With The Roe Act now law in Massachusetts, Myrna Maloney Flynn, MCFL president, reflects on pro-life wins along the way, but also says there is a lot of work ahead.
EWTN's Catherine Haddro delves into why the ROE Act has been called the "infanticide act;" and looks ahead to plans by citizens to repeal an elitist legislature's override of Governor Baker's ROE veto.
View the entire episode online at EWTN Pro-Life Weekly.
Join the movement in Massachusetts today! Register as an MCFL member here.
In a vote of 107 to 46 in the House and 32 to 8 in the Senate, the Massachusetts State legislature chose to override Governor Baker’s veto of H.5179, also known as the “R.O.E.” Act. In an elitist gesture that not only ignored the governor’s commonsense rejection of special interests items in a state budget bill, but also tens of thousands of their constituents vocal opposition, the legislature has sent a clear message to Massachusetts citizens: We work for the abortion lobby, not for you or the public health.
You can download a printable PDF of the roll call voting record showing exactly how each lawmaker voted on this anti-life bill here. Or view the list below.
CONTACT THOSE LAWMAKERS WHO VOTED AGAINST THEIR CONSTITUENTS, AND AGAINST PROTECTING VULNERABLE BY OVERRIDING GOV. BAKER'S VETO.
Our members have been using a variation on the below letter to email and/or call their lawmakers since the override vote.
You can look up your state representative or senator by clicking here and inputting your address.
I cannot express strongly enough how disappointed I am in your vote to override Governor Baker's veto of H5179. As you well know, Massachusetts has some of the most liberal abortion laws in the nation. This bill, underhandedly rammed through after the original, poorly-written ROE Act received so much opposition it could not clear committee, is simply an assault on our basic standards of healthcare, especially women's health, in the Commonwealth.
It expands abortion through all 40 weeks, endangering women's lives, and making possible the killing of living, breathing babies capable of feeling pain. In addition, this legislation has been labelled the "Infanticide Act," because it permits doctors to deny life-saving medical care to a clearly living newborn infants born alive during an abortion. This is known as "passive infanticide." (Supporters of this legislation have been arguing that it requires life-saving equipment to be present at the place of the abortion. Although this is true, that is already required under current law. What is new, is that this legislation REMOVED the requirement for the doctor to USE the life-saving equipment to "take all reasonable steps... to preserve the life and health of the aborted child.")
At a time when we are taking extreme and unprecedented measures to preserve the lives of our fellow Bay Staters, what lead you to vote to radically increase the number of unborn children put to death in our Commonwealth through abortion? Sustaining the veto, and the lives of our most vulnerable, would have been easy. Know that I, [name], will not be voting to sustain your tenure in our legislature next election.
[Name + Address]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MA STATE LEGISLATURE OVERRIDES GOVERNOR, RAMS THROUGH EXTREME ABORTION BILL DURING COVID
Boston, MA -- December 29, 2020 -- In a vote of 107 to 46 in the House and 32 to 8 in the Senate, the Massachusetts State legislature chose to override Governor Baker’s veto of H.5179, also known as the “R.O.E.” Act. In an elitist gesture that not only ignored the governor’s commonsense rejection of special interests items in a state budget bill, but also tens of thousands of their constituents vocal opposition, the legislature has sent a clear message to Massachusetts citizens: We work for the abortion lobby, not for you or the public health.
Myrna Maloney Flynn, president of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, issued the following statement:
The ROE Act was introduced nearly two years ago. Every day since then, thousands of Massachusetts Citizens for Life members, who reside in every corner of our state, used their voices to speak for those who cannot. They learned the truth about this irresponsible and dangerous legislation and bravely spread that truth within their communities -- even during a pandemic. Almost as disheartening as this new law is the fact that legislators rammed this damaging bill through during Covid, inserting it into the state budget, knowing our opposition could not fight it in person due to quarantine restrictions.
So while we pause today to grieve for the many lives that will be severely damaged and lost as a result of the ROE Act, we anticipate, much as abolitionists did, the inevitability of a brighter tomorrow.
Pro-lifers know setbacks. What we don't know how to do is give up, look the other way, and allow injustice to stand.
We know the truth is worth pursuing! We know the lives we work to protect are worth every minute of our time in this life. We know without a doubt that our supporters, by their advocacy over the last 24 months, changed minds and opened hearts, even our governor's. And we look forward to continuing our work alongside the citizens of Massachusetts, who already know the value of human life and are eager to educate and support others and to ultimately illuminate the inherent right to life of the unborn.
As we have done since January 23, 1973, Massachusetts Citizens for Life will work tirelessly to make abortion unthinkable. And we will prevail.
At MCFL, we will continue to highlight the stories of women like Melissa Ohden, whose life would have been thrown away under “R.O.E.” Act provisions when she was born alive during a late-term abortion. We will continue to advocate for legal protection and medical support for babies like Hope Dupell and their mothers, who deserve physicians obligated by law to heal, not encouraged by laws like “R.O.E.” to discriminate against them because of a prenatal disability diagnosis. We will fight for women like Keisha Atkins, who lost her life to an extremist late-term abortion law in New Mexioc that prioritized “access” over safety.
Massachusetts Citizens for Life is the Commonwealth's single solely dedicated pro-life human rights organization. Founded in 1973, MCFL continues to advocate for the most vulnerable citizens in the Bay State: the preborn and the elderly and disabled.
BAKER VETOES "R.O.E." ACT (H.5179) Christmas Eve; PRO-LIFE CITIZENS' MESSAGE, "KILL BILL, NOT BABY"
MCFL mobilized thousands of citizens across the state to call the governor's office from Thanksgiving onward. "He clearly heard the message," say members.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- December 28, 2020, Boston, MA -- Massachusetts Citizens for Life (MCFL) applauds Governor Baker's action on December 24, 2020, Christmas Eve, vetoing the heinously anti-life bill H.5179, also and previously known as An Act Removing Obstacles and Expanding Access to Abortion in MA.
"Kill the bill, not the baby!" said Fernando Limbo, a member based in Revere, "Even our pro-choice governor can see the harm in this bill, and thank God for this Christmas Eve gift protecting life."
H.5179, nearly the same as "R.O.E."'s earlier draft, still:
- Allows underage girls to get abortions without their parents’ consent or even knowledge. (340 girls under the age of 18 had abortions in Massachusetts in 2019. Under this legislation their parents would no longer have the right to even know.)
- Allows doctors to deny life-saving medical care to a clearly viable baby born alive during an abortion. This is known as “passive infanticide.”
- Extends legal abortion all the way to 40 weeks for effectively any reason “to preserve the patient’s physical or mental health.” (emphasis added)
Speaker of the House, Robert DeLeo, responded--utilizing his Christmas Eve to promise that the House would "override the veto."
“It is appalling that, on the eve of the birth of Christ, Speaker DeLeo would promise to ram through legislation that expands the killing of babies,” said Patricia Stewart, Esq., Executive Director of MCFL.
The original bill, H.3320/S.1209, languished in committee, unable to fight commonsense opposition by citizens on both sides of the party line. Representative Claire Cronin drafted an amendment to the annual state budget to underhandedly sneak the deadly bill into law before the new year.
Following her action, both House and Senate approved the bill; but Baker rejected it.
"We expect our lawmakers to listen both to their hearts -- and their constituents," said C.J. Williams, MCFL Director of Community Engagement, "This bill is about abortion, at any cost. It is about so-called access--even to the detriment of women's health. It is not pro-choice, it is not pro-life. Kill this bill, not our babies -- and not our women!"
Members and other citizens will be contacting their state representatives all this week with just that message. Kill the bill, not the baby. H.5179 was vetoed for good reason; and MCFL expects our lawmakers in Massachusetts to respect the lives of its citizens and the voices of their constituents.
“Tell them Massachusetts MUST do better than the”R.O.E.” Act,” said MCFL President, Myrna Maloney Flynn, “For all of our citizens: Our women, our infants, and our daughters.”'
Easy-to-use list of state representatives here. You're the one they need to hear from -- tell them to kill the bill, not the baby, and to sustain the veto!
Are you as excited as I am to finally see 2020 coming to an end?
Without question, 2020 was one of the most difficult storms all of us have had to weather. But one thing is certain: we powered through those many challenges together.
This year showed us what matters most in life, and also that we really don’t know what may happen in the next month…or even next year.
I know this may be a tough ask considering all that has happened this year, but because of you, we have a lot to be grateful for! Here are a few of the accomplishments you’ve made possible in 2020 because of your membership with MCFL:
- We forged a new partnership with Tom Harvey, Esq. and his Alliance to Stop Taxpayer Funding of Abortion. Together, in the months ahead, we will work to add a ballot initiative question to individual ballots in the coming years, in an effort to prevent your money from funding abortions in Massachusetts;
- We recruited more activists and volunteers this year than any year prior, who dedicated their time and energy educating others on the dangers of the R.O.E. Act while also promoting a life-affirming message in their communities;
- We engaged with every state legislator to educate him or her on the dangers of the R.O.E. Act. The result? A bill akin to those that sailed through states like New York and Virginia has yet to pass here in Massachusetts -- and has even been met with resistance by our governor -- due to your partnership with MCFL;
- We partnered with students at Harvard Right to Life to host the first Annual Dr. Mildred Fay Jefferson Symposium, where pro-life all-star Stephanie Gray Connors debated notorious abortion supporter Professor Peter Singer;
- MCFL’s online educational materials appeared over 1.51 million times in Google searches, resulting in nearly 50,000 engagements, mostly with students doing research and requesting quotes and interviews with MCFL staff and leadership;
- We held our first virtual event with abortion survivor Melissa Ohden and civil rights icon, Dr. Alveda King, bringing our events to the 21st century and reaching wider audiences;
We have a lot to be proud of in 2020, but we also have a LOT of work to do looking ahead to 2021.
First, it is blatantly obvious the pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood and NARAL of Massachusetts are furious with us for the amount of pressure you and your fellow MCFL members put on legislators. Despite many of their deplorable votes in favor of the heinous R.O.E. Act, many legislators were made very uncomfortable and only did so because they were threatened with having the pro-abortion machine run someone against them in a future primary. Of course, that still is no excuse for voting in favor of irresponsible legislation that endangers the lives of our women, girls and infants!
Additionally, Governor Baker, who is a self-proclaimed “pro-choice” politician, vetoed the new abortion bill (H. 5179) on Christmas Eve. This only happened because of you and your fellow MCFL members calling and emailing his office relentlessly. Yet the House and Senate chose to override his veto. Our work is not done yet!
As we look ahead to 2021 two things are perfectly clear:
We will be increasing our education efforts for students, the general public, and especially for legislators. We know our educational efforts are creating a more pro-life generation among the youth in our state. We saw a lot of people come over to our side when we explained the R.O.E. Act to them, and so we need to start re-educating the general public about the humanity of the unborn child and the horrors of abortion.
- MCFL will be taking on our largest pro-life recruitment efforts in the organization’s history. We hope to identify thousands of new pro-life individuals in the state who can help us in our grassroots pro-life efforts. We cannot allow the pro-abortion lobby to continue to have the influence they do in our state anymore. We must counter their efforts with a strong and robust pro-life organization. MCFL is the only single-issue organization dedicated to the LIFE issue that can accomplish this.
In order to do this, we need to raise an additional $30,000 before midnight on December 31st. This is an ambitious goal, but if everyone receiving this email gave their most generous gift today, we would easily reach our goal -- and begin our work immediately.
Can I count on you now to make an end-of-year contribution to MCFL to help us end 2020 on an optimistic, hopeful, life-affirming note? If yes, use this link to make your generous gift now: https://www.masscitizensforlife.org/2020campaign
As the only single-issue pro-life organization in Massachusetts, we rely 100% on the generosity of our faithful members and donors to accomplish our pro-life mission.
All of us at Massachusetts Citizens for Life are ready to fight on your behalf, but we need your help. Please click here to make your end-of-year gift today. Thank you! I look forward to updating you on our ascent to $30,000 in the coming days. Together, we can do it!
Myrna Maloney Flynn
President, Massachusetts Citizens for Life
ACTION ALERT: Call Your State SENATOR!
Look up your senator at this link: http://malegislature.gov/search/findmylegislator
Governor Charlie Baker vetoed H.5179 on Christmas Eve
This week, it returned to the House of Representatives, where it originated. The House overrode the governor's veto. What we need you to do is email, call, and send social media messages to your state senator, and to at least two others on the list here asking them to sustain the veto. While messages from constituents will make the largest impact, we need ALL Massachusetts citizens to continue to email and call their senators.
--Thank you all who called the below representatives tirelessly this last week urging them to stand with courage for the lives our little ones and women.
We we will be providing a roll-call vote record when we have it, showing how your representatives voted on the veto. You can then choose to vote these men or women out of office. This is the original list, linked here.
These men and women have committed to upholding the rights of our fellow citizens, and creating just and life-affirming laws. An elitist, out-of-touch legislature is not a just governing body; we look forward to removing the men and women from office who have not voted to protect life in our state.
MOST CURRENT UPDATE on the "R.O.E." Act -- refiled as H.5179 (12/17/2020)
"R.O.E." failed to pass committee review after thousands of citizens gathered to oppose it in bth 2019 and 2020. Pro-abortion lobbyists then inserted the provisions found in "R.O.E" into the annual state budget, where house and senate versions were reconciled as "section 40" and sent to Governor Baker for approval or veto. Governor Baker had previously stated that he would veto "R.O.E" and reject any legislation including its provisions that legalize passive infanticide and remove parental consent. Baker rejected most of the pro-abortion provisions, including the lowering of consent for our children to 16 and removing parental consent. He left in provisions that would permit passive infanticide.
Representatives Marc Lombardo and Allyson Sullivan have introduced an amendment to the state budget to protect our infants born alive during an abortion, “Guaranteeing Medical Care to Babies Born Alive,” which reads as follows:
If an abortion is performed pursuant to section 12-N, the facility where the abortion is performed shall maintain life-supporting equipment, as defined by the department of public health, the physician performing the abortion must use life saving measures to preserve the life and health of a live birth and the patient.
Contact your state representative to ask him or to support the amendment, "Guaranteeing Medical Care to Babies Born Alive," and tell them you expect them to support a veto of the budget if it includes the "R.O.E" Act's
You can look up your senator at MALEGISLATURE.GOV/findmylegislator
The following post is adapted from Secular Pro-Life's resources, and an article by the extraordinary lawyer and human rights advocate, Kelsey Hazzard. Additional information regarding Massachusetts provided by C.J. Williams.
Despite conventional wisdom, there's zero quantifiable data to support the idea that all or even most late-term abortions are medically necessary.
Defining our terms.
First, the phrase "late-term abortion" is ill-defined. We've had past posts where we were including anything after the first trimester, but to be more conservative, this post is only for abortions performed at 21 weeks or later. [Update 2/8/20: some complain the term "late-term abortion" is not a medical term and/or is made up by pro-lifers. See this thread for examples of abortion providers, Guttmacher, and the media using the phrase "late-term abortion" over the years.]
Second, when we say "medically necessary" we're referring to abortions where the reasons cited were risk to the woman's life, risk to the woman's health, or fetal abnormalities.
Objections to the "medically necessary" definition.
We understand that many pro-life people object to characterizing some or all of these situations as "medically necessary abortions." Some people don't consider a procedure that destroys a fetus an "abortion" if the procedure is done to save the woman's life. Some don't believe there are any scenarios where a woman's life or health is better protected by late-term abortion than by induction of labor or c-section. Some view abortion due to fetal abnormalities as a type of involuntary euthanasia, not medically necessary to the woman and not clearly in the best interest of the fetus. Some especially object to calling abortions "medically necessary" for fetal abnormalities because not all such fetal abnormalities are life-threatening to the fetus (possibly the most controversial example being the very high rate of abortionwhen the fetus has Down syndrome).
SPL recognizes some relevant points here (click through to "Further Reading" for more thoughts on these subjects). But for this blog post, we leave all that aside. Here we're not debating whether and when abortion is justified for maternal health and life or for fetal abnormalities. We're demonstrating that even if you believe all of these reasons constitute medically necessary abortions, most late-term abortions are still not medically necessary.
In reality, most women seek 21+ week abortions for non-medical reasons, such as:
- Not realizing sooner that they were pregnant,
- Struggling to find the time and money for later abortion procedures (which are more complicated and expensive than earlier procedures), and
- Difficulty deciding whether they wanted to continue carrying the pregnancy.
BREAKING: GOVERNOR BAKER LINE-VETOES ABORTION SECTION OF STATE BUDGET (ROE ACT)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- DECEMBER 11, 2020 -- This afternoon, Massachusetts governor, Charlie Baker, approved the 46B state budget bill but line-vetoed segments of Section 40, which contained egregious provisions, expanding abortion.
He retained the section permitting abortion at and after 24 weeks in cases of so-called "fatal fetal abnormalities", even though that term is ambiguous and not defined in the bill and opens the door to fatal error. Hope Dupell, who just celebrated her first birthday, was diagnosed with a lethal condition while in the womb. Fortunately, she thrives today as a living example of a life that a deadly mistake under this provision would have extinguished.
"Although there remains much in this bill with which to take issue, we thank Governor Baker for the common sense recommendation to raise the age for consent to abortion to 18,” said MCFL Executive Director, Patricia Stewart. Massachusetts Citizens for Life.
Massachusetts Citizens for Life
Massachusetts single solely-dedicated pro-life human rights organization since 1973.
Hundreds of citizens gathered today on the State House steps, despite a Nor'easter the dumped sheets of rain on demonstration. Why were there out in frigid wind and pouring rain on a December weekend?
This past couple of months, abortion lobbyists--having failed to convince the public or our lawmakers to approve of the "R.O.E" Act, underhandedly inserted it as an amendment to our state budget. Both state and house versions of the budget were approved; and the bill was reconciled by committee and sent to the governor's desk as section 40 of our annual state budget.
This section, a slightly repackaged "R.O.E.", has now --
- made legal doctors allowing to die a baby born alive during an abortion
- removed parental consent for underage girls entering an abortion clinic
- removed all penalties in current law for violations of the law in regard to abortion; an abortionist cannot be prosecuted for harming the woman
- expanded late-term abortions up to birth
These provisions directly contradict our national and state principles of protecting the vulnerable, defending individual human lives, and supplying the highest level of medical to patients regardless of their background or resources. Under these extreme abortion-promoting provisions, women like Melissa will be left to die. Under these provisions, women like Keisha Atkins will continue to be abused, used, and die from late-term abortionists like Curtis Boyd. Under these provisions, an abortion can be performed by any medical worker, without having a license or MD.
Who wouldn't rally in the hundreds and thousands to oppose "R.O.E."?
The gathering included citizens from across the state.
Because, as Fernando--one of the many young demonstrators--said: "#SaveMABabies!"
As MCFL members, fellow pro-lifers, and citizens who would have identified as pro-choice under other circumsances, dropped roses on the steps, they asked Governor Baker: Please veto section 40.
Massachusetts can do better. Massachusetts deserves better.
To all of you who showed up in the driving rain, thank you.
To all of you who called tirelessly, sent letters, and posted on social media, thank you!
"We must participate, as citizens, inongoing activities to replace the discriminatory and lethal solution of abortion with support, love, and authentic equality," said C.J. Williams, MCFL director of community engagement, "And Governor Baker, thank you for opposing legislation that promotes violence, that removes authentic care, from our state law. We need to reject access over safety, and reject section 40."