Since the demise of Roe v. Wade, MA state and local elected officials and activist groups have declared war on pro-life pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) that help women and babies in need. For the past year, MFI has been working to protect Bethlehem House, a PRC located in Easthampton. The pro-life organization has endured targeted attacks by their local officials and vandalism from pro-abortion activists. The latest attack on Bethlehem House came from the Easthampton City Council with its proposal of a discriminatory and unconstitutional ordinance meant to silence their speech and target them for unfair treatment.
Last month, MFI worked alongside local advocates to rally a strong defense in support of the Bethlehem House when the ordinance was being taken up for a final vote at a City Council meeting. A large crowd of over 100 people attended the meeting. And even though most of the testimonies presented were in defense of PRCs and the majority of the standing-room-only crowd was pro-life, the City Council shockingly, still voted six to one to pass the ordinance.
The next day, however, the mayor, who identifies herself as pro-abortion, vetoed the ordinance –using her veto power for the first time since being elected in 2017. This decision was likely due to a letter MFI sent to the City Council and an email to the mayor warning the City that they may be opening themselves up to a lawsuit over the unnecessary and biased ordinance.
After the mayor’s veto, the City Council had thirty days to override it. To overcome the veto, the same six councilors who voted for the ordinance needed to cast the same vote in favor of the ordinance. Just one councilor needed to defect to maintain the favorable veto.
Amazingly, this past Wednesday one councilor, Homar Gomez, the President of the City Council did defect maintaining the mayor’s veto. We are grateful for this meaningful and important victory!
MFI was first in the fight protecting PRCs in Easthampton over a year ago. If it were not for our local advocacy, and the help of our national ally, First Liberty, this ordinance would have passed last year and PRCs like Bethlehem House would have been left to be defamed, vandalized, and fined. These charitable organizations may have eventually shut down, leaving women in crisis without any support.
If we can win in Easthampton, we can win anywhere! We are confident that this hard-won victory will inspire pro-life advocates to support the mission of Bethlehem House and other PRCs across the state. Truly, what the Easthampton City Council meant for evil, the Lord used for good. Through our efforts and the favor of the Lord, MFI was able to build an incredible coalition with our like-minded allies in the Easthampton region, including several attorneys. Together, we are ready to face future fights that threaten life and liberty.
Thank you for your continued support that makes our mission possible. Please consider a financial gift today to help us win more victories for life in MA.