Pro-Life Group Prays In Pouring Rain For Defeat of Abortion-Expansion Amendment Outside Massachusetts State House

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More than 100 people prayed in cold pouring rain for the defeat of an abortion-expansion amendment outside the Massachusetts State House in Boston on Saturday afternoon, an organizer said.

Opponents of the proposed legislation say it would legalize infanticide.

Participants in the event, mostly Catholics, prayed the rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Organizers placed hundreds of red roses on the State House steps, including many in the shape of a giant cross. Roses are a symbol of the pro-life movement.

Thomas Harvey, who spoke during the event, said he reminded the crowd of a comment St. John Paul II made during a nonstop downpour while saying Mass on Boston Common on October 1, 1979:  “America the beautiful. Beautiful … even … if … it rains.”

Prayers and talks lasted more than an hour. Not long after the event ended in the mid-afternoon, the rain turned to snow.

Winds were high enough that organizers were worried at one point about a tent that had been set up to cover a video camera.

“It’s was memorable,” Harvey said, in a telephone interview Saturday night.

Sponsors of the event included Stop Taxpayer Funding of Abortion; Pure In Heart; Cape Cod Bus for Life; and Silent No More, which advocates for women and men who regret seeking or enabling an abortion in the past. Harvey was also a sponsor, as was Jim Lyons, the chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party, and his wife Bernadette.

Organizer Catherine Jenkins led the rosary, as did two of her children, Harvey said. She also spoke.

Father Alan Wharton also led prayers, Harvey said. He is a member of the Franciscans on the Immaculate, who run Our Lady’s Chapel in New Bedford and a small Catholic radio station in New Bedford, WPMW AM-88.5.

The group called on Governor Charlie Baker to veto an amendment to the state budget bill that would lower the age when a girl needs permission from a parent or judge to get an abortion from 17 to 15. The amendment would also remove an existing requirement in state law that doctors try to save the life of a baby who survives an attempted abortion.

Supporters of the abortion amendment amendment note that it would explicitly allow abortions after 24 weeks in cases where a fetus has been diagnosed with a fatal condition, which they say is a good thing. They also argue that girls age 16 and 17 should not have to get permission from a parent or a judge to get an abortion.

Baker has hinted he may veto the measure. If he does, opponents would still need to flip at least four state representatives who voted for the amendment the first time around.

The Massachusetts Senate, which approved the amendment 33-7 on November 18, is expected to easily get enough votes for a two-thirds majority to override the governor’s veto, if it comes to that.

Opponents of the amendment are focusing instead on the Massachusetts House, where the original percentage was much closer. Representatives in the House voted 109-49 in favor of the abortion amendment on November 12.

There are currently 159 state representatives. (One seat is vacant.) If all of them vote, supporters of the amendment need at least 106 to achieve a two-thirds majority necessary to override a governor’s veto.

So if opponents persuade a net of at least four representatives to change their vote from Yes to No, opponents in the House would uphold the governor’s veto – if the governor vetoes the amendment.

Governor Baker has until Monday, December 14 to act on the bill. A decision is likely this coming week.



Courtesy photos and video.