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PA Pro-Life Federation

PA Pro-Life On-Line News

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Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation January 15, 2013

A twice monthly publication

In This Issue
Things You Can Do at the 2013 March for Life

Time Magazine Acknowledges Pro-Life Strength

Planned Parenthood Sets Record on Abortion, Taxpayer Funding

Sex-selection Abortions Linked to Violence against Women

Young Girl Speaks Out against Abortion

Enter our Student Pro-life Contests

Chapter Information

Useful Links
If you have trouble accessing any of these news stories, you can find them also on our website.

Silencing the Laughter
of Generations

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

It was time to take the family Christmas picture, and I knew I had to seize the moment.

I was six years old, and my prized gift that year was a ventriloquist doll. I grabbed hold of Charlie McCarthy, and, as the shutter snapped, I pretended we were doing the tango. The room erupted in laughter, and I was hooked.

My usual gig was the family dinner table. The object of my game was to make my little sister laugh so much that she had to put down her fork and stop eating. I figured I got extra points if I could make my father laugh--he had tried his hand at stand-up comedy, and he had trained himself to keep a straight face. But, every now and then, he, too, would be stopped cold by my antics.

I'd like to think I was Comedy Central's answer to a child prodigy, but, it seems to me, in the humor department, just about every child has a shot at stardom. It should be no surprise that this phenomenon led to the TV show, "Kids Say the Darndest Things." They do, and, quite often, they are quite funny.

I remember when my daughter was getting ready for kindergarten. She was talking about her preparations, and she informed me that we would need to stop at U-Haul. This was because, she explained to me, she would need a trailer to take her toys to school.


It has been said that one of the most essential ingredients of comedy is the element of surprise. If you know the punchline in advance, the joke falls flat. That's why comedians Jay Leno, David Letterman, and Jerry Seinfeld may be no match for a four-year-old on a roll. Children see things that adults often don't, and they make connections that escape the rest of us.

When troubles come, laughter can seem quite distant, since laughter brings joy. But it can, in fact, be the best medicine. A mother struggling to pay the bills can somehow find the strength to go on, when she sees her child's laughing face.

A quote attributed to legendary comedian Bob Hope states, "I have seen what a laugh can do. It can transform almost unbearable tears into something bearable, even hopeful."

The 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling Roe versus Wade has silenced generations of laughter. Each of those 55 million people whose lives have been lost had a story to tell--maybe a funny story or two. In ending the lives of innocent unborn children, we have killed joy and halted laughter.

As pianist and comedian Victor Borge once said, "Laughter is the shortest distance between two people."

Pa. Abortions Decrease, Complications Increase in 2011

HARRISBURG, Pa. - While abortions in Pennsylvania declined for the third year in a row in 2011, complications as a result of the procedure increased sharply, according to statistics released by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Statistics show 498 (1.4 percent) fewer abortions in 2011 compared to 2010. In total, there were 36,280 abortions performed in Pennsylvania in 2011. The 2011 total represents a 44.8 percent decrease from the all-time high of 65,777 recorded in 1980.

However, the year brought a disturbing 78.7 percent increase in the number of complications from abortions. The 109 reported complications included bleeding, infections and "retained products of conception" including fetal parts, according to the department.

"As these statistics show, abortion not only destroys a preborn child's life but also puts its mother's health at risk," said Micaiah Bilger, education coordinator at the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.

The year 2011 brought to light the gristly practices of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who is charged with the murders of a woman and seven newborn babies. In response to the tragedy, Pennsylvania implemented Act 122, which requires abortion facilities to be licensed as outpatient surgical facilities and to submit to unannounced inspections.

"Every life, from the moment of conception to natural death - and everywhere in between, deserves to be protected," Bilger said.

To access the Pa. Department of Health report on abortion, click here.

Things You Can Do at the 2013 March for Life

Dozens of pro-life events are happening this year during the March for Life weekend in Washington, D.C.

Check out our list of events, including a Pennsylvania legislators reception, pro-life exhibit hall, youth rally, a 5K run, and more. Click here for details.

If you are interested in traveling to the March with a group in your area, contact us at or 717-541-0034 for information about bus trips in your community.

Time Magazine Acknowledges
Pro-Life Strength

No matter what you may hear, the truth is we are continuing to gain ground for life.
This month, the cover of Time Magazine acknowledges the pro-life successes and our opponents' failings. On the cover is the headline, "40 Years Ago, Abortion-Rights Activists Won an Epic Victory with Roe v. Wade: THEY'VE BEEN LOSING EVER SINCE."
Click here to read more.

Planned Parenthood Sets Record on Abortion, Taxpayer Funding

Last year during the election season, Planned Parenthood spent most of its time emphasizing its non-abortion health care services to women.

But behind closed doors it performed more abortions than ever before -- AND fewer non-abortion health care services, according to the organization's newly released annual report.

The organization also received a record $542 million in taxpayer dollars last year. Read more here.

Sex-selection Abortions Linked to Violence against Women

A disturbing gang rape in India that lead to a woman's death is drawing attention to the dangerous effects of sex-selection abortions. An increasing amount of evidence links violence toward women to abortions that are done based on the baby's sex. While these discriminatory abortions are more apparent in countries such as China and India, they also are happening in the U.S.

Click here to read a Time Magazine article about the issue.

Employers Challenge the HHS Mandate
A Mennonite company in Central Pennsylvania won a temporary victory against the federal Health and Human Services Mandate in January. Conestoga Wood Specialties, a Lancaster County-based company, filed a lawsuit against the federal government for forcing employers to violate their conscience and provide coverage of contraception that may cause abortions. Read more here.
Other for-profit businesses have not been as successful. The craft store chain Hobby Lobby is being forced to comply or face hefty fines. Read more here about how you can support Hobby Lobby and its stand against this violation of conscience.

12-year-old speaks out on the issue of abortion

Youth Becomes Powerful Voice for Life on YouTube
Four years ago, Lia Mills became a YouTube sensation after she posted a video of herself giving a captivating pro-life speech.
Today, the 16-year-old Lia continues to attract attention for her avid support of life in the womb. You won't want to miss watching this powerful young voice for life! Read more about her here.

Attention Students: Now Accepting Contest Entries

The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation student contests are up and running.

Our Pro-Life Essay Contest is open to students in seventh to 12th grade, and our Oratory Contest is open to high school juniors and seniors. The writing and speaking topics are abortion, euthanasia, or stem cell research.

Prizes will be awarded to the top winners. The deadline to enter is March 1. For more information, contact the Federation at or 717-541-0034. Help spread the word by sharing our posters: Essay Contest and Oratory Contest.

Respect Life Bulletin Inserts Available for January 22

The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation is offering free church bulletin inserts just in time for the January 22 anniversary of Roe v. Wade. To obtain a bulletin insert that you can copy and distribute to your congregation, email with "bulletin insert" in the subject line. Be sure to specify if you want the full-size (8 1/2 x 11 inch) or the half-size insert in black and white or color.

Chapter Information

A record crowd marches during the Erie
March for Life on January 12. More than 300
people attended the march, organized
by People for Life of Erie.

SANCTITY OF LIFE WEEKEND EVENTS -- at the Manheim Brethren in Christ Church, 54 N. Penryn Road, Manheim. A free movie night with "October Baby will be held at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, January 19. Come early or stay after the movie to visit and ask questions of local ministries involved in promoting the value of human life. Information about post-abortion healing, pro-life, adoption, and human trafficking will be available. On Sunday, January 20, a service of worship, remembrance and reflection will begin at 6:30 p.m. Remember the lives lost to abortion and reflect on the significance of human life.
RESPECT LIFE MEMORIAL SERVICE - will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday, January 19 at the gazebo in the park across from the Beaver County Courthouse. Organized by the Pennsylvanians for Human Life of Beaver County, the memorial service will include luminaries, prayer, a pro-life proclamation, and more. The guest speaker is Dr. Brian W. Donnelly of Pediatric Alliance and a Pittsburgh Catholic contributor. Michael Ciccocioppo, executive director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, also will offer remarks. This is an outdoor program. The winter's cold serves as a reminder of the human lives that were tragically ended because of abortion. Immediately after the service, there will be a reception with light refreshments, pro-life materials, and displays.

PRO-LIFE BREAKFAST - sponsored by People for Life, will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, January 19 at the Erie Bayfront Convention Center, Erie. George Weigel, a highly-acclaimed author and public policy expert, will be the featured speaker. Michael Ciccocioppo, executive director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, also will offer remarks. Reservations are required. The cost is $13 for teens and adults and $7 for children. Tickets are available at the People for Life office at 1611 Peach Street, Suite 321, Erie; or online at Free babysitting will be available during the speaking part of the program.

COMMUNITY MARCH FOR LIFE - will begin at 1 p.m. Sunday, January 20 at Dorcas and Third Streets, Lewistown. Sponsored by the Citizens Concerned for Human Life of Mifflin/Juniata, the march will proceed to the Bethel AME Church on Juniata Street. Guest speakers will include state Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, Cindy Mansberger, the executive director of Crossroads Pregnancy Center, the Rev. Michael Bailey, the Rev. William Weary, and Micaiah Bilger, education coordinator for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.

PRO-LIFE PRAYER RALLY - sponsored by the Pennsylvanians for Human Life Pocono Chapter, will be held from 2 to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, January 20 at the Courthouse Square, Stroudsburg. Join the group to show prayerful support for the innocent unborn. For more information, call Joan at 570-421-8636.

RESPECT LIFE PRAYER BREAKFAST - sponsored by the Pennsylvanians for Human Life Scranton, will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, February 9 at the St. Mary's Center in Scranton. Carol Everett, a former abortion facility owner who now speaks out for life, will be the guest speaker. For further information, contact the Scranton Pro-Life Center at 570-343-5099 or Joe Alinoski at 570-876-4087.

PRO-LIFE AUCTION - sponsored by the Citizens Concerned for Human Life Centre County, will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, February 11 at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 850 Stratford Drive, State College. Doors open at 9 a.m. Homemade desserts and pies will be available, as well as breakfast and lunch. Auction items include the last football signed by coach Joe Paterno.

RESPECT LIFE: COMMUNICATING THE MESSAGE - a program of St. Gabriel's Ministry, will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, February 23 at the St. Patrick Church Parish Activity Center, Marsh Drive, Carlisle. Speakers include Fr. Paul Shenck, director of the Respect Life Office of the Diocese of Harrisburg, and Maria Vitale Gallagher, legislative director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation. For more information, contact Patty Dowling at or Gabriel Marcella at

Live in Southeast PA? Contact SE Regional Coordinator Heather Wilson to find out more about joining a chapter in Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, Delaware, or Philadelphia County. You can reach Heather by e-mail at or by phone at 215-485-6683.

If you live in another part of the state and you'd like to get involved in a local chapter, contact Executive Director Michael Ciccocioppo at or by phone at 717-541-0034.

For a complete list of chapters, visit .

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