LETTER TO THE EDITOR: St. Anne – St. Catherine Collaborative Opposes Infanticide Bills

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St. Anne – St. Catherine Collaborative released a bulletin and pulpit announcement at Catholic Masses this past weekend opposing Massachusetts bills S.1209 and H.3320 that legalize infanticide.

These bills would allow for abortions after 24 weeks gestation, citing that “medical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors – physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the person’s age.” These factors are vague and broad – essentially allowing an abortion for any reason at all.

These bills would delete sections of existing state law, including one that requires that doctors “take all reasonable steps, both during and subsequent to the abortion … to preserve the life and health of the aborted child.” This includes cases where a baby survives an abortion and is delivered alive. These babies would not receive care, and would instead be left to die. These laws are particularly alarming considering that infants in the third trimester can survive outside the womb. Even infants as early as 21 weeks have survived outside the womb.

There are other untenable aspects of these proposed bills. They eliminate the requirement for children 17 and younger to obtain parental consent for abortion. Abortions at 13 weeks or more would no longer be required to be performed in a hospital under the direction of a physician. And, the bills require taxpayers to pay for uninsured abortions.

St. Anne – St. Catherine Collaborative released their bulletin insert opposing the bills after prompting by 24 members of their Respect Life Ministry, approval by their Parish Pastoral Council, and signing by clergy members. The insert read, “People, regardless of their religious beliefs, need to speak out to reverse the devaluation and erosion of the sacredness of human life. We are asking our parishioners to reach out to Governor Baker, your state senator and representative to inform them of your concerns with and opposition to this proposed legislation.” State Rep. James Arciero is a petitioner of the bill. His district includes Westford, Littleton, and part of Chelmsford.

The bulletin insert included links to local lawmakers as well as recommendations for those who need financial support, adoption services, and/or support for after-abortion effects such as “severe and long-lasting emotional, psychological and spiritual trauma” experienced by many misinformed post-abortive mothers.

Roman Catholic Bishops of Massachusetts also released a statement opposing the proposed bills, “We urge all people of good will, regardless of what faith they practice, to vigorously oppose these extreme measures.”  — Kathy Lynch, Respect Life Ministry Chairman, St. Anne – St. Catherine Collaborative