Pro Life Legal Defense Fund, Inc.

PLLDF welcomes you to it's website. We hope that this website, PLLDF's Newsletters, and Facebook page make us more accessible to the community and our supporters. These efforts are part of PLLDF's goal to build a broad and unified community of pro-life attorneys, students and other supporters in Massachusetts. 

It can sometimes appear that there is little interest in the pro-life cause within the Massachusetts legal community. PLLDF believes, however, that there is more concern for pro-life issues among attorneys than many might believe. We are eager to develop that concern by creating a greater network of pro-life attorneys who are comfortable expressing pro-life beliefs.

We welcome your comments or suggestions.


Here is a NewBostonPost article about the efforts of PLLDF volunteers to help the Little Sisters of the Poor by submitting an amicus brief in their challenge to offensive provisions in the Affordable Care Act. The case will be argued before the United States Supreme Court this spring. Compliments to Prof. Dwight Duncan, Board Member Colbe Mazzarella, and Boston College Law School student Larissa Warren for their excellent work on the brief.

Read more here.


                                                                             WINTER 2015 NEWSLETTER

PLLDF has published its Winter 2015 Newsletter. We think you'll find it informative and encouraging. We sure hope so. We also hope that you are encouraged, as we are, by the involvement of youthful pro-life advocates.

Click here to read.

                                                              CONTEMPORARY LEGAL LIFE ISSUES SEMINAR

Watch top-notch attorneys, and a pro-life legislator, explain current and critical pro-life issues in this 1 hour and 10 minute seminar presented in 2015. Professor Dwight Duncan, Attorney Michael DePrimo, Attorney Patricia Stewart, and Rep. Jim Lyons explain complicated pro-life and constitutional issues in an understandable fashion.

Click here to watch.



On September 3, 2015, PLLDF President Bob Joyce was interviewed by Brendan O'Connell on the cable television show titled Life Matters. For an interesting review of PLLDF's history and our current efforts, we invite you to watch the 25-minute interview presented in the following two parts.

Click Here to Watch.

President John Garvey of The Catholic University of America has provided a fifth entry to Professors' Corner explaining how James Madison's sage advice regarding the right of every man to exercise religion might impact the SCOTUS decision in the case of the Little Sisters of the Poor and others.

"On Friday, November 6 the Supreme Courted granted cert. in seven cases about the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate.  Petitioners include the Little Sisters of the Poor..."



The Massachusetts Alliance to Stop Public Funding of Abortion (“Alliance”) needs volunteers to gather signatures for an important proposed constitutional amendment that would allow the Massachusetts legislature to promote life through restricting the public funding of abortion.

The Secretary of State’s Office has produced petition sheets allowing the Alliance to gather signatures in support of an amendment to add the following language to the Massachusetts Constitution:

The amendment would lay the groundwork so that in the future the legislature could vote to stop that funding.

For the amendment to proceed, 64,750 signatures must be collected and submitted to local registrars for certification by November 18, 2015.

This is a big, and immediate, challenge … and a great opportunity for pro-lifers to advance the pro-life cause in a significant way. Please visit the Alliance’s website at for specific information about how you can help.  TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!


The Massachusetts Joint Committee on Public Health held a public hearing on October 27, 2015 regarding HB No. 1991, the so-called Massachusetts Compassionate Care for the Terminally Ill Act. PLLDF submitted oral and written testimony before attentive members of the committee.

Read more here.

Professor Mark Rienzi has provided a third entry to Professors' Corner illustrating an absurdity of certain ongoing government attacks. 

"Last week's decision in King v. Burwell highlights the absurdity of the government's attacks on the Little Sisters of the Poor and other groups that do not want to provide coverage for abortion-inducing drugs and devices."



100 guests enjoyed an evening of pro-life socializing, education and merriment at PLLDF’s 2015 Century Dinner on April 25th. Master of Ceremonies Tom Harvey again entertained the gathering with song.

Attorney Michael J. DePrimo, who received the 2015 Thomas More Award, inspired guests with an insightful summary of the development of a critical component of constitutional law in the United States. The journey he outlined, from colonial times to the present, traced the legal evolution from state-supported churches to current laws effecting religious liberty. The link below, showing Attorney DePrimo’s speech notes, outlines how judicial law-making has put religious freedom on a collision course with other constitutional rights.



On Saturday, April 25, 2015, lawyers, law professors, students and supporters came together for  PLLDF’s first seminar on Contemporary Legal Life Issues.

Professor Dwight G. Duncan explained Massachusetts abortion law peculiarities, including public funding for abortions for indigents under the state constitution and the history of the parental consent/judicial bypass for minors.

Michael J. DePrimo, Esq. explained how First Amendment protections apply to different types of forums (public, limited public, non-public), the tests applied in each forum, abortion-specific speech, and abortion clinic buffer zones (including fall-out from the Supreme Court's ruling in McCullen v. Coakley).

Patricia D. Stewart, Esq. explained how Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) forms, now the law in Massachusetts, are deceptively simple and anti-life, and how to avoid the risks they pose to an unsuspecting public.

Representative James J. Lyons explained some of the important “life” bills being considered in the Massachusetts Legislature.

PLLDF has prepared a DVD of the seminar. Please contact us if you would like to receive a DVD.


National Review Online Article Explains How American Feminism is Failing Women

PLLDF Board Member Bridget L. Fay, Esq. was published at National Review Online. Her article is titled The American feminist establishment does a disservice to women through its divisive, relentless focus on abortion rights
Read more on National Review's website here.

Professor Dwight Duncan has provided a second entry to Professors' Corner clarifying how SCOTUS has limited the rights of fathers with respect to abortion. The entry is titled Fathers Have No Say in Abortions of Their Children, Not Even to Know about Them.

Associate Professor Emeritus Frank McLaughlin has presented a succinct and compelling scientific and philosophical argument against the use of embryonic stem cells for medical treatment. 

Read more here


McCullen attorney: Backdoor buffer zone bill chills free speech

July 29, 2014. Boston, Massachusetts. Michael DePrimo, an attorney for Eleanor McCullen, the lead plaintiff in the 9-0 decision in McCullen v. Coakley, issued a statement regarding the passage of the new buffer zone law

Read more here.


Hobby Lobby: Is There a “Scientific” Basis for Opposition to Abortifacient Contraception?


"The United States Supreme Court decision in the case of Burwell, Secretary of Health and Human Services, v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. held that, under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), closely-held family-run businesses whose owners have sincere religious objection to participating in abortion (by providing abortifacient contraceptives through the company health plan) are not bound by the abortifacient mandatory contraceptive provisions of RFRA. The Court found that to require compliance by these businesses to the abortifacient contraceptive mandate would substantially burden the exercise of religion by forcing them to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs or pay substantial fines."

Read more here.


What the Supreme Court did (and didn't do) to religious freedom

"In Hobby Lobby, the Court ruled that a federal law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), applied to the case, and that it covered "any exercise of religion, whether or not compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief." The only question that government could consider was not the truth or reasonableness or centrality of the religious belief, but only whether the belief were sincere, which was not doubted in the case of these companies. Interestingly, RFRA had passed in 1993 by overwhelming majorities of both houses of Congress. This is because religious freedom, like free speech, is a vital part of our legal heritage and until recently, viewed as axiomatic."

Read more here.


Hobby Lobby and Widespread Misunderstanding about When Pregnancy Begins

"Is there a huge hole in the news coverage about mandatory contraceptive health insurance? The answer is yes. The question is why."


Read more here.



Dwight G. Duncan, Professor of Law and author of a pro-life amicus brief in the Hobby Lobby case, comments on the recent pro-life victory at the United States Supreme Court.

Read more here.



"On 3/29/14, MCFL held its annual pro-life convention at Assumption College in Worcester. Attendees were treated an impressive array of speakers who presented pro-life developments from the medical, educational, legal and religious perspectives. It was a most informative day for all participants!"

Read more here.


McCullen v. Coakley: Big Win For Pro-Life at United States Supreme Court (6/26/14)

"The Supreme Court of the United States announced a unanimous decision today declaring the Massachusetts buffer zone law unconstitutional.
This is an enormous victory for pro-life free speech, and a tribute to the endurance of the McCullen petitioners, their counsel, and all of their supporters!..."

Read more here

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