Thursday, August 27, 2015

Upcoming pro-life dates and Sam Blumenfeld, RIP

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Please save these dates.  I'll be telling you more as the time approaches:
September 12: National Day of Prayer for Aborted Babies 
For more information, visit

October 14: Celebration of Life Day on Beacon Hill
Great Hall, Massachusetts State House
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM, Lunch included
RSVP required:

October 17: Death with Real Dignity Seminar
Hagan Campus Center Hall, Assumption College, Worcester, MA
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM 

October 18: Pro-Life Presentation with Elinor McCullen 
St. Catherine Parish, Norwood, MA
3:00 PM

October 22: MCFL Fundraising Banquet with Karen Santorum
Four Points by Sheraton, Norwood, MA
6:00 PM Reception, 7:00 PM Dinner

 Sam Blumenfeld, educator and author, was always a welcome, pleasant pro-life face at conservative events.  I will miss seeing Sam.  Anne

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

8th video in full: volume orders and a video you will love

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As you know, a judge in CA lifted the injunction against showing videos of StemExpress workers. The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) immediately released a preview the 8th in its videogate series. In it StemExpress admits that it buys and resells intact babies.              
I think these videos are excellent teachers. CMP uses the spiral method of teaching. They introduce the concept, then reinforce it and introduce the next. So we learned that Planned Parenthood (PP) is selling baby parts, then we learned that abortions were being done at times and with methods to get certain parts, then that mothers often had not given consent, and so on. I want to point out here that mothers can legally give consent only to experiments whose purpose is to help their children, born or unborn. PP knows that "getting permission" is a crock. Since each video adds some new atrocity, it is hard to imagine what will be in the four more.
This is a fine presentation of what is in the entire video - enough so that you don't have to watch if you can't.

If you want to share any of the previous videos with others,we have them at

VIDEO ALL CAN WATCH: the PP Protest in Worcester,  Also, it appears there were a lot more than the 300 people reported in Boston and I just heard there were 80 people in Fitchburg.

This is a moment that we must seize!  Anne
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Monday, August 24, 2015

Tom needs help with petitions

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Initiative Petition to Amend the State Constitution

to Allow the State Legislature to Outlaw Public Funding of Abortion

Did you know Massachusetts taxpayers pay for abortions?

  • In 1981, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court referred to abortion as a "fundamental right" and said that the Massachusetts Constitution afforded a greater degree of protection to that right than did the U.S. Constitution.
  • This ruling went further by determining that some Massachusetts women, depending on their financial status, had a constitutional right to have their abortions paid for by the taxpayer.

    What We Need to Do . . .

    First Step - Amend the State Constitution

  • The Massachusetts Alliance to Stop Public Funding of Abortion,, recently filed a petition to amend the state constitution to begin the process of ending taxpayer subsidized abortions in Massachusetts.This amendment would remove public funding of abortion from the courts and make it an issue for the state legislature
  • The amendment would lay the groundwork so that in the future the legislature could vote to stop that funding.

    How to Start . . .

    Collect Certified Signatures

  • 64,750 certified signatures needed, therefore close to twice that many need to be collected
  • Signatures must be collected between September 16 and November 18, 2015.
  • After the signatures are collected, the Massachusetts State Senate and House, meeting in joint session, must pass the language in two sessions with at least 25% of the vote.


We need YOUR help to collect signatures! Please consider volunteering to help get this important petition drive moving forward. Please call Tom Harvey at 781-312-8755 or email:

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Planned Parenthood Protests: Organizers say "Just the beginning"

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As you can see from the articles below, the PP Protests in Massachusetts were huge, full of good messages and good cheer!  More than 300 people were in Boston and more than 350 in Worcester.  The media not only showed up but reported fairly!  Congratulations to all those who organized this splendid event!
National organizers report more than 75,000 participants nationally.  They have assured local organizers that this is just the beginning!  Thanks to everyone involved!  Anne

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Friday, August 21, 2015

Doctor-Prescribed Suicide Poll in Boston Globe. VOTE NOW

8th video: proof Planned Parenthood sells fully intact babies

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Shortly after a judge in California issued a ruling late Friday  that the biotech firm StemExpress couldn't block the Center for Medical Progress from releasing another video that shows what it does with aborted babies it buys from Planned Parenthood, CMP put up a preview of its 8th video.


In the video, Cate Dyer, the CEO of StemExpress, is shown in a lunch meeting with undercover operatives posing as representatives of a biotech firm. Dyer is laughing about how StemExpress purchases fully intact aborted babies from Planned Parenthood. She laughs about how shippers of the aborted babies would give a warning to lab workers to expect such a baby. 

At least for the moment, StemExpress has ceased doing business with PP.


And I just read that House Speaker Boehner's Health Policy Director Charlotte Ivancic, is the sister of Cate Dyer, the CEO of Stem Express?

It will be a real breath of fresh air to see all you dedicated, life-affirming people at Saturday's PP Protests.  Thanks to the wonderful people who have done all the organizing!  Anne


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Thursday, August 20, 2015

National Right to Life: a breath of fresh air

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I was so delighted to receive this note from Jacki Ragan at NRL.  Their wholesome, life-affirming project is just what we need to counter the sickness and degradation of all the Planned Parenthood revelations.  Thanks, Guys!  Anne


If you've been on social media recently, it is likely that The Center for Medical Progress undercover videos of Planned Parenthood's gruesome practices have dominated your news feed.  As the right-to-life movement, it is up to us to shine a light on the dark, grisly reality of abortion and to show the value and beauty of life.  That's why we are launching the "Hug a Baby" social media campaign.

This project will engage the public by inviting them to share images of their babies (born or unborn), themselves, and their children with a message about the value human life, and using the hashtag #cantputapriceonlife. 

Participants will also be asked to make a contribution to National Right to Life with the goal of funding our massive, nationwide campaign to educate tens of millions of Americans about Planned Parenthood, and urging them to help us stop tax dollars from fattening the coffers of any abortion provider.  

Here's how YOU can take part:

  • Create a unique sign with messages like: "Life is priceless," "You can't put a price on life," "Every life has value," "Love, no matter what," You can also visit (the site will be live on Thursday, August 20) to download a sign template and write your personalized message.
  • Take a picture of yourself or a loved one with a baby or child and holding the message,
  • Post this photo on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, using the hashtag:  #CantPutAPriceOnLife. 
  • Share this far and wide with other pro-lifers, and encourage them to participate in the project and hug a baby and show America that you can't put a price on life!  

Babies represent life, love, happiness, optimism, innocence, goodness and the future. This is the perfect, positive way to work against the darkness of the abortion industry. 

For their lives,
Jacki Ragan, Director
State Organizational Development
National Right to Life Committee, Inc.


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Planned Parenthood Protests each with different time. Buses to Boston

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Protest times:

Worcester: 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Springfield: 9:00 AM - Noon

Boston: 10:00 AM - Noon

Fitchburg: Noon - 2:00pm


Buses to Boston:

A bus from Norwood will be stopping in Dedham leaving at 9AM.  To ride the bus, please call Anne at 781-769-5398 or email

A bus will leave from St. Patrick's Parish parking lot,118 South Broadway, Lawrence, MA promptly at 9 am. Please contact Gus Mendieta at 978-973-6415 if you would like to take that bus.   They need a list to be sure bus is going to be full enough to run.

Boston will have signs, the others will not. Participants are encouraged to make and bring their own signs and banners. 


Worcester, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM

WHAT: Press conference, prayer vigil and protest signs calling attention to Planned Parenthood's baby parts trafficking

WHERE: Planned Parenthood, 470 Pleasant St., Worcester MA


Anne Fox - Massachusetts Citizens For Life

Lee Crowley - Vigil Coordinator for 40 Days for Life - Worcester

Rod Murphy - Director of Problem Pregnancy

Catherine Anthony Adair - Former Planned Parenthood Worker

Most Rev. Robert J. McManus - Roman Catholic Bishop of Worcester. He will recite the rosary and Divine Mercy chaplet at 10 AM.


Parking in and around the Worcester Planned Parenthood location is limited to the neighborhood streets.  Before parking, please read the street signs to ensure you are not parked illegally or in designated resident parking only areas. Do not park in the lot of the Medical building at 475 Pleasant St. Your car could be towed. Given that a large crowd is expected, it is strongly recommended that if  you can car pool to the event, you do so.


Springfield: 9:00 AM - Noon 

WHAT: Prayer Vigil

WHERE: Planned Parenthood, 3550 Main Street, Springfield, MA

Boston, 10:00 AM - Noon

WHAT: Press conference, prayer vigil and protest signs calling attention to Planned Parenthood's baby parts trafficking

WHERE: Planned Parenthood, 1055 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA  SPEAKERS:  

Representative Jim Lyons and his wife, Bernadette 

Reverend Michael McNamara 

C. J. Doyle - Catholic Action League  

Bill Cotter - Operation Rescue, 

Rita Russo – Vigil Coordinator of 40 Days for Life - Boston


Fitchburg: Noon - 2:00 PM 

WHAT: Prayer Vigil

WHERE: Planned Parenthood, 391 Main Street, Fitchburg, MA

After seeing videos, Americans say, "De-Fund Planned Parenthood"

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Lifenews has articles of note:

Poll: After Seeing Videos of Planned Parenthood Selling Aborted Babies, Americans Say De-Fund It

Rick Santorum: Prosecute Planned Parenthood for Dissecting Live Baby, "Don't Let it Go Unpunished"


Also, a new report from the Cardinal Newman Society documents Catholic colleges who provide internships at Planned Parenthood.  Unfortunately, some Massachusetts schools make the report.


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Wednesday, August 19, 2015


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I can't even talk about it!  Anne

Center for Medical Progress director David Daleiden talked about the newest video (#7) his group released.
"Today's video contains heartrending admissions about the absolute barbarism of Planned Parenthood's abortion practice and baby parts sales in which fetuses are sometimes delivered intact and alive. Planned Parenthood is a criminal organization from the top down and should be immediately stripped of taxpayer funding and prosecuted for their atrocities against humanity."

According to Steve Ertelt at LifeNews, "This newest expose' video further confirms what Dr. Theresa Deisher, a world-renowned scientist in the field of stem cell research who holds patents after discovering adult stem cells in human hearts, said in a recent interview. Deisher helped the pro-life activists who spent three years recording undercover videos and capturing documents and information showing the Planned Parenthood abortion business selling aborted babies and their body parts.
"She says she has reviewed the information the activists collected and she is making a shocking claim that Planned Parenthood may be keeping some babies alive after the abortion procedure in order to better collect their organs for harvesting — such as their hearts.
'Biomedical companies prefer gestational ages of greater than 20 weeks for heart muscle,' she adds. 'This is from reading their publications; so, I have always suspected that the babies in some of these cases were alive until their hearts were cut out.'"

And U Mass is the latest publicly funded university to be caught buying baby parts.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

PP Protests: more locations, new information

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Organizers have added two more locations to the Aug 22 Planned Parenthood Protests.  Kudos to the wonderful people who have organized these protests!  Hope you can make it.  Anne
Fitchburg, Noon - 2:00pm391 Main Street and 
Springfield, 9:00 am - noon at 3550 Main Street
Boston,10am - noon at 1055 Commonwealth Avenue 
Speakers:  Representative Jim Lyons and his wife, Bernadette, Reverend Michael McNamara, C. J. Doyle of Catholic Action League,  Bill Cotter and Operation Rescue, Rita Russo and 40 Days for Life/Boston

Worcester, 9am - 11 am, 475 Pleasant Street
WHO: Concerned citizens of Worcester
WHAT: Press conference, prayer vigil and protest signs calling attention to Planned Parenthood's baby parts trafficking
WHERE: Planned Parenthood, 470 Pleasant St., Worcester MA
WHEN: August 22, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to11:00 a.m.

Speakers at the event include: Lee Crowley, Vigil Coordinator for 40 Days for Life Worcester; Rod Murphy, Director of Problem Pregnancy, a crisis pregnancy center offering women an alternative to abortion for over 30 years; Anne Fox, President of Massachusetts Citizens for Life; and Catherine Anthony Adair, former Planned Parenthood clinic worked whose life was changed after seeing the aftermath of a second trimester abortion. Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, Roman Catholic bishop of Worcester will recite the rosary and Divine Mercy chaplet during the   10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. hour.
Sandra sent two additional details:

Parking in and around the Worcester Planned Parenthood location is limited to the neighborhood streets.  Before parking, please read the street signs to ensure you are not parked illegally or in designated resident parking only areas. Do not park in the lot of the Medical building at 475 Pleasant St. Your car could be towed. Given that a large crowd is expected, it is strongly recommended that if  you can car pool to the event, you do so.

Signs  will not be distributed. Participants are encouraged to make and bring their own signs and banners. 

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DPS: We won in CA Court! Death lobby already filed new bill. Helpful article from Oregon.

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The Superior Court in CA ruled that state laws against doctor-prescribed suicide (D-PS) are constitutional, so death lobby has already filed a new bill to try again to legalize D-PS. 
Please read this article by Dr Bill Toffler in today's Wall Street Journal.  You will be moved and feel much better qualified to discuss the issue.
A Doctor-Assisted Disaster for Medicine
As a physician in Oregon, I have seen the dire effect of assisted-suicide laws on patients and my profession
 By William L. Toffler
Aug. 17, 2015 7:11 p.m. ET
Since the voters of Oregon narrowly legalized physician-assisted suicide 20 years ago, there has been a profound shift in attitude toward medical care—new fear and secrecy, and a fixation on death. Well over 850 people have taken their lives by ingesting massive overdoses of barbiturates prescribed under the law. Proponents claim the system is working well with no problems. This is not true.
As a professor of family medicine at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, as well as a licensed physician for 35 years, I have seen firsthand how the law has changed the relationship between doctors and patients, some of whom now fear that they are being steered toward assisted suicide.
In one case a patient with bladder cancer contacted me. She was concerned that an oncologist treating her might be one of the "death doctors," and she questioned his motives. This was particularly worrying to her after she obtained a second opinion from another oncologist who was more positive about her prognosis and treatment options. Whichever of the consultants was correct, such fears were never an issue before.
Under Oregon's law, a patient can request lethal drugs only if he has a terminal illness and less than six months to live. However, it is nearly impossible to predict the course of an illness six months out, and many patients given such prognoses live full, rewarding lives long past six months.
The law requires that patients be referred for psychological examination if the doctor suspects they have depression or mental illness. But some doctors see suicide as a solution to suffering and depression as rational given patients' circumstances. Last year only three of the 105 patients who died under the law were referred for a psychological exam.
2008 study published in the British Medical Journal examined 58 Oregonians who sought information on assisted suicide. Of them, 26% met the criteria for depressive disorder, and 22% for anxiety disorder. Three of the depressed individuals received and ingested the lethal drugs, dying within two months of being interviewed. The study's authors concluded that Oregon's law "may not adequately protect all mentally ill patients."
Also concerning are the regular notices I receive indicating that many important services and drugs for my patients—even some pain medications—will not be covered by the Oregon Health Plan, the state's Medicaid program. Yet physician-assisted suicide is covered by the state and our collective tax dollars. Supporters claim physician-assisted suicide gives patients choice, but what sort of a choice is it when life is expensive but death is free?
A shroud of secrecy envelops the practice of assisted suicide. Doctors engaging in it do not accurately report the actual manner of death. Instead they are required by state law to fabricate the death certificate, stating that the cause is "natural" rather than suicide. In late 1997, right before assisted suicide was about to begin, the state legislature implemented a system of two different death certificates—one that is public and includes no medical information and another that is kept private by the state. As a result, no one outside of the Oregon Health Division knows precisely how many assisted suicides have taken place, because accurately tracking them has been made impossible.
In my practice, more than two dozen patients have discussed assisted suicide with me. Most did not have a terminal diagnosis. One inquiry came from a patient with a progressive form of multiple sclerosis. He was in a wheelchair yet lived an active life as a general contractor. I asked him how the disease affected his life. He acknowledged that MS was a major challenge and told me that if he got too much worse, he might want to "just end it."
I told him I could understand his fear and frustration and even his belief that assisted suicide might be a good option. I also told him that should he become sicker or weaker, I would work to provide him the best care and support available. No matter how debilitated he might become, his life was, and would always be, inherently valuable. As such, I said that would I not recommend nor would I participate in his suicide. He simply replied: "Thank you."
The way that physicians respond to patients' requests for lethal drugs has a profound effect on their choices and their view of themselves and their inherent worth. Such patients deserve doctors who will support them through their illnesses, not offer them a quick exit.
One of the most troubling notions I hear is that killing oneself with sleeping pills is "dignified"—as if natural deaths aren't. Last year my wife, Marlene, died of metastatic cancer. We'd been married for 40 years. The final five years we both knew she would inevitably die of her cancer. At one point doctors told her that she had only three to nine months left, yet she lived more than four times as long.
While I treasure all of our years together, the last years of our marriage were among the best. There was great suffering but also great joy and meaning in the special moments we and our seven children shared together—moments that became all the more special the closer we came to the end of her life. I wouldn't trade a nanosecond of those last years. She died peacefully and naturally at home surrounded by her family and friends. She never took an overdose, yet her death and life had great dignity.
Some two dozen suicide bills have been introduced in legislatures around the country, from California to Maine. These states should heed the example of Oregon, where assisted suicide has been detrimental to patients, degraded the quality of medical care, and compromised the integrity of the medical profession.
There are some encouraging signs. In 2012 an assisted-suicide referendum narrowly failed in Massachusetts by two percentage points. The California senate passed a suicide bill in June, but it stalled in the state assembly after opposition to it mounted.
As a society we should continue to reject the legalization of physician-assisted suicide as a solution to suffering. Instead we must work to increase access to hospice and palliative care to better support those suffering from terminal illness. The sick and aging deserve better than Oregon's mistake.
Dr. Toffler is the national director of Physicians for Compassionate Care.

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Friday, August 14, 2015

See the BIG E for free!

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Every year, Massachusetts Citizens For Life has a large exhibit at the Eastern States Exposition, The Big E, in West Springfield, which had nearly 1.5 million visitors in 2014. The Big E is amazing - it has anything you can imagine in a huge fair! This year's 17-day event will be taking place September 18 - October 4, 2015.
MCFL is in need of volunteers to help us at our exhibit. Volunteers receive free entry to The Big E and get to meet so many nice people. This would make a great day for you and a friend. There are three time slots for volunteers: 10 AM - 2 PM, 2 - 6 PM, or 6 - 10 PM. Volunteers will hand out pro-life literature to visitors and engage in conversation with those who want more information. We can provide training for those who feel they need it, and you will be working with veteran volunteers.
If you are interested in helping volunteer, please contact Peggy Bradford at MCFL's Ludlow office: or 413-583-5034.
The Big E is quite the show. This is an opportunity to put the pro-life message before a huge number of people. I hope you can help. Thanks, Anne

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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Free training webinar on doctor-prescribed suicide - a must

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Let's face it, talking about abortion is easy: biologically we are dealing with a human being; we don't kill human beings.  Most of us do not have the same facility and confidence when speaking about doctor-prescribed suicide, so we really need training.

This is the last call for the training webinar scheduled for Aug. 18th from 2:00-3:30pm EDT.  If you have not already done so, please sign up here at your earliest convenience.

Instructions will go out to participants this afternoon.  Thanks very much!  Anne


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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

"E" Update

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Dear Friends,
You are amazing!  We have received emails from dozens of people who are seriously offering to adopt "E"'s baby and from parents of children with Down Syndrome offering to talk to "E".  Amazingly enough, Joe Fitzgerald had a beautiful column in the Herald yesterday about a baby who was diagnosed before birth with Down Syndrome and was born perfectly healthy, and is now 25 years old.
Cori is forwarding all the offers hoping that they will show "E" that she is not alone, that there are people out there with love and help for her and her husband and her baby.  Cori asks that, anyone who can, please come to the abortion clinic at 480 Lynnfield Street in Lynn on Wednesday  morning at 8:00 with encouraging signs.
I have always been grateful to be part of the community of pro-life people but never more than now!
Bless you all and please keep praying!



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Planned Parenthood Protest, August 22. See you there!

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Protest at Worcester Planned Parenthood Facility on August 22 warns: "PP Sells Baby Parts"


Worcester MA, August 7, 2015 — In light of recent revelations that Planned Parenthood has been harvesting and selling aborted baby parts, Sandra A. Kucharski, a local pro-life activist is calling for a protest at the Planned Parenthood facility at 475 Pleasant St.on August 22  from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. This effort is part of a National Day of Protest taking place at Planned Parenthood offices and abortion facilities all across the United States ( to raise awareness about Planned Parenthood's trafficking of aborted baby parts.

As a consequence of this public scandal, several states have initiated investigations of Planned Parenthood and legislation has been introduced in Congress to defund the abortion giant. Planned Parenthood currently receives over $500 million in taxpayer funding annually.


WHO: Concerned citizens of Worcester

WHAT: Press conference, prayer vigil and protest signs calling attention to Planned Parenthood's baby parts trafficking

WHERE: Planned Parenthood, 470 Pleasant St., Worcester MA

WHEN: August 22, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to11:00 a.m.


Speakers at the event include: Lee Crowley, Vigil Coordinator for 40 Days for Life Worcester; Rod Murphy, Director of Problem Pregnancy, a crisis pregnancy center offering women an alternative to abortion for over 30 years; Anne Fox, President of Massachusetts Citizens for Life; and Catherine Anthony Adair, former Planned Parenthood clinic worked whose life was changed after seeing the aftermath of a second trimester abortion. Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, Roman Catholic bishop of Worcester will recite the rosary and Divine Mercy chaplet during the  10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. hour.


The coalition is headed by Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, Created Equal, 40 Days for Life and the Pro-Life Action League, and is co-sponsored by fifty state and national pro-life organizations.


Planned Parenthood selling body parts of aborted babies

10:00 am - 12 noon




40 Days for Life and Operation Rescue are joining over 50 other pro-life organizations across the country to protest Planned Parenthood's harvesting and selling of body parts of aborted babies. Undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress show high-level Planned Parenthood executives haggling over the prices of fetal specimens. Federal laws prohibit profiting from such sales. It is also immoral. Help us spread the word for a great turn out!

You can see the videos here: 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Prayers needed for Melrose, MA woman planning abortion on Wednesday

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A 33-year-old mother,"E", was very excited to be a mom.  She has been told her baby, who is 17 weeks, has Down Syndrome, but is healthy otherwise.  "E" has decided that she cannot handle the situation, so she has made an appointment for an abortion on Wednesday.  She says she feels like a "monster".
Please pray with all your might for "E" and her baby.  
Cori asks that, anyone who can, please come to the abortion clinic at 500 Lynnfield Street in Lynn on Wednesday morning with encouraging signs.
Bless you!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Doctor-Prescribed Suicide Webinar

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Here is your personal invitation to this most important webinar.  Doctor-prescribed suicide will be coming to the Mass legislature at the end of October.  Everyone is gearing up for a battle.  Please join the webinar so you can help!  

You are cordially invited to a 1 ½ hour webinar sponsored by the Patients Rights Action Fund on Tuesday, August 18 from 2:00pm  to 3:30pm eastern time (ET).  We encourage you to participate and  promote this webinar widely to colleagues and coalition partners.  Here is your invitation and registration:

It has been an historical year where opponents have beaten back attempts to legalize doctor-prescribed suicide in numbers of states.   But, our work is not done as Compassion and Choices will continue this assault into 2016.  It is imperative that we accelerate our efforts to protect the vulnerable from this deadly practice.   Please let me know if you have questions.  We look forward to having your participation in the webinar.


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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

5th PP video: "It was a twin"

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Well, it is Tuesday - PP's bad day of the week!  New video shows dissection of 20-week intact baby for body parts at Planned Parenthood
I must admit I have not watched any of these videos - just read about them which is more than enough for outrage. 
I think CMP is very clever they way they are weaving the videos, reinforcing points already made and constantly moving the horror forward.  
Our dear friend, Michael New points out that the vote in the Senate last night was a huge step in the right direction
You may wish to read about how women in this country can well get along without PP.

De-funding Planned Parenthood blocked in U. S. Senate

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Steve Ertelt explains what happened when Republican senators, led by Joni Ernst from Iowa, tried to pull all funding from Planned Parenthood.  I am thrilled that Joni is such a leader for life.  I think I was probably her first out of state donor when she ran in 2014.  Next step, appropriations in the House.  Anne

Friday, July 31, 2015

"Fetus may come out intact..." and some good news!

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This video, #4, contains some of the same grisly footage from #3, but CMP keeps moving things along.  Planned Parenthood officials are now talking about babies who are born alive and, at one point, the technician announces, "Another a boy!"
Some good news!  We finished the Summer Academy last night.  Our speakers, Linda Thayer, Cori Connor Morse, Joan Bailey, Henry Luthin, Katie Elrod, and Matt Hanafin were truly top-notch.  I learned something from each one.  The students shared what they had found very valuable.  Each one had something different from a speaker or as a general theme.  Haley and Tim both spoke about their gratitude to be able to work with other like-minded students.  We sometimes forget what it is like out there!

One night the students testified about legislation before a "legislative committee".  One of the committee members asked Peter about doing something with an elderly person.  Peter shot right back, "You can't do that,  He's a person"  God is good!  Anne
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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Healey statement: "Planned Parenthood 'fully compliant' with the law"

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Attorney General, Maura Healey has followed up on the questions raised by State Rep, Jim Lyons, about Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts and any involvement in the baby body parts trafficking that is taking place at PP's around the country.   Healey issued a statement saying that PPLM is not involved with furnishing baby parts.  I would have felt more comfortable with her report if she had not used the opportunity as AG to voice strong support for the organization. "I will fight to support Planned Parenthood and preserve the essential health services that they provide to so many women.  I urge everyone who cares about these issues to do the same."  It is encouraging, however, that her office heeded the call to investigate and we thank her for that.  Anne

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PP: judge blocks pro-life group from airing...footage

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One of those shocking headlines like so many where we are not surprised when we get clobbered.  This is the first coverage I have seen, so I am not sure but it seems to me that the group who went to court is Stem Express and that the judge has blocked only footage which features their employees.  Let's hope we'll get next Tuesday's installment from Center for Medical Progress on time.  As Laurie likes to say, "breaking..."  Anne

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Summer Academy Surprise!

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The Summer Academy is going so well!  Last Friday we had 6 students registered.  By opening night on Monday, 13 students attended.  Last night there were 19 students!  They are so enthusiastic about life - it is wonderful!
Linda, Thayer, Cori Connor-Morse, and Joan Baily from Friends of the Unborn have presented (in that order).  I hope the youngsters realize how very, very lucky they are.  I wish we could have everyone hear these amazing ladies.  It was hot on Monday night, so Fr Michael, Pastor of St Joseph, Needham, moved us to a cool location.
We still have coming up Henry Luthin, Katie Elrod, and Matt Hanafin, as well as presentations by the students.
The Summer Academy is always such fun!


"Last Stand"

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We are so proud of Nancy Valco, who spoke at the MCFL Convention in March.  Nancy was just awarded a national People of Life award by Cardinal O'Malley.  She certainly deserves it.  Nancy sends out wonderful information.  "Last Stand " is a must-read!  Congratulations, Nancy!  Anne

Friday, 24 July 2015 
E. Wesley Ely

The first time I saw Jessa, she lay crumpled in the ICU bed, paralyzed, expressionless and unable to speak. A military veteran, she had fought in Desert Storm, but she now was facing a deadlier and more inexorable foe: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), aka Lou Gehrig's disease.
This disease causes progressive loss of muscle control, and Jessa was unable to speak, eat or breathe on her own. Her only means of communicating was through small facial movements--opening and closing her eyes or mouth, raising her eyebrows.
A dozen people made up her ICU team: three interns, three residents, a pharmacist, a nurse, a respiratory therapist, a social worker, a hospital chaplain and myself--the lead physician, or intensivist.
My intensivist mind, trained to seek solutions, skitters down a patient's problem list in search of answers. And Jessa's list was extensive: she needed a feeding tube, IV fluids, diapers and a special bed to prevent bed sores, antibiotics for a newly contracted pneumonia, intermittent sedation to ease anxiety and narcotics for chronic back pain.
But now, listening to the respirator pumping air into Jessa's lungs and felt her intense cobalt gaze on me, I saw one thing clearly: any concerns about antibiotics or nutrition took second place to a larger question.
"What do we know of Jessa's wishes about staying on a ventilator, now and in the coming weeks and months?" I asked the team when we stepped outside the room to confer.
"Her chart says that she wanted to be placed on a ventilator when she couldn't breathe on her own," said one resident.
"Look how long Stephen Hawking has lived that way," the nurse chimed in.
"I don't think we should look at someone else's life," another resident burst out, clearly frustrated. "She's suffering. I'd never want to live like this. She probably didn't know it would be this way when she requested life support."
I listened, having no strong opinion of my own as yet.
At that moment, Jessa's husband Zach walked into the ICU. We shared our concerns about Jessa's situation and asked him about her wishes.
Calmly, he replied, "Doctors, while it wouldn't necessarily be my choice, Jessa does want life support so that she can have as much time as possible with me and the people around her. She was raised to believe that all life, however frail, is sacred. It might seem paradoxical, but that was a key reason she joined the military--to defend life and freedom."
Later that morning, he shared his own wish: "Just make sure Jessa knows that she's not a burden, and that serving her is our privilege."
This conversation led to others over the next two weeks, and they sparked what I now see as a transformative period in my growth as a physician and in my understanding of patients like Jessa.
The next day, Zach told us more. "Jessa was born in Germany; she's bilingual. We've been married for twenty-seven years. We have no living children--we had several miscarriages. I'm all the family she has."
It had been Jessa's dream to serve as an American soldier. After they married, she enlisted and was deployed to Iraq as a diesel mechanic--one woman among over 1,000 men. "She got caught under a tank once and smashed her head getting out," Zach recounted. "They flew her to an army hospital in Germany, and she recovered and went back. She's tough as nails."
More than twenty years later, he said, she was diagnosed with ALS. "I've learned a ton from her about serving without concern for self," he added. "And now I'm learning even more. The amazing way she adjusts to whatever life throws at her....She's constantly recalibrating my vision of how to make the most of every moment. Like today, she's on that breathing machine, and she just smiled at me with her eyes."
In those few minutes, Zach revealed our silent, nearly motionless patient as a heroic person--someone I admired not only for her technological skills but for her pioneering attitude and resolve. I got an inkling of why she was fiercely holding onto the time she had left.
Still, some team members continued to see her quality of life (or QOL) as unacceptable. More than once, they called it "hellish."
When I told Zach this, he said, "Jessa once said she believes hell to be the absence of hope, just as cold is the absence of heat and darkness the absence of light. Now that you're getting to know her, can you see that she doesn't consider her illness hellish?" He whispered, "She's surrounded by love."
These discussions, as difficult as they were, marked a major shift in my understanding. I began to see how often I impose my own QOL standards onto patients--a fundamental clinical error.
Researching the empirical data, I learned that ALS and other "locked-in" patients often rate their QOL as acceptable despite their physical debility. Their focus shifts to less tangible qualities--transcendence, spirituality and security. Pondering this, I realized more and more clearly how, in this particular situation, it was Jessa's values and perceptions that mattered, not mine.
Our role, I saw, was to dive into the chaos of Jessa's life and offer her care and comfort despite our inability to cure her.
Over the next week, we worked with our palliative-care team to ease Jessa's pain, anxiety and delirium (which receded along with her pneumonia).
Every day, I made a point of remembering bioethicist Edmund Pellegrino's words: "Healing can occur when the patient is dying even when cure is impossible." With this in mind, I asked Zach if Jessa would enjoy being read to, as our team had done with other patients.
"Doc, she loves poems and the Psalms," he said immediately. We began to take turns reading to her every day.
On Jessa's last day with us before she was to leave for a long-term care facility, I chose Edna St. Vincent Millay's Sonnet XXX.
"Love can not fill the thickened lung with breath, nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone; yet many a man is making friends with death, even as I speak, for lack of love alone...."
As I read, Jessa's mouth opened wide, in a smile brighter than any we'd yet seen from her.
The medical student across the bed from me began to cry. "From joy and amazement," the student later said.
Seeing Jessa's smile and the student's tears, I felt my mind stop in its tracks. Time stood still.
Jessa had lifted us above the physical realities of our existence and into something mystical. I can't explain it, and I almost don't want to try. Let's just say that she gave us a private treasure, one that I will always savor as a gift I never expected or deserved.
I squeezed Jessa's hands, holding her eyes with mine. Finally she looked away and up to the ceiling, and I stood in thought beside her.
Although my team and I loomed over Jessa as she lay in her bed, I knew that in spirit she soared high above us.

About the author:
E. Wesley Ely is a professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and associate director of aging research for the Tennessee Valley VA Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Centers. He has authored more than 275 peer-reviewed articles. He and his wife, Kim Ely, a surgical pathologist at Vanderbilt, have three lovely daughters. His reflective writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, JAMA, Annals of Internal Medicine and elsewhere. "I got into writing as an outgrowth of being raised by a single mom, Diana Ely, who was an English teacher and director of Shakespeare. Without this form of reflective writing, I'd never be able to process the immense gift of being immersed in the lives of countless wonderful patients, each of whom has a unique story and path."