By Dr. Mark Rollo, MCFL Board Member
Regarding the recent letter from Don P. Perez, MD [ in the Worcester Telegram ] I must respectfully yet strenuously disagree. His letter opined that in spite of the coronavirus outbreak state legislators must move forward on passing H. 1926 and S. 1208 which would legalize physician assisted suicide (PAS) in Massachusetts. Actually, it is because of the coronavirus outbreak that we can see the dangers of PAS.
PAS creates a financial incentive to steer people toward suicide. This has already happened in states which have legalized PAS. In some of these states insurance companies and Medicaid have refused to cover expensive therapies but have offered to cover inexpensive suicide pills. The economic pressures exerted by the coronavirus outbreak will only accentuate the temptation to steer the poor, people with disabilities and minorities toward suicide.
Dr Perez noted that nine states have passed PAS laws. However, during the same time period, 30 states have rejected PAS. The supposed absence of abuses in Oregon is an empty statement due to the lack of mandated reporting on PAS. We know that people in Oregon have been steered toward suicide. Barbara Wagner of Oregon is just one of many examples. Medicaid refused to cover expensive chemotherapy for her advanced lung cancer but indicated her suicide pills would be covered.
As a member of the Massachusetts Medical Society, I am embarrassed that MMS has opted for neutrality when it comes to protecting the public from PAS.
The American Medical Association continues to rightly strongly oppose PAS as should lawmakers.
Make your voice heard for the vulnerable. Tell your legislator you oppose H. 1926 and S.1208 by emailing and calling the Joint Committee on the Public Health today.
FIND CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC HEALTH AT THIS LINK: Chair and Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Health.
Support our continued advocacy by donating today: Secure Donation Here.
Despite Massachusetts' Gov. Baker's ban on elective surgical procedures during the state of emergency surrounding the COVID-19's outbreak, Planned Parenthood has again put abortion promotion before women's safety. And not just women's safety -- the abortion industry giant has decided it's more important to abort than maintain safe social distancing during the pandemic.
In the New Boston Post report, MCFL is quoted:
We were disheartened to learn that, upon Governor Baker’s approval, elective abortion will still be permitted in the coming weeks, even while other elective surgeries have been prohibited due to the coronavirus pandemic. Women’s health and safety should be our top priority now, as always. Risking exposure to the highly contagious disease during visits to abortion clinics not only puts our women at risk but their families and those of clinic workers as well. This is yet another indication that the once-popular abortion-rights mantra ‘safe, legal, and rare’ is a complete farce. In the face of a global pandemic, the abortion industry once again demonstrates that protecting women’s health has never been its priority. Instead, the abortion lobby’s singular goal is to increase the bottom line, even at the expense of risking the health and wellbeing of those who enter their clinics and those who work at them during these unprecedented times.
MCFL President, Myrna Maloney Flynn, also spoke with reporters from The Daily Caller, where she offered a similar comment. It is critical to note the following:
We would like to invite you to write the governor in these challenging times, expressing your concern.
His office can receive email and phone calls at the following address:
ATTN: Governor Charlie Baker, Massachusetts State House, Beacon St #280, Boston, MA 02133
Planned Parenthood, in their healthcare capacity, should be doubly aware of the risks during COVID-19. To insist on performing abortions is to insist that a woman's life has less value than that of the male population. That is not the spirit of our Commonwealth, and it is radically opposed to the fundamental fact of equal rights.
Whether pro-life or pro-choice, we have an obligation to speak out and speak up. One voice--yours--could very well save hundreds of preborn lives, along with as many lives of our born fellow citizens.
By Sonja Morin, MCFL Communications Intern
Even before the screen brightens, the jazz music softly enters, quiet but bright. It rises as the screen fades to a shade of blue reminiscent of the ocean. Watercolors overlap footage of daily life - people walking, trading, exchanging stories - and images of Nelson Mandela and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A woman’s humming joins the calming jazz, floating with the melody. She sings no words in particular. The swirling imagery and music crescendo, enveloping the audience in its thoughtful embrace.
This is the way in which the 2019 documentary Humanité: The Beloved Community introduces itself to the audience. This masterful documentary, directed by Jim Hanon, unfolds as an exploration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision of “the beloved community”: the idea that all people can share in brotherhood despite their diverse circumstances and backgrounds. Specifically, the documentary ponders how music ties people together, even from across the world. Kirk Whalum, a Grammy-award winning musician from Memphis, introduces the idea of the beloved community as he first experienced it growing up. His father worked in the civil rights movement of the 1960s along with Dr. King, right up to the point where the latter was assassinated mere blocks away from their home.
The telling of his story then gives way to others’ as well. Musicians from across the world explain how music has served as a unitive element. “Music… incorporates strands of man in so many different ways”, one recounted. As the stories unfold in Humanité, those strands become clear. For some, it brought musicians out of addiction, destitution, and other struggles. Others testified that music helped them find friends and make connections. Still others felt that music is a conduit of self-expression, while at the same time allowing understanding between performer and listener. The communion between people that is made manifest in music is, quite literally, often beyond words.
The direction and artful interplay of visuals with sounds blend together to immerse the audience in the intertwined stories being presented. The imagery is always tinted a cool shade of blue, much like the aforementioned opening credits. This common thread, no matter the setting, ties together the visuals in a shade that is often used to represent peace and unity. An unusual technique utilized in Humanité is the overlap of footage with still photos, often of Dr. King or Nelson Mandela. This is used at poignant points in the documentary, to demonstrate how the ideas of these deceased leaders are still living in those who seek to be the beloved community. The music swells and decreases, but is always present. Often without words, it allows an audience of diverse languages to enjoy the mood being conveyed without having to decipher lyrics. Not only are the visual and audial elements utilized in such a way that it is pleasing to the audience, but it masterfully sweeps up the audience in the embrace of the conveyed ideals of the beloved community.
The end of Humanité dwells on the lines in Dr. King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” regarding the common brotherhood of man. Whalum recounts a particular phrase in the Letter: “If not now, when?” He points out that, despite our great ability to connect with others, we have become more isolated as an international community. If we do not form that bridge to communion with others now, then when? How long will we wait before we recognize the dignity of our brothers and sisters across the world, or close to home, no matter their circumstances? This question is left lingering at the end of the documentary, but not without a realization: that community is possible, even in our stratified and disconnected world. We have the opportunity to create this communion which we, as humans, naturally desire. But it is up to us to create that union, and reach out to those around us in the here and now.
By Myrna Maloney Flynn, MCFL President
We fight on the side of the angels. - Patricia Stewart
During these unprecedented days of sudden uncertainty and constantly-changing information, I write today to share reassuring news—a happy announcement that underscores MCFL’s organizational strength and, more importantly, the role you play in ensuring its lifesaving contributions within the Commonwealth.
It is my sincere pleasure to welcome Patricia (Pat) Stewart back to MCFL to resume her role as executive director.
Pat will be responsible for the day-to-day management of MCFL’s offices and our staff. She’ll work closely alongside me and other officers to execute our comprehensive strategy, with a focus on achieving long-term value, growth, and progress as we work on your behalf to open minds and soften the hearts of those around us.
“I am thrilled to be rejoining MCFL’s team of dedicated pro-lifers as we continue its decades-long tradition of defending the cause of LIFE,” Pat told me this week. “More than ever before, the sanctity of life is under attack in ways we never imagined possible—killing abortion survivors, hastening the death of the elderly, and encouraging the suicide of the seriously ill. Despite this dark moment in time, however, I am confident that MCFL and its legion of supporters will prevail. After all, we fight on the side of the angels.”
Michael Wiseman, MCFL clerk and member of the Board’s Personnel Committee, which unanimously supported recruiting Pat, previously worked with her and says, “Everything I ever saw Pat Stewart do was very professionally done. I don’t think I could come up with a better recommendation for a candidate for the job.”
Another longtime member of our family, Matt Hanafin, says, “I had the pleasure of working under Pat when she first joined the team as the executive director in 2013, when I was MCFL’s director of outreach. Now, as a member of MCFL working in DC, I am excited to see her back at the helm. Her professionalism, diligence, and passion to help society’s vulnerable will lead MCFL to accomplish great things.”
A native of North Attleboro, Pat has practiced law in Massachusetts for over 35 years. After 25 years as a trial lawyer in the area of aviation law, representing victims of aircraft accidents, she turned her attention to health care. In 2007, she authored and published The Health Care Decision Guide for Catholics, a how-to for patients and caregivers seeking to make medical choices in accord with Catholic teaching.
For the past 12 years, she has instructed lay and religious audiences throughout Massachusetts on end-of-life issues, advance health-care planning, and developments in health-care law affecting patient rights.
As former executive director of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, Pat drafted and filed pro-life legislation, testified in numerous state legislative committee hearings, and advocated on behalf of every individual’s right to life from conception to natural death. Through her legal work, Pat has continued her mission in support of life, representing patients and families confronting claims of medical futility or denial of medical care.
Currently, Pat serves on the Board of Directors of the Pro-Life Legal Defense Fund and is an Allied Attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom. She makes her home in Norwell, Massachusetts.
Our ability to welcome Pat to our hardworking staff is a direct result of your generous support. Thank you for believing in our mission. Thank you for your confidence in our team. And thank you for your membership commitment.
To our members and advocates for life,
We understand that many of you continue to be concerned about coronavirus (COVID-19). As Massachusetts slowly reopens, and orients to a "new normal," it is our commitment to put our utmost into meeting our mission while respecting public health and moving with care.
Our lobby days have been rescheduled for next session, but we continue to advocate for the unborn through email and phone calls. Please consider joining our weekly callbanks, however, in opposition the the "ROE" Act. You can join us daily! Take your 1:00 o'clock hour and dedicate it to "the one" whose voice is removed by unjust laws. Right now, that will be individual women, whose healthcare will be reduced by the "ROE" Act, and their unborn children, who won't even be provided care if they are aborted late-term and survive the procedure. Call the judiciary committee and sign the petition to say no to "ROE" here. Email CJ (firstname.lastname@example.org) for instructions or to set up a virtual call-party with fellow members or friends.
Uur Mother's Day Dinner featuring Dr. Alveda King will be postponed.
Please also look ahead to the MCFL Annual Gala, which has been scheduled for September 17th, 2020 online for the first time ever.
At this point, we still plan to hold the Massachusetts March for Life, on November 7th.
You may also join fellow members in safely social-distanced advocacy outside the abortion centers in our state. Social-distanced sidewalk advocacy is critical while abortion businesses continue to target vulnerable women and abort babies in Massachusetts despite the risk of COVID transmission.
We look forward to your participation, and support and your feedback and questions as we transition to the virtual.
If anything additional changes, and we believe your safety is at risk, we will be in touch with more updates on our outreach and advocacy. But social distancing does not mean distancing from supporting, educating, or being available to those we serve and protect.
Your health and safety, along with the health and safety of the little ones we seek to protect, is our top priority.
For additional questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to our team by email.
Stay safe, savvy, and remember that even if you're settled at home away from the virus, take that 1:00 o'clock hour and call and email our lawmakers using this easy to follow call script.
Yours for the most vulnerable,
C.J. Williams, Director of Community Engagement
Massachusetts Citizens for Life
On Friday, February 21st, members, including our communications intern, Sonja Morin, gathered on the beautiful Boston College campus to watch a film.
The documentary, featuring Grammy award-winning artist, Kirk Whalum, is Humanite: The Beloved Community. Produced and distributed by Minus Red, a film studio whose mission is uncommon stories, common threads, the film pays homage to Martin Luther King Jr. through both sonic and visual weaving of Kirk's original music and a startling diverse supporting range of musicians and artists.
For Massachusetts Citizens for Life, the the clear theme of shared humanity was particularly relevant. The documentary threads its narration with stories of the civil rights movement. But it digs deeper than a single moment in history.
It looks at history through the lens those common threads that arise at different eras and in different nations -- the stories that remind us of our shared humanity. More than that, it neatly illustrates the way in which artists see and embrace other, integrating disimilarities with love rather than fear. We are more alike than we think; we are more different than we ever need to fear.
The takeaway? Born, or preborn; black or white; American or Malaysian; well or differently-abled, we are a beloved community, a family.
This theme gave rise to what was perhaps the highlight of the evening: A lively and thorough discussion of human rights, opposition to abortion, and building relationships in Boston, Worcester, Western Massachusetts, and beyond.
Boston College pro-life club leaders agreed that when they stand outside Planned Parenthood, relationship -- building that bridge to the woman or man entering the building even in a split-second -- was what mattered.
After all, how can you ask a woman to see her child, if she doesn't see herself as worthy of life?
One member recalled just asking and listening to a girl's story, and when they finished talking, she left without going in for her appointment.
Others touched briefly on the legal aspects of outreach and public sidewalks. The conversation veered into planning, and then into the beauty of engaging in art that can turn hearts and make those marginalized see and feel their place in the beloved community.
by Steven Hardy, MCFL Member, Boston
The 40 Days for Life Bosto 2020 Campaign Launch was held at Saint Catherine of Siena parish in Norwood on February the 23rd. A Mass was celebrated by Fr. Michael McNamara, followed by a powerful talk from Patricia Sandoval, known as the primary voice for the preborn, and women healing after abortion, in Mexico.
At the Mass, Fr. McNamara delivered a homily in which he touched on our responsibilities towards those in need, particularly the preborn, as well as the need to show love towards our friends and neighbors who believe abortion should be legal.
Following the Mass, Patricia Sandoval shared the heart-wrenching story of her upbringing, which lead to three abortions, a brief stint working at a Planned Parenthood facility, and a rock-bottom in drug use and homelessness. It was at that bottom, feeling utterly lost, that she recalled a childhood memory, and began to pray.
She then recounted how the answer to that prayer -- one stranger -- changed everything for her.
While crying and praying with her eyes closed and her head downcast, she all of a sudden felt a firm and warm embrace. She opened her eyes to see a waitress from a restaurant across the street who had seen her and felt compelled to help. This proved to be the turning point for Patricia. The waitress helped her to reunite with her mother, who had also been praying for this for some time.
Mrs. Sandoval’s incredible story is a testimony of the power of how the actions of one person can have an enormous impact. That waitress not only saved Patricia’s life by acting out of love for a stranger in distress, but by sharing her story, Patricia is likely saving the lives of countless others by inspiring us to be that one stranger who acts out of love for a woman in distress about to enter an abortion facility.
Have you joined the MCFL-sponsored 40 Days Vigil in your community?
SIGN UP FOR YOUR HOUR: 40 Days in Boston
Look up Boston, Worcester, Beverly, and Springfield here.
Be the one who makes a difference -- Join MCFL today.
by Dr. Mark Rollo, MCFL Board Member
The stated mission of Massachusetts Citizens for Life is to defend life from conception to natural death.
Physician Assisted Suicide is NOT a natural death. Proponents try to sanitize this practice with phrases like “medical aid in dying,” and “death with dignity,” however, there is nothing dignified about suicide, and there is nothing dignified about a doctor writing a prescription to end a patient’s life.
Palliative care and hospice seek to end suffering while a person dies a natural death. Physician Assisted Suicide seeks to end the life of the suffering person. There is a huge and culture transforming difference.
Among the many evils of Physician Assisted Suicide which include the corruption of medicine, the slippery slope toward active and involuntary euthanasia as has happened in the Netherlands and the general rise in suicide, state sanctioned assisted suicide will disproportionately affect the poor, minorities, and those with disabilities.
Barbara Wagner, a woman in her 60s, received a letter from Medicaid of Oregon stating her advanced lung cancer treatment would not be covered but her suicide pills would be.
Stephanie Packer of California, a 29 year old mother of four with a progressive lung disease, received a letter from her insurance company stating that her expensive medication would no longer be covered but her cheap suicide pills would be covered. She received this letter after Physician Assisted Suicide became legal in California. In this regard she gave testimony last summer before the Massachusetts Joint Committee of Public Health regarding S.1208 and H.1926, which would legalize Physician Assisted Suicide in Massachusetts.
Stephanie, center, with her family. (photo credit: NY Post)
Decision time regarding these disastrous bills is upon us. We need to contact our state senators and representatives as well as committee members of the Joint Committee on Public Health. We need to tell them that we do not want the vulnerable among us, like Barbara Wagner and Stephanie Packer, steered toward suicide.
This week, please take a few minutes to email, call, and write stating your objections to physician assisted suicide (S.1208 and H.1926):
Committee Chair, Sen. Jo Comerford
24 Beacon St., Room 413-C
Boston, MA, 02133
Committee Vice Chair, Sen. Nick Collins
24 Beacon St., Room 312-D
Boston, MA, 02133
One Gave Life: A Tribute to Mothers
Your short film may take top honors at MCFL’s Mother’s Day Dinner. Better yet, it may save the life of another.
The Massachusetts Citizens for Life Youth Film Contest is an opportunity to use your creative gift to tell the stories of moms: your mom, another mom, a mom whose time has passed, or a mom-to-be. We're celebrating motherhood for what it is: the most important and revered loving sacrifice of our society.
Produce a video that pays tribute to motherhood. We welcome submissions from filmmakers of any experience level, ages 15-25.
Deadline for entries: October 10, 2020.
- Film submissions must reflect the intrinsic value of the individual human person, and may focus on the following: euthanasia, abortion, lethal discrimination via abortion or doctor prescribed suicide. All films must engage with the reality that human life should be cherished from conception to natural death.
- Tone, genre, and style are at the discretion of the filmmaker.
- Short films must not exceed 3 minutes.
- The video file must be under three (3) minutes in length (all copyrighted material will be removed). It is recommended that video file size be kept under three hundred (300) MB for quicker upload/encoding time. Finalists (as defined below) may be asked to provide higher resolution files. Video files must be provided in one of the following file formats: .MP4; .MPG; .MOV; .AVI; or .WMV.
- For all video submissions shot in 16:9 aspect ratio, they should be center cut protected. Finalists may be asked to provide the original audio and video files used during production of the entry for broadcast purposes. This may include uncompressed QuickTime files, final audio mix and/or separate audio tracks for dialogue, music, and effects. These items are not mandatory to become a Finalist (as defined below).
A panel of judges, as determined by MCFL, will review and judge submissions according to the following Judging Criteria (“Judging Criteria”):
Adherence to Contest Rules 25%
Prizes will go to the top three (3) submissions received, judged according to the above criteria.
Submit your entry to email@example.com through Dropbox or YouTube.
Or snail mail us a thumb drive or disc with your film.
- Your full name
- School (if applicable)
- Mailing address
- Email address
- Title of film
- Short bio (1-2 paragraphs maximum)