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.
MEDIA ADVISORY: ASSISTED SUICIDE BILL VOTED ON "FAVORABLY" IN MASSACHUSETTS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY
Boston, MA - 9 June 2020 -- Last week, the members of the Joint Committee on Public Health voted S.2745 (previously S.1208), "An Act Relative to End of Life Options" favorably out of committee.
This is the first time in history a bill related to physician-assisted suicide (PAS) has cleared its committee assignment.
Patricia Stewart, Esq., executive director of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, and one of the Commonwealth’s leading experts in the legalities of PAS, said: "The bill’s soothing catch phrases can disguise, but they cannot change, the bill’s ugly reality, which is the intentional ending of a human life in secret. We cannot permit this dangerous policy to become law in Massachusetts. The life of our most vulnerable family members and neighbors depend on it."
Difficulties in ensuring Massachusetts’ high standards of patient care, and the impossibility of protecting at-risk patients from abuse, have plagued this version of the bill and its predecessors. Citizens and legislators have shelved it repeatedly, while out-of-state suicide advocates have lobbied it back onto the agenda again and again.
Dr. Mark Rollo, MCFL board member and family physician in Fitchburg, MA, highlighted the bill’s perils in an automated call reaching citizens across the state.
State sanctioned suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer. The American Medical Association has strongly rejected it. Physicians make mistakes. No law can include a safe guard for this simple fact.
- Elder abuse will be exacerbated via potential coercion to take suicide pills.
- Insurance companies will have an incentive to cut costs by denying expensive care and approving the affordable solution of suicide.
- The COVID-19 pandemic elicited discussion of rationing of care, putting people with disabilities and the elderly at the end of the line. The same logic can be applied to assisted suicide.
- Recent mass protests have reminded us that minorities still suffer from discrimination. Inevitably the poor and people of color will be steered toward suicide.
MCFL, in its mission to protect and respect the lives of every individual human being in Massachusetts, continues to oppose this bill and this week encouraged its members to contact their state representatives. The response has been tremendous.
"There is nothing more painful than witnessing a loved one face the challenges that often accompany the end of life. Yet there is nothing more precious than the human life itself," said Myrna Maloney Flynn, president of Massachusetts Citizens for Life. "And so there is never too much energy or care we can expend when it comes to seeing our laws reflect that truth. This bill is deeply flawed, whatever your stance on the issue, and will endanger our at-risk neighbors and family. There are far more meaningful and humane end-of-life options our society should promote, namely palliative care and hospice services.”
For press queries:
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
To our members and advocates for life,
We understand that many of you continue to be concerned about coronavirus (COVID-19). As Massachusetts slowly reopens, and orients to a "new normal," it is our commitment to put our utmost into meeting our mission while respecting public health and moving with care.
Our lobby days have been rescheduled for next session, but we continue to advocate for the unborn through email and phone calls. Please consider joining our weekly callbanks, however, in opposition the the "ROE" Act. You can join us daily! Take your 1:00 o'clock hour and dedicate it to "the one" whose voice is removed by unjust laws. Right now, that will be individual women, whose healthcare will be reduced by the "ROE" Act, and their unborn children, who won't even be provided care if they are aborted late-term and survive the procedure. Call the judiciary committee and sign the petition to say no to "ROE" here. Email CJ (email@example.com) for instructions or to set up a virtual call-party with fellow members or friends.
Uur Mother's Day Dinner featuring Dr. Alveda King will be postponed.
Please also look ahead to the MCFL Annual Gala, which has been scheduled for September 17th, 2020 online for the first time ever.
At this point, we still plan to hold the Massachusetts March for Life, on November 7th.
You may also join fellow members in safely social-distanced advocacy outside the abortion centers in our state. Social-distanced sidewalk advocacy is critical while abortion businesses continue to target vulnerable women and abort babies in Massachusetts despite the risk of COVID transmission.
We look forward to your participation, and support and your feedback and questions as we transition to the virtual.
If anything additional changes, and we believe your safety is at risk, we will be in touch with more updates on our outreach and advocacy. But social distancing does not mean distancing from supporting, educating, or being available to those we serve and protect.
Your health and safety, along with the health and safety of the little ones we seek to protect, is our top priority.
For additional questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to our team by email.
Stay safe, savvy, and remember that even if you're settled at home away from the virus, take that 1:00 o'clock hour and call and email our lawmakers using this easy to follow call script.
Yours for the most vulnerable,
C.J. Williams, Director of Community Engagement
Massachusetts Citizens for Life
According to their own estimates, Planned Parenthood performs over 330,000 abortion procedures per year. Apparently, that act of violence is their non-negotiable, because they've just voluntarily withdrawn from the program granting them funds through Title X. The organization receives approximately $60 million a year through Title X (which is less than 15% of the overall public funds given to the abortion giant); but in refusing Title X, Planned Parenthood is brazenly stating that abortion matters more than women's healthcare.
Most of other government funding comes through Medicaid, which does cover human abortions.
Despite what leadership in Planned Parenthood has stated, no part of the current federal administration is forcing PP to forgo Title X funds. The rule does not target any particular organization; the rule is a blanket policy that guarantees Title X monies (federal funds) follow rules instated already by the HHS which bar abortion funding. The recent decision follows the ruling that now separates abortion from actual healthcare, and prohibits any organization providing healthcare from receiving federal funding if they also provide abortion. As of the writing of this article, courts support the decision, despite lawsuits from PP.
Unbiased observers have made a good point quietly between the shouts on both sides of this news story: Does PP have a deeper commitment to making a profit off killing the preborn, or to women's health? Is it "Care. No Matter What." or "Abort. No Matter What."?
Photo courtesy of the Boston Herald
With the length of Mrs. Fox's tenure at MCFL' president, we cannot do justice in a short article to her legacy at MCFL. Our entire team wish her the best in her retirement, and are grateful to her service in the pursuit of justice for the unborn, and all of our vulnerable in the Commonwealth.
We released the following announcement to the press, and now post here for all of advocates as well:Read more
by Anne Fox, MCFL President
There are 14 statues in Qatar depicting life before birth. They range in height from five to eleven meters. That is seventeen feet to thirty-seven feet high.
And they have been there for five years. Think of the influence they must have. The way they must form society and people's consciousness of life in the womb. Think if we had more artists, and art, film and writing, that did this for us.
Check out more of the visuals here.
Where would you put ours?
Isn't a picture worth well more than a thousand words?