Massachusetts lawmakers are trying a new avenue to expand late-term abortions after an unpopular pro-abortion bill has languished in committee for more than a year.
The newly proposed abortion expansion comes in the form of an amendment to the annual budget, State House News Service reports. This week, Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo said he supports the measure – contradicting his previous comments about not adding major legislation to the budget.
“Following last week’s joint statement with Senate President Spilka, in which we expressed concern over the threat to women’s reproductive rights on the national level, it is urgent that the House take up an immediate measure to remove barriers to women’s reproductive health options and protect the concepts enshrined in Roe v. Wade,” DeLeo said in a statement.
Sponsored by Democrat state Rep. Claire Cronin, budget Amendment 759 is very similar to the ROE Act, a pro-abortion bill that has been stalled in committee for more than a year, according to the report. The bill would legalize abortions through all nine months and allow young teens to get abortions without a parent’s knowledge or consent.
State branches of Planned Parenthood, NARAL and the ACLU said they support the proposed budget amendment, though none commented to the local news about what it specifically would do.
“We are incredibly grateful that Chair Cronin is working to protect reproductive freedom in Massachusetts. When Massachusetts voters reelected every incumbent who supported the ROE Act and also voted out anti-abortion legislators, they made it clear that they want state lawmakers to remove medically u
However, polls and the long delay on the ROE Act suggest the legislation is not popular. Polls consistently show that Americans oppose late-term abortions and support parental consent requirements for minors.
The proposed budget amendment appears to be strategic, a way Democrat politicians hope to pass the legislation quickly to appease pro-abortion lobbying groups before too many unhappy voters find out exactly what the amendment does.
If it is like the ROE Act, the budget amendment would eliminate basically all regulations and restrictions on abortion in Massachusetts. It would allow abortions through all nine months of pregnancy, even if there is no physical threat to the mother’s life, and could put young sexual abuse victims at greater risk by eliminating the state parental consent requirement.
Massachusetts Citizens for Life said the bill also allows for “passive infanticide” by eliminating a requirement to provide medical care to a baby who is born alive after an abortion.
Earlier this fall, the pro-life organization urged people to call their state legislators and the members of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary and tell them to vote no on the ROE Act.
“You organized last year en masse and stalled this anti-life bill in committee,” the pro-life organization said on its website. “You arrived in droves on the day of the public hearing, demonstrating that Massachusetts citizens, both pro-life and pro-choice, do not support promoting abortion access over women’s safety, our daughter’s safety, and the lives of infants born alive during botched procedures.”
Polls indicate that voters support parental consent requirement for minors and oppose late-term abortions on viable unborn babies.
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.
In Massachusetts, abortion activists renewed their demands to pass the legislation after U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died and conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett replaced her. The Supreme Court has a 6-3 conservative majority, and pro-life advocates hope and abortion activists fear the justices could restore protections to unborn babies.