Abortion Survivor, Baby Pegged for Abortion Headline Virtual Fund-Raiser for Massachusetts Citizens for Life

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2020/09/18/abortion-survivor-baby-pegged-for-abortion-headline-virtual-fund-raiser-for-massachusetts-citizens-for-life/

Joy Dupell’s doctors told her she should abort her baby daughter — and not once, but repeatedly.

Dupell told the story during an unusual online fund-raising event Thursday night for Massachusetts Citizens for Life, which held the “virtual banquet” in lieu of its typical in-person events because of the coronavirus emergency.

During her 12-week ultrasound visit last year, Dupell received news that her unborn baby had a neural tube defect. The doctor told Joy that the fetus, a female, would not survive.

“They told me that she would not make it past birth and highly suggested termination,” Dupell said during a video interview for the even. “It was urged quite a bit throughout the next few months with my visits with them. Every time I went they would ask me, ‘Are you sure you want to continue with this pregnancy? We’re here for you, we can schedule you in anytime.’ The final straw for me with my local OB office was when I was about to see a new doctor and I could hear her outside the hall talking about my mental state and how she didn’t understand why I was continuing with the pregnancy even though she wasn’t gonna make it, asking if I was all there, so I stopped going to that office.”

Even with that prognosis, Dupell chose to continue her pregnancy. She ditched the first practice for Boston Children’s Hospital, and then ended up at Brigham and Women’s.

She and her husband decided to donate Hope’s tissue to help others if her baby didn’t survive birth, as expected.

“You can’t throw life away,” she said. “And the fact that we were basically being bullied by my OB to abort all the way up to my seven-month appointment to go through with this, I just couldn’t imagine not having my daughter, and not having the support from my doctor was heartbreaking. If these politicians pass this law, it will mean that my daughter’s life was not valued by anybody except for me.”

As she spoke, Dupell held her daughter, now nine months old, on her lap. Joy named her daughter Hope.

She described Hope as a “happy little girl” and said that Hope’s neurosurgeon, who has been with them since before Hope was born, is “thrilled for her future.”

Joy also had a message for politicians who think doctors should be the ones deciding which babies get to live and which ones do not.

“I would love for the politicians to realize that a doctor isn’t always right and to throw a life away is just wrong,” she said. “Even if she did pass away when she was born, she still had the chance to get love, for us to know her and see her, and get closure, and you don’t know even once the child is born what help they can be to somebody else.”

Joy Dupell, with her daughter Hope, 9 months old, during the virtual banquet of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, published online on Thursday, September 17, 2020. Screenshot.

A 43-year-old abortion survivor also spoke during the virtual banquet.

Melissa Ohden’s biological mother underwent a saline abortion in 1977 when 31 weeks pregnant with her, although the mother told doctors she was 18 weeks pregnant. Ultimately, the attempt to end Ohden’s life failed. She was born alive.

“Despite demands made to leave me to die I was ultimately rushed off to the NICU and provided medical care that sustained my life,” Ohden said. “I’m alive today. I’m thriving today because people were willing to fight for me. People were willing to do what they knew what was right, those nurses who intervened, the nurses who prayed over me, my adopted parents who fell madly in love with me the first time they met me. My list could go on and on. I’m in this battle for life because I’ve been empowered by life and by people loving me.”

She noted that the proposed ROE Act bill in Massachusetts would remove the state’s current legal requirement that doctors try to save the life of a baby who is born after an attempted abortion — like her.

Ohden said that only eight states report the number of abortion survivors they have each year. She noted that Massachusetts isn’t one of them, but said that it should so that people can see just how often it occurs.

Melissa Ohden, a survivor of abortion, appeared during the online virtual banquet of Massachusetts Citizens for Life on Thursday, September 17, 2020. Screenshot.


Another speaker Thursday is a relative of Martin Luther King Jr. — his niece, Dr. Alveda King, who is the executive director of Civil Rights for the Unborn.

King said her mother wanted to abort her, but her grandfather persuaded her mother not to do it.

King said that the right to life is a civil right.

“Civil rights begin in the womb and if that little baby in the womb does not have human dignity and human rights at least, then we know that nothing else will matter,” she said. “If the baby is aborted, there will be no life and there will be no rights either.”

She became a born-again Christian in 1983 — a major reason why she is pro-life.

“One of the very first questions I asked, and I said it this way:  a woman has the right to choose what she does with her body. The baby is not her body. Where’s the lawyer for the baby? How can the dream survive if we murder our children?” she asked.

“I’ve been asking that question and getting positive answers,” she added. “The baby is not her body and because of this, we have an obligation and a responsibility and a duty to teach people that there has to be a better way of solving human problems than killing our children.”

Alveda C. King spoke during the virtual banquet of Massachusetts Citizens for Life on Thursday, September 17, 2020. Screenshot.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley. the archbishop of Boston, kicked off the event. He thanked the speakers for sharing their personal experiences.

“It’s so important that we stay connected in our commitment to respect life and to protect the unborn,” O’Malley said. “We’re very blessed that Melissa Ohden and Dr. Alveda King are generously taking the time to share their stories and experiences. Their witness is based on personal experience with women facing unexpected or difficult pregnancies, who all too often are advised that their child is an inconvenient burden, a problem to be solved, an obstacle to their progress. Melissa and Dr. King know differently. They know that every life is precious, that every life has value, that every child in the womb is endowed with God-given dignity and the right to be born. 

“These children need our protection, our advocacy, and our prayers,” O’Malley added. “Please know of my appreciation for your participation here tonight and your support for Mass. Citizens For Life. Because of your dedication and commitment, children will be born into this world who otherwise would not. We go forward to build up a civilization of love and respect for life. God bless all of you. Keep up the good work.”

Myrna Maloney Flynn, the president of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, sounded upbeat about how the event turned out while wrapping it up at the end.

On Friday she said the organization raised about $40,000 from the event — but still needs to reach its goal of $100,000 by Wednesday, September 30. 

She said by email:

Overall, my colleagues and I are pleased with how our first-ever virtual event turned out, given the Covid-related circumstances and related limitations we faced in producing so many segments remotely. Last spring, we realized we’d be unable to hold our largest fundraising event, the Annual Banquet, in a hotel ballroom, as we’ve done for years. Though we committed to transition the whole thing online, we knew we’d face an uphill battle getting it right and, more importantly, getting guests to click on the right link at the right time.
But fortunately for us, Massachusetts pro-lifers, we’re pretty familiar with uphill battles and have what it takes to venture into new territory: determination, grit, and a skilled team.
I’m humbled by the response we’ve received along the way. Not one of the presenters we invited declined participating. As you’ll see, they shared a variety of impassioned stories, each one reflecting our Banquet theme:  Love. Fight. Thrive. 
We were pleasantly surprised that hundreds of attendees watched the September 17 premiere. Though our supporters have made a large number of very generous gifts, we are still about $60,000 away from our $100,000 goal, which we need to reach by month’s end in order to ensure that we will have the necessary resources to continue our fight for life in the coming months. Most people don’t realize that Massachusetts Citizens for Life, a National Right to Life state affiliate and the oldest pro-life organization in the Commonwealth, is 100% donor supported. Because we’ve had to cancel all of this year’s fundraising events due to the pandemic, MCFL is relying on our fellow life advocates to step up now so, together, we can continue to pursue our lifesaving mission.
More information about Massachusetts Citizens for Life can be found on its web site, www.masscitizensforlife.org.
The entire virtual banquet from Thursday, September 17, 2020 can be viewed in the YouTube video below.