The Massachusetts House voted Wednesday to reject Gov. Charlie Baker’s changes to legislation expanding late-term abortions and allowing young girls to get abortions without their parents’ knowledge or consent.
The Boston Herald reports the 49-107 vote in the House was a veto-proof majority. The radical pro-abortion legislation, tacked onto the state budget as an amendment, now is headed to the Democrat-controlled state Senate.
The pro-abortion amendment would allow unborn babies to be aborted for basically any reason up to birth, end parental consent for young girls seeking abortions, weaken the state anti-infanticide law, and allow non-doctors to abort unborn babies. State Democrat leaders argued that it is necessary because the U.S. Supreme Court could overturn Roe v. Wade in the near future.
While Baker did not veto the entire measure, as pro-lifers had hoped, he did remove the section allowing underage girls to get abortions without their parents’ knowledge or consent. He also limited the expansion of late-term abortions to fatal fetal anomalies and tightened “the language for when an abortion could be performed to protect the mental health of the mother,” according to State House News.
Polls consistently show that most Americans oppose late-term abortions and support parental consent for minors, but abortion advocacy groups insisted that Baker’s changes would “undermined lawmakers’ efforts to protect and expand abortion access,” WBUR News reports.
Massachusetts House Democrats also rejected an amendment Wednesday that would have required doctors to provide basic, life-saving medical care to babies who survive abortions, according to the Herald.
State Rep. Claire Cronin, who sponsored the pro-abortion legislation, argued that the protections for abortion survivors would “stigmatize” women seeking abortions, according to WBUR.
Here’s more from the report:
Speaking in favor of Baker’s amendment Wednesday, Republican Rep. Sheila Harrington of Groton said the Legislature should impose a stronger condition on abortions after 24 weeks than a goal to “preserve” health.
“When we allow for that language to prevail, we’re playing God if we are becoming the arbiter of whether a mother’s mental health preservation is more important than that baby’s life,” Harrington said.
There still is hope that the pro-abortion amendment could fail. Many Massachusetts residents have been speaking out, contacting lawmakers and the governor, writing letters and holding rallies to protest the plans to expand the killing of unborn babies in abortions in their state.
WBUR reports the legislation still faces multiple hurdles, even if the Senate rejects Baker’s changes. “If the governor vetoes their ultimate bill on abortion access, Democratic leaders in the House would need at least 106 votes — based on the fact that the chamber missing two members from its usual 160 — to reach the two-thirds majority necessary for an override, assuming everyone votes,” according to the report.
Polls consistently show that Americans oppose late-term abortions and support parental consent for minors. 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.
Earlier this month, more than 400 pastors across the state wrote a letter to Baker slamming the bill as a “shocking and callous disregard for human life and the importance of parental involvement in the lives of children.”
The Massachusetts Citizens for Life, Massachusetts Family Institute and other leading pro-life groups also have been making huge efforts to stop the anti-life legislation from becoming law. Massachusetts Catholic leaders also criticized the anti-life legislation.
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: Call Gov. Charlie Baker at (617) 725-4005. Contact Massachusetts lawmakers.