Massachusetts bill would allow abortion for all 9 months, end parental consent
BOSTON, January 7, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Despite being one of the most liberal states in the country, Massachusetts’ abortion laws have long been too moderate for the abortion lobby’s liking. Democrat lawmakers hope to change that with the so-called ROE Act currently pending before the legislature.
The Remove Obstacles and Expand Abortion Access (ROE) Act declares that abortions may be committed past the state’s current cutoff point of 24 weeks if a physician deems abortion “necessary to protect the patient’s life or physical or mental health, or in cases of lethal fetal anomalies, or where the fetus is incompatible with sustained life outside the uterus.”
It defines “physical or mental health” as encompassing “all factors — physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the person’s age — relevant to the well-being of the patient,” the same language used in the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Doe v. Bolton ruling, which when paired with Roe v. Wade defines “health” so broadly as to permit effectively unlimited abortions.
The bill also eliminates the state’s current requirement that minors cannot abort without the consent of a parent, as well as language requiring that abortionists “take all reasonable steps (…) to preserve the life and health of the aborted child.”
"I think if people realize what a post-Roe world would be, that would make it even more reasonable to do this bill," the bill’s sponsor, Democrat state Sen. Harriette Chandler, told U.S. News & World Report.
Massachusetts Citizens for Life board chairman David Franks responded to the bill by noting that abortion is often used by adult predators to hide and continue their rape of teenage girls, by destroying the evidence, and argued that laws “need to do as much as we can — especially given the kind of epidemic abuse that we're facing — to interrupt that cycle.”
The ROE Act is part of a broader trend of states on both sides preparing for an assumed reversal of Roe v. Wade in the not-too-distant future. It would also bring Massachusetts more closely aligned with its left-wing reputation; the City of San Francisco, California raised eyebrows last fall when it put Massachusetts on a list of 22 states it was blacklisting for “severe anti-choice policies.”
The ROE Act is expected to pass the state legislature, but whether it would become law remains to be seen. Liberal Republican Gov. Charlie Baker is an abortion supporter who previously signed a repeal of Massachusetts’ pre-Roe abortion ban, but has said he has “concerns about eliminating the parental notification requirement.”