____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________PLEASE JOIN US FOR THE 2017 CENTURY DINNER ON FRIDAY, APRIL 28th
On Friday, April 28th, PLLDF will present its prestigious Thomas More Award to the co-founders of the Bioethics Defense Fund, Attorneys Nikolas Nikas and Dorinda Bordlee. The Bioethics Defense Fund is an internationally acclaimed pro-life public-interest legal and educational organization which advocates for the restoration of the fundamental human right to life through litigation, model legislation, education and media. Please see the promotional flyer, letter/invitation and reply card below. We hope you will join us on April 28th.
2017 Century Dinner Flyer
2017 Century Dinner Letter
2017 Century Dinner Invitation
2017 Century Dinner Reply Card
RADIO COR MARIAE HOST CATHERINE JENKINS INTERVIEWS PLLDF PRESIDENT BOB JOYCE This unedited 36-minute interview includes an overview of PLLDF, with a description of some of its recent accomplishments and current projects. We hope you will find it informative and inspiring. Listen here.
THE HUMAN LIFE REVIEW BLOG ARTICLE ON PHYSICIAN-PRESCRIBED SUICIDE IN MASSACHUSETTS
An article titled Battling Phyisican-prescribed Suicide in Massachusetts, co-authored by Lori Brannigan Kelly and PLLDF Board Member Robert W. Joyce, was recently published on the Human Life Review Blog.
Read more on the Human Life Review Blog here.
COME VIEW A PRE-DISTRIBUTION SHOWING OF THE GOSNELL MOVIE WHICH WILL BE COMING TO THEATERS IN 2017
There will be a special pre-distribution FREE showing of the Gosnell movie which will be coming to theaters in 2017. Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who ran an abortion facility in Philadephia, is serving three life sentences for his horrific actions. This film illustrates how he was brought to justice despite resistance from the political establishment.
When: Thursday, November 10th
Time: Meet & Greet 6:00 PM Showing of Film at 7:00 PM
Location: Devlin Hall, Room 008, Boston College
(The Commonwealth Avenue entrance to Boston College is the most convenient for Devlin Hall.)
For information, call 617-969-8383 or email email@example.com
NATURAL LAW: CLONING, CHIMERAS, ANIMAL-HUMAN HYBRIDS, 3-PARENT EMBRYOS: WHAT EVERY LAWYER AND LAW STUDENT SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE BRAVE NEW WORLD
There is another opportunity for lawyers and law students to hear Bioethics Defense Fund (BDF) Co-Founder and President, Attorney Nikolas Nikas, deliver this enlightening presentation on life-threatening critical and current issues. BDF is a prominent, pro-life public-interest legal and educational organization that has opposed threats to life throughout the United States and abroad for over 20 years.
In addition to the event on Saturday morning, October 8th, Attorney Nikas will present at Harvard Law School on Thursday, October 6th, at noon, in the Wasserstein Classroom Building, Room 1010. Attorneys and Law Students are welcome. SEE FLYER BELOW.
The threats to unborn human life are real and proximate! For example, the National Institute of Health recently announced that it soon expects to lift a moratorium on funding for controversial experiments that add human stem cells to animal embryos, creating an organism that is part animal and part human (i.e., a chimera).
The Saturday morning event will be held at the Pastoral Center, 66 Brooks Drive, Braintree MA 02184, on October 8th from 10 AM to noon. This event is published in the October 3rd Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Calendar section. SEE NOTICE AND FLYER BELOW.
During his visit to Boston, Attorney Nikas will make two other presentations. One will deal with similar cloning and embryo issues, and is designed for undergraduates; this will be held at Boston College on Friday, October 7th at 4:15 PM, in Gasson Hall, Room 305. The other is titled "Dying with True Dignity: What Every Catholic Should Know about Making Moral Decisions at the End of Life;" it will be held in the Pavilion of St. Theresa of Avila Church, 2078 Centre St., West Roxbury, MA 02132 on Thursday, October 6th at 7 PM. All are welcome.
For more information, please contact PLLDF at 617-969-8383 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
PLLDF FILES U.S. SUPREME COURT AMICI CURIAE BRIEF IN LITTLE SISTERS OF THE POOR CASE
PLLDF board members Dwight Duncan and Colbe Mazzarella filed a brief on behalf of Amici Curiae residents and families of residents at homes of the Little Sisters of the Poor in the case of Zubik, et. al. v. Burwell. They acknowledged gratitude for PLLDF's law student support.
Little Sisters of the Poor joined several other petitioners challenging
the government's so-called "accommodation" to the Affordable Care Act's
(ACA) contraceptive mandate. Regulations promulgated under the ACA
require the Little Sisters' health plan to cover contraceptives,
including those which act as abortifacients, in violation of their
deeply held religious beliefs and vows. See PLLDF's brief in the
PLEASE JOIN US FOR THE 2016 CENTURY DINNER ON APRIL 22nd
April 22nd, Roy Scarpato, one of PLLDF's founders and a Massachusetts
pro-life icon who has devoted more than 40 years of faithful advocacy
for innocent life, will be honored with the Thomas More Award. Please
see the promotional flyer, invitation and reply card below. We look
forward to seeing you on April 22nd.
PLLDF'S EFFORTS TO HELP THE LITTLE SISTERS OF THE POOR 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.
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.
YOU CAN BE A PART OF A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT PROMOTING LIFE
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 http://www.stoppublicfundingofabortion.org/index.html for specific information about how you can help. TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!
PLLDF TESTIFIES AT THE STATE HOUSE REGARDING PHYSICIAN-PRESCRIBED SUICIDE
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. Here is PLLDF's oral testimony:
Mr. Senate Chair, Madam House Chair, Honorable Members:
Thank you for the opportunity to address you today. The oral testimony is limited to three minutes. More expanded written testimony has been filed with this committee today.
My name is Robert Joyce. I testify as President of the Pro Life Legal Defense Fund, which has provided pro bono legal services protecting human life for over 40 years.
I oppose House Bill 1991 for a constitutional reason, and because of the effects it would have on the human rights of terminally ill patients in Massachusetts – and on our institutions.
First, the constitutional problem:
Provisions, in this bill, constitutionally analogous to the statutory burdens restrained by the Supreme Court in the challenge of the Little Sisters of the Poor to provisions of the Affordable Care Act, impermissibly burden faith-based health care providers which refuse to participate, requiring them to refer patients to others who will provide lethal doses, and even requiring them to pay for the transfers.
Next, the effects on the human rights of terminally ill patients in Massachusetts.
Freedom from abuse is a human right. Reported cases of elder abuse in Massachusetts grew 33% in four years – to 21,300 in 2013 – and there was an 8% increase in confirmed cases from 2012 to 2013.
Elder abuse includes financial exploitation. The poor witnessing provisions of the bill, at the times of request and administration, invite financial exploitation. Reasonable safeguards are not provided at the request, and no witnesses are required at administration. If undue pressure occurs then, who would even know?
And subtle financial exploitation is also a risk at the institutional level. On two occasions, PLLDF has stopped the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) from withholding resuscitation and lifesaving treatment from patients who just wanted to live. Our request whether payments for medical care had been suspended, or threatened, went unanswered. We still don’t know – and neither do you. The bill would exaggerate this problem. This issue requires transparency, and PLLDF recommends that you investigate.
The high costs of end-of-life care, increasing premiums, the demands on taxpayer resources, and the potential erosion of inheritances – all from those who have a compelling financial interest in a patient’s premature death – can threaten the human rights of elderly and/or disabled persons.
Furthermore, patients in Massachusetts are already under substantial pressure to acquiesce on life-sustaining care. For example, MGH has a so-called “Optimum Care Committee” (OCC) which reportedly denied resuscitation and/or life sustaining care, on a unilateral basis, in 147 cases since 2006. Shockingly, 41% of those reported cases had been for other than end stage situations (i.e. for cases deemed “potentially reversible”). The bill, which allows completion of the process in just one day would exaggerate this problem. This matter also requires transparency, and PLLDF recommends that you investigate.
In truth, there are simply not enough courts, not enough social workers, and not enough lawyers to meet the abuse challenges this bill presents. And it would be particularly harsh for elders who do not have loving families, or who have lost their circle of friends, or who have no one to advocate for them, or who cannot finance a legal battle.
The only way to effectively prevent this foreseeable increase in elder abuse in Massachusetts is to refuse to empower it.
I urge the Honorable Members of this committee to consider these points, and having done so, to report this Bill “Ought Not to Pass,” and I offer PLLDF’s free participation to any of you during your considerations.
Robert W. Joyce, President
Pro Life Legal Defense Fund, Inc.
2015 CENTURY DINNER - A SUCCESS!
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.
CONTEMPORARY LEGAL LIFE ISSUES SEMINAR - A SUCCESS!
Saturday, April 25, 2015, lawyers, law professors, students and
supporters came together for PLLDF’s first seminar
on Contemporary Legal Life Issues.
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
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).
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
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.
PLLDF Publishes 2014 Newsletter
PLLDF invites you to read and share our exciting Winter 2014 Newsletter. It can be found in the Newsletter Archives, on our Facebook page or at the link below.
PLLDF Responds to New Law Restricting Pro-Life Speech
"...the crippling criminal and civil penalties imposed by the new
law will prevent our sidewalks from being public forums where truth can be
Read more here.
McCullen Attorney: Backdoor Buffer Zone Bill Chills Free Speech
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.
"On the last day of its term, the
U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in the case of Burwell, Secretary of Health and Human Services, v. Hobby Lobby Stores,
Inc., the religious-freedom challenge to the requirement that employers
provide free coverage for contraceptives that can cause abortion by preventing
the implantation of a human embryo into the wall of the mother’s womb. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties,
both closely-held family-run businesses, objected to cooperating with the free
provision of only those 4 out of 20 HHS-mandated contraceptives, because of the
families’ religiously based conscientious objection to abortion."
"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!..."
2013 and 2014 have been very good years for the Pro Life Legal Defense Fund (PLLDF).
2013 witnessed the U.S. Supreme Court’s grant of certiorari in the case of McCullen, et al v. Coakley, et al, the constitutional challenge to the Massachusetts law expanding the buffer zone around abortion clinics to 35 feet. Present and former PLLDF Board Members, Philip D. Moran, Esq. and Mark Rienzi, Esq., are counsel of record in that case which was argued before SCOTUS on January 15, 2014.
Additionally, PLLDF board members (a) appeared in the Trial Court of Massachusetts to defend end-of-life interests, (b) advocated pro-life causes on media outlets, and (c) lectured interested law students on pro-life issues.
With PLLDF’s encouragement, a Boston College Law School student has revived the pro-life group, Lex Vitae, and its members are eager to provide services to the legal community on a pro bono basis. Also, young Massachusetts pro-life attorneys are networking, as a result of PLLDF’s efforts, and they are eager to work with their more seasoned colleagues.
Please check this page from time to time for upcoming events.
If you would like PLLDF to participate in any upcoming event, please email us with the details. Additionally, if you would like information about any PLLDF event, please email email@example.com.