Four takeaways from Mass. Citizens for Life Convention ’16

The scene was Assumption College in Worcester for Massachusetts Citizens for Life’s 2016 convention on April 2. A packed program for seven hours meant some concurrent sessions. That made for difficult choices, but no bad ones. See photos of the event on the MCFL Facebook page.

A few observations:

A film called “Hush” is going to grab your attention.

The convention featured the screening of a film that you’re going to want to see and share. “Hush” is from two filmmakers with opposing views of abortion who found that they shared  genuine, open curiosity about abortion’s effect on women’s health.

Pro-choice documentary filmmaker Punam Kumar Gill and pro-life producer Joses Martin explored that subject, not knowing where it would lead. What they found was clinical evidence of a link between abortion and breast cancer – a link that has been “hushed up.” They also saw how in different parts of the world, preborn girls are usually the ones targeted in sex-selection abortions. Gill and Martin saw the money-making side of the abortion industry and the effects of abortion on a woman’s later pregnancies.

“Hush” is the result. Gill remains pro-choice, but she doesn’t deny or turn away from her infuriating findings. She calls for open, honest dialogue.

The film’s web site includes a brief trailer and information on the crowdfunding effort that is making distribution possible.

We need to listen to former abortion workers who have turned their backs on the industry – and help them share their stories.

Catherine Adair, well-known to longtime readers of this blog, spoke at the convention about her time as a Planned Parenthood employee and about her pro-life conversion. I looked around the room during her presentation and saw the rapt faces of people who were obviously hearing a former abortion worker for the first time.

This was a pro-life crowd, and still, what Catherine had to say was new to many of the people in the room. I will never again assume that “everybody” already knows what goes on in the abortion industry.

I looked at Catherine while “Hush” was being screened, and saw her nodding as former abortion workers were interviewed in the documentary. She later affirmed that what she heard in the film was consistent with what she herself saw at PP.

Abby Johnson has written, “I have been told by several former workers that they will never come forward with their stories, because they are so scared of how they will be treated by us – by us, the supposed ‘Christian’ movement.” I thought of that as I listened to Catherine. In a way, in telling her own story, she’s speaking on behalf of those women and men who have left the abortion industry silently. They have yet to tell their own stories – and those stories won’t be easy to hear.

Let’s hear it for oratory contests (and the students who participate).

A high school student named Isabelle was named winner of MCFL’s Dr. Mildred F. Jefferson Oratory Contest, and she chose a topic that’s not on the radar of many students her age: assisted suicide and euthanasia, concentrating on the grim situation in parts of Europe where it’s legal to euthanize children. Let it be known that the rising generation sees what’s going on.

(MCFL is now raising money to send Isabelle and a chaperone to the National Right to Life convention, where she’ll compete with contest winners from other states.)

Isabelle’s presentation reminded me that a New Hampshire pro-life group used to sponsor a student oratory contest, long ago.  There’s an annual pro-life essay contest sponsored by the New Hampshire Knights of Columbus, and as a writer, I applaud that. Still…it sure would be nice to give budding speakers some encouragement, too. What do you think?

Flee the MOLST.

Just when you thought you had the advance-directive landscape all figured out for end-of-life care, along comes a new kind of document. Medical orders for life-sustaining treatment (MOLST) is here – a law authorizing them quietly passed in New Hampshire a couple of years ago – and they’re a problem.

Sandra Kucharski, R.N. began her presentation to the MCFL convention by asking her listeners to make a grocery list. No other guidelines – just a grocery list. After a few minutes, she announced,”You’ve just made a list for food enough to feed a bunch of people at a 4th of July barbecue in 2020.” Whaaaat? When we didn’t know what we were making a list for….aha. So it is with MOLST.

More about MOLST on this blog in a later post. For now, I intend to avoid signing one, while making sure my health care proxy and advance directive (which is NOT a living will, thank you very much) are still in place.


I could go on: speakers on Silent No More, youth ministry, RU-486 reversal, sex education in Massachusetts and its link to the abortion industry, the Texas abortion regulations now at the Supreme Court, and effective use of social media left me with almost more information than I could take in at one sitting.  Well done, MCFL.

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