cent to get this program going. Everything is donated. It is not difficult either to get organizations and volunteers involved. Because these remains are very small, a coffin and a funeral can be shared by all hospitals in the vicinity.

Barletta, Casey a Study in Contrasts

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative DirectorLou Barletta

The two Pennsylvania candidates vying for the U.S. Senate this year are a study in contrasts, as far as their positions on the life issues are concerned. Congressman Lou Barletta, a Republican, has a 100 percent pro-life voting record. He supports a ban on taxpayer funding of organizations that perform abortions, such as the abortion giant Planned Parenthood. He supported the Supreme Court nominations of strict constructionists Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. He also supported the repeal of anti-life Obamacare.

Meanwhile, Senator Bob Casey, a Democrat, has an 80 percent pro-abortion voting record. He opposes a ban on taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood. He also opposed the Supreme Court nominations of Gorsuch and Cavanaugh. In addition, he opposed the repeal of the anti-life Obamacare health care plan.

Pennsylvania voters will head to the polls Nov. 6.

 

 

Bob Casey Disappoints Constituents–Again

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

Democratic U.S. Senator Bob CBob Caseyasey of Pennsylvania has disappointed his constituents yet again.

The politician, who has an 80 percent pro-abortion voting record according to the National Right to Life scorecard, decided to oppose pro-life President Donald Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court–even before the nominee was named.

Without a single hearing, Casey said he would not support the nominee “because it represents a corrupt bargain with the far right, big corporations, and Washington special interests.”

Casey’s statement is factually incorrect. Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a well-respected jurist who has pledged to interpret the Constitution as it is written. He has promised to be independent, so he can hardly be considered a puppet of special interests.

Casey has disappointed his constituents time and time again. He opposed Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court, despite the judge’s stellar judicial record. Casey also blindly supports Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion operation.

In contrast, Casey’s Republican opponent, Congressman Lou Barletta, supported both Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. He also supports a ban on taxpayer funding of organizations, such as Planned Parenthood, which perform abortions.

Yet, again, Pennsylvania citizens are being reminded that Casey stands in stark contrast to his father, the late Governor Robert Casey, Sr., whose principled and unwavering pro-life stand inspired people around the nation.

Oprah’s Magazine Encourages Women to Shout Their Abortions

WomanBy Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

magazine, the publication published by media mogul Oprah Winfrey, contains a jarring image in its latest edition. It shows a woman with a t-shirt that encourages women to “shout” their abortions.

Pro-abortion stories by the media are nothing new. But the boldness and insensitivity shown by this article are especially troubling.

Women across the country testify that they have been greatly harmed by abortion and its aftermath.

Consider the courageous women who have submitted their testimonies to the organization known as the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. Women such as Wanda from California:

“It’s (a) real LIVE human being, YOUR baby, please take it from me!  It is something you will forever regret!”

Or Erica from Hawaii:

“After the abortion, I felt humiliated.  I felt isolated and alone. Co-workers called to check on me after the procedure, but I had to lie about what it was for to protect my job. I was tired of lying and stopped taking their calls. I cried alone in my bed for days. Eventually, I had to go back to work and tried to pretend things were okay, but they weren’t.”

Or Marianne from New York:

“I want to share my story and be silent no more about all the lies that are perpetrated about abortion. They tell you that you will feel relief, but you feel terrible guilt. The pro-choice movement does a big injustice to women, feeding them lies.”

These brave women, and countless others like them, are not shouting their abortions. They are crying out in pain. Let’s respect these women by listening to them and reaching out to them in love. In this way, their wounds can heal, and they can truly be silent no more.

Thailand Cave Rescue Shows Value of Life

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By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

The  Thailand cave rescue that has gripped the world over the past few days clearly demonstrates the incredible value of human life.

I have seen hardened cable news anchors moved almost to the point of tears as they relate the fear of the parents whose children are trapped in the cave.

People of all ages and backgrounds are routing for the rescuers to deliver the soccer players to a place of safety. We desperately want those precious children to be saved.

Why? Because we know those children are an amazing gift, and that their lives are priceless. We believe that round-the-clock rescue operations are absolutely essential, because we believe no burden is too great in trying to protect those boys.

This is the same principle which guides the pro-life movement. We recognize the intrinsic value of all human life and we know that it needs to be cherished and preserved.

If only all those who are rooting for the soccer players would also cheer for the children in the womb. What a kinder, more compassionate world it would be!

 

How Feminism Betrayed Women on Abortion

 

Sad woman at the window

Sad woman at the window

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

A new book shows quite clearly how modern feminism betrayed women with its embrace of abortion on demand.

Sex Matters by Mona Charen describes quite clearly and convincingly how legal abortion has done tremendous harm to women in the U.S.

Charen writes of feminist icon Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique, “It is a deep tragedy that she never saw how cruel a thing she embraced by endorsing abortion on demand.”

Charen wisely points out that the women who lobbied for the right to vote in the early part of the 20th century “recoiled from abortion.” But that for the feminist leaders of the ’60s and ’70s abortion was a “sacrament of their secular religion.” She notes that there is a “certain brutality in the feminist approach to abortion.” This is because feminists asked women to “harden their hearts against the most vulnerable members of the human family.”

Pro-abortion forces promote a narrative that obscures certain realities. For instance, the U.S. has a waiting list of individuals who wish to adopt children. In fact, couples line up for the opportunity to adopt children who have been diagnosed with Down syndrome.

As Charen posits, the feminists’ “callousness toward the unborn is not only morally blind, but it betrays the traditional feminine sensitivity to the needs and welfare of children.”

Sex Matters is a bold treatise which demonstrates the fundamental flaws in the pro-abortion argument. That it is written by a woman shows that abortion culture does not have the appeal to many women that abortion promoters claim.

 

 

 

 

Reflecting on the Special Olympics and the Right to Life

 

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By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

I was watching television the other night when I happened to catch a portion of the opening ceremonies for the Special Olympics in Seattle. It was the most inspiring program I had seen all week. There was palpable joy as the competitors danced and sang with abandon. The scene made me reflect once more on the fundamental right to life of all children–including those with special needs.

It is truly alarming that the vast majority of American children diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb are aborted. These children are precious and worthy of protection. The Special Olympics showcases their athletic abilities, their heart, and their hope.

When parents learn that their preborn children may be born with Down syndrome, they may be frightened, confused, and struggling for answers. Thanks to legislation such as Pennsylvania’s Chloe’s Law, parents are offered resources and assistance at the time of the diagnosis so they will not feel so alone.

But more needs to be done. That’s why we urge Pennsylvania residents to contact their state Senators and encourage them to pass House Bill 2050, the Down Syndrome Protection Act. This common sense bill would ban abortion for the sole reason of a Down syndrome diagnosis.

Discrimination against people with disabilities must end. That includes the ultimate form of discrimination–ending a life in the womb. With your help, we will save the next generation of Special Olympians, ensuring that they receive a place of honor on the athletic field, in our families, and in our communities.

 

Liberty Means Life!

20060704231516_independence day baby

Independence Day is a great day to remember that our nation was founded on the principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Of course, you can’t have liberty or pursue happiness, unless you have life!

So as you gather with friends and family over the holiday to celebrate our nation’s independence, remind your loved ones of the importance of life by sharing with them information about the candidates who want to protect the pre-born. You can start by showing them this education piece comparing the pro-life candidate for US Senate Lou Barletta and his opponent Bob Casey. You can also show them this comparison of pro-life candidate for Governor Scott Wagner and the radically pro-abortion incumbent Democrat Governor Tom Wolf.

Thank you for educating people about the candidates who stand up for one of our nation’s founding principles, the right to life!

Safe, Legal, and Rare?

CuteNewbornBaby

By Matthew Wagner, Education Director
lifelines@paprolife.org

Once upon a time, abortion activists claimed they wanted abortions to be “safe, legal, and rare.”  They tried to say that no one was really “pro-abortion,” but that they thought it should be available in certain circumstances.  It’s interesting to consider how that position has changed over the years.

Do abortion activists believe abortion should be safe? We know abortions are never “safe” for the babies being killed, but recent history tells us abortion activists don’t really care about whether abortions are “safe” for the mother either.  Planned Parenthood and the rest of Big Abortion have worked tirelessly to oppose common sense regulations that would require abortion centers to meet basic health and safety standards.  They keep pushing for fewer and fewer regulations on the abortion pill, despite growing evidence it is not safe for the mothers. They ignore statistics about women injured in abortion, physically, mentally and emotionally. Even the most recent investigation into Planned Parenthood by Live Action reveals Planned Parenthood officials do not appear to care how safe the abortion is for the victims of sexual abuse. It appears that the only people they want to be safe are the abusers and sex traffickers they work to protect.

Do abortion activists believe abortions should be rare?  Again, the clear answer is no.  The abortion industry has worked for years to normalize abortion.  They want women who have had abortions to celebrate them and Big Abortion ostracizes and ignores women who regret the abortions they had. Abortion activists actively advocate for policies to make abortions more common and easier to obtain, rather than policies encouraging alternatives to abortion to make abortions rarer.

Do abortionists want abortions to be legal?  Not only do abortion activists want abortion to be legal, they advocate for legislation that will promote abortion rather than discourage it.

It is clear than that the abortion industry is no longer interested in abortions being safe, legal and rare.  Rather they want abortions on demand, through all stages of pregnancy, to be celebrated afterwards.  Most importantly, what they seem to care about more than anything is that abortions are lucrative, no matter what the cost to the mothers and their babies.