Author Archive

It Should Have Been Unanimous

December 15, 2011

SB 732, the common sense bill to require abortion centers in Pennsylvania to meet the same health and safety standards required of all outpatient surgery centers, passed the State House and Senate overwhelmingly this week. This action comes about 11 months after a Philadelphia grand jury report detailed horrific conditions at the Women’s Medical Society abortion center in West Philadelphia, with resulting murder charges against abortionist Kermit Gosnell and some members of his family and staff.

Following the release of the grand jury report, inspections of all other Pennsylvania abortion clinics (which had not taken place for more than 15 years) were quickly conducted, and revealed dangerous, subpar conditions in a number of the clinics.

Even so, the usual suspects (like the ACLU and Planned Parenthood) railed against SB 732, some even calling us and other supporters out by name, suggesting that if the Pennsylvania Family Institute supports it, it must really be an attack on women and the “reproductive freedom.” Yes, we are a pro-life organization, one that hopes to see all innocent human life protected from conception until natural death. And that pro-life conviction also guides us to protect the health and safety of all people— including women and girls who have been lied to by our society (and let down by our laws) into thinking that abortion is the answer to their current problem or crisis. It is not.

Perhaps most dismaying in the entire debate over SB 732 is the fact that no member of the House or Senate Black Caucus voted in favor of the bill, save one. This despite the fact that the grand jury report on the Gosnell scandal clearly shows that Gosnell preyed upon and targeted minority women (as the abortion industry does as a whole). More then two-thirds of abortion clinics are located in black and minority communities.

The one, the only, African-American legislator who did vote for SB 732 was Rep. Margo Davidson, a Democrat from Delaware County. After the vote tally, she courageously took to the floor to explain her yes vote, dedicated to the memory of her cousin, Semika Shaw, who died at age 22, one of Gosnell’s victims. Said Rep. Davidson:

“Today I honor her memory by voting yes on this legislation, that seeks to safeguard the health of women, that is long overdue, so that never again will a woman walk into a licensed health care facility in the State of Pennsylvania and be butchered as she was. Today I thank the members of this House that supported this legislation for the safety of women.”

I also thank the 150 House and 32 Senate members who voted to pass HB 732. Frankly, it should have been unanimous.

History, Thanksgiving and You

November 23, 2011

From the entire staff and board of the Pennsylvania Family Institute, please accept my wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.  What a wonderful tradition it is in our nation, so greatly blessed by God, that from our earliest days we have set aside a day to jointly acknowledge God and to thank our Creator for our manifold blessings.

We here at Pennsylvania Family Institute are thankful to God and to our many friends across Pennsylvania and beyond, for providing the sustaining support for our ongoing pro-family work.  We are truly blessed.

As you prepare for Thanksgiving Day tomorrow, may I recommend reading this short column by L. John Van Til, of Grove City College’s Center for Vision and Values?  It provides a short history of Thanksgiving in America, and reminds us what is at the core of this special holiday.

As always, we stand ready to serve you in any way we can, and welcome any prayer concerns you may have so that we might pray for you.

Happy Thanksgiving!

With gratitude,

Michael Geer, President

Penn State, Wet Hair and a Mother’s Love

November 15, 2011

What was missing at Penn State?  Love.

Here, I post a thoughtful piece by Tim Henderson, director of Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru) at Penn State.  A must read.

Excerpt:

“First, though, consider two of the victims described in the grand jury’s findings in the case against former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky. According to the report a graduate assistant saw a 10-year-old boy (victim two) pressed against a shower wall being raped. The assistant then left, eventually called his boss, and reported what he had seen, just as he was legally obligated to do.

In contrast, when victim six returned home from a visit with Sandusky, his mom noticed he had wet hair. On the basis of that small detail alone she was concerned and learned that they had showered together. Immediately this mom called the police, cooperated in a wiretap, confronted Sandusky to his face, interrogated him about the details of showering with her son, grilled him about the effect he had on her son, and rebuked him, telling him never to shower with another boy again.”

What’s the difference between these cases?

Love.

Read the rest here.

From Dr. Albert Mohler: The Tragic Lessons of Penn State

November 10, 2011

Dr. Albert Mohler writes an insightful piece on the Penn State scandal, and the broader changes that should result from it.

“The detonation of the Penn State scandal must shake the entire nation into a new moral awareness.”

http://www.albertmohler.com/2011/11/10/the-tragic-lessons-of-penn-state-a-call-to-action/

School Choice Advances: SB1 Passes Committee

October 25, 2011

Senate Bill 1 passed the Senate Education Committee this morning by a 9-2 vote. The school choice bill encompasses several advances in education reform: grants for children in the poorest performing schools in the state; expansion of the Education Improvement Tax Credit; and changes in charter school funding and approval processes. Here is a link to a roll call of the committee vote.

Mounting Doubts About Same-Sex “Marriage” | First Things

October 21, 2011

Important article by Brian Raum.
Mounting Doubts About Same-Sex “Marriage” | First Things
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A Stirring Motto for the Princeton University Pro-Life Student Group

October 3, 2011

I stopped by the Princeton Pro-Life website this morning, after noting that Dr. Russell Moore spoke at their Respect Life banquet last night. I was moved by the student group’s motto, Condiscipulorum Absentium Gratia, which translated means “for the sake of our missing classmates.” The website says “the motto is a reminder of the many lives lost to abortion every day, some of whom would have been here at Princeton with us now, had they been allowed to live.”   Worth thinking about today.

 

PA Coalition Against Domestic Violence Absurdly Wrong on SB 732

September 29, 2011

Today, the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV) sent a memorandum to members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, encouraging them to vote against Senate Bill 732, a bill that would simply apply the same health and safety standards to abortion clinics that have applied to all outpatient surgical facilities for decades.

SB 732 was drafted in direct response to the “House of Horrors” situation uncovered at Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s abortion clinic in West Philadelphia. In fact, the report of the Grand Jury convened by the Philadelphia District Attorney specifically calls for such equivalent regulation of abortion clinics and other surgical facilities. It’s simply common sense.

However, not only does common sense escape PCADV’s Executive Director, Peg Dierkers (the author of the memo), but so too do the facts. Throughout the memo, Ms. Dierkers says that SB 732 “would regulate Pennsylvania family planning clinics as Ambulatory Surgical Facilities.” Wrong. SB 732 only applies to abortion clinics that do surgical abortions after 9 weeks gestation (typically when general anesthesia may be used). The bill is not aimed at “family planning clinics”; in fact, such clinics are not mentioned in the bill.

Incredibly, the word “abortion” is not mentioned in Ms. Dierker’s memo! That’s right. In a several-hundred word memo written in opposition to a bill to regulate abortion clinics, the word “abortion” does not even appear once! Why?

I contend it’s because it really doesn’t make any sense for an organization that fights domestic violence to also be fighting a bill that protects women from unscrupulous abortionists. And so, extreme verbal gymnastics were employed, along with blatant factual misstatements, to try and justify PCADV’s incongruous position on SB 732.

Severe violence, including murder, was perpetrated against women and babies for decades at the Gosnell clinic. Without question, some of those women were at the clinic under duress, forced there by men seeking to erase the life they helped create. I’ve seen men strong-arming their girlfriend, wife or daughter into an abortion clinic, participating in what truly is the ultimate act of domestic violence, the taking of life in what should be the safest place on earth: the mother’s womb.

PCADV would do well to not only support SB 732, but to rethink its stand on abortion altogether.

PFI Headquarters Safe & Dry

September 12, 2011

Thanks for the calls and emails of concern regarding the Harrisburg flooding and the Pennsylvania Family Institute offices. All is well at our office. Although our building sits right on the riverfront (across from City Island) it is on high ground and is not prone to flooding. It did not even flood in the aftermath of Hurricane Agnes in 1972.  A picture of the building is below; Susquehanna River is to the left.

 

First building on right.

Here's a Google Streetview picture of our building (first on right)

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The Chilling of Our First Amendment Rights

July 21, 2011

An absolute MUST read by Maggie Gallagher.  Chilling indeed.  (First published on National Review Online)


The Chilling of Our First Amendment Rights – By Maggie Gallagher – The Corner – National Review Online
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