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Abortion Blog

As Senate Democrats foil legislation to treat abortion survivors, “Who weeps for the victim?”

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

Outrage. That was the number-one emotion lighting up my Facebook page, as friend after friend expressed their deep and justified anger at the blockage of a U.S. Senate bill to stop infanticide by the nearly uniform opposition of Senate Democrats.

Although the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act received 53 votes, 60 votes were required to move the bill forward (in the jargon, “invoke cloture”). And I have to ask myself, “Why?”

Why is it that duly elected lawmakers would not want to ensure that a baby born alive from a botched abortion is guaranteed the same care any other preemie of a similar age would receive? Why would our government leaders fail in protecting the most vulnerable among us?

I suppose I could come up with a number of reasons—a lack of compassion, a blindness toward the essential needs of newborns, a callousness that comes from too many years in the political world serving the likes of Planned Parenthood and NARAL.

But I believe the fundamental rationale for Monday’s chilling vote dates back more than 40 years, to the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade. That tragic court decision, which still holds fast today, brought about a shocking disregard for innocent human life.

For once a baby is aborted in a mother’s womb, what’s to prevent attacks on babies who have actually been born? The line of “acceptability” moves further and further until our nation’s leaders shrug at infanticide.

The bill’s sponsor, Senator Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska), alluded to the ideological smokescreen put up by the bill’s opponents: “I urge my colleagues to picture a baby that’s already been born, that’s outside the womb gasping for air. That’s the only thing that today’s vote is actually about. We’re talking about babies that have already been born. Nothing in this bill touches abortion access.”

Yet, to the vast majority of Senate Democrats, everything is about abortion. They are willing to stop at nothing to defend the brutal practice, in which a baby dies, and a mother is left to grieve her lost child. Pro-abortion politics taints whatever it touches, and now the Senate is forever stained by this tragic vote.

As my father used to say, “Who weeps for the victim?” Time and again, it is the pro-lifer who defends the innocent from the dawn of life to the twilight of life.

And what about those Democratic Presidential candidates in the Senate who sided with infanticide? Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, and Elizabeth Warren? Remember their names, especially as the campaign season intensifies over the coming year.

It is our responsibility to remind them why they are ultimately on the losing side, whether they recognize it or not. History will side with life, and generations hence will wonder at the utter intransigence of those who fail to defend the right to life.

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Abortion Blog

Woman completely changes her mind after video shows the horrors of abortion

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

When I began studying television news reporting and production in college, I learned the incredible power of video to tell a story. No matter how strong the words I had written might be, my script would always be overshadowed by the visuals. If the visuals were compelling, the piece would be absolutely riveting. If not, the TV news story basically fell apart.

I was reminded of this phenomenon recently when we chose to lead off our Pennsylvania Pro-Life Online News email newsletter with a video posted by the pro-life group Live Action. We headlined the story, “Amazing Video—Woman Changes Mind About Abortion.”

Of all the stories we have ever run in the Online News, the video was by far the most popular, stunning us with its “click rate” (in other words, the number of people who clicked on the video in order to view it).

But it was more than just curiosity that made the video a crowd-pleaser. It was also the subject of the video itself—an articulate young woman being questioned about her views on abortion.

At the beginning of the video, she admitted that she didn’t really like abortion. But she claimed there are times when an individual “needs” abortion. She went on to suggest that abortion was a matter of “rights” and what a pregnant woman might want to do.

Then, the woman viewed a video explaining a second trimester dismemberment abortion—an abortion in which a baby is torn limb by limb from the mother’s womb. The woman begins to cry, and you can see a wave of pain flooding her features.

Her mind has been enlightened, her heart has been broken, and her position on abortion has been changed.

She discusses the fact that she had not realized, prior to viewing the video, that the unborn baby would be “detached” and “crushed.” She points out what she has now learned about the risks of abortion to women. She then discusses the fact that there are “so many options” and that there is “always another option” besides abortion. “It is a life,” she explains.

The video experiment shows how eyes can be opened to the horrors of abortion, once individuals are educated about the process. It also proves a point that I have often made—that people support the tragic U.S. Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade, the decision which legalized abortion, because they do not realize what Roe actually did.

News stories fail to define the word “abortion,” so people are left in an information vacuum. The pro-abortion side benefits from the veil surrounding abortion.

But once people see the brutality of abortion—the fact that babies are torn apart and mothers have their hearts ripped open—they oppose it. In the time it takes to play a short video, a mind can be forever changed.

This fact should compel us to share ultrasounds and other educational videos on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Because in those videos lies an awesome, life-giving power which can save babies from otherwise certain death.

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Blog life

President’s Day: A Pro-Life Reflection

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

One of the greatest compliments that can be paid to a mother and father is that their son or daughter could someday grow up to be President of the United States.

And so, on this day which honors the highest office in the land, it is altogether fitting that we reflect on the Presidency and the issue of “life” in America.

Our first President, George Washington, once stated, “Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light.”

Certainly, an ultrasound showing a baby sucking her thumb demonstrates the scientific truth that the preborn child represents human life in all its astounding glory.

The third President of the United States and author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

The website Vocabulary.com notes that synonyms for the word “Unalienable” include “non-negotiable” and “intrinsic.” Therefore, written onto the hearts of the founding fathers was the truth that the right to life was non-negotiable and intrinsic–in other words, a right not to be tampered with.

Notes for speeches by the nation’s 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, suggest the dangers that arise when people use the nation’s venerable Constitution for perverse purposes: “…the people — are the rightful masters of both Congresses, and courts — not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert it…”

Once a court has lost its way…as the Supreme Court did in the tragic 1973 decision Roe v. Wade…a course of correction is possible–but not easy.

Consider, for instance, the words of our 26th President, Theodore Roosevelt: “It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.” For, as his successor, President William Howard Taft, observed, “Presidents come and go, but the Supreme Court goes on forever.”

Still, hope reigns in the soul of every American who believes that one of the country’s worst wrongs can be righted, that justice can be restored to the voiceless among us, and that the vision of a life-affirming legal system can be realized.

It is a question of not only prevailing in courts, but also opening eyes to the humanity of the child in the womb.

For, as our 40th President, Ronald Reagan, once remarked, “I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born.”

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Blog down syndrome

Pennsylvania’s Down Syndrome Protection Act Being Re-Introduced

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

The popular Down Syndrome Protection Act is being reintroduced in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

The bill bans abortion for the sole reason of a Down syndrome diagnosis. The legislation is a response to the high abortion rate among women whose unborn babies have been diagnosed with an extra chromosome.

During the last session, the House passed the legislation by an overwhelming, veto-proof, bipartisan majority of 139-56. However, the Down Syndrome Protection Act stalled in the PA Senate last year.

As the co-sponsorship memo states, “Most of us know of a family touched by a Down syndrome child, and know these children grow to lead joyful and fulfilling lives.”

The lead sponsors on the bill are House Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny County) and state Representative Kate Klunk (R-York County).

Karen Gaffney is the first living person with Down syndrome to receive an honorary doctorate from a college or university. At a rally at the state Capitol last year, Gaffney eloquently stated, “Those of us with Down Syndrome and our families face a very difficult future. We face a possibility of wiping out all of the tremendous progress we have made. Just as we are making so much progress, a whole industry has grown up focused on prenatal screening – screening that would end our lives before we take our first breath.”

She continued, “Now that you can test for Down Syndrome before birth, there are many experts in the medical community that say this extra chromosome we carry around is not compatible with life. Not compatible with life? After everything we have done, I would say we are more than compatible. We are what life is all about. Our lives are worth living and our lives are worth learning about.”

Pennsylvania currently bans abortion after 24 weeks except to save the life of the mother, and at any time during the pregnancy if the woman’s only reason for abortion is to select the sex of the baby.

The Keystone State is already home to Chloe’s Law, which provides information and resources for parents who receive a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis. The law is named for Chloe Kondrich, a teenager who has become something of an international ambassador for children with Down syndrome.

Chloe’s Law “made progress educating parents regarding the quality of life that a person with Down syndrome can enjoy,” the co-sponsorship memo states. It goes on to say, “…the abortion rate for children with Down syndrome is still too high. It is time to protect Down syndrome children in the womb.”

Action Item: Pennsylvanians are urged to call their state representatives and encourage them to co-sponsor the Down Syndrome Protection Act.

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Blog life

Girl, Arise and Embrace Life!

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

In the refreshing new book Girl, Arise, author Claire Swinarski makes the case for why the pro-life cause is pro-woman. She admits, she’s defied stereotypes as a pro-life feminist.

The critics rant somewhere along these lines: “Pro-life feminists are unicorns–nice to think about but not actually romping through the forest.”

But to the author, the pro-life cause “is where the Church opens wide her arms, steps it up, and shouts, ‘We’re pro-women’ in her loudest voice.’”

Swinarski sums up her viewpoint on abortion this way: “Abortion is wrong–not simply because it ends a life but also because it isn’t good for women.”

Swinarski goes on to write, “…erring on the side of not ending a life seems to be the most rational, moral, loving conclusion, even if you take out of the picture such Bible verses as ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.’”

The pro-life feminist rightly notes that women mostly have abortions because of a lack of choice. A woman chooses abortion because of a lack in her life–whether that be a lack of finances, career, or a loving partner.

“This isn’t an empowering decision,” Swinarski writes. “This isn’t ‘my body, my choice’ but rather ‘I feel I have no other choice.’”

It is the pro-life movement that bridges the gap–providing comprehensive counseling, material resources, and hope. It is in that supportive approach that lives are changed and hearts are opened. In the midst of great pain and fear, the beauty of life is recognized and celebrated.

The pro-life movement supplies what is lacking in a woman’s life, allowing her to make the bold, empowering decision to give birth to her baby. It is a movement grounded in an exercise of rights–the right of a baby girl to life, and the right of a woman to give birth.

Now, that’s pro-woman!

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Blog life

Girl, Arise and Embrace Life!

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

In the refreshing new book Girl, Arise, author Claire Swinarski makes the case for why the pro-life cause is pro-woman. She admits, she’s defied stereotypes as a pro-life feminist.

The critics rant somewhere along these lines: “Pro-life feminists are unicorns–nice to think about but not actually romping through the forest.”

But to the author, the pro-life cause “is where the Church opens wide her arms, steps it up, and shouts, ‘We’re pro-women’ in her loudest voice.’”

Swinarski sums up her viewpoint on abortion this way: “Abortion is wrong–not simply because it ends a life but also because it isn’t good for women.”

Swinarski goes on to write, “…erring on the side of not ending a life seems to be the most rational, moral, loving conclusion, even if you take out of the picture such Bible verses as ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.’”

The pro-life feminist rightly notes that women mostly have abortions because of a lack of choice. A woman chooses abortion because of a lack in her life–whether that be a lack of finances, career, or a loving partner.

“This isn’t an empowering decision,” Swinarski writes. “This isn’t ‘my body, my choice’ but rather ‘I feel I have no other choice.’”

It is the pro-life movement that bridges the gap–providing comprehensive counseling, material resources, and hope. It is in that supportive approach that lives are changed and hearts are opened. In the midst of great pain and fear, the beauty of life is recognized and celebrated.

The pro-life movement supplies what is lacking in a woman’s life, allowing her to make the bold, empowering decision to give birth to her baby. It is a movement grounded in an exercise of rights–the right of a baby girl to life, and the right of a woman to give birth.

Now, that’s pro-woman!

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Blog life pastor Religious

How to Engage Your Pastor for LIFE!

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

“As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.”–Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

When we think back on the history of social movements, the clergy have played an important role. We think of the soaring words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who fought courageously for the rights of African-Americans. Dr. King empowered people to take a bold step for justice in the face of tremendous prejudice.

In the 21st century, the civil rights movement of our time is the pro-life movement. It seeks to honor and protect the rights of people–from the dawn of life to the twilight of life. And while we welcome people of all different faiths, or no faith at all, it is true that clergy can have a powerful impact on the success of our movement.

Here are three simple steps to help engage your pastor for LIFE:

  • Invite your pastor to lunch, dinner, or brunch. Share with your pastor your concerns about the protection of innocent human life. In a relaxed atmosphere, you can have a pleasant exchange of ideas for advancing the pro-life cause.
  • Recommend resources to your pastor. Your pastor can certainly benefit from reading such online publications as National Right to Life News Today [nationalrighttolifenews.org]. This way, your pastor can be well-informed about emerging threats to innocent life–and peaceful, successful ways to combat them.
  • Thank your pastor for pro-life sermons. It is important that we encourage our pastors whenever possible. Let your pastor know you support the clergy member’s life-affirming words.

Finally, remember the inspiring rhetoric of Dr. King during his 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech:

“I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’”

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Abortion Blog pro-life pro-lifers

The impact of the bizarre New York abortion law on the Pro-Life Movement

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

In recent days, our office at the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation has been receiving call after call from people wanting to volunteer for the pro-life movement. It seems that this is the effect of the bizarre pro-abortion law in New York and the equally strange legislation in Virginia. The legislation permits abortion up to birth–and offers no protection for those babies who survive botched abortions.

People are very upset about what’s going on, and they want to do something positive to counteract it. It’s inspiring!

We have also received a number of emails from people wanting to join a local chapter of National Right to Life. In all my time in the pro-life movement, I have never before seen such an outpouring of activism.

We even received an email about a family who is considering moving from New York to Pennsylvania to escape Governor Andrew Cuomo’s abortion extremist regime. The inquiry came in the form of a question: What is the forecast for Pennsylvania? Is it in danger of going the way of New York?

Fortunately, Pennsylvania has pro-life majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Pro-life legislation is welcomed and encouraged. We are also home to the first-in-the-nation state-assisted pregnancy and parenting program, which is administered by Real Alternatives, Inc. Hundreds of thousands of women and their families have been served by this network of pregnancy resource centers.

But the Keystone State faces its own threats. Our Governor, Tom Wolf, once volunteered as a clinic escort for Planned Parenthood. He has a radically pro-abortion position, opposing a ban on brutal dismemberment abortions, where a baby is torn limb by limb from a mother’s womb.

The Commonwealth has also been hit by a lawsuit from the abortion industry, which wants to end our long-standing ban on Medicaid-funded abortions. This despite the fact that taxpayer-funded abortions are wildly unpopular in Pennsylvania.

Nationwide, the prospect of abortions up to the moment of birth has led not only to an outcry–but also action. The New York effect is sparking a renewed interest in the pro-life movement from people who steadfastly believe that babies should be protected–-both inside and outside their mothers’ wombs.

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Blog unborn Unborn Children

The mesmerizing impact of revealing what is Hidden in the Womb

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

Late Tuesday night, a friend sent me a Facebook message. Too tired to read it, I waited until the following morning to view it. I was astounded.

What my friend had sent me was a video of a 4D ultrasound. Granted, it is not the first time I have seen such a video. But the image was mesmerizing nonetheless.

I could see one preborn baby jumping around with abandon. In another clip, a baby looked like he was waving. I saw a baby yawn and suck his thumb. What I saw, in short, was a human being showing off his humanity.

A video such as this can revolutionize the world. It provides a window into the hidden, amazing world of the preborn child. It is both informative and entertaining, and helps us to form a connection to a child that we might not otherwise have.

Technology can save the precious child in the womb. If every mother could see such a video in a supportive, loving atmosphere, how many more would choose life for their children?

Do yourself a favor and watch this incredible video. Then share it on social media.

On a bitterly cold winter’s day, it will warm your heart and show you why the unborn child is worth fighting for

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Abortion Blog Infanticide Legislation

Late-Term Abortion and Infanticide: Defending the Indefensible

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

I recall an incident that occurred when I was working as a journalist for the mainstream media. A woman from the pro-abortion lobbying group known as NARAL led a gaggle of reporters to believe that late-term abortions only occurred to save mothers’ lives.

Virginia state Rep. Kathy Tran

Later, a national abortion industry spokesman admitted that the majority of those obtaining late-term abortions were teenagers. The spokesman indicated that the teens were uneasy about abortion, so they had delayed the decision to abort into the third trimester.

Now, we have a Virginia lawmaker openly and brazenly admitting that her bill would allow for abortions while a woman is in labor. The bill will thankfully go nowhere, but the discussion is relevant nonetheless.

Here is the exchange between the lawmaker, Kathy Tran (D-Fairfax) and a fellow legislator, Todd Gilbert:

Gilbert: Where it’s obvious a woman is about to give birth, that she has physical signs that she is about to give birth. Would that be a point at which she could still request an abortion if she was so certified? She’s dilating.

Tran: Mr. Chairman, that would be a decision that the doctor, the physician, and the woman would make at that point.

Gilbert: I understand that. I’m asking if your bill allows that.

Tran: My bill would allow that, yes.

Not to be outdone, the Governor of Virginia, Democrat Ralph Northam, took the explosive situation a step further. On a radio show, Northam delivered a defense of what can only be described as infanticide: “If a mother is in labor…the infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and mother.”

To paraphrase Shakespeare, “To kill or not to kill, that is the question.”

One national poll showed that only 15 percent of Americans support late-term abortions. I would hazard a guess the number is even lower for those supporting “after-birth abortions.”

These politicians are completely out of step with the American mainstream. They express no compassion whatsoever for a baby–whether inside or outside the mother’s womb.

The time to act is now. Please share these stories of late-term abortion and infanticide propaganda with your friends and relatives. Let them know what these politicians stand for–a total contempt for the most innocent and defenseless among us.

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