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The Erie Echo
"Voice for Life"
Volune XXVI No. 3    --------     May-June 1998
 
 

Oratory Contest winner bound for state finals

Erie, PA     The Pennsylvania Northwest Region High School Oratory Contest was held on Saturday, April 18, 1998 at the PFL Office & Pro-Life Resource Center. The contest winner was Cathedral Prep Senior Joel Dombrowski of Edinboro. Joel delivered an excellent, well researched and well documented speech on euthanasia and assisted suicide.

 The first runner-up was Marcy Vogan of Cochranton. Marcy is a Junior at Cochranton High School. Her excellent speech was on the topic of abortion, with special emphasis on the tragedy of the broken bond between mother and child. Her presentation -- in addition to being well structured and well reasoned -- came straight from the heart.

 It was a tough decision for the judges, but ultimately Joel prevailed by

4 points on a 120 point scale. He received $100 to help pay his way to Harrisburg where he will represent northwestern Pennsylvania in the state contest on May 16.

 The winner of the state competition will receive an expenses paid trip to the National Right to Life Convention in Orlando and a shot at the $1500 first prize that will be awarded the winner of the National Oratory Contest. The National Contest takes place each year in conjunction with the NRL Convention.

 Marcy Vogan's speech is proudly presented in this issue of the Echo on page six. Joel Dombrowski's speech will appear in a later issue, after the competition is completed.

 

David Bunnell inspires guests at Give Life Dinner

Meadville, PA     Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation Education Director David Bunnell was the guest speaker at this year's benefit dinner for the Pregnancy Center of Meadville. The dinner took place on April 25 at the First Christian Church of Meadville.

 David opened his talk by remembering some of the recent tragedies involving children killing children and young mothers killing their own newborns. Many ask, "How could these things happen?" But David asked the question, "How can these things NOT be happening -- in a nation that has been killing its own sons and daughters at a rate of 4000 a day for the past 25 years?"

 Praising the work of the Pregnancy Center, David reminded his listeners about the dynamic role of CPC's in the larger effort to restore legal protection to the unborn: As ethical alternatives are made available through the CPCs, the public perceives abortion to be less of a "necessity." As this perception takes hold, abortion begins to be recognized as the crude and primitive act of violence it truly is, and more people reject it altogether. As abortion becomes less of a socially and legally acceptable "solution," however, the role of the CPC's becomes increasingly indispensable -- and still more influential in affecting popular attitudes.

 Thus, the humanitarian efforts and the political efforts of the pro-life community should be understood as two indispensable components of a single master strategy, a strategy to make America once again a safe haven for all God's children -- a place where, in the words of Dave Bunnell, life is the right of every child, not a special privilege for the fortunate, the planned and the perfect.

 ______________________________

 Mother's Day Carnation Project

 By the time you read this, People for Life's annual fund raiser, the Mother's Day Carnation Project, will be completed for 1998. The Carnation Project is currently PFL's biggest source of revenue by far. The proceeds make possible such educational efforts as the Erie Echo with a circulation of approximately 4000, pro-life exhibits at We Love Erie Days and three area fairs, a pro-life resource center featuring books, videos, audio tapes and more, and a pro-life web site that is visited by hundreds of people every month. The list goes on: billboards, radio spots, literature distributions...

 The success of the Carnation Project depends on support from the pastors and congregations of numerous area churches, as well as many scores of dedicated PFL volunteers. Thanks to one and all for your help, and even more importantly, for your limitless determination to see the pro-life cause through to victory. People for Life, and many of you, have been active for 25 years now. Ultimate success is certain, not according to our timetable, but the Lord's.

 Twenty-five years seem like a long time, but not when we remember our history and the many long, difficult trials and tribulations required of those who came before us. We need look no farther than our own nation's protracted struggle with the "question"(!) of slavery and its even longer struggle against racism and discrimination! Or consider the long struggle for simple religious liberties which drew so many pilgims to our shores.

 It is exciting to think of all that has been made possible to date because of the Carnation Project. And it is exciting to think of what more will be accomplished as the Project grows. Growth depends on new churches and other organizations becoming a part of the effort. Individuals, also, can accomplish much by making the carnations available to their families, friends, and coworkers.

 Father's Day, too!

 In recent years, People for Life has had some requests to extend the Mother's Day Carnation Project to Father's Day! In case you or your church missed the Mother's Day effort, flowers will be available for Father's Day. A Father's Day Carnation observance is certainly a fitting way to recognize and emphasize the important role -- and responsibility -- of fatherhood, something which is all too often disregarded these days.

 For more information, please call the PFL Office at 814-459-1333, or contact Carnation Project Coordinator Jean Hammer at 814-456-0376.

 The suggested donations for the flowers remain $1.00 each, $5.00 per half-dozen, and $10.00 per dozen. The Project can be conducted in a variety of ways. Participants are encouraged to use the approach that is most comfortable. Ask for a list of suggestions.

 

 
News Sampler
 
 States ban partial-birth child killings   On April 13, 1998, Virginia became the 21st state to enact a partial-birth abortion ban that adheres closely to the wording of the legislation pending at the national level. In addition to these 21 states, Ohio passed legislation intended to ban partial-birth abortion. However, the language in the Ohio measure, which has been rejected by the courts, differed significantly from the language used in the 21 other state level bans and in the national ban. In the words of NRLC President Wanda Franz, Ph.D., "The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act is sweeping the nation, changing America's attitude about abortion, and saving lives."

 Forty-two request death   Two pro-euthanasia groups have been approached by a total of 42 people seeking assistance in committing suicide under Oregon's new Death with Dignity Act. The Hemlock Society reports 27 requests; Compassion in Dying reports 15. Many of the requesters were not eligible for expedited death because they were not terminally ill or they were not Oregon residents. Two people are actually known to have died by assisted-suicide under the Oregon law. The Oregonian April 24, 1998

 Doctor's Orders   Remarks by a senior Oregon Health Division doctor indicate that the much touted "safeguards" in Oregon's suicide law are absolutely worthless. Dr. Anthony Marfin said, "By the time we get documentation on a suicide, the suicide could well have taken place." Each physician is authorized to proceed with an assisted suicide based merely upon his or her own unilateral determination that the patient is eligible for death under the provisions of the Oregon law. "Even if a physician always said yes to every assisted-suicide case, [indicating flagrant disregard for the state guidelines] we'd still have to come back to the fact that they're a physician." The relationship between patient and doctor "is sacrosanct and we respect it," said Dr. Marfin. Detroit News April 26, 1998

 International $$$ Abortion   The U.S. Senate, in late April, joined the House of Representatives in approving legislation that would deny U.S. government funds to pro-abortion "family planning" organizations that pressure foreign governments to repeal abortion restrictions. The funding prohibitions are included in legislation that authorizes dues payments to the United Nations and payments to the International Monetary Fund. Clinton immediately threatened a veto. See the Clinton quote on the bottom of page five.

 Front Alley Abortion   A California doctor, Gordon Goei, was arrested after "performing" an abortion on March 19 that left a woman "bleeding uncontrollably" and a 26 week premature infant dead in a garbage bag. Goei's license was suspended just days earlier, on March 13, after he failed a medical exam. He was initially arrested on suspicion of murder in the death of the baby, but that charge was dismissed due to lack of evidence, according to the D.A.'s office. The abortionist still faces charges of unlawfully practicing medicine and performing an illegal abortion. After being disciplined several times since 1979, Goei had been placed on probation last September by the Medical Board of California.

 Grooming for disaster   Asked who might get the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, Bob Dole is reported to have singled out two pro-aborts: Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge and New York Governor George Pataki.

 "Racketeers for Life"   On April 20, a federal jury of six sitting in Chicago found three officers of Chicago's Pro-Life Action League, including Joseph M. Scheidler, liable in a 12 year old lawsuit being pressed by the National Organization for Women. NOW relied on a little used statute known as RICO, which was devised to fight organized crime. In their press releases, NOW did everything possible to imply a connection between Scheidler, et al, and arsons, bombings, murders, extortion, and racketeering. In court, however, non-violent civil disobedience such as trespassing was more the central issue. The jury ordered the defendants to pay $85,000 to two midwest abortion mills, an amount which will be trebled under the RICO law. The decision is expected to be appealed. Because the suit was authorized as a class action, the defendants are now exposed to similar claims from every abortion facility that says it has been harmed financially by the defendant's pro-life activities. Scheidler was quoted in an interview exclaiming, "Racketeers for Life -- I will make lemonade out of this. You watch me!"

 Comment on above   An adequate discussion of all the issues involved in NOW vs. Scheidler is beyond the scope of this newsletter. It should suffice to say, however, that the Honorable Henry Hyde, the highly respected U.S. Congressman from Illinois, unreservedly testified on behalf of Scheidler during the trial, as did Miss Norma McCorvey, the Roe of Roe v. Wade. And Cardinal Francis George declared that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Chicago will consider filing an amicus curiae brief on behalf of Scheidler and the Pro-Life Action League when the case is appealed. Ralph Rivera, legislative chairman of Illinois Citizens for Life also expressed disappointment at the results of the trial.
 Interestingly, some notable pro-life organizations chose to remain absolutely silent, perhaps fearing public misperceptions about their own positions with respect to violence and non-violent civil disobedience. PFL, however, took advantage of the resulting heightened public interest in abortion following the verdict by discussing the case, with several local journalists and on talk radio. PFL also took the opportunity to emphasize its unqualified opposition to any and all acts of violence.

 Reclaiming the White House   Pro-life Republican Gary Bauer, 51, announced in late March that he is setting up an "exploratory committee" with an eye toward a run for the White House in 2000. Bauer is the president of the Washington, DC based Family Research Council.

 Action Alert   Campaign "finance reform" continues to haunt the pro-life community, threatening efforts to restore a culture of life to the United States. Now, the Republican leadership has capitulated under considerable pressure from within the House of Representatives, and has agreed to allow action on yet another campaign "reform" bill. Worse, the bill (H.R. 2183) will be introduced under an "open rule" that could allow the "reform process" to easily get out of control. For instance, an attempt to amend H.R. 2183 by totally replacing its language with the language of the Shays-Meehan bill is anticipated. At this time, Shays Meehan and its Senate equivalent, McCain-Feingold are considered the most dangerous threats to our freedom of speech and to the public's right to know the whole truth about its elected officials. We continue to trust that Congressman English will do everything in his power to stop this peril to the pro-life movement, this congressional power-grab under the guise of campaign reform. Please reiterate this message to your Congressman!

 
-- For the Record --
 The Light of Life   "Every time that you are standing in front of that abortion clinic you are holding a light on inside that clinic. You are holding those people accountable." -- CAROL EVERETT

 Big Top or big flop?   "It goes without saying that I share your concern about the reluctance of Republican leaders to address the moral issues on which they campaigned in '94 and '96. The Big Tent people are in control, and they believe they can avoid such controversial issues as abortion.... They call it a 'policy of inclusion,' by which they mean that moderates and liberals will be favored and conservatives will be taken for granted.... If their paralysis continues, I believe the GOP will lose seats this November and put the next presidential election in jeopardy.

 "I believe a Republican meltdown is preferable to a continuation of the present betrayal of the moral agenda. At least the GOP would realize that it must address our concerns if it wishes to survive. But as it is, we have no representation in Washington and little hope of a spontaneous change. I would rather social conservatives would threaten to abandon the GOP and, if necessary, deliver on that promise.... Even that extreme measure is preferable to being ignored year after year." -- JAMES C. DOBSON, PH.D., letter to Ellen Craswell, April 6, 1998

 Assisted Suicide   "[L]egalizing assisted-suicide is coercive in and of itself." -- DR. DIANE E. MEIER, author of a study on assisted-suicide published in the April 23, 1998 New England Journal of Medicine

 Philadelphia madness   "There is no one we would rather see put out of business than Operation Rescue and the Pro-Life Action League, which harass women exercising their rights to legal abortion -- and the courageous professionals who provide it. Few things are more maddening than hearing these characters compare themselves to great civil rights advocates like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. -- except, perhaps, when they equate legal abortion with the Holocaust or slavery. Yet expanding RICO [the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Statute] to include such pretenders could mean that, in the future, the law could be used to stifle edgy protests by AIDS or animal rights or anti-nuclear activists.... groups that rely on civil disobedience to make their points." Philadelphia Daily News editorial, April 22, '98

 Healthy births, indeed    "[T]he March of Dimes is entrusted with public contributions to promote healthy births.... Therefore, the March of Dimes policy on abortion is one of neutrality."    -- March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation Northwest Pennsylvania Chapter, March 26, 1998
NOTE: While the incidence of Downs Syndrome preborns remains relatively unchanged, the incidence of Downs Syndrome births has, indeed, been dramatically reduced... by abortion.

 Only the beginning   "At some point, people will say [the Oregon assisted-suicide law] is a reasonable medical procedure. Then they will begin to question why we limit the law to those who have six months to live. What is the magic in six months?" -- Michael Schwartz, a lawyer for Dr. Jack Kevorkian. The Oregonian

 In this together   "[M]orality, by its very nature, is related to what is universally human. There is something inherently wrong with a sectarian ethic. Moral discourse in Christian theology, as in philosophy, attends to human nature, the needs and aspirations of all. It does not attend only, or even in the first place, to the special concerns of Christians. In the history of Christian ethics, Christian ethics is not only for Christians." --WOLFHART PANNENBERG, Professor of Systematic Theology, University of Munich. First Things, February, 1998

 Political Interests "The President's solicitousness for children may be nearly maternal, but it evaporates dramatically when it comes to those children, with legs dangling out of the birth canal, who are the targets of 'partial-birth' abortions. That children may become hooked on nicotine has become, for Mr. Clinton, a high public concern. That they may have their skulls crushed and their brains suctioned out, if it suits the interests or 'mental health' of the women bearing them, is an injury that does not register. For in the presence of a trumping political interest, that infant simply does not register as a real being, capable of sustaining pain." -- HADLEY ARKES, Ney Professor of Jurisprudence, Amherst College National Review
 



 
Dead Reckoning
An Editorial of NATIONAL REVIEW, January 26, 1998

 A quarter century has passed since the Supreme Court struck down the laws of every state in the nation, in the name of a constitutional right to abortion it had just discovered. In Roe v. Wade, the Court prohibited any regulation of abortion in the first trimester, allowed only regulations pertaining to the health of the mother in the second, and mandated that any regulation in the third make an exception for maternal health. In the companion case of Doe v. Bolton, the Court insisted on the broader definition of health--economic, familial, emotional. Legal scholar Mary Ann Glendon describes the result as the most radical pro-abortion policy in the democratic world. It permits abortion at any stage of pregnancy, for any reason or for no reason. It has licensed the killing of some thirty-five million members of the human family so far.

 The abortion regime was born in lies. In Britain (and in California, pre-Roe), the abortion lobby deceptively promoted legal revisions to allow "therapeutic" abortions and then defined every abortion as "therapeutic." The abortion lobby lied about Jane Roe, claiming her pregnancy resulted from a gang rape. It lied about the number of back-alley abortions. Justice Blackmun relied on fictitious history to argue, in Roe, that abortion had never been a common law crime.

 The abortion regime is also sustained by lies. Its supporters constantly lie about the radicalism of Roe: even now, most Americans who "agree with Roe v. Wade" in polls think that it left third-term abortions illegal and restricted second-term abortions. They have lied about the frequency and medical necessity of partial-birth abortion. Then there are the euphemisms: "terminating a pregnancy," abortion "providers," "products of conception." "The fetus is only a potential human being"--as if it might as easily become an elk. "It should be between a woman and her doctor"--the latter an abortionist who has never met the woman before and who has a financial interest in her decision. This movement cannot speak the truth.

 The abortion regime was born in lies.... The abortion regime is also sustained by lies.... Everything abortion touches, it corrupts.

 Roe's supporters said at the time that the widespread availability of abortion would lead to fewer unwanted pregnancies, hence less child abuse; it has not. They said that fewer women would die from back-alley abortions; the post-1940s decline in the number of women who died from abortions, the result of antibiotics, actually slowed after Roe--probably because the total number of abortions rose. They said it would reduce illegitimacy and child poverty, predictions that now seem like grim jokes.

 Pro-lifers were, alas, more prescient. They claimed the West had started down the slippery slope of a progressive devaluation of human life. After the unborn would come the elderly and the infirm--more burdens to others; more obstacles to others' goals; probably better off dead, like "unwanted children." And so now we are debating whether to allow euthanasia, whether to create embryos for experimental purposes, whether to permit the killing of infants about to leave the womb.

 And what greater claim on our protection, after all, does that infant have a moment after birth? He still lacks the attributes of "personhood"--rationality, autonomy, rich interactions--that pro-abortion philosophers consider the preconditions of a right to life. The argument boils down to this assertion: If we want to eliminate you and you cannot stop us, we are justified in doing it. Might makes right. Among intellectuals, infanticide is in the first phase of a movement from the unthinkable to the arguable to the debatable to the acceptable.

 Everything abortion touches, it corrupts. It has corrupted family life. In the war between the sexes, abortion tilts the playing field toward predatory males, giving them another excuse for abandoning their offspring: She chose to carry the child; let her pay for her choice. Our law now says, in effect, that fatherhood has no meaning, and we are shocked that some men have learned that lesson too well. It has corrupted the Supreme Court, which has protected the abortion license even while tacitly admitting its lack of constitutional grounding. If the courts can invent such a right, unmoored in the text, tradition, or logic of the Constitution, then they can do almost anything; and so they have done. The law on everything from free speech to biotechnology has been distorted to accommodate abortionism. And abortion has deeply corrupted the practice of medicine, transforming healers into killers.

 Most of all, perhaps, it has corrupted liberalism. For all its flaws, liberalism could until the early seventies claim a proud history of standing up for the powerless and downtrodden, of expanding the definition of the community for whom we pledge protection, of resisting the idea that might makes right. The Democratic Party has casually abandoned that legacy. Liberals' commitment to civil rights, it turns out, ends when the constituency in question can offer neither votes nor revenues.

 Abortion-on-demand has, however, also called into being in America a pro-life movement comprising millions of ordinary citizens. Their largely unsung efforts to help pregnant women in distress have prevented countless abortions. And their political witness has helped maintain a pro-life ethic that has stopped millions more. The conversions of conscience have almost all been to the pro-life side--Bernard Nathanson, Nat Hentoff, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese. The conversions of convenience have mostly gone the other way, mainly, politicians who wanted to get ahead in the Democratic Party--Jesse Jackson, Dick Gephardt. The fight against abortion has resulted in unprecedented dialogue and cooperation between Catholics and Protestants, first on moral values and now on theological ones. It has helped transform the Republican Party from a preserve of elite WASPs into a populist and conservative party.

 True, a few politicians of either party--with honorable exceptions like Henry Hyde, Chris Smith, Jesse Helms, Bob Casey, Charles Canady, and Rick Santorum--have provided leadership in the struggle. Not because opposition to abortion is unpopular--throughout the Roe era, 70 percent of the public has supported laws that would prohibit 90 percent of abortions--but because politicians, and even more the consultants and journalists and big-money donors to whom they listen, tend to move in elite circles where accepting abortion is de rigueur and pro-life advocacy at best an offense against good taste. Since everyone they know favors legal abortion, they understandably conclude that everyone does. But there is progress even here. The pro-abortion intellectual front is crumbling. Supporters of the license increasingly concede that what they support is, indeed, the taking of human life. Pro-lifers, their convictions rooted in firmer soil, have not had to make reciprocal concessions.

 There can be little doubt that, left to the normal workings of democracy, abortion laws would generally be protective of infants in the womb. The main obstacle on our path to a society where every child is welcomed in life and protected in law, then, remains what it has always been: the Supreme Court. There abortionism is well entrenched; and last year the Court appeared to slam the door on the legal possibility of a congressional override of its decisions on abortion or anything else. By defining a practice at odds with our deep and settled moral convictions as part of the fundamental law of the land, the Supreme Court has created a slow-motion constitutional crisis. This is what comes of courting death.

1998 by National Review, Inc

. 215 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10016

Reprinted by permission


 
 

Read Pro-Life Books
selected titles available to borrow from People for Life (local area only)

 ______________________

 52 Simple Things You Can Do To Be Pro-Life, Anne Pierson and Carol Risser

 A Private Choice, Abortion in America in the Seventies, John T. Noonan

 Aborted Women, Silent No More, David C. Reardon

 Abortion and Social Justice, Thomas W. Hilgers, M.D. and Dennis J. Horan, J.D.

 Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation, President Ronald Reagan

 Abortion in Perspective, Donald DeMarco, Ph.D.

 Abortion Rites, A Social History of Abortion in America, Marvin Olasky

 Aborting Planned Parenthood, Robert H. Ruff

 Achieving an Abortion-Free America by 2001, Thomas A. Glessner

 Beyond Abortion, A Chronicle of Fetal Experimentation, Suzanne M. Rini

 Blood Money, Getting Rich Off a Woman's Right to Choose, Carol Everett

 Deadly Compassion, The Death of Ann Humphrey and the Truth About Euthanasia, Rita Marker

 Death Before Birth, Harold O.J. Brown

 Dehumanizing the Vulnerable, When Word Games Take Lives, William Brennan

 How to Argue About Abortion, John T. Noonan

 How to Teach the Pro-Life Story, Dr. & Mrs. Jack Wilke

 I will never forget you, Joan Andrews

 In Defense of Life, Confronting The Culture of Death With The Message Of Life, Keith A Fournier

 Life Stories, D.C. Reardon

 Margaret Sanger: Father of Modern Society, Elasah Drogin, T.O.P.

 Night, Elie Wiesel

 Oral Arguments in the Supreme Court Abortion Decisions

 Rachel Weeping, James Tunstead Burtchaell, C.S.C.

 Respectable Killing, the New Abortion Imperative, K.D. Whitehead

 The Abortion Papers: Inside the Abortion Mentality, Bernard N. Nathanson, M.D.

 The Death Peddlers, War On the Unborn, Paul Marx, O.S.B., Ph.D.

 The First Nine Months of Life, The baby's development from conception through birth, Geraldine Lux Flanagan

 The Mourning After, Help for the Post-Abortion Syndrome, Terry L. Selby

 The Right to Live -- The Right to Die, C. Everett Koop, M.D.

 The Zero People, Essays on Life, Jeff Lane Hensley, Editor

 Who Broke the Baby? "A Brilliant Disclosure of What the Abortion Slogans Really Mean," Jean Staker Garton

 Will I Cry Tomorrow? Healing Post Abortion Trauma, Susan M. Stanford-Rue, Ph.D.

 You Reject Them, You Reject Me, The Prison Letters of Joan Andrews, Richard Cowden Guido, Editor
 
 

New officers assume duties

 People for Life elected a new slate of officers on April 20. The terms of office are one year in length, except for the office of president, which has a two year term. The new appointments are:
 

  • Tim Broderick / president Formerly first vice-president, Tim has been active with People for Life as newsletter editor, Office & Resource Center manager, webmaster, and special events publicity person. He is also an alternate director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation. Please feel free to get in touch with Tim at 814-587-2873, or through the PFL Office.
  • Rose Ann Yadeski / first vice-president Rose Ann, who stepped down as president after serving in that capacity for ten years, will continue to serve the organization as first vice-president. PFL will continue to depend on her wealth of knowledge about the management of the organization and its many special projects. Rose Ann also serves as the Director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation for the Northwest Region.
  • Lee Boyes / second vice-president Lee moves from the office of secretary to a vice-presidential position. Among his many contributions to PFL, Lee has helped staff the Office & Resource Center on a regular basis for the past several years.
  • John Hoffman / third vice-president Since early 1995, John has also contributed many hours to staffing the office each week. John has become an invaluable help across the full range of PFL activities.
  • Sandy Greggs / secretary Sandy is the coordinator for the annual Greater Erie Life Chain. She also served as chairperson for PFL's 1998 Pro-Life Prayer Breakfast.
  • Jean Hammer / treasurer Jean has handled the highly demanding job of treasurer for many years. She is also the genius behind the very successful Carnation Project. But no matter what the activity, PFL depends on Jean to keep the project on track and on budget.
  •  Please support PFL and its new slate of officers!
     
     
     
    Pennsylvania Spring Primary -- May 19,1998
    Candidate Survey
    Conducted by the  PRO-LIFE PRO-FAMILY AD HOC COMMITTEE
     The adjoining page [not included here] contains the names of 29 area candidates for public office and 11 questions which were posed to each candidate in a mailed questionnaire.

     Unfortunately, only 11 candidates completed the questionnaire. Ten gave the pro-life response to each and every question; one candidate gave pro-life responses to 10 of the 11 questions.

     Some, no doubt, chose not to respond rather than to advertise their pro-abortion posture throughout the pro-life community.

     However, even some of the pro-life incumbents failed to reply! This is disappointing, but a solid pro-life voting record is, of course, more significant than the failure to reply to a single survey.

     Hopefully, a few more candidates can be prodded into sharing their views between now and the fall elections.

     We hope the survey is informative. Please keep in mind, though, that a survey alone is not necessarily a sufficient basis on which to fully assess a candidate's commitment to the protection of innocent human life.

     Look for additional candidate surveys in future issues of the Erie Echo, unless "campaign reform" legislation makes this impossible, of course! Future surveys might include local candidates from a larger geographical area, if time permits.

    INFORMED CONSENT      Do you support the provision in the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act which requires that a woman seeking an abortion be provided with certain information, including information about the medical risks of abortion, alternatives to abortion, the probable gestational age of the unborn child, the availability of more detailed information about fetal development, and the possibility of medical assistance benefits if the woman decides to continue her pregnancy?

    WAITING PERIOD      Do you support the provision in the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act which requires that certain information be provided to a woman seeking abortion at least 24 hours before the procedure is carried out?

    PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT      Do you support the provision in the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act which requires, if a woman seeking abortion is less than 18 years old, the informed consent of one parent or, if such consent is withheld, an authorization from a court of common pleas?

    ABORTION CONTROL ACT      Do you support the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act in its entirety?

    PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTION      In the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 1997 (H.R. 1122), the Congress of the United States defined partial-birth abortion as "an abortion in which the person performing the abortion partially vaginally delivers a living fetus before killing the fetus and completing the delivery." Do you support a ban on partial-birth abortion which would allow an exception only if the procedure is necessary to save the life of the mother?

    LEGAL PROTECTION FOR THE UNBORN CHILD      If Roe v. Wade is overturned, will you support a state law prohibiting abortion except to prevent the death of the mother?

    RAPE / INCEST EXCEPTIONS      If Roe v. Wade is overturned, will you support a state law prohibiting abortion except in cases of rape or incest, or to prevent the death of the mother?

    HUMAN LIFE AMENDMENT      Do you favor amending the U.S. Constitution to formally recognize the personhood of each human being at all stages of life from conception to natural death?

    LATE TERM ABORTIONS      Would you support a ban on third trimester (post viability) abortions?

    GOVERNMENT FUNDING      Do you oppose the use of public funds for abortion?

    ASSISTED SUICIDE      Would you support legislation to prohibit physician assisted suicide?

     
    Caveat emptor. . .

     "Thank you for giving me the opportunity to respond to the Arkansas Right to Life Questionnaire.... Because many of the questions do concern the issue of abortion, I would like for your members to be informed of my position on the state's responsibility in that area. I am opposed to abortion and to government funding of abortions because so many people believe abortion is wrong.... Again, thank you for allowing me to share my position on this important issue. Sincerely, Bill Clinton"    -- from letter dated September 26, 1986 and signed by the future "Abortion President"
     



     
    From the PA Northwest Region H.S. Oratory Contest

    Love is a beautiful thing...
    By Marcy Vogan, first runner-up

     Love is a beautiful thing; a mother's love perhaps the most beautiful of all, and certainly the most celebrated. Throughout history, the relationship between mother and child has been a wondrous bond, a bond that is formed the moment a woman realizes she is with child. How sad, and how tragic then, that this bond is being severed at one month, at four months and even at eight months into a pregnancy. Our society has buried this bond and this love, and exalted in its place "freedom of choice." These two words, freedom and choice, are very important to our time, and in themselves should be encouraged and valued. It is when they are put together in this context that they become selfish, petty, and cruel. Words that together have ended 35,272,000 lives. These lives were those of innocent unborn children, and were taken in the name of a freedom that makes an hypocrisy of the word. These were 35 million lives that were denied every freedom, and the most important of rights, that to life.

     Twenty-five years ago, the womb of a woman stopped being the haven God meant it to be, and became instead a place where death has free reign. Abortion was made legal, and women were given the power and the means to destroy those who they should protect the most. A developing human child was reduced to being called and thought of as a mass of tissue. The value of human life was, and still is, cheapened by this act. Women now have an "easy way out" of what they consider an inconvenience and a burden. Abortion is made to seem like a huge step forward for our times and a great advancement for women. Abortions are not the safe procedures they are purported to be, however; besides having physical pain to contend with, a woman can also experience intense grief and guilt after an abortion. An abortion does not just take the life of an unborn child; it is also a very real threat to any of a woman's future children, and a threat to the happiness and joy that she would find as a mother. Her chance at motherhood might be forever lost. Abortion is not a benefit to our society, as both abortion and those who advocate it are encouraging women to ignore their most intrinsic qualities and feelings.

     Women have always been acknowledged and praised as the gentler sex. The ones who live for romance and love, comfort with sympathy and tenderness, and have the strength and selflessness to bring their own into this world. It is sad, then, that where once a woman would fiercely protect her unborn babe from any harm, now she fiercely protects her right to kill that unborn child.

     An unborn child it is, and not some inanimate mass of tissue. To say that it does not become a child until birth is a foolish statement. At conception, thousands of characteristics and traits are being decided upon. At that moment, a little boy or a little girl is created. They are not potential lives; they are human beings, future wives and mothers, future husbands and fathers. It only takes one voice to put an end to these futures. An unborn child is as much a part of the man as the woman, yet the man has no say in such a serious, life-or-death decision. Not only can't he put a stop to an abortion; he can't speak his opinion on it either. The women of our society lambaste him for daring to stand up for what he believes in.

     We are not first and foremost women, though, and we are not first and foremost men. We are first and foremost human beings, and as such we need to raise our voices against this unspeakable act, an act that is taking place thousands of times every day in hundreds of abortion clinics across this country.

     The right to life, or the right to choose. Life is a gift from God. Give the unborn a chance. The chance is so much more important that the choice.

     Marcy Vogan is a Junior at Cochranton High School


     Classroom Talks

     As the Echo goes to press, PFL Education Chairperson Ann Wingerter and her daughter Susan are preparing to speak about abortion at Erie Cathedral Prep. They have been invited to present the pro-life message to three moral theology classes, about 90 students in all, on May 4th and 5th.

     Public Service

     PFL member Carol Black is running for a spot on the Republican State Committee. Carol formerly served as a state committeewoman in the Philadelphia area. Since moving to the Erie area several years ago, Carol has been a regular volunteer with People for Life on such projects as the Mother's Day Carnation Fund-Raiser, the fair booths, and the bimonthly newsletter mailings.

    From Lithuania

     Our pro-life contact in Lithuania, Fr. Robertas Skrinskas, informed People for Life in an April 19 e-mail that the Catholic Bishops of Lithuania designated the last Sunday of April as a "Day of Life." The biggest observance was to be in Fr. Skrinskas' home town of Domeikava. His church is named Martyrs of Lithuania. "About 99% of our martyrs," writes Fr. Skrinskas, "are aborted babies." Fr. Skrinskas was planning a trip to Vilnius to personally invite the president of Lithuania to participate in the Day of Life observances!

     Library Additions

     The PFL lending library was recently enhanced when a graduate student from Gannon U. donated a sizable collection of pro-life books and articles. The young lady is a former president of the Pitt University Students for Life and has served in a variety of pro-life activities including crisis pregnancy work and sidewalk counseling. Her generosity is appreciated!

     Christian Hospitality

     The Task Force for Life of Trinity United Methodist Church in Erie invited the officers of People for Life to an "appreciation banquet" on March 24. Also represented at the banquet were the Women's Care Center, Adoption by Choice, and the Abstinence Advantage Program. PFL's officers cordially thank Pastor James McGinnis and the Task Force members of Trinity United Methodist for their kind hospitality, as well as their enthusiastic commitment to the pro-life cause.

     Internet News

     People for Life recently exchanged web site links with WLKK Radio. We are featured in their "Community Resources" section. They are featured on the PFL "Friends & Neighbors" page. The WLKK site contains links to a really amazing array of valuable information. Please visit the WLKK site at http://www.wlkk.com , and thank them for linking to People for Life!

     4000 Crosses

     A group of residents of the Conneautville, PA area are undertaking a special project to help raise public awareness about the national tragedy of abortion. They plan to erect 4000 crosses in a field along Rt. 18 just south of Conneautville during the week of May 18. The crosses, representing the babies killed each day for the past 25 years by abortion in the United States of America, will remain in place throughout the Memorial Day weekend.

     All of Conneautville's Churches and the Promise Keepers are represented among the project's volunteers. However, the effort is being characterized as simply a cooperative undertaking of concerned individuals from the community, not something being orchestrated by any particular organization.

     People for Life will have more information as it becomes available. Call the PFL office at 814-459-1333 for more details, or if you are interested in helping with the project. More information will be available from the PFL e-mail list, also.

     Prom Scene

     People for Life participated in WJET's Prom Scene '98 with a pro-life informational booth at the Millcreek Mall during the weekend of March 21-22. To all who helped staff the booth, thank you! And thanks to WJET for this special opportunity to reach out to the community, especially the teens!


     A special message to our readers
     

     Dear Friends of Life,

     While reminiscing recently about my 10 years as President of People for Life, I was overwhelmed by the number of people who have touched my life in this organization. Mostly, I am touched by the other officers and chairpersons of People for Life who have labored over the years to save unborn babies, as well as our members who have contributed time, money, knowledge and expertise to form the backbone of this "hometown" group. You are people of goodwill and love who work and pray diligently for an end to the killing.

     I have always been proud to be the President of People for Life. I am content to step down from this position because of the confidence I have in our new President, Tim Broderick. Tim is a gifted young man with leadership qualities and many good ideas. God bless you Tim. We are with you in this LIFE effort.

     Rose Ann Yadeski



     
    PEOPLE FOR LIFE, INC.  814.459.1333

      People for Life, Inc. is an all-volunteer, non-profit, nondenominational organization committed to the intrinsic value of human life. People for Life is dedicated to advancing true justice by working for the protection of all innocent human life, whatever the age, race, sex, physical condition, economic status, or place of residence (including the womb). People for Life encourages local involvement through education, political awareness, and the promotion of loving alternatives to the primitive and violent "solutions" of abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia. Together, we can create a society in which all human lives are held sacred.

     The Erie Echo is published bimonthly in Erie by People for Life.
     

    Timothy Broderick, President
    Rose Ann Yadeski, First V.P.
     

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