Talking Catholic Medical Ethics with Dr. Mark Rollo
WQPH, our local EWTN affiliate, will host MCFL board member, Dr. Mark Rollo, speaking about life issues on a unique and brand-new radio show / podcast for the remainder of the year!
In the first episode, Dr. Rollo addresses the "R.O.E." Act, medical ethics, and the physicians commitment to "first, do no harm."
EWTN was excited to announce this entirely new show in the WQPH lineup from a man of unique perspective and experience.
Dr. Rollo's show, “First, Do No Harm,” will continue throughout the year on Sundays at 1pm.
From EWTN's radio network:
WQPH: Can you tell us a little bit about your background as a doctor and how you came to the Faith?
Dr. Mark Rollo: I am a cradle Catholic. Our Catholic Faith was central to our life as a family. We were regular church goers and we six children attended Catholic schools for much of our education. My parents were staunchly pro-life.
My mother entered the fray to oppose abortion when Roe v Wade was decided in 1973. Her pro-life beliefs were clearly made known to all of us well before 1973 but in that year she joined Massachusetts Citizens for Life and helped start a local crisis pregnancy center. She regularly picketed planned parenthood.
My father was a surgeon and was president of the medical staff when Roe became law. As president he could not vote on whether or not to allow abortions to be done at our local hospital. He resigned so that he could vote against it.
I belatedly followed in my father’s footsteps to become a physician when I was 30 years old. I joined the USAF to defray the cost of medical school and as an Air Force Physician I was very blessed to work with many dedicated and mission oriented individuals. My wife and I are Fitchburg natives and after separating from active duty in 1991 we returned to this area where I practiced family medicine until this year when I retired.
The show’s title is taken from the ancient Hippocratic oath for the medical profession. With so many scientific advancements today, how do you see such history informing us?
Over the years of my practice I have seen the abandonment of the Hippocratic Oath. 2500 years ago the Oath specifically rejected abortion and physician assisted suicide. These abominations are currently corrupting medicine. Contraception, which is the separation of love and life, helped usher in the culture of death which I gradually came to understand. As a result I dedicated much of my practice to modern methods of natural family planning which is fully in accordance with the Catholic Church.
What are you hoping to help your listeners appreciate better?
Ethics must form the basis of treating the whole person and it is my hope to shine a light on the medical ethical issues of the day from a Catholic perspective. This will include not only contraception, abortion and assisted suicide but also such important issues as IVF, hospice, palliative care and end of life decision making just to name a few. I am looking forward to delving into these issues.
UPDATE on Amendment 759 (House)/ Amendment 180 (Senate) / "R.O.E" (Act to Remove Obstacles and Expand Abortion Access in MA)
Both AMENDMENT 759 and AMENDMENT 180 have passed the House and Senate. Governor Baker has previously stated that he will veto "R.O.E" and reject any legislation including its provisions that legalize passive infanticide and remove parental consent.
Contact Gov. Baker's Office at this number to ask him to reject amendment 759/180 and veto the budget if it includes the "R.O.E" Act's
abortion expansion.(617) 725-4005
Please also contact your state senator. You can look up your senator at MALEGISLATURE.GOV/findmylegislator
Details on the bill's repackaging and inclusion in the budget:
The "R.O.E." Act, or S.1209/H.3320, having stalled in the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, has been re-packaged by Representative Claire Cronin as Amendment 759 to the Annual Massachusetts Budget.
The R.O.E. Act's provisions as included Amendment 759/Amendment 180: Just the facts
compiled by a legal team of pro-life attorneys and lobbyists
- Amendment #789/180 would eliminate current laws requiring that physicians “take all reasonable steps to preserve the life and health of the aborted child” — The following language in the current law is clear in its requirement to preserve the life of the child:
Section 12P. If an abortion is performed pursuant to section twelve M, the physician performing the abortion shall take all reasonable steps, both during and subsequent to the abortion, in keeping with good medical practice, consistent with the procedure being used, to preserve the life and health of the aborted child.
The new language states only that there must be “life-supporting equipment” present, and eliminates the requirement for the abortionist to actually USE it.
- This amendment would allow for abortions after a 24-week period, citing that it only be deemed “necessary, in the best medical judgment of the physician, to preserve the patient’s physical or mental health”
- Children born after the 24-week mark, according to the New England Journal of Medicine, if provided with medical treatment, have a survival rate of more than 50 percent — a number that jumps up to 72 percent at 25 weeks.
- The pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, named after former Planned Parenthood president and eugenics supporter Dr. Allan Frank Guttmacher, has acknowledged “that most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment.”
- This amendment repeals parental consent requirements for minors between the ages of 16 and 17, and allows doctors to waive the requirement for parental consent for girls of ANY age who believe they may be pregnant.
- This amendment expands who can perform an abortion to now include a physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or nurse midwife.
By Myrna Maloney Flynn, MCFL President
As you plan your week, I want to let you know how our state legislators may be planning theirs. With the election behind us and time running out on the current two-year legislative session, our elected officials are lining up tasks like bowling pins, positioning them just so, primed for a strike. Among the bills that could be presented for a vote in the coming days: the ROE Act and Doctor-Prescribed Suicide.
A few reminders about the ROE Act:
- The name of this legislation is an acronym -- Remove Obstacles and Expand Access to Abortion. It has nothing to do with Roe vs. Wade.
- It aims to make abortion more “accessible” (in a state where nearly 20,000 abortions are already performed each year).
- If passed, the bill would enable girls as young as 12 to obtain abortions without any adult, except the abortionist, knowing about it.
- ROE would remove life-saving medical equipment from rooms where abortions are performed, risking the lives of babies, Massachusetts citizens, who survive the procedure.
- ROE would legalize any late-term abortion up through the 9th month of pregnancy.
- You, the taxpayer, would see more of your own money paying for every one of these atrocious human rights violations.
Because it’s Monday, and we’re back to work and school, let’s do this. True or false: Proponents claim we must pass ROE, now that Amy Coney Barrett is a Supreme Court Justice, increasing the likelihood that the Court will overturn Roe vs. Wade.
Yet what’s false is the implication that overturning the landmark 1973 decision will outlaw abortion in Massachusetts. If Roe vs. Wade is overturned, nothing will change here. Abortion will still be legal. But that’s not what ROE Act supporters say. They are pushing a dangerous bill because the public is listening, not for any valid reason. Even Governor Baker, who is pro-choice, agrees that our current abortion law is sufficient and the ROE Act is unnecessary. And here's the kicker that no one is talking about. In the unlikely event that abortion is outlawed at the federal level, then the ROE Act is moot. In any scenario, this bill is senseless.
Also at the top of the state legislature’s priority list in the coming days: Doctor-Prescribed Suicide. Read about the dangers of this at the Patients Rights Action Fund, then urge your legislator to block this bill as well.
You’ve got the ability to call or write to your legislators, urging them to to vote against both of these life-devaluing bills. Harness the motivation you feel in the wake of Saturday’s election results -- we will not stop fighting for life in the four years ahead. If anything, we will fight harder, with bigger hearts, a positive attitude, and bolstered by the truth that love and respect for the life of every person wins the day.
Check out the “how to” below, then take five minutes to contact your legislator now.
Thank you for partnering with us! We are so proud to be alongside you in this most important issue of them all.
Here's how to find your state representative if you do not know their name or contact information.
- Go to Find My Legislator here on the MA Legislature web page.
- Type in your address and include your zip code.
- After you have entered your address, a new page will show up.
- Click on the names of your state senator and state representative. You will be taken to a page with their email and their phone number.
Call and email them to today, telling them our state does not need ROE or Doctor-Prescribed Suicide.
If you've never called your state representative, this handy phone script may help!
Remember, 100% of our operating budget is funded by individual members like you. Please consider signing up to support our life-saving work on a monthly basis, or make a one-time contribution here.
In a great leap for progress towards real respect for human rights, Louisiana passed an amendment to their state constitution to protect every human life, should Roe v. Wade be overturned.
The amendment, as posed to voters on the ballot, ran thus: "Do you support an amendment declaring that, to protect human life, a right to abortion and the funding of abortion shall not be found in the Louisiana Constitution?" It passed with an enthusiastic 68% approval, and follows a list of other states (Tennessee, Alabama, West Virginia)that have let their citizens proclaim their pro-life principles loud and clear at the ballot box, a right Roe v. Wade -- and a pro-abortion, activist Supreme Court -- denied voters in 1973.
Our media and even our own local and personal dialogues often focus on the national drama. While by no means unimportant, the presidential election is only a fraction of the function of United States government. Especially should Roe v. Wade be overturned, the reality and power of local elections, state amendments, and continued compassionate outreach both culturally and politically will be the key to making abortion illegal and unthinkable.
In Massachusetts, where American citizens have blazed the trail in the past in the fight for equal protection for any and every human life, we commit to seeing our constitution similarly reflect the reality that abortion takes a human life, and we have an obligation to promote laws that reject it, and protect them.
“To this day, by executing the agenda of their white supremacist founder, Planned Parenthood has developed what I consider to be a method of womb lynching,” said the Founder of the Life Education and Resource Network, Johnny Hunter. “That lynching has resulted in the termination of more than twenty million Black lives.”
The complaint accuses Planned Parenthood of supporting and abetting racist and eugenicist policies throughout the United States through its targeted abortion promotion in Black communities. The complaint claims that the multi-billion dollar corporation “has provided its services in a manner that perpetuates the systemic racism that was rife in America before 1964,” and that its “services have resulted in a disproportionate and negative impact and treatment of Blacks and increasingly Latinos.”
Life Issues Institute issued a report in 2012 demonstrating that a shocking 79% of Planned Parenthood abortion centers were located within walking distance of minority communities. Live Action News reports that "[this] contributes to more Black babies aborted than any other demograpic and more Black babies killed by abortion each year than the other top leading causes of death combined."
Is abortion racist? Statistics point to abortion being weaponized specifically against minority communities, and Black leaders from various and diverse backgrounds are making a stand to protect Black lives from this whitewashed facet of systemic racism embedded in our communities.
Alveda King commented, “As my Uncle Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reminded the nation in 1963, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ It is my prayer that the arc of the universe will now impact HHS, igniting justice for our children in the womb. Now is the time!”
Photo Credit: Getty Images [ Dr. Alveda King ]
Stephane Gray has been defending preborn lives since she was a child. She began speaking as an 18 year old, and that pro-life action lead her to found Love Unleashes Life and an international speaking career. She makes effective, loving, and compelling communication in defense of our most vulnerable look easy. But the truth is, the principle that human lives have value is simple, but defending that reality, and the preborn children in our world, is far from easy.
Gray will headline our sponsored virtual debate hosted by Harvard Right to Life on Thursday, October 22 at 7PM (register here).
"There are more people working full time to kill [preborn children] in the world today than to save them," Scott Klusendorf told Gray early on.
The fact that more people were professionally employed to take a child's life in our society than to care for them convicted Gray to the core.
After decades using communication to change our culture and society, what can Gray teach us?
This recording produced by Shalom World featuring Gray walks you through the basic questions raised, from the so-called hard questions (rape, incest) to the basic presuppositions we must challenge before we begin a dialogue. Most importantly, it highlights the fact that effective communication always begins with respect and love. Human beings are complex, and we come to public square with both our heads and our hearts. With 1 out 3 millennial children aborted, nearly everyone you meet will have a personal experience of abortion violence, not simply an intellectual understanding -- or misunderstanding -- of it.
To be effective communicators, we must build relationships, not arguments alone.
Finally, this recording raises the knotty philosophical idea of "personhood" -- and Gray's reply is invaluably clear. This question will also come up in our debate on Thursday. Don't miss that fantastic opportunity to see and hear Gray live.
Until then, watch Shalom World's feature on Gray's personal story, and the remarkable description of how she approaches and answers every pro-life debate.
Click the video thumbnail to go to the full YouTube video
Stephanie Gray, who will headline our sponsored pro-life debate at Harvard on October 22nd, is a renowned pro-life speaker. She admits that there are situations that make bringing a child into the world look terrifying and unendurable. What about the children who are abused? What about children born into poverty?
Those are all good questions, and the women, babies, and families in those situations deserve a response.
But that response does not have to be abortion.
So what can a non-abortion response look like? Because we not only need to know what that response looks like, we need to continue to practice those responses, meeting the eyes of our women, and touching the lives of our pre-born children with concrete actions that say I support you.
This is a "non-abortion response:"
It can look like a couple who fostered children.
· It can look like a couple who adopted 3 little girls from China who had severe cleft palates which required multiple surgeries.
· It can look like a family who adopted a set of siblings from the foster care system in their own country.
· It can look like two people Stephanie met in her travels who adopted two children when their first biological child was only one. They since adopted two more children, both of whom have Down syndrome and serious heart conditions, all the while giving birth to 4 more children.
· It can look like an unmarried 28-year-old Stephanie met on a recent trip to the US: In the last 4 years she has fostered over 21 children and adopted 2 of them.
· It can look like a retired couple Stephanie knew who moved from their farm into a home for pregnant women in order to mentor them in motherhood.
· It can look like a pastor Stephanie encountered who is in his mid-50s. He and his wife have raised their own biological children and are now fostering—which is leading to adoption—3 young children.
· It can look like foster father Mohamed Bzeek who takes in terminally ill children.
· It can look like a mega Church in Texas whose pastor told me he is implementing a program where his church members make it their mission to foster and/or adopt local orphans.
· It can look like Love Life Charlotte, a beautiful pro-life ministry on a mission to embolden its church members to care for orphans through what they term “Orphan Care Hospitality.” Whether through fostering or adoption, learn more about what they are doing here and watch this short video about the Malone’s who have welcomed two children into their forever home through this amazing program.
· It can look like the Lott family who adopted 4 of their 6 children.
· It can look like Ryan Bomberger’s adopted family. His mom, once an orphan herself, made a promise to God when she was a young girl that she would be a mommy to those without one. She grew up, got married, and adopted 10 of their 13 children (Ryan, one of the adopted children, was conceived in rape. Having now grown up, he has since adopted two children.
"Is the abuse of children—pre-born or born—an unspeakable evil? Yes. Does it demand a response? Without a shadow of a doubt. Can children be rescued and aided without abortion? The lived experiences of the examples above are living proof of that."
We thank you for being the proof that the response to pain, or to a vulnerable child, can be love.
We invite you to join Stephanie, and the movement for life in Massachusetts, on October 22nd at 7pm online for a debate with philosopher, Peter Singer.
Unappealing: MCFL’s Resoonst to Unpregnant (2020)
By Sonja Morin, Communications Intern
I spent Friday night last week watching the new HBO Max release Unpregnant. Based on the 2019 novel of the same name by Jenni Hendricks and Ted Caplan, the film follows Veronica (played by Haley Lu Richardson), an Ivy-League bound senior who finds out she’s facing an unexpected pregnancy. Worried about the backlash from her community, she decides to roadtrip with Bailey (played by Barbie Ferreira), her estranged best friend, to be able to obtain an abortion without parental consent. While the film itself aims to be a pro-choice manifesto masquerading as a girls’ road trip movie, it fails to satisfy either aim.
Road trip films have certain components that distinguish the great from the lackluster, the first of these being a credible portrayal of the protagonists. Unpregnant is meant to be aimed at Generation Z, the younger component of the youth in America. Being part of this generation myself, I paid especially close attention to how people my age are portrayed in the film through the performances and script. What I found were stereotypes and weaponized characters, rather than compassionate examinations of Generation Z teens. Veronica is the Type A student, while Bailey is the loner tomboy. Much like these protagonists, all the other characters are one-sided and have a limited amount of defining qualities.
Road trip flicks have lighthearted, funny situations sprinkled between moments of drama to add complexity to the plot. Many of the situations in the story are meant to mirror that particular mood, but a more serious consideration of the film makes the viewer realize just how many truly serious situations are made light. Both Veronica and Bailey have terrible support systems in their lives, which lead them to take the road trip without anyone knowing in the first place. Both girls are underage and hitchhike multiple times with complete strangers. Near-arrest, stealing a car, dangerous driving, and near-kidnapping are all results of these choices. It’s played off in the movie as a humorous series of incidents on the way to the clinic. But these aren’t lighthearted complexities, they are truly dangerous situations all justified only because of abortion. The utter disregard on the part of the writers for the justification of what would otherwise be incredible and insupportably dangerous behavior is obvious to any viewer, regardless of whether they are pro-life or pro-choice.
While it is clear that the film suffers in its attempt to be a road trip movie, let us examine whether it is successful in promoting its pro-choice message. A quality social justice film must be subliminal but strong in its messaging. Refusing to fall into preachy ground, it instead uses emotional, moving stories to convey its point. It’s more than obvious that Unpregnant is meant to be an antithesis to the 2019 release Unplanned. However, its failures in fulfilling the criteria for a quality social justice film makes it a less-than-compelling response from the pro-choice movement.
From a propagandistic standpoint, this film gave me a similar feeling as a panoramic short film entitled Across the Line, which was produced by Planned Parenthood a little over five years ago. It overused demonizing stereotypes against the pro-life movement, blasted statistics, and overall felt preachy and burdensome in its messaging. It fails because its obviousness in its agenda alienates the viewers and throws aside any merit the story might have. Very similarly to Across the Line, Unpregnant characterizes the pro-choice people in an overwhelmingly positive light, while all the pro-life characters are delusional and hateful. It’s old stereotypes resurrected for the purpose of demonizing anyone with the slightest opposition to abortion. Unpregnant goes to the point of including a crazed, specifically Catholic couple, that goes as far as holding the protagonists captive while nearly driving off a cliff, all in the name of preventing Veronica from reaching the abortion clinic.
One particularly propagandistic element of the film is the statistics. Multiple times, both Veronica and Bailey recite statistics regarding abortion and contraceptives. No member of Generation Z would go to the lengths of reciting a number to the decimal point regarding any of these topics, even when they are truly passionate about it. In fact, most people don’t memorize statistics to the decimal. The only point to include the numbers is to push a particular rhetorical point. If the movie is meant to be subliminal in its push for the pro-choice agenda, it certainly misses the mark.
I am nearly positive the film was meant to enrage pro-lifers as well as rally pro-choicers. As a pro-lifer, I feel pity for the pro-abortion industry. Surely many on the pro-choice side feel the same. It is rather disturbing that the cultural leaders of the movement felt the need to sink to such a low in response to Unplanned. The result was a flick that not only justifies terrible actions and is a lackluster attempt at filmmaking, but fails to carry the intended message with conviction. In fact, it only unearths the dishonest, dehumanizing, demoralizing, and disempowering nature of abortion. My hope is that any who view the film, or even hear of it, are empowered to speak out against this ugliness that rises from abortion and its defense, as so clearly visualized in Unpregnant.
Make a creative statement that gives life! Please donate to MCFL today: Donate here
You can also order or stream UnPlanned on Amazon Prime now. Check it out here (click through the "Amazon Smile" link to be sure your purchase supports life in our state) or read a list and reviews of some of my life-affirming film recommendations at this link.
She's the perfect fit for our Supreme Court, and for our nation: Feminist, brilliant, both a loving mother and a keen and balanced court justice. She's young. At 48, she will be the youngest justice in our highest court. Her progressive principles show up in her living, as you can see by her family and professional life. Balancing parenting responsibilities with her husband, she is a contemporary example of equality for women based on shared responsibility, rather than the violence of abortion (as Erika Bachiochi notes).
So why is there this radical rift in public opinion about her nomination?
The answer may lie in her consistency. Because Barrett believes in authentic human rights and equality, she opposes abortion.
Amy Coney Barrett is pro-life. Protecting women and the unborn from violence is the one and only thing that keeps her from sailing into our highest court -- and that opposition, much more than any of her qualifications or vulnerabilities, is something we should be focusing on.
Barrett isn't controversial.
But the opinion that a child's life is the price for a woman's freedom is one that needs to be stated plainly and examined all across our political spectrum. That opinion, and its proponents, should be under the microscope: not Barrett.
Read on for some notes on Barrett's judicial voting record, judicial philosophy, and background.
Live Action News writers note:
Barrett has a brief but consistent record in support of life. In 2016, Barrett voted in favor of rehearing a 2016 case regarding an Indiana law that required aborted babies to be buried or cremated after some judges determined the law to be unconstitutional. The case was later heard by the Supreme Court, which upheld the law. Ginsburg was the sole justice to write a dissent to that ruling.
Barrett also voted to rehear a case regarding a law that would have banned abortions because of the baby’s sex, race, or disability, a law of which she was in favor. In 2017, in the case of Box v. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, Inc., Barrett joined dissenters in support of the Indiana law requiring doctors to notify the parents of minors seeking abortions.
In terms of her understanding of the position, Barrett states that she is accepting the nomination not to promote her personal opinions nor for others in her privileged position. “I would assume this role to serve you," she wrote this week, "I would discharge the judicial oath, which requires me to administer justice without respect to persons, do equal right to the poor and rich, and faithfully and impartially discharge my duties under the United States Constitution."
Kelsey Hazzard, a lawyer and tireless advocate for the unborn from Florida, remarks that "[Barrett'] is a mother of seven, including a child with Down Syndrome. Those two aspects of her life are not in conflict. Judge Barrett's biography proves that, shockingly, work-life balance is achievable without dismembering any babies."
More detail on her career and record can be found at the National Review, which features an article discussing her judicial approach and background. Read it here.
You could say our 2020 fundraising banquet -- held this year online due to pandemic restrictions -- featured multiple survivors of abortion. In fact, hundreds.
Everyone who was born after 1973 survived abortion; any one of you with a birthday after that date who joined us on Thursday, September 17th, survived Roe v. Wade's decision making your life expendable.
But Melissa literally survived a late-term saline abortion. Baby Hope, born less than a year ago right here in Massachusetts, survived her doctors' pressuring her mother again and again to abort her merely because of an adverse fetal diagnosis.
Melissa, 43 years ago | Melissa, now, speaking to us.
We are 100% donor supported. You, our members, are our backbone.
We need you to be able to save lives like Melissa's and Hope's.
You can make your secure donation now right here.