By C.J. Williams, MCFL Director of Community Engagement
What do you do if you find yourself in a pro-life/pro-choice conversation where the other person seems closed off to all of your arguments? You may know someone, or be the someone, who always knows a clear and convincing argument for the fact that human rights begin at conception. But now you're in that dialogue outside the clinic, or at your work place, pro-life to pro-choice -- and no matter what you say, you feel like you're building a bigger wall.
At this point, Stephanie Gray (who will headline our Dr. Mildred Jefferson Symposium at Harvard (virtually!) on October 22nd, debating Professor Peter Singer) says -- look to the heart.
If you and your friend are drawing farther apart, it's likely that this is a heart, not a head, issue.
One out of 3 of my peers lost their life to abortion. Can you picture how many people you meet each day, and can you now visualize the numbers personally touched by abortion?
The tips in the following video remind us that we are not on two sides of an insurmountable mountain when we discuss abortion with our peers or fellow citizens. But we do meet, sometimes, in front of a deep wound that runs like a chasm between us.
That wound is abortion.
We cannot argue to a heart; we have to love it. Thus, most of our intentional encounters that seem to run up against a wall need to be brought out of the head and onto the level of relationship.
A few reminders:
--Meet your friend, or the stranger on the street corner, as another human being -- what is their story?
--Whom do they care about, and why does abortion matter to them?
--Is there something you can do to answer their questions?
--Do we really want to base our concept of human rights on an act of violence?
I highly recommend listening to Stephanie's interview and discussion below on How to Effectively Argue About Abortion. She gets to the heart of the matter; and that's something I'm sure she will also accomplish in our sponsored debate, on October 22nd at 7pm on the question of: Is Abortion Moral?
Please register now -- space on the virtual debate platform is limited!
Unappealing: MCFL’s Resoonst to Unpregnant (2020)
By Sonja Morin, Communications Intern
I spent Friday night last week watching the new HBO Max release Unpregnant. Based on the 2019 novel of the same name by Jenni Hendricks and Ted Caplan, the film follows Veronica (played by Haley Lu Richardson), an Ivy-League bound senior who finds out she’s facing an unexpected pregnancy. Worried about the backlash from her community, she decides to roadtrip with Bailey (played by Barbie Ferreira), her estranged best friend, to be able to obtain an abortion without parental consent. While the film itself aims to be a pro-choice manifesto masquerading as a girls’ road trip movie, it fails to satisfy either aim.
Road trip films have certain components that distinguish the great from the lackluster, the first of these being a credible portrayal of the protagonists. Unpregnant is meant to be aimed at Generation Z, the younger component of the youth in America. Being part of this generation myself, I paid especially close attention to how people my age are portrayed in the film through the performances and script. What I found were stereotypes and weaponized characters, rather than compassionate examinations of Generation Z teens. Veronica is the Type A student, while Bailey is the loner tomboy. Much like these protagonists, all the other characters are one-sided and have a limited amount of defining qualities.
Road trip flicks have lighthearted, funny situations sprinkled between moments of drama to add complexity to the plot. Many of the situations in the story are meant to mirror that particular mood, but a more serious consideration of the film makes the viewer realize just how many truly serious situations are made light. Both Veronica and Bailey have terrible support systems in their lives, which lead them to take the road trip without anyone knowing in the first place. Both girls are underage and hitchhike multiple times with complete strangers. Near-arrest, stealing a car, dangerous driving, and near-kidnapping are all results of these choices. It’s played off in the movie as a humorous series of incidents on the way to the clinic. But these aren’t lighthearted complexities, they are truly dangerous situations all justified only because of abortion. The utter disregard on the part of the writers for the justification of what would otherwise be incredible and insupportably dangerous behavior is obvious to any viewer, regardless of whether they are pro-life or pro-choice.
While it is clear that the film suffers in its attempt to be a road trip movie, let us examine whether it is successful in promoting its pro-choice message. A quality social justice film must be subliminal but strong in its messaging. Refusing to fall into preachy ground, it instead uses emotional, moving stories to convey its point. It’s more than obvious that Unpregnant is meant to be an antithesis to the 2019 release Unplanned. However, its failures in fulfilling the criteria for a quality social justice film makes it a less-than-compelling response from the pro-choice movement.
From a propagandistic standpoint, this film gave me a similar feeling as a panoramic short film entitled Across the Line, which was produced by Planned Parenthood a little over five years ago. It overused demonizing stereotypes against the pro-life movement, blasted statistics, and overall felt preachy and burdensome in its messaging. It fails because its obviousness in its agenda alienates the viewers and throws aside any merit the story might have. Very similarly to Across the Line, Unpregnant characterizes the pro-choice people in an overwhelmingly positive light, while all the pro-life characters are delusional and hateful. It’s old stereotypes resurrected for the purpose of demonizing anyone with the slightest opposition to abortion. Unpregnant goes to the point of including a crazed, specifically Catholic couple, that goes as far as holding the protagonists captive while nearly driving off a cliff, all in the name of preventing Veronica from reaching the abortion clinic.
One particularly propagandistic element of the film is the statistics. Multiple times, both Veronica and Bailey recite statistics regarding abortion and contraceptives. No member of Generation Z would go to the lengths of reciting a number to the decimal point regarding any of these topics, even when they are truly passionate about it. In fact, most people don’t memorize statistics to the decimal. The only point to include the numbers is to push a particular rhetorical point. If the movie is meant to be subliminal in its push for the pro-choice agenda, it certainly misses the mark.
I am nearly positive the film was meant to enrage pro-lifers as well as rally pro-choicers. As a pro-lifer, I feel pity for the pro-abortion industry. Surely many on the pro-choice side feel the same. It is rather disturbing that the cultural leaders of the movement felt the need to sink to such a low in response to Unplanned. The result was a flick that not only justifies terrible actions and is a lackluster attempt at filmmaking, but fails to carry the intended message with conviction. In fact, it only unearths the dishonest, dehumanizing, demoralizing, and disempowering nature of abortion. My hope is that any who view the film, or even hear of it, are empowered to speak out against this ugliness that rises from abortion and its defense, as so clearly visualized in Unpregnant.
Make a creative statement that gives life! Please donate to MCFL today: Donate here
You can also order or stream UnPlanned on Amazon Prime now. Check it out here (click through the "Amazon Smile" link to be sure your purchase supports life in our state) or read a list and reviews of some of my life-affirming film recommendations at this link.
What do you call a principle without any practice?
A phantom, because it doesn't have life or body!
With that Halloween-style lead-in, we'd like to invite you to join us during Respect Life Month putting our pro-life principles into practice. It doesn't take a national revolution to create tangible changes in society. Just one video posted by a pro-life individual saved Baby Myles.
Here are 3 things you can do during October to save babies, change lives, and give hope. Respect isn't an idea, it's an action. Being pro-life, as so many of you show us every day, is a verb, not a noun. Using your time like this member, and holding a sign at the abortion facility, literally saves lives.
TAKE ACTION DURING RESPECT LIFE MONTH!
OUR 2020 VISION IS PRO-LIFE
- Join 40 Days For Life. Sign up for a couple hours per week. If you would like to join someone who's done it before, please send us a note. We'll partner you with someone! Statistics show that no-show rates for abortions rise to over 50% when there's just ONE person outside the clinic. Be that person!
- Join the Massachusetts Walk for Life (virtually!). Clock 5 to 15k (or more) from now until the deadline for the R.O.E. Act. Here are some great ideas on how to make this a safely-distanced but still strong statement in defense of our women and preborn children. Much like other virtual walks, raise as much support as you can by asking friends and family to support you; and then walk or run whenever you can. (Have your official fundraising link set up by emailing C.J. - firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Join the first-ever Dr. Mildred Jefferson Symposium ONLINE, featuring a debate on the question, "Is Abortion Immoral?" A great opportunity to invite friends who may be pro-choice or on-the-fence, or get your chapter together for a watch party. Stay tuned for official registration details!
While over 20 million Democrats would strongly disagree, Joe Biden declared last night that to be a Democrat equals being pro-abortion.
The National Right to Life has sent out concise press release demonstrating the abortion extremism of the Biden/Harris campaign.
For immediate release: Wednesday, September 30, 2020
For more information: Laura Echevarria, (202) 626-8825, email@example.com
Joe Biden: “I am the Democratic Party”
The Democratic Party Equals Abortion on Demand
WASHINGTON — During last night’s first presidential debate, Joe Biden declared that he was the Democratic Party:
My party is me. Right now, I am the Democratic Party. I am the Democratic Party, right now. The platform of the Democratic Party is what I, in fact, approved of.
“The Democratic Party and its leadership want abortion at any time, anywhere, and under any circumstances,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “In his own words, it means that Joe Biden wants abortion at any time, anywhere, and under any circumstances.”
A Biden/Harris administration would seek to:
In an interview with The New York Times editorial board in January 2020, Joe Biden was asked what he would look for in a nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. He said:
They have to have an expansive view of the Constitution. Recognize the right to privacy, unenumerated rights that exist in the Constitution... that means I know they will in fact support Roe v. Wade.
“Joe Biden would force taxpayers to pay for abortions, he would turn back the clock on pro-life policies, and he would run rough-shod over the wishes of the American people in an effort to please pro-abortion groups,” said NRLC president, Tobias. “Women and their unborn children would suffer if Joe Biden were to win.”
She's the perfect fit for our Supreme Court, and for our nation: Feminist, brilliant, both a loving mother and a keen and balanced court justice. She's young. At 48, she will be the youngest justice in our highest court. Her progressive principles show up in her living, as you can see by her family and professional life. Balancing parenting responsibilities with her husband, she is a contemporary example of equality for women based on shared responsibility, rather than the violence of abortion (as Erika Bachiochi notes).
So why is there this radical rift in public opinion about her nomination?
The answer may lie in her consistency. Because Barrett believes in authentic human rights and equality, she opposes abortion.
Amy Coney Barrett is pro-life. Protecting women and the unborn from violence is the one and only thing that keeps her from sailing into our highest court -- and that opposition, much more than any of her qualifications or vulnerabilities, is something we should be focusing on.
Barrett isn't controversial.
But the opinion that a child's life is the price for a woman's freedom is one that needs to be stated plainly and examined all across our political spectrum. That opinion, and its proponents, should be under the microscope: not Barrett.
Read on for some notes on Barrett's judicial voting record, judicial philosophy, and background.
Live Action News writers note:
Barrett has a brief but consistent record in support of life. In 2016, Barrett voted in favor of rehearing a 2016 case regarding an Indiana law that required aborted babies to be buried or cremated after some judges determined the law to be unconstitutional. The case was later heard by the Supreme Court, which upheld the law. Ginsburg was the sole justice to write a dissent to that ruling.
Barrett also voted to rehear a case regarding a law that would have banned abortions because of the baby’s sex, race, or disability, a law of which she was in favor. In 2017, in the case of Box v. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, Inc., Barrett joined dissenters in support of the Indiana law requiring doctors to notify the parents of minors seeking abortions.
In terms of her understanding of the position, Barrett states that she is accepting the nomination not to promote her personal opinions nor for others in her privileged position. “I would assume this role to serve you," she wrote this week, "I would discharge the judicial oath, which requires me to administer justice without respect to persons, do equal right to the poor and rich, and faithfully and impartially discharge my duties under the United States Constitution."
Kelsey Hazzard, a lawyer and tireless advocate for the unborn from Florida, remarks that "[Barrett'] is a mother of seven, including a child with Down Syndrome. Those two aspects of her life are not in conflict. Judge Barrett's biography proves that, shockingly, work-life balance is achievable without dismembering any babies."
More detail on her career and record can be found at the National Review, which features an article discussing her judicial approach and background. Read it here.
Pro-choice states have higher abortion rates. Kelsey Hazzard (president and founder of Secular Pro-Life) looked into claims made by Washington Post reporter, Aaron Blake that pro-choice states had fewer abortions and unintended pregnancies. She used facts pulled from Pew, CDC reports, and statistics posted by Guttmacherer, the research arm of Planned Parenthood, and discovered that -- contra Blake's claim -- there's no difference between pro-life/pro-choice states in some instances. In most, pro-life states have fewer unintended pregnancies and abortions than their abortion-promoting counterparts.
Blake, and many pro-abortion media representatives and citizens believe there's a correlation between opposing abortion, and creating more abortions. But it's simply not true.
In fact, it looks more as if greater contraception access and promotion, along with higher support for abortion, create more abortions and more unintended pregnancies.
If you want the full numbers-crunch, read on here. Her research is thorough and fascinating.
If you want the info-graphs and links to her sources, you can find those here.
Share and start a conversation!
You could say our 2020 fundraising banquet -- held this year online due to pandemic restrictions -- featured multiple survivors of abortion. In fact, hundreds.
Everyone who was born after 1973 survived abortion; any one of you with a birthday after that date who joined us on Thursday, September 17th, survived Roe v. Wade's decision making your life expendable.
But Melissa literally survived a late-term saline abortion. Baby Hope, born less than a year ago right here in Massachusetts, survived her doctors' pressuring her mother again and again to abort her merely because of an adverse fetal diagnosis.
Melissa, 43 years ago | Melissa, now, speaking to us.
We are 100% donor supported. You, our members, are our backbone.
We need you to be able to save lives like Melissa's and Hope's.
You can make your secure donation now right here.
If you joined us last night for our first-ever virtual event, thank you for your participation and support. We were thrilled that hundreds of life advocates attended! And, based on feedback during and after our Annual Fundraising Banquet, our guests enjoyed being with us, too! Here’s a small sampling of the kind words our viewers shared:
“Great job tonight!”
“It was fantastic!”
“What a wonderful presentation. My husband loved it!”
“Wonderful job. Very professional. I wanted to increase my donation after listening to Matt.”
“MCFL is in my heart. Thank you so much.”
“Congratulations on your first event. Seems as though everything went off wonderfully from our viewpoint.”
“A terrific fundraiser tonight!”
"Hello from the Perfetti family! Thank you for your priceless efforts to end the abortion nightmare!"
"This event is so well done! A class act. I am giving the best and most that I can. Go MCFL!"
[ Cardinal Sean O'Malley ] "This is a team effort - the Church and society are blessed by all that you do and your faithful witness."
My hardworking team and I are humbled by such glowing reviews. Shucks, we’re even blushing a little. Yet we’re not ready to pat ourselves on the back, turn off the lights and go home, because we are still $61,164 short of the $100,000 goal we need to raise by the end of this month.
Our faithful donors have stepped up, as they always do, and, as a result, we have raised nearly $40,000 so far. But as you heard during the event, or as you’ll learn when you watch it here, we cannot invest in the necessary resources to accomplish our lifesaving mission within the Commonwealth unless that number jumps significantly. So, if you haven’t yet made a Banquet gift to Massachusetts Citizens for Life, I invite you to do so today.
We packed a lot of stellar speakers into one hour. Each has a compelling story that will lift your spirits and remind you all over again why you partner with us in the fight for life and why each single gift makes a difference.
The Pats don’t play until Sunday night. Saturday’s college football lineup? Meh. Red Sox-Yankees? No guarantees there, but I’m promising you a grand slam. So put your feet up this weekend and prepare to be wowed by the likes of Melissa Ohden, Dr. Alveda King, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, and many many other dynamic presenters, each of whom knows what it means to love, fight, thrive.
Myrna Maloney Flynn, MCFL President
The MCFL Team
Please make your secure online donation here.
Pro-Life Rep. John Rogers (D-12th Norfolk) won his primary challenge. MCFL rented its list of over 1,000 names in the district to Rogers’ campaign sharing the candidates’ positions on life.
Pro-Life Sen. Nick Collins (D-1st Suffolk) won primary election. He’s running unopposed in the general.
Pro-Life Rep. Paul Donato (D-35th Middlesex) won his primary challenge.
Pro-Life Republican Candidate, David Rosa, lost primary for 4th congressional seat to Republican Julie Hall* whose positions on life are unknown. He requested an endorsement weeks ago. We waited until the day before to announce.
^Pro-Life Rep David M. Nangle (D-16th Middlesex) lost his primary to a Democrat who will run unopposed and whose positions on life are unknown.
^Nangle, indicted in February on more than two dozen federal fraud charges to which he has pleaded not guilty, has served in the House for 11 terms and was a member of Speaker Robert DeLeo’s leadership team until stepping down from that post after his arrest.
Pro-Life Democratic candidate, David K. Bartley, lost to Patricia Duffy* whose positions on life are unknown.
Pro-Life Republican candidate, Thomas F. Keyes, lost to Steve Xiarhos* for the 5th Barnstable District. Xiarhos’ position on life is unknown
Pro-Life Republican candidate, Dan Allie, lost to Kelly Pease* for the 4th Hampden District. Pease’s position on life is unknown
Pro-abortion Sen. James Welch (Hampden) lost is seat to Adam Gomez. Gomez filled out a progressive group’s questionnaire saying he would support the repeal of parental notification laws. Unknown on DPS so we should approach him to persuade him to vote against DPS instead of abortion issues.
Democrat Rob Consalvo will replace retiring Pro-Life Democrat, Rep. Angelo Scaccia, for the 14th Suffolk district. Find out if he is pro-life or not.
* Republican Julie Hall won Republican primary for 4th Congressional District. Her positions on life are unknown.
*Democrat Patricia Duffy won the 5th Hampden primary. Her positions on life are unknown.
*Republican Steve Xiarhos won the 5th Barnstable primary. His positions on life are unknown.
From the Desk of the Executive Director.
Some thoughts on the Theme of the 2020 Virtual Banquet
There are as many interpretations for the terms comprising our 2020 Virtual Banquet theme, “Love. Fight. Thrive,” as there are people who hear, see, or experience them.
Here’s how they speak to me:
A dictionary defines “thrive” to mean “progress toward or realization of a goal despite, or because of, circumstances.” For pro-lifers, the goal has always been the same – protecting and defending the lives of the unborn, the elderly, and disabled – the lives of society’s voiceless and weakest members whom the culture of death deems of little value.
For some, “thriving” has meant acquiring great wealth, power, or fame. For pro-lifers, however, these are not essential. For them, thriving consists in being an agent of lasting cultural change that safeguards the lives of strangers, most of whom they will never meet. It is in the simple act of living generously the life that God has given with a heart open to receiving life’s tangible and intangible blessings.
- Pro-lifers, who pray outside abortion mills, thrive when even one baby is spared from abortion to become whoever she was meant to be. Pro-lifers, who advocate for patients’ rights, thrive when a family rejects today’s all too common medical practice of denying an elderly patient food and water to hasten the patient’s death. Pro-lifers who fight against doctor-prescribed suicide thrive when those, who promote suicide as a solution to aging or protracted illness, fail to enact their lethal legislation.
- Pro-lifers also see “thriving” as that trickle-down effect that produces opportunities, support, and community for the marginalized and potential victims of anti-life policies to achieve personal victories over adversity. An infant, who survives an attempted abortion because a pro-life nurse rescued her, thrives when she defeats the senseless evil of abortion and goes on to fulfill the promise of a life well-lived; a post-abortive woman thrives when, with the help and support of a pro-life organization, she conquers lifelong demons of guilt and regret to finally find her peace; and an elder thrives when a pro-life family or other pro-life support system values his life and welcomes him with compassion. Daughters and sons of immigrants thrive when pro-lifers welcome their parents, and promote just immigration policies.
None of these “life-victories” comes easily. They require the persistence and drive inherent to the human spirit and a mind set on a single objective – LIFE. But the rewards are worth the struggles because a life is priceless, and there is no greater good than that we support it to thrive.
We invite our guests to THRIVE with us, sharing victories for LIFE.
What does "thrive" mean to you as a member of the movement?
How do you see others thrive because of your pro-life action?
Please join us on September 17th at 7PM at our annual fundraising banquet. Register here today!
Can't attend? Your donation today can still help us reach our fundraising goal for 2020. Donate here.