HomeUSBesieged Massachusetts pro-life pregnancy centers rally at state capitol

Besieged Massachusetts pro-life pregnancy centers rally at state capitol

The bill would require the public health department to run an advertising campaign against pro-life pregnancy centers, which the department is already doing. It also expands the definition of who may provide an abortion to “a licensed health care professional who, acting within their scope of practice, may lawfully perform an abortion or provide abortion-related care.”

Teresa Larkin, co-chair of the Pregnancy Care Alliance, told CNA at the event that the state’s attack ads are filled with “false accusations” and are “designed to scare people.”

“It’s really designed to prevent the women that really truly would be seeking our services to be intimidated or to be frightened to come because they’re thinking they’re not going to get the services that we advertise for,” said Larkin, who also heads a pregnancy center in the state.

Larkin called the use of taxpayer funds to attack pregnancy centers “unfortunate.”

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“I think of all the things we could be doing for people in this state versus a campaign that is designed to falsely accuse centers that only want to help women,” she said.

Larkin said that the Celebration of Life Day was an annual event before the COVID-19 pandemic, but this year was scheduled, without foreknowledge, weeks after the state’s ad campaign. 

“The timing is perfect in response to the million-dollar campaign that is designed to really attack centers for really not providing abortions,” she said. “We’re here to celebrate life, the good work that pregnancy care centers do to support women and families throughout the commonwealth.”

At the event, Pregnancy Care Alliance handed out fliers with highlighted data from seven of its members showing 4,084 clients served; 1,371 ultrasounds given; 1,725 pregnancy tests administered; and over $500,000 of food, diapers, clothing, and supplies donated.

The ad campaign

The state’s campaign ads, announced earlier this month, were launched on June 10 in both English and Spanish across Massachusetts in the form of social media content, billboards, radio, and transit. 

The $1 million in funds for the ad campaign was allocated by the state Legislature in 2023 as part of its budget and is run by the state’s public health department and the pro-abortion group Reproductive Equity Now Foundation. 

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On Reproductive Equity Now Foundation’s front page, the group says its mission is: “Demanding, protecting, and expanding reproductive equity and abortion access across New England.”

At the time of the campaign’s launch, Healey said that Massachusetts is “committed” to expanding access to abortion, which is already legal throughout all three trimesters.

Healey called the campaign “an important way to provide accurate information so residents can make informed decisions about reproductive care that are right for them.” 

The ads follow a series of acts of vandalism committed against pro-life pregnancy centers across the country and in Massachusetts since May 2022. The attacks began in anticipation of, and following, the overturning of Roe v. Wade in June 2022.

Healey is ‘so hypocritical’

Staff members representing two legislative offices were present at the event, those of Republican state Sen. F. Jay Barrows and Republican state Rep. Steven Howitt. 

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