‘Catholics’ Who Serve Planned Parenthood in the Massachusetts House of Representatives

Amid the gruesome revelations of the ghoulish practices by Planned Parenthood—the country’s worst perpetrator of abortions—came the news that the local political arm of this organized crime network, the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts, keeps a list of “Champions” and “Allies” who serve the interests of the abortion industry in the Massachusetts General Court.

In the first part of our analysis, released on July 21st, the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts exposed and documented the fact that 91% of self-identified Catholics in the Massachusetts Senate were listed as either “Champions” or “Allies” of Planned Parenthood. The few members of the Senate who supported the right to life were, by a four to one margin, Protestant.

This second part of our analysis will focus on the Massachusetts House of Representatives. The numbers here are not as extreme as those in the upper chamber, but still constitute a grave scandal.

Since 1979, the Massachusetts House has had 160 members. As of August, 2015, there are no vacancies. Of these 160 legislators, ninety-four, or nearly 59%, are Catholics. Of these ninety-four Catholic members of the House of Representatives, fifty-two, or 55%, are designated by the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts as either “Champions” or “Allies.”

Catholic “Champions” of Planned Parenthood in the Massachusetts House of Representatives

1.)   Paul Brodeur (D-Melrose)

2.)   Marjorie C. Decker (D-Cambridge)

3.)   Ann-Margaret Ferrante (D-Gloucester)

4.)   Sean Garballey (D-Arlington)—Knights of Columbus

5.)   Danielle W. Gregoire (D-Marlborough)—Saint Anselm’s College

6.)   Patricia A. Haddad (D-Somerset)—Mount Saint Mary’s Academy

7.)   Kate Hogan (D-Stow)—Saint Mary’s High School

8.)   Kevin Honan (D-Boston)—Saint Columbkille’s School, Boston College, K of C, 2014 award from Sisters of St. Joseph

9.)   Mary S. Keefe (D-Worcester)—Marian High School

10.) Peter V. Kocot (D-Northampton)

11.) James J. O’Day (D-Boston)

12.) Alice Hanlon Peisch (D-Wellesley)

13.) Tom Sannicandro (D-Ashland)—College of the Holy Cross

14.) John W. Scibak (D-South Hadley)—Mount Saint Charles Academy, University of Notre Dame

Catholic “Allies” of Planned Parenthood in the Massachusetts House of Representatives

1.)   Christine P. Barber (D-Somerville)—College of the Holy Cross

2.)   Garrett J. Bradley (D-Hingham)—Triple Eagle: BC High, Boston College, BC Law; Knights of Columbus

3.)   Antonio F. D. Cabral (D-New Bedford)

4.)   James M. Cantwell (D-Marshfield)—Double Eagle: Boston College, Boston College Law School

5.)   Evandro C. Carvalho (D-Boston)

6.)   Brendan C. Crighton (D-Lynn)—Ancient Order of Hibernians, Friendly Knights of Saint Patrick

7.)   Daniel Cullinane (D-Boston)—Providence College

8.)   Michael S. Day (D-Stoneham)—Georgetown Law School

9.)   Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop)—Knights of Columbus

10.) Daniel M. Donahue (D-Worcester)—College of the Holy Cross

11.) Michelle M. DuBois (D-Brockton)

12.) Tricia Farley-Bouvier (D-Pittsfield)—Salve Regina University

13.) John V. Fernandes (D-Milford)

14.) Carol A. Fiola (D-Fall River)

15.) William C. Galvin (D-Canton)

16.) Daniel J. Hunt (D-Boston)—Boston College

17.) Robert M. Koczera (D-New Bedford)—Providence College

18.) John J. Lawn, Jr. (D-Watertown)—Saint Patrick’s High School, Merrimack College

19.) John J. Mahoney (D-Worcester)

20.) Ronald Mariano (D-Quincy)

21.) Paul W. Mark (D-Peru) 

22.) Joseph W. McGonagle, Jr. (D-Everett)—Pope John XXIII High School

23.) Paul McMurtry (D-Dedham)—Knights of Columbus

24.) Leonard Mirra (R-Newbury)—Boston College

25.) Michael J. Moran (D-Boston)—Don Bosco High School

26.) James M. Murphy (D-Weymouth)—Boston College High School, Merrimack College

27.) Harold P. Naughton (D-Clinton)—Assumption College, Notre Dame Law School

28.) William Pignatelli (D-Lenox)

29.) Jeffrey N. Roy (D-Franklin)—Boston College Law School

30.) Daniel J. Ryan (D-Boston)

31.) Thomas M. Stanley (D-Waltham)

32.) William M. Straus (D-Mattapoisett)—Georgetown Law School

33.) Jose F. Tosado (D-Springfield)

34.) Paul Tucker (D-Salem)—Anna Maria College

35.) Steven Ultrino (D-Malden)—Malden Catholic High School; Emmanuel College; former principal, Saint Mary’s Parish School, Winchester; Business Manager, Saint Mary’s Parish

36.) RoseLee Vincent (D-Revere)

37.) Joseph F. Wagner (D-Chicopee)—Cathedral High School, Knights of Columbus

38.) Jonathan D. Zlotnik (D-Gardner)—Saint Joseph’s Parish in Gardner

In addition to the designations “Champion” and “Ally,” the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts also identifies legislators with the designations “Opponent,” “Mixed,” and “NEI,” indicating newly elected, not yet voting, or no position on the issue of abortion.

Ten Catholic House members received the “Mixed” designation from Planned Parenthood.

1.)   Brian M. Ashe (D-Longmeadow)—Cathedral High School

2.)   Linda Dean Campbell (D-Methuen)—Saint Monica’s Parish in Methuen

3.)   Edward F. Coppinger (D-Boston)—Catholic Memorial High School, Knights of Columbus

4.)   Mark J. Cusack (D-Braintree)

5.)   Angelo L. D’Emilia (R-Bridgewater)

6.)   Marcos A. Devers (D-Lawrence)

7.)   Bradley H. Jones Jr. (R-Reading)

8.)   Christopher M. Markey (D-Dartmouth)—Bishop Stang High School, Society of Saint Vincent DePaul

9.)   David M. Nangle (D-Lowell)

10.) Timothy J. Toomey (D-Cambridge)—Matignon High School

Four Catholic House members received the “NEI” designation from Planned Parenthood.

1.)   Michael D. Brady (D-Brockton)

2.)   Claire Cronin (D-Easton)—Stonehill College

3.)   Matthew Muratore (R-Plymouth)—Knights of Columbus

4.)   Timothy R. Whelan (R-Brewster)—Saint John’s High School

Twenty-eight Catholic House members received the designation “Opponent” from Planned Parenthood.

1.)   Bruce J. Ayers (D-Quincy)—Boston College

2.)   Thomas J. Calter (D-Kingston)—Cardinal Spellman High School

3.)   Nick Collins (D-Boston)

4.)   David F. DeCoste (R-Norwell)

5.)   Stephen L. DiNatale (D-Fitchburg)—Saint Bernard’s High School

6.)   Paul J.Donato (D-Medford)

7.)   Shawn Dooley (R-Norfolk)—Ave Maria College

8.)   Peter J. Durant (R-Spencer)

9.)   James J. Dwyer (D-Woburn)—Anna Maria College

10.) Michael J. Finn (D-Springfield)—Saint Mary’s High School in Westfield

11.) Paul K. Frost (R-Auburn)—Saint Mary’s High School in Worcester

12.) Colleen M. Gary (D-Dracut)

13.) Sheila C. Harrington (R-Groton)—Providence College

14.) Kevin J. Kuros (R-Uxbridge)

15.) Marc T. Lombardo (R-Billerica)—Merrimack College

16.) James J. Lyons, Jr. (R-Andover)

17.) Joseph D. McKenna (R-Webster)

18.) James R. Miceli (D-Wilmington)

19.) Frank A. Moran (D-Lawrence)

20.) Thomas M. Petrolati (D-Ludlow)

21.) Elizabeth Poirier (R-North Attleboro)

22.) Angelo J. Puppolo, Jr. (D-Springfield)—Past Grand Knight, Knights of Columbus

23.) John H. Rodgers (D-Norwood)—Catholic Memorial High School, Knights of Columbus

24.) Angelo M. Scaccia (D-Boston)—Boston College, Knights of Columbus

25.) Alan Silvia (D-Fall River)—Salve Regina University

26.) Todd M. Smola (R-Warren)

27.) Walter F. Timilty (D-Milton)—Boston College

28.) David T. Viera (R-Falmouth)


The numbers merit some elaboration.

(1) The findings are uniformly negative in all categories. Only 30% of Catholic members of the Massachusetts House of Representatives are opponents of Planned Parenthood.

Of the thirty members of the House who have received degrees from Catholic institutions of higher education, twenty-one, or 70%, support Planned Parenthood. Of the fifteen members who received a Jesuit education—Boston College High School, Boston College, the College of the Holy Cross, Boston College Law School, and Georgetown University Law School—twelve, or 80%, are supporters of Planned Parenthood. The only Triple Eagle and the only Double Eagle in the House are supporters of Planned Parenthood.

Of the twenty-two members who graduated from Catholic elementary or secondary schools, only five, or 22%, are opponents of Planned Parenthood. Of the eleven House members who can be identified as members of the Knights of Columbus, only three—27%—are opponents of Planned Parenthood. The only House member who can be identified as belonging to the Ancient Order of Hibernians is a supporter of Planned Parenthood.

There is no apparent distinction here between nominal and practicing Catholics. If you received a Catholic education, belong to a Catholic fraternal order, and identify with your local parish, you are, if you belong to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, statistically likely to be a supporter of Planned Parenthood. In fact, Catholic school, college, or university graduates in the House are, by a significant margin, more likely to support Planned Parenthood than Catholic House members who attended public or private institutions.

(2) Given that polling data about religious affiliation in America reveals that one-third of American Catholics have left the Church, and that one in ten Americans now identify themselves as ex-Catholics, the number of House members baptized as Catholics who support Planned Parenthood is probably higher than that which this study details.

(3) One must guard against overstating the Catholicity of those Catholic House members identified as opponents of Planned Parenthood. The designation “Opponent” is not an indicator of either integral Catholic loyalty or complete pro-life fidelity. Some, like Rep. John Rogers, support the deformity of marriage and the re-definition of the family. Others have voted subsidies for a biotechnology industry which engages in embryonic stem cell research. One Catholic opponent, Rep. Angelo Puppolo, lists his membership in the Meadows Masonic Lodge, while another Catholic opponent, Rep. Nick Collins, voted in 2014 for punitive buffer zone legislation which would impose draconian civil and criminal penalties on pro-life sidewalk counselors.

The Planned Parenthood list only tells us who the most egregious offenders are. It does not identify the Catholic resistance, which, in the Massachusetts Legislature, is negligible.


Any parish, any archdiocese, any Catholic community where someone can transition from being a parochial school principal to a legislative ally of Planned Parenthood may be rightly judged to be radically dysfunctional. The example of Rep. Steven Ultrino is more scandalous only, of course, by degree.

Only three American states in modern times—Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut—have had Catholic majorities. (Only Rhode Island retains a Catholic majority in 2015.) In 1935, a single sentence in the daily press from William, Cardinal O’Connell, the Archbishop of Boston, caused more than one hundred legislators to reverse their position overnight on the issue of legalized gambling. In 1966, when O’Connell’s successor, Richard, Cardinal Cushing struck a deal with Planned Parenthood to legalize contraception in the Commonwealth, dozens of Catholic legislators ignored their archbishop and voted to uphold the law against birth control.

Massachusetts once produced the most outstanding examples of Catholic loyalty in American public life—men and women like Governor Edward J. King, Congresswoman Louise Day Hicks, U. S. House Speaker John W. McCormack, and Mayor James Michael Curley.

Now, the Catholic position in Massachusetts politics resembles that which Catholics endured in Third Republic France, Savoyard Italy, and PRI Mexico, where apostates, formal or de facto, acquire office and power by opposing the Faith, while faithful Catholics are effectively excluded from elective office.

One significant factor is the generational difference. An earlier generation of Catholic legislators who supported the right to life and traditional morality, like the late Michael Paul Feeney, Jim Craven, and Charles Doyle (no relation to this writer), were pre-conciliar in their formation. The self identified Catholics who vote for Planned Parenthood and Mass Equality today are products of the post-conciliar Church.

The pre-conciliar church was far from perfect. Indeed, the rapidity with which the revolution took hold fifty years ago suggests an advanced state of corrosion. Moreover, this was exacerbated by the accomodationist tradition, assimilationist ethic, and history of cultural conformity which has characterized the Catholic experience in America. None the less, the political effect of post-conciliar Catholicism in Massachusetts has not been merely problematic. It has been catastrophic.  


Ever since Roe v. Wade, our bishops have said that they do not wish to excommunicate anyone, or even withhold Holy Communion from public officials who promote the mass killing of the pre-born. As they have repeatedly told us, they prefer, instead, to use persuasion. The problem with that argument is that absolutely no one has been persuaded. In the last four decades, not a single pro-abortion Catholic politician in Massachusetts has converted to the pro-life cause.

The number of Catholic political defectors from the pro-life to the pro-abortion side is too extensive to accurately recount, but includes, most prominently, U. S. Senator Edward Markey, the late U. S. Senator Edward Kennedy, Congressman Richard Neal, Congressman Stephen Lynch, former Congressmen William Delahunt and Brian Donnelly, former state treasurer Joe Malone, State Senator Brian Joyce, former state senators Robert Ambler and Marian Walsh, and Boston City Councilor Stephen Murphy.

All the movement has been in one direction. For nearly two decades after Roe, the Massachusetts House had a pro-life majority. In 1978, the first Doyle/Flynn Amendment (named after Representatives Charles R. Doyle and Raymond L. Flynn) was passed by both chambers, prohibiting the public funding of abortion. Now, 95 out of 160 House members support Planned Parenthood.

One supposes, humanly speaking, that it is impossible, short of a miraculous infusion of grace, for our bishops to look at themselves in the mirror and admit that their leadership, or lack thereof, in this matter has been an abject failure. Perhaps, the reform of the Church will come with a new generation of prelates who are not so invested in the errors, novelties, and fashions of the 1960’s.

Meanwhile, our bishops, who have repeatedly refused to effectively address the issue of Catholic politicians who support Planned Parenthood, might remember the admonition which Pope Pius XI included in his profoundly pro-life encyclical Casti Connubii:

And if the public magistrates not only do not defend them [children in the womb], but by their laws and ordinances betray them to death at the hands of doctors or of others, let them remember that God is the Judge and Avenger of innocent blood which cried from earth to Heaven.”

The next and final installment of this analysis will focus on the Massachusetts congressional delegation.