Posted on June 24, 2020 8:50 AM

Support Ireland: Rally for Life Goes Online July 4th

As you look forward to the Massachusetts March for Life, November 7th, 2020, you probably have a surprisingly open Summer calendar in front of you. After all, what do you do to support saving lives -- or just living your own -- during a pandemic?

One answer is the All-Ireland Rally for Life, July 4th.  A yearly affair that brings human rights advocates from across the globe to stand  joyfully for the lives of the preborn, the rally for life has gone online in 2020. The event's hashtag this year, #UnitedForLife, couldn't be more appropriate. We get to unite across oceans and nations for foundational recognition of every human being's right to live.

I and my fellow MCFL members and staff encourage you to join us online.  This event is a fantastic chance to learn from other tenacious advocates for life, to support the Irish, and to have a wicked good time. Because the Irish don't advocate for saving lives without celebrating life!

So look ahead to heel-to-heel (hopefully pandemic-free) marching in Massachusetts in November! And in the meantime, celebrate life and get united for life in solidarity online July 1st through 4th. Check out the the screening of UnPlanned, talks by Jeannie Mancini and other stalwart American and Irish pro-lifers, and send us your highlights or ideas for bringing the momentum for life back to the Bay State!

 

*Just a couple years ago, Ireland's trailblazing constitutional amendment protecting the preborn was removed via referendum. It, like our own Roe v. Wave, can be reversed. We stand for a society that will not discard the smaller, the weaker, or the less seen. This is a movement that will be distinctly local and uniquely global. 


Start a team for the 2020 Massachusetts March for Life

Sponsor the Massachusetts March for Life

Donate today to make our upcoming virtual events possible

Follow Mass. Citizens for Life and Life Institute (Ireland) and Pro-Life Campaign (Ireland)

on Twitter 


 

Posted on June 23, 2020 7:59 AM

Media report: Abortions Up During Pandemic

Abortions, report USA Today in a recent article, have risen during COVID19. From the phone lines in New York City to the more quiet mid-west, abortion facilities' owners and workers have commented that they have received an uptick in calls, and more and more "desperate" women seeking either surgical or medical abortion.

Far from coming to the obvious conclusion that women seek abortion when they feel unsupported and without other options, the article assumes the same stance as the abortion industry, namely, that abortion is necessary and restrictions damaging.

If desperation and crisis cause a need for abortion, however, is that a sign that women need abortion, or that women deserve and need support -- like all of us -- especially during national crisis?

The stories of women in this article are heartbreaking.

We should not be requiring our fellow citizens, women or otherwise, to undergo surgical manipulation during a crisis to survive. We should not be promoting an act that requires women to choose survival over the life of their child, unless we agree that women are second-class citizens.

“I hear it in my patient’s voices and questions daily,” the article quotes an abortion worker. “They’re worried about how they will make their rent, feed their family, access a ventilator if the need arises.”

If the need arises, we meet it. We do not take an innocent human life, or implicitly tell a woman her family and her survival are based on sacrificing one of her children. Let's not call an act that takes a human life an "essential service." Essential services preserve life.

While we're in a national crisis, we should be offering abundant, life-affirming support to any one in need. 

Abortion isn't affirmation of a woman's needs and unique dignity. Abortion is a rejection of her essence and her needs.

Many of our members are posting bulletins online and out their local bus stops listing support services, pregnancy resource centers, and even their own telephone number. 

If there's going to be an uptick in need, we're going to be the uptick in offering -- love, hope, and support.

Join Us.

 

Posted on June 22, 2020 8:45 AM

One Video Saved Baby Myles' Life

President's Column

by Myrna Maloney Flynn, MCFL President


Truth is so rare that it is delightful to tell it. - Emily Dickinson

Getting to tell one story with a happy ending feels like a luxury this week; that there are two such items to share today, both involving long-time MCFL members, is a blessing indeed. 

A few days ago, I received an email from my friend Jerry. The subject line: “Baby Myles Saved.” Since his birth a few months ago, I’d seen Jerry’s grandson on Facebook enough to feel like I knew him! Yet, as is often the case with social media, photos don’t tell all, and, as I read Jerry’s email, I realized that Myles’ story wasn’t just about the birth of a baby, but about his mother learning a truth that saved his life.  

It is a privilege to share the family’s “unplanned” experience with you. Before you read it below, watch this Live Action piece. (You can skip the ads.)

 

In just a few days, Veronica’s story has been viewed well over a half million times. 

Jerry, his wife, Maggie, and Veronica shared additional details about their experience with me this week, and our discussion revealed truths about what it’s like for a teenage girl to face pregnancy in Massachusetts.  

Current state law requires one parent to provide consent before a minor undergoes an abortion. (If the ROE Act passes, a girl as young as 12 could legally obtain an abortion without a parent, or any adult other than clinic staff, knowing about it.) I asked Jerry and Maggie, “As a 16-year-old, how accessible was abortion to Veronica?” “Obviously, we weren't informed when Veronica went [to Planned Parenthood],” they said. “We asked her, and she said no one there mentioned her age. We don't think that law is being followed.”

Veronica agreed. “When I went to Planned Parenthood there was no adult or parent with me,” she said. “The woman I talked to knew my age, and it did not seem to be a problem for me to get an abortion.”

“What do you remember about the clinic?” I asked. “I was expecting to be given more resources and options, but it felt like they were just mainly focused on abortion," Veronica said. One worker told her, "It isn't a baby yet," a comment Veronica says haunts her today. 

In spite of the difficult memories of being alone at Planned Parenthood, she says, “Every day, when I wake up to Myles’ smiling face, I am so thankful that I made the decision I did. My life would be very empty without him. He gives me purpose.”

Knowing Jerry and Maggie have been MCFL members for over 30 years, I asked why they’ve supported our mission for so long. They said that MCFL helps “to expose the truth of what abortion is, its consequences and what the support services are.” They urged us to do even more “to help those who need support, especially teenage girls.” 

Veronica agreed, saying, “I think many people my age are confused based on what society tells us, which is that a woman having an abortion should have that right because it is her body. I believe if there was more evidence out there about what abortion really does and how it hurts women, and also more outreach to people my age, there would be fewer pro-choice people,” she said.

Jerry and Maggie underscored deeply-held values that have prompted them to support MCFL’s mission, “We strongly believe in the value of every human life, especially the unborn. We feel the organization’s budget, compared to that of, say, Planned Parenthood, is worthy of, and greatly in need of, all we can do.”

Finally, I asked Veronica why she thinks her story on Live Action is generating such widespread engagement. “I think people are seeing that, even in difficult situations, there is always good,” she explained. “They see my son and his life and how precious he is, and know that no one should be able to take the right to life away from him.”

 


Join the #SaveBabyMyles  Summer Campaign with MCFL.

 Myrna's story is like most of our stories: we're only an arm-length away from miracles -- and needs.

Share a video or well-crafted image every week this summer like the video above that saved Baby Myles life. 

You can find more resources for videos, images, and articles on our blog

At Live Action on YouTube

At Rehumanize International

At Life Institute. ie

Posted on June 21, 2020 11:53 AM

To Our Father's, and Sacrificial Love

President's Column

by Myrna Maloney Flynn, MCFL President


It is a wise father that knows his own child. - William Shakespeare

“This is not my suitcase.” 

After flying solo across the country with three kids under the age of five, then chasing them through the Minneapolis airport, all I wanted was to yank our bags off the luggage carousel and get into my parents’ car as quickly as possible. A couple hours after arriving at their house, I began to unpack. One look at the contents of what I’d thought to be my suitcase told me I had, in my haste, mistakenly snatched some man’s bag. 

Thankfully, his phone number was posted inside. I called it. He answered. I apologized. After he assured me that he would have no use for the onesies, pacifiers, and Eric Carle stories in my suitcase, we made plans to meet and swap bags. The problem? He was staying three hours north of where I was. Bouncing my infant, trying to calm myself more than her, my fatigue and frustration set in. My father saw it on my face and, without hesitating, said he’d make the drive with me. 

Now, this wasn’t merely a nice gesture. My dad’s offer was downright sacrificial. It was late on a Friday afternoon during a Minnesota summer. The route we’d need to take would be bumper-to-bumper, lined with families heading to their lake cabins. (Think Cape traffic but with a lot more Chevy trucks.) 

The volume would mildly annoy most of us. But sitting in traffic, to my dad, was like food poisoning: something you try to prevent at all costs. He despised highway congestion so much that, whenever he drove to watch the Irish play in South Bend, Indiana, he'd head south into Iowa, then east once he hit Des Moines, and finally north to Notre Dame, having gone hundreds of miles out of his way, just to avoid Chicago traffic.

So I took him up on his monumental offer before he changed his mind. Minutes later, his favorite Jim Reeves CD playing, the two of us were on our way. A few miles in, we had our first memorable father-daughter conversation: “You put his suitcase in the trunk, right?” “No, I thought you did.” It would be a long night.

We spent the next couple hours crawling patiently north along I-94, somewhere between the city and Canada, talking. Really talking. I realized along the way how, as an adult, I hadn’t spoken at length with my dad for years, maybe ever. His hearing wasn’t great, so phone calls were typically just check-ins and kid updates. Visits “home” like this one were usually grandchild-centric, as they were meant to be.

I don’t remember most of the topics we covered on our road trip up and back again. But I recall how my dad listened as I spoke. He probably felt like he finally found a way to get to know who his daughter had become. The strategic maneuver successfully executed by this former Marine Corps sergeant wasn’t lost on me then. And it’s a memory I treasure now.

In honor of Father’s Day, I invite you to respond to this column (myrna@masscitizensforlife.org) with a favorite memory or photo of your dad or of a man who, through his big heart or soulful personality, demonstrated just how impactful, and how essential to the life of a child, a father’s love and attention is. I'd like to include it in our next issue of MCFL's magazine or perhaps on our social media platforms.

Here’s to our fathers and all they did to shape us. Here’s to men who may not have seen fatherhood coming but stood alongside women and supported the life entrusted to them both. And here’s to our sons, who we must raise to one day be caring fathers—self-sacrificial, steady, and strong, aware of and committed to their critical place in our society.  

Posted on June 17, 2020 4:06 PM

MLK Speaks to Our Time, "But If Not"

But If Not 

by Sonja Morin, Communications Intern


We find ourselves facing once again the most prevalent issue in American history up until now: human rights. A human being has the right to exist and live, no matter the circumstances in their lives, no matter the inherent elements of their identity, no matter the societal and cultural beliefs that are aimed towards them. A human being has a right to respect, not because of who they are or what they do, but because of what they are: humans endowed with dignity. A human being has the right to live free from violence. A human being has the right to fair treatment in a situation of legal intervention. These rights are among those most basic and inherent to our human identity. 

Yet, time and again, they have come into question, not because they themselves have changed, but because human selfishness intervenes. Slavery was an effort aimed towards economic success, completely ignoring the dignity of Black people in exchange for desired personal advancement. Women were denied rights so that present leaders could retain their status. In the moment, we wish to serve ourselves, and often lose sight of what is right. This is where injustice shatters peace. Our American culture has ingrained values that attempt to protect rights, but our nation has certainly failed to carry those values out in different situations. We see it in the treatment of the pre-born, the elderly, the marginalized, the sick, and racial minorities, especially the Black community. The United States is wounded because of these injustices, sinking into a dark despair that would claim humans cannot rise above their sinful tendencies. 

In the past few weeks, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has been looked to not only  as a model of justice and respect, but of hope. People have sought out his words and shared them with others in an attempt to advocate for better conditions. This made me look to a sermon from 1967, entitled “But If Not”. In this sermon, Dr. King relates the biblical story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These three stood against the tyranny of the Babylonian ruler, refusing to worship an idol and thus violate their religious rights. They were thrown into a fiery furnace, but even then, they refused to deny their God. Miraculously, they were saved, and this event prompted the king to reverse the unjust law. 

Dr. King masterfully uses the story of these three Hebrew men to demonstrate that injustice has always accompanied humanity. There have always been times of unjust persecution, when the rights of individuals were sacrificed on the altar of self-gratification. The utilization of people as a means to advance one’s own interests is a deplorable condition that humanity has struggled with for centuries, and continues to wrestle with as years pass. As a result of these corruptive actions giving way to each other, the issue of creating justice in an unjust world seems almost insurmountable to many. 

However, the constancy of injustice has always been accompanied by the constancy of those who fought against it and for their fellow human beings, for a restoration of equity and peace. Those of us who suffer because of our age, because of our race or ethnicity, because of our physical or psychological abilities, or any other circumstances, are not alone. Those of us who fight to secure the rights of those cast off by society and culture are not alone. Behind us are thousands of years’ worth of individuals who stood up for the truth, even if it meant risking their lives. 

What do these times mean to and for us? Dr. King’s sermon holds the answer: “You must love ultimately because it’s lovely to love. You must be just because it’s right to be just. You must be honest because it’s right to be honest.” As members of the pro-life movement, it is our chiefest duty to defend and celebrate human life from conception until natural death. We do so, not because it is convenient or easy, but because of our love for each other rising from our shared humanity. 

As so many issues pertaining to life reach a boiling point - prominent among them racially-motivated discrimination and violence - we must work more persistently than ever to ensure that individuals are respected and treated with love. That love begins with us, in the way we interact with those around us. It begins with how we treat others online. It begins with how we respond to chaos - seeing it as an opportunity to care. It begins with refusing to transform deep wounds into political bullets. If there’s a time for standing up for those who are most vulnerable and marginalized in society, it is now. Raise your voices with Dr. King, with the Hebrews, with all those before us who stood for the truth. Let us work peacefully now for an end to discrimination and violence, to ensure that all people, who have been created equal, can live in the joy of that equality without fear.

Posted on June 16, 2020 2:55 PM

Dutch doctor kills demented patient, exonerated in court

In the Netherlands, a woman who repeatedly told her MD not yet, was euthanized at that same doctor's orders. 

Dr. Arends, who had attended the woman from the beginning of her illness with dementia, said, "‘I believed that her suffering was truly awful and I knew that it could last for a long time,’

The woman, whose name was withheld in the interview Dr. Arends granted Dutch News, had signed a living will in which she requested that she be killed before she died naturally if the disease progressed "unbearably." However, she also stated that she required her medical team to secure verbal and written consent when the time came.

Neither Dr. Arends, nor anyone else, got that confirmation. In fact, as has been previously stated, she told them multiple times that she did not want to be euthanized. 

Arends was brought to court for her actions, but ultimately exonerated. In a bewilderingly bewildered statement, she reflected that she was stunned by the possibility of jail. ‘It is bizarre. ‘It’s the first time that I realized that an accusation of murder was even possible, in court. You see images of a jail cell before you. It has such a huge personal impact.’

She did not, however, comment on the huge personal impact of being dead, and more than that, killed without your consent by your own MD. Apparently, that fact was too bizarre to enter her mind. 

The most troubling aspect of the story is the statement made again and again by Arends that  she "knew best." Even to the point of adding a sedative to her patient's coffee so that the woman could not protest, Arends stands by her judgement as if she had a divine mandate to relieve another human being of pain -- and life. 

This is the brave new world of assisted suicide. If a human being has a right to request suicide, why isn't their right to accept suffering honored at the same level? And when a physician can substitute their will for yours, their judgment for yours, whose right is it anyway?


Please read on to inform yourself about the proposed doctor prescribed suicide law in Massachusetts (S.2745), which has just be voted favorably out of committee into Health Financing. (Updated as of: 17 June 2020)

Join MCFL now and make give voice to those with no voice by calling your legislator and asking them to oppose "An Act Relative to End of Life Options" (S.2745).

Use the main State House number and request your representative by giving your zip code:

617 722 2000

Access key facts about this anti-life bill here: Key Facts, S.2745

Read the Mass. Citizens for Life media advisory about S.2745 here.


 

Posted on June 15, 2020 7:37 AM

Promoting suicide during an apocalypse

Promoting Suicide during an Apocalypse 

by J. David Franks, Ph.D.

Chairman of the Board, Massachusetts Citizens for Life


The coronavirus pandemic and the protests against police brutality have an apocalyptic air about them, but “apocalypse” means, in fact, the unveiling of what is already there. And what has been revealed to those not on the margins is a preexisting condition of grotesque, and lethal, inequity for those on the margins—but exacerbated by the revealing crisis itself.

A new draft of pending physician-assisted suicide legislation (Bill S.2745) has, under cover of lockdown, broken through in the Massachusetts legislature, being favorably reported out of the Joint Committee on Public Health to the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing.

Promoting this legislation in the midst of a pandemic in which at least 40% of the victims have been elderly persons living in long-term care facilities shocks the conscience.

Our very first concern when lockdown orders were handed down should have been to lavish massive resources on long-term elder-care facilities. Instead we did what we have done all along: we ignored, with deadly callousness, the plight of the old—even though the economy was, presumably, being shut down for their sake in particular. Remarkably, some governors even sent recovering COVID patients into nursing homes.

If such illogical and lethally ageist disregard for the value of elderly persons could occur in these extraordinary circumstances, it should perhaps not be surprising that legislation which would intensify a public-health emergency predating COVID-19 has found its ironic moment of glory.

Despite ideological word games, physician-assisted suicide is still what it is: suicide. And suicide has been epidemic in America for a long time now, ending the lives of more than 47,000 in 2017—a 33% increase over the previous two decades. Suicide is an American public-health crisis, and it is only getting worse.

In fact, the crisis is intensifying before our very eyes in long-term elder-care facilities. As Dr. Louise Aronson wrote in The New York Times:

“Earlier this month, a colleague who heads the geriatrics service at a prominent San Francisco hospital told me they had begun seeing startling numbers of suicide attempts by older adults. These were not cry-for-help gestures, but true efforts to die by people using guns, knives and repurposed household items.

“Such so-called ‘failed suicides’ turn out to be the most extreme cases of a rapidly growing phenomenon among older Americans as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic: lives stripped of human contact, meaningful activity, purpose and hope that things will get better in a time frame that is relevant to people in the last decades or years of life.”

Despite this, now is the time that the ruling elite on Beacon Hill pushes legislation forward promoting suicide among the elderly in particular.

Rather than a serious campaign to deal with social despair (so often tied to economic factors) and rather than increasing resources to treat depression, that is, rather than systemically confronting the public-health crisis of suicide (especially among the old, given the burden of the COVID pandemic), the supporters of this legislation would rather surrender that most exposed ground to suicide.

Rather than addressing staffing shortages and other horrors in elder-care facilities, problems which have been studied, but which require a battle with the rapacious nursing-home lobby to address, supporters of this legislation would rather be working with that lobby to convert the premature death of the elderly into increased margins for corporate overlords (like the parasitism of Snowpiercer).

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed fundamental inequities in our social system in general and in our healthcare system in particular: the elderly and poor minorities have been especially hard hit.

It was edifying to listen to those suffering poverty and people of color testify before the Public Health Committee last year as they tried to communicate, to legislators who occupy a different social position in this world, how fearful they were of legislation that would give, say, health-insurance companies the option to deny coverage for actual medicines in favor of a newly designated “medical” option: “aid in dying.” They have suffered denials of care all their lives; they know assisted suicide will increase the deadliness of systemic injustice.

Sadly, supporters of assisted suicide could not hear through their privilege. And the apocalypse has not woken them up. They have acted with astonishing irresponsibility [in voting S.2745 favorably out of committee].

Yours, for Life,

David

Join

Donate

 


Join MCFL now and make give voice to those with no voice by calling your legislator and asking them to oppose "An Act Relative to End of Life Options" (S.2745).

Use the main State House number and request your representative by giving your zip code:

617 722 2000

Access key facts about this anti-life bill here: Key Facts, S.2745

Read the Mass. Citizens for Life media advisory about S.2745 here.

 

Posted on June 12, 2020 7:38 AM

MEDIA ADVISORY: assisted suicide voted on favorably for first time in MA history

MEDIA ADVISORY: ASSISTED SUICIDE BILL VOTED ON "FAVORABLY" IN MASSACHUSETTS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY

Boston, MA - 9 June 2020 -- Last week, the members of the Joint Committee on Public Health voted S.2745 (previously S.1208), "An Act Relative to End of Life Options" favorably out of committee.  

This is the first time in history a bill related to physician-assisted suicide (PAS) has cleared its committee assignment.

Patricia Stewart, Esq., executive director of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, and one of the Commonwealth’s leading experts in the legalities of PAS, said: "The bill’s soothing catch phrases can disguise, but they cannot change, the bill’s ugly reality, which is the intentional ending of a human life in secret. We cannot permit this dangerous policy to become law in Massachusetts. The life of our most vulnerable family members and neighbors depend on it."

Difficulties in ensuring Massachusetts’ high standards of patient care, and the impossibility of protecting at-risk patients from abuse, have plagued this version of the bill and its predecessors. Citizens and legislators have shelved it repeatedly, while out-of-state suicide advocates have lobbied it back onto the agenda again and again.

Dr. Mark Rollo, MCFL board member and family physician in Fitchburg, MA, highlighted the bill’s perils in an automated call reaching citizens across the state.

       State sanctioned suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer.  The American Medical Association has strongly rejected it.  Physicians make mistakes. No law can include a safe guard for this simple fact.

  1. Elder abuse will be exacerbated via potential coercion to take suicide pills.
  2. Insurance companies will have an incentive to cut costs by denying expensive care and approving the affordable solution of suicide.
  3. The COVID-19 pandemic elicited discussion of rationing of care, putting people with disabilities and the elderly at the end of the line.  The same logic can be applied to assisted suicide.
  4. Recent mass protests have reminded us that minorities still suffer from discrimination.  Inevitably the poor and people of color will be steered toward suicide.

MCFL, in its mission to protect and respect the lives of every individual human being in Massachusetts, continues to oppose this bill and this week encouraged its members to contact their state representatives. The response has been tremendous.

"There is nothing more painful than witnessing a loved one face the challenges that often accompany the end of life. Yet there is nothing more precious than the human life itself," said Myrna Maloney Flynn, president of Massachusetts Citizens for Life. "And so there is never too much energy or care we can expend when it comes to seeing our laws reflect that truth. This bill is deeply flawed, whatever your stance on the issue, and will endanger our at-risk neighbors and family. There are far more meaningful and humane end-of-life options our society should promote, namely palliative care and hospice services.”

For press queries:

Please email action@masscitizensforlife.org

Posted on June 03, 2020 8:43 AM

Massachusetts assisted suicide bill moves out of committee

 

The doctor prescribed suicide bill has been voted favorably out of committee onto the house for a formal vote during the COVID pandemic. 

We need you to call the State House today and ask your legislator to vote NO on doctor prescribed death, S.2745. Call 617 - 722 - 2000 and request your representative's office by giving the operator your zip code.

You can also look up your representative using your zip code here and email them. You may also contact them via social media, and this is a great mini tutorial for doing just that: Social Media and Contacting Your Elected Representative

 

Listen to expert Dr. Mark Rollo's call to voters across the state here.

 

Some key points to remember when reaching your representative or posting on social media:

 

  • COVID19 mostly kills the elderly, the already-ill and people with disabilities. The assisted suicide bill, S2745, will endanger these individuals even more.
  • The doctors deciding who is eligible for assisted suicide are the same ones who were perfectly comfortable putting the elderly, the immunocompromised, and people with disabilities at the back of the line for life-preserving COVID treatment.  Legalized assisted suicide will make medical discrimination worse and ageism worse.
  • The assisted suicide bill is fatally flawed and ripe for abuse, coercion and mistakes.   When care is expensive and suicide is cheap, the bill tells elders, the immuno-compromised, and people with life-threatening disabilities  that their lives are worth-less.
  • If Massachusetts legalizes assisted suicide, some people’s lives will be ended without their consent, through insurance denials, mistakes and abuse.  No safeguards have ever been enacted, or even proposed, that can prevent this outcome which can never be undone once it is put into effect.


REMEMBER THE CALL TO ACTION:

Use the primary state house number (617 - 722 - 2000) and request your district representative and state senator’s offices.  Call and ask them to oppose S2745, the assisted suicide bill. Call the Health Care Financing Committee at  (617) 722-1432 to request that they allocate no funding for a bill that will take innocent lives.

You can also look up your representative using your zip code here and email them.

Send us your success reports via email or on social media! Your stories encourage your fellow citizens to continue to fight for the vulnerable!

cj@masscitizensforlife.org

Mass. Citizens on FaceBook



Posted on May 26, 2020 8:22 AM

Stepping it up

President's Column

by Myrna Maloney Flynn, MCFL President

 

"Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility." – Eleanor Roosevelt


No one said it would be easy, this mission of ours. Perhaps it’s because we’re months into a pandemic, we’re having to relearn life, the unsettling unknown requires more energy, or the drumbeat surrounding the November election has already got us marching at a pace that feels more appropriate for the chill of September, not the typical sunny slowdown of May. The word “exasperated” came up in a remote learning session my daughter and I worked on last week. Her teacher’s failed attempt at wit notwithstanding, I had to admit I couldn’t come up with a better adjective to describe my mood.

I’d just read about a new documentary featuring a “deathbed confession” by Norma McCorvey, otherwise known as “Jane Roe” in the 1973 Roe vs. WadeSupreme Court case. Following the decision that legalized elective abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, and which has resulted in more than 60 million American lives lost, McCorvey not only revealed regret for participating in the case but became an outspoken pro-life advocate. In the new film, however, she apparently claims her advocacy was false, and that she was motivated solely by money from those who wished to use her to advance the right to life; such a delicious entree for the media to serve up.

Conversely, the media kept a lid on something a little more difficult to stomach: the $80 million in CARES Act funding which 37 Planned Parenthood chapters improperly applied for and received from the Small Business Administration. The money is part of the coronavirus-related Paycheck Protection Program, meant to assist employers and provide support for their employees during pandemic-related shutdowns. 

To qualify, an employer, which may include a nonprofit incorporated as a 501c3, must have fewer than 500 employees. It’s simply up to each applicant to truthfully declare that stipulation is met. In total, Planned Parenthood employs about 16 thousand, but the 37 clinics applied separately, claiming each was its own small business, conveniently unrelated to its billion-dollar parent. Because MCFL is both a 501c3 and a 501c4, we knew we’d be ineligible and didn’t apply.

I know, I know. It pays to be honest. But I can’t blame Planned Parenthood for giving in to the temptation. A couple million dollars to advance a mission sounds good to me, too. And if that organization’s mission was exclusively to offer cancer screenings, birth control, and STD testing—or to fund a single mother’s education, childcare expenses, medical bills, or rent—the amount of government funding or how it was obtained wouldn’t be as concerning. 

But we know the truth. We know the annual numbers: 340,000. Too many lives. Too many women each year believe, because of what they are told, that they have no better option. 

But we know the truth. It’s our job to speak it, however we can. A pro-life friend, until recently mostly private about her belief, told me this week she proudly ordered a choose life license plate for her car, defiantly saying, “I’m stepping it up!”  

We remember this week and Memorial Day those men and women who died so that we might live freely. May we honor them daily by recognizing our responsibilities: to use our freedom of speech to respectfully educate others, to lovingly sacrifice our time for women who need us, and to defend those who cannot defend themselves. 

It’s not easy, this mission we’re on. At times, it feels exasperating. But no matter where the national conversation might take us, or which diversion happens to be the topic of the day, the truth remains.

As always, thank you for all you do to support Massachusetts Citizens for Life.