Massachusetts is joining the lineup of states considering bills to legalize abortions through all nine months of pregnancy.
The bill (SD 109), similar to a radical pro-abortion law passed in New York in January, would allow viable, late-term unborn babies to be aborted for any loosely defined “health” reason, according to the Washington Examiner.
It also would repeal the state law that requires girls under 18 to obtain a parent’s consent before an abortion, the report states. The bill is named the Remove Obstacles and Expand Abortion Access Act (ROE Act).
Across the country, pro-abortion Democrats are pushing these bills based on fears that the new U.S. Supreme Court justices may overturn Roe v. Wade and allow states to begin protecting unborn babies’ lives again. Similar bills are being considered in New Mexico, Vermont and Rhode Island. Another pro-abortion bill was defeated last week in Virginia.
Massachusetts state Sen. Harriette Chandler, who sponsored the newest bill, told the Examiner that she wants to ensure women will be able to continue to access abortion in her state.
“The ROE Act breaks down barriers to ensure that women are able to receive appropriate medical care, according to a physician’s best judgment, in tragic circumstances when there are lethal abnormalities or a risk to the woman’s life during the course of a pregnancy,” Chandler said. “The law should reflect that these are very difficult decisions that should be made between a woman and her doctor.”
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Here’s more from the report:
Massachusetts law currently bans abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy except if a woman’s pregnancy endangers her life, or if continuing the pregnancy would risk “grave impairment of her physical or mental health.” The Remove Obstacles and Expand Abortion Access Act, or “ROE Act,” would loosen those restrictions by dropping the “grave impairment” language and allowing abortions after 24 weeks to protect the mother’s “physical or mental health, or in cases of lethal fetal anomalies, or where the fetus is incompatible with sustained life outside the womb.”
The bill would give doctors much more latitude in deciding to conduct abortions and would delete the section in current Massachusetts law that requires doctors to “take all reasonable steps … to preserve the life and health of the aborted child,” including having life-supporting equipment in the room.
Unlike some other state bills, the Massachusetts legislation clearly states how widely the “health” exception may be interpreted to allow late-term abortions.
“Medical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors—physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the person’s age—relevant to the well-being of the patient,” the bill states.
Under these terms, healthy, viable unborn babies may be aborted for basically any reason up to birth.
Pro-abortion groups backing the bill include NARAL, Planned Parenthood, the ACLU and the Massachusetts Family Planning Association.
Despite lawmakers’ growing push for these bills, polls consistent show that most Americans oppose late-term abortions.
According to a recent national poll by Marist University, three in four Americans (75 percent) say abortion should be limited to – at most – the first three months of pregnancy. This includes most Republicans (92 percent), Independents (78 percent) and a majority of Democrats (60 percent). It also includes more than six in 10 (61 percent) who identify as “pro-choice” on abortion.
A May 2018 Gallup poll similarly found that 53 percent of Americans oppose all or most abortions.
ACTION ALERT: Contact the Massachusetts legislature to oppose the bill.