By Anne Fox, President of Massachusetts Citizens for Life
As of 4:00pm today, the doctor-prescribed suicide bills have been sent to a study committee, which effectively kills them!
We were working against 40 bill sponsors, the media, and Compassion and Choices (formerly the Hemlock Society) which has four full-time, paid employees in the state.
How did we overcome all that? So many, many of you testified; 25 doctors held a Doctors' Day at the State House; they and members of the disability community visited committee members at the State House; and you visited them in their districts.
Aides told us what really did it: They were counting calls. You called, and got so many others to call and that did it!
People who are elderly, who are poor, who have disabilities or terminal illnesses are safe until after the election - thanks to you.
We can celebrate together at the Convention on Saturday.
You are the best - bless you!
March 21, 2018 was World Down Syndrome Day. To mark that event, we bring you this article from the May-June 2013 issue of MCFL News.
Katie Kiley, mother of 2013 Respect Life Walk Baby Julia, spoke to the 2013 MCFL Convention on the ways that the pro-life movement can support families with special needs children. Kiley started by reading a poem, “Welcome to Holland.”
“Having a special needs baby is like planning a fabulous trip to Italy. After great anticipation the plane lands, but the stewardess says, ‘Welcome to Holland.’ It’s not horrible, it’s just different. Everyone you know is talking about Italy. ‘Yes,’ you say, ‘that’s where I was supposed to go.’ The pain will never go away, because the loss of that dream was a very significant loss, but if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you will never appreciate the special wonderful things about Holland.”
Kiley did not expect to have a Down Syndrome child at age 30. “We didn’t know Julia had Down Syndrome until she was born. The attending physician said gently, ‘We’ve noticed some features consistent with Down Syndrome.’”Read more
By Anne Fox, President of Massachusetts Citizens for Life
Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard arguments about California forcing Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRCs) to advertise abortions.
As you know, MCFL filed an amicus curiae brief. All advocates of free speech should be very concerned, but we are especially interested because it would have some of the same arguments as the MAssachusetts Buffer Zone case and because the pro-abortion advocates in the state have gone to the Attorney General and are having marches claiming that some of the PRCs in the state are "fake clinics"
I was lucky enough to sit in on a Federalist Society call after the testimony. Sure enough, the fact that was important in the Buffer Zone case — that only one type of speech had been targeted — came up. Even Justices Kagan and Sotomayor expressed concern. Justice Breyer had the only problem questions: if a liberal state cannot make PRCs post information, then why should a conservative state be able to require that the mother be able to look at the ultrasound, etc. The lawyers felt that was answered effectively.
The consensus seems to be that the case will be decided on fairly narrow grounds and that we should do well. It is very interesting. If you would like to read more, Ed Morrissey at HotAir.com has a good analysis.
By Nancy Valko
Last year, both Hawaii and New Zealand physician-assisted suicide bills were defeated but, much like zombies, both bills were changed and resurrected for 2018.
As I wrote in a previous blog about Hawaii’s bill, there are concerted efforts not only to pass but also expand assisted suicide laws. This bill is currently awaiting either passage or defeat in the Hawaii legislature’s Senate.
Recently, I submitted testimony on the “End of Life Choice Bill” to legalize physician-assisted suicide in New Zealand. Currently, the bill is being considered in the Select Committee.
The New Zealand bill is different from Hawaii’s in significant ways. Here are some of the differences, with emphasis added:
- It adds “grievous and irremediable medical condition in an advanced state of irreversible decline in capability” to the usual condition of terminal illness.
- It give patients the option of 4 ways to kill themselves or be killed, including lethal injections:
(i) ingestion, triggered by the person:
(ii) intravenous delivery, triggered by the person:
(iii) ingestion through a tube:
- “The attending medical practitioner must be available to the person until the person dies; or arrange for another medical practitioner to be available to the person until the person dies” by being “in the same room” or “in close proximity to the person”.
- Conscience rights: If doctors refuse to provide the lethal overdose, they must refer to a SCENZ group established by the Director General to “make and maintain a list of medical practitioners who are willing to act for the purposes of this Act as—replacement medical practitioners: independent medical practitioners”, list of pharmacists, and “to prepare standards of care; and to advise on the required medical and legal procedures; and to provide practical assistance, if assistance is requested.”
- The assisted suicide death (whose official cause is listed “as if assisted dying had not been provided”) must be reported within 14 days and sent to registrar who must send the report to a Review committee consisting of a medical ethicist and a medical practitioner who practices in area of end of life care and another medical practitioner. The Review committee has these functions: “to consider reports sent to it”, “to report about its satisfaction or otherwise with the cases reported” and “to recommend actions that the registrar may take to follow up with which the review committee was not satisfied.”
- Regular reports will be issued every five years after the first to be done 3 years after the law is implemented. These reports go to the minister and Parliament.
By Rob Hale
The following article originally appeared in the Spring 2018 issue of the MCFL News magazine, a perk of membership mailed out quarterly to all members.
January 18. We board two Peter Pan buses at St. Stanislaus’ in Chicopee, at 10 p.m.
January 19. Around 1:30 a.m. we make a scheduled stop at a roadside restaurant in Cranberry, NJ. When we get back to our bus, we are told that a lady named Maria on the other bus had passed out and was being taken to the hospital. We wait for about an hour. Before we leave, we all say a prayer.
On the bus, I talk with Mike Butler, a buddy from previous bus rides to the March. His mother Monica helped organize trips like these and other western Mass. pro-life events. Mike is traveling with two of his five kids, who are now teenagers. He says that next year he is hoping on bringing his twelve year old son, who has Down Syndrome. Mike sells transportation services for an international trucking company.
When we disembark in front of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception at Catholic University, a little ways outside of Washington, D.C., I meet Laura Hicks and her daughter, Rebecca, a high school senior, who are traveling with us. Laura has five children, including Rebecca, all of whom are home schooled. She says this is her fifth March for Life. Laura and her husband own Eddie’s Furniture in Holyoke, which was started by her grandfather in an old horse barn, where the business still stands.
By Helen Cross
Fourth in a series: The Abortion Industry Plays a Key Role in Human Trafficking
Eighty percent of human trafficking involves the sexual exploitation and coercion of women and children.
From bioethicist Wesley Smith's article in National Review ”Bill to Let Sex-Traffic Victims Sue Their Tormenters”:
In January, President Trump issued a proclamation opposing human trafficking and slavery, bringing needed attention to an evil that too often remains unseen in the darkest shadows of society.
More is needed, obviously. Here’s a good idea pending in Congress to aid this righteous cause. HR 1865 would add criminal penalties to the federal law for 'facilitating the prostitution of another person' — with extra penalties if five or more persons are so facilitated — specifically and explicitly including those prostituted in online exploitation schemes.
Perhaps most notably, the bill would create an explicit right for sex-trafficked victims to sue their tormentors in federal court: Civil Recovery.—Any person injured by reason of a violation of section 2421A(b) may recover damages and reasonable attorneys’ fees in an action before any appropriate United States district court.”
The text of H.R.1865 - Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 states the Act would “amend the Communications Act of 1934 to clarify that section 230 of such Act does not prohibit the enforcement against providers and users of interactive computer services of Federal and State criminal and civil law relating to sexual exploitation of children or sex trafficking, and for other purposes.
“It is the sense of Congress that—
(1) section 230 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 230; commonly known as the “Communications Decency Act of 1996”) was never intended to provide legal protection to websites that unlawfully promote and facilitate prostitution and websites that facilitate traffickers in advertising the sale of unlawful sex acts with sex trafficking victims;
(2) websites that promote and facilitate prostitution have been reckless in allowing the sale of sex trafficking victims and have done nothing to prevent the trafficking of children and victims of force, fraud, and coercion; and
(3) clarification of such section is warranted to ensure that such section does not provide such protection to such websites.”
Next: Human trafficking awareness day and President Trump's proclamation of January 2018 as National Slavery Human Trafficking Prevention Month
By Helen Cross
Third in a series: The Abortion Industry Plays a Key Role in Human Trafficking
In January 2011, Live Action investigators posing as pimps prostituting minor girls visited Planned Parenthood facilities asking about getting them abortions and sexually transmitted infections testing.
A series of seven investigational videos resulted from LiveAction's attempt to find out how Planned Parenthood would respond to sex traffickers seeking services, including abortions, for their underage sex slaves. Undercover footage exposed Planned Parenthood employees aiding sex traffickers by suggesting how to get abortions and birth control for their 14- and 15-year-old victims.
LiveAction reports, “The average age of entry into child prostitution is 13, and some girls have been subjected to multiple abortions. An encounter with any health care worker should be an opportunity for trafficking victims to get help to escape from slavery.”
After being exposed Planned Parenthood claimed to the media that it would retrain thousands of staff members across the country to properly report suspected sexual abuse of minors to authorities.Read more
By Ariana Gilbert
This week my friend Delilah and I attended the monthly Somerville Republican City Committee meeting at the local library. That isn’t the type of thing I’m typically stoked to do on a Monday night, but this meeting was different - I’d heard that Beth Lindstrom, candidate for the U.S. Senate, would be speaking. Since I volunteer with Massachusetts Citizens for Life, Anne Fox suggested that I go and ask Ms. Lindstrom if she would be supportive of the pro-life movement in Massachusetts and on the national level.
I believe the only way we’re going to get more pro-life politicians in office is by showing up at events like this and making it known that pro-lifers vote too, so this seemed like a good opportunity to let a candidate know what we’re looking for, as well as make them aware of the great pro-women, pro-child work being done in our state.Read more
By Nancy Valko
As so-called “safeguards” for doctor-prescribed suicide are now starting to be eliminated (See my recent blog “Legal Safeguards, Burdensome Obstacles and Conscience Rights”), the predicted advance directive (aka “living will”)— already biased against tube feedings—is now on track to include even spoon-feedings.
In an article in Today’s Geriatric Medicine, entitled “Judicious Feeding Options at the End of Life”, writer Mike Bassett writes that “In some states, patients can sign directives that allow refusal of feeding when the end of life approaches” and relates the 2013 case of an 82-year-old Alzheimer’s patient whose family filed a lawsuit against a British Columbia nursing home to force the home to stop spoon-feeding her. The lawsuit failed in court but now End of Life Washington, a pro-assisted suicide group, has devised a document called “My Instructions for Oral Feeding and Drinking”. The document is similar to an advance directive, but addresses the signer’s wishes about when to stop oral food and drink in “late-stage” dementia.
Although such a document can be signed, witnessed, and notarized, it is not a binding legal document. But this sets the stage for a legal challenge like the British Columbia case, but with assisted suicide groups hoping for a different judgment.
The article also interviewed the vice president of constituent services for the Alzheimer’s Association who said that when to stop even oral feeding “should be an important consideration for anyone issuing end-of-life instructions.”
Stephen Drake of the disability advocacy group “Not Dead Yet” made strong points about the dangers of this scheme both in the article and his blog “‘End of Life Washington’ Promotes Directive to Prevent Feeding Assistance to Those with Dementia”.Read more
By Anne Fox, President of Massachusetts Citizens for Life
Before I get to Ireland, I want to tell you that the Mass. Legislature’s Health Care Committee did not vote on the Doctor-Prescribed Suicide bills last week - thanks to your hundreds of calls! Unfortunately they have a fall-back date early in May. I'll keep you updated. Again, many thanks!
The Irish government has approved legalizing abortion. This will go to a referendum on May 25, 2018:
It would remove Amendment 8, which protects babies, from the Constitution and add: "Provision may be made in law for regulation of termination of a pregnancy."
Amendment 8 was passed in 1983. At that time, the pro-lifers in Ireland had no materials and little organization. MCFL put together informational packets which weighed 1/2 oz. and we went to every Irish Fair in Massachusetts during the year before. We told people we would give them any number of packets free as long as they promised to mail them to people they know in Ireland. We gave out several hundred.
Now the Irish pro-lifers do have organization, materials, and the internet. What they do not have is George Soros, who is funding this anti-life amendment. We have learned that the side which spends the most almost always wins a referendum. The thought of unlimited abortion in Ireland is gross.
We can do something. If you, or anyone you know, has contacts in Ireland, please let them know that abortion kills a baby, damages a woman, and corrupts society, that abortion will not be "safe, legal, and rare", that they are in battle with evil.
Also, check out this scary poll.