By Myrna Maloney Flynn, MCFL President
The year after Roe v. Wade, a blue-collar couple in their 40s was struggling to raise six kids, the youngest 11, when they learned the woman was pregnant. After Mass one day, a friend chided them, saying, “You know, there’s something you can do now.”
I’m Myrna Maloney Flynn. I’m here today because my parents knew the truth and gave me my life. I want to dedicate it to shining light on that truth to save others’ lives.
Every step I’ve taken in the last three decades has prepared me to successfully assume the MCFL presidency now. I studied communications and political science. I hold a master’s degree in teaching. I’ll soon have an MBA.
I’ve lived in Japan and India, so I’ve observed the cultural value of human life from vastly different perspectives. I taught high school in the Bronx, where I witnessed teen motherhood and minors who had abortions. I developed a thick skin while cold calling as a sales rep and an even sturdier spine as a TV reporter. I’ve helped lift startup companies off the ground, led successful nonprofit fundraisers, and sailed past development goals at community events. For the past five years, I’ve held leadership positions in higher education -- an industry, widely known to support abortion rights, that forced me to speak for those who cannot.
I am blessed to have a husband of 16 years, who has become one of my closest pro-life advisors. We thank God each day for our four children.
I self-nominated for a seat on MCFL’s board and was elected last year. Since then, I’ve been invited to participate in nearly all aspects of MCFL’s internal operations and have leveraged my role as director before external audiences as well. In March, I was unanimously elected vice president, an honor and opportunity that I determinedly made the most of.
- I’ve re-established ties with key pro-life advocates in western Mass., resulting in a new list of 150 contacts and the first pro-life club at Amherst College
- I’ve taken on the role of spokesperson, representing MCFL in the media, before Anti-fascists at our March for Life, testifying at last week’s S.1209 hearing, delivering remarks at the State House rally and at Northampton’s City Council Meeting; and creatively appealing to our members at events and online
- I’ve forged a relationship with MassGOP and the leadership at MFI, Renew MA, SBA List and the Charlotte Lozier Institute
- I hosted MCFL’s first-ever Northampton rally, in a bitterly cold rain, among that city’s numerous and vocal pro-choice residents
- Crazy, yes. But it served the purpose of getting Senator Comerford’s attention as well as a meeting with her
You can read about that in the new magazine issue, which I helped produce
When you think of lobbying, you probably think of State House halls, formal letters, or official meetings scheduled in offices or quiet restaurants. But what you may not know is that nearly every one of your legislators now has an active presence on social media, and their Facebook and Twitter accounts are as valid and impactful a meeting ground as their offices.
In fact, sometimes, social media causes a greater impact than a formal letter these days, because on social media, one message may not just reach your representative or senator. One message may reach your entire district.
And that kind of reach is a reality every politician watches like a hawk.
Here are the easy steps to finding, reaching, and engaging your legislator online. Double your lobbying efforts by reaching out via social media, bring your fellow state citizens to the conversation, and raise awareness of the laws and proposed laws threatening or supporting human lives in Massachusetts.
1. Do you know who your representatives are? Who your senator is? If not, start here: Plug in Your Address and Receive Your Legislators' Full Contact Information (click here to search).
2. Do you have FaceBook? If so, take the names of your representatives to your FaceBook toolbar, and type them in.
It should look like this in your browser.
3. Do you have Twitter? If so, take the names of your senator or representatives and type them into the search bar on your Twitter feed.
If your senator or representative has an account, it should show up like this in your browser:
Click on the name in the search results, then select follow. Now, you can either tweet at them, or send them a direct message.
In the next few weeks, we will be running a series of citizen responses to the so-called "R.O.E." Act (S.1209/H.3320). From longtime pro-choice voters and longtime pro-life proponents, and from those in-between and on-the-fence, these letters and remarks show a startling consensus in opposing this badly prepared and dangerous legislation.
[ To my fellow citizens and to our legislators ]
I had the privilege of sitting in the hearing before the Judiciary Committee on the ROE Act/S1209/H3320 on Monday, June 17. There was an impressive turnout on both sides for supporting and opposing this... bill [sic] before the legislature.
I am a retired newborn ICU/labor and delivery nurse, and adoptive mother of two. I have, in the past, sat on the sidelines of the abortion issue trying to respect a woman’s personal choice.
However, after hearing of New York’s [extreme] new abortion law, I have left my “comfort zone” to become educated and involved on this very emotional issue. There are many components to this new proposed legislation now coming to Massachusetts that appear, in my opinion, to be anything but health care! [The text] can be found on the massgov.org website: S1209/H3320 or on masscitizensforlife.org.
A number of aspects of this proposed legislation appear to remove safeguards such as permission by a parent for minors. There is no recognition of the human person/baby/infant growing within the womb or provision for [an infant] born alive [during late-term abortions]*. The "R.O.E" Act would eliminate compulsory hospital-based abortions for second and third-trimester pregnancies when the risk for complications is greatest! It was unclear who, if anyone, would be responsible for inspections and/or licensing of the abortion facilities – just to mention a few.
I left with too many questions and concerns regarding the "R.O.E." Act. This is a hastily contrived bill where nothing I heard before the committee at the State House convinced me that the [proposed law] is in the best interest of women’s health. Let us move cautiously so that we do not put women at risk.
This past week, the abortuary in Fitchburg run by Planned Parenthood and forty miles outside Boston, closed.
Despite raucous claims of being a key provider of women's healthcare in Massachusetts and beyond, this facility and most others serve to perform abortions. Inconvenient? Not to the women and children who enter Planned Parenthood looking for care, and get a sales pitch for killing their preborn son or daughter. Yet in hearings on S1209/H3320 ("An Act to Remove Obstacles and Expand Access to Abortion In MA"), NARAL and Planned Parenthood representatives repeatedly decried the restrictions and hardships involved for women desperately seeking abortions in the state.
This is why, they argued, we need to legalize abortion up-to-birth for any reason, remove parental consent for minors seeking abortion, and cut the part of our law that ensures women are treated in hospitals by an MD during the grueling sometimes 3-day late-term abortion procedure.
But are adults obstacles?
In a state with perhaps the best healthcare in the nation, and leading healtchare in the world, are hospitals obstacles?
Not obstacles to the safety of our women, or of our girls.
But both are obstacles to Planned Parenthood's profit margin, since abortions form the majority of their services and cash-flow.
This week, your participation is imperative.
The grisly anti-life bills s1209/h3320, which you testified against last Monday are joined by a bill pushing doctor prescribed death.
This is what you can do:
Speak to the Joint Committee on Public Health directly.
The hearing THIS TUESDAY on doctor-prescribed suicide is literally a matter of life and death.
It is so important that Stephanie Packer and Dr Brian Callister are flying in.
But who are Stephanie and Dr. Callister?
Stephanie is the young mother of four from California who was diagnosed with cancer right after the CA DPS law went into effect in 2015. Her insurance company offered to give her a lethal dose but would not give her cancer treatment. Last January, Stephanie was put into hospice but has since been discharged.
Dr. Brian Callister, from Nevada, featured in Fatal Flaws, exposed how two of his patients were refused treatment under Nevada DPS law, but offered a lethal dose of drugs instead.
It is critical that we, as Massachusetts citizens, speak for life by our actions.
Show up! Just like you did last Monday.
Details on the Public Hearing on Doctor Prescribed Suicide
Hearings 11am- 5pm.
Arrive at the General Hooker entrance by 9:30 [at Park and Beacon Street corner]
DPS is the only topic on the Public Health Care Committee agenda. We expect the hearing to end on time.
If you are not able to be there in person, please submit written testimony this week (long or short) to Committee Chair:
The Hon. Joanne Comerford
Massachusetts State House, Rm 70C
24 Beacon Street,
Boston, MA 02133
A few helpful points for testimony:
People contemplating suicide need care and help for their depression not a lethal dose to kill themselves.
A prognosis of six months to live is often inaccurate.
DPS opens the way to elder abuse.
Insurance companies may choose the cheaper way rather than the right way
One of our board directors, Dr. Kerry Pound, wrote this letter in response to the provisions included in the recently reviewed bills S1209/H3320, whose stated purpose is to promote abortion in the Commonwealth. It was published 18 June 2019 in the Worcester Telegram, and is reproduced here with her permission.
Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. – Elie Wiesel
When I began my medical school rotation in obstetrics, I was surprised when the lecturing obstetrician stated, “We are the only specialists who deal simultaneously with two patients.” I was sensitive to any remotely pro-life words during my medical studies. In my early days of higher education, I’d conscientiously tucked my pro-life leanings into a neat, silent, “do not open” box in order to remain well-liked and respected. I remained strongly pro-life ... in silence.
I had to bite my tongue a few times when the inconvenient truth reared its head during medical studies. In embryology class, as we learned the mechanics and timeline of the formation of each organ system in the body, I waited for the lecturer to mention any system that developed beyond 10 weeks of gestation. It never happened. At the conclusion, I wanted to shout, “Ten weeks?! How can any of us be in favor of abortion after learning this?” But, of course, I didn’t. I did not want to offend the political leanings or sensitivities of my friends. Truth faded into silence.
So, when the obstetricians acknowledged their treating two patients, I was relieved to hear it spoken aloud. The message – re-iterated numerous times during the rotation – was that the goal of prenatal and labor care was a healthy mother and baby.
The proposed ROE Act of Massachusetts should shock even ardent pro-choicers – essentially guaranteeing an unfettered right to abortion throughout the pregnancy; increased tax-payer support of abortion; elimination of adult consent for minors; elimination of legal penalties for botched procedures. Please read S.1209 to see the extent to which the bill celebrates abortion at any time, for any reason, without any legal regulations.
Most revealing and radical, the legal language of S.1209 eliminates any acknowledgement of the second patient – the baby. In fact, so foreign is this way of thinking to most doctors, that as I read the bill I was forced to remind myself that the term “patient” only referred to the woman. Pregnancy is no longer “a mother carrying an unborn child” as the prior legal language stated; it’s been replaced by “embryo within a person’s uterus.” (No child, no mother, not even a woman!) Hence, it follows logically that the bill eliminates any medical care (that was written in the prior law) for an (accidentally) born alive baby. Clearly, no doctor can be obligated to offer life-saving resuscitation to an unacknowledged existence. The inconvenient truth rears its head again when a failed abortion results in a gasping, kicking, twisting newborn born beyond 23-weeks gestation who deserves immediate medical care, but which S.1209 denies.
For physicians, concern for the woman’s well-being is central. Recognizing that an unplanned pregnancy presents numerous challenges that may derail a woman’s life is essential to proper care. However, these very real concerns do not erase the sobering reality that there are two lives involved and, therefore, two lives to consider and care for. Science and medicine certainly recognize it (even if they ignore it when swayed by politics). So too does the pregnant woman. Changing language to erase the reality does not lessen the burden on the woman.
When language is changed to erase the humanity of certain persons, it is typically for those with the advantage to use, abuse, or destroy those without a voice.
What a momentous day we shared at the State House yesterday! If you were able to join us, you know I'm not exaggerating when I say that, without a doubt, we delivered a resounding, united "NO" before those who question whether more abortions are what the Commonwealth's citizens want. Outside on the steps, within overflow seating areas, and inside at the microphone, a loving, earnest, and firm pro-life message easily muffled that of the opposition.
Members of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary kept their word and graciously heard testimony from all who wanted to speak. This meant that a doggedly-determined group, made up almost exclusively of pro-lifers, brought the hearing to a close at 11:00pm! Those of us who tried to match that stamina were humbled to hear wall-to-wall defenders of life from across the state reject the implications of S.1209/H.3320.
Sitting idle, the few remaining people in pink apparently did not want, or perhaps could not find the words, to respond.
Thank you for joining us yesterday.
Thank you for signing our petition.
Thank you for your generous gifts which allowed us to execute our June 17 campaign with force!
This effort is not yet finished.
Please continue to follow our updates regarding these bills. (Chairman Cronin adjourned the hearing without giving any indication of what the committee's next move would be.) And I ask: keep educating those who you know to be supporters of the bills about the legislation's many flaws. If one thing was prominent yesterday, it's that most proponents of the so-called "ROE" Act have not even read the legislation nor taken time to understand its likely repercussions.
Then call the governor's office to voice your concerns at 617-725-4005.
He has indicated in recent days both a potential willingness to accept the bill as well as a hesitation to see it on his desk. Therefore, your voice carries tremendous weight this week!
Yesterday was yesterday, and we blew the top off the State House. But we must not become complacent. We're merely shifting gears to press on to the finish line, and at top speed.
I am so proud to work with each of you, and I look forward to carrying our momentum into the next few weeks.
With sincere gratitude,
Myrna Maloney Flynn
Massachusetts Citizens for Life
Dear Friend of Life,
A joyful Father’s Day from this father to every other!
A good father wants to protect women and children.
He knows the selfishness in his own heart and battles that. From the gentleness and wisdom gained in that struggle, a man becomes a better father, becomes a father of all those who are less powerful.
And we need this gallant, fatherly strength to resist those who would profiteer from the killing of unborn babies and the maiming of their mothers in abortion.
MONDAY, June 17th, is the big day: the Beacon Hill hearing for S.1209/H.3320, the unrestricted-abortion “ROE Act.” In some ways this legislation is even more radical than the New York and Illinois “Reproductive Health Acts.”
It would set up a right to unrestricted abortion, removing every hedge on that act of killing. In no way is it pro-choice; it is fully pro-abortion. It does not reflect any kind of consensus in the Commonwealth or this country. Instead it reflects the interests of those who profiteer from killing the most powerless humans. It’s an abortion-industry wish list selling itself as feminist liberation.
We must rather represent the interests of women and children. So, please join Massachusetts Citizens for Life for a rally at 10:00 am, gathering at the General Hooker entrance of the State House: RSVP here.
The hearing itself is at 1:00 pm, in the Gardner Auditorium.
We need each one of your voices. If you wish to give oral testimony, here are some guidelines: Testimony to Legislature Tips. I would suggest aiming for two minutes, with some modular components you can plug in (if we end up receiving more time) or remove (if too redundant given other testimony).
And, again, for reference, it might be useful to look at our ind=-depth analysis of the bills here.
You may submit written testimony either before the hearing or in the days immediately following. That would be addressed to the chairs of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, Sen. James Eldridge and Rep. Claire Cronin, using the contact info here: https://malegislature.gov/Committees/Detail/J19.
Calling the members of this Committee would also be of real service.
If you cannot come, please consider a donation so that we can see this fight through, with undiminished vigor. Your secure donation to help us save lives can be made here.
“It’s Father’s Day, and everybody’s wounded,” sang Leonard Cohen.
It’s time to start binding up those wounds.
For the love of life,
David Franks, Ph.D., Chairman
Printed in the Daily Hampshire Gazette 14 June 2019: MCFL'S Vice President, Myrna Maloney Flynn, asks: Why endanger our women and girls in a hasty reaction? She highlights the dangerous provisions in this proposed bill's knee-jerk response to current cultural waves, and demands accountability.
I’d like to provide context for my quote regarding parental consent being eliminated from current abortion law if The ROE Act passes (“Northampton City Council backs expansion of abortion rights statewide” June 7, 2019).
In stating constituents “don’t want their teenage daughters irresponsibly targeted,” I was referring to poll results I shared. Last month, the Tarrance Group surveyed Massachusetts voters of all party affiliations — 60 percent considered themselves pro-choice and 40 percent pro-life. Sixty-two percent think parents should provide consent.
I ask councilors Gina-Louise Sciarra and William Dwight, who lament a perceived “reduction” of rights: What about parents’ rights? Sixty-two percent oppose more late term abortions.
ROE supporters believe ending viable infants’ lives is justified in two particular circumstances, yet the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute has admitted that “data suggests that most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment.”
A recent poll on which we partnered with the national advocacy organization, The Susan B. Anthony List, demonstrated a majority of Massachusetts voters oppose provisions contained in the proposed bills S.1209/H.3320. These provisions radically endanger our adult women, our teenage girls, and our infants.
The following remarks were presented by MCFL Vice President, Myrna Maloney Flynn, to the press conference at the Massachusetts State House, and are re-printed here as an open letter to our legislators.
Legislators of the Commonwealth:
I am Myrna Maloney Flynn, Vice President of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, and a resident of the Hampshire County city of Northampton.
This poll did not survey members of the pro-life groups standing here today. It surveyed Massachusetts voters -- citizens who are registered Democrats, Republicans, Independents -- voters of all party affiliations.
The results indicate that common ground exists beneath this contentious and divisive issue. That’s the real news here: Where polarization is on display in other states this year, this poll suggests we are different; on the issue of abortion, Massachusetts is poised to set a new and desperately-needed course for this country.
Legislators of the Commonwealth, your constituents have spoken. I urge you to listen. Senate Bill 1209/House Bill 3320, the so-called “ROE Act,” is not what they want. They don’t want their teenage daughters irresponsibly targeted and made easier prey for abusers. Voters don’t consider hospitals “obstacles,” as this bill suggests. To remove life-saving, resuscitative equipment that would aid viable infants who survive abortion attempts, those who are the youngest citizens in your care, is to go against the wishes of your neighbors.
And, legislators, if you support this bill, you are asking your neighbors at home to help pay for each of these inhumane provisions. How will you defend yourself when you run into them at the grocery store or when you drop your children off at school?
More importantly, what words could you possibly find to use with your own children or grandchildren when they some day ask you about the law you would have helped to pass?
Martin Luther King once said, “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right.”
Don’t vote for something your conscience will not withstand. Don’t vote for S.1209/H.3320. Instead, let’s shelve it. Let’s embrace our common ground, use it as a foundation, and build a caring, safe, dignified model for the rest of the nation to follow. The childcare proposal that Senator Warren introduced is a fine example of what true pro-life policy looks like. And we can enact it here first. Together. Imagine the widespread voter response to that!
Each of you has a unique opportunity to redefine this debate, redirect the conversation, renounce extremism, and represent Massachusetts on a national level while you do so. By your bravery, your leadership, your demonstrated commitment to--and genuine care for--the people who put you in office, you will, as Dr. King championed, do what is right.