by Myrna Maloney Flynn, President, MCFL
"One man’s life touches so many others, when he’s not there it leaves an awfully big hole."
- Clarence, It’s a Wonderful Life
A meteorologist, a homeroom teacher, and a nun. No, they didn’t all walk into a bar.
Instead, by living what they may have considered “ordinary” lives, they influenced the direction of mine: As a little girl, I was determined to grow up to be like the chirpy, snow day-predicting blonde I watched on TV, which eventually prompted my early career path; a one-page study abroad handout my high school teacher shared erased my homesickness tendency and led to my love of travel; and, after 18 years in the Midwest, Sister Deanna recruited me for her volunteer program in far-off New York City, where I met my husband (who actually did walk into a bar).
I’ve lost track of the meteorologist and my teacher. But I still send a Christmas card to Sister Deanna each year, and, as I slide photos of my children into the envelope, I inevitably shake my head. “These four human beings would not exist if it weren’t for her.”
It’s a similar feeling that moves seemingly insignificant George Bailey when, in the Christmas classic, It’s a Wonderful Life, Clarence the angel shows him what the world would be like if George had never been born.
Perhaps you, too, have seen that movie a hundred times over the years. But as I’ve become involved in pro-life advocacy, it’s now more than a holiday tradition. As January closes in, with its somber anniversary, the film’s premise reminds me of those Americans who never existed outside the womb, more than 60 million of them, and their certain influence and impact we cannot begin to imagine, and which we will never know.
So what do we do as we watch the movie this season?
First, no matter your profession, income, or age, let’s recognize that none of us is insignificant. Thank you for what you have given to our movement this year! Because of your support, you have improved, perhaps even saved, the lives of others. Yours is a wonderful life!
Second, George Bailey began to see the true value of his “ordinary” life because of the patient, determined, and clever Clarence—whose name means “clear.” In 2020, let’s provide our own sort of clarity for the George Baileys of the world. That is, let’s pull a Clarence. To those who, on this issue, must have their eyes opened, let’s show them how their lives have touched countless others, as will those of men and women yet to be born.
Together, let’s lovingly demonstrate to those who shout for “rights,” the profound potential of life in the womb. We might not have Clarence, but we do have the clarity of heaven’s light. Our many accomplishments in 2019 stand as proof of that. And you’ve been with us. You helped us direct that light. For that, my MCFL team and I are sincerely grateful.
Like George gleefully running through snowy Bedford Falls, passing not ordinary but monumental people in his life, I heartily wish you a Merry Christmas. And Merry Christmas to those who influenced you, who made you who you are, who brought you to your wonderful life.
Ms. Magazine Attacks MCFL with Blatant Misinformation
"Anonymous" writer makes outrageous claims about the June 5 press conference, provides no evidence in article titled “I Went Undercover in the Anti-Abortion Movement—and Found Hypocrisy and Misogyny”
Did you see the hit piece? Providing no evidence, and appearing to mix up details from multiple events, the anonymous writer was published by Ms. Magazine.
We released the following press release.
Now more than ever, we need your support.
Please donate $100 today as we encounter national pushback on our extraordinary pro-life efforts this past year.
On Tuesday morning, Dec. 17, our team was alerted to an anonymously-written article that appeared on Ms. Magazine’s website. In this article, the supposed “feminist gender studies major” claims that she went undercover at one of our events and felt it necessary to share her experience.
There is just one problem…multiple actually: the details of Anonymous' story don't add up.
Given that Ms. Magazine felt it appropriate to print an anonymously-written story without fact-checking any of it, or asking our Massachusetts Citizens for Life staff to confirm or comment, we felt it necessary to publicly do so ourselves.
Claim: “It was a sweltering June day in Boston …Attendants were packed into a conference room on the second floor of the state house, creating a sea of “stop infanticide” red shirts.
Reality: Based on the author's reference to the "data set," this was the June 5th, 2019 press conference unveiling the polling results, which are, of course, misrepresented in her piece. The event was held in Room 437 (not the second floor, as the author stated). The location is important to the story because the room does not allow the kinds of interactions the author claims. The room was completely packed, for one thing. It is a hearing room. Organizers were informed ahead of time of capacity, and State House staff helped seat the public before the polling announcements were made to help fit the number of press and audience present without violating codes.
Claim: “I even wore one of those red shirts—emblazoned with the Massachusetts Citizens for Life logo alongside a crudely drawn fetus.”
Reality: Massachusetts Citizens for Life staff did not hand out red shirts at this event. Though MCFL's logo was one of multiple organization's logos, all opposing ROE. It is not on the front of the shirt as stated. Had Anonymous done even a little research, she would have noticed the t-shirts did not place our logo prominently, nor beside a the other image she mentions.
Claim: “Women are dying. Abortion is killing our women.”
Reality: This is the one truthful thing the author wrote! Women like Keisha Atkins, a 23-year-old woman who died following a legal abortion, at six months, in New Mexico due to the very abortion-deregulations the ROE Act is trying to impose on Massachusetts residents. Additionally, more than 30 million pre-born females have died since Roe v. Wade was legalized in 1973. Anonymous may have been quoting someone else, but it is worth applauding that the the one fact she decided to publish was this true statement.
Claim: “My confusion was warranted: MA Citizens for Life’s argument doesn’t make scientific sense. Their claims about protecting women’s autonomy and reproductive health are actually just thinly-veiled covers for their actual view that women should not have decision-making authority over their bodies.”
Reality: Anonymous apparently doesn’t understand basic scientific facts about human development or the concept of autonomy. Every credible textbook on human development states as a proven fact that life begins at the moment of conception. Anonymous doesn’t understand, or perhaps plays ignorant to the fact, that abortion ends the life of a uniquely different human being, oftentimes through painful dismemberment. Half of abortion's victims are defenseless female human beings. Additionally, too many women, like Keisha Atkins, have lost their lives because of legal abortion, and many more have been harmed physically and/or psychologically.
Claim: “The supposed shocking dataset was just fluff, too, for what it’s worth. ‘75 percent of Massachusetts citizens do not support infanticide. With this bill, full-term healthy babies will be killed. Reject the infanticide bill!’”
Reality: The dataset Anonymous describes as “fluff” is anything but fluff. The independent survey conducted between April and May 2019 surveyed Massachusetts voters from all political spectrums – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. The survey proved that three quarters of Massachusetts voters reject the ROE Act. In fact, one of the provisions in the law would allow late-term abortions to be done outside a hospital, something 77% of self-proclaimed “pro-choice” in the survey opposed! So, no, Anonymous, the survey is not “fluff." Instead, it proves how out of touch the pro-abortion lobby are with the actual will of voters in the Commonwealth.
Claim: “When there was a call for all young people to come in for a photo-op, two different men pushed me until I stumbled and was able to slink away. “Don’t you want to support the cause?” they were yelling. “What’s wrong with you women?””
Reality: Anonymous first claimed the event was held on the second flood, however, it was held in Room 437. Neither the layout nor the mechanics of the situation would have allowed for the kinds of interactions the author claims. The room was completely packed, and those in attendance were seated or lined up along the back wall. This would not have allowed for a shuffling of the audience for photo-ops. Additionally, those in attendance know full well there was no yelling at any participant. In fact, with half a dozen prominent and reputable media sources reporting on the event, and not one mentioned any grabbing, yelling, or pushing. If there had been any type of altercation, they would undoubtably have reported it.
We know that the media likes to write about any confrontation at any of our events). At the annual Massachusetts March for Life, the media was quick to mention how seven were arrested at the event for acts of violence – two for throwing urine and a slushie at participants. The problem with the report? They failed to mention that all seven arrests were pro-abortion, antifa activists assaulting pro-life advocates.
Biased or otherwise, no news reporter would pass up a chance to report on an altercation in a peaceful press conference.
Claim: “When I initially refused to put on the red shirt, I was booed and sneered at, and the Citizens for Life member handing them out grabbed my arm and yelled that I was too concerned with fashion, and not about “protecting life.””
Reality: No MCFL member handed out any red shirts. In fact, the red shirts were not provided by MCFL. Some of our own staff didn’t even wear red. So this, too, appears to be something the author daydreamed and decided to include in her story. (I personally eschewed the shirts.)
Claim: “The attendees treated children no better. During the photo-op, someone yanked a crying baby out of its mother’s arms to pose for the camera—even though, supposedly, they were fighting for this baby’s safety and happiness. The man smiled for his photo-op while the baby continued crying—and yelled about how we must ‘protect the youngest members of our society.’”
Reality: This also did not happen. We knew the photographer. We also know the number (severely limited by State House request) and names of all attendees. Neither the photographer nor I took any photos of babies.
Claim: “Anti-abortion activists do not care about women—they care about power and subjugation. They care about forcing women into becoming incubators for babies. And they are willing to use force and shame to realize that mission.”
Reality: Anonymous fails to acknowledge that abortion does not empower women. In fact, since Roe v. Wade passed in 1973, more than 30 million unborn girls (and 30 million boys) have been exterminated in the name of “women’s rights." Abortion is the greatest human rights abuse of our time. Abortion is violence. Women deserve better than the ROE Act and what Anonymous advocates for, and three quarters of Massachusetts voters agree with that statement.
Once thing is certain, the anonymous author of the “I Went Undercover in the Anti-Abortion Movement—and Found Hypocrisy and Misogyny” article that appears on Ms. Magazine’s website came to our event with a message written for what she expected to happen, and she left with that same message in hand– if she even came to the event at all. Her supposed experiences contradict what those who actually attended the event have said – that it was friendly, calm, and educational..
Ms. Magazine deciding to publish this article demonstrates a shocking carelessness in journalistic due diligence: No photos or evidence of any kind; no checking with the organization which the piece attempts to slander. The author doesn’t even want her name tied to her article. Perhaps she knows that her claims are false, and she wishes to get her narrative out to mislead others before the real story was told. Perhaps she doesn’t want to held liable for her blatantly false accusations.
Even more puzzling is that this apparently curious citizen journalist, who reputedly has researched MCFL, was not aware that the female leaders in the organization routinely invite and chat with friends or counterparts in pro-choice circles to these events. We have invited NARAL and pro-choice friends to meet for conversation before the Massachusetts March for Life, and to unite on our common ground that removing standards of medical care is not pro-woman, pro-choice, or pro-life. Instead, we were met with violent counter-protestors who assaulted our event attendees.
If the author or Ms. would like to correct these inaccuracies, I can supply facts. But since no one actually reached out to MCFL prior to, during, or after the event, I'm more than a little dubious about the genuine journalistic search for truth here.
I wonder if the author would like to talk. If so, we are always free to chat.
Perhaps Ms. Magazine would also like to fact check their submissions before publishing so-called reporting on actual events. If they do, they can start with who organized the press conference, who was in attendance, and maybe even look up MCFL on social media.
In the meantime, we are calling on Ms. Magazine to pull this fabricated story from their website, for their own credibility, and for their reader's benefit.
Mass. Citizens for Life is the Commonwealth's solely dedicated pro-life organization, protecting the lives of our fellow citizens from conception to natural death and advocating for human rights everywhere in between.
DONATE today to keep our life-saving work moving
JOIN the movement in Massachusetts
Will you join us at a Pro-Life Christmas Carol this Saturday?
With just a few days until Christmas, many of us are preparing to celebrate life.
But what you may not know, is that this is one of the biggest business times for the abortion business. New mothers in unexpected or difficult pregnancies ask: Where will I live if I have a child now? What if she comes home from school with the announcement, "Mom, I have to tell you something..."
Your voice outside the Planned Parenthood can give a small new life a welcome he won't receive otherwise. Your voice will give love and hope to a mother who thinks she has no option.
Will you do whatever it takes?
Join us 8am-10am, Saturday, December 21st at 1055 Commonwealth Ave. Boston!
Your gift gives us the means to be there, to offer gifts of baby clothes and supplies to mothers approaching the clinic, and to reach out to the clinic workers.
Spotlight on Local Resources for Women in Massachusetts
Springfield and Worcester Area
Thank you again for forwarding this to a friend, financially supporting our life-saving work, and doing whatever it takes to protect and respect human lives in Massachusetts. At the end of the calendar year, your support is all the more critical as I look ahead to plan for the new year.
Keep an eye out for photo updates and the report on the event after the holidays!
In a recent blog post, Secular Pro-Life president and founder gives us an on-point review of the new and fantastic little picture book, Pro-Life Kids, by the Radiance FOundation's Tiffany Bomberger.
If you're considering last minute gifts, or thinking of shipping to relatives far afield, you could do much worse than this thoughtful, well-rhymed piece of life-affirming literature.
As Kelsey writes: "Pro-Life Kids, written by Bethany Bomberger and illustrated by Ed Koehler, is a rhyming picture book that introduces children to the concept that all humans are people: at every age, no matter where they live, and even before they are born. This concept is conveyed clearly and illustrated beautifully, including children of all races and abilities."
When art shows the truth more often, our society will save lives rather than tossing them out.
Read the full review here.
by Dr. Mark Rollo, Board Member, MCFL
What makes a person want to commit suicide? I think of the great country song, I’m So Lonesome I
Some of us are even more extreme in our feelings of loss and abandonment. Some say to
themselves, “I’m so lonesome I could die.”
How are we to respond to such anguish? Do we respond by saying, “Well it’s your life, do what you
want. If you want to die, go ahead.” Or do we say, “I love you. I can’t let you do that!”
As a culture, we make extravagant efforts to prevent suicide. However, when it comes to physician
assisted suicide, we often hear, “Let me help you commit suicide.” Some go even further than that and
say, “I don’t want to help you kill yourself, I want to get someone in a healing profession to help you kill
Instantly, a healer's commitment to protecting and cherishing life is compromised and a suffering human being is abandoned.
But it gets even worse.
Imagine a psychiatrist helping a depressed patient kill himself.
Alan Nichols, a man from British Columbia, Canada, who struggled with depression and showed no signs of terminal
illness was given a medically-assisted death despite desperate pleas from his loved ones. Mr. Nichols
was admitted to Chilliwack General Hospital in June, at age 61, after he was discovered dehydrated and
malnourished in his home.
One month later, he died by lethal injection at the hands of “healers.”
Our neighbors to the north now promote assisted suicide as do a handful of states in our own country.
Massachusetts has been in the crosshairs of this anti-life movement for years. Our legislators need to be
called and emphatically told that helping the depressed and dying does not include killing them. We
need to love them, provide them with the gold-standard of Massachusetts medical care, and by so doing deliver the message to those suffering from loneliness that our society will not abandon them.
How depraved have we become as a culture to allow assisted suicide -- especially psychiatric euthanasia?
When a depressed patient cries out, “I’m so lonesome I could die,” what do we actually mean when we say, “Won’t you let me help you . . .”
We should always help with healing. Assisted suicide is just another way to dehumanize the vulnerable members of our society.
To make your voice heard, and to tell the stories of those targeted by assisted suicide, you can contact the Joint Committee on Public Health.
Please email, call, and write stating your objections to physician assisted suicide (H.1926/ S.1208):
Sen. Jo Comerford
Committee Vice Chair
Sen. Nick Collins
By Myrna Maloney Flynn, President, MCFL
I know in my heart that man is good. That what is right will always eventually triumph. And there's purpose and worth to each and every life. - Ronald Reagan
I don’t remember a lot about being seven, but I remember Alex. He was a German exchange student who lived with us after my brother returned from his stay with Alex’s family in what was then West Germany. I remember Alex pointing to the eastward horizon from our backyard one day, trying to help me fathom where his home was, and squinting in my attempt to actually see this mysterious land with very tall people whose words sounded so different.
I remember Alex telling me a story about a high wall that went on for miles, sliced the land in two, and trapped people on one side. I recall being frightened not only by the notion itself but by Alex’s tone; the way he described the wall sounded a lot like his description of German food or the Autobahn: it was just an accepted part of the culture.
A few years later, like you when you saw the impossible — the Berlin Wall suddenly toppling one night on TV, hoards of elated people atop it, yelling, waving, dancing — I felt a mix of amazement and disbelief. And I wondered, “Which powerful person finally brought it down?”
Yesterday, I came across an article in The Wall Street Journal that offers one highly inspirational answer: ordinary people. To be sure, influencers like President Reagan and Saint John Paul II undoubtedly caused the foundation beneath the concrete slabs to waver. Yet, according to the Journal:
“ . . . formerly secret documents from the Stasi archive and German government collections, along with interviews, reveal that the sparks that detonated the powder keg the night of Nov. 9, 1989, came from the men and women in the middle: largely unknown officials and average East Germans in history’s path. Their actions—some intentional, some not—produced the chain of events that, wittingly and otherwise, leveled the Berlin Wall that night.”
The article reminded me...Read more
By Myrna Maloney Flynn, President, MCFL
Each day is a gift from God. What you do with it is your gift to him. -- T.D. Jakes
I knew it was coming. Sure enough, as I sat at my host’s Thanksgiving table a few years ago, that all-too predictable sensation entered the otherwise Rockwell-esque scene: loss.
That first Thanksgiving without my mother along with the one three years later without my father presented the seemingly impossible challenge of “giving thanks” for a phase of life I wasn’t particularly grateful for. If not for the countless distractions that accompany Christmas with four kids, I probably would have sunk into a pumpkin pie-filled pit of despair.
It was about this same time that I became involved with Massachusetts Citizens for Life. And then I became more involved. And still more. I felt better than I had in years and probably more passionate than at any other time in my life. Others noticed my growing engagement and asked why I’d suddenly done the equivalent of a cannonball into the pro-life swimming pool. “It’s how I’m dealing with grief,” I said.
As I gathered with loved ones this past Thursday, someone asked what I was thankful for. After rattling off the obligatory “health, family, food,” I added, “and definitely MCFL, for the opportunity to return the gifts my parents gave to me.”
In that moment, I realized grief has nothing to do with my commitment to MCFL. It’s all about gratitude.
One of life’s unsolvable mysteries is why loss so often threatens to sour the otherwise sweet holiday season. You have lost along the way, too, whether it was your parents, grandparents, siblings, children, or lifelong friends. Maybe you’re living through the loss of a marriage as you read this. Despite the welcome distractions of Black Friday, Jimmy Stewart, and the first snowstorm, there’s something about loved ones' absences that stings worse during these six weeks.
I invite you to transform your grief into gratitude. Give your time by volunteering at MCFL. March with us in Washington, D.C., in honor of a lovedone who can’t make the trip. Become a member and give your voice to the voiceless. Make a gift in the name of a cherished friend. Or simply add your name to our online petition in opposition of the ROE Act.
Thanksgiving may be over, but I would like to share my gratitude for our members. Getting to know MCFL supporters like all of you has been one of the greatest gifts I have ever received. I can’t wait to continue our work together in this season when life itself is the reason for giving.
Giving Tuesday gives the nation a chance to turn towards giving, rather than the consumerist taking so often tangled up with the holidays. At MCFL, we one-up that theme: Giving is good, but giving life is even better.
"I wouldn't have known I had another option if you hadn't been out here." Lilly (name changed for purposes of anonymity) met me in front of Planned Parenthood while I was helping others start sidewalk counseling. She was pregnant.
"You have no idea...I didn't know I could do anything about abortion until I started getting emails, coming to your events." Paul (named changed) pointed at the handout I had given him. "I thought I was the only one who, like, cared..."
"If I hadn't seen those [pointing at the fetal models] I would have aborted. I would have believed Evie was just a clump of my cells
"You gave me back two lives!"
"I found you online. Thank you for your website. Thank you for responding to my email, and for the note and money. It gave me the courage to keep my baby."
These are all people who -- because MCFL offered training or pregnancy resource help -- cherished or protected an unborn life.
We give a lot of things during the holiday season. We buy a lot of stuff. But we sometimes forget just how much we can give -- life! Hope. The physical presence and love that let a mother know she is not throwaway, and neither is her child.
Please partner with us, and give this holiday season to make sure that every child in Massachusetts -- in the womb or out of it -- can celebrate the holiday.
$1,000! Life is priceless!
$560 will sponsor weekly sidewalk counseling vigils for a month, and training for new counselors in Boston
$340 will provide two students or young professionals the chance to attend the National March for Life with our charted buses
$100 will sponsor a community screening of UnPlanned, especially on college campuses
$50 gives us the means to print pregnancy resource and fetal development brochures for our work outside abortion facilities for the Mont of December.
Finally, can you send our members caroling for life this Christmas? Any amount will support A Pro-Life Christmas Carol, reaching both women in crisis this season, and abortion workers.
Thank you for your generosity, your partnership, your life-saving gifts!
Mid-November, just a couple weeks before the Thanksgiving holiday and State House recess, MCFL started tallying the signatures.
On the online petition opposing the "ROE" Act (S.1209/H.3320) alone, we had thousands of signatures. And as our office began printing them off, more were coming in.
From every possible angle, the "ROE" Act fails. Perhaps the final straw for even pro-choice citizens has been the exposure of the provision that would remove multi-day late-term abortion procedures from our internationally acclaimed hospitals -- and dump them, and the women subjected to them, in unregulated clinics.
An attorney in New Mexico currently prosecuting just such a clinic for gross negligence and the death of his client's 23 year old daughter, Keisha, spoke to an audience the State House's Great Hall:
"The provisions in this bill [ROE] have killed or injured 17+ women in my state...and that's just the ones I've documented."
State House News stopped in to report on the delivery. As C.J. handed over the thick stack of signatures and petitions, the reporter snapped a photo.
Better than your voices being heard, the voices of the unborn and marginalized women were heard because you spoke up, signed up -- and some of you even showed up!
MCFL members who had received the call to action email the week before joined us on Beacon Hill.
After the delivery of signatures, we visited 40+ offices and representatives, all of whom were open -- and concerned -- about this bill's outright flouting of basic standards of medical care on an "access before safety" model that promotes abortion. Period.
Keep signing that petition! We're set to make another delivery after the holidays.
In the meantime, educate yourself on the line-by-line modifications of our general law imposed by the "ROE" Act, and join the movement (if you haven't already), to receive regular action opportunities that will save lives in Massachusetts.
For Immediate Release
National Right to Life, partnered with many pro-life and human rights organizations, sent a letter last week to urge President Trump to educate the Congress on the killer provisions found in the current draft of the Shaheen Amendment to our State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs appropriations bill.
"Remove the language that requires funds to be siphoned to so-called "international family planning," said C.J. Williams of Mass. Citizens for Life, in wake of the letter's drafting.
“The Shaheen amendment would weaken the Trump Administration’s Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA) policy as well as other administration initiatives protecting life,” stated Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “This amendment is anti-life and would jeopardize this administration’s efforts to protect life both here and abroad.”
National Right to Life states that the Shaheen amendment would increase money for this controversal "international family planning” from $575 million to 632.55 million. In the letter, the organizations noted that “more money for this earmark exploits an aspect of the PLGHA that allows this account to serve as a taxpayer-funded supplemental for U.S.-based NGOs that actively promote abortions overseas.”
“The Shaheen amendment is a blatant attempt to impose pro-abortion policies and earmarks. It also violates the Bipartisan Budget Agreement for Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021 by adding this poison pill and increasing spending levels,” stated Tobias. “National Right to Life, along with several other pro-life organizations, urges President Trump to tell Congress to reject the Shaheen amendment.”