Truth is so rare that it is delightful to tell it. - Emily Dickinson
Getting to tell one story with a happy ending feels like a luxury this week; that there are two such items to share today, both involving long-time MCFL members, is a blessing indeed.
A few days ago, I received an email from my friend Jerry. The subject line: “Baby Myles Saved.” Since his birth a few months ago, I’d seen Jerry’s grandson on Facebook enough to feel like I knew him! Yet, as is often the case with social media, photos don’t tell all, and, as I read Jerry’s email, I realized that Myles’ story wasn’t just about the birth of a baby, but about his mother learning a truth that saved his life.
It is a privilege to share the family’s “unplanned” experience with you. Before you read it below, watch this Live Action piece. (You can skip the ads.)
In just a few days, Veronica’s story has been viewed well over a half million times.
Jerry, his wife, Maggie, and Veronica shared additional details about their experience with me this week, and our discussion revealed truths about what it’s like for a teenage girl to face pregnancy in Massachusetts.
Current state law requires one parent to provide consent before a minor undergoes an abortion. (If the ROE Act passes, a girl as young as 12 could legally obtain an abortion without a parent, or any adult other than clinic staff, knowing about it.) I asked Jerry and Maggie, “As a 16-year-old, how accessible was abortion to Veronica?” “Obviously, we weren't informed when Veronica went [to Planned Parenthood],” they said. “We asked her, and she said no one there mentioned her age. We don't think that law is being followed.”
Veronica agreed. “When I went to Planned Parenthood there was no adult or parent with me,” she said. “The woman I talked to knew my age, and it did not seem to be a problem for me to get an abortion.”
“What do you remember about the clinic?” I asked. “I was expecting to be given more resources and options, but it felt like they were just mainly focused on abortion," Veronica said. One worker told her, "It isn't a baby yet," a comment Veronica says haunts her today.
In spite of the difficult memories of being alone at Planned Parenthood, she says, “Every day, when I wake up to Myles’ smiling face, I am so thankful that I made the decision I did. My life would be very empty without him. He gives me purpose.”
Knowing Jerry and Maggie have been MCFL members for over 30 years, I asked why they’ve supported our mission for so long. They said that MCFL helps “to expose the truth of what abortion is, its consequences and what the support services are.” They urged us to do even more “to help those who need support, especially teenage girls.”
Veronica agreed, saying, “I think many people my age are confused based on what society tells us, which is that a woman having an abortion should have that right because it is her body. I believe if there was more evidence out there about what abortion really does and how it hurts women, and also more outreach to people my age, there would be fewer pro-choice people,” she said.
Jerry and Maggie underscored deeply-held values that have prompted them to support MCFL’s mission, “We strongly believe in the value of every human life, especially the unborn. We feel the organization’s budget, compared to that of, say, Planned Parenthood, is worthy of, and greatly in need of, all we can do.”
Finally, I asked Veronica why she thinks her story on Live Action is generating such widespread engagement. “I think people are seeing that, even in difficult situations, there is always good,” she explained. “They see my son and his life and how precious he is, and know that no one should be able to take the right to life away from him.”
We need your ongoing support to sustain the critical work we've been doing for decades and to expand our efforts so that girls like Veronica, our neighbors here in the Bay State, know the truth. MCFL's work impacts families like this one in Springfield. With you, we will continue our work to inform our girls, ensure respect for our women, and protect unborn children statewide.
If you're a regular reader, then you know my asks are rare. But I am asking you to support MCFL today, with whatever you can, as we aim to advance our lifesaving mission; a mission which still exists despite the pandemic and its economic repercussions. In fact, as a result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, signed into law on March 27, 2020, you can deduct $300 in charitable contributions from your 2020 gross income, even if you do not itemize your deductions.
Thank you for standing by MCFL. I wish you a joyous Easter or Passover celebration filled with love, good health, and truths worth sharing.
P.S. The second piece of good news I get to share with you: Bob Joyce, dear MCFL friend and one of the Commonwealth’s pro-life heroes, was released from the hospital late last week and returned home, where he continues his steady recovery from Covid-19. Bob writes, “I am pleased to report that, after an 11-day hospitalization, I am home and recovering. I attribute my progress to the grace of God, the many prayers of family and friends, wonderful medical care at BIDMC, and my participation in a clinical trial of an experimental drug known as Remdesivir. I cannot express how much strength and confidence I felt from knowing that many friends at MCFL were praying for me. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”