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:
"Love:" Love is the "without which nothing" of human existence. Pro-lifers give tirelessly to the cause of LIFE because they know that love is the answer to evil and pain. Love leads us to nurture both the survivor of a failed abortion and a suffering, post-abortive woman; to pray without ceasing, despite taunts and abuse, outside an abortion clinic; to exhort ill-informed legislators to reject laws that deny the sacredness of life; to march in the bitter cold every January – 500,000 strong – bearing witness to the sanctity of life; and after a long, tiring day, to sit at the bedside of a seriously ill friend or to hold the hand of an elder as she approaches life's end.
Pro-lifers embody a love that the Greeks call “agape” – a love given without cost that seeks nothing in return. It is a love ingrained in a pro-lifer’s soul. Though its value is beyond price, it cannot be bought or taken, only given away. And when given, it has the power to transform human existence.
Those who give it experience the surpassing joy of selflessness; those who receive it know they have been touched by the divine.
We invite our guests to join the cause of LIFE with LOVE.
What does "love" mean to you as a member of the movement?
How do you let "love" lead?
Please join us on September 17th at 7PM at our annual fundraising banquet. Register here today!
Leader of Grupo Pro-Vida in Lawrence, MA, Gus Mendieta is a tireless advocate for the unborn and the disabled in Massachusetts. As an immigrant from Ecuador, he has first-hand experience of being part of a marginalized community. He moved to the Commonwealth with his family as a child. As an adult, he joined the army. He served honorably and went on to marry and have children; but it was his experience of their miscarriage that brought him fully and completely into a loving, fighting commitment to the pro-life movement.
He and his wife were sent to a clinic that performed abortions when their baby died. "I have always been against abortion but I became a pro-life fighter after my wife suffered a miscarriage," says Gus, "The hospital sent us to another clinic (which does abortion) to have the baby removed. It was a traumatic experience ."
The grassroots action of individual citizens at the chapter, town, and city level are what ultimately change hearts and minds, and it is those hearts and minds that change culture and laws. Gus shows us what it means to start at the root. His love and advocacy for the disabled, of whom his son is one, is just another branch of his commitment to protecting human life.
Come hear him tell his story, and rally us for life in Massachusetts as gather ONLINE on September 17, at 7:00PM. Register for the ONLINE event here or by clicking the banner below.
Where do the candidates stand on the right-to-life positions?
On the eve of its 49th annual convention, the National Right to Life Committee, the federation of state right-to-life affiliates and local chapters, of which Massachusetts Citizens for Life is a state affiliate, endorsed pro-life President Donald Trump for his 2020 re-election.
On August 29th the MCFL Federal Political Action Committee, which is a separate entity from Massachusetts Citizens for Life, but dedicated to endorsing pro-life candidates, endorsed President Donald J. Trump on his reelection bid for President.
Please note that Massachusetts Citizens for Life does not, and has never, endorsed candidates for any office due to certain regulations. It is our role to share information on the candidates running for office and where they stand on specific issues related to life.
This file does not include third party candidates.
Join the Fall 2020 40 Days for Life Campaign.
The last two years, MCFL has partnered with and sponsored the multiple 40 Days for Life campaigns in Massachusetts. The national movement, whose call to action has brought countless women hope and thousands of peaceful witnesses to use their presence to protect the unborn, returns on this Fall. "COVID, of course, was a concern," said one local leader, "But we can be safe and still show up for the unborn."
Scheduled for Sept. 23 through Nov. 1, the twice annual pro-life campaign strives to protect unborn babies from abortion through peaceful vigils outside abortion facilities, community outreach, prayer and fasting.
This year, while our members gear up to stand out for the children at Boston, Worcester, Beverley, and Western Massachusetts locations, we're also providing training on how to witness during a pandemic. A few key practices our members will be paying special attention to this Fall are:
- Social distancing. [ Keeping at least 6 feet distance between themselves and others ]
- Masks. [ All vigil participants will be wearing masks to reduce exposure to airborne pathogens. ]
- Signs, no literature. [ Instead, members will print local pregnancy help numbers large on their signs. ]
- Digital media. [ Our members have made signs with lists of apps, such What to Expect , or Little One Pregnancy App, both pregnancy tracking applications for iPhone or Android smartphones. The in-app ultrasound images provided by these apps have saved many lives. ]
Since it began in 2007, witnesses with 40 Days for Life have seen over 17,226 babies rescued from abortion and 107 abortion facilities close, with nearly 206 abortion workers quitting during the campaigns as well.
What is crucial to these campaigns is their foundation: 40 Days is community-based and compassion-focused. The grassroots, as Martin Luther King Jr. remarked, is the only foundation for social movement that builds lasting societal hope and change. Some ways members and witness continue to offer support to women and families is by throwing baby showers, holding diaper drives, and by both referring women in-need to safe community support (food banks, housing, etc) or by offering it themselves.
“It’s important to be there because it really can help the women realize that they don’t have to choose abortion, that there are other options that aren’t going to be so detrimental,” said one woman, Jaylyn Smith, who now leads campaigns in Utah.
We could not agree more. Our culture is one that shouts out options! in every arena, from the supermarket to the Planned Parenthood clinic. But when it comes to offering women true equality and support to choose their health and the health of their child, it just has one word: Abortion.
With 40 Days for Life, we continue to demonstrate that health and healthcare include both mother and baby. We make a list of countless options, and just our presence will repeatedly show women like this one that there's hope -- we we're there to support her before, during, and after the birth of that baby.
Go to 40 Days for Life today and search for your town/city to sign up for the Fall vigil as an MCFL member!
Donate to support the MCFL 40 Days For Life team.
President of the National Right to Life, Carol Tobias will join us this September 17th at 7:00PM online, as one of our special guest speakers at our annual fundraising banquet.
A native of North Dakota, Tobias has served on the NRLC board of directors since 1987. From 1983 to 1991 she was executive director of North Dakota Right to Life and in 1991 was hired as NRLC political director, a position she held until 2005. Mrs. Tobias was elected her current position by the NRLC board of directors at its spring board meeting. The board of directors is comprised of representatives from each of NRLC’s 50 state affiliates and 8 directors elected at-large. NRLC is the nation’s pro-life organization representing the country’s grassroots pro-life citizens and activists.
“The pro-life movement is the greatest social cause of our time,” says Tobias. “I am eager to continue National Right to Life’s educational, legislative and political efforts to advance the right to life of the most vulnerable members of our human family – the unborn, the elderly, and the medically dependent and disabled.”
Her tenacity and her selfless commitment to serving the pro-life movement, and the women and children it seeks to protect, is an inspiration. Tobias has lived what it means to love and to fight so that others may thrive, and we can't wait to hear her in September.
Come hear her inspirational message by joining us on September 17, at 7:00PM. Register for the ONLINE event here or by clicking the banner below.
Can't attend? Donate now at this secure link and help us reach our 100K fundraising goal!
Dr. Alveda King will join us this September 17th at 7:00PM online, as one of our special guest speakers at our annual fundraising banquet.
Daughter of the late slain civil rights activist Rev. A. D. King and his wife, Naomi Barber King, and niece of the iconic civil rights activist, Martin Luther King Jr., Alveda has become one of the most eloquent and tenacious of advocates for the civil rights of the unborn. Currently, Dr. King serves as Director of African American Outreach for Gospel of Life at Priests for Life, which is headed by Father Frank Pavone. She also consults with the Africa Humanitarian Christian Fellowship, founded by her mentor, Pastor Allen McNair of Believers' Bible Christian Church in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a former college professor, holding a Masters of Arts degree in Business Management. Her undergraduate studies in journalism and sociology helped her to become a published author. Her most popular works are her bestsellers, Sons Of Thunder: The King Family Legacy, and I Don't Want Your Man, I Want My Own. This inspirational collection of testimonies is used at conferences and workshops around the world. Alveda's Doctorate of Law was conferred by Saint Anselm College. She has served on the boards and committees of numerous organizations, including the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, Coalition Of African American Pastors, and the Judeo-Christian Coalition For Constitutional Restoration. She also served in the Georgia State House of Representatives, and is an accomplished actress and songwriter.
During the years of the Civil Rights Movement, led by her Uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Alveda's family home was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama in the heat of the struggle. "Daddy's house was bombed, then in Louisville, Kentucky his church office was bombed. I was also jailed during the open housing movement," she recalls. Alveda has continued her long-term work as a civil rights activist, speaking out on issues that face society today. "I believe that School Choice is a pressing civil rights issue. Perhaps the most compelling issue of all, however, is the life of the unborn."
Can't attend? Donate now at this secure link and help us reach our 100K fundraising goal!
Photo Credit: Associated Press
True faith is realizing that I am useful to God not in spite of my scars but because of them. - Melissa Ohden
The countdown is on! One month from today, on Thursday, September 17, we will premiere our first-ever virtual event: the Annual Fundraising Banquet. Because Covid-19 prevents us from gathering in person, as we normally do by the hundreds, I invite you instead to join us from the comfort of your home that evening at 7:00.
So far, this has been a year of formidable challenges. In ways both big and small, the pandemic forced every one of us to find new ways to survive—as individuals, as families, as professionals, and as life advocates. The pain never overcame us, but I’m willing to bet we each wear one or two new scars from the experience. As we emerge from lockdown, I find that each of you has a survival story to share.
At our Banquet, in recognition of the uniquely human spirit that fuels these stories, we will celebrate not just the mere survival of a few very noteworthy individuals, but their inspirational stories of thriving. And it is this amazing group of guests which inspired our theme for this year’s event: Love. Fight. Thrive.
Attending an event has never been easier. All you have to do is register on our website now and then, on September 17, click the “join” button in the confirmation email you receive. Registration is FREE!
Here are the very special guests who have graciously agreed to participate in this historic event:
His Eminence, Seán Cardinal O'Malley, O.F.M., Cap
Carol Tobias, President of National Right to Life
Melissa Ohden, Abortion Survivor, Author
Dr. Alveda King, Civil Rights Icon & Niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Kelly Wilcox, Executive Director of Clearway Clinic
Bob Joyce, Esq., Former President of Pro-Life Legal Defense Fund
Gustavo Mendieta, Pro-Life Group of Lawrence/Grupo Provida de Lawrence
Joy Dupell and Baby Hope
I’ve got two additional updates to share today, both also the direct effects of Covid-19:
First, in case you haven't heard, the state legislature, citing the critical need to serve constituents during these uncertain times, voted to extend its formal session past the traditional July 31 end date and through the end of 2020. Of particular interest to you and me, the new deadline for the ROE Act is November 12. That means we need to keep calling the Judiciary Committee to urge them to oppose this irresponsibly-written bill. Send emails to Claire.Cronin@mahouse.gov and Michael.Day@mahouse.gov or call them at (617) 722-2396.
Second, since we cannot hold large gatherings but believe it imperative that our members participate in MCFL’s annual election, our Board of Directors voted at its August 1 meeting to postpone the Annual Meeting to the summer of 2021. Therefore, our current team of officers and directors will remain in place until then.
Finally, one word about the selection of Senator Kamala Harris as Mr. Biden's running mate: abortion. You'll hear more from my team and me about the senator's record on the issue. But, for now, her addition to the ticket simply confirms what the Democratic party has recently attempted to deny: its modern platform promotes abortion on demand at any stage of pregnancy.
Each of us can be useful now, because any scars we might possess have only strengthened us for what lies ahead. I have no doubt that, together, as we have for the last 46 years, we will love, fight, and thrive on the truth. Thank you for your ongoing partnership. We cannot do this work without you!
(Share our Banquet registration link with friends or family. https://www.masscitizensforlife.org/2020 The deadline for RSVPs is September 15. )
The Expression of a Hopeful People: MLK and Nonviolence
By Sonja Morin, Communications Intern
The second - and perhaps most famous - element of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s activism strategy is nonviolence. When learning about Dr. King in schools, we are told from a young age that nonviolence was an instrumental part of his work. The principle has become so well-known that we tend to forget how truly revolutionary and affirming such nonviolent action is. Let’s take a few moments here to call to mind what nonviolent activism is, and how it can be implemented for the sake of defending human dignity.
It is easier for people to ignore a problem than to deal with the controversy of facing it directly. It is easier to abide by the status quo than to challenge it. If nothing is calling attention to the problem, then complacency continues, and the problem is given no importance in the minds of those in the community. We see this in our communities and how they confront abortion and euthanasia, two of the most prominent human rights issues to date. The most prominent argument, repeated ad nauseam to drown out the ‘naysayers’ is that taking the fetus’s life or killing the individual in a euthanasia situation is the individual’s choice. The main fallacy with this argument is that it is not meant to support abortion or euthanasia, but rather to silence any opposition or question. It is what it is, so there’s no point in intervening. It is not a supportive claim but a passive one, which does nothing to forward discourse, and even hurts the proponent’s side.
We cannot leave situations stagnant if they are to be solved. We cannot let people go ignored and uncared for. Instead, these issues must be brought to the attention of the community. Nonviolent direct action fixates the attention of the community, not onto the activists themselves but on the injustice. It makes the community focus long enough to realize that the problem is too large and harmful to ignore. The community is thus compelled to act on the action. Even if they act against the activists, they are still forced to reexamine their beliefs. A fantastic example is the recent arrests made after the sidewalk chalking incident outside of a D.C. Planned Parenthood. While the pro-choice community may not agree with the message the pro-life activists were writing, they can see that the injustice done to the latter were unfair, and need to be rectified. It allows for the reevaluation of the treatment of others based solely on belief, and allows for some compassion. Self-awareness is always the first step to change.
But what of the following quote: “A riot is the language of the unheard”? This quote has reappeared especially in the face of the ongoing protests in the United States of late, but woefully out of context. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was expressing the fact that riots are indeed the result of a people so devastated and hopeless due to injustices. However, he was not condoning such action. Violence is the supposed solution when people have lost utter hope in themselves and in their communities to create change. Because they believe they are powerless to change the circumstances of their time they fall into despair. The powers that be then respond in fear rather than with hopeful purpose, failing to create the change that is needed and desired.
Nonviolent action is an expression of hope. It affirms the belief that people can change, that their hearts and minds can be more in tune with the needs of their fellow persons. Nonviolent activists bring an awareness to the injustice that is not motivated by fear or resignation, but rather by the belief that humanity can do better for its people. Those who use nonviolent protest or demonstration call for hopeful solidarity in this shared aim. Even if the activist does not seem to succeed in changing minds immediately, their actions move hearts. That movement is more crucial than anything. If even momentary consideration is given to an injustice by a community,it almost inevitably leads to a process of exposure, accountability, and restoration of justice. It leads to progress grounded in love of others
Dr. King believed in nonviolence because he knew how powerful it was in organically appealing to the deep tendencies of the human heart. Nonviolence is written all over the pages of his work, from the Freedom Rides to the marches in Selma, Birmingham, and Washington, D.C. Peaceful action cries through the words of his sermons, speeches, and letters. Now it calls to us, activists in a world hurting from constant attacks on the human person. Let us be a people of hope and lasting change, using nonviolent movement to call our communities to attention and action.
Consider your own efforts in the pro-life movement. What have you done recently to support human dignity and rights at all stages of life? Do you call the attention of those around you to greater awareness? To women like Keisha Atkins and Laura Hope Smith? To babies like Baby Myles, whose life was saved by someone's peaceful action?
Want to do more to take part in nonviolent action?
Here are some ideas to start: Help sidewalk counsel like this woman or host a pro-life chalk day at your local abortion facility; Take part in flyering or wearing pro-life gear to promote discussion [August 26th, the centennial of women's suffrage, is a great day to begin with #PurpleSashRevolution's "Equal Rights for Preborn Women" gear!], and sharing more information and lobbying against current proposed life-threatening laws in our state, especially the “ROE” Act, whose deadline was extended to November 12 of this year.
Today, the ROE Act threatens children like Hope and women like Keisha Atkins. It not only threatens them and the unborn, it specifically targets the marginalized and underrepresented members of our society, and it substitutes an abortion lobby's special interests for respectful, loving care.
Not even voters who consider themselves pro-choice think it’s a good idea to remove parental consent and adult supervision for 12-year-old girls entering abortion centers. Nor do they agree that it’s safe for women to undergo dangerous, late-term abortions in unregulated outpatient clinics.
That's why we will stop the ROE Act before it goes any further. This dangerous bill has had its reporting deadline EXTENDED to November 12, despite the legislative session's close on July 31st.
Legislators need to hear that you do not support this radical bill.
WE NEED YOU TO CALL YOUR LEGISLATOR AND THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE EACH WEEK UNTIL NOVEMBER 12.
√√ Use this main State House number (617) 722-2000 to request your legislator. Next call (617) 722-2396 to reach Chair Rep. Claire Cronin and Vice Chair Rep. Michael Day at the offices of the Judiciary Committee.
|Even if you've already called, your voice in the next two months, raised on behalf of women and preborn babies, will prove to our representatives that Massachusetts supports hope and rejects ROE's abortion- promoting discrimination. .|
√√ Share this call-to-action with your friends and family. Forward it with a personal invitation to join you in calling the State House today.
√√ Get on social media and share the State House number and this easy to use call script with key dangers included in the "ROE" Act.
Please shoot us an email with any questions or needs.
I'm calling personally with you each week -- for my fellow women, our preborn people, and our children endangered by the "ROE" Act.