Pennsylvanians for Human Life Logo - PHL provides educational information 
                                              to approximately 35,000 people each 
                                              year. Pennsylvanians for Human Life Logo - PHL provides educational information 
                                              to approximately 35,000 people each 


Middle School/Freshman Presentations:
  1. Middle School
  2. Freshmen
  3. Alternatives to abortion
  4. Aftermath of the abortion decision
Middle School

Presentation to 6th, 7th and 8th grade students illustrates:

  • The irreplaceable value of each human being’s life
  • The development of life in the womb
  • The beauty and wonder of the unborn child at every stage of development
  • The uniqueness of each person from the moment of conception
  • Explains the laws regarding abortion: Roe vs. Wade and Doe vs. Bolton in detail
  • Current laws in Pennsylvania, including the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act and Unborn Victims of Violence Act.

Visual Aids

VIDEO: A Baby's First Months...Infinite Possibilities

Fetal Models

How You Began: A set of life-size fetal models displaying growth and development of unborn babies 4, 6, 10, 14 and 18 weeks after conception.

Touch of Life: Life-size fetal models of BIOLIKETM synthetic material representing average sizepre-born babies 10, 15, 20 and 30 weeks after conception.


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This presentation gives the fundamental message of PHL contained in our Mission Statement:

"To reach as many people as possible with the message that every human life from conception to natural death has absolute worth, irreplaceable value and the right to lifelong protection." To that end it concentrates on the beauty of life before birth (focusing on the undeniable humanity of the child) and gives an introduction to what abortion is and the laws that have kept it legal now for 37 years."

  1. Human life begins at conception.

  2. Scientifically, the fertilized egg has everything to satisfy being human and alive.

    • DNA, chromosomes, gender
    • A separate life from the mother, though dependant on her
  3. The developing child in the womb has three names and characteristics associated with its age in weeks from conception.
    • Zygote - Conception to 2 weeks; travels from Fallopian tube to uterus; amazing growth cell by cell (mitosis)
    • Embryo - 2 weeks to 8 weeks; implantation, heartbeat at 19 days, brain waves at 42 days, etc.
    • Fetus - 8 weeks-birth; at 8 weeks all organ systems are functioning
  4. Abortion is a procedure that ends a pregnancy by destroying and removing the developing child.
    • Abortion is the most common medical procedure.
    • Kills the child, harms the woman
    • 55 million abortions performed in the US since '73; 85% of all abortions are done 8-12 weeks
  5. Abortion was made legal in our country with the Supreme Court handing down the Roe vs. Wade decision on January 22, 1973.
    • Discuss the details of the case, what the decision said; describe the companion case Doe vs. Bolton- and the "health" of the woman exception
    • The right to "privacy"; PA Abortion Control Act
  6. Alternatives to Abortion

Viable - defined in the Encarta dictionary of MEDICINE –a word used to describe a fetus that can survive outside the womb.

Not long ago viability was 30 weeks; then 25 weeks. Now viability is even earlier.
What will it be tomorrow? Science is constantly making progress in this area.

The extreme speed with which both our understanding of human biology and our clinical practices are advancing, affects a new category of patient – the unborn fetus.
William J. Larsen, Ph.D., Essentials of Human Embryology

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Conception takes place in the fallopian tube when the mother’s egg (ovum) and the father’s sperm meet, each contributing 23 chromosomes – resulting in the creation of a brand new cell.

The father’s 23 chromosomes include either the X or Y chromosome, which will determine the gender of the baby.

» The human ovum is about the size of a pencil point!
» The fallopian tube is approximately 4” long and can be compared to a bristle on a hair brush.

» An egg survives 12-24 hours only.

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Fetal Development

When does life begin? At conception!

1. Zygote stage (conception to 10 days)
Baby’s own DNA – genetic make-up; gender and blood type are present at moment of conception. Zygote is the name used to describe the developing baby for the first two weeks.

This tiny new cell, smaller than a grain of salt, contains all of the genetic information for every detail of the newly created life – the color of the hair and eyes, and the skin tone.
The baby’s heart is beating before the mother misses her first period.

Mitosis – the process of cells multiplying as they travel down the fallopian tube during the Zygote stage.

The lining of the uterus prepares for implantation.

At no time after conception is this child a part of the woman’s body. It is merely using her womb as an anchorage; the mother’s contributions are nutrition and oxygen.

Please note – when a pregnant woman is hospitalized, there are always two charts at the end of her bed - one for the unborn baby and one for the mother.
Two different doctors will care for the woman – a pediatrician or neonatalogist for the baby and an obstetrician for the woman.

It is helpful to understand that a woman’s uterus (womb) is normally a hard muscle and the cervix is soft. After conception and implantation occurs, the uterus becomes soft and flexible and the cervix becomes hard and tightly shut. The closed cervix now will protect the unborn baby from infection and will start to reopen when the amniotic fluid starts to leak, indicating the start of the journey down the birth canal. The baby is delivered, the umbilical cord is cut and then app. 15-30 minutes later, the woman continues to experience contractions and the placenta and umbilical cord, the "afterbirth" are delivered. During the next 24 hours, contractions continue and the uterus starts the process of shrinking back to the way it was before conception.

A popular point often heard for abortion rights is “it’s my body and I can do whatever I want” When a woman is pregnant, there are two bodies – the woman’s AND the unborn baby’s.

At no time is the unborn a part of the mother’s body. She is providing only an anchorage.

2. Embryo stage - (two to eight weeks)
The fertilized cell travels out of the fallopian tube and implants onto the wall of the uterus (womb). Once implantation occurs, hormones trigger the mother’s body to sustain a pregnancy and prevent a monthly period.

Trophoblast surrounds the embryo. It is a filmy substance that will turn into the placenta and umbilical cord. The umbilical cord connects a baby with her mother via the placenta. The placenta is part of this new life and is not part of the mother. The baby receives oxygen and nourishment from the mother, through the umbilical cord.

The embryo sits in a sac of amniotic fluid.
Heartbeat, brain waves and foundation of entire nervous system are present.
   » At 3 weeks (19 days), doctors can hear the heartbeat with a stethoscope.
   » At 6 weeks the brain waves can be detected.
   » At 7 weeks the skeletal system is complete. Baby has a mouth with lips, an early tongue.
   » At 8 weeks the fingerprints are set. The baby is app. ½” long.

Fetus is Latin for “little one.” This is what a developing baby is called from 8 weeks until birth.

At 10 weeks every organ is in place and starting to function. Bones begin to calcify at this time. From this point, the baby will only grow and mature.

Tiny human feet are completely formed. The fingerprints will NEVER change for the rest of our lives.
   » At 10 weeks the baby is highly sensitive to touch (when eyelids or palms are touched, they        close).
   » Baby can squint, swallow, stick out his tongue.
   » The baby is sensitive to light at 16 weeks.
   » The baby responds to sounds at 27 weeks.
   » The baby sleeps 90-95% of the day at 32 weeks, and sometimes experiences REM sleep, an indication of dreaming.
   » 2/3 of human development takes place in mother’s womb.

Abortion destroys this living, human being.

Statistics compiled by the Alan Guttmacher Institute – January 2011

In 2008, 1.21 million pregnancies were terminated by abortion in the United States.
About 2% of all women aged 15-44 have had an abortion.
22% of all pregnancies end in abortion.

The U.S. Share of Abortions Worldwide is 3%. (97% of all other abortions occur in other countries).

Abortions by gestational age
7- 12 weeks - 89%
13-20 weeks - 10%
21 + weeks - 1%

43% of American women will have at least one abortion by age 45. AGI 1994 study entitled "Unintended Pregnancy in the US.

Rate of abortion by race/ethnicity – per 1,000 women
White – 36%
Black – 30%
Hispanic – 25%

Rate of abortion by age group
15-19 - 18%
20-24 - 33%
25-29 - 24%
30-34 - 14%
35-39 - 8%

Women who have never married obtain two-thirds of all abortions.

Guttmacher Institute/January 2011

93% of women who had 'elective' abortions cited no emotional support as their #1 reason to abort. The 2nd reason cited - money.

According to the PA. Dept. of Health, in 2009, there were 37, 284 abortions performed in Pennsylvania, and of these, 14,462 were performed on residents of Philadelphia.

Fetology is the study of unborn babies. Scientific evidence confirms that human life begins at conception.

The late Jerome LeJeune, MD, Ph.D., one of the world’s foremost authorities in the field of genetics, taught us much about the intricacies of the beginning of human life. Dr. LeJeune called that very first cell, the fertilized egg, “the most specialized cell under the sun”. He explained that the fertilized egg contains more information about the new individual than can be stored in five sets (not volumes) of the Encyclopedia Brittanica. No other cell will ever again have the same instructions as those in the life of the individual being created.

In the words of Dr. LeJeune, “Each of us has a very precise starting point which is the time at which the whole necessary and sufficient genetic information is gathered inside one cell, the fertilized egg, and this is the moment of fertilization. There is not the slightest doubt about that, and we know that this information is written on a kind of ribbon which we call the DNA”.

“At no time”, Dr. LeJeune stated, “is the human being a blob of protoplasm. As far as your nature is concerned, I see no difference between the early person that you were at conception and the late person that you are now. You were, and are, a human being.”

[ Dr. LeJeune discovered the chromosome abnormality in humans that causes Down syndrome. Down syndrome is caused by the presence of an extra chromosome, known as chromosome 21, found in every cell of the body of a person with Down syndrome. ]

Ashley Montague, Geneticist and Professor at Harvard and Rutgers, who is unsympathetic to the pro-life cause, said clearly, “The basic fact is simple: life begins not at birth, but conception”.

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Legality of abortion

Roe v. Wade

Prior to 1967 every state prohibited abortion except to save the life of the mother. After 1967, Colorado, California, New York, Alaska and Hawaii were the first states to legalize abortion.

The Roe v. Wade decision was handed down January 22, 1973, legalizing abortion in all 50 states.

» The Chief Justices divided a pregnancy into trimesters – first, middle and last.
» Roe mandates that States may not prohibit any abortions before “viability”.
» The Court justified decision under the Constitution’s “right to privacy”. * **
» The Court determined that the fetus is not a person but a “potential life”, and thus does not have constitutional rights of its own. Therefore, “the word ‘person’, as used in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not include the unborn”.

Roe vs. Wade legalized abortion for any reason (on demand) during the first trimester. During this first trimester of pregnancy, a woman’s privacy right is strongest and the state may not regulate abortion for any reason; They allowed abortion to be legal in the second trimester if a medical reason necessitated it and required it to be done in a hospital and by a medical doctor. Third trimester abortions are permitted only in the case of the exceptions – rape, incest or if the life of the mother is at risk.

*“The Constitution does not explicitly mention any right of privacy”, but the Court has found “at least the roots of that right” in the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments, and in the penumbras of the Bill of Rights. Roe v.Wade 410 U.S. at 129.
** It said the right to privacy “ is broad enough –to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.”
· Because this abortion issue falls under a woman’s “right to privacy”, very few health regulations apply to abortion clinics.
» In fact, a veterinarian must abide by more restrictions and regulations than an abortionist.
» The right-to-privacy is determined to be more important than the right-to-life.

The annual March for Life takes place on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade in Washington, DC. Marchers gather for inspirational speeches and then march slowly to the Supreme Court.

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Dred Scott Decision (Taney vs. Scott)

The Dred Scott Decision in 1857 (Taney vs. Scott) determined a slave is not a legal person – he is property of his slave-owner. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled “a man has a right to do what he wants with his property”. They also said that Mr. Scott was only 3/5 of a human being. Mr. Scott only wanted the right to vote.

Please note the same language is used in both the Dred Scott Decision as well as the Roe v. Wade Decision.

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Doe v. Bolton Supreme Court Decision

The Doe v. Bolton Supreme Court Decision, handed down by the same court on the same day as Roe vs. Wade, allows abortion to be legal up to the day before delivery if a mother’s health* necessitated it. Therefore, under Roe and Doe, a woman must be permitted to obtain an abortion through all nine months if it is for her “well-being”.

*Mother’s health is defined as physical, emotional, financial, age of mother, psychological and familial.

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Planned Parenthood of Missouri v. Danforth

In Planned Parenthood of Missouri v. Danforth, (1976). this court case ruled that the father (married or unmarried to the mother) has absolutely no rights regarding the abortion decision and this has been upheld countless times in court cases.

Ironically, the father, married or unmarried, is responsible for a living child’s financial support until they turn 18.

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Planned Parenthood v. Casey

Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992). The law on abortion was further clarified in this case. In this 1992 case the Court said states could regulate abortion to require parental involvement when minors were involved, require a waiting period between seeking and obtaining an abortion, and require doctors to provide detailed medical information before obtaining consent for the abortion. The Doe vs.Bolton health exception to abortion restrictions throughout pregnancy was not altered.

*Planned Parenthood of Southeastern PA. V. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992).

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Stenberg vs. Carhart

In 2000 the Supreme Court again ruled on abortion in Stenberg vs. Carhart. Here the Court said that a state could not prohibit the late-term abortion procedure called partial-birth abortion.
* Planned Parenthood v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914 (2000).

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Abortion in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act was passed in 1989 (due to the determined efforts of Rep. Steve Freind from Havertown, Delaware County) but was held up by court injunction until 1994.

This resulted in the sharpest drop in the daily abortion rate. It dropped more than 22% in four years.
As a result, Pennsylvania was among the nation’s leaders with the third-fastest declining abortion rate in the nation.

  • Abortion for unemancipated (supporting herself) minors (less than 18 years of age) requires the informed consent of both the pregnant woman and one parent prior to an abortion. If both of the parents or guardians of the pregnant woman refuse to consent…or if she elects not to seek the consent…the court of common pleas of the judicial district in which the applicant resides or in which the abortion is sought shall…authorize…the abortion if the court determines that the pregnant woman is mature and capable of giving informed consent. (Judicial Bypass).
  • Women are provided a right to know for informed consent 24 hours prior to an abortion. Informed consent is designed to insure that when people make important medical decisions, they have been told the truth and have been truly informed.
  • Abortion is legal for any reason by any means during the first six months of pregnancy, the second trimester abortions must be done in a hospital, but in the last trimester of pregnancy abortion is restricted only to cases that affect the life or the health of the mother is seriously threatened.
  • For the purpose of promotion of maternal health, a report of each abortion performed shall be made to state officials. The report forms shall not identify the individual patient by name and shall include the following information:

    1. Identification of physician.
    2. The county and state in which the woman resides.
    3. The woman’s age.
    4. The number of prior pregnancies and prior abortions of the woman.
    5. The gestational age of the unborn child at the time of the abortion.
    6. The type of procedure performed or prescribed and the date of the abortion.
  • The abortionist must offer the woman information about:

    1. The gestation of the unborn child.
    2. The physical dangers of abortion for her health. Abortion is an invasive procedure.
    3. The opportunity to view her child on an ultrasound. Studies show that when a woman in crisis has a chance to view her unborn baby on the ultrasound screen, 85% will decide against abortion.
    4. Alternatives available to the woman, including financial assistance if she bears the child. * The mother is allowed under law to refuse any or all of this information, but the law requires the abortionist to make it available.
    5. Information about adoption options.
  • The woman then must wait 24 hours to reflect on her decision before the abortion can be performed.

*The Delaware Valley Pro-Life Alliance – DVPLA – provides a 24 hour hotline – 610-626-4006.

The DVPLA are agencies that share a common desire to provide real, practical options that include pregnancy testing and counseling, comprehensive pre-natal and post-natal care, housing assistance, family support, post-abortion counseling, and adoption services.

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Abortion harms women

Dr. Vincent Rue wrote about abortion's aftermath in 1994, and put it into a cultural context. It is a social and political issue.

Abortion is a death experience.

  • The aftermath of abortion will be an issue long after the abortion.

    » Physically – damaged cervix, perforated uterus, hemorrhage, infection. 200 women have died since 1973 when abortion became legal. 10% of women experience immediate physical complications (
    » Emotionally – regret, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and guilt. Numerous studies show abortion is more harmful than giving birth.
    » Spiritually - women turn away from God; they fear being punished or don't know that God is forgiving.

    Three typical reactions as determined by Vincent Rue, Ph.D., in Post-Abortion Syndrome.

    1. Immediate
    2. Anniversary
    3. Delayed – the most common, but manifests destructive behavior.

    70% of relationships fail one month following the abortion.

Support for women experiencing post-abortion pain:

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Abortion harms men

Reclaiming Fatherhood - - includes research, articles, personal stories, information and healing resources for men.

MARC Ministries – Men’s Abortion Recovery Ministries –610-384-3210/

Men & Abortion - Priests for Life:

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Many alternatives to abortion are available:

In the Philadelphia area alone there are 100 Crisis Pregnancy Centers and more than 3,500 throughout the United States.

*Catholic Social Services - Pregnancy & Adoption Services - 1-800-CARE-002

*Birthright - 1-800-550-4900

*Cora - Lifeline - 215-342-7660

*A Baby's Breath - 610-630-9630

Please go to Pro-Life Resources section of website, then to LINKS and there is more contact information.

Post-Abortion Counseling

  1. Project Rachel – 215-587-5640 or Project Rachel is a post-abortion ministry of the Catholic Church, for help and healing their emotional and spiritual wounds. The priests and counselors in the Project Rachel network are specially trained caregivers who have led thousands of grieving women and men from despair to hope and peace.
  2. Silent No More Awareness Campaign - The truth About Abortion: Experience vs. Rhetoric. A campaign whereby Christians make the public aware of the devastation abortion brings to women and men. The campaign seeks to expose and heal the secrecy and silence surrounding the emotional and physical pain of abortion. This year 47 women shared their testimony at the 2011 March for Life.
  3. Rachel’s Vineyard- 1-877-hope4me (1-877-567-3463) or www.rachelsvineyard.orgRachel's Vineyard is a safe place to renew, rebuild and redeem hearts broken by babortion. Weekend retreats offer a supportive, confidential and non-judegmentalenvironment where men and women begin the process of healing. In 13 years more than 50,000 men and women have attended retreats given in 30 countries and in ten languages.
  4. TheElliott Institute- The internet's largest resource re: Post-Abortion issues.
  5. – Offering help and healing to abortion's wounded.
  6. Fortress International is a rape crisis support group.
    They can be contacted at PO Box 7352, Springfield, Il 62791 217-529-9545
  7. Bethesda - the House of Mercy welcomes anyone hurting from abortion. The Community members are always available for prayer and spiritual support. www.bethesdathehouseof or 800-482-4100


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