Posted on July 17, 2017 10:00 AM

Making Distinctions in the Charlie Gard Case


As we await the next ruling from the judge in the case of Charlie Gard, the British infant whose parents are trying to keep him alive despite the best efforts of the hospital to let him die, R.R. Reno at First Things has a solid analysis of this and similar cases and the moral distinctions involved. It also explains why a case that takes place so far away would so concern us here in Massachusetts.

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Posted on July 14, 2017 10:00 AM

The Catholic Church, Experimental Treatments and Charlie Gard


By Nancy Valko

disturbing statement made by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, head of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for life, appearing to support the European Court of Human Rights decision to reject Baby Charlie Gard’s parents’ request to go to the US for an experimental treatment for their critically ill son struck a nerve with many Catholics. And although Pope Francis quickly expressed his support for Baby Charlie and his parents shortly after the statement, the ethical issue of experimental treatment remains confusing to many people, Catholic or not.

But what has the Catholic Church really said about experimental means?

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Posted on July 12, 2017 9:44 AM

Pregnant Mom Suffered Brain Death at 9 Weeks and Her Babies Lived

Padilha_twins.pngFrankielen da Silva Zampoli Padilha, a 21-year-old woman who was 9 weeks pregnant with twins, suffered a stroke and doctors declared her to be “brain dead”. Doctors weren’t going to keep her on life support, but the babies’ hearts kept beating and the doctors decided they weren’t going to give up if the babies weren’t.

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Posted on July 11, 2017 11:25 AM

Polemics and Politics Replace Science in New England Journal of Medicine


In an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine last month, R. Alto Charo, J.D. attacks some of the Trump administration’s appointments to the Department of Health and Human Services by the tactic of declaring as “alternative facts” some of the science about abortion and its effects that pro-abortion activists want to pretend is made up.

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Posted on July 07, 2017 10:00 AM

35 Years after Baby Doe Continued: The Simon Crosier and Charlie Gard Cases


By Nancy Valko

Last week, I wrote about Baby Doe and my daughter Karen and how both were medically discriminated against 35 years ago because they were born with Down Syndrome. The ethical rationale in both cases help set the stage for the legalized assisted suicide/euthanasia we struggle against today.

Unfortunately, the legal right to live for children with disabilities and their parents continue to be under attack today with the cases of Simon Crosier and Charlie Gard.


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Posted on July 06, 2017 10:00 AM

Hearing Set for July 11 on Bill to Lower Age of Consent for Abortion


The Joint Committee on Public Health will hear a bill next week to lower the age of consent for abortion and to allow abortions without parental consent. Even if you cannot attend, you can influence the Committee vote.

Hearing on Tuesday, July 11, 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm in Room A-2

S.754, “An Act safeguarding the health care decisions of young adults,” would lower the age of consent to 16. That means a 16-year-old girl could get an abortion without her parents even knowing. We have defeated this bill in every session for many years. They say it is what gave Mitt Romney the governorship. In a TV debate just before the election, his opponent, Shannon O’Brien, endorsed lowering the age. It was very unpopular then and it is very unpopular now. 

S.754 also adds a new wrinkle that we haven’t seen before. It would allow “emergency” abortions without parental consent. If a girl’s life is threatened and can only be saved by an abortion (doesn’t happen, but…) then I am sure the medical people would go ahead. This seems to be a ploy to chip away at our parental consent law. 

If you are able to attend the hearings, please plan to testify. You can find tips for testifying HERE.  

If you are not able to attend, you can still be very effective in stopping this legislation! If you are a constituent of a member of the committee, please call your own legislator. (If you need to a reminder of your legislators, clickHERE.) If none of these committee members represent you, then call the two Chairs. Please call between now and Tuesday morning to express your opposition to both parts of the bill. 

You may notice that some of the legislators have the same phone numbers – the State House is small. When the phone is answered, ask for the Chief of Staff of your legislator. If that person is not available, ask for theLegislative Director 

Do these committee members look familiar to you? They should. This is the same committee we have been lobbying on the doctor-prescribed suicide issue. It’s a separate issue; it just means this is an important committee 


Chair, Jason Lewis, 617-722-1206 

Jennifer Flanagan, 617-722-1230 

Julian Cyr, 617-722-1570 

Joan Lovely, 617-722-1410 

Richard Ross, 617-722-1555 


Chair, Kate Hogan, 617-722-2130 

Evandro Carvalho, 617-722-2396 

Linda Dean Campbell, 617-722-2380 

Paul Schmid, 617-722-2017 

Mary Keefe, 617-722-2210 

Brendan Crighton, 617-722-2013 

Jack Lewis, 617-722-2460 

Chynah Tyler, 617-722- 2130 

Hannah Kane, 617-722-2430 

Jim Lyons, 617-722-2460

Posted on July 05, 2017 10:00 AM

Kennedy to Retire from SCOTUS before 2018 Midterms


By Anne Fox, President of Massachusetts Citizens for Life

Rumors that began in the early part of this year that Justice Anthony Kennedy was contemplating retirement from the Supreme Court. Recently, the rumors had begun to circle around the idea that he would retire this month, but the Above the Law blog, the ultimate legal gossip column, threw cold water on the idea last week.

Now we have learned that Kennedy has told his 2018 law clerk applicants that he intends to retire right before the 2018 midterm elections. The Election Law Blog has a good, quick analysis of what that would mean for the Court and for Republicans right before the election.

Posted on July 05, 2017 10:00 AM

Baby Doe and Karen-35 Years Later


By Nancy Valko

When I started nursing school 50 years ago, medical ethics was not a course but rather common sense principles incorporated into our education. There was no controversy about not harming patients, integrity, equality of treatment regardless of status, etc.

So, of course, abortion and euthanasia were unacceptable and even unthinkable in those days.

I particularly remember one teacher who told us about the hypothetical situation of a child with Down Syndrome whose parents wanted to let their baby die and how we naturally had to put the interests of the child first. This kind of protection for patients was routine both ethically and legally in those days.

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Posted on July 04, 2017 10:00 AM

LIFE, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness


By Anne Fox, President of Massachusetts Citizens for Life

Polls show Americans taking much more “liberal” positions on sexual issues of all kinds, on drugs, and on many other issues.

The one issue where people, especially young people, are becoming more “conservative” is their opposition to abortion, according to this Washington Times article.

We, pro-lifers have always said that life is not a social issue, life is the issue. If we cannot guarantee a person’s life, how hollow are promises of housing or medical care?

As we celebrate the birthday of our country, let us celebrate the fact that more and more Americans are becoming pro-life. Your efforts and those of all pro-lifers are causing this. A Happy Independence Day to you.

Posted on July 03, 2017 10:00 AM

This Couple Adopted 88 Special Needs Kids Over Four Decades


By Anne Fox, President of Massachusetts Citizens for Life

Since 1973 almost 60 million babies have been killed by abortion in the United States. During that same time frame over the years, an amazing couple in Georgia adopted and cared for a total of 88 children with special needs. Subsequent to their adoptions, 32 of those children died. 

"The children I took in were expected to die," Geraldi, 68, told CNN. "But so many of them have lived."

 Her family includes kids with intellectual disabilities, spina bifida and Down syndrome. Some have autism or extreme facial deformities.

”One child was born with only a brain stem," she said. "We took care of him. He lived to be 25 years old and never had a bedsore."

Consider what Mike and Camille Gerardi did to make those short lives happy and what those children did for Mike and Camille.