[ This week's column by MCFL's president provides you with an easy to use phone script for calling your legislator, and members of the Judiciary Committee, to oppose the "ROE" Act. It also provides a quick refresher on the proposed law's provisions. ]
By Myrna Maloney Flynn, MCFL President
By raising my voice, I can help the greatest of all causes—good will among men and peace on earth. - Albert Einstein
“Hello, this is Myrna Maloney Flynn from Massachusetts Citizens for Life. I received your voicemail. How can I help?”
On the other end of the line, a longtime MCFL member with a soft trilling brogue humbly explained, “I’m 86 now and can’t get down to the State House to lobby like I used to. So I will call their offices about that bill. I just don’t know what to say.”
Like my new friend, you’ve got the power of your voice. And I’ve got a way for you to use it. Yes, it will take 15 minutes of your day. But it has the potential to save thousands of lives.
We learned this week that the Judiciary Committee extended until May 12 its deadline to report on the ROE Act. This means that they’ve got until then to decide whether or not they will allow legislators to vote on the radical, dangerous legislation. The new deadline may also be pushed back, however, so it is likely that we won't be able to rest easy until the end of the session on July 31st.
Despite our strong showing at last June’s hearing, and subsequent petition delivery last fall—efforts that successfully stalled the bill, we have not defeated it. Yet. To do so, we need to doggedly continue our lobbying efforts. And the quickest, easiest first step lies in your hands and with your voice: call your legislators. We know from experience that these phone calls are important to stopping legislation.
There are six people you have to call to make a difference, and it will only take a few minutes of your day: Your state representative, your state senator, and the four committee chairs. I'm sharing a sample script that you can alter for each one of them. When you call, ask to leave a message for the individual. It’s important to say you are a constituent.
Not sure who your representative or senator is? You can look them up here (https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator).
State Representative/State Senator Sample Script
"Hello, I would like to leave a message for Representative/Senator [name]. My name is [your name]. I live in [your town], Massachusetts and I am a constituent. I implore that [he or she] OPPOSE [If Representative: House Bill 3320. If Senator: Senate Bill 1209] - the ROE Act. It is a horrific piece of legislation that threatens the lives of young girls. It is a setback for women and society, and it further threatens the lives of society's most vulnerable. If the bill comes up for a vote in the state legislature, I expect Representative/Senator [name] to vote against the ROE Act. Thank you for passing along my message. I appreciate your time on this imporant issue."
After you’ve called your state rep/senator, call each of the four Judiciary Committee Chairs:
Committee Chair Claire Cronin -- (617) 722-2396
Committee Vice-Chair Representative Michael Day -- (617) 722-2396
Committee Chair Senator James Eldridge -- (617) 722-1120
Committee Vice-Chair Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz -- (617) 722-1673
Judiciary Committee member Sample Script
"Hello, I would like to leave a message for Judiciary Committee member [name]. My name is [your name]. I am a voter in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. I've contacted my local representatives, and I want to voice my opposition to the ROE Act - House Bill 3320/Senate Bill 1209 - currently being debated in the Judiciary Committee. It is a horrific piece of legislation that threatens the lives of young girls, it is a setback for women and society, and it further threatens the lives of society's most vulnerable. I urge the committee NOT to let the ROE Act be voted out of committee, and, instead, let the deadline pass to stop the bill from being voted on at all. Thank you for passing along my message. I appreciate your time on this important issue."
If any of the staff members try to justify the legislator's positions, simply tell them that there is no justification for this type of legislation and that, as a constituent, the legislator represents you. Therefore, you expect him or her to vote against it.
Your voice matters to them because they know you are a voter in their district! These calls matter, and the other side knows it, too. They’ve been urging their fellow abortion rights supporters to make similar calls. So now, more than ever, raise your voice on this, the greatest of all causes.
Please share this email with like-minded people and urge them to make these important calls as well. If we don't let our voices be heard, everything that Massachusetts pro-lifers have accomplished in the last 47 years could be lost. Beneath my message you’ll find a reminder of what the ROE Act will mean for our women, girls, and infants if it is passed.
Thank you for your time, energy, and passion in protecting the vulnerable in Massachusetts.
Finally, below is a review of the ROE Act’s implications. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with them and use your knowledge to inform others. Most voters simply do not know the impact this legislation will have. This bill would essentially wipe out every common-sense, pro-life law on the books in the Commonwealth.
If passed, the ROE Act will:
- Remove protections for newborn babies who are born alive having survived a failed abortion (opening the door to infanticide);
- Eliminate the requirement that a parent (or at least a judge) consent before a minor girl undergoes an abortion; allowing any adult who may be abusing them to cover up their assault by eliminating the need for a legal guardian to consent to any abortion.
- Allow abortions of viable unborn babies to be performed outside of a hospital, meaning abortions can be done in any facility, even those lacking the most basic of medical standards like hallways wide enough for gurneys if a woman needs to be rushed to the hospital (A woman was recently rushed to a hospital in Massachusetts due to hemorrhaging after an abortion). This further endangers women.
- Increase taxpayer funding of abortion, by diverting money from Healthy Start, a program intended to reduce infant mortality among the poor;
- Eliminate all criminal penalties for the performance of any abortion—whether coerced, sex-selective, eugenic, incompetently executed, performed by a non-physician, inflicted on a victim of sex trafficking, statutory rape, or other sexual abuse, etc.
In the upcoming few weeks, our legislators will be making a final decision on whether to send the "ROE" Act (S.1209/H.3320) on to a full vote. If voted on and passed, the "ROE" Act will remove parental notification for our young girls entering abortion clinics, legalize passive infanticide, and promote abortion access over our women's safety by removing the grueling 2-3 day late-term abortion procedure from a hospital setting.
You organized last year en masse and stalled this anti-life bill in committee. You arrived in droves on the day of the public hearing, demonstrating that Massachusetts Citizens, both pro-life and pro-choice, do not support promoting abortion access over women's safety, our daughter's safety, and the lives of infants born alive during botched procedures.
You amplified the story of Keisha Atkins, who lost her life to laws like "ROE", which are already on the books in New Mexico.
Members of our legislature heard you loud and clear during our non-stop Fall Call-a-Thons, where you told your lawmakers no to "ROE".
Please make use of our quick lobbying sheet, and share your deepest personal reason for opposing this dangerous bill.
Facts like Keisha Atkins' life, and death, show us exactly where "ROE" leads. It isn't a state for women or children. It is a state with reduced standards of medical care, reduced respect for vulnerable human lives, and reduced respect for women in challenging situations.
Let our lawmakers know today: No to "ROE" -- Massachusetts, we can do a lot better.
The "ROE" Act (S.1209/H.3320) is currently being deliberated on by our Joint Committee on the Judiciary.
After your reach your State Senator, we encourage you to contact the Committee Chairs, whose information can be found below.
Rep. Claire Cronin -- (617) 722-2396 -- Claire.Cronin@mahouse.gov
Rep. Michael Day -- (617) 722-2396 -- Michael.Day@mahouse.gov
Email us to set up a local Pro-Life Call-A-Thon -- email@example.com
Schedule a local Info-Session at your community, chapter, or parish meeting location! Email CJ -- CJ@masscitizensforlife.org.
Mid-November, just a couple weeks before the Thanksgiving holiday and State House recess, MCFL started tallying the signatures.
On the online petition opposing the "ROE" Act (S.1209/H.3320) alone, we had thousands of signatures. And as our office began printing them off, more were coming in.
From every possible angle, the "ROE" Act fails. Perhaps the final straw for even pro-choice citizens has been the exposure of the provision that would remove multi-day late-term abortion procedures from our internationally acclaimed hospitals -- and dump them, and the women subjected to them, in unregulated clinics.
An attorney in New Mexico currently prosecuting just such a clinic for gross negligence and the death of his client's 23 year old daughter, Keisha, spoke to an audience the State House's Great Hall:
"The provisions in this bill [ROE] have killed or injured 17+ women in my state...and that's just the ones I've documented."
State House News stopped in to report on the delivery. As C.J. handed over the thick stack of signatures and petitions, the reporter snapped a photo.
Better than your voices being heard, the voices of the unborn and marginalized women were heard because you spoke up, signed up -- and some of you even showed up!
MCFL members who had received the call to action email the week before joined us on Beacon Hill.
After the delivery of signatures, we visited 40+ offices and representatives, all of whom were open -- and concerned -- about this bill's outright flouting of basic standards of medical care on an "access before safety" model that promotes abortion. Period.
Keep signing that petition! We're set to make another delivery after the holidays.
In the meantime, educate yourself on the line-by-line modifications of our general law imposed by the "ROE" Act, and join the movement (if you haven't already), to receive regular action opportunities that will save lives in Massachusetts.
The State House news reported on our delivery of thousands of petitions opposing the ROE Act today.
ROE Act Opponents Visit Judiciary Committee
ROE Act opponents visited the Judiciary Committee Thursday to deliver signatures from people opposed to the bill, which was the subject of a long public hearing in June. Massachusetts Citizens for Life claims the bill (S 1209 / H 3320) would lower standards of care for women by permitting certain abortions to be undertaken outside of hospital settings. The bill's critics also oppose its changes to parental consent. The ROE Act, backed by a large coalition, eliminates parental consent requirements for teens seeking an abortion, allows abortions after 24 weeks to protect the physical or mental health of a patient, or in cases of diagnosed lethal fetal anomalies, and includes abortion in the pregnancy-related safety net coverage for residents ineligible for MassHealth. C.J. Williams of Mass. Citizens for Life said she turned in 1,654 signatures to Judiciary Committee counsel Jim McCarthy, and new digital signatures were still landing in her email inbox while she stood in the office around 3:20 p.m. ROE Act supporters were also on Beacon Hill Thursday for an advocacy training hosted by NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts. Williams said she hoped to run into them and "have a conversation," but did not encounter any backers of the bill.
- Michael P. Norton/SHNS
In New Mexico, the proposed removal of late term abortion procedures from the hospital setting made by the "R.O.E." Act in Massachusetts is already law. This reduction in standards of care has proved fatal for Keisha Atkins, and deadly or injurious to nearly 25 other women.
By Leslie Palma
Priests for Life Director of Communications
It’s heartbreaking to imagine the last day in the life of Keisha Atkins, a 23-year-old woman who died following a legal abortion, at six months, in New Mexico.
“In our last conversation in the hospital, she said, ‘Mom, I’m going to die,’” recalled Keisha’s mom, Tina Atkins. “And I said, ‘Don’t talk like that, you’re going to be fine.’”
Soon after that, Keisha was taken to the operating room, and Tina never saw her alive again.
Tina described her daughter as “a beautiful, exuberant young lady,” who loved the outdoors and karaoke singing, going to concerts with her mom and just hanging out with family.
“We just had a great life and all of a sudden, it was gone,” Tina said.
The family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the late-term abortion business that started the abortion and the hospital where she died.
“They messed with the wrong black woman, because I am not going to step down,” Tina said during an interview with Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, and Alveda King, director of Civil Rights for the Unborn for Priests for Life. Tina has testified before the New Mexico Legislature and is hoping to talk to President Trump about abortions that are killing women and their children.
“This is a tragedy,” Father Pavone said. “It’s so important to be speaking out about this.”
KEISHA’S ABORTION EXPERIENCE
Keisha went to the University of New Mexico (UNM) twice, on Jan. 23 and Jan. 30, 2017, seeking an abortion. She was given an ultrasound but was ultimately turned away from the hospital and referred to Southwestern Women’s Options, an Albuquerque business that performs third-trimester abortions on healthy babies growing in the wombs of healthy mothers. The UNM staff made the appointment at Southwestern for her. The two businesses often collaborate, both in the training of abortionists and, until last year, in the transfer of body parts harvested from aborted babies.
On Feb. 1, Keisha went to Southwestern, where her baby girl received a shot of digoxin to stop her heart and laminaria were inserted in Keisha’s cervix to begin the dilation process that would, if all went according to plan, result in Keisha delivering her stillborn daughter two or three days later.
Keisha signed consent forms and was instructed, in writing, that if she experienced any problems, she should not call 911 or go to an emergency room, but should just call Southwestern. She was sent home.
Feb. 2, she returned to Southwestern to have the laminaria replaced and was sent home again. Late that night, at about 11 p.m., she called Southwestern to say she was having trouble breathing and experiencing abdominal pain. Tina was with her when she made that call and remembers that Keisha was instructed not to call 911 but just to get to the clinic in the morning.
“I stayed with her all night,” Tina said. “She was in so much pain.”
On Feb. 3, Keisha arrived at Southwestern at 6:45 a.m. with a high fever and experiencing shortness of breath. Her physical symptoms did not improve through the course of that long day.
“That day was horrible,” Tina said. “I was in the waiting room and they finally let me see her for a minute at 2:30 p.m.” Keisha was on oxygen and had a high fever, her mother said.
At 4:08 p.m., almost nine and a half hours after Keisha had arrived at Southwestern, an ambulance finally was called. The abortion was not performed because she was too ill.
Keisha was admitted to the Emergency Room at UNM at 4:53 p.m. Tina remained with her until just before she was taken to the operating room at 10:29 p.m. for a “dilation and evacuation” abortion of her dead baby. That would entail repeatedly inserting forceps into Keisha’s uterus to remove her daughter piece by piece.
On the operating table, Keisha went into cardiac arrest and was declared dead at 12:10 a.m. Feb. 4.
Eventually the remains of Keisha’s baby, whom she had named Mavis, were reunited with Keisha’s body. They were cremated and their ashes, together in one urn, are with Tina.
“I miss my baby,” Tina said. “She should be here with me right now, and my grandbaby.” Mavis would be 2 years old.
Keisha’s sister, Nicole, also had an abortion at Southwestern and suffered complications so serious, she had to have a hysterectomy. She would advise any woman considering abortion to make another choice.
“This has impacted me and my family in ways you could not imagine,” Nicole said. “It has a tremendous amount of loss involved and I wish I had never done it.”
Tina and Nicole both wish Keisha had never set foot inside Southwestern.
WHAT WENT WRONG?
An autopsy performed by UNM’s Dr. Lauren Dvorscak concluded that Keisha died of a pregnancy-related pulmonary embolism - a blood clot in the lungs. The death was listed as “natural” and the autopsy report noted that “pulmonary embolism is the 6th leading cause of maternal mortality in the United States.”
But according to email transcripts obtained by Albuquerque attorney Michael Seibel, who last year filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Southwestern and UNM, some of the hospital’s medical staff were skeptical that it was really a pulmonary embolism that killed Keisha.
The autopsy report noted that Keisha “also had a high white blood cell count and other clinical features concerning for sepsis upon her hospital admission.” Keisha’s family believes that sepsis, a widespread infection, is what killed her.
Some hospital staffers seem to agree.
In an email dated July 20, 2017, Dr. Trenton Wray, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at the University of New Mexico Hospital, who was one of the physicians who treated Keisha, said: “Everything about her course was consistent with septic abortion … I have to admit, I was floored by the cause of death being a massive PE.”
Wray was asking for an opinion from Dr. Gary Hatch, a diagnostic radiology specialist, who responded:
“The autopsy report doesn’t make sense to me. Who did the autopsy?” Hatch also insisted “there was no massive PE at the time of the CPTA. Period.”
CPTA stands for computed pulmonary arteriogram, a test that would have detected a pulmonary embolism.
In a subsequent email to Lisa Hofler, who was primarily in charge of Keisha’s treatment in the emergency room, Wray said: “My personal opinion on it is that she had septic cardiomyopathy.”
In an email exchange between Dvorscak, who performed the autopsy, and Hatch, Keisha’s infection was mentioned again.
“I agree that everything makes sense for sepsis, and I’m not denying that she was septic and going through a septic abortion,” Dvorscak wrote.
In his response, Hatch asked: “Could a potential sequence here be PE due to DIC due to sepsis due to endometrial infection?”
DIC stands for disseminated intravascular coagulation, a dangerous blood condition that can lead to hemorrhaging. Retention of a dead fetus is one potential cause of DIC.
“I think the scenario you outlined is entirely plausible,” Dvorscak replied, “that everything may have been sort of a sequence from her underlying infection.”
A month after these email exchanges, on Aug. 23, 2017, the Albuquerque Journal ran a story under the headline “Autopsy Rules Out Abortion as Cause of Death.”
In the story, New Mexico Chief Medical Investigator Dr. Kurt Nolte called Keisha’s death “a rare and tragic case for the family.” Southwestern, in a statement, said “All of us … are heartbroken by her death. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.”
The Southwestern statement went on to berate pro-lifers who were trying to learn the truth about the death of a healthy 23-year-old during the abortion of her healthy baby:
“For those who oppose women’s reproductive justice to exploit this sad event by putting forth lies about abortion and the patient’s care is sickening.”
Tina Atkins has a different take on what’s sickening about this situation.
“These late-term abortions are killing our children, our mothers, our daughters,” she said. “And they’re just getting away with it. I wanted to raise my grandbaby. I can’t even do that now because I don’t have either one of them here.”
Another set of emails sent two days after the Journal story was published brought up another discrepancy.
Remember that UNM turned Keisha away when she went there seeking an abortion, instead sending her to Southwestern for an elective abortion of her six-month fetus. That makes it curious for Eve Espey, chairwoman of UNM’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, to write: “… would you be willing to remove the word ‘elective’ – she qualifies under New Mexico’s definition of ‘medically indicated’ but I would suggest just saying ‘abortion.’ “
If her abortion was medically indicated, why was Keisha sent to an abortion business that, according to files collected by Seibel, had no emergency equipment on hand and whose doctors did not have hospital admitting privileges?
That’s just one of the many questions Keisha’s family want answered when the case is heard in December 2020.
They will also want to know why Southwestern waited more than nine hours before transferring her to the hospital, and why UNM waited more than five hours before sending her to an operating room to remove Keisha’s baby, who had been dead for about 60 hours at that point.
They would like the truth about the cause of death to come out – was it really a pulmonary embolism, or, as their lawsuit contends, did she die due to a septic infection that was overlooked until it was too late?
They want to know if, with better care, Keisha might have lived.
Keisha’s family, working with Elisa Martinez, executive director of the New Mexico Alliance for Life and a candidate for the U.S. Senate, also want to ensure that no more women die from abortion.
Noting that even literature supplied to Keisha at Southwestern said the risks of later abortions were much greater than those performed early in pregnancy, Ms. Martinez said: “This is why we have to put an end to barbaric late-term abortion. There are too many women in who are being lied to. We need this story to get out.”
Why young women, particularly women of color, continue to die from legal abortion is beyond the scope of the lawsuit, but it’s a question that needs an answer, especially as late-term abortion spreads to states like New York, Massachusetts, Illinois and Vermont.
“So many of the details sound so tragically similar,” Father Pavone told Tina and Nicole Atkins. “Not only are we praying for you, but we are going to work side by side with you to make sure this tragic loss will not be in vain. We’re going to save more lives as a result.”
press conference and annual State House Celebration of Life this Wednesday
Massachusetts Citizens for Life and partner organizations to illustrate dangerous impact of proposed ROE Act.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - BOSTON, MA - 28 October, 2019 - During the Celebration of Life, an annual lobby day that highlights holistic and life-affirming resources for women and children, Massachusetts Citizens for Life invites media to a press conference at noon on Wednesday, October 30th. National experts from a broad spectrum of political backgrounds, including abortion survivor, Claire Culwell, will speak on the impact of provisions in the ROE ACT(S.1209/H.3320).
Great Hall, Massachusetts State House
Press Conference: 12:00 noon - 1:00pm
Celebration of Life Event: 10:00am - 3:00pm
C.J. Williams, Director of Community Engagement, MCFL: "Massachusetts can do much better than a bill that ditches basic standards of medical care in favor of a burnt-earth push for abortion access over women's safety. In no other medical procedure do we reduce regulations and safety- it's backward. In this case, it uniquely discriminates against women."
Regarding a weeklong campaign launched by MassNARAL that claims, "Massachusetts can do better," MCFL President Myrna Maloney Flynn said, "I agree 100% with NARAL. Massachusetts can do better. But the so-called ROE Act wi make things worse. Instead, let's start talking about prevention, about the facts of fetal development, the effect abortion has on a woman's long-term mental health, adoption, and, especially, universal childcare programs like the one Senator Warren proposes," she said. "That's doing better."
Bill Gilmeister, executive director of RenewMass, said, regarding the showcasing of resource centers, "Pregnancy health centers offer a positive response to pregnant women in difficult circumstances. They provide the resources women need when experiencing tough pregnancies. They are willing to come alongside in support. This is in stark contrast to the abortion businesses that seek to profit from women in need.”
New Mexico attorney Mike Seibel will speak to reporters in the Great Hall Wednesday. Siebel is currently prosecuting the outpatient abortion facility on behalf of his client, mother of Keisha Atkins, who was killed by the deregulation of late-term abortion procedures in New Mexico, the same kind of provision that "R.O.E.” would permit in Massachusetts.
Seibel said, "Massachusetts may take late-term abortion out of hospitals and away from life-saving medical equipment. Let [New Mexico] be a lesson for Massachusetts. You pass that bill, and there will be transports to hospitals for uncontrolled bleeding, uterine rupture, sepsis . . . just like here in New Mexico. Massachusetts will devolve from its first-class status in healthcare to substandard care. There will be deaths just like those in New Mexico."
Depositions, testimony, and other legal documents will be available to press following the speakers’ statements, as will activist and abortion survivor Claire Culwell.
Director of Community Engagement
Massachusetts Citizens for Life
857 302 0466
Are you a concerned citizen or MCFL member? Do you have the resource, but maybe not the ability or energy to spend time or travel to engage in the activism and education MCFL facilitates?
You can still support our work.
To support our digital and local action campaigns to shelve this anti-life bill, you can donate now. Just click through our secure links here: Donate to MCFL.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh joined mayors from across Massachusetts, October 1st, at the Massachusetts State House, to declare support of legislation removing basic standards of medical care for women and newly born infants. SB 1209/HB 3320, the "ROE Act," abolishes parental consent, eliminates every meaningful constraint on any abortion up until birth (while simultaneously making such abortions even more unsafe by canceling the current requirement that abortions after the first trimester be performed in hospitals), and removes the current requirement that life-supporting medical equipment be on-hand during late-term abortions—in case a child survives the abortion attempt.
The event included Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera, Cambridge Mayor Marc McGovern, Framingham Mayor Yvonne Spicer, Newburyport Mayor Donna Holaday, and Easthampton Mayor Nicole LaChapelle.
If any one of these officials is your mayor, call them today to express your deep disappointment in their judgment.
Boston - Marty Walsh - Phone: 617-635-4500
Cambridge - Marc McGovern - Phone: (617) 349-4321
Easthampton - Nicole LaChapelle - Phone: (413) 529-1400 ext. 470
Framingham - Yvonne Spicer - Phone: 508-532-5400
Newburyport - Donna Holaday - Phone: (978) 465-4413
By C.J. Williams, Director of Community Engagement, MCFL
I returned from the Let There Be Life Conference in California with more information than my heart or head could properly organize.
Much like the citizens of Massachusetts, Californians face an abortion-business extremism that is well beyond pro-choice. Laws proposed in the California legislature mirror the "ROE Act" (and newly introduced Bill H.3841, which would force our public universities to include abortion centers offering chemical terminations on their campuses). These bills abandon even the appearance of seeking women’s safety, and push abortion for any reason, at any stage, in any circumstance. These proposals brazenly remove medical standards of care for the abortion-minded mother, putting abortion promotion before her safety.*
California’s pro-abortion university bill inspired the introduction of HB 3841 here. Even my Planned Parenthood-supporting friends have wondered aloud to me why chemical abortions should be forced onto university health centers, when abortion access is so open in both Massachusetts and California--and the proposed laws make abortion more available but less safe.
Just in summary, these pieces of legislation:
--prioritize access over safety*;
--expand and promote abortion businesses but disempower doctors*;
--target viable preborn children; and
--target underage girls and young adults on college campuses*.
If the governor signs the legislation, California will force its public universities to provide chemical abortions on-site to their students. We in Massachusetts don’t yet have these laws on our books. The Committee on the Judiciary has recently informed me they are still taking testimony on the ROE Act (as is the Committee on Public Health for HB 3841, the chemical-abortion bill). The ROE Act, if passed, would remove all adult supervision and protection for a 12- or 13-year old girl seeking an abortion, as well as removing any requirement that grisly, multi-day late-term abortion procedures be performed in a qualified hospital. HB 3841 would require our publicly funded universities to institutionalize abortion centers on their campuses.
Court cases and emergency records in states with laws that remove these basic medical standards and abortion regulations show that countless women per year are maimed or killed by abortionists.*
During the conference, attendees also held a protest at the University of San Francisco. Well-known for its cutting-edge technology programs and medical track, UCSF is less well-known as the premiere late-term abortion training school in the nation. Doctors training there learn to perform abortions by aborting: they dismember human beings in-utero, and the organs of those individuals are then sold for a profit to medical researchers. Neither mother nor child gives consent in this scenario.
I joined other conference-goers outside the university chancellor’s window to expose the heinous human rights abuse.
“How can you have a medical school training late-term abortionists with the specific goal of harvesting human body parts? How many kinds of wrong can you go?” A girl named Ana asked me, as we held signs next to a young man in a mouse costume. (His sign: Don’t experiment on me and don’t experiment on BABIES.)
Loud and clear, even to passers-by, this event showed that we are no longer in a landscape divided at pro-life / pro-choice. Even the pro-choice students who wandered over to ask what we were protesting expressed horror at the flagrant disregard for human dignity.
What was the most valuable takeaway in all of this for Massachusetts?
It gave me a vivid view of what our state will look like for women if the “R.O.E.” Act is passed.
S.1209 (“R.O.E.”) will no not require basic medical standards of safety for the women having the 3 to 4 day late-term abortion procedure. These grisly labor-and-delivery-of-a-dead-child surgeries will be performed outside of hospitals under “R.O.E.”
I encountered a firsthand witness to the fallout of these policies in San Francisco. He is an attorney, whose client is the mother of Keisha, a woman who waited over 17 hours for proper medical care after her late-term abortion left baby parts in her womb. She ultimately died of sepsis -- and the incredible negligence of so-called women’s healthcare providers in outpatient abortion facilities.
This attorney is currently prosecuting the abortion doctors and outpatient abortion facilities in New Mexico for over 17 women’s deaths and countless injuries because of the gross negligence of their laws -- which right now do exactly what “R.O.E.” would do here -- has countless other incidents documented as well.
This event, and these facts are critical to your communication with your legislator, and the Joint Committee on the Judiciary (find their contact information here and submit your testimony to Chair Claire Cronin).
My pro-choice friends and I agree: The "ROE" Act is no ROE v. Wade. Where the Supreme Court decision recognizes a state interest in the life of a viable child, and (after the first trimester) recognizes a state interest in seeing that abortions are given the same attention as other surgeries (at least), the ROE Act would remove the current hedges separating “legal” abortion from an actual back-alley abortion.
So why are legislators and pro-abortion lobbies pushing this in Massachusetts?
An attorney in New Mexico dealing with the human fallout from late-term abortion cases there pulled these key points for us as we scrolled through page upon page of emergency assistance calls and death statements from non-hospital abortion facilities:
-- Outpatient clinics reduce overhead by reducing life-saving medical equipment.
-- Outpatient clinics do not need to have a doctor perform the procedure (or one with hospital privileges).
-- Outpatient clinics do not hold patients for monitoring as hospitals do.
-- Outpatient clinics send women home carrying a dead or dying full-term baby, effectively leaving her at risk for sepsis, hemorrhage, etc., with no medical attention near to hand.
No matter what end of the ideological spectrum we stand on, we can unite to oppose privileging ease of access over safety, risky abortion over healthcare, and profit over people’s lives, dignity, and well-being. Share these facts with the Joint Committees, and your family and friends -- pro-life or pro-choice.
San Francisco has a political climate similar to Massachusetts in some ways. New Mexico has an abortion extremism that could be Massachusetts in a few years.
They both have dead children being sold for their body parts, and women dying too often from reduction in the medical standards of care.
Let’s learn from both: Massachusetts citizens, get out there and lobby the Joint Committee on the Judiciary against the ROE Act. This isn’t about abortion access or removal of access, as ROE Act proponents have tried to say. It is about removal of care, safety, and a pushing for profit from organizations that make money on procedures that hurt women, and kill preborn people.
*SB 24 (CA) would require campus health services at all 34 public campuses throughout the state — 11 under the University of California system and 23 under the California State system -- to make available "abortion by medication techniques," which involves a regimen of mifepristone and misoprostol.
*The ROE Act would remove the requirement that a doctor have life-supporting medical equipment on-hand for both humans involved in an abortion. This bill even eliminates language recognizing that a woman and child are the relevant patients in an abortion.
*New Mexico is a case in point. You can read testimony from expert late-term abortionists from the ongoing court case in Albuquerque, wherein over 25 women are recorded dead from outpatient late-term abortions.
by C.J. Williams
Summer is over, and the Fall has brought back the bill that's as problematic for pro-lifers as for those who are pro-choice. This is not the time to give in to apathy or distraction. S.1209 (the "R.O.E." Act) has not been dismissed by the Joint Committee on the Judiciary. The members of the committee are still taking testimony, still counting the numbers of calls they receive, and still undecided on what to do with this bill, whose provisions would radically reduce our medical standards of care for women, endanger our 12 and 13 year old girls, and slash legal protection for infants born during botched abortions.
Neither pro-life nor pro-choice, S,1209 deserves a resounding no from voters, and our legislators.
But those legislators need to hear your voice, because the abortion business lobby is pressuring them fiercely.
Here's your brief update, and 3 action items. Put them on your calendar with a permanent marker.
S.1209 has not been changed, nor has it been approved and sent on to a vote in our legislature.
S.1209's provisions which abolish adult supervision for underage girls entering abortion facilities, and the removal of the requirement that late-term 2nd or 3rd trimester abortions be performed in hospitals continue to cause even our most pro-abortion representatives to waver on this bill.
S.1209 will not be heard again in public, which makes your contacting the committee in-person, via mail, email, and phone essential to educating them on the bill's dangers, and driving home the message you sent when you showed up in the hundreds at the June hearing.
So TAKE 3 THIS WEEK: Completing this list will make a concrete difference in whether Massachusetts promotes abortion even over women's safety, and legalizes the passive killing of infants.
- If you've already submitted testimony, follow up by contacting Chair Claire Cronin and Vice-Chair Michael Day of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary.
- If you have not submitted testimony, submit your statement today.
- Commit to calling each member of the committee one day this week and/or next during our Mobile Callbank (September 25 through October 9).
BONUS: Visit the the offices of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary this week or next.
For easy reference:
Chair Rep. Claire Cronin
Don't walk, run. There is nothing more critical to shelving this deadly bill than your non-stop vocal opposition.
Share the opportunity to reach our legislators with your friends, family, and neighbors, pro-life or pro-choice!
RESOURCES FOR EFFECTIVE ACTION BELOW:
Why do citizens across the political spectrum oppose S.1209, the "R.O.E. Act"? Dr. Kerry Pound, Vice President of MCFL, illustrates why briefly and clearly in the following response to Rev. Robinson's strange conflation of religion with biology, and misunderstanding of the human development. The text below was published in The Cape Cod Times.
By Kerry Pound, M.D., Vice President, MCFL
I appreciate the Rev. Edmund’s Robinson’s Aug. 16 My View in response to my June 15 op-ed, “Two patients? Not according to the proposed ROE Act.” But I am unclear why he believes I have asserted any religious perspectives, given my arguments arose from science. I did not mention religious teachings in either my op-ed or in my testimony at the Statehouse.
Science recognizes the beginning of life as conception. The journal Nature published a study with the opening statement: “The life cycle of mammals begins when a sperm enters an egg.”
Perhaps Robinson’s argument was that I have conflated life with personhood. If we agree life starts at conception, what constitutes the claimed profound difference between a zygote and an adult? Only time and development. Clearly, a human conceptus is not going to become a “wart” or a cancerous growth, and certainly ought not to be treated as such.
Our law in Massachusetts already allows for abortion throughout the entire nine months of pregnancy for concerns of mother’s health and life. The NASTY Act passed last summer guarantees that abortion will remain available in the commonwealth even if federal law changes.
Why then is the ROE Act necessary? Plainly, it isn’t.