Massachusetts lawmakers are slated to consider a bill Monday to expand legalized abortions for basically any reason up to birth in their state.
In an email this week, the Massachusetts Family Institute urged pro-life advocates to attend a public hearing at 1 p.m. Monday at the Boston State House when lawmakers will consider the bill. The pro-life group plans to hold a rally at 10 a.m. on the stairs of the State House ahead of the meeting.
“This is the one chance residents of Massachusetts will have to make a unified, public outcry regarding this bill before it comes up for a vote,” the pro-life group said.
Similar to laws recently passed in New York and Vermont, R.O.E. Act (SD 109), would allow viable, late-term unborn babies to be aborted for any loosely defined “health” reason. It also would repeal the requirement that girls under 18 to obtain a parent’s consent before an abortion. Additionally, the bill would repeal the law requiring that infants born alive after botched abortions receive medical care.
A second bill, state Senate Bill 587, would require all health insurance plans to cover abortions. Taxpayer-funded abortions already are allowed in Massachusetts through its state Medicaid program.
Earlier this month, several pro-life groups held a rally in Boston to oppose the abortion expansion, The Boston Pilot reports.
“We are not going to let this proud cradle of liberty become the shameful cradle of death,” said Bernadette Lyons, the wife of state Rep. Jim Lyons.
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Sue Swayze Liebel, coordinator of the Susan B. Anthony List National Pro-Life Women’s Caucus, announced the results of a new poll showing strong opposition to the legislation.
According to the poll, 62 percent of Massachusetts voters oppose late-term abortions, including 49 percent of Democrat and 66 percent of independent voters. The same number, 62 percent, also support the current state law requiring parental consent before a girl under 18 has an abortion, the poll found.
“We’re here because these bills, H.3320 and S.1209, don’t represent the will of the voters at all,” Liebel said.
Massachusetts Citizens for Life Chairman J. David Franks said the bill is even more radical than the one that passed in New York in January.
“We need a massive mobilization to defeat the extremism of the abortion industry,” Franks said in an email to supporters earlier this spring. “Working together, we can be the instruments of a miracle.”
However, pro-lifers are facing threats for defending unborn babies. In March, Franks said a suspicious package was sent to their office in Boston, causing the whole Shrafft Center to be evacuated while police investigated. He said the package contained a strange-smelling voodoo doll.
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. A similar bill currently is being considered in Rhode Island, and New York, Vermont and Maine all passed abortion expansion laws this year. Two other pro-abortion bills were defeated this year in Virginia and New Mexico.
Previously, Massachusetts state Sen. Harriette Chandler, who sponsored the 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.”
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 in reference to late-term abortions for “health” reasons.
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.
ACTION: Contact Massachusetts state lawmakers to oppose the bill.