Thanks, But I Don’t Need the Pope to Forgive My Abortion


By the time I graduated from college in 1978, almost every one of my women friends had had an abortion. The circumstances in each case were different, but the choice we made was the same. I’ve written before about telling my pro-life daughter about my choice years later. I did so because the climate in this country had become so profoundly anti-choice—because male legislators and activists were doing their damnedest to outlaw my decision, and were burning down clinics and murdering doctors who provided this health service—a health service, by the way, that the Supreme Court has deemed perfectly legal—to women like me.

Now here comes Pope Francis, declaring in a letter on Tuesday that the “tragedy of abortion” is “an existential and moral ordeal,” and pitying the “many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonizing and painful decision.” He even instructed priests to offer forgiveness to women who have had abortions.

To which I say, with the utmost respect: No thanks, Your Holiness. Read more »

Chaput Praises Pope’s Abortion Stance

Archbishop Charles Chaput. Photo | Jeff Fusco

Archbishop Charles Chaput. Photo | Jeff Fusco

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput on Tuesday praised Pope Francis‘ decision to allow priests to forgive abortion during the Catholic Church’s forthcoming “Jubilee Year of Mercy.”

“Pope Francis’ recent remarks on absolution for the sin of abortion demonstrate his commitment to all those in need of healing,” Chaput said in a statement released by the archdiocese. “With a special ‘Jubilee Year of Mercy’ set to begin in December, the timing is very welcome.”

Abortion is considered by the church to be a grave sin, and in much of the the world a senior church official is required to give permission for absolution. The policy has been different in Philadelphia, Chaput said. Read more »

Pope Francis Says Priests Can Forgive Abortion


Well, this pope keeps defying expectations, doesn’t he?

The Vatican announced today that priests will be allowed to forgive abortions during the upcoming “Jubilee Year” starting December 8th. Normally, abortion is considered a grave sin that can be absolved only by senior church figures.  The announcement comes just weeks before Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia and an American church that is more divided over issues like gay rights and abortion than doctrine might suggest.

Pope Francis made clear in his order that the church remains committed to its anti-abortion stance, and said that forgiveness will be offered only to those women “who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it.” Read more »

Report: Planned Parenthood Isn’t Harvesting Fetal Tissue in Pa.

Planned Parenthood's offices in Center City. (Google Streetview)

Planned Parenthood’s offices in Center City. (Google Streetview)

Planned Parenthood clinics in Pennsylvania do not participate in the controversial practice of fetal tissue donation, the state’s top health officer says.

“Although donation of fetal tissue is lawful under the Abortion Control Act and federal law, our review has found that Planned Parenthood facilities in Pennsylvania do not participate in this practice,” Secretary of Health Karen Murphy wrote in a letter reported by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Moreover, there is no evidence that any Planned Parenthood site in this commonwealth is involved in the buying or selling of fetal tissue.” Read more »

Planned Parenthood Targets Toomey

Planned Parenthood is running an ad attacking Sen. Pat Toomey, suggesting his vote to defund the organization could be the first step toward a costly government shutdown.

Toomey is one of four “vulnerable” senators in the 2016 election being targeted by the ads, The Hill reports.

“’First Pat Toomey voted to defund Planned Parenthood — risking healthcare for millions of women,’ the Pennsylvania ad says. ‘Now Republicans want to shut down the government — to block funding for Planned Parenthood. What would a shutdown mean for Pennsylvania?’

“The ad then shows a veteran wondering about getting benefits and a senior worrying about Social Security checks.”

Three things to know about this controversy: Read more »

Toomey, Casey on Opposite Sides of Planned Parenthood Debate

Pat Toomey, left; Bob Casey Jr., right.

Pat Toomey, left; Bob Casey Jr., right.

In recent weeks, a pro-life group has released several videotapes purporting to show Planned Parenthood officials haggling over the price their organization will be paid for fetal tissue, from abortions, that it provides to researchers. The tapes have sparked a new battle over federal support for the organization, and Sens. Pat Toomey and Bob Casey Jr. find themselves on opposite sides. Read more »

House Resolution Seeks to Honor Homophobic Pro-Life Advocate John Patrick Stanton [UPDATED]

Swearing in

Via Shutterstock.

The late John Patrick Stanton was called “the father of Philadelphia’s pro-life movement” by and the “pro-life movement’s leading light” by Catholic Philly. He lead radical anti-abortion protests outside the Planned Parenthood location at 12th and Locust for years. His protests were often so disruptive that he was arrested. Now, the PA House is attempting to pass a resolution to honor Mr. Stanton as a “humanitarian, activist and founder of the pro life movement in this Commonwealth,” despite information distributed to members of a House committee alleging that he was violent and homophobic toward to patients, community members, and Representative Brian Sims. Read more »

Anti-Abortion Lawmakers: Wolf Nominee “Failed Miserably” on Gosnell

Pedro Cortes  | official portrait. Tom Wolf | Jason Plotkin AP/York Daily Record

Pedro Cortes | official portrait. Tom Wolf | Jason Plotkin AP/York Daily Record

A coalition of anti-abortion lawmakers is opposing Gov. Tom Wolf’s nominee for secretary of state, Pedro Cortes, saying Cortes didn’t do enough to stop Kermit Gosnell, the West Philly abortion doctor who was convicted of killing babies born alive.

Forty-nine members of the Pennsylvania Legislature sent Wolf a letter opposing Cortes’ nomination, PennLive reports: Read more »

Gosnell-Inspired Bill Targets Infanticide, Illegal Abortions

State capitol |

State capitol |

A bill that would lengthen the statute of limitations for crimes of the sort committed by “House of Horrors” abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell has been introduced in the Pennsylvania House.

The bill, introduced Tuesday, would entirely set aside the statute of limitations for infanticide, the killing of a baby born alive during the course of an abortion or pregnancy termination. Furthermore, the statute of limitations for illegal abortions performed after the 24th week of gestation would likewise be increased to five years. Currently, prosecutors cannot bring charges in either case if more than two years has elapsed.

“Infanticide is homicide and should be treated as such,” Rep. Matthew Baker, a Republican, wrote in a memorandum explaining the bill. Read more »

Anti-Abortion Group to Broadcast Videos of Abortions on Independence Mall

Images of bloody, dead fetuses will be projected on a 10 foot by 12 foot screen at Independence Mall on Friday, as part of an anti-abortion protest. The group received a permit for all day, but the images are scheduled to run on a constant loop from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Created Equal, an Ohio-based anti-abortion group that compares its stance to Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement on its website, is holding the rally. “It seems fitting to me that we are launching this campaign in the very place where our nation’s founders penned those words, created equal,” Mark Harrington, Created Equal’s national director, told the Inquirer. “We are still battling for equal rights. In this case, it is the pre-born who are being discriminated against.”

The group also said it would project videos of “abortions in progress” on the screen.

Read more »

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