Boston Catholic Cardinal Sean O’Malley slammed a Massachusetts pro-abortion bill over the weekend for “dehumanizing” mothers and unborn babies.
The R.O.E. Act (Senate Bill 1209) is similar to a radical pro-abortion law passed in New York in January. It would allow unborn babies to be aborted up to birth for any loosely defined “health” reason. It also would repeal the state law that requires girls under 18 to obtain a parent’s consent before an abortion.
O’Malley urged people to oppose the bill in a statement April 6, saying it is “threatening to human life and dignity,” according to the Catholic News Service. He said even people who “support the Roe v. Wade decision” should oppose the bill because of how radical it is.
The cardinal said abortion is not just a religious matter, it also is an issue of human rights. He said the bill would hurt women and their unborn babies by ignoring the violent, deadly reality of abortion and treating it instead as just another medical procedure.
“While the procedure has significant clinical dimensions, there is also a human reality that deserves more adequate recognition at any stage of development,” O’Malley said. “By depersonalizing the reality, the legislation dehumanizes the decision faced by women, their families and physicians.”
He urged women who are pregnant and struggling to reach out to the Archdiocese of Boston Pregnancy Help program, which provides spiritual and material assistance to mothers in need.
“We do not seek to judge or blame individuals, particularly women and families faced with excruciatingly difficult pregnancies,” O’Malley said.
Opposition to abortion is growing. In March, hundreds of pro-lifers flooded into the Massachusetts capital to stand against the legislation.
Massachusetts Citizens for Life has been raising awareness about the threat of the anti-life legislation across the state. It also urged Massachusetts residents to contact their lawmakers in opposition to the bill.
“Life is a human right,” the pro-life organization said. “S.1209 threatens our women by promoting and legalizing abortions up to birth and by allowing late-term abortions to be performed outside of hospitals.”
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.
The bill also would allow an infant who survives a failed abortion to be left to die without any medical assistance.
A second bill, state Senate Bill 587, would require all health insurance plans to cover abortions, according to the New Boston Post. Taxpayer-funded abortions already are allowed in Massachusetts through its state Medicaid program.
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 Vermont, Rhode Island and Illinois. Two other pro-abortion bills were defeated this year in Virginia and New Mexico.
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: Contact Massachusetts state lawmakers to oppose the bill.