Abortion Expansion Bill Draws Protesters To Massachusetts State House

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2019/03/31/abortion-expansion-bill-draws-protesters-to-massachusetts-state-house/

More than 100 opponents of a controversial proposed abortion rights bill gathered near the steps of the Massachusetts State House on Saturday to enlist and enliven followers to their cause.

The rally was sponsored by Massachusetts Citizens for Life and co-sponsored by several other advocacy groups, including the Renew Massachusetts Coalition and the Massachusetts Alliance to Stop Taxpayer Funded Abortions.

As proposed, An Act to Remove Obstacles and Expand Abortion Access (Massachusetts Senate Bill 1209) would eliminate a current requirement in the law that underage girls get consent from their parents or a judge to have an abortion, and would also eliminate a current requirement that late-term abortions be performed in hospitals, since they are medically riskier to the mother. It would remove a provision in state law requiring that if a baby is born live during an abortion that life-saving care be provided to the baby. The act would also expand public funding of abortion beyond women poor enough to qualify for Medicaid.

“I am here to raise awareness about the extreme provisions of this new act,” said C.J. Williams, director of community engagement for Massachusetts Citizens for Life. “It will lead to passive infanticide, and it makes abortion extremely unsafe for women. We already have very liberal abortion laws. Unsafe, legal, and celebrated is not what anyone wants.”

Rita Russo, campaign director for 40 Days for Life Boston, said the bill is frightening.

“It is barbaric, it’s uncivilized, and it certainly takes away protection to women. I can’t believe we’re doing this in a so-called civilized society,” Russo said. “It’s dead wrong, and we need to stop it.”

According to the Guttmacher Institute, 21,020 abortions took place in Massachusetts in 2014. Abortions in Massachusetts represent 2.3% of all abortions in the United States.

J. David Franks, chairman of the board of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, called upon the bill’s opponents to help protect vulnerable women and children.

“We are true citizens of the Commonwealth when we stand up for life,” Franks said. “We are here to remember. We respond and we resist.”

Massachusetts groups that support legal abortion have cited the ROE Act as their top priority for the 2019-2020 legislative session. With this in mind, Debby Dugan, board member of the Renew Massachusetts Coalition, urged rally attendees to lobby legislators, especially sponsors and co-sponsors of the bill.

“This is the fight of our generation,” Dugan declared.

Massachusetts Senate Bill 1209 has 51 sponsors. It is supported by Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Family Planning Association, and ACLU Massachusetts. It has been referred to the state Legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Health, but no hearing has been scheduled yet.