February 12, 2019
Massachusetts set to follow New York in expanding third trimester abortion
After New York State passed one of the most expansive and and sweeping abortion laws in the country, Massachusetts is poised to follow in its footsteps. The Remove Obstacles and Expand Abortion Access Act, or the ROE Act, would extend the ability to procure an abortion in Massachusetts after 24 weeks, as well as remove key protections for viable babies that survive abortions. The law also broadens the meaning of a mother’s health to include mental health and removes the section of Massachusetts law requiring a minor to get parental consent before having an abortion.
Current law in Massachusetts permits abortions after 24 weeks only in cases of a “grave impairment of her physical or mental health.” The proposed law would remove any limitations or qualifier. Section 12P of the existing law specifically includes protection for babies who survive an abortion procedure with a requirement for life-saving equipment to be on hand in cases for abortions of viable babies. The proposed law specifically deletes this requirement, thus opening the door to de facto infanticide of viable babies surviving abortion.
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