Koch, a practicing Catholic, left the Democrat party in 2018 in response to comments by Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez that all Democrats should support abortion rights. Koch is now a registered independent.
Koch’s speech, delivered off-the-cuff, entailed a story of his own failure to rally the local Democratic politicians on a critical pro-life cause. At the end of 2020, the state legislature voted to override Gov. Charlie Baker’s veto of the ROE Act, a bill that expanded legal abortion throughout a woman’s pregnancy.
The ROE Act allows minors to get an abortion without parental consent, allows abortion after 24 weeks in the case of a fatal diagnosis of the unborn child, and strikes down a state law that requires doctors to try to save the life of a baby born alive after a failed abortion attempt.
The local Quincy state legislators voted to override Baker’s veto. With a population of almost 95,000, the city south of Boston is home to three Democratic state representatives and one Democratic state senator. According to the New Boston Post, local representatives Bruce Ayers and Ron Mariano, as well as state senator John Keenan, all identify as Catholic.
In response to Koch’s speech, Keenan told CNA that he has already expressed his opinion through his vote and declined to comment further. Keenan also declined to comment on whether he was a Catholic.
In his speech, Koch said that he learned how to be “principled” from a young age after watching his father, Richard J. Koch, distance himself from Senator Ted Kennedy. As a campaign aide for Kennedy, Koch’s father spent extensive time with the senator but “departed” the position after Kennedy supported legal abortion.