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.
If you joined us last night for our first-ever virtual event, thank you for your participation and support. We were thrilled that hundreds of life advocates attended! And, based on feedback during and after our Annual Fundraising Banquet, our guests enjoyed being with us, too! Here’s a small sampling of the kind words our viewers shared:
“Great job tonight!”
“It was fantastic!”
“What a wonderful presentation. My husband loved it!”
“Wonderful job. Very professional. I wanted to increase my donation after listening to Matt.”
“MCFL is in my heart. Thank you so much.”
“Congratulations on your first event. Seems as though everything went off wonderfully from our viewpoint.”
“A terrific fundraiser tonight!”
"Hello from the Perfetti family! Thank you for your priceless efforts to end the abortion nightmare!"
"This event is so well done! A class act. I am giving the best and most that I can. Go MCFL!"
[ Cardinal Sean O'Malley ] "This is a team effort - the Church and society are blessed by all that you do and your faithful witness."
My hardworking team and I are humbled by such glowing reviews. Shucks, we’re even blushing a little. Yet we’re not ready to pat ourselves on the back, turn off the lights and go home, because we are still $61,164 short of the $100,000 goal we need to raise by the end of this month.
Our faithful donors have stepped up, as they always do, and, as a result, we have raised nearly $40,000 so far. But as you heard during the event, or as you’ll learn when you watch it here, we cannot invest in the necessary resources to accomplish our lifesaving mission within the Commonwealth unless that number jumps significantly. So, if you haven’t yet made a Banquet gift to Massachusetts Citizens for Life, I invite you to do so today.
We packed a lot of stellar speakers into one hour. Each has a compelling story that will lift your spirits and remind you all over again why you partner with us in the fight for life and why each single gift makes a difference.
The Pats don’t play until Sunday night. Saturday’s college football lineup? Meh. Red Sox-Yankees? No guarantees there, but I’m promising you a grand slam. So put your feet up this weekend and prepare to be wowed by the likes of Melissa Ohden, Dr. Alveda King, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, and many many other dynamic presenters, each of whom knows what it means to love, fight, thrive.
Myrna Maloney Flynn, MCFL President
The MCFL Team
Please make your secure online donation here.
From the Desk of the Executive Director.
Some thoughts on the Theme of the 2020 Virtual Banquet
There are as many interpretations for the terms comprising our 2020 Virtual Banquet theme, “Love. Fight. Thrive,” as there are people who hear, see, or experience them.
Here’s how they speak to me:
A dictionary defines “thrive” to mean “progress toward or realization of a goal despite, or because of, circumstances.” For pro-lifers, the goal has always been the same – protecting and defending the lives of the unborn, the elderly, and disabled – the lives of society’s voiceless and weakest members whom the culture of death deems of little value.
For some, “thriving” has meant acquiring great wealth, power, or fame. For pro-lifers, however, these are not essential. For them, thriving consists in being an agent of lasting cultural change that safeguards the lives of strangers, most of whom they will never meet. It is in the simple act of living generously the life that God has given with a heart open to receiving life’s tangible and intangible blessings.
- Pro-lifers, who pray outside abortion mills, thrive when even one baby is spared from abortion to become whoever she was meant to be. Pro-lifers, who advocate for patients’ rights, thrive when a family rejects today’s all too common medical practice of denying an elderly patient food and water to hasten the patient’s death. Pro-lifers who fight against doctor-prescribed suicide thrive when those, who promote suicide as a solution to aging or protracted illness, fail to enact their lethal legislation.
- Pro-lifers also see “thriving” as that trickle-down effect that produces opportunities, support, and community for the marginalized and potential victims of anti-life policies to achieve personal victories over adversity. An infant, who survives an attempted abortion because a pro-life nurse rescued her, thrives when she defeats the senseless evil of abortion and goes on to fulfill the promise of a life well-lived; a post-abortive woman thrives when, with the help and support of a pro-life organization, she conquers lifelong demons of guilt and regret to finally find her peace; and an elder thrives when a pro-life family or other pro-life support system values his life and welcomes him with compassion. Daughters and sons of immigrants thrive when pro-lifers welcome their parents, and promote just immigration policies.
None of these “life-victories” comes easily. They require the persistence and drive inherent to the human spirit and a mind set on a single objective – LIFE. But the rewards are worth the struggles because a life is priceless, and there is no greater good than that we support it to thrive.
We invite our guests to THRIVE with us, sharing victories for LIFE.
What does "thrive" mean to you as a member of the movement?
How do you see others thrive because of your pro-life action?
Please join us on September 17th at 7PM at our annual fundraising banquet. Register here today!
Can't attend? Your donation today can still help us reach our fundraising goal for 2020. Donate here.
In this feature story on The Good News Network, a little boy born with a cleft lip finds a puppy with whom he shares something in common.
Who says a "disability" has to isolate or degrade you?
At 2 years old, already with multiple surgeries under is belt for his cleft palate, Bentley had begun to show signs of feeling isolated and apart. But rather than a disability, his challenge turned out to be the basis for an ability to find friendship when his dad discovered the puppy in the shelter born the same way.
When our society says a child is better off dead...
When our culture says a woman is better off with a dead child...
We don't have a woman or a child to fix:
We have a society, an attitude, and a culture to fix.
This story is a fantastic reminder that children with challenges and vulnerabilities aren't a problem, and don't need to be fixed. (In fact, what life doesn't have them to some degree?)
Puppies, common ground, and love are a much better response.
Former chairman for pro-life activities to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Seán's leads the Boston Archdiocese, and has been a vocal advocate for the vulnerable since his appointment. When it comes to pro-life advocacy, he has stated in the past that, "Sadly, the government is not listening to the people."
Ordained at 26, and he became Bishop of Saint Thomas in 1985, working with the homeless and AIDS victims in the Virgin Islands and further building his reputation as hands-on pastor who worked with the poorest of the poor and got things done.
He moved to our Commonwealth, and the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts, in 1992. In 2003 he was the surprise choice of Pope John Paul II to be archbishop of Boston.
Cardinal Seán's motto, taken at his ordination, is the phrase QUODCUMQUE DIXERIT FACITE, which translates as “Do whatever He tells you.” The motto is taken from the Gospel of John, chapter 2, verse 5.
In addition to his anti-abortion advocacy, he has been consistently and compassionately pro-life when it comes to all marginalized human lives He founded El Pregonero, a Catholic Spanish-language newspaper. He joined us in fighting tirelessly against physician assisted suicide on each occasion that was brought to our legislature.
Hear him speak ONLINE on September 17, at 7:00PM. Register for the event here or by clicking the banner below.
Photo Credit: Associated Press