NOTE: To download a PDF version of this report, please click here.
Massachusetts Senior Action Council
Massachusetts Senior Action Council (MSAC) is a long-time grantee of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), having received $450,000 in Catholic funds since 2007. Its most recent grant, found on the CCHD’s 2020-2021 grants list, shows that it received $75,000 for that year.
In 2012, The Reform CCHD Now coalition produced a report on MSAC showing that it was in violation of CCHD grant guidelines and Church teaching for its involvement in pro-abortion campaigns and coalitions. In that report, it was shown that MSAC was a:
- Member of MASS-CARE – a coalition that advocates for birth control and “reproductive health care.”
- Member of Community Works – a coalition of 33 groups which raises funds for pro-abortion and prohomosexual organizations.
- Member of pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, Marxist Jobs With Justice
MSAC is no longer a member of MASS-CARE or Community Works, but it is still a member of Massachusetts Jobs with Justice. Additionally, MSAC has promoted Planned Parenthood, “Reproductive Health,” and LGBT activism in its own newsletters.
In the Fall of 2021, MSAC’s newsletter, “Senior Action Leader,” contained an article by Dee Campbell-Tompkins, a Board member of the MSAC Metro North Chapter, bearing the title, “The LGTQIA+ Aging Project at Fenway Health Policy and Progam Advocacy for Aging LGBTQIA.” After mentioning her own homosexuality, Campbell-Tompkins established the “importance” of the LGBTQIA+ Aging Project “because it serves to open minds, connect us to life-changing resources and engenders hope.” In other words, the project is intended to change people’s minds about sexual deviancy.
Campbell-Tompkins states that it is her hope in “sharing the LGBTQIA+ Aging Project with Members of the Mass Senior Action Council” that readers will be “more aware” and gain a “greater degree of insight and empathy.” The author laments the time when “consensual same-sex activity was illegal in all 50 states” claiming that a lifetime of discrimination has left them little support “in what should be their golden years.” While listing various hardships she claims the elderly LGBT face, she mentions that among the health disparities faced by “LGBTQ older adults, there is a higher prevalence of … unprotected sex.”
The entire article was a giant infomercial for a project designed to affirm the elderly in their homosexuality, even as they prepared to meet their Judgment.
In the Spring 2017 issue of “Senior Action Leader,” the newsletter publication of MSAC, is a article complaining that Planned Parenthood will be adversely affected by Donald Trump’s attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare. Under the headline, “Trumpcare: Who Will Be Affected?” MSAC decries the fact that the American Healthcare Act would “defund Planned Parenthood” and bar Planned Parenthood “from using federal funding for family planning.”
In the Spring 2021 issue of Senior Action Leader, another article talks about “Medicare for All” initiative, which MSAC asserts would “ensure that everyone has access to the care they need including … reproductive health.”
The promotion of Planned Parenthood and “reproductive health” may seem like a stretch in terms of current support for abortion or contraception, but the organization’s past affiliations with MASS-CARE and Community Works shows that MSAC has at least an ideological alignment with such matters. Additionally, its current affiliation with Massachusetts Jobs with Justice (MassJwJ) makes this alignment much more formal because MSAC isn’t just a member of MassJwJ, it is on the board of directors.
On the MassJwJ coalition page, it clearly lists MSAC as a member.
On MassJwJ’s board members page, it clearly lists John Ratliff from MSAC as a member of the Board. This means that MSAC not only has voting privileges in directing the activities of MassJwJ, but gives formal representation for MSAC for all positions and public statements issued by MassJwJ.
John Ratliff is MSAC’s Secretary for its Executive Committee, and his personal bio on the website (dated April 2019) indicates that he is a long-time LGBT activist.
The intimate connection between MSAC and MassJwJ is vital for illustrating the fact that there is no way that MSAC is unaware of or objects to the very public promotions of abortion, transgenderism, and even “death with dignity” conducted by MassJwJ. Not only does this make MSAC absolutely complicit in these promotions, but it is a flagrant violation of CCHD grant guidelines.
The CCHD has an FAQ page addressing what CCHD will and will not fund, stating unequivocally that CCHD will not fund organizations that are members of coalitions that act in direct contravention with Catholic moral and social teaching. It says:
Given this, MSAC’s membership in MassJwJ is a complete violation of this guideline and should have disqualified it from funding long ago. As indicated above, the Reform CCHD Now coalition reported MSAC’s membership in MassJwJ back in 2012, and in that report showed that MassJwJ was actively promoting abortion, contraception, homosexuality, and Marxism.
Very recently, MassJwJ issued a “Reproductive Justice Statement,” which features prominently in the drop-down menu under “About.” The preamble to the statement praises the pro-queer and pro-transgender work of MassJwJ organizations, and speaks in the general “we,” which implies all of its members, as it proclaims, “We believe that reproductive justice is essential to end the exploitation and violence we face and to live in our communities in peace.” Furthermore, the preamble explicitly states that the Statement on Reproductive Justice was issued by the Executive Committee, upon which John Ratliff represents MSAC.
The full statement from MassJwJ on Reproductive Justice not only makes clear the full commitment to unrestricted access to abortion, contraception and comprehensive sex education, but fully commits the entire organization to the promotion of such. This means that there is no wiggle-room for MSAC to claim that this statement does not include them. As a member of MassJwJ, and as an organization sitting on Mass JwJ’s Executive Committee, MSAC owns this statement in full as if it was their own.
What follows is the complete MassJwJ Statement on Reproductive Justice (portions in red, bold and underline are emphasized for quicker reading):
Massachusetts Jobs with Justice statement on Reproductive Justice
Massachusetts Jobs with Justice is a majority Women and BIPOC led organization and we see our role in the movement not just as a bridging labor and community, but as an intersectional organization that sees how our collective liberation is tied together and is not won with simply one issue at a time. We believe in the self-determination of working people and as part of our values we push for the ability of working people to have economic justice in every aspect of their lives. We know that the only way for working people to realize justice in all aspects of their lives is when all our institutions and organizations recognize the value of Reproductive Justice. We trust workers in their collective power at work every day and we must trust their individual power to make decisions for themselves, about their bodies and their families.
We can not have a true economic democracy when most workers do not have access to adequate health care and reproductive services. The ability to make these choices is essential; bodily autonomy should not be afforded to just the wealthiest peoples in this country. We know workers are punished on the daily not just by our institutions but also by their employers for parenting, providing for, and caring for their children; our society insists on banning and restricting access to abortions and critical healthcare. The most marginalized workers — immigrant, BIPOC, trans, and disabled women — face the highest barriers to controlling their own lives with respect to reproductive health and how they are able to parent. Working people all deserve equal access to safe abortion, affordable contraceptives and comprehensive sex education, gender affirming care, as well as freedom from sexual violence — and we get that by organizing around the interconnected root causes of reproductive injustice, from patriarchy to transphobia to systemic racism.
It has been almost 5 decades since Roe V. Wade and our gains can not stop there. We know and understand that the 1% not only aims to control our bodily autonomy but economic mobility. We can not deny that racism, capitalism, and patriarchy are all at play in keeping workers from having vibrant and full lives in which we can all partake in the wealth we create. It is no accident that across this country states work to restrict access to reproductive health services, push for right to work bills, privatize education, and slash the social safety net. The ruling class and corporate interests seek to control and oppress us by diminishing our rights and restricting our access to key institutions. They work tirelessly to control the narrative on what they believe our rights should be and in this way attempt to stoke fear and hate. We see our work is abolishing these barriers in order to create new pathways for workers to thrive.
It’s no mistake that corporate greed and their human owners attack our reproductive work and spew hateful rhetoric that leads to care workers being attacked on the job for providing vital services to marginalized communities across this country. They are the same people who introduce measures that keep workers in the gig economy from being treated as direct employees and at the same time intentionally push to maintain the tipped wage in the service industry, that is overwhelmingly BIPOC, LGTBQ, and Working class.
We as Massachusetts Jobs with Justice are committed to a future where Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Justice are not only a right but at their core a clear way in which to create a world where this is not an issue that divides us as workers but rather affirms our collective needs for care and embraces to meet the needs of all us in a dignified way.
Concomitant with this statement, MassJwJ produced a slideshow declaring that abortion and contraception are at the core of “Reproductive Justice.”
As indicated above, the previous report on MSAC included the fact that MassJwJ had actively promoted abortion. For instance, in 2011, Massachusetts Jobs with Justice posted a job advertisement for the National Network of Abortion Funds. One of the job responsibilities includes providing “referral information” for women “in need of an abortion.” The link is no longer active, but you can see a screen-shot of the referral in the image below.
In addition to the Statement on Reproductive Justice, MassJwJ’s recent promotions of abortion are abundantly clear and very bold. In fact, for at least the past three years, MassJwJ has been rather vociferous in its support for abortion, and MSAC not only remains a member and on the Executive Committee, MSAC has not issued one word of protest against this pro-abortion activism.
On June 10, 2019, MassJwJ called on people to “show up” and “fight for reproductive freedom” at a Roe Act hearing.
In February of 2020, MassJwJ enthusiastically welcomed a former Planned Parenthood intern and abortion activist as a new member of their team.
In November of 2020, MassJwJ complained that “abortion rights” were being threatened in Guatemala as “Planned Parenthood officially got shut out.”
On June 10, 2021, MassJwJ celebrated the “#victory” for “#MyBodyMyChoice” as a federal judge blocked pro-life legislation in Missouri.
On May 8 of this year, MassJwJ disgustingly called out “Happy Mothers Day” while wishing for all mothers to have “Reproductive Rights and Abortion Access.”
On June 14 of this year, MassJwJ issued an “Action Alert” calling for support for a bill that “would require MA public universities to provide medication abortion at their health centers!” MassJwJ claimed that this “is a crucial way to support reproductive justice.”
On June 19, MassJwJ did the same thing for Father’s Day that it did for Mother’s Day, wishing Fathers “Reproductive Rights and Abortion Access.”
On June 27 of this year, MassJwJ declared that it is “thrilled” that Massachusetts is one of several states providing safe passage for those seeking abortions.
The Massachusetts Senior Action Council, which is clearly directly promoting Planned Parenthood, “reproductive health” and homosexuality – should have been disqualified from funding back in 2012, when it was found to be a member of Massachusetts Jobs with Justice. The fact that it is continuing to receive CCHD funding, while not only being a member of MassJwJ, but actually sitting on the Executive Committee – while issuing statements promoting abortion as “reproductive justice” – shows that MSAC not only has no regard to Catholic moral teaching, but the CCHD has no regard for its own grant guidelines.