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Over 250 members of Massachusetts’ pro-life community filled Faneuil Hall Jan. 25 for the Massachusetts Citizens for Life’s 36th annual Assembly for Life.
At approximately 3 p.m. their voices could be heard reverberating against the cobblestone square outside as they chanted in unison: “We choose life! We choose life!”
Assembly mediator Rev. Basil Yarde welcomed the full house and commended those assembled for their tenacity and hard-work, calling them, “some of the most important people in this state and in all of America.”
“Because of you, thousands of young people are alive today and many young women have been steered away from the shame and guilt of abortion, and have their faith, hope and self-respect restored to them,” he said.
In her remarks, MCFL president Anne Fox applauded the success of this year’s annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 22, which amassed an unprecedented 250,000 people to commemorate the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.
Fox also cited studies showing that protective laws upheld by the Supreme Court since Roe have prevented nine million abortions.
“Our work has saved nine million lives,” said Fox.
However, she expressed deep concern over changes to the pro-life landscape under the administration of newly inaugurated President Barack Obama.
She expressed her concerns about Obama’s “abortion extremism,” citing his Jan. 23 reversal of the Mexico City policy which banned U.S. government funding of overseas projects which provide or promote abortion.
Fox said that the administration’s actions relative to the Freedom of Choice Act, known as FOCA, and other attempts to remove abortion restrictions, “will tell us how we must proceed.”
Calling for vigilance and asking supporters to save their energy for the most important votes, Fox reminded them that their voices are their most effective tools for change.
“The point is not to change the mind of the politicians. The point is to generate enough noise that the politicians will vote our way,” she said. “Starting right now, we must make enough noise to make them feel that their positions are extremist.”
Leading the assembly in an intercessory prayer, Rabbi Henry M. Morse of the Messianic Congregation prayed for America’s leaders to choose life and for the strength of the congregation to continue the fight for life.
In his keynote address, WBZ Radio host Dan Rea reminded attendees of their work’s importance, citing President Obama’s expeditious presentation of his stated commitment to advancing abortion rights.
“For the first time in a long time we have elected a Democratic president and a Democratic congress, who appear to be more committed to the concept of choice -- at least in terms of the issue of abortion -- than any other combination of president and congress before him,” said Rea, calling this “a very interesting time and moment in history.”
Rea juxtaposed a series of vignettes that underscored the apparent contradictions governing portions of American society as they pertain to the sanctity of life.
“As a society, we rightfully anguish over the fate of endangered species; we recoil in horror at the killing of baby puppy seals; we sit up, pay close attention to every Amber Alert broadcast on local television and we spend hours transfixed in front of cable network news on the story of poor little Caylie Anthony, he said.
Yet,” he continued, “when it comes to the life of the unborn many Americans display a sudden indifference at best.”
While he cannot predict where the politics of abortion will lead in the future, Rea said he hopes everyone will remember that the founders of America based its creed on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
“Because without life,” he said, “there is no liberty and there can be no happiness.”
Delivering the closing prayer, Bishop Robert Hennessey expressed his gratitude to those who work and participate in movements that protect human life.
“The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our bed in history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea passed on from generation to generation -- the God-given promise that all our people, all are free and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness. The time has come to set aside our sins,” he said.