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C.J. Williams

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  • On the Anniversary Week of Evangelium Vitae

    Culture shapes how we think of ourselves and others. The current culture is one of the most prominent causes of dehumanization of people everywhere. We are called to shape the culture in a way that respects life at all stages.

     

    By Sonja Morin, MCFL Intern


    This week, pro-lifers everywhere are celebrating the anniversary of one of the most significant documents to grace the movement: Evangelium Vitae, or The Gospel of Life.* It has been referred to as one of the best summations of the beliefs of the pro-life movement, not only citing its concerns but creating a structure for activism. The document gives a particular focus on culture, demonstrating the importance of culture to upholding human dignity, as well as a culture’s instrumental role in shedding light on how society dehumanizes many of our most vulnerable members today. Evangelium Vitae spurs on those of us involved in the culture to challenge and change the norms that are present in our world today, so that a culture of life may be restored. 

    Evangelium Vitae was written by Pope John Paul II, a stalwart of the pro-life movement during the twentieth and early twenty-first century. Pope John Paul II used his experiences and belief in human dignity to advocate for those without a voice throughout his papacy, and this encyclical is a shining example. Ever a masterful writer, John Paul II identifies the issues that plague the world as a result of a cultural dehumanization of our vulnerable, and reviews underlying causes of these attitudes, and what may be done to remedy them. While it is a document created by the leader of the Catholic Church, Evangelium Vitae is truly a document meant for “all people of good will” to consider in terms of human dignity and rights. 

    What does this document have to say for us, twenty-five years later? It turns out that Pope John Paul II’s words ring truer still for our current situation than perhaps they did upon the first release of the encyclical.  

    1. Culture shapes how we think of ourselves and others.  

    When Pope John Paul II identifies culture as one of the root causes of dehumanization in the modern world, he recognizes the force of culture in shaping minds and hearts. Culture is not just a system of products and creations; rather, it is a set of beliefs shared by people. These beliefs then stream into the literature, art, and other works people can experience and partake in together. Whether good or bad, these cultural norms and their effects shape our national and global community in how we perceive ourselves and each other. 

        2. The current culture is one of the most prominent causes of dehumanization of people everywhere.

    It is in this document that Pope John Paul II refers so prominently to the “culture of death” the world has inherited. The international culture promotes the idea that value is not objective; rather, it can fluctuate at any time based on anyone’s belief or emotion. If one does not have consistent value, then it does not matter whether someone disregards their dignity or not. One does not have to relate to others, or help them in times of need. One can control life and its effects. One can decide whether the life of another is worth continuation or not. These sad beliefs are the reality of the culture which has taken root in our world. 

       3. We are called to shape the culture in a way that respects life at all stage.

    In the last sections of Evangelium Vitae, Pope John Paul II begs that the people of the world reinstate a “culture of life” for all. This comes first from reversing the beliefs that have too long held grip in our institutions. We must always seek to promote the dignity of life, not only in what we say, but also in how we act towards others. Our love for all people will certainly speak louder. No matter what stage of life we are in, nor what our occupation in life is, we can certainly incorporate these attitudes into our lives. Our action on a day to day basis can - and will - impact the culture. 

    Cheers to this twenty-fifth anniversary of Evangelium Vitae--a document that does not merely point out the issues of our time, but offers concrete solutions by which anyone may promote the pro-life message of human dignity and value. May the words of Pope John Paul II continue to inspire us as we move forward into such a crucial time for the defense of all life. 

     

    We invite you to join MCFL today and begin to challenge and change some concrete aspects of our society in Massachusetts, and restore respect for women, the unborn, and the elderly, vulnerable, or differently abled.

     




  • COVID19 Cannot Be Used to Rationalize Doctor Prescribed Suicide

    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.


  • Film Review: Humanité - The Beloved Community

    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. 




  • published Some good news to start your week in In The News 2020-03-16 07:39:02 -0400

    Some good news to start your week

    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. 

     

     


  • COVID-19: What to expect in the next weeks

    To our members and advocates for life,

    We understand that many of you are concerned about coronavirus (COVID-19), especially in wake of the governor's declaration of a state of emergency. 

    At this point, we have cancelled the Convention, taking into consideration Boston College's closure. The March 18th Lobby Day is being moved to a remote event (see my next weekly email for details). The April 2nd lobby day at the State House is also cancelled in light of the state shutting down all outside events on Beacon Hill.

    Currently, our Mother's Day Dinner featuring Dr. Alveda King will still go forward in Holyoke, MA.

    If anything changes, and we believe the safety of our members is at risk, we will be in touch with more updates on our later Spring calendar of outreach events.

    Your health and safety, along with the health and safety of the little ones we seek to protect, is our top priority.

    This situation may evolve over the next few weeks, and we’ll continue to provide all pertinent updates. For additional questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to our team by replying to this email.

    Stay safe, savvy, and remember that even if you're settled at home away from the virus, you can still 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
    http://www.masscitizensforlife.org/

    JOIN  ||||. DONATE ||||. CONNECT



  • Molders of Culture: Academy Awards Breakthroughs

     

    by Sonja Morin, Communications Intern


     

    The Oscars ceremony aired this past Sunday night, fittingly closing the film awards season. Movies are meant to reflect cultural values. What is supported in film is meant to be lauded in real life, be it qualities, beliefs, or ideals. Award shows amplify this by denoting particular movies of interest. We, the public audience, then draw our attention to them and what they represent. These award shows also tie in presenters, acts, and performances in between to give focus to certain themes. 

    What kind of values did the Oscars represent in relation to the pro-life movement?

    At first glance, there really was not much to take away from this year’s ceremonies in terms of a political message. There weren’t many political speeches during the Oscars, surprisingly enough. Those that did speak of any particular theme did so vaguely, referencing unity and the need for equality in our society. After a long week filled with division in our political system, in a way, it only makes sense that the Academy would have taken such a nonpartisan approach. However, it is clear that they made a life-affirming statement, and quite possibly without intending it. 

    To present the Oscar for the category of Live-Action Short Film, actor Shia LaBeouf was accompanied by Zack Gottsagen. The latter is an up-coming actor who starred with LaBeouf in last year’s film The Peanut Butter Falcon. Last night gave Gottsagen an incredible opportunity, as he became the first person with Down syndrome to present an Oscar. With LaBeouf, Zack Gottsagen gave the award, and even delivered the famous line, “And the Oscar goes to…”. 

    MARK RALSTON / AFP/Getty Images

    It was a touching moment. In a culture riddled with stigma against those with Down syndrome, the Academy’s choice to represent the community through Gottsagen was an impressive one. 

    One of the many themes the Oscars seems to represent is the idea that anyone, no matter their circumstances, can achieve greatness. People tend to devalue those with Down syndrome, either out of complete ignorance or patronization. The prevailing belief is that, due to some of the struggles that comes from the syndrome, that people who have it will never be able to succeed in most aspects of life. Gottsagen is living proof that this assumption is wrong. His life is worth living in itself, and he was able to make something beautiful out of it. 

    What does that mean for us as pro-lifers? For one, it shows that the attitudes surrounding Down syndrome are certainly changing, and that parts of our culture are attempting to ensure that it happens. It also reminds us that we must lobby to ensure that babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb are not aborted. In the United States, 67% of the pre-born diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted, simply as a result of the diagnosis. This terminal example of discrimination is something that we as a culture must defeat. 

    There are immediate opportunities for us to help counter the destructive attitudes our culture still has regarding those with Down syndrome. Our state and nation face two bills that must be opposed at all costs: the ROE Act (S.1209/H. 3320) in Massachusetts and the federal bill H.J. Resolution 79, which would remove the deadline for ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). The ROE Act and the ERA would not only ensure that aborting babies with Down syndrome remains legal, but possible at any point in pregnancy and funded by taxpayers. These laws would only serve to deepen the prejudices against those with Down syndrome, restricting their ability to rise and drive the course of their life like Zack Gottsagen has. 

    This is where your action matters. Call your state and federal representatives and senators to oppose these dangerous bills. Your voice, counted with many others, are the small shifts that our culture needs to turn the tide. We can create a culture that is more accepting of life in all its circumstances by putting just a few minutes aside for this pertinent cause. While our actions may not be as widely televised as the Oscars, they are still just as important in creating a culture that is more accepting of all people in all stages of life. 

     



    You can instantly contact the members of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary by accessing this link and emailing and calling Chair Claire Cronin.

    Look up your legislator here and request that they personally meet with Chair Claire Cronin asking her, and the committee, to oppose the "ROE" Act.

     




  • published Our Team: A Love Letter in In The News 2020-02-18 08:51:57 -0500

    Our Team: Leading by example

    by Myrna Maloney Flynn, MCFL President

     

    We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.        - Winston Churchill

    The 9-year-old batter swung a little too hard that Saturday afternoon in the backyard. But he’d told her to keep her eye on the ball and give it all she had. The clang of glass shattering stunned us both, and I instinctively prepared myself to hear a littany of choice words coming out of my dad’s mouth. But he just grinned, closed his eyes, dropped his head, gloved hand hanging at his side, in a stance that said, “I guess I know what I’m doing with the rest of my day off.”

    To love requires many things of a person. But self-sacrifice tops the list. The great thing, though, about learning to love, is that you get to be inspired by that same behavior when you recognize it elsewhere. Witnessing one person giving breeds a similar response in the observer; like interest on a precious investment, the potential for compounding “good” awaits.

    In the wake of Valentine’s Day, I want you to know about the loving, life-giving work of a small, but passionately dedicated, group of individuals: my MCFL colleagues. 

    These otherwise “ordinary” men and women do extraordinary good for people they may never know. And they are “work ethic” personified.

    After collaborating closely with them for the past year, I continue to be amazed that they choose to make their life by what they give to this organization, usually seven days a week, during the pre-dawn silence, the bright light of noontime, or, for some, after they finish their day jobs, enveloped in the dark of midnight. Somewhere along the way, each was clearly on the receiving end of another person’s whole-hearted love. And now they—we—do this work out of respect for those who taught us to love and for those whose voices we may never hear. 

    Some examples of the extremes to which my team members have gone (just in the past few weeks):

    *Despite a power outage, our magazine editor met the deadline for our spring issue after scouring her town for a place with electricity.

    *Out west, a well-known MCFL face greeted busloads of D.C.-bound marchers late on a frigid January night, ensuring their safe travels.

    *Recently, a colleague gave up (another) Saturday morning to meet our members on chilly sidewalks outside Planned Parenthood, generating warmth for women who need it the most.

    *After a long day of work, a team member noticed something at 1:00 AM that needed to get done. So he did it—then followed up a few short hours later to make sure everything was OK. 

    *“End-of-the-year” means numerous loose ends either become tangled or tied. Our office manager not only tightly secured them, but, with her can-do attitude, shaped them into pleasant little bows.  

    *And the beating heart behind all of us: MCFL’s Chairman and Board of Directors, who either witnessed the birth of MCFL in 1973 or grew up alongside it, giving much of their lives for the lives of others, daily.

    But we are able to maintain constant focus on MCFL’s mission because of what you have given, {{recipient.first_name_or_friend}}. Since I arrived on the scene as president last summer, I continue to be motivated by your sacrifice, what you do to help my team and me ascend the mountain before us. Some days we cover a mile! On other days only inches. But I am so grateful that, because of your love for what we’re trying to do, we consistently move forward, despite others’ efforts to hold us back. Thank you!

    And, to my dear colleagues, who I have come to treasure, your selfless love for our shared work inspires, caffeinates, and sustains me. I am honored to share this experience with you. Keep up the great work, keep your eye on the ball, and give it all you got. I won’t mind one bit if you shatter the status quo. 

    Myrna

    P.S. You can continue to support our acts of love by giving, joining, or even just praying for my team and me. Thank you!

     


  • published MEDIA & CONTACT US in About MCFL 2020-02-10 13:52:19 -0500

  • Got 5 Minutes? Do your part to defeat "ROE"

    This week's column by MCFL's president provides you with an easy to use phone script for calling your legislator, and members of the Judiciary Committee, to oppose the "ROE" Act. It also provides a quick refresher on the proposed law's provisions. ]

     

    By Myrna Maloney Flynn, MCFL President

     

    By raising my voice, I can help the greatest of all causes—good will among men and peace on earth. - Albert Einstein

    “Hello, this is Myrna Maloney Flynn from Massachusetts Citizens for Life. I received your voicemail. How can I help?”

    On the other end of the line, a longtime MCFL member with a soft trilling brogue humbly explained, “I’m 86 now and can’t get down to the State House to lobby like I used to. So I will call their offices about that bill. I just don’t know what to say.” 

    Like my new friend, you’ve got the power of your voice. And I’ve got a way for you to use it. Yes, it will take 15 minutes of your day. But it has the potential to save thousands of lives.

    We learned this week that the Judiciary Committee extended until May 12 its deadline to report on the ROE Act. This means that they’ve got until then to decide whether or not they will allow legislators to vote on the radical, dangerous legislation. The new deadline may also be pushed back, however, so it is likely that we won't be able to rest easy until the end of the session on July 31st. 

    Despite our strong showing at last June’s hearing, and subsequent petition delivery last fall—efforts that successfully stalled the bill, we have not defeated it. Yet. To do so, we need to doggedly continue our lobbying efforts. And the quickest, easiest first step lies in your hands and with your voice: call your legislators. We know from experience that these phone calls are important to stopping legislation.  

    There are six people you have to call to make a difference, and it will only take a few minutes of your day: Your state representative, your state senator, and the four committee chairs. I'm sharing a sample script that you can alter for each one of them. When you call, ask to leave a message for the individual. It’s important to say you are a constituent.

    Not sure who your representative or senator is? You can look them up here (https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator). 

    State Representative/State Senator Sample Script

    "Hello, I would like to leave a message for Representative/Senator [name]. My name is [your name]. I live in [your town], Massachusetts and I am a constituent. I implore that [he or she] OPPOSE [If Representative: House Bill 3320. If Senator: Senate Bill 1209] - the ROE Act. It is a horrific piece of legislation that threatens the lives of young girls. It is a setback for women and society, and it further threatens the lives of society's most vulnerable. If the bill comes up for a vote in the state legislature, I expect Representative/Senator [name] to vote against the ROE Act. Thank you for passing along my message. I appreciate your time on this imporant issue."

    After you’ve called your state rep/senator, call each of the four Judiciary Committee Chairs:

    Committee Chair Claire Cronin  -- (617) 722-2396

    Committee Vice-Chair Representative Michael Day -- (617) 722-2396

    Committee Chair Senator James Eldridge -- (617) 722-1120

    Committee Vice-Chair Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz -- (617) 722-1673

    Judiciary Committee member Sample Script

    "Hello, I would like to leave a message for Judiciary Committee member [name]. My name is [your name]. I am a voter in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. I've contacted my local representatives, and I want to voice my opposition to the ROE Act - House Bill 3320/Senate Bill 1209 - currently being debated in the Judiciary Committee. It is a horrific piece of legislation that threatens the lives of young girls, it is a setback for women and society, and it further threatens the lives of society's most vulnerable. I urge the committee NOT to let the ROE Act be voted out of committee, and, instead, let the deadline pass to stop the bill from being voted on at all. Thank you for passing along my message. I appreciate your time on this important issue."

    If any of the staff members try to justify the legislator's positions, simply tell them that there is no justification for this type of legislation and that, as a constituent, the legislator represents you. Therefore, you expect him or her to vote against it. 

    Your voice matters to them because they know you are a voter in their district! These calls matter, and the other side knows it, too. They’ve been urging their fellow abortion rights supporters to make similar calls. So now, more than ever, raise your voice on this, the greatest of all causes. 

    Please share this email with like-minded people and urge them to make these important calls as well. If we don't let our voices be heard, everything that Massachusetts pro-lifers have accomplished in the last 47 years could be lost. Beneath my message you’ll find a reminder of what the ROE Act will mean for our women, girls, and infants if it is passed.

    Thank you for your time, energy, and passion in protecting the vulnerable in Massachusetts.

     

    Finally, below is a review of the ROE Act’s implications. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with them and use your knowledge to inform others. Most voters simply do not know the impact this legislation will have. This bill would essentially wipe out every common-sense, pro-life law on the books in the Commonwealth. 

    If passed, the ROE Act will:

    • Remove protections for newborn babies who are born alive having survived a failed abortion (opening the door to infanticide);
    • Eliminate the requirement that a parent (or at least a judge) consent before a minor girl undergoes an abortion; allowing any adult who may be abusing them to cover up their assault by eliminating the need for a legal guardian to consent to any abortion. 
    • Allow abortions of viable unborn babies to be performed outside of a hospital, meaning abortions can be done in any facility, even those lacking the most basic of medical standards like hallways wide enough for gurneys if a woman needs to be rushed to the hospital (A woman was recently rushed to a hospital in Massachusetts due to hemorrhaging after an abortion). This further endangers women. 
    • Increase taxpayer funding of abortion, by diverting money from Healthy Start, a program intended to reduce infant mortality among the poor;
    • Eliminate all criminal penalties for the performance of any abortion—whether coerced, sex-selective, eugenic, incompetently executed, performed by a non-physician, inflicted on a victim of sex trafficking, statutory rape, or other sexual abuse, etc.

  • Molders of Consensus (Consistent Culture Column I)

    Molders of Consensus 

    By Sonja Morin, MCFL Communications Intern

     

    Last week, the United States honored and remembered Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a brilliant and influential man who dedicated his life to restoring freedom and justice. He was instrumental in shifting the tide for the civil rights movement through the speeches and letters he wrote, as well as the demonstrations he helped lead. His work aided in the national efforts to end discrimination against African Americans, including the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

    The pro-life movement has continuously looked to Dr. King as a figure who not only emulated the qualities of a great leader, but also understood human dignity and liberty. Both the civil rights movement and the pro-life movement are connected through their effort to uphold human rights for all. Many of Dr. King’s speeches alluded to the same reasoning that the pro-life movement uses today in defense of the pre-born. His legacy in the pro-life movement has been prominently continued through the efforts of his niece, Dr. Alveda King. 

    It is fitting that the inaugural post of this column would coincide so closely to the day that is nationally dedicated to Dr. King. In reflecting on his work, surely we could discern some lessons that will be beneficial to our movement in the days and years to come. 

    This column will be dedicated to abortion and culture, and the ways in which they intersect. As a movement, we often express our total rejection of American culture, and what is produced from it. More than ever, the pro-choice movement has utilized culture and its byproducts to normalize abortion. They want to convince those who are conflicted about the issue that abortion is healthy, beneficial, and in many cases necessary for women. They posit that it is right to dehumanize the most vulnerable among us in the name of equality. Their work is certainly contributing to the transformation of our culture into a culture of death. Our repulsion in response to this is certainly reasonable. 

     

    Read more

  • rsvped for MCFL Mother's Day Dinner, featuring Alveda King 2020-02-10 14:47:34 -0500

    MCFL Mother's Day Dinner, featuring Alveda King

    Mother’s Day Dinner: Unconditional Love on Display

    Join us as we honor mothers of Massachusetts for our MCFL’s 44th celebration of mothers, returning to its western Massachusetts roots this year on Thursday, October 15, from 6-9:00 pm at Holyoke’s legendary mountaintop Log Cabin.

    Tickets are $50 per person. 

    Bus transportation will be provided from Central MA. New this year: a pro-life youth video contest!

    We are especially pleased to amplify our very special guest’s call to “recognize that women become mothers the moment they are pregnant.” We are thrilled to welcome an old MCFL friend: Keynote Speaker: Evangelist Alveda C. King "who uses her God-given talents and abilities to glorify God and uphold the sanctity of life from the womb to the tomb." 

     

    Upon accepting our invitation, Dr. King wrote, “My late uncle once said, 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.' As our nation marks his birthday and honors his legacy, I find it fitting that I've been invited to spend time once again with you, the people of Massachusetts, as you fight for justice -- and against the injustices of the ROE Act. I recall meeting so many wonderful pro-life allies during my 2011 visit and look forward to engaging with the next generation of Massachusetts' brave advocates for the unborn."

    King currently serves on the pastoral team of Priests for Life, as Executive Director of its outreach called Civil Rights for the Unborn. She is also a voice for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, sharing her testimony of two abortions, God’s forgiveness, and healing.  

    The daughter of the late civil rights activist Rev. A.D. King and his wife Naomi Barber King, Alveda grew up in the civil rights movement led by her uncle, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Her family home in Birmingham, Alabama, was bombed, as was her father’s church office in Louisville, Kentucky. Alveda was jailed during the open housing movement. She sees the pro-life movement as a continuation of the civil rights struggle. 


    Know a promising young filmmaker? Encourage a submission to MCFL's inaugural Youth Film Contest. Winner to be announced at the dinner.

    Learn more on the Contest Submission page here

    WHEN
    October 15, 2020 at 6pm
    WHERE
    The Log Cabin
    500 Easthampton Rd
    Holyoke, MA 01040
    United States
    Google map and directions
    7 rsvps rsvp

  • published 2020 Holy Hours For Life, Massachusetts in In The News 2020-01-16 14:24:59 -0500

    2020 Holy Hours For Life, Massachusetts

    Each year, our Catholic members and fellow pro-lifers put their principles into prayerful practice, and spend intentional prayer periods over the weekend nearest the anniversary of Roe v. Wade to witness to the value of the lives los to legal abortion. The witness engages our greater communities, and the prayer is made to end the injustice of abortion.

    Please see the attached document here for a full list of parishes participating. We invite you to join the holy hour nearest you if you're Catholic or Christian.

     


  • published UPDATE: 2020 ROE Act Facts & Action! in In The News 2020-01-15 13:55:29 -0500

    UPDATE: 2020 ROE Act Facts & Action!

    In the upcoming few weeks, our legislators will be making a final decision on whether to send the "ROE" Act (S.1209/H.3320) on to a full vote. If voted on and passed, the "ROE" Act will remove parental notification for our young girls entering abortion clinics, legalize passive infanticide, and promote abortion access over our women's safety by removing the grueling 2-3 day late-term abortion procedure from a hospital setting.

    You organized last year en masse and stalled this anti-life bill in committee. You arrived in droves on the day of the public hearing, demonstrating that Massachusetts Citizens, both pro-life and pro-choice, do not support promoting abortion access over women's safety, our daughter's safety, and the lives of infants born alive during botched procedures.

    You amplified the story of Keisha Atkins, who lost her life to laws like "ROE", which are already on the books in New Mexico.

    Members of our legislature heard you loud and clear during our non-stop Fall Call-a-Thons, where you told your lawmakers no to "ROE".

    Take 2 minutes now and call or email your State Senator telling them NO on "ROE".

    Please make use of our quick lobbying sheet, and share your deepest personal reason for opposing this dangerous bill.

    Facts like Keisha Atkins' life, and death, show us exactly where "ROE" leads. It isn't a state for women or children. It is a state with reduced standards of medical care, reduced respect for vulnerable human lives, and reduced respect for women in challenging situations.

    Let our lawmakers know today: No to "ROE" -- Massachusetts, we can do a lot better.

     

    The "ROE" Act (S.1209/H.3320) is currently being deliberated on by our Joint Committee on the Judiciary. 

    After your reach your State Senator, we encourage you to contact the Committee Chairs, whose information can be found below.

    Rep. Claire Cronin -- (617) 722-2396 -- Claire.Cronin@mahouse.gov

    Rep. Michael Day -- (617) 722-2396 -- Michael.Day@mahouse.gov

    Email us to set up a local Pro-Life Call-A-Thon -- action@masscitizensforlife.org

    Schedule a local Info-Session at your community, chapter, or parish meeting location!  Email CJ -- CJ@masscitizensforlife.org.


  • Massachusetts seeking to put abortion at the center of college campuses

    By Dave Andrusko, National Right to Life

     

    Writing for the Boston University News Service, Keminni Amanor reported Monday that “A new bill requiring public universities in Massachusetts to provide on-campus medication abortion” is currently “in hearings in the Joint Committee on Public Health until further notice.”

    Interestingly, while the Joint Committee last discussed the bill on Sept. 10, bill sponsor Massachusetts state Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa “said the conversation cannot yet be made public.”

    “More than 100 public universities in Massachusetts will be affected by bill H3841, which will make it possible for students to receive pills in order to end a pregnancy at any campus health center,” according to Amanor .

    The text of HB3841 itself does not currently list how late in pregnancy medication abortions could be performed, but Amanor quotes information from Planned Parenthood , saying “these pills can be given only if the woman is less than 10 weeks pregnant.”

    The story is very sketchy but apparently the bill was introduced last January by Sabadosa. It largely mimics California’s new law which requires public universities to offer chemical abortion at on-campus student health centers.

    “The bill is slightly different than the California legislation in that it does create a trust that would be used to fund the cost of the medication on campuses. It could certainly become a line item in the budget,” said Sabadosa.

    This is not as straightforward as it sounds. “According to the bill,” Amanor explains, “the trust, a Public University Health Center Sexual and Reproductive Health Preparation Fund, will be created with money approved by the legislature, though it is unclear where this money will come from yet.”

    As was the case in California, the argument for the requirement is access to abortion. “It’s easier for students to be able to access care if they can go on campus, they can get follow up therapy more easily and it just is a huge burden off a time that can already be stressful,” Sabadosa said.

    This was not true in California—which is why pro-abortion Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed the bill—and it isn’t true in Massachusetts. Director of Community Engagement at Massachusetts Citizens for Life, C. J. Williams said the bill is an unnecessary expansion of access to abortion at the detriment of safety.

    “There’s nothing dangerous about a bus ride. There’s also the fact that in Massachusetts, we have health facilities nearby nearly any college center. I don’t know one campus that doesn’t have one that would provide a chemical abortion within five miles,” she said.

    According to the story, “Williams also expressed frustration about how the bill limits the choices young people have when they are pregnant to just termination.”

    “If you’re just putting an abortion facility in the middle of their college campus, our daughters are not getting the message that they have a choice. You want to give them options, not abortion,” Williams added.

    J. David Franks, Board chairman at Massachusetts Citizens for Life, was also interviewed and said it is a “dangerous bill” for young women. “Facilitating this pop-a-pill mentality as if one can deal with the grave and long-reaching consequences of our reproductive biology, as if one can pop a pill or two and then have no problems. It’s just magical thinking,” Franks told the Boston University News Service.

    No doubt to ward off additional questions about cost, Sabadosa told Amanor, “The legislation, however, only impacts public universities that already have health services on campus where they perform OB-GYN appointments, so it does not require universities to make upfront capital investment. It’s really the cost of the [abortifacient] medication

     

     


  • BREAKING: Court Rules No Right to Assisted Suicide | Massachusetts

    Suffolk Superior Court in Cambridge, Massachusetts ruled today that there is no constitutional right to doctor prescribed suicide in the state. The court rejected the argument that a doctor had an obligation to offer harmful drugs to terminally ill or suffering individuals if they requested it; it re-affirmed that prescribing deadly drugs would be legal manslaughter.

    The ruling comes in a case brought to the court by Dr. Roger Kligler, a retired Cape Cod physician who has advanced prostate cancer, and Dr. Alan Steinbach, who owns a family practice in Falmouth, MA.

    Although this is a common sense interpretation of laws in our state to protect human life, it is not necessarily a ruling that will impact the legislature's push, lead by the doctor prescribed suicide lobby, to promote medical professionals offering suicide before hospice or treatment. Especially in cases of illnesses complicated by mental health, doctor prescribed suicide directly discriminates against disabled, underprivileged, and elderly populations.

    In the final ruling concluded that the issue is best dealt with by lawmakers in the State House, not decided by judges from the bench.

    This means it is all the more critical that citizens contact their lawmakers, and express their full opposition to current suicide bills S.1208/H.1926.

    Call the Joint Committee on Public Health

    Chair: Sen. Jo Comerford

    Jo.Comerford@masenate.gov

    (617) 722-1532

    24 Beacon St.
    Room 413-C
    Boston, MA, 02133

    Vice Chair:  Sen. Nick Collins

    Nick.Collins@masenate.gov

    (617) 722-1150

    24 Beacon St.
    Room 312-D
    Boston, MA, 02133


    The decision that the Massachusetts constitution does not include assisted suicide as a right is accurate and just. It's fantastic news.  Now you as a constituent can contact your lawmakers. Let them know you're glad the court has turned it over to you, and them, and ask them to oppose H.1926/S.1208.

     

    FIND YOUR LEGISLATOR

    READ THE MOST CURRENT ARTICLES ON DOCTOR PRESCRIBED SUICIDE ON OUR BLOG


  • BREAKING: Brookline Abortuary to Shut Down?

    The Boston Globe reported this week that Brookline abortion facility, "Women’s Health Services", is months from shutting down. The longtime abortuary, at which dedicated human rights advocates have sidewalk counseled for years, claims it isn't pulling in enough cash to continue terminating preborn children.

    Said clinic director, Laurent “Lolly” Delli-Bovi, “We are at a crossroads. WHS will have to close within the next three months if we do not receive sustaining donor support.” The facility had requested a grant, but was turned down. 

    This news comes alongside the release of Planned Parenthood's annual report, showing their supporters and donations have dropped precipitously.  The general public is more and more educated due to ultrasound technology, and breaking cases such as Keisha Atkins' in New Mexico have demonstrated the dangers of abortion procedures even to the women they're suppose to "help".

    The Globe remarks that WHS provides cheaper abortions for women who can't afford hospital care (which means $700-$1,300). What it does not note is that a hospital provides safety and basic standards of medical care which WHS is under no regulation to provide. 

    “My biggest concern is that if we close, there’s just this whole group of people that are not going to be able to either afford or access care,” said Delli-Bovi.

    "My concern," said C.J. Williams, MCFL's director of community engagement, "Is that women are routinely told they need abortion. We used to be told we needed to stay homeneeded a husband to own property, needed to forgo the vote. This facility has supported oppression for years. To be told you need access to killing your own child ...that's utterly demeaning."

    There are a lot of health needs in our state. Charging a woman $700 to perform a procedure that threatens her life, and takes the life of her child, is always one dramatic unprofitable act to all parties involved. Abortion disenfranchises an entire group of people. Because of WHS,  thousands will never access care; never afford any medical treatment; never even see the sunrise. Those are our unborn children. 

    Pregnancy isn't a disability, and abortion is never a medical necessity. 

    Brookline's abortion facility closing down just goes to show that Massachusetts citizens want an equality that offers women true healthcare, and treats their viable preborn children with the same respect. 

    Massachusetts, this is progress.

     

    -----

     

    Join the movement

    Donate today


  • Additional 2020 March for Life Transport Options

     

     

    BERKSHIRES 

    (North Adams Chapter)

    Depart from the Berkshires, Thursday, Jan. 23rd,  9:15 pm

    Return from D.C. immediately following the March, to arrive home ~midnight

    Suggested donation: $25 (or more to cover fellow marchers who have less means)

    Call Robin at 413-743-1329 to reserve your seat.

    Boston 

    (Catholic track with the archdiocese)

    See the full page and options here

    If you would like budget friendly accommodations for this trip, please use the MCFL BLOCK at POD D.C. Call 202-847-4444, and request MCFL for $139/night (or 2 per room $70 per night) Wed., Thu., and Fri.

    Worcester

    (Central Mass. Chapter partnered with Diocese of Worcester)

    Depart from St. Paul's Cathedral, Thursday, Jan. 23rd, ~8:00pm (mass at 7:30pm)

    Return from D.C. immediately following the March, to arrive in Worcester ~midnight

    See the full registration page from Worcester diocese for donation and reservations here

     


  • published Threatening Package Sent to MCFL Offices in In The News 2020-01-03 07:58:09 -0500

    Threatening Package Sent to MCFL Offices

     

    Boston, MA - 13 March 2019 - 9:00am - A strange package was received by the MCFL Operations Manager early today. It seemed to have been sent by MCFL to an incorrect address, and when opened, was found to contain a disfigured baby doll, with a woman's face pasted over its features. 

     

    Read more