Massachusetts Lawmakers Move to Legalize Abortion up to Birth, Adding it to State Budget

Nov 11, 2020

Massachusetts Lawmakers Move to Legalize Abortion up to Birth, Adding it to State Budget

Next week, the Massachusetts Legislature is set to debate an amendment to the state’s budget that addresses access to abortions up until birth. The amendment to the budget bill would effectively enact the ROE Act, which had earlier stalled in the Legislature’s Joint Committee on the Judiciary.
If passed, the amendment would allow abortions after 24 weeks if a doctor determines that it “is necessary to protect the patient’s life or physical or mental health, or in cases of lethal fetal abnormalities, or where the fetus is incompatible with sustained life outside the uterus. The bill also outlines a process by which women under the age of 16 can petition a judge for the procedure without parental consent and requires insurance coverage of abortions for state residents who are not eligible for MassHealth. 
Supporters of the effort, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Karen Spilka, said in a joint statement Monday night that they were “concerned that Massachusetts’ women’s reproductive rights are under threat at the national level” and they were “committed to debate measures in the House and Senate this session that would remove barriers to women’s reproductive health options and protect the concepts enshrined in Roe v. Wade.” 

Over 300 Massachusetts pastors sent a letter on Tuesday to Governor Baker pressing him to veto the bill if it reaches him, labeling it "one of the most radical pieces of abortion legislation in the country.” State Republican Party Chairman Jim Lyons also opposes the amendment, stating, "The Democrats' priorities are nothing short of ghoulish … For them to decide that the height of an emergency health pandemic is a good time to do something like this is absolutely disturbing."

News Sources:

Massachusetts lawmakers seek to legalize abortion up to birth by adding it to state budget

DeLeo: House Will Tackle Abortion Access During Budget Debate

Mass. GOP Leader Takes Issue With Abortion Amendment In Budget
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