Massachusetts Lawmakers Override Romney Morning After Pill Veto

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 16, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Massachusetts Lawmakers Override Romney Morning After Pill Veto Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 16, 2005

Boston, MA ( — As expected, the state legislature overrode Gov. Mitt Romney’s veto of legislation that would make the state the next to allow sales of the morning after pill over the counter. The measure forces hospitals to give the sometimes abortion-causing drug to rape victims and makes the drugs available at pharmacies without a doctor’s visit.

The state Senate voted unanimously 37-0 to override Romney’s veto while the state House voted 139-16.

Romney vetoed the bill saying that the Plan B pills were widely available and he said he was concerned that the drug causes abortions in some cases. He also said signing a bill would violate a campaign pledge he made not to alter state abortion laws.

Some political observers say Romney’s veto of this bill, and another promoting embryonic stem cell research, are meant to help him curry favor with Republican voters as he seeks a possible 2008 presidential bid.

Despite the override vote, it may take weeks or months for the new law to take effect. That’s because the state health department, controlled by Romney, must write new regulations to implement the law.

Sally Fogerty, the associate commissioner of the state agency, told the Boston Globe she didn’t know when the new rules would take effect.

Melissa Kogut, executive director of NARAL, told the Globe her group would be "monitoring the situation."

”We do hope they will work as quickly as possible. We will be giving them information and examples from other states to make sure the process moves as quickly as possible. We’re gathering that already," the pro-abortion leader said.

Some 59 of the 71 hospitals in the state already offer raped women the morning after pills, the Globe reports.

The override makes Massachusetts the eighth state to allow sales of the morning after pill over the counter. Other states that have rushed through approval include Alaska, California, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Washington.

Canada has also made the sometimes abortion drug Plan B available over the counter without a prescription and Vermont and Oregon are considering similar proposals. The FDA is also considering a proposal to allow sales of the morning after pill without a prescription for women over the age of 16.