Pro-Life Activism On The Rise As ROE Act Abortion Expansion Bill Is Pending

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Pro-lifers who oppose a version of the proposed ROE Act abortion expansion bill have been going out in public and making their voices heard as of late.

One event took place in the rain outside of the Massachusetts State House over the weekend and a few occurred in Billerica in late November.

On Saturday, December 6, more than 100 of people gathered for the Memorial for the Unborn in Boston to oppose the version of the ROE Act attached to the state’s fiscal year 2021 budget bill.

The chief organizer of the event, Catherine Jenkins, helped lay out nearly 12,000 roses — which they received via donation — on the steps of the State House to symbolize the lives lost due to abortion and the babies that would lose their lives if this amendment passes.

“If legislators realize that the attention of ‘we the people’ are focused on their vote, perhaps we can swing the five votes needed to maintain a veto,” Jenkins told New Boston Post in an email message. “Politicians dare to vote for such extreme laws because they feel protected. Mainstream news outlets manipulate the perception of the amendment by withholding the whole truth that Democrats dare legalize the killing of babies up until birth for any reason at all, under the guise of ‘mental health,’ for the mother.

“The language in the amendment even allows infants to be left to die if they accidentally survive an abortion,” she added. “That day was a last act of hope for the vulnerable mothers and babies that would fall prey to such a law.”

As Jenkins notes, the abortion expansion amendment passed 108-49 in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. It requires a two-thirds majority to override a governor’s veto in Massachusetts. In Massachusetts, that means if at least 54 state representatives or 14 state senators oppose a bill along with the governor, they can prevent it from passing. Opponents of the amendment are focusing on the House.

The version of the ROE Act in the budget amendment would expand the definition of legal abortion in Massachusetts after 24 weeks to include cases where “an abortion is warranted because of a lethal fetal anomaly incompatible with sustained life outside the uterus.” Currently, the state allows for abortion after 24 weeks “to preserve the patient’s physical or mental health.”

The amendment would lower the age of girls needing parental or judicial consent for an abortion from 17 and younger to 15 and younger. It would also eliminate language from existing Massachusetts law that requires doctors to attempt to save the life of a baby born alive after an attempted abortion. It does the latter by deleting Section 12P of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 112, which states:

Section 12P. If an abortion is performed pursuant to section twelve M, the physician performing the abortion shall take all reasonable steps, both during and subsequent to the abortion, in keeping with good medical practice, consistent with the procedure being used, to preserve the life and health of the aborted child. Such steps shall include the presence of life-supporting equipment, as defined by the department of public health, in the room where the abortion is to be performed.

Jenkins also further explained what she hopes the imagery of the roses achieves.

“May the image of the roses on the steps remind legislators of the many souls that have been entrusted to their care in their power to create laws,” Jenkins said. “Many women feel trapped and don’t truly choose abortion. It is their escape and not a fully informed decision based on logic. It is based on fear and emotion. 

“These politicians are informed and know what is at stake, and this is where the real choice is,” she added. “Please help circulate the image of the State House to pressure these legislators to make the right choice that is always life over death.”

Additionally, Life Alliance of Billerica held several standouts in late November in town urging Massachusetts Republican Governor Charlie Baker to veto the abortion amendment. One event included a candle lighting on November 20 that drew at least a dozen attendees, an organizer said.

Deedee Dorrington of Life Alliance said that the events have been a positive experience for the people involved and that they did not receive much negative feedback from those passing by.

“People think, ‘well this is kind of a sad, dark topic,’ ” she said in a Facebook video last month. “Of course it is, but battling it doesn’t mean you have to be angry or crying all the time. You can have joy and that’s what we’re doing:  we’re joyfully shining light on this issue and hopefully, we can get Baker to veto it.”

Massachusetts Citizens for Life offered praise for the uptick in pro-life advocacy in the state.

“Mass Citizens for Life joins in solidarity with those who placed a rose on the steps of the State House and gave other public witness in plaintive appeals to end the killing of the unborn,” MCFL executive director Patricia Stewart told New Boston Post in an email message. “In this holy Christmas season, may those, with power to do so, heed their silent cry.”.