Marty Walsh Supported Naming Boston Square After Abortionist Once Convicted of Suffocating A Baby

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An Irish Catholic who grew up going to St. Margaret’s Church in Dorchester (now St. Teresa of Calcutta Church), U.S. Labor Secretary nominee Marty Walsh has been a strong advocate for abortion expansion policies — and expressed no concerns when the city named a landmark after an abortion doctor in Boston during his tenure as mayor.

Walsh, who has served as mayor of Boston since 2014, and was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1997 to 2014, identified as “personally pro-life” during his early years in the legislature. However, in a 2016 interview with The Boston Globe, Walsh said that the phrase doesn’t mean anything. He said, “In 2001, that was kind of like a — I think a lot of legislators were trying to figure out where they were going with different things as they were moving forward and I think that you evolve over time. And so what that means:  there’s really no such thing as personally pro-life.”

The following year, Walsh spoke at an event where the city of Boston dedicated the public square at the intersection of Harrison Avenue and Worcester Square to abortionist Kenneth Edelin (1939-2013).

A jury convicted Edelin of manslaughter for an abortion he conducted in the sixth month of a pregnancy in 1973 — after Roe v. Wade legalized elective abortion in the United States but before the state legislature had passed new statutes defining restrictions on abortion after the stage of so-called viability, when an unborn child might be able to live outside the womb.

The reason for the conviction:  Edelin was accused of killing the baby in the womb by suffocating the baby, depriving the baby of oxygen, as Boston Magazine points out. However, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court overturned the ruling, saying that it’s only manslaughter if the baby is alive outside of the womb, as The New York Times reported in 1976.

The New York Times also reported that “Dr. Edelin, assistant director of obstetrics and gynecology at Boston City Hospital, was convicted on the theory that the fetus was alive while still in the woman’s body and that he killed it by holding it in the uterus until it suffocated for lack of oxygen.”

The male fetus weighed 1 pound 5 ounces after Dr. Edelin extracted the fetus from the mother’s womb, according to the 1976 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court opinion overturning his conviction for manslaughter. Various doctors estimated gestation at between 20 and 24 weeks — but experts at trial said 24 weeks. (The case is Commonwealth of Massachusetts vs. Edelin.)

The medical examiner testified “that there was respiratory activity, at least a gasping of breath, outside the mother,” according to a dissent written by Chief Justice Edward Hennessey. A majority of justices, however, found “that there was insufficient evidence to go to a jury of a live birth.”

At the 2017 event, Walsh reportedly praised Edelin, who was the first black person to serve as the Chief Resident in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Boston City Hospital, now Boston Medical Center.

“He possessed a rare combination of a remarkable talent and a devotion to doing the right thing,” Walsh said, according to The Boston Sun. “He broke ground for African Americans in our City and you can’t forget somebody like that. … a lot of people made that foundation and broke that ground, and certainly the Doctor was one of them.”

The previous year, Walsh said that he wanted to make Boston among the “safe cities” for abortion, in an interview with Boston Herald Radio. He made the comment in the context of Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election, because he knew Trump had promised to appoint pro-lifers to the Supreme Court and he worried that the court may overturn Roe v. Wade — which would leave abortion law to the states.

“I think a lot of the clinics would probably look to cities like Boston to come to, safe cities, cities that are open and progressive and understand the importance of having access,” Walsh said. “That is something I am sure we will be focusing on as we move forward in the next weeks and months.”

Most recently, Walsh supported both the original version of the ROE Act abortion expansion bill and the version that passed the Massachusetts Legislature in December 2020.

In October 2019, he spoke outside the State House as one of 16 mayors in the state to voice support for it.

“We shouldn’t be taking away rights from women,” Walsh said on October 1, 2019. “We shouldn’t be taking rights away from families, and that’s why we’re putting a stake in the ground here in Massachusetts. That’s why we as mayors today are going to stand shoulder to shoulder with our colleagues in the Senate and the House and demand that action happens.”

The version of the ROE Act that passed despite bipartisan opposition expanded the definition of legal abortion in Massachusetts past 24 weeks of pregnancy in cases of a diagnosis of a fatal fetal anomaly. It also lowered the age of that a girl needs parental or judicial consent to have an abortion from 17 and younger to 15 and younger. The bill also eliminated language from previously existing Massachusetts law that requires doctors to try to save the life of a baby born alive during an attempted abortion.

Walsh also supported the initial version of the abortion expansion bill, which would have eliminated parental and judicial consent altogether, including for girls under 16, which is the age of consent for sexual intercourse in Massachusetts. It would have allowed late-term abortions to take place in clinics that didn’t have the equipment in place to safe the life of the woman or the baby if born alive after an attempted abortion. It also would have increased taxpayer funding for abortion.

Walsh attacked crisis pregnancy centers during his first run for mayor in 2013, according to OnTheIssues.

“In terms of reproductive choices, crisis pregnancy centers outnumber women’s health providers in Boston three to one, seriously undermining women’s access to quality family planning, appropriate counseling, and overall choice,” Walsh reportedly said. “90% of all domestic abuse victims are female, while most abusers are male. And domestic violence and overall violence against women remains under-reported & under-investigated. There remains considerable work to be done before Boston’s women have true equality, access, and safety.”

The press office for Mayor Walsh did not respond to New Boston Post’s request for comment on Wednesday.