As the controversy still boils over the late-term abortion bill passing in the state of New York and the bill trying to slide by in Virginia but falling short, two other states are following closely by in aiming to push similarly controversial laws.
Currently banning abortion after 24 weeks, Massachusetts is looking to allow more relaxed restrictions with its new bill, Bill SD.109.
The current law in the state is that abortions can only occur after the specific timeframe if the pregnancy endangers the woman’s life or if continuing it would cause “grave impairment of her physical or mental health,” according to the Washington Examiner.
The new bill, Remove Obstacles and Expand Abortion Access Act, or “ROE Act,” would allow an abortion after the timeframe to protect the woman’s “physical or mental health, or in cases of lethal fetal anomalies, or where the fetus is incompatible with sustained life outside the uterus.”
Additionally, it would delete the requirement for doctors to “take all reasonable steps … to preserve the life and health of the aborted child.”
“A physician, acting within their lawful scope of practice, may perform an abortion when, according to the physician’s best medical judgment based on the facts of the patient’s case, the patient is beyond twenty-four weeks from the commencement of pregnancy and the abortion is necessary to protect the patient’s life or physical or mental health, or in cases of lethal fetal anomalies, or where the fetus is incompatible with sustained life outside the uterus. Medical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors—physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the person’s age—relevant to the well-being of the patient.”
The bill’s sponsor, Mass. state Sen. Harriette Chandler, told the Examiner the new law “breaks down barriers to ensure that women are able to receive appropriate medical care, according to a physician’s best judgment, in tragic circumstances when there are lethal abnormalities or a risk to the woman’s life during the course of a pregnancy.”
“ROE Act” is co-sponsored by all Democrats.
Live Action slams the practice of late-term abortion procedure
Live Action President and Founder Lila Rose reacted to the bill by slamming the “barbaric” practice of late-term abortion in a statement to IJR:
“This a barbaric and inhuman [sic] practice, where a fully formed baby’s heart is pierced in utero with a needle, which injects a lethal dose of digoxin to cause cardiac arrest, and the mother’s labor is induced to deliver a dead baby. We have a nation full of families eager to adopt children, and pregnancy resource centers ready to serve mothers in challenging circumstances. This truly is the greatest human rights abuse of our time.”
Rose said legislators are “waking up to just how pro-life Americans have become” and added that “75 percent of Americans want to limit abortion to the first trimester, if not outright banned, including 60 percent of Democrats.”
She blasted those who are not “listening to their constituents and protecting pre-born children and their mothers” but who are instead, “running to codify extreme abortion laws at the state level with groups like Planned Parenthood financially incentivizing them.”
In New Mexico, the state’s House approved a bill on Wednesday that would repeal the current punishment of a fourth-degree felony if abortion is performed — which the state’s Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has said she would sign if it made it to her desk, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.
One of the sponsor’s of the House Bill 52, which passed with a 40-29 vote, Rep. Joanne Ferrary (D-Las Cruces), told the Santa Fe New Mexico the bill “respects a woman’s personal decision to have an abortion.”
The bill would also lay out an approval process for “justified medical termination.” Other parts of it would also not allow hospitals and medical personnel to refuse to perform an abortion due to moral or religious beliefs.
House Minority Whip Rod Montoya told the paper there are concerns the bill will allow abortion “up to the very day of birth, whether or not it’s a medical necessity.”
Six Democrats joined 23 Republicans in voting against the bill.
In response, director of And Then There Were None Abby Johnson, who previously worked at Planned Parenthood, told IJR her life was changed when she assisted in an ultrasound-guided abortion and “saw that baby fighting for its life.”
“Life in the womb exists and it should be protected,” she said.
Johnson called the late-term abortion laws an “assault” on “basic human rights, on the dignity of life and the femininity of women.”
She urged all of Americans to educate themselves on abortion and understand late-term abortion is “gruesome.”
The two states are the latest to attempt to join the state of New York after it passed the extensive pro-choice bill into law in January. Additionally, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam found himself under fire for controversial abortion remarks and for refusing to condemn the late-term abortion bill — which was tabled by committee.
March for Life calls pro-abortion extremism “out of touch”
The president of March for Life, Jeanne Mancini, told IJR pro-abortion extremism is “not only horrifying, it is out of touch with mainstream America.”
Mancini pointed to a Marist Poll survey which reveals 75 percent of Americans saying abortion should be limited to the first three months of pregnancy.
“It is time for these radical lawmakers to stop pandering to the abortion lobby and instead stand with the consensus that believes killing a 7-pound baby not yet born is not healthcare, it’s murder,” Mancini said.
As IJR Red reported, during President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address he defended the “living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world” while asking for Congress to “pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) labeled his call as “really quite a sad thing.”