Ms. Magazine Attacks MCFL with Blatant Misinformation
"Anonymous" writer makes outrageous claims about the June 5 press conference, provides no evidence in article titled “I Went Undercover in the Anti-Abortion Movement—and Found Hypocrisy and Misogyny”
Did you see the hit piece? Providing no evidence, and appearing to mix up details from multiple events, the anonymous writer was published by Ms. Magazine.
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On Tuesday morning, Dec. 17, our team was alerted to an anonymously-written article that appeared on Ms. Magazine’s website. In this article, the supposed “feminist gender studies major” claims that she went undercover at one of our events and felt it necessary to share her experience.
There is just one problem…multiple actually: the details of Anonymous' story don't add up.
Given that Ms. Magazine felt it appropriate to print an anonymously-written story without fact-checking any of it, or asking our Massachusetts Citizens for Life staff to confirm or comment, we felt it necessary to publicly do so ourselves.
Claim: “It was a sweltering June day in Boston …Attendants were packed into a conference room on the second floor of the state house, creating a sea of “stop infanticide” red shirts.
Reality: Based on the author's reference to the "data set," this was the June 5th, 2019 press conference unveiling the polling results, which are, of course, misrepresented in her piece. The event was held in Room 437 (not the second floor, as the author stated). The location is important to the story because the room does not allow the kinds of interactions the author claims. The room was completely packed, for one thing. It is a hearing room. Organizers were informed ahead of time of capacity, and State House staff helped seat the public before the polling announcements were made to help fit the number of press and audience present without violating codes.
Claim: “I even wore one of those red shirts—emblazoned with the Massachusetts Citizens for Life logo alongside a crudely drawn fetus.”
Reality: Massachusetts Citizens for Life staff did not hand out red shirts at this event. Though MCFL's logo was one of multiple organization's logos, all opposing ROE. It is not on the front of the shirt as stated. Had Anonymous done even a little research, she would have noticed the t-shirts did not place our logo prominently, nor beside a the other image she mentions.
Claim: “Women are dying. Abortion is killing our women.”
Reality: This is the one truthful thing the author wrote! Women like Keisha Atkins, a 23-year-old woman who died following a legal abortion, at six months, in New Mexico due to the very abortion-deregulations the ROE Act is trying to impose on Massachusetts residents. Additionally, more than 30 million pre-born females have died since Roe v. Wade was legalized in 1973. Anonymous may have been quoting someone else, but it is worth applauding that the the one fact she decided to publish was this true statement.
Claim: “My confusion was warranted: MA Citizens for Life’s argument doesn’t make scientific sense. Their claims about protecting women’s autonomy and reproductive health are actually just thinly-veiled covers for their actual view that women should not have decision-making authority over their bodies.”
Reality: Anonymous apparently doesn’t understand basic scientific facts about human development or the concept of autonomy. Every credible textbook on human development states as a proven fact that life begins at the moment of conception. Anonymous doesn’t understand, or perhaps plays ignorant to the fact, that abortion ends the life of a uniquely different human being, oftentimes through painful dismemberment. Half of abortion's victims are defenseless female human beings. Additionally, too many women, like Keisha Atkins, have lost their lives because of legal abortion, and many more have been harmed physically and/or psychologically.
Claim: “The supposed shocking dataset was just fluff, too, for what it’s worth. ‘75 percent of Massachusetts citizens do not support infanticide. With this bill, full-term healthy babies will be killed. Reject the infanticide bill!’”
Reality: The dataset Anonymous describes as “fluff” is anything but fluff. The independent survey conducted between April and May 2019 surveyed Massachusetts voters from all political spectrums – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. The survey proved that three quarters of Massachusetts voters reject the ROE Act. In fact, one of the provisions in the law would allow late-term abortions to be done outside a hospital, something 77% of self-proclaimed “pro-choice” in the survey opposed! So, no, Anonymous, the survey is not “fluff." Instead, it proves how out of touch the pro-abortion lobby are with the actual will of voters in the Commonwealth.
Claim: “When there was a call for all young people to come in for a photo-op, two different men pushed me until I stumbled and was able to slink away. “Don’t you want to support the cause?” they were yelling. “What’s wrong with you women?””
Reality: Anonymous first claimed the event was held on the second flood, however, it was held in Room 437. Neither the layout nor the mechanics of the situation would have allowed for the kinds of interactions the author claims. The room was completely packed, and those in attendance were seated or lined up along the back wall. This would not have allowed for a shuffling of the audience for photo-ops. Additionally, those in attendance know full well there was no yelling at any participant. In fact, with half a dozen prominent and reputable media sources reporting on the event, and not one mentioned any grabbing, yelling, or pushing. If there had been any type of altercation, they would undoubtably have reported it.
We know that the media likes to write about any confrontation at any of our events). At the annual Massachusetts March for Life, the media was quick to mention how seven were arrested at the event for acts of violence – two for throwing urine and a slushie at participants. The problem with the report? They failed to mention that all seven arrests were pro-abortion, antifa activists assaulting pro-life advocates.
Biased or otherwise, no news reporter would pass up a chance to report on an altercation in a peaceful press conference.
Claim: “When I initially refused to put on the red shirt, I was booed and sneered at, and the Citizens for Life member handing them out grabbed my arm and yelled that I was too concerned with fashion, and not about “protecting life.””
Reality: No MCFL member handed out any red shirts. In fact, the red shirts were not provided by MCFL. Some of our own staff didn’t even wear red. So this, too, appears to be something the author daydreamed and decided to include in her story. (I personally eschewed the shirts.)
Claim: “The attendees treated children no better. During the photo-op, someone yanked a crying baby out of its mother’s arms to pose for the camera—even though, supposedly, they were fighting for this baby’s safety and happiness. The man smiled for his photo-op while the baby continued crying—and yelled about how we must ‘protect the youngest members of our society.’”
Reality: This also did not happen. We knew the photographer. We also know the number (severely limited by State House request) and names of all attendees. Neither the photographer nor I took any photos of babies.
Claim: “Anti-abortion activists do not care about women—they care about power and subjugation. They care about forcing women into becoming incubators for babies. And they are willing to use force and shame to realize that mission.”
Reality: Anonymous fails to acknowledge that abortion does not empower women. In fact, since Roe v. Wade passed in 1973, more than 30 million unborn girls (and 30 million boys) have been exterminated in the name of “women’s rights." Abortion is the greatest human rights abuse of our time. Abortion is violence. Women deserve better than the ROE Act and what Anonymous advocates for, and three quarters of Massachusetts voters agree with that statement.
Once thing is certain, the anonymous author of the “I Went Undercover in the Anti-Abortion Movement—and Found Hypocrisy and Misogyny” article that appears on Ms. Magazine’s website came to our event with a message written for what she expected to happen, and she left with that same message in hand– if she even came to the event at all. Her supposed experiences contradict what those who actually attended the event have said – that it was friendly, calm, and educational..
Ms. Magazine deciding to publish this article demonstrates a shocking carelessness in journalistic due diligence: No photos or evidence of any kind; no checking with the organization which the piece attempts to slander. The author doesn’t even want her name tied to her article. Perhaps she knows that her claims are false, and she wishes to get her narrative out to mislead others before the real story was told. Perhaps she doesn’t want to held liable for her blatantly false accusations.
Even more puzzling is that this apparently curious citizen journalist, who reputedly has researched MCFL, was not aware that the female leaders in the organization routinely invite and chat with friends or counterparts in pro-choice circles to these events. We have invited NARAL and pro-choice friends to meet for conversation before the Massachusetts March for Life, and to unite on our common ground that removing standards of medical care is not pro-woman, pro-choice, or pro-life. Instead, we were met with violent counter-protestors who assaulted our event attendees.
If the author or Ms. would like to correct these inaccuracies, I can supply facts. But since no one actually reached out to MCFL prior to, during, or after the event, I'm more than a little dubious about the genuine journalistic search for truth here.
I wonder if the author would like to talk. If so, we are always free to chat.
Perhaps Ms. Magazine would also like to fact check their submissions before publishing so-called reporting on actual events. If they do, they can start with who organized the press conference, who was in attendance, and maybe even look up MCFL on social media.
In the meantime, we are calling on Ms. Magazine to pull this fabricated story from their website, for their own credibility, and for their reader's benefit.
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