By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
During a recent televised town hall event in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, pro-abortion Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders doubled down on his acceptance of abortion for any reason during all nine months of pregnancy.
If you had tuned into the Sen. Sanders’ town hall, you would have thought that all of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is dedicated to expanding abortion in any way possible.
While Sen. Sanders received the lion’s share of media attention, what you might not be aware of is another town hall—this one dedicated to life—which was also held in Bethlehem.
While it may not have appeared on cable news, the town hall hosted by Pennsylvanians for Human Life, Bethlehem/Easton (a chapter of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation) did receive extensive coverage in the area’s hometown newspaper, the Bethlehem Press.
The report began with a situation many news outlets are ignoring—the state of affairs in New York state.
The opening paragraph read, “Legislation legalizing late-term abortion on demand in New York and other states has sparked national controversy and focused attention in the Lehigh Valley on pending legislation in Pennsylvania.”
That “legislation” is the Down Syndrome Protection Act, a common sense disability rights measure which would ban abortion for the sole reason of a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis. The bill won overwhelming, bipartisan support in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and is now pending in the state Senate.
As the Federation’s Executive Director, Michael Ciccocioppo, told the crowd, “People with Down syndrome go to school, work, have meaningful relationships and contribute to society in so many ways.”
During the well-attended event, Bonnie Finnerty, the Education Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, told about her own unplanned pregnancy in college and how she overcame pro-abortion pressure from a campus doctor to choose life for her child. (That child is now 31 years old and married to an actual rocket scientist.)
Meanwhile, one of the attendees, Anna Atiyeh, president of a group called Lehigh Valley Pro-Life Future, told the Press, “Women who are considering abortion need to know that there are people who will support them if they choose life for their baby.”
Those people include the staff members and volunteers of the many pregnancy resource centers throughout the Keystone State, which offer everything from diapers to day care referrals for pregnant women and their families.
The Press coverage of the pro-life town hall meeting paints a much different portrait of Pennsylvania than what was on display at Sen. Sanders’ town hall. A vibrant pro-life community lives, works, and volunteers in the Commonwealth—and a New York-style permissive abortion law is the last thing they want to see in the cradle of democracy that helped give birth to the United States.