Where Are All The Pro-Life Catholic Reps?  Quincy Mayor Asks The Question

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2021/06/18/where-are-all-the-pro-life-catholic-reps-quincy-mayor-asks-the-question/

Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch said he tried to get at least one state legislator in Quincy to vote against the ROE Act abortion expansion bill in December 2020, but couldn’t.

Koch, 58, an independent who left the Democratic Party over abortion in 2017, spoke Thursday night at a pro-life event in Quincy.

He followed principal speakers Benjamin Watson, a former tight end with the New England Patriots; and Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director who converted to the pro-life side and eventually became a Roman Catholic, and whose story is the subject of a book and movie both called Unplanned.

Koch began by inviting listeners to come to a Catholic men’s prayer group that meets at Sacred Heart Church in North Quincy. Then he said:


I never know what I’m going to say when I go to the mic. I ask the Lord to help me. And, I didn’t want to be political.

But I see, you know, Ben got political. Abby got political. I’m the politician here. Maybe I’ll get a little political.

And I’ll share a story. A few months ago, the governor called. Governor Baker – who, some of you may know, is a Republican, and is pro-choice. Now I have a good working relationship with Governor Baker, and I endorsed him in his elections. By the way, there was no pro-life candidate against him in either election.

And he asked me, he said, ‘You know, the ROE Act is extreme. And I want to veto it,’ he says. ‘But I need some help. Can you get one of your Quincy reps to sustain my veto?’

And of course, cocky Mayor Koch says, ‘I think I can do that.’

And I’m sad to say I couldn’t do that.


The ROE Act bill, which the state Legislature enacted late last year by overriding the governor’s veto, removed a requirement in state law that doctors try to save the life of a baby born alive after an abortion. It also allows 16-year-old and 17-year-old girls to get an abortion without the consent of a parent or a judge. It also explicitly allows abortions after 24 weeks in the case of a diagnosis of a fatal condition in a fetus.

Quincy, a city of about 94,000 south of Boston, has three state representatives, all Democrats:  Bruce Ayers, Tackey Chan, and Ron Mariano. (Mariano in January 2021 became House speaker.) All three voted to override Governor Baker’s veto of the ROE Act bill on December 28, 2020.

One state senator lives in Quincy:  John Keenan, a Democrat, whose district includes the entire city and all or part of other South Shore communities. Keenan voted to override Governor Baker’s veto that same day.

Keenan, Ayers, and Mariano identify as Catholics.

All four could not immediately be reached for comment early Friday morning.

Koch was first elected mayor of Quincy in 2007, and has served since January 2008. He was most recently re-elected in November 2019 to a four-year term by a 69 to 29 percent margin.

In November 2020, Joe Biden beat Donald Trump in the presidential election by similar numbers:  66 to 31 percent.

During his speech, Koch talked about his father, Richard J. Koch, who he said campaigned for Jack Kennedy when he first ran for U.S. Senate in 1952, and eventually became a campaign aide of the president’s youngest brother, Ted Kennedy, who was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1962.

The mayor said:  “Senator Kennedy didn’t go south of Boston without my father at his side. And I witnessed in the mid-‘70s my father depart from him, because Ted Kennedy became pro-choice. I saw at a young age what it means to be principled.”

Koch took a shot at abortion-supporting President Joe Biden, a Catholic.

“John Kennedy, when he ran became the first Catholic president – I would say, still the only Catholic president we’ve had to date, quite frankly,” Koch said, to cheers.

The he said of President Kennedy:


He said in his speech to the ministers of the South – because he was getting beat up because he was a Catholic and they thought he would do what the pope told him to do. People don’t remember this portion of the speech. Toward the end of that speech he said, ‘If at any time, my conscience comes in conflict with my office, I will resign my office.’

Where are the consciences today of our elected politicians – particularly the Catholic and Christian ones?


Koch then said:


So I suggest to each of you:  I know we’re not supposed to judge. Certainly not supposed to condemn or judge anyone’s soul. However, every four years – it used to be every two years, thank God, it’s every four years – I’m judged at the ballot box.

We need to continue to take this issue into the public square. The public square has been taken over by the Left, and they’re not hearing the story of the pro-life.

So you and I are today’s apostles. We are the apostles of our time. We need to be that light of hope.

We need to bring that message in our workplace, in the public square, in our social environments. This is what Abby said – at the end of the day, we can be citizens of heaven. And some day, when that question comes, and I’ve thought about that quite frequently, “What did you do for my little ones?” That haunts me.

I’d rather lose the office, than be pro-choice, that’s for sure.


The event, Night 4 Life, drew several hundred people to Veterans Memorial Stadium in Quincy on Thursday, June 17, in the 70s and under almost cloudless skies.

Speakers included Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the archbishop of Boston.

The organizer and master of ceremonies was Mother Olga Yaqob, founder of a religious order called Daughters of Mary of Nazareth, of Quincy. Mother Olga was born in Iraq, where she founded an Assyrian Christian order of religious sisters before coming to the United States and becoming a Roman Catholic.


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