Anything is Possible–Including an End to Legal Abortion

THONBy Katy Schriner, intern, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

As an intern, I am learning all about the different organizations, chapters, and resource centers that help those who are unsure about keeping a baby or have been affected by abortion. There was some information that stood out to me that I would like to share.

The first piece of information I would like to impart is that The Virginia Society for Human Life became the first statewide right-to-life organization in the United States in 1967. Secondly, on November 4th, 1980, Ronald Reagan and George Bush (Republican Pro-Life Candidates) defeated President Jimmy Carter and Vice President Walter Mondale (Pro-Abortion), which was the first year that the NRL PAC was involved in elections. This had so much influence that 11 senate seats switched from pro-abortion to pro-life. Finally, the one fact that had stood out to me the most is that the abortion rates are at their lowest level since Roe vs. Wade; numbers were as high as 1,608,600 in 1990 and now the numbers are as low as 926,190. Still too many–but progress nonetheless.

There’s a way of life that I follow and that is “Anything is Possible”. When you put your mind to it, it motivates you to want to become better and make a difference in something significant. Besides Pro-Life, I am also involved in Penn State THON, which raises money for kids with pediatric cancer. The money helps families not to have to see a single medical bill with the aid of the Four Diamonds Foundation.

In less than 30 days, I will be standing for 46 hours at the Bryce Jordan Center in State College with no sitting or sleeping at this year’s Penn State THON. It’s an amazing feeling knowing that your efforts to help those out who need it make your life and self-esteem better and everything you say or do matters to someone, even when you don’t think that it will. Just like the campaign to cure cancer, the Pro-Life Movement has grown significantly and has helped millions of people. It continues to strive for its goal to have Roe vs. Wade out of the picture for good. No matter your size, age, race, and gender, you can make a difference and anything is possible.

 

Lawsuit Demanding Taxpayer Funding of Abortion is Without Merit

Baby girl

 

 

With abortions at record low levels in Pennsylvania, it is clear that demand for abortion is declining. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that abortion facilities want to find a way to increase their clientele.

As a result, fifteen of the seventeen abortion centers in Pennsylvania have filed a lawsuit, seeking to end Pennsylvania’s long-standing ban on Medicaid abortions. They want to overturn a 1985 state Supreme Court ruling which affirmed the Medicaid abortion ban as Constitutional.

Decades after that Supreme Court ruling, nothing has changed–except the desperation of abortion businesses to prop up their sagging industry.

The 1980s era ruling noted that the Commonwealth has a policy of preference for childbirth over abortion. Despite the protestations of abortion advocates, that has not changed.

Neither has the High Court holding that, just because an individual can exercise a “choice,” that does not mean that taxpayers must subsidize it. Indeed, public opinion polls have consistently shown that the vast majority of taxpayers do not want to pay for abortions.

A lawyer for the plaintiffs in this latest lawsuit claims that poor women suffer because they cannot obtain an abortion. But the suit fails to recognize the many documented ways that women can suffer as a result of abortion–psychologically, physically, and spiritually.

The plaintiffs also ignore the concrete help that is available to Pennsylvania women facing challenging circumstances. Women are receiving everything from diapers to formula to assist them during tough times.

The answer to the problem of poverty is not abortion. Abortion only creates more problems for Pennsylvania women.

Forcing taxpayers to foot the bill for abortions is an unconstitutional overreach. As a result, this latest lawsuit is just one more way the abortion industry is trying to require individuals to violate their consciences–all for the benefit of the abortion businesses’ almighty dollar.

Maria V. Gallagher is Legislative Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.

The Truth at the Heart of the Pro-Life Movement

Washington

By Katy Schriner, intern, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

The first question that came to mind was “What is the Pro-Life Movement?” According to National Right to Life, their mission is to “work through legislation and education to protect innocent human life from abortion, infanticide, assisted suicide and euthanasia.” This organization is the oldest and largest and has been considered the “flagship of the pro-life movement”. The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, an affiliate of National Right to Life, has a mission statement that is similar to that of the NRLC. Their goal is “to seek legal protection and societal respect for the right of every child to live, and promote viable alternatives to abortion, such as adoption and assisted parenting.” Pennsylvania Pro-Life works at the state level to ensure that that goal is realized in the Keystone State.

As I am starting my journey at the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, I am beginning to learn more about not just the movement and what it’s all about, but also the resources that someone can access to find information and ways to get involved in the movement. For starters, the NRLC has over 3,000 local chapters and right-to-life affiliates in the United States. For those who don’t know what a “chapter” is, it is a local group that plays a major role in the pro-life movement. There are nearly 40 chapters in Pennsylvania. The functions of these chapters include the following:

  • Provide educational material and resources
  • Send qualified speakers
  • Maintain local media contacts
  • Provide school and public libraries with pro-life books and pamphlets
  • Keep abreast of state and national pro-life developments in order to educate
  • Follow current political activity and legislation on both the state and federal level
  • Encourage the support of pregnancy service groups
  • Conduct membership drives and various fundraising events

As you can see, the truth behind the pro-life movement is that it is vast, welcoming, and loving. And remember, there’s always a reason to choose life!

What I’ve Learned About How Abortion Affects Women

Woman on beachBy Katy Schriner, intern, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

Over the past four decades, Roe v. Wade is the case that allowed for abortion to be legal in the United States. The law has led to nearly 61 million deaths of unborn children across the United States. Over that time, this law has allowed doctors to perform this outrageous practice that doesn’t only hurt the unborn baby but also the mother. Not a lot of doctors who perform those abortions tell patients that. What those doctors aren’t also telling are the mental effects that come with getting an abortion–effects such as depression, emotional distress, and many more.

Luckily, there are places like Rachel’s Vineyard that help women heal post-abortion. The program allows the mother to examine her abortion experience, identify the way it has affected her life and helps the mother to acknowledge any kind of unresolved feelings she may have struggled with after abortion. Rachel’s Vineyard has programs located in Canada, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, and 49 locations in the United States. Besides Rachel’s Vineyard, there are other resources for mothers who are unsure about going through a pregnancy or who have taken a first abortion pill. There are pregnancy help centers that provide free and confidential assistance to pregnant women and new mothers. In Pennsylvania, there are more than 200 centers that offer this kind of assistance.

As a college student, I have experienced some of my friends’ and professors’ opinions when it comes to abortion. Their opinions tend to be more of the pro-choice/pro-abortion philosophy (depending on whom I was talking to) but that has never stopped me from maintaining my viewpoint on the subject matter. I had several friends who I have grown up with having kids and never thinking about abortion. I know there are challenging circumstances facing pregnant women, but now I have learned that I am more pro-life then anything after all of the research I have done to understand what the Pro-Life Movement is all about.

Taxpayers Will be Outraged at Suit Requiring Taxpayer Funding of Abortion

Woman--sad

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                       CONTACT: MARIA V. GALLAGHER

January 16, 2019                                                                               717-541-0034

                                                                                           gallagher@paprolife.org

Taxpayers Will Be Outraged at Suit Requiring Taxpayer Funding of Abortion

Harrisburg, PA—Taxpayers across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will be outraged by a lawsuit demanding that hard-earned tax dollars be spent on abortion.

Abortion facilities in Pennsylvania have filed a suit that would require taxpayer-funded Medicaid money to be spent on abortion in an attempt to overturn the Keystone State’s long-standing ban on the practice.

“Poll after poll has shown that taxpayers in the U.S. do not want their tax money to be spent on abortion, period,” said Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, an affiliate of National Right to Life. “This lawsuit flies in the face of the will of the people to safeguard their money from abortion,” Gallagher added.

The lawsuit, known as Allegheny Reproductive Health Center v. Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, represents a giant step backward in both the protection of tax money and the protection of women and their preborn children from the harm of abortion.

“Research shows quite clearly that taxpayer funding of abortion is greatly unpopular. At a time when Pennsylvania’s abortion totals are at a record low, abortion businesses are trying to capture a lucrative market to prop up their sagging industry. This is a lose-lose proposition—for taxpayers and for pregnant women,” Gallagher said.

Pennsylvania’s law is constitutional and should be upheld, Gallagher added.

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The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation is a grassroots right-to-life organization with members statewide.  As the state affiliate of National Right to Life, PPLF is committed to promoting the dignity and value of human life from conception to natural death and to restoring legal protection for preborn children.

Why I Still Believe in the March for Life

March for Life--Washington Monument

 

By Jessica Resuta, guest blogger

For years through conversations with friends, social media posts and public statements, I have heard many pro-life people dismiss the importance of the March for Life in Washington D.C. with reasons such as that it’s only one day, or it’s all talk and no action.

As a young college undergraduate who has attended the March annually since 2008, I can state with confidence that an event like the March for Life is actually crucial to creating a culture that values life.

But why march? If one already speaks to peers about the value of life, assists young mothers, the elderly and the sick, why is this event necessary?  

In response, the March goes hand in hand with the day to day actions we perform to protect the sanctity of life in our homes, communities and beyond.  If it was truly what is often portrayed by the media as merely a loud protest or pep rally or a political statement, I would agree that it doesn’t exactly make a difference or serve a purpose.  But the reality is that it is an event unlike any other and for a noble purpose.

The March is a unique cause and experience as hundreds of thousands of people from all ages, races, backgrounds, and religions join as one people united in an acknowledgement of the value and vulnerability of human life in all its stages. Furthermore,  it is not only the opportunity to gather together to make a public witness, but it is a chance to be reassured that we are not alone in this mission and to show the world that they are not alone, that there really are people who care and love and act. In that crowd of hundreds of thousands are people who have lovingly and courageously been dedicated to respecting life. There are parents, teachers, religious and political leaders, children and college students, people who truly work and act to create an impact.  

  No, for me the March has never been just a good hurrah or a mere political statement, not that I don’t have a strong interest in politics, but it is that chance after another year of actively supporting the culture of life daily to unite with others and proclaim to the world that all human life is sacred and precious and that we are not afraid to declare so publicly.  It is a day of life, peace, joy and prayer.

We need to take a public stand because the protection of life is such a fundamental issue, if not the fundamental issue in society.  To put it simply, if there is no life there are no people, and with no people there is no society.

From abortion to euthanasia, these threats to human life in its most crucial stages are so urgent and have been going on for so long that it calls for a public proclamation from those who say they are pro-life; a proclamation that there are indeed hundreds of thousands who will love and protect life at all stages and work to see the end of any injustices.  

The March for Life, this public proclamation, is a sign of hope that we have not given up on defending the innocent and defenseless, but also a sign that we will not weaken our stance. Even while facing opposition or unfavorable laws or leaders, we will not desert those who depend on us whether it be the unborn, the elderly, or even our own children whose future social climate depends partly on us.  This is what the March for Life truly demonstrates: the witness of those who love and I repeat it is necessary for building a culture that respects life.

In the words of the great musical Les Miserables  “The time is now. The day is here!” If we don’t take a stand for life now, who will?

Jessica Resuta is an undergraduate journalism major at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio

What I am Marching for

March for Life bannerBy Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

If I am fortunate enough to make it to the March for Life in Washington, D.C. this week, here’s what I will be marching for:

**An end to the mauling, mistreatment, and killing of nearly a million unborn children each year;

**The empowerment of women to make life-affirming decisions for themselves and their families;

**The protection of people with disabilities, including those in the womb;

**The care of the frail elderly who are vulnerable to calls for doctor-prescribed (assisted) suicide;

**The re-establishment of a culture of caring in our nation;

**An end to the exploitation of women by the lucrative abortion industry;

**A rediscovery of the humanity of the child in the womb;

**A re-invigoration of the rights of fathers, who currently have no legal say in the abortion of their children;

**The legacy established by my parents and all those who fought for life under trying circumstances;

**The freedom of my daughter to live in a world without abortion.

What will you be marching for?

Sisters of Life Bring Joy to Philadelphia

Sisters of LifeBy Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

I recently had the opportunity to spend some time with the Sisters of Life at their Visitation Mission in Philadelphia. The Sisters came to the City of Brotherly Love some time ago at the invitation of Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput.

Joy radiates from the Sisters as they welcome visitors to their wreath-covered, robin egg blue doors. Sister Grace Dominic says pregnant women learn about them mostly through word of mouth. The women come from various backgrounds and represent a number of different religions. All are greeted with the same heart-felt love.

The pregnant women who come to their doors also have a variety of needs. They may require shelter, food, or the steadfast support of one person who will love both them and their babies.

As the website for the Sisters of Life states, “The Sisters and Co-workers of the Visitation Mission are eager to listen to you, your hopes and your struggles.  We can help find real possibilities during a difficult time.  We want to walk with you and see you thrive.”

The Sisters were the brainchild of a former Archbishop of New York, who wanted to unleash the feminine genius for the cause of life. As the website records, “The Sisters of Life is a contemplative/active religious community of women founded in 1991 by John Cardinal O’Connor for the protection and enhancement of the sacredness of every human life.”

Just sitting with the Sisters, having a cup of tea, one can feel the warmth they bring to their life-saving, life-changing work. They are models of kindness and compassion to women struggling in the midst of challenging circumstances.

To each woman they encounter they bring a message of hope and healing–something sorely needed in the abortion capital of Pennsylvania.

With abortions declining in Philadelphia County, I have to believe that the Sisters are making a real difference in this mission territory. May they continue to encourage the women of Philadelphia for decades to come.

 

Hope Rising From the Ashes of the Gosnell Tragedy

Hope CenterBy Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

In southeast Pennsylvania–the same area of the Commonwealth where abortionist Kermit Gosnell engaged in his horrendous killing spree–stands a monument to hope.

In fact, hope is its name.

The Hope Pregnancy Center in Philadelphia launched a decade ago. It is seeing more clients than ever and is instilling optimism in a place that’s seen its share of darkness and despair.

Its enthusiastic director, Marlene Downing, offers the compassion and vision which have made the Hope Center a shining light in the City of Brotherly Love. Her effervescence is contagious, and brings with it the likelihood of continued growth for the pregnancy resource center.

According to the latest figures from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, abortions have declined in Philadelphia County–in no small part because of facilities such as the Hope Center, which provide loving options to women facing challenging pregnancies.

A single mother herself, Marlene provides an incredible role model to the women who walk through the center’s doors. She is a living example of resilience and determination.

You cannot walk away from the Hope Center without have a renewed sense of possibility about the city where Gosnell once plied his grisly trade.

Life By the Numbers

Ultrasound and womanBy Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

Life is all about numbers. SAT scores. Batting averages. Football yardage.

But do you know some of the memorable numbers in the lives of preborn children?

3–the number of weeks when an unborn child’s eyes develop and the heart starts beating

6–the number of weeks an unborn baby’s skeleton is complete and brain waves develop

9–the number of weeks when an unborn baby begins to swallow

11–the number of weeks when an unborn baby begins to suck her thumb

16–the number of weeks when an unborn baby begins kicking

18–the number of weeks when an unborn baby can cry

20–the number of weeks when hair appears on an unborn baby’s head

1 million--the approximate number of unborn children killed by abortion each year.

60 million+–the number of unborn children killed since Roe v. Wade, the tragic U.S. Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion.

The milestones in the development of an unborn child are miraculous. The statistics about abortion are sobering. Share these figures with the young people in your life. They have a right to know.