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UPDATE, March 3, 2023: Despite surviving a vote over his position, Michael Hugo has resigned his seat as Framingham Democratic Committee chairman.

“I have apologized profusely too many times, but it seems obvious to all objective observers that there is something unusual about this particular crisis, in that it has an extraordinary life,” Hugo notified the committee via email. “Time will tell as to why this has become a — literally — international story, and why it has been amplified by the Chair of the Ashland Republican Committee.”

ORIGINAL STORY, March 2, 2023: FRAMINGHAM, Massachusetts (LifeSiteNews) — Massachusetts Democrats have opted not to remove a party official under fire for suggesting that disabled children should be exterminated in the womb in order to reduce the financial toll they add to public education.

The New York Post reports that during a Framingham City Council meeting in February, Framingham Democratic Committee chair Michael Hugo expressed “fear” that “if an unqualified sonographer misdiagnoses a heart defect, an organ defect, spina bifida or an encephalopathic defect, that becomes a very local issue because our school budget will have to absorb the cost of a child in special education, supplying lots and lots of special services to children, who were born with the defect.”

The comment sparked disgust and calls to resign from pro-lifers, disability advocates, and others in the community. “I saw what Michael had said as a personal attack against my own children,” said Sheryl Goldstein, chair of the Framingham Disabilities Commission. “That my children who had special needs were not worth the expense in the school system.”

In his remarks, Hugo also suggested that pro-life crisis pregnancy centers would be prone to misdiagnose serious fetal defects “while proclaiming that it is a beautiful child living inside the mother and handing her an ultrasound photo that nobody can figure out without training, some diapers and a couple of ‘onesies’ for her new baby.”

“Pregnancy care centers offer such excellent free services that even the abortion-supporting community has taken note,” responded Students for Life president Kristan Hawkins. “Preventing young mothers from getting free services is a sign that the abortion mindset has poisoned far too many in our culture.”

Ten days later, Hugo issued a statement “offer[ing] my most sincere and humble apology to members of the Framingham Democratic Committee, but more especially my fellow members of Framingham’s disability family community, for comments that I made at the last City Council meeting which were offensive and hurtful.” The Framingham Democratic Committee also said that “we fully disavow and denounce them.”

The apology failed to quell the backlash. Area disability advocate Laura Green said it felt “generic and lackluster,” and “after a statement like that is made, you can’t just pretend that it didn’t happen or take it back because it’s damaging to a community of people.”

Despite the outrage, Fox News reports that the Framingham Democratic Committee voted against removing Hugo from his position, with eleven supporting removal, sixteen opposing, and one abstention.

“A group that doesn’t have the moral fortitude to take him out ought to also be unelected,” lamented Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America president Marjorie Dannenfelser. “Anyone who sets out to target the vulnerable in the community for extinction should not be in any position of leadership anywhere.”

It is a common practice around the world to abort preborn children specifically because of a diagnosis of a disability such as Down syndrome; the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute estimates that abortion reduces the Down community in the United States by 30% — despite research finding that 99% of people with Down syndrome described themselves as “happy,” and only 4% of parents of Down children expressed regret about having them.

Dr. William Lile, a board-certified OB/GYN and pro-life public speaker, argues that when a baby faces a lethal abnormality, the humane response is not abortion but giving him or her the same “love, the concern, and the care” any born patient would receive. “This is a key concept: the baby in the womb is a patient,” he has written.