Posted on February 07, 2018 10:00 AM

MCFL Speaker’s Bureau: Changing Hearts and Minds

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The following article originally appeared in the Winter 2017 issue of the MCFL News magazine, a perk of membership mailed out quarterly to all members.

Many people are concerned to find their children defending the pro-abortion position because of the situation of the mothers. Of course we are concerned about helping the mothers – after all, there are many more pregnancy resource centers in the state and country than there are abortion facilities. 

How to explain this support for abortion? Hard as it is to believe, many people honestly do not realize that we are dealing with a baby human being when we discuss abortion. Consider the education young people are receiving. The schools rarely teach pre-natal development. The media certainly dehumanizes the unborn baby. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has changed its literature for pregnant mothers, now using only “fetus”. 

After hearing an MCFL presentation on pre-natal development, the students and many adults say the information is brand new to them and has completely changed their minds. There are many curricula, being used mostly in religious settings, which talk about the sanctity of life. They do not first explain what this life is. If the children do not know there is a baby, exhortations to protect it have no meaning for them. 

This is the why the MCFL Speakers’ Bureau, led by Linda Thayer, has been so successful and has contributed greatly to the decline in abortions in the state. Our speakers present the biological facts of prenatal development. They show the beautiful, actual pictures of unborn babies. The students leaving these presentations draw their own conclusions, which become a part of them, that these little ones must be protected. If the MCFL speakers could speak to every student in the state, that would be the beginning of the end of abortion. For more information on hosting a speaker, email us at action@masscitizensforlife.org.

 

Posted on February 06, 2018 10:00 AM

A Dark Side of Prenatal Testing

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By Nancy Valko

In her February 2018 article”Prenatal Testing and Denial of Care”, Bridget Mora exposes another dark side of prenatal testing: refusal to treat. Ms. Mora is the community education and communications coordinator for Be Not Afraid, a nonprofit that supports parents experiencing a prenatal diagnosis and carrying to term.

While most people have heard of amniocentesis (using a needle to extract and analyze the fluid surrounding an unborn baby in the second trimester), many people are unaware of the screening blood tests that have now become virtually routine for all pregnant women.

The difference is that blood screening tests may indicate a probability or risk score that a baby has a chromosomal anomaly, but a definitive diagnosis can only be made through amniocentesis or CVS (Chorionic villus sampling) using a needle to take a sample of tissue from an unborn baby’s placenta for analysis in the first trimester. Tragically, some parents make a decision to abort based on just a blood screening test.

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Posted on February 05, 2018 10:00 AM

MCFL Goes to the Fair

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The following article originally appeared in the Winter 2017 issue of the MCFL News magazine, a perk of membership mailed out quarterly to all members.

By Rob Hale

The Eastern States Exposition, also known as “The Big E,” draws nearly a million people to West Springfield, Massachusetts, annually. Starting the second Friday after Labor Day and running continuously for the next 17 days, the Big E provides a variety of family entertainment amid a historic agricultural fair designed to showcase New England businesses and industries. Since the late 1970s, the MCFL’s pro-life booth has been a visible part of this exhilarating scene. 

In a sprawling brick and steel building, tucked in among scores of vendors hawking everything from cowboy boots to vacuum cleaners, MCFL has maintained a continuous, dignified, educational and informational presence where passers-by can stop to ask a question, look closely at the life-size models of pre-born babies in their mother’s uterus, or pick up some pro-life literature. 

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Posted on February 02, 2018 10:00 AM

Nurses, “Living Wills” and Healthcare Economic$

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By Nancy Valko

A few weeks ago, a 95-year-old friend with chronic congestive heart failure was recovering from a hip fracture and blood clot when she developed a very serious pneumonia. I was with her in the ER when the doctor asked her son and me about how aggressive to be if her heart or breathing worsened. I said, “Ask her!” and the doc was stunned when she vehemently said “Yes!”, even after he explained the potential problems with cardiopulmonary resuscitation and ventilators. My friend has a durable power of attorney naming her daughter as her health decision maker, but the doctor wrongly assumed my friend was unconscious and that we were her decision makers.

My friend astonished the doctors by recovering with antibiotics and temporary BiPap (a face mask machine to support her breathing). After a stint in rehab, my friend was able to go home last week.

It was because of mistaken but potentially fatal situations like this that I wrote my 2015 blog “Living with ‘Living Wills” about the history, uses, problems and pitfalls with living wills and other end-of-life documents known as advance directives.

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Posted on February 01, 2018 10:00 AM

Doctors Day at the State House A Great Success

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By Anne Fox, President of Massachusetts Citizens for Life

Mark Rollo, with the help of Massachusetts Alliance Against Doctor Prescribed Suicide, organized an amazing Doctors' Day at the State House on January 31. Mark; Dr Thomas Sullivan, Past President of the Mass. Medical Society; and Dr Laura Petrillo, a palliative care doctor and teacher at Mass General, addressed legislators and aides and then held a press conference. The speeches are found below.

After that, the 22 doctors in attendance visited with members of the Joint Health Care Committee to explain that the recent decision of the Mass. Medical Society to go "neutral" on doctor-prescribed suicide does not represent many doctors and to tell the members of the problems with the bills.

It was an amazing group of doctors who are to be thanked for coming out in the middle of the day for such an important cause.

 

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Posted on January 31, 2018 10:00 AM

A Tale of Two Dignities

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By Kris Correia, co-chair of Witness for Life

As is usually the case with life issues, each side seems to talk a different language. The same is true in the debate on doctor-prescribed suicide (DPS). From those of us who oppose DPS we hear that “all life has dignity” while from those who support the practice we hear about “death with dignity.” What is the difference?

Dignity comes in two forms based on its origin—intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic dignity comes from within ourselves simply because we are human persons. All human life has dignity, from the moment of conception until the moment of death. No one can say, “These lives have dignity and those lives don’t.” We view every human person, despite any differences in race, belief, ability, or lifestyle, with equal dignity. That means no one life is better or more important than another when it comes to protecting lives. From this concept arises altruism, as well as other fundamental principles such as all men being created equal and having equal protection under the law. This concept informs our long-held prohibitions against not only murder but also suicide, for intrinsic dignity cannot be taken away by anyone, not even by us from ourselves.

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Posted on January 30, 2018 10:00 AM

Canada Expanding Eligibility for Euthanasia and Doctor-Prescribed Suicide

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The following article originally appeared in the Winter 2017 issue of the MCFL News magazine, a perk of membership mailed out quarterly to all members.

It has only been two years since Canada's Supreme Court decriminalized doctor-prescribed suicide (DPS) and euthanasia, but Canadian courts and legislatures are already entertaining proposals to expand the eligibility criteria to vulnerable populations that include children, persons with Alzheimer's disease, and those unable to give voluntary consent. Some doctors are even refusing to treat survivors of failed suicide attempts. 

After the passage of Bill C-14 in 2015, legislators were given two years in which to decide how the practice should be regulated. Currently, an adult with a “serious and incurable illness, disease or disability,” experiencing intolerable “physical or psychological suffering,” may request DPS or euthanasia if their natural death is “reasonably foreseeable.” Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, said that Health Canada’s report on assisted dying says that there were 1,982 reported deaths in the first year after legalization. 

If the United States, with a population roughly nine times that of Canada, euthanized its vulnerable citizens at the same rate, almost 18,000 Americans would be dead.

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Posted on January 29, 2018 10:00 AM

A Serene Urgency: Pro-life Social Doctrine Program Develops the Activist’s Mindset

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The following article originally appeared in the Winter 2017 issue of the MCFL News magazine, a perk of membership mailed out quarterly to all members.

MCFL chairman Dr. David Franks is now teaching an innovative new course, open to everyone, that seeks to rebuild the American future by cultivating a unifying social consciousness from the pro-life perspective. It draws on Scripture and theology, philosophy, political theory, American history, and literature. As of the printing of this issue of the Member Magazine, the inaugural class of students has just met for its third monthly session. (They have also met in January now.

The pro-life defense of dignity grounds an understanding of the conditions that promote true human freedom. Dr. Franks prepares his students to grasp the impulses behind, and ramifications of, the American proposition: that government exists to secure the God-given rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 

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Posted on January 26, 2018 10:00 AM

The Link Between Contraception and Abortion: An Unpleasant Fact

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By Michael Pakaluk

I call the link between contraception and abortion an unpleasant fact, not only because both are unpleasant things, but also because pro-lifers often consider it unpleasant, because unfriendly, to point out that contraception brings forth abortion. Our Protestant brethren in Christ do not share the Catholic Church’s teaching on contraception, and people say that it’s best to focus on areas of agreement.

But let’s put diplomacy aside for the moment. There are various ways of showing the connection.

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Posted on January 25, 2018 10:07 AM

Mass. Caucus before March for Life Prepares Pro-Lifers to Approach their Congressmen

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By Helen Cross, Editor of MCFL Magazine

With its leather chairs, dark wooden table curving into an impressive arc, and the podium proclaiming "United States Senate," the Caucus Room in the Dirksen Senate Building is an imposing venue. On a bright sunny, windless, and mild day in Washington, D.C. Prof. Michael Pakaluk of Catholic University of America began the MCFL Caucus by tracing the continuum from contraception and abortion using Supreme Court decisions in Griswold, Roe, and Casey. Contraception severs the unitive and procreative aspects of conjugal union. "If there is a 'right to contraception' then abortion is the sole solution when an unwanted child is conceived," Pakaluk said. (The complete text of Prof. Pakaluk’s text is available.)

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