Promoting LIFE this Labor Day

9647943721_509e15fffa_z

Labor Day is the turning point when summer begins gives to fall. It is also when people traditionally begin thinking about the upcoming General Election and really start to think about who to vote for.

So, as you gather with friends and family over the holiday, share with them information about the candidates competing for your vote. You can start by showing them this educational piece comparing the pro-life candidates for US Senate, Congressman Lou Barletta and his opponent, Senator Bob Casey. You can also show them this comparison of candidate for Governor Scott Wagner and Governor Tom Wolf.

Thank you for educating people about the stands of the candidates on the pro-life issues. And remember to vote November 6th!

Marking the Anniversary of an Abortion Center Closure

Hillcrest

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

This is definitely an anniversary worth celebrating.

It has been nearly a year since the troubled Hillcrest abortion facility in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania permanently shut its doors after decades of operation.

And the city is still standing.

I mention that because abortion advocates routinely issue dire predictions when an abortion center is in danger of closing. While it is true that, sadly, Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion operation, continues to perform abortions in Harrisburg, it is also true that the city is better off without Hillcrest.

Still, even after Pennsylvania Health Department inspectors uncovered 44 pages’ worth of health and safety violations at the abortion center, they did not immediately move to shutter the facility. It was only after dedicated pro-lifers made the safety report known to the press–and determined state Senators demanded Hillcrest’s closing–that regulators temporarily closed it. Some weeks later, the facility gave up its license to perform abortions in the Keystone State.

Women in Harrisburg are safer with the closing of Hillcrest. And precious preborn babies have been spared a cruel fate inside Hillcrest’s walls. But Hillcrest’s history shows the abortion industry cannot be trusted to police itself–even when health violations are as plain as the two-feet high unmowed grass that surrounded Hillcrest during its final months.

Back to School and the Sacredness of Life

Student

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

In cities and towns across the U.S., students are returning to school–or just about to. But in all the back to school reports on the local news, no mention will be made of all the students who are missing because of abortion. It is estimated that as many as one in five pregnancies in the U.S. ends in abortion. Nearly one million American children are lost to abortion each year. It is a tragedy of epic proportions–yet all too often ignored by the mainstream media.

But back to school time can also be a time of tremendous hope. Many faith-based schools organize bus trips to the annual March for Life…host pro-life clubs on campus…and encourage students to spiritually adopt preborn babies as they pray for the little ones each day.

Those who are parents and grandparents can also use this time to instill in our offspring a great respect for the dignity and incalculable value of human life. We can make sure middle schoolers know the stages of life in the womb, and that high schoolers know the location of the nearest pro-life pregnancy resource center.

We can also use this time to educate ourselves about pro-life issues, turning to trusted pro-life organizations, such as the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and National Right to Life, to find out the latest developments on the pro-life front. Education is power, and with our newfound knowledge we may just save a life–or change a mind.

In addition, we can recommit ourselves to working for an overturn of the tragic U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade.  Someday, the issue of abortion will return to the states, and we must be prepared to pass meaningful pro-life laws. Let us look forward to the day when Roe is just an unpleasant asterisk in student history books, and when all children have a real chance at life.

Saving Precious Lives–Online!

20060704231516_independence day baby

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

When the U.S. Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade back in 1973, the Justices had limited knowledge of the development of the preborn child. In the decades since then, technology has revolutionized the abortion debate. With the advent of 4D Ultrasound, mothers can view their babies smiling and somersaulting in the womb.

Technology has also proven to be an incredible gift to the pro-life movement. Parents routinely share Ultrasounds of their preborn children on Facebook. On Twitter, pro-lifers can share the latest research about abortion and euthanasia with lightening speed. Those who attend the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. can post pictures and videos on Instagram for all their followers to see. On Pinterest, those with a heart for the pro-life cause can instantaneously share breathtaking photos of a baby growing in her mother’s womb. And on LinkedIn, savvy pro-lifers can post point-by-point refutations of pro-abortion arguments in a manner that is not only persuasive, but also winsome.

Some of the dedicated pro-lifers I know have compiled large email lists of like-minded people, allowing them to share breaking news which affects preborn children, their mothers, fathers, and grandparents, the frail elderly, and people with disabilities.

National Right to Life and its affiliates have a strong presence on social media. While a number of analysts decry the negativity on various Internet platforms, pro-lifers are a positive force, educating people with the best high-tech tools at their disposal. 

So while you’re scrolling through your Facebook or Twitter feed today, why not take a few moments to post a helpful pro-life article (This article may be a start!). Just one post can save a precious life!

Life at the Fair

Erie People for Life Chrerry Festival 2012b

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

She came to the festival booth with a secret–a life-affirming secret that she had been permitted to share. The year before, she had visited this very educational table and taken a soft-touch fetal model to show a pregnant woman considering abortion. The result? A life had been saved, and a mother had been spared a lifetime of grief.

Such is the power of pro-life educational displays at summer fairs and festivals. Local chapters of National Right to Life and the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation have been busy this summer, spreading the pro-life message at various community events. From fetal models to educational flyers, the materials on display persuade with a hope-filled message which cannot be denied.

One person reaches out to another with the scientific fact–that every human life is precious and needs to be protected. I recall vividly taking a little one to a church festival–and how she marveled at the models of preborn babies on display. They left an indelible impression which caused her to become passionately pro-life.

It may sound like a simple thing, handing a fetal model to a festival-goer. But in some communities, this is a profound act of courage. Abortion activists rail at fetal models–even going so far as to try to ban them from fairs. What they really fear is that people will find out the truth–that life begins at conception and that every abortion is an unspeakable tragedy.

Congratulations to those chapter volunteers who are rebuilding a culture of life in their communities. They make life worth celebrating!

A Bizarre Pro-Abortion Fundraiser

Ice cream

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

It is the ultimate in poor taste.  The Oregon branch of the pro-abortion lobbying group known as NARAL is promoting ice cream for sale. But not just any ice cream, mind you. NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon went to Twitter to tout a “new custom flavor” which was “made exclusively for” the abortion promoter. The flavor is called “Rocky Roe v. Wade.”

That’s beyond bizarre. It’s sickening, considering the more than 60 million precious preborn children who have lost their lives to abortion since the tragic 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade. It is also nauseating when you think about what that court decision ultimately led to—the atrocity of partial-birth abortion, where a baby is partly delivered, then killed. The decision can also be credited with the ultimate in creepiness—the grisly trade of abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who is serving a life sentence in  connection with the murders of three full-term babies. He was also responsible for the death of immigrant patient Karnamaya Mongar.

To take a treat prized by children—ice cream—and turn it into a cash cow for a pro-abortion lobbying group is outrageous. It also shows the insensitivity toward the countless mothers who grieve children lost to abortion.

There is no “fun” in this fundraiser—only the bitter aftertaste spawned by forty-five years of abortion on demand.

 

 

Pro-Life Heroes: Juliana Kriner

29066357_593776727629348_7922170413628990101_n

By Matthew Wagner, Education Director

Editor’s Note:  This post is a continuation of a series of “Pro-Life Heroes”…individuals who are making a difference for the pro-life movement in their communities.  

It is often said that today’s youth are the pro-life generation. Juliana Kriner and her young friends exemplify that message.  Juliana is the Vice President/Director of Outreach of “reLOVE.”  Enjoy her story.  You can find reLOVE on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/reLOVEnational/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/reloventl/

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 me at lifelines@paprolife.org .

Matt:  Tell me about yourself. Why are you pro-life, and what does that mean to you?

Juliana:  I am a 15 year old sophomore in Williamsport. I love the band Fall Out Boy almost as much as I love my niece (and my other [preborn] niece and nephew). I’m an avid activist for social justice and I definitely consider myself a feminist. I’m pro-life because I’m such a huge feminist. Every single human being on this Earth is valuable and deserved the utmost respect, regardless of sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or age. I believe, as our feminist foremothers did, that abortion is a tool of the patriarchy and a result of greed.  Abortion allows women to be taken control of by others. Over 60% of women say that they have been “pressured” or “coerced” into having an abortion, often by the men in their life. Truthfully, most men who consider themselves pro-choice, just don’t want to be responsible if their girlfriend or wife becomes pregnant. Abortion enables men to take advantage of women. It’s as if men view women as less worthy if we become pregnant. In the end, abortion does a fantastic job of supporting men who simply refuse to grow up.

Matt:  What is reLOVE, and how did it get started?

Juliana:  reLOVE is an organization geared toward helping mothers and women of all kinds:  pregnant, new, post-miscarriage, and post-abortive. We are three teenagers that uphold the consistent life ethic.  One of my best friends, Purity Thomas, came up with the idea for reLOVE a few months after she was assaulted outside of Roanoke’s Planned Parenthood…She knew that the best way to combat hate was through love. (Editor’s Note: For more on the story of Purity’s assault, click here) She messaged me and asked if reLOVE was something I would be interested in. I was ecstatic that she had asked for my help. Soon, we asked my friend, Taniya Smith, to help us as well. Taniya, who runs a popular pro-life Instagram, was just as excited as I was to help women. Thus, reLOVE was born.

Matt:  What do you do for pregnant mothers?

Juliana:  For pregnant mothers, every situation is different. One mama might only need directions to her local pregnancy center or a pack of onesies. Others might need help getting insurance or paying their utilities. Really, we help these women based on their needs. We don’t turn anyone down either. It’s important to us that if these women need help, we’ll be here to provide.

Matt:  How do these mothers find out about you?

Juliana:  So far, social media has been the most popular place for women to find us. We also actively seek out to find these mothers that need help in unplanned pregnancy support groups or through mutual friends on Facebook. Really, social media is the connection point. A lot of these women are very active on these platforms so it’s especially important to put ourselves out there and to be as visible as possible.

Matt:  I know you’ve only been in existence a short time, but can you share some of your success stories?

Juliana:  We’ve had the absolute honor of helping 4 different women in our short time. Our one mother is 4.5 months. When she came to us, she was 8 weeks along and had just come out of a domestic violence situation. We got her set up with a birth center where she’s excited to have her baby later this year. We’re helping her manage her debt and budgeting in order to save for her baby. She came to us nervous, not sure how she was going to manage being a mother, now she can’t wait to find out the gender of the baby and enjoy the rest of her pregnancy.

Matt:  Often pro-lifers hear that they are not really “pro-life” but are just “pro-birth”…implying that we don’t really care about the baby or mother after he or she is born. How do you respond to that?

Juliana:  I’ll be honest, that argument really does upset me. I don’t think a lot of people understand how many pro-lifers really do care for the mother and the baby. Our organization is an example of that love and support extending past pregnancy. One of our amazing mamas is 10 months postpartum with her adorable daughter. She’s been having trouble with rent and utilities. We’ve set up a GoFundMe for her rent and utilities as well as an Amazon wish list for her material needs. She’s so grateful for all those people who helped her. She sent us a bunch of pictures of her little girl with a pair of the gifted socks on because she was just that excited. It just really warms your heart when you see these women so thankful over simple things that most people would take for granted.

Matt:  What do you hear the most when you tell people about ReLOVE, and how do you respond?

Juliana:  Most people are very supportive and are pretty impressed that two 15 year olds and one 16 year old can run an organization, go to school, and work part time jobs. It’s really about the passion though. We all love what we’re doing and we get emotional quite often about how lucky we are to meet these powerful women and be able to walk with them through their journeys. Other people however, are skeptical. They wonder what these teenagers are doing with the donated money. Trust us, it’s going to these mamas. We even raised enough money for one of our mothers (who was going to place her baby into an adoptive family) to take a few days off of work after she suffered a miscarriage. We were the only ones there for her since she hadn’t told anyone other than us about the pregnancy. We thought it would be best for her to rest, emotionally and physically, during and after her miscarriage. That’s what the money goes to, nothing but supporting the mothers and our mission.

Matt:  What would you say to a pregnant mother considering abortion?

Juliana:  The most important thing to say to a woman considering abortion is “you are so loved.” When a woman finds out she’s pregnant, there’s so many emotions going on. It’s easy to panic and throw information at her about how far along she is or that her baby has a heartbeat. Right now, she just needs someone to talk to. Empowerment is key. Let her know that she can do it. That she is strong and nothing can break her. Be sure to let her know that you care about her. So many people make the mistake of focusing on the baby but the woman is who you’re here to help. If you’re not helping that mama, you’re not helping anyone. Without the mama, that baby’s not even there! Lastly, make sure she knows that regardless of her decision, you’ll be there for her. If she chooses abortion, ask her what you can do to help. Sometimes, you can’t save the baby, but you can still care for that mom.

Matt:  If people want to get involved with ReLOVE, how would they do so?

Juliana:  If people want to get involved with reLOVE, just message us! There’s always something to do!  We might be having trouble finding some resources in a certain area or maybe there’s a pregnant mom near you who just needs a friend to talk to.  We can find you something you’d love to do.

Matt:  What do you see for the future for reLOVE?

Juliana:  The future of reLOVE definitely comes when we officially file as a nonprofit. Since we’re all minors, we have to find someone to actually sign the paperwork for us! Right now, we’re just focusing on getting more funds and helping more moms. Now this is a huge step but I believe that a good goal to strive for is to have a reLOVE representative in every state. Right now, we have Pennsylvania, Virginia, Texas, and Washington state covered. Things can only get better from here!

President Trump Takes Bob Casey to Task

By Maria  Gallagher, Legislative Director

Pro-life President Donald Trump took Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Casey to task for failing to support Supreme Court nominees.

Bob Casey

At a packed rally in Wilkes-Barre Thursday, the President noted that Casey vowed to oppose his Supreme Court pick–even before the name of the nominee had been released.

Previously, Casey–who has an 80 percent pro-abortion voting record–opposed Judge Neil Gorsuch for the High Court. This, despite Gorsuch’s stellar record and qualifications.

Now, Casey is standing squarely against eminently qualified Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court. In sharp contrast, Pennsylvania’s other U.S. Senator, Republican Pat Toomey, supported both Gorsuch and Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh is a strict constructionist who has vowed to refrain from making laws from the bench. He is dedicated to the principle of preserving the Constitution, and not reading into it “rights” which do not appear there.

The Second Victim in Every Abortion

Woman

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

Whenever I contemplate the effect of abortion on women, I think of a friend I will refer to as “Jessica.”

A boyfriend pressured Jessica into an abortion when she was a young teenager. She felt she had no say in the matter, and she believed she was powerless.

Years later, she firmly believes that if a single person had supported a decision for life on the day of abortion, her baby would not have died. A noteworthy national poll bears that out. The survey of post-abortive women indicated that the vast majority of respondents would have decided against abortion if just one person had offered support. Just one!

Jessica has now dedicated her life to being that “one person.” I have lost count of the number of women and children she has helped through her outreach.

Mothers are the second victims in any abortion. They are left to grieve their children–often alone and in silence. I thank all the dedicated pro-lifers who reach out to these women, offering them the chance at hope and healing following their abortions.

Let us never forget the terrible wounds inflicted on women by abortion trauma. Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court case legalizing abortion, was an assault on both women  and children which cannot stand.

Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer

Image may contain: 1 person

By Matthew Wagner, Education Director
lifelines@paprolife.org

I have a confession to make.

I don’t like “horror films.”   When I was young, I remember being grossed out and unable to sleep because of the scene in one of the Pee-wee Herman movies (I’m not even sure which it was) in which one character’s head spins backwards and it is making a scary face.   I won’t see the new Jurassic Park movie because I have no desire to view the bloody images that I’m afraid will be on display.

That being said, I am looking forward to the nationwide release on October 12, 2018 of Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer, the long-anticipated movie about the “house of horrors” run by Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell.

How do I justify the juxtaposition of my opposition to gory movies and my interest in Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer?  I spoke at great length with coproducer, and 2018 Celebrate Life Banquet speaker, Ann McElhinney this year about the movie. One of the points she emphasized was the producer’s focus on staying true to the nature of the story, while not sensationalizing and over-exaggerating the graphic aspect of it.  The filmmakers wanted to tell the story of Gosnell’s victims to as broad an audience as possible, as evidenced by the PG-13 rating the film has been given. Coproducer Phelim McAleer recently told Lifenews.com in an interview “…We want to make a film that people want to go and see. And in there’s the truth, and it’s up to people to take that and run with it.”

I want to reassure all of those who shy away from gore as I do that Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer will not confront anyone with horrific bloody images or gory descriptions that were part of everyday business in Gosnell’s “house of horrors” in Philadelphia.  The story of Gosnell is provocative enough without being sensationalized.  I look forward to seeing each of you at the theater October 12th, and then again at the 2018 Celebrate Life Banquet on October 18th!!!