The Supreme Court of the United States has has ruled again to protect the conscience rights of religious orders and pro-life organizations against the abortion lobby.
The Court ruled 7-2 in favor of the Sisters. Earlier this year, the Trump administration created exemptions in the ACA (Affordable Care Act) for organizations whose religious identity or other beliefs would not allow them to pay for the deaths of employees' children.
In his majority opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote:
"For over 150 years, the Little Sisters have engaged in faithful service and sacrifice, motivated by a religious calling to surrender all for the sake of their brother. But for the past seven years, they -- like many other religious objectors who have participated in the litigation and rulemakings leading up to today’s decision -- have had to fight for the ability to continue in their noble work without violating their sincerely held religious beliefs."
While this decision seems natural in light of U.S. declared freedoms, it has been hotly contested for almost 8 years.
Under the Obama Administration in 2012, HHS mandated that all employers be forced to provide abortion-inducing drugs to employee via their insurance plans. The Supreme Court dealt blows to this mandate twice following Obama's mandate, once in 2016 and once in 2017 (Hobby Lobby Stores v. Burwell and Zubik v. Burwell).
When President Trump took office, his administration redefined rules regarding abortion in the ACA and HHS mandate. These new strictures affirmed the rights of pro-life organizations, and religious orders, to opt out of offering abortion to employees.
The only two justices in dissent were Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Sonia Sotomeyer.
While the ACLU -- against its purported mission to secure civil liberties to citizens -- called the decision "shameful", Sister Veit of the Little Sisters of the Poor told media:
"We dedicate our lives to this because we believe in the dignity of every human life at every stage of life from conception until natural death. So, we've devoted our lives -- by religious vows -- to caring for the elderly. And, we literally are by their bedside holding their hand as they pass on to eternal life. So, it's unthinkable for us, on the one way, to be holding the hand of the dying elderly, and on the other hand, to possibly be facilitating the taking of innocent unborn life."
Sister Veit, via Fox News
Today, abortion supporters, led by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, are rallying virtually in an effort to bring about a vote on the "ROE" Act.
Legislators need to hear that you do not support this radical bill.
WE NEED YOU TO CALL YOUR LEGISLATOR & THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE TODAY
The "ROE" Act would remove protections for newborn babies born alive during an abortion; risk our women's lives by removing hospital care for those undergoing grueling late term abortion; and endanger our young girls by denying them parental or adult support supervision at an abortion clinic.
√√ Use this main State House number (617) 722-2000 and request the offices of the Judiciary Committee
|Even if you've already called: Your voice today could reroute a radically abortion-promoting event into a day of nonstop advocacy for life and the preborn.|
√√ Share this call to action with your friends and family -- forward it to at least 6 friends with a personal invitation to join you in calling the State House today.
√√ Get on social media and share the State House number and this easy to use call script with key dangers included in the "ROE" Act.
Our whole team will be calling at NOON today during the virtual rally. But please feel free to email CJ with questions or needs anytime today. ( CJ@masscitizensforlife.org)
Send us photos of your pro-life rally via phone! We may be physically distanced, but social media can keep us loud, clear, and connected for life!
Pro-life women making the call this morning
At the Corner of Command and Conviction
by Sonja Morin, MCFL Communications Intern
It’s safe to say that the June Medical Services v. Russo decision was a startling piece of news to wake up to this Monday morning. In a 5-4 split, the Supreme Court declared that a Louisiana law - which required abortion-providing doctors to have hospital admittance privileges - was unconstitutional. Not only is it a scathing decision that defeated hopes for a case that could ultimately lead to the Court overturning Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, but it endangers women by preventing these additional checks on abortion. This case and its consequences warrant much discussion and consideration within the pro-life movement, as it deliberates the best course of action in the coming months.
One may wonder why a reflection on a SCOTUS decision belongs in a column that focuses on culture and abortion. While law and culture are distinct entities, they have an intersecting, mutually-effective relationship. The formation of laws guides the public conscience, dictating what is right and wrong. People look to their government - and thus their laws - for moral guidance. These beliefs are cemented in culture with ease. On the other hand, culture can help shift or progress laws. When people realize that a law is unjust, their use of cultural means - such as art, demonstrations, and persuasive writing - allow for a shift in public conscience against those laws. Politicians are meant to be inclined to the will and well-being of the people. When they see a strong movement against a law, they are likely to follow the pressure from the people and remove or alter the law. This intersection of command and conviction is incredibly crucial to understand and to use within a movement.Read more
The Center for Medical Progress released a video this week in which Planned Parenthood partners ABR (Advanced Bio Research Inc.), describe harvesting human body parts from babies born with still-beating hearts.
"Sometimes, they just fall out," reports one representative of ABR. When answering, "Do they have a heartbeat, when they just fall out?" she goes on, "I can see hearts...that are beating...independently."
Under the Fetal Born Alive Protection Act, a living fetus is defined as a "fetus with a beating heart."
The Planned Parenthood partners also re-define viability as a fetus/human being "not able to survive outside the womb" as "dependent on the circumstances..."
Center for Medical Progress project lead David Daleiden urged authorities to take action immediately based on the horrific new evidence.
To review the history of CMP and David Deleiden's ongoing investigations into Planned Parenthood's sale of human baby parts for profit, you can access the full video and summaries of previous findings here; while the ongoing exposure of UCSF's complicity in harvesting living human body parts without consent can be followed here.
MCFL launched a small-scale social media campaign last week with the hashtag #SaveBabyMyles. Referencing the baby in Western Massachusetts whose mother chose life after having a video from Live Action shared with her, the campaign's goal has been to raise awareness gently and to reach women where they are with support, information, and affirmation.
The flip-side of this kind of quiet outreach is that loving one person gives one person power to love another.
That is what we saw in Baby Myles' story, and in his mom, Veronica.
But the other vitally important aspect of Veronica and Myles' story was the availability of the information.
Visual, scientific, presented clearly and honestly, Live Action's video describes what happens to babies in each trimester during an abortion.
"The video...opened my eyes to the truth," said Veronica, "I had no idea that was what abortion really looked like. I couldn’t believe that people did that to their babies, and after seeing that I certainly wasn’t going to do that to mine. I cried after seeing that video, realizing if I had not found it that could have been my baby."
But the video, presented by former abortionist, Dr. Anthony Levatino, is neither graphic nor fear-mongering. No one needs to overemphasize what abortion is or does: The procedure that takes the baby's life speaks for itself.
This week, MCFL members have been quietly passing along social media posts, resharing content like the Live Action video with the hashtag #SaveBabyMyles and #abortionhelp.
Already, we have had phone calls. One member emailed in to say: "I didn't think a poster at the bus stop and FaceBook post would make any difference. But I had a girl message me saying she had been searching #abortionhelp desperately but found my post instead. She was in tears but just wanted to know what she could do? she was scared. So I told her MCFL's number and the Boston pregnancy resource center and listened to her for a while and messaged her I'd support her too if she didn't get help from the center. She kept her baby."
Will you join the quiet #SaveBabyMyles campaign with us? Abortion will someday be illegal, but if it's going to be unthinkable, we're going to need to continue loving, changing, and sharing the truth and support. Like Veronica told Live Action, "My son did not take away from my future — he gave me a new one. He is the light of my life."
Support the #SaveBabyMyles Campaign by donating here.
Pledge to join and share here.
29 JUNE 2020 -- Abortion providers need not have hospital admitting privileges that would ensure women’s safety during or after the procedure, according to today’s ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States in the closely-watched June Medical v. Russo case.
Instead, the Court determined that the Lousiana law at the heart of the case, Act 620 (“The Unsafe Abortion Act”) is unconsitutional. The 5-4 decision was weighted by Chief Justice John Roberts, who sided with the liberals of the court. As the first abortion-specific case to be heard by both Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, it was one which observers believed could signify whether the Court could potentially be willing to reconsider Roe V. Wade.
Although the case drew much national interest, in speaking to how it impacts Massachusetts, MCFL Executive Director, Patricia Stewart, Esq., said,”The Court's decision will have minimal impact in Massachusetts. The Department of Public Health has already removed the requirement for abortion doctors to have hospital admitting privileges when servicing patients insured by MassHealth, and Massachusetts case law rejects the requirement for abortions to be performed in a hospital, thus, eliminating the need for abortionists to obtain admitting privileges."
Stewart continued, saying, "In finding the Louisiana law unconstitutional, the Supreme Court guts the abortion safety net, threatening the life and health of women who feel compelled to seek abortion, by denying them the protection of a medical standard of practice that has been shown to avoid lifelong medical complications and save lives in an emergency."
MCFL President Myrna Maloney Flynn said, “Requiring abortionists to have hospital admitting privileges is simply a way to ensure women's safety. Sadly, Chief Justice Roberts and four other justices today maintained that abortion clinics do not have to meet the same standards as other surgical providers. True ‘abortion care’ and ‘women's health’ -- terms often utilized by abortion rights supporters -- should prioritize a woman's best interests.”
Throughout the court session, pro-life adovcates held a strong presence outside, holding signs like that of a woman who came from San Francisco to demonstrate in favor of both women’s safety and a baby’s right to life. “Health regulations do not equal undue burden,” read her poster, referencing the fact that the Lousiana act had required physicians performing abortions to have hospital privileges.
A decision in favor of Louisiana’s Act 620 would simply have been common sense, protecting women’s health from poor standards of care and ensuring a consistent application of safety measures to all surgical procedures in the state.
Massachusetts Citizens for Life, founded in 1973 by women such as Dr. Mildred Jefferson, remains the Bay State’s singly-dedicated human rights organization focused on pro-life activism.
As you look forward to the Massachusetts March for Life, November 7th, 2020, you probably have a surprisingly open Summer calendar in front of you. After all, what do you do to support saving lives -- or just living your own -- during a pandemic?
One answer is the All-Ireland Rally for Life, July 4th. A yearly affair that brings human rights advocates from across the globe to stand joyfully for the lives of the preborn, the rally for life has gone online in 2020. The event's hashtag this year, #UnitedForLife, couldn't be more appropriate. We get to unite across oceans and nations for foundational recognition of every human being's right to live.
I and my fellow MCFL members and staff encourage you to join us online. This event is a fantastic chance to learn from other tenacious advocates for life, to support the Irish, and to have a wicked good time. Because the Irish don't advocate for saving lives without celebrating life!
So look ahead to heel-to-heel (hopefully pandemic-free) marching in Massachusetts in November! And in the meantime, celebrate life and get united for life in solidarity online July 1st through 4th. Check out the the screening of UnPlanned, talks by Jeannie Mancini and other stalwart American and Irish pro-lifers, and send us your highlights or ideas for bringing the momentum for life back to the Bay State!
*Just a couple years ago, Ireland's trailblazing constitutional amendment protecting the preborn was removed via referendum. It, like our own Roe v. Wave, can be reversed. We stand for a society that will not discard the smaller, the weaker, or the less seen. This is a movement that will be distinctly local and uniquely global.
Abortions, report USA Today in a recent article, have risen during COVID19. From the phone lines in New York City to the more quiet mid-west, abortion facilities' owners and workers have commented that they have received an uptick in calls, and more and more "desperate" women seeking either surgical or medical abortion.
Far from coming to the obvious conclusion that women seek abortion when they feel unsupported and without other options, the article assumes the same stance as the abortion industry, namely, that abortion is necessary and restrictions damaging.
If desperation and crisis cause a need for abortion, however, is that a sign that women need abortion, or that women deserve and need support -- like all of us -- especially during national crisis?
The stories of women in this article are heartbreaking.
We should not be requiring our fellow citizens, women or otherwise, to undergo surgical manipulation during a crisis to survive. We should not be promoting an act that requires women to choose survival over the life of their child, unless we agree that women are second-class citizens.
“I hear it in my patient’s voices and questions daily,” the article quotes an abortion worker. “They’re worried about how they will make their rent, feed their family, access a ventilator if the need arises.”
If the need arises, we meet it. We do not take an innocent human life, or implicitly tell a woman her family and her survival are based on sacrificing one of her children. Let's not call an act that takes a human life an "essential service." Essential services preserve life.
While we're in a national crisis, we should be offering abundant, life-affirming support to any one in need.
Abortion isn't affirmation of a woman's needs and unique dignity. Abortion is a rejection of her essence and her needs.
Many of our members are posting bulletins online and out their local bus stops listing support services, pregnancy resource centers, and even their own telephone number.
If there's going to be an uptick in need, we're going to be the uptick in offering -- love, hope, and support.
But If Not
by Sonja Morin, Communications Intern
We find ourselves facing once again the most prevalent issue in American history up until now: human rights. A human being has the right to exist and live, no matter the circumstances in their lives, no matter the inherent elements of their identity, no matter the societal and cultural beliefs that are aimed towards them. A human being has a right to respect, not because of who they are or what they do, but because of what they are: humans endowed with dignity. A human being has the right to live free from violence. A human being has the right to fair treatment in a situation of legal intervention. These rights are among those most basic and inherent to our human identity.
Yet, time and again, they have come into question, not because they themselves have changed, but because human selfishness intervenes. Slavery was an effort aimed towards economic success, completely ignoring the dignity of Black people in exchange for desired personal advancement. Women were denied rights so that present leaders could retain their status. In the moment, we wish to serve ourselves, and often lose sight of what is right. This is where injustice shatters peace. Our American culture has ingrained values that attempt to protect rights, but our nation has certainly failed to carry those values out in different situations. We see it in the treatment of the pre-born, the elderly, the marginalized, the sick, and racial minorities, especially the Black community. The United States is wounded because of these injustices, sinking into a dark despair that would claim humans cannot rise above their sinful tendencies.
In the past few weeks, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has been looked to not only as a model of justice and respect, but of hope. People have sought out his words and shared them with others in an attempt to advocate for better conditions. This made me look to a sermon from 1967, entitled “But If Not”. In this sermon, Dr. King relates the biblical story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These three stood against the tyranny of the Babylonian ruler, refusing to worship an idol and thus violate their religious rights. They were thrown into a fiery furnace, but even then, they refused to deny their God. Miraculously, they were saved, and this event prompted the king to reverse the unjust law.
Dr. King masterfully uses the story of these three Hebrew men to demonstrate that injustice has always accompanied humanity. There have always been times of unjust persecution, when the rights of individuals were sacrificed on the altar of self-gratification. The utilization of people as a means to advance one’s own interests is a deplorable condition that humanity has struggled with for centuries, and continues to wrestle with as years pass. As a result of these corruptive actions giving way to each other, the issue of creating justice in an unjust world seems almost insurmountable to many.
However, the constancy of injustice has always been accompanied by the constancy of those who fought against it and for their fellow human beings, for a restoration of equity and peace. Those of us who suffer because of our age, because of our race or ethnicity, because of our physical or psychological abilities, or any other circumstances, are not alone. Those of us who fight to secure the rights of those cast off by society and culture are not alone. Behind us are thousands of years’ worth of individuals who stood up for the truth, even if it meant risking their lives.
What do these times mean to and for us? Dr. King’s sermon holds the answer: “You must love ultimately because it’s lovely to love. You must be just because it’s right to be just. You must be honest because it’s right to be honest.” As members of the pro-life movement, it is our chiefest duty to defend and celebrate human life from conception until natural death. We do so, not because it is convenient or easy, but because of our love for each other rising from our shared humanity.
As so many issues pertaining to life reach a boiling point - prominent among them racially-motivated discrimination and violence - we must work more persistently than ever to ensure that individuals are respected and treated with love. That love begins with us, in the way we interact with those around us. It begins with how we treat others online. It begins with how we respond to chaos - seeing it as an opportunity to care. It begins with refusing to transform deep wounds into political bullets. If there’s a time for standing up for those who are most vulnerable and marginalized in society, it is now. Raise your voices with Dr. King, with the Hebrews, with all those before us who stood for the truth. Let us work peacefully now for an end to discrimination and violence, to ensure that all people, who have been created equal, can live in the joy of that equality without fear.
In the Netherlands, a woman who repeatedly told her MD not yet, was euthanized at that same doctor's orders.
Dr. Arends, who had attended the woman from the beginning of her illness with dementia, said, "‘I believed that her suffering was truly awful and I knew that it could last for a long time,’
The woman, whose name was withheld in the interview Dr. Arends granted Dutch News, had signed a living will in which she requested that she be killed before she died naturally if the disease progressed "unbearably." However, she also stated that she required her medical team to secure verbal and written consent when the time came.
Neither Dr. Arends, nor anyone else, got that confirmation. In fact, as has been previously stated, she told them multiple times that she did not want to be euthanized.
Arends was brought to court for her actions, but ultimately exonerated. In a bewilderingly bewildered statement, she reflected that she was stunned by the possibility of jail. ‘It is bizarre. ‘It’s the first time that I realized that an accusation of murder was even possible, in court. You see images of a jail cell before you. It has such a huge personal impact.’
She did not, however, comment on the huge personal impact of being dead, and more than that, killed without your consent by your own MD. Apparently, that fact was too bizarre to enter her mind.
The most troubling aspect of the story is the statement made again and again by Arends that she "knew best." Even to the point of adding a sedative to her patient's coffee so that the woman could not protest, Arends stands by her judgement as if she had a divine mandate to relieve another human being of pain -- and life.
This is the brave new world of assisted suicide. If a human being has a right to request suicide, why isn't their right to accept suffering honored at the same level? And when a physician can substitute their will for yours, their judgment for yours, whose right is it anyway?
Please read on to inform yourself about the proposed doctor prescribed suicide law in Massachusetts (S.2745), which has just be voted favorably out of committee into Health Financing. (Updated as of: 17 June 2020)
Join MCFL now and make give voice to those with no voice by calling your legislator and asking them to oppose "An Act Relative to End of Life Options" (S.2745).
Use the main State House number and request your representative by giving your zip code:
617 722 2000
Access key facts about this anti-life bill here: Key Facts, S.2745
Read the Mass. Citizens for Life media advisory about S.2745 here.