Press Release Archive

DATE: January 21, 1999
RE: Statement by PFL's President on the eve of the 26th annual March for Life in Washington, DC

DATE: January 11, 1999
RE: Pro-Life Prayer Breakfast and Greater Erie March & Motorcade for Life

DATE: December 31, 1998
RE: 26th March for Life

DATE: December 28, 1997
RE: January Pro-Life Activities

People for Life, Inc., northwestern Pennsylvania's largest pro-life educational organization, will sponsor three events during the month of January to mark the 25th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision.

Roe v. Wade and its companion decision, Doe v. Bolton, both issued on January 22, 1973, nullified the abortion laws of all 50 states which had previously protected women from exploitation and their unborn babies from death.

January 17, 1998 -- Pro-Life Prayer Breakfast

U.S. Senator Rick Santorum will be the main speaker at People for Life's 20th annual Pro-Life Prayer Breakfast. Senator Santorum is the primary sponsor of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 1997 and a leader in the effort to override President Clinton's recent veto of that legislation.

The Prayer Breakfast will begin at 9:30 AM on Saturday, January 17, 1998. The location is the Avalon Hotel, 16 West 10th Street in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Rev. Jeff Greenway, Pastor of Christ United Methodist Church, will deliver the Invocation. The Wesley Lamplighters of Wesley United Methodist Church will present a puppet show. And Fr. Fred Bentley, Pastor of St. James Anglican Catholic Church, will conclude the Breakfast with a Blessing.

Reservations are $6.50 per person, $3.00 for ages 6-10, and free for children 5 and younger. The last day for ticket sales is January 12, 1998.

The Pro-Life Prayer Breakfast is an interfaith event. The entire community is cordially invited.

January 17, 1998 -- Greater Erie March & Motorcade for Life

The Pro-Life Prayer Breakfast will be followed by the 20th Greater Erie March & Motorcade for Life. The March & Motorcade is a quiet expression of community concern about the very serious harm that continues to be done to unborn children, women, families, and the entire fabric of society by the 1973 Supreme Court decisions which imposed legal abortion on every community in the United States of America.

The March & Motorcade will commence from the Avalon at approximately 12:00 noon. It will proceed north on State Street, west on South Park Row, and around the entire perimeter of Perry Square. The March & Motorcade will conclude at the Gazebo, where the marchers will place red roses in an empty crib symbolizing 37 MILLION missing children, killed under Roe v. Wade.

A brief memorial service for all victims of abortion will be conducted at the Gazebo by Fr. Glen Whitman, Pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish, Girard, Pennsylvania.

January 21-22, 1998 -- Bus Trip to the 25th March for Life, Washington, DC

People for Life has chartered buses to the 25th March for Life in Washington, DC, which takes place January 22, 1998.

The March for Life calls attention each January to the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. This year's March will also emphasize the undiminished -- indeed, the growing -- resolve in the United States to restore protection to unborn children and their mothers. Recalling the proud movement to abolish American Slavery, and borrowing a sentiment from Julia Ward Howe's 1862 Battle Hymn of the Republic, the theme of the 25th March for Life is "HIS TRUTH KEEPS MARCHING ON!"

The March for Life usually attracts 100,000 to 125,000 participants. However, this 25th anniversary March is expected to draw one of the largest crowds ever.

The March will be preceded by a Rally at noon in the Ellipse adjacent to the South Lawn of the White House. Miss Norma McCorvey (the Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade), Mrs. Sandra Cano (the Mary Doe of Doe v. Bolton) and Dr. Bernard Nathanson, M.D. (a founder of the organization known today as the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, or NARAL) will each address the marchers, calling for the reversal of Roe v. Wade and restoration of legal protection for the lives of unborn children.

The 25th March for Life begins at 1:00 PM. From the Ellipse, the March will proceed along Constitution Avenue for about 2 1/2 miles, concluding at the U.S. Supreme Court Building. Many marchers choose to pause in front of the Supreme Court for a time of quiet demonstration and prayer.

Immediately following the March, northwestern Pennsylvanians will attend meetings arranged by Congressman Phil English and Senator Rick Santorum.

Reservations for the Bus Trip will be accepted until January 19. The cost of a bus seat is $30.00.

Marchers will board the buses at 11:15 PM in the evening of January 21, 1998, at the St. George parking lot on upper Peach Street. Meadville area marchers will board at a predetermined location near the Meadville I-79 Interchange.

One hundred fifty to 200 or more area residents are expected to make the trip.

For more information, please contact People for Life (814) 459-1333.

Much more information is also available at

DATE: September 4, 1997
RE: Greater Erie Life Chain

The Greater Erie Life Chain will take place on Sunday, October 5, 1997 between 2:30 and 4:00 PM. Many hundreds of people from Erie and the surrounding communities will be seen demonstrating against abortion along Peach Street and West 38th Street in Erie, PA.

Life Chain is a public expression of opposition to abortion with several messages.

Life Chain sees abortion as an evil which has become commonplace in society due to a spiritual blindness -- a lack of reverence and gratitude for the lives of the weak and the vulnerable. Life Chain is intended to be an ardent reminder to the community that all human lives are worthwhile and that, in fact, all human lives are sacred. Thus, Life Chain is a call to spiritual awakening. This message assumes a markedly Christian flavor, consistent with the prevailing religious beliefs of area residents. The spiritual consequences of abortion, particularly for the abortive mother, are also of open concern. One of Life Chain's expressly stated themes is "Jesus Forgives and Heals."

Life Chain also sees abortion as an evil with very public consequences, hence the public nature of the Life Chain demonstration. "Abortion Kills Children" is another expressly stated theme of Life Chain. Abortion is the deliberate denial of the most fundamental of human rights. It is the deliberate taking of an innocent human life, something that cannot be ignored, even when done in private.

The protection of basic human rights is the central, overriding purpose and duty of any legitimate government. By sanctioning abortion on demand, the government of the United States has forsaken the most fundamental of human rights. A government that chooses not to respect the absolute nature of the most fundamental of human rights is a government that has discarded the very notion of absolute principles. Under such a government all human rights, and all civil rights, are in serious jeopardy. Minorities are threatened most of all.

While Life Chain's message, then, is one of love and concern, it is also a sober warning. Public policies which fail to uphold the Right to Life seriously endanger the very foundations of government and society. This should be all the more obvious to a nation the government of which is expressly anchored in, and validated by, the presupposition that "ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL, THAT THEY ARE ENDOWED BY THEIR CREATOR WITH CERTAIN UNALIENABLE RIGHTS, [AND] THAT AMONG THESE ARE LIFE...." (Statement may be attributed to Tim Broderick, Life Chain volunteer.)

  • The Life Chain will extend along Peach St. from St. George Catholic Church to W. 38th St. and west along 38th St. to the vicinity of Faith Bible Book Store.

  • Life Chain spokespeople will be available for interviews at the information center in the St. George parking lot.

  • Information about contacting the Life Chain coordinator will be mailed to the major area news outlets.

  • The local pro-life group People for Life, 814-459-1333, is also available to answer questions and provide comments about Life Chain.

DATE: August 13, 1997
RE: We Love Erie Days -- Pro-Life Activities

People for Life, Inc. is pleased to announce its first participation in We Love Erie Days, August 14 - 17. People for Life volunteers will be on hand to make the case for defending all innocent human lives from conception to natural death. They will staff a pro-life exhibit, discuss right to life issues, and offer information about abortion, assisted suicide, euthanasia, and related topics.

People for Life has, for a number of years, used similar formats to deliver the pro-life message at the Erie area agricultural fairs, i.e., Wattsburg, Waterford, and Albion. We find people to be very interested in what we have to say. Unfortunately, we also find that a surprising number of our friends and neighbors are seriously underinformed, or worse, misinformed about such topics as fetal development, the legal status of abortion in the United States, the anguish experienced by many women as a result of abortion, the positions of our elected officials on right to life issues, and so forth.

Not everyone appreciates our concerns about such things as the state sanctioned taking of 1.2 million human lives per year (1994) by abortion; the deliberate killing of viable and nearly viable infants -- four-fifths delivered -- by partial-birth abortion; and the promotion, in some circles, of the idea that health care for the frail and the elderly ought to include lethal injections. However, People for Life is quite certain that, once Americans are fully informed as to all of the facts and all of the arguments for and against the arbitrary taking of innocent human life, they will overwhelmingly reject such things as abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia. America will recognize these practices for what they are, primitive violence unworthy of a modern civilized society.

DATE: June 11, 1997
SUBJECT: Crimes Against the Unborn Child Act (S. 45)

The Crimes Against the Unborn Child Act was passed by the Pennsylvania Senate yesterday, June 10, 1997 with a vote of 38 to 11. The wide margin is especially interesting because this measure was vigorously opposed by NOW and Planned Parenthood. Once again, these groups have demonstrated their extremism and their calculating determination to promote abortion at all costs. The human life of a mother's unborn child should count for nothing, even if the mother has chosen to give birth to that child -- according to NOW and Planned Parenthood. Thankfully, the Pennsylvania Senate is not so cold and callused.

Even some of the 11 votes in opposition were due to minor technical concerns about the bill's wording, not to opposition to the principle of fetal homicide legislation, according to the office of State Senator Bob Robbins.

If this legislation is signed by the Governor, Pennsylvania will join 25 other states which have already updated their laws in order to protect the rights of pregnant women -- and to conform the law to the realities of prenatal human life as understood by modern medicine.

DATE: May 15, 1997
SUBJECT: Today's anticipated Senate vote on partial-birth abortion

The US Senate is expected to vote today [The vote on S.6 was susequently postponed until Tuesday, May 20.] on legislation that would stop partial-birth abortions. In these procedures, which, on average, occur in the United States at least 10 times every day, a living human fetus is drawn from his or her mother's womb in a breech position. But the child is never born alive. The physician pauses the delivery while the child's head remains just inside the birth canal and deliberately kills the child.

Physicians who use this partial-birth procedure confirm that in the vast majority of cases it is used to terminate medically routine pregnancies involving young, healthy mothers and perfectly normal, healthy infants.

Medical authorities, including the former United States surgeon general, C Everett Koop, and the 500 or more member Physicians' Ad Hoc Coalition for Truth, have stated categorically that this process of partial delivery followed by the destruction of the human fetus / baby is never medically indicated for the preservation of a woman's life, health, or future fertility.

Polls indicate that 80% of Americans say that partial-birth abortions must stop. Last year, the US Congress concurred and vote overwhelmingly to ban partial-birth abortions, narrowly failing to override Bill Clinton's veto. The Congress has again responded to the will of the people with another effort to ban partial-birth abortion.

Mrs. Rose Ann Yadeski, president of the Erie-based pro-life advocacy group, People for Life, issued the following statement yesterday:

On behalf of our membership and the many people of northwestern Pennsylvania who share our determination to stop partial-birth abortion, I want to express our deep appreciation to Senator Rick Santorum for his tireless and passionate leadership in exposing the truth about this abortion procedure and in sponsoring the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 1997 (S.6).

We urge Senator Arlen Specter to continue his opposition to partial-birth abortion by supporting Senate Bill S.6 and by rejecting the amendment that is being promoted by Senator Tom Daschle of South Dakota. Daschle's proposal would render this legislation completely worthless as a means of preventing partial-birth abortions.

Senator Daschle's amendment is being called a compromise alternative to Senator Santorum's Partial-Birth Abortion Ban. However, according to Daschle's proposal, partial-birth abortion would be treated no differently than any of the other more conventional abortion methods. The proposal would, in fact, do absolutely nothing to prevent partial-birth abortions in the late second trimester, from the 20th through the 24th weeks of pregnancy, when the great majority of these procedures take place.

Daschle's proposal purports to restrict "late term" abortions. It fails, however, to specify any objective time limit beyond which abortions would clearly be restricted. Instead, Daschle's proposal is based on the highly subjective and elusive criteria of "viability," the ability to survive outside the womb.

When a particular fetus has reached the point of viability is a "judgment call" that Daschle's proposal entrusts to the sole discretion of the abortion doctor.

After viability, Daschle's proposal would sanction abortion when there exists a risk of what Daschle has termed "grievous injury" to the mother.

Those opposed to a ban on the partial-birth procedure have often complained that the term "partial-birth abortion" is not a recognized medical term and that it is, therefore, too vague and confusing, even though a clear definition is included in the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act itself. The word "grievous" is also not a medical term, and it is not objectively defined in the Daschle proposal. Rather, the definition is simply left up to the sole discretion of the abortion doctor.

When a pregnancy is terminated after viability, the killing of the fetus is not an unavoidable necessity; rather, it is an option. In stipulating undefined health risks as a sufficient reason for any abortion, that is any killing, of an unborn child that is capable of independent life outside of the womb, the Daschle proposal raises a profound question: Exactly how, in such cases, does the delivery of a dead baby benefit the mother's health more than the delivery of a living baby?

The American Medical Association, in a report just released, tells us:

Except in extraordinary circumstances, maternal health factors which demand termination of pregnancy can be accommodated without sacrificing the fetus, and the near certainty of the independent viability of the fetus argues for ending the pregnancy by appropriate delivery" (emphasis added).

But, whatever the merits of Senator Daschle's late-term abortion proposal, it must not be allowed to interfere with the business of addressing the practice of partial-birth abortion. If Daschle is serious about doing something to regulate third trimester abortions, he should be willing to introduce his proposals as separate, free-standing legislation and not as a "killer amendment" to legislation specifically designed to stop the heinous practice of partial-birth abortion/infanticide.

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