One of our board directors, Dr. Kerry Pound, wrote this letter in response to the provisions included in the recently reviewed bills S1209/H3320, whose stated purpose is to promote abortion in the Commonwealth. It was published 18 June 2019 in the Worcester Telegram, and is reproduced here with her permission.
Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. – Elie Wiesel
When I began my medical school rotation in obstetrics, I was surprised when the lecturing obstetrician stated, “We are the only specialists who deal simultaneously with two patients.” I was sensitive to any remotely pro-life words during my medical studies. In my early days of higher education, I’d conscientiously tucked my pro-life leanings into a neat, silent, “do not open” box in order to remain well-liked and respected. I remained strongly pro-life ... in silence.
I had to bite my tongue a few times when the inconvenient truth reared its head during medical studies. In embryology class, as we learned the mechanics and timeline of the formation of each organ system in the body, I waited for the lecturer to mention any system that developed beyond 10 weeks of gestation. It never happened. At the conclusion, I wanted to shout, “Ten weeks?! How can any of us be in favor of abortion after learning this?” But, of course, I didn’t. I did not want to offend the political leanings or sensitivities of my friends. Truth faded into silence.
So, when the obstetricians acknowledged their treating two patients, I was relieved to hear it spoken aloud. The message – re-iterated numerous times during the rotation – was that the goal of prenatal and labor care was a healthy mother and baby.
The proposed ROE Act of Massachusetts should shock even ardent pro-choicers – essentially guaranteeing an unfettered right to abortion throughout the pregnancy; increased tax-payer support of abortion; elimination of adult consent for minors; elimination of legal penalties for botched procedures. Please read S.1209 to see the extent to which the bill celebrates abortion at any time, for any reason, without any legal regulations.
Most revealing and radical, the legal language of S.1209 eliminates any acknowledgement of the second patient – the baby. In fact, so foreign is this way of thinking to most doctors, that as I read the bill I was forced to remind myself that the term “patient” only referred to the woman. Pregnancy is no longer “a mother carrying an unborn child” as the prior legal language stated; it’s been replaced by “embryo within a person’s uterus.” (No child, no mother, not even a woman!) Hence, it follows logically that the bill eliminates any medical care (that was written in the prior law) for an (accidentally) born alive baby. Clearly, no doctor can be obligated to offer life-saving resuscitation to an unacknowledged existence. The inconvenient truth rears its head again when a failed abortion results in a gasping, kicking, twisting newborn born beyond 23-weeks gestation who deserves immediate medical care, but which S.1209 denies.
For physicians, concern for the woman’s well-being is central. Recognizing that an unplanned pregnancy presents numerous challenges that may derail a woman’s life is essential to proper care. However, these very real concerns do not erase the sobering reality that there are two lives involved and, therefore, two lives to consider and care for. Science and medicine certainly recognize it (even if they ignore it when swayed by politics). So too does the pregnant woman. Changing language to erase the reality does not lessen the burden on the woman.
When language is changed to erase the humanity of certain persons, it is typically for those with the advantage to use, abuse, or destroy those without a voice.
What a momentous day we shared at the State House yesterday! If you were able to join us, you know I'm not exaggerating when I say that, without a doubt, we delivered a resounding, united "NO" before those who question whether more abortions are what the Commonwealth's citizens want. Outside on the steps, within overflow seating areas, and inside at the microphone, a loving, earnest, and firm pro-life message easily muffled that of the opposition.
Members of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary kept their word and graciously heard testimony from all who wanted to speak. This meant that a doggedly-determined group, made up almost exclusively of pro-lifers, brought the hearing to a close at 11:00pm! Those of us who tried to match that stamina were humbled to hear wall-to-wall defenders of life from across the state reject the implications of S.1209/H.3320.
Sitting idle, the few remaining people in pink apparently did not want, or perhaps could not find the words, to respond.
Thank you for joining us yesterday.
Thank you for signing our petition.
Thank you for your generous gifts which allowed us to execute our June 17 campaign with force!
This effort is not yet finished.
Please continue to follow our updates regarding these bills. (Chairman Cronin adjourned the hearing without giving any indication of what the committee's next move would be.) And I ask: keep educating those who you know to be supporters of the bills about the legislation's many flaws. If one thing was prominent yesterday, it's that most proponents of the so-called "ROE" Act have not even read the legislation nor taken time to understand its likely repercussions.
Then call the governor's office to voice your concerns at 617-725-4005.
He has indicated in recent days both a potential willingness to accept the bill as well as a hesitation to see it on his desk. Therefore, your voice carries tremendous weight this week!
Yesterday was yesterday, and we blew the top off the State House. But we must not become complacent. We're merely shifting gears to press on to the finish line, and at top speed.
I am so proud to work with each of you, and I look forward to carrying our momentum into the next few weeks.
With sincere gratitude,
Myrna Maloney Flynn
Massachusetts Citizens for Life
Dear Friend of Life,
A joyful Father’s Day from this father to every other!
A good father wants to protect women and children.
He knows the selfishness in his own heart and battles that. From the gentleness and wisdom gained in that struggle, a man becomes a better father, becomes a father of all those who are less powerful.
And we need this gallant, fatherly strength to resist those who would profiteer from the killing of unborn babies and the maiming of their mothers in abortion.
MONDAY, June 17th, is the big day: the Beacon Hill hearing for S.1209/H.3320, the unrestricted-abortion “ROE Act.” In some ways this legislation is even more radical than the New York and Illinois “Reproductive Health Acts.”
It would set up a right to unrestricted abortion, removing every hedge on that act of killing. In no way is it pro-choice; it is fully pro-abortion. It does not reflect any kind of consensus in the Commonwealth or this country. Instead it reflects the interests of those who profiteer from killing the most powerless humans. It’s an abortion-industry wish list selling itself as feminist liberation.
We must rather represent the interests of women and children. So, please join Massachusetts Citizens for Life for a rally at 10:00 am, gathering at the General Hooker entrance of the State House: RSVP here.
The hearing itself is at 1:00 pm, in the Gardner Auditorium.
We need each one of your voices. If you wish to give oral testimony, here are some guidelines: Testimony to Legislature Tips. I would suggest aiming for two minutes, with some modular components you can plug in (if we end up receiving more time) or remove (if too redundant given other testimony).
And, again, for reference, it might be useful to look at our ind=-depth analysis of the bills here.
You may submit written testimony either before the hearing or in the days immediately following. That would be addressed to the chairs of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, Sen. James Eldridge and Rep. Claire Cronin, using the contact info here: https://malegislature.gov/Committees/Detail/J19.
Calling the members of this Committee would also be of real service.
If you cannot come, please consider a donation so that we can see this fight through, with undiminished vigor. Your secure donation to help us save lives can be made here.
“It’s Father’s Day, and everybody’s wounded,” sang Leonard Cohen.
It’s time to start binding up those wounds.
For the love of life,
David Franks, Ph.D., Chairman
Printed in the Daily Hampshire Gazette 14 June 2019: MCFL'S Vice President, Myrna Maloney Flynn, asks: Why endanger our women and girls in a hasty reaction? She highlights the dangerous provisions in this proposed bill's knee-jerk response to current cultural waves, and demands accountability.
I’d like to provide context for my quote regarding parental consent being eliminated from current abortion law if The ROE Act passes (“Northampton City Council backs expansion of abortion rights statewide” June 7, 2019).
In stating constituents “don’t want their teenage daughters irresponsibly targeted,” I was referring to poll results I shared. Last month, the Tarrance Group surveyed Massachusetts voters of all party affiliations — 60 percent considered themselves pro-choice and 40 percent pro-life. Sixty-two percent think parents should provide consent.
I ask councilors Gina-Louise Sciarra and William Dwight, who lament a perceived “reduction” of rights: What about parents’ rights? Sixty-two percent oppose more late term abortions.
ROE supporters believe ending viable infants’ lives is justified in two particular circumstances, yet the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute has admitted that “data suggests that most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment.”
A recent poll on which we partnered with the national advocacy organization, The Susan B. Anthony List, demonstrated a majority of Massachusetts voters oppose provisions contained in the proposed bills S.1209/H.3320. These provisions radically endanger our adult women, our teenage girls, and our infants.
The following remarks were presented by MCFL Vice President, Myrna Maloney Flynn, to the press conference at the Massachusetts State House, and are re-printed here as an open letter to our legislators.
Legislators of the Commonwealth:
I am Myrna Maloney Flynn, Vice President of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, and a resident of the Hampshire County city of Northampton.
This poll did not survey members of the pro-life groups standing here today. It surveyed Massachusetts voters -- citizens who are registered Democrats, Republicans, Independents -- voters of all party affiliations.
The results indicate that common ground exists beneath this contentious and divisive issue. That’s the real news here: Where polarization is on display in other states this year, this poll suggests we are different; on the issue of abortion, Massachusetts is poised to set a new and desperately-needed course for this country.
Legislators of the Commonwealth, your constituents have spoken. I urge you to listen. Senate Bill 1209/House Bill 3320, the so-called “ROE Act,” is not what they want. They don’t want their teenage daughters irresponsibly targeted and made easier prey for abusers. Voters don’t consider hospitals “obstacles,” as this bill suggests. To remove life-saving, resuscitative equipment that would aid viable infants who survive abortion attempts, those who are the youngest citizens in your care, is to go against the wishes of your neighbors.
And, legislators, if you support this bill, you are asking your neighbors at home to help pay for each of these inhumane provisions. How will you defend yourself when you run into them at the grocery store or when you drop your children off at school?
More importantly, what words could you possibly find to use with your own children or grandchildren when they some day ask you about the law you would have helped to pass?
Martin Luther King once said, “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right.”
Don’t vote for something your conscience will not withstand. Don’t vote for S.1209/H.3320. Instead, let’s shelve it. Let’s embrace our common ground, use it as a foundation, and build a caring, safe, dignified model for the rest of the nation to follow. The childcare proposal that Senator Warren introduced is a fine example of what true pro-life policy looks like. And we can enact it here first. Together. Imagine the widespread voter response to that!
Each of you has a unique opportunity to redefine this debate, redirect the conversation, renounce extremism, and represent Massachusetts on a national level while you do so. By your bravery, your leadership, your demonstrated commitment to--and genuine care for--the people who put you in office, you will, as Dr. King championed, do what is right.
RALLY & HEARING MONDAY JUNE 17TH 10AM - Bus into Boston!
We have a generous donor who has just stepped forward to match any offering for transportation. If you can't make it, sponsor a friend, student, or pastor to join us.
MassCitizensForLife.org/donate for online contribution*
(If you are not joining a bus caravan, check out the best parking options near the Massachusetts State House: Parking Near Rally Point )
Don't let distance keep you from being the force that changes history here in Massachusetts. On Monday, the extremist anti-life bills S.1209/H.3320 will be reviewed by committee.
It is crucial that you are there demonstrating that Massachusetts will not accept laws that critically endanger our women, our teenage daughters, and our infants.
If you need a ride, we are chartering buses in the following locations:
Agawam: Departs Monday morning 7am from 833 Main St, Agawam, MA 01001 (St John's Church parking lot) Returns 4pm. Pick up on Common side front entry of State House
Stoneham: Departs Monday morning 8:30am from 259 Main St, Stoneham, MA 02180 (Stop n Shop parking lot) Returns 4pm. Pick up on Common side front entry of State House
Danvers: Departs Monday morning 8am from 24 Conant St. Danvers, MA (St Mary's of the Assumption parking lot) Returns 3pm. Pick up on Common side front entry of State House
Springfield: See Carpool Coordinator Sheet here.
Members are coordinating a caravan rather than bussing. If you provide seats in your vehicle, sign up. Email us to connect with the local carpool captain.
Westford: PLEASE ARRIVE NO LATER THAN 8:30am. Departs Monday morning 9:00am from 160 Littleton Rd.Westford, MA (Dunkin Donuts parking lot) Returns 5pm. Pick up on Common side front entry of State House
Scituate: Departs Monday morning 8:00am from St. Mary of the Nativitiy Parish Center Parking Lot (directly across from the church, located at 1 Kent St.) Scituate, MA. Returns 5pm. Pic up for return on Common side front entry of State House
Fall River: Departs Monday morning 7:30am from The Baptist Temple 700 Eastern Ave. Fall River MA Returns 5pm
RSVP, naming the bus stop location nearest you here.
SPECIAL CARPOOL FROM WESTMINSTER:
Gather at Our Savior Church, Westminster 8:45 am on Monday June 17th in order to leave by 9:00 am for Alewife on the Red Line.
Please contact Bill with questions: email@example.com or call 978-407-3101
“We Have a Dream”
2019 Mass. March for Life rally speech
We have had our dreams.
All our lives. And when we’ve dreamed best, we’ve dreamed more love and more life: for ourselves and for those we love.
And now we join here this day to dream together more life and love for every human.
Today is my youngest child’s birthday. She’s six now. My oldest will turn eighteen in a month. There are four children in between.
Like the song says: “The years just flow by, like a broken down dam.” First sacraments, last recitals, graduations, Little League, the little heartaches and the unencompassable ones. Inexorable. Beautiful and heartbreaking. You know what I mean.
“We are such stuff as dreams are made on. And our little life is rounded with a sleep.”
What dreams have I had for them! What dreams have died. What dreams survive. The only dreams worthy of a child are intimations from a source far worthier than me, a source of perfect self-surrendering love. Such dreams are not private fantasies. They are facets of the one great dream of this world: that every substance and rhythm of creation, every action and interaction, converge and rise in a new form of common life, more perfect than the one we now endure.
Rise into a city magnificent, beneficent, whose only currency is love. We might call it the city of peace: a New Jerusalem.
To dream such a city: is that for the night, or for the day? If dreaming means surrender to an inspiration that is not yours or mine, something too large to have arisen from our small capacity: then it is to create a day that escapes all nights.
We pro-lifers have gathered here today to dream this great dream together. It is, in part, the dream we have for America. It is, in part, what America wants to dream through us.
One dream has always animated this country: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Every single human is created equal.
It has always been a dream. It has never been fully realized in the light of day. We dreamt the dream—yet consigned the slave to nightmare. We dreamt the dream—yet leave women too much in the grip of private tyrannies.
That essential figure of our Founding, Abigail Adams, had written to husband John Adams, “Remember the ladies!” And we still have so much to do to make that dream real.
Our opponents ask: but do we honor the liberty of women? And I say, if asked of all of us in American society, that is a just question. And every pro-lifer must answer it well by our lives. There are many who, in all good conscience, really want America to remember the ladies, and think that to do so requires that we remove every single limitation on abortion.
Some in less good faith have concocted this ROE Act pending under that gold dome, which is far more radical in aim and effect than even Roe v. Wade. The 1973 decision was extreme enough, but it explicitly denied an absolute right to abortion: in the interests of the abortion-minded mother’s health, and in the interests of what the men in black unscientifically and unphilosophically termed “potential human life,” the state may at various points regulate abortion—according to Roe v. Wade.
The ROE Act is not some prophylactic attempt to enshrine Roe v. Wade before it is, please God, overturned by the Supreme Court. The ROE Act presents and would enshrine a right to unrestricted abortion. That is a new thing. And it is a very dark thing.
What would this legislation do?
1) No abortion could be bad enough for this abortion-industry drafted law to merit the intervention of the state.
It eliminates all criminal penalties for the performance of any abortion—whether coerced, sex-selective, eugenic, incompetently executed, performed by a non-physician, inflicted on a victim of sex trafficking, statutory rape, or other sexual abuse. Literally no abortion could be performed in Massachusetts that might become a matter for state law enforcement.
Is this the dream we dream for our Commonwealth?
2) The ROE Act would eliminate parental consent for all minors. Is that the dream we should dream for our children? That if they are victims of predatory men, that no parent, and even no judge, should stand between that child and the will of the predator to “fix his problem”? Is that our dream for children? Are we not sick of abuse?
3) The ROE Act eliminates any provision for the life of a viable child who survives an abortion attempt. You would think that the very least modern times would reject is the barbarism of exposure. But with abortion, we indeed grapple with the very limits of civilization. Are we to dream of exposure for children?
4) The ROE Act would eliminate the hospitalization requirement for abortions after the first trimester. Is that the dream we should dream for women? Whose dream is that but that of the abortion industry, which profits from killing?
5) The ROE Act would expand tax-payer funding of abortion and would do so, perversely, under Healthy Start, a program designed to lower infant mortality. Is that what we dream from good government?
6) In this proposed law, any reference to women is eliminated, as is any reference to another human being in this whole tortured question of abortion. Is the dream of this Commonwealth to forget the actual flesh and blood mothers and children whose destinies are being weighed in the balance? Justice may be blind, but justice must not be stupid.
If many fellow citizens are convinced of the hard necessity of abortion in certain cases, that is one thing. It is one thing to say that the liberty interest of a mother overrides the life interest of her unborn child in difficult-enough circumstances. It’s quite another thing, a delusional thing, to pretend that this hard choice isn’t hard at all by pretending as if modern embryology and developmental biology do not exist.
Our dream is a dream for the transformation of reality, and so it must be rooted in reality. Ignoring how abortion is a tool for rapacious men is not being rooted in reality.
The principle of the ROE Act is simple: no abortion a bad abortion.
But how many pro-choicers, even, believe that? What kind of male fantasy world would a person have to live in to overlook the fact that this serves the convenience of the man who, though not wanting to be a father, nevertheless wants to keep using women and girls?
Abortion makes the inequality of women worse. It allows men to escape their responsibility to both women and children, and it allows our narcissistic society to escape our responsibility to care.
No abortion a bad abortion? How about this: some seeming solutions are not solutions at all.
Do we need to secure more equality for women in society? You better believe it. Can equality, can the equality of some, be secured at the expense of the equality of others? The ones selling that are always the unequal ones who sit above us all and who confuse their needs with reality. And I’ll say it to the shame of our sex: most of these narcissists are men.
We pro-lifers agree that the ladies must be remembered. What we deny, is that we can rightly remember any one human by killing another human.
We would remember all the victims, not just some—and thereby blow up the whole sorry system of entitlement that enslaves us all. Do you want revolution? THAT is revolution.
Let us dream with Walt Whitman:
I DREAM’D in a dream, I saw a city invincible to the attacks of the whole of the rest of the earth;
I dream’d that was the new City of Friends;
Nothing was greater there than the quality of robust love—it led the rest;
It was seen every hour in the actions of the men of that city,
And in all their looks and words.
What has Walt described but what we dream for America: to show us something of the New Jerusalem.
If I forget thee, Jerusalem, let my right hand wither.
The city of our dreams, that New Jerusalem, cannot come upon those who forget the dead, who forget the victims.
We must not forget how racial minorities suffer. We must not forget how women suffer. We must not forget how the smallest humans suffer.
Let me not forget thee, city of my dreams, city of life for all and of death for none.
Let me not forget thee, city of true love and of friendship we never betray, never fail.
Let us dream the impossible possibility of America once again.
What did our great captain say:
“It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
When Lincoln says that every political sentiment he’s had derives from the Declaration of Independence, he explains that he means the principles of equal dignity and liberty.
We all agree on the words. What do they mean?