Pushing Doctors to Perform Assisted Suicide

Assisted suicide 2

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

The old Hemlock Society wants to push doctors to perform assisted suicide–which is more aptly described as doctor-prescribed suicide.

Under the revised name of Compassion & Choices, they want the American Medical Association to end its long-standing opposition to the lethal practice. You can urge the AMA to stand strong by clicking here.

In addition, the lawyer who tried to create a Roe v. Wade-style judicial edict for assisted suicide is now suing a California hospital that refused to perform doctor-prescribed suicide. As ethics expert Wesley Smith notes:

The lawsuit illustrates where the assisted suicide/euthanasia movement wants to go. As in Ontario, Canada, they want doctors and hospitals to be forced to participate in assisted suicide or get out of medicine.
For resources for fighting the threat of doctor-prescribed suicide in Pennsylvania, visit www.noassistedsuicidepa.org .

Why This Veteran with Cancer Opposes Assisted Suicide

JJ Hanson & family

J.J. Hanson is a natural fighter. He fought for his country as a Marine. He combatted cancer as a civilian. And now he is battling doctor-prescribed suicide in his role with the Patients Rights Action Fund.

In 2014, Hanson was told he had four months to live, after having been diagnosed with brain cancer. But he has refused to give up on his life, or the lives of other people placed in vulnerable positions by some insurance companies and members of the medical establishment.

As he told the Daily Signal, “People who are making end-of-life decisions have basically been told ‘We’re not going to give you what you’d like to get, but we will give you assisted suicide,’ which is very scary for someone like myself.”

Hanson’s wife, Kristen, is supporting him wholeheartedly in his fight against doctor-prescribed suicide. Kristen told the Daily Signal, “It’s really not about offering more choices. It takes choices away from patients like J.J. who want to fight,”

To read more about the Hanson’s fight, click here.

To find out how you can stop the legalization of doctor-prescribed suicide in Pennsylvania, click here.

Happy Book Lovers Day

 

August-9-National-Book-Lovers-DayThese days there seems to be a holiday for everything. As someone who spent much of his childhood with his nose in a book, today is a celebration I can really get behind—Book Lovers Day.  Recently I read two pro-life books that I thought were particularly interesting, and I thought I would share some thoughts on them in honor of the day.

The first is Not Equal: Civil Rights Gone Wrong by Ryan Bomberger. Yes, the same Ryan Bomberger who is the keynote speaker at this year’s Celebrate Life Banquet September 28, 2017 in Harrisburg.  Ryan’s book addresses important pro-life issues such as abortion, adoption, liberal feminism, free speech, and religious liberty. What I appreciated most about his book is that it is primarily a series of articles he’s written over the years so it is an easy read for those who can only sit with a book for a short period at a time.  The great thing is, if you pick up his book now, when you attend the Celebrate Life Banquet September 28th you can get it signed!

The second book I wanted to mention is Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer by Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer.  In this book the authors examine all the aspects of the trial of Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortionist who committed infanticide in his filthy and unsanitary abortion office in Philadelphia.  I was admittedly a little hesitant to read this—I’ve never been a fan of horror movies or literature, but the authors do a great job of applying an unbiased, journalistic viewpoint to the situation.

The links to the books above will take you to where the books can be purchased on www.amazon.com.  Before purchasing them, please visit www.smile.amazon.com and choose the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation Education Fund as the charity you support so a portion of your purchase will benefit our life-saving work.  Happy reading, and email me at lifelines@paprolife.org and let me know what you think of these pro-life books.

Thank You for Choosing Me

Ryan and Michael NRL Convention 2017

Celebrate Life Banquet speaker Ryan Bomberger with our Executive Director Michael Ciccocioppo

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director gallagher@paprolife.org

Celebrated pro-life speaker Ryan Bomberger has written a fascinating letter of thanks to his adoptive father, who is suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. Our friends at National Right to Life have published the entire letter here, but here is just a sample of the eloquent missive:

“I would never be who I am today without you, helping to shape that Input. Your dedication unleashed undeniable purpose. You refused to accept the world’s low expectations, especially for the ten racially diverse and handful of differently abled children you had adopted that many would have written off as ‘unwanted.’ You and mom shattered the myth of the ‘unwanted’ child, loving each of us, helping us find divine imprint on our lives.”

You will have the exceptional opportunity to hear about Ryan Bomberger’s amazing journey at our Celebrate Life Banquet September 28 at the Hotel Radisson Harrisburg in Camp Hill. Register now to reserve your seat for this not-to-be-missed event!

Women’s Lives Transformed Through Ground-Breaking Program

Real Alternatives mother and childBy Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director gallagher@paprolife.org

The young woman stands at a crossroads between compassion and cold-heartedness. Family and friends have abandoned her, believing that her pregnancy is a problem to “be gotten rid of.” And yet, a caring stranger is willing to support both the woman and her baby, equipping her with the tools that will help her succeed at motherhood, college, relationships, and the rest of the elements of her life.

The support system she finds at Pennsylvania’s Alternatives to Abortion program is kind-hearted, clear-thinking, and loving. The program is administered by Real Alternatives, Inc. and, over the past two decades, has helped more than 200,000 women and their families to find solace, hope, and encouragement for the future.

As writer Frederica Matthews-Green stated so eloquently, “They (Women have) said if I’d only had one person to stand by me, and it could have been a stranger, but they’d say I needed somebody to be a sister to me, I needed someone to be a friend . . . I would have had that baby. And, that’s what you do in maternity homes and crisis pregnancy centers and in offering adoption services. You are that friend . . .”

The statewide network of nearly 100 non-profit agencies and close to 350 counselors reaches out to women of all backgrounds and walks of life with services that are 100 percent free. The success stories are inspiring…women finishing their GED’s and obtaining gainful employment…women leaving dangerous abusive relationships…women empowered to become effective decision-makers for themselves and their families.

As Kellyanne Conway, now a counselor to the President, once said, “Your trophy does not sit on a shelf . . .the trophy for your hard work plays on a swing, moves a tassel during a graduation ceremony, and yes even one day experiences the joy of motherhood.”

One incredible aspect to Real Alternatives is the cost savings it provides for taxpayers. For instance, in fiscal year 2015-16, the taxpayer savings amounted to an estimated $317 million because more than 15,000 clients were receiving proper prenatal care. Add to that a tax savings of $106 million because of clients ensuring that their children received proper immunizations.

Pennsylvania’s abortion totals are now at the lowest level recorded since the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion on demand. Part of that success story has to be attributed to the milestones achieved by Real Alternatives.

The award-winning program has had a ripple effect throughout the country. As Real Alternatives President & CEO Kevin Bagatta stated, “If it wasn’t for the keystone state – 12 states wouldn’t have programs helping women and saving babies.”

As Governor of Indiana, current Vice President Mike Pence had this to say about Real Alternatives’ impact on the Hoosier state: “Real Alternatives provides positive, life-affirming services for Hoosier women and families. It is important to not only ensure that pregnant women receive proper prenatal care, but also the emotional and physical support they need for a healthy pregnancy. Real Alternatives helps ensure that women in need are connected with all the community and social services resources available to them to support them both during and after their pregnancy.”

Real Alternatives provides an important safety net to women and their families as they face the challenge of an unexpected pregnancy. Born in the Keystone State, it is an idea which should bloom and flourish throughout the U.S., according to a bipartisan group of Pennsylvania leaders.

“Hopefully, one day, there will be programs like Real Alternatives helping women and their children in all fifty states,” said Pennsylvania Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati.

“There are many important lines in the state budget. But there are not many lines that you can point to and say that every dollar we put into the program is saving lives. Real Alternatives and the work you do is important, and we are saving lives.”

For more information about Real Alternatives’ life-saving and life-changing program, visit www.realalternatives.org .

What’s the Difference?

baby models

“What is the difference between these babies”?

That is perhaps my favorite question when I’m using our baby models at a pro-life information table.  I point to the baby models we have that represent children in the womb at 12, 20, 26, and 30 weeks gestation at their approximate size and weight.

“Some are bigger than others” is the answer I most commonly hear.

“Right”, I say. “Each one is a little bigger, and a little older. That is the only difference between them. That is also the only difference between them and you or me. We are even bigger and older yet. So logically, if it is ok for someone to kill one of these babies, it should be ok for them to kill you or me if the only difference between us is size and age.  That is why abortion is wrong…it determines an arbitrary age and size of a human being when it is ok to kill someone and when it is not.  We believe that it is wrong to kill someone no matter how old or young, big or small they are. Don’t you agree”?

Sometimes the simplest arguments are the best!

Keeping Tomorrow Alive

Carol Tobias“Keeping Tomorrow Alive” is a refreshing theme for a convention. And the 2017 National Right to Live Convention is certainly living up to that innovative motto.

National Right to Life President Carol Tobias noted that the theme is two-fold: “We keep tomorrow alive by bringing more and more people into the right-to-life movement to keep this fight going; people who will work beside us in our endeavors to protect innocent human life. But it’s also about an idea, a goal, that human life is to be valued and cherished and respected. Life is to be lived!

Tobias concedes the pro-life movement faces significant challenges: preborn babies who have as many legal rights as an appendix…babies with disabilities who are considered unworthy of being born…the growing push toward “assisted suicide”…and Planned Parenthood falsely claiming that abortion is “health care.”

And yet, Tobias notes that pro-lifers are eternally optimistic, for good reason.

“We keep tomorrow alive by changing hearts and minds, educating newcomers and bringing them into the movement; by educating our young people so that they have the arguments to bolster their pro-life convictions, and by helping women who have aborted a son or a daughter to realize that they are welcomed and encouraged to join our ranks in the fight to protect innocent human life,” Tobias said.

To view portions of the National Right to Life convention, visit www.nrlconvention.com.

Watching Pro-Life History Being Made Through Cyberspace

Keeping Tomorrow AliveBy Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

One of the reasons I was initially persuaded to enter the field of journalism was because I liked the idea of having a front row seat to history as it was being made. That dream came true for me, as I was able to report on Presidents and Vice Presidents, First Ladies and Second Ladies, former astronauts and even a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

When I moved from the political beat to the life beat, working full-time in the pro-life movement, I did not initially realize that I still had a prime seat for watching history-in-the-making. It was just from a different vantage point, and it is often by means of an Internet connection.

And so this year I am a virtual visitor to the National Right to Life convention, watching fascinating general sessions via www.nrlconvention.com . The convention theme of Keeping Tomorrow Alive is on full display, as speaker after speaker notes the incredible strides that are being made to protect and defend the generation yet to be born.

It was electrifying to hear David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress,  whose undercover videos of Planned Parenthood officials exposed the alleged trafficking of baby body parts, say that, on every front, Planned Parenthood is facing the end of its abortion empire.

Daleiden adroitly noted that “the worth of a human being is more than the sum of his or her body parts.”

In any other context, such a statement would be hailed by women’s rights activists as undeniably true.

The courageous citizen journalist wisely pointed out that “each new little member of the human family is an asset and not a liability.”

And the truth of that statement makes Daleiden’s prediction about the fate of the pro-life movement entirely conceivable: “If we keep steady, we can win.”

History is, indeed, being made at the 2017 National Right to Life Convention. If you couldn’t make it to Milwaukee this year in the conventional manner, take the cyber route. You won’t be disappointed!

 

 

 

We Protect Butterflies–Why Not Babies?

ButterflyBy Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

I celebrated the first day of summer this year with a trip to a nearby butterfly garden. Entering that sacred space was a breathtakingly beautiful experience. I stood in awe as these elegant creatures fluttered above my head, then gracefully descended to a leaf, a flower, or a slice of pineapple. The intricacy of their design delighted my eyes and captivated my heart. As I was preparing to leave this lovely sanctuary, I noticed a sign which indicated that taking a butterfly out of this protective space was not permitted. A garden guide carefully checked our bags and clothes to make sure that we had no butterflies tagging along. At that moment, it struck me what care, concern, and compassion are shown to these delicate insects. How can it be that people universally recognize the beauty of butterflies–but not the human child cocooned in a mother’s womb? Why do so many invest so much time and energy in protecting butterflies, while many babies are unprotected, courtesy of the tragic U.S. Supreme Court ruling known as Roe v. Wade? While gazing at a butterfly can be an awesome experience, the butterfly’s beauty pales in comparison to that of a baby. I hope to live to see the day when all babies are permitted a chance to live outside their mothers’ wombs–and to see the mysterious glamour of butterflies with their own eyes.

 

 

 

Father’s Day Reflections

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With Father’s Day approaching, I find myself reflecting on the lessons my father taught me…and not the lessons of how to fish, tie my shoe, ride a bike, or even drive…but lessons of how to be a man. How to stand up for what you believe in, how to admit when you are wrong (one I’m admittedly still working on), and how to stand up for those who can’t defend themselves, among many others.

It’s that last lesson—standing up for those who can’t defend themselves– that stands out for me the most.  Maybe it’s because I’m the oldest of four living siblings, but I have always felt I have an obligation to work toward making the world a better place, mainly by doing what I can to help those who need it most.

That is why I am pro-life—I believe that not just as a father, or even just as a man, but as a human being I have an obligation to defend pre-born babies who can’t defend themselves—we all do!

That is why I find the argument that I shouldn’t express my thoughts about the horror of abortion just because of my gender absolutely wrong.  I have never understood what my gender has to do with whether or not I can speak out against injustice.  Certainly it was not only slaves who spoke out against slavery…men joined women in speaking out for women’s suffrage, and I don’t have to be the victim of a crime to know that crime is wrong.  The morality, or immorality, of a statement (e.g. “all life deserves protecting”) is independent of the person who makes the statement.

So this Father’s Day, and every day, I encourage all fathers, indeed all humans, to stand up against injustice against the most vulnerable among us.  I guarantee you that leaving a legacy of a life-respecting society is better than any tie you can get your Dad this Father’s day!