Massachusetts Democrats rammed through a radical pro-abortion amendment Wednesday in the state Senate that would expand late-term abortions and allow young girls to abort their unborn babies with a parent’s knowledge.
The pro-abortion amendment is similar to the ROE Act, an unpopular bill that languished in committee for more than a year. Using a new strategy to expand abortions and appease pro-abortion lobbying groups, Democrats now are trying to push through the anti-life changes in the state budget during a lame-duck session.
Currently, Massachusetts prohibits abortions after 24 weeks except if the mother’s life is at risk. The amendment would expand these exceptions, allowing viable, late-term unborn babies to be aborted if they are diagnosed with a fatal anomaly or “to preserve the patient’s physical or mental health” – a definition that can be widely interpreted.
It also would weaken a state law that protects babies who survive abortions from infanticide, and lower the parental consent age from 18 to 16. Additionally, the amendment would allow non-doctors to abort unborn babies.
Democrat leaders argued that immediate action is necessary after pro-life Justice Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court. They fear the high court could restore protections for unborn babies by overturning Roe v. Wade.
“The time has come for urgent action,” said state Senate President Emerita Harriette Chandler, who sponsored both the original pro-abortion bill and the new amendment, according to State House News. “I believe in an affirmative right to choose, but this right now hangs in the balance. Those of us who remember the days before legal abortion and contraception must unite with those of us who never knew those dark times to protect this right at all costs.”
Republican leaders criticized pro-abortion lawmakers for circumventing the committee process and the will of the people by misusing the budget to pass the radical pro-abortion legislation, according to the report.
Minority Leader Bruce Tarr said Democrat leaders have given “no opportunity for people to say, ‘Let’s try to improve this, let’s offer amendments, let’s try to debate them, let’s include the members of the Senate as we always do in a full-throated, reasoned, inclusive discussion.’”
Pro-life leaders are urging people to call Gov. Baker and ask him to oppose the abortion expansion. According to the Boston Globe, Baker said he is “unhappy” about the amendment, but he did commit to vetoing it.
“I do share some of the unhappiness that was raised by a number of members of the Republican Party – that putting policy in the budget was something that both leaders in the House and Senate said they would not do,” Baker said Friday. “And it’s pretty hard to argue that this isn’t a major policy initiative that is now in the budget.”
Because the budget amendment passed by a two-thirds majority in both chambers, it could become law even if Baker vetoes it.
Meanwhile, outrage is growing. Earlier this month, more than 300 pastors in the state sent a letter to Baker urging him to veto the bill.
“In 2019 alone, there were 18,593 abortions performed in the Bay State. How much more ‘accessible’ does the murder of unborn children need to be?” they asked. “Abortion ends the life of a human child and puts the physical, mental and emotional health of women, most especially young women, at risk.”
Massachusetts Catholic leaders also criticized the anti-life legislation in a statement last week, according to the Catholic News Service.
“We are concerned that the amendment, if enacted, would expand abortion access in the Commonwealth well beyond what is currently in state law,” said Boston Archbishop Sean O’Malley, Worcester Bishop Robert McManus and Fall River Bishop Edgar da Cunha in a statement. “Abortion at any time, from the moment of conception to birth, is in direct conflict with Catholic teaching and must be opposed.”
A recent poll by Susan B. Anthony List found strong opposition to the Massachusetts 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 supports the current state law requiring parental consent before a girl under 18 has an abortion.
Similar legislation passed in New York, Illinois, Vermont and Rhode Island last year, prompting massive outrage. Another pro-abortion bill narrowly failed in New Mexico because of strong public opposition.
ACTION ALERT: Contact Gov. Charlie Baker at 617-725-4005 or email him to ask him to veto the pro-abortion amendment.