Congressional Candidate Jake Auchincloss Supports Making ROE Act Abortion Expansion Bill Federal Law

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If he wins the Democratic Primary on September 1, Jake Auchincloss will most likely be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in November — and bring a far-reaching Massachusetts abortion expansion bill with him to Washington.

Auchincloss, who serves on the Newton City Council, is one of nine Democrats running to represent Massachusetts’s Fourth Congressional District to replace incumbent U.S. Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-Newton), who is running for U.S. Senate against Ed Markey.

Auchincloss’s campaign web site offers an idea of his priorities. One of those is something that’s not being talked about much in national politics in 2020. Under the section “Protect Reproductive Rights,” Auchincloss’s agenda includes “codifying the ROE Act at the state and federal level.”

The ROE Act bill is a proposal in the Massachusetts legislature that would further loosen the state’s abortion laws. The measure would eliminate most restrictions on abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy. Critics call it an infanticide bill because it would remove language currently in state law that requires a doctor to try to save the life of a baby born after an attempted abortion.

The bill, which supporters are trying to get state legislators to approve before the current two-year legislative session runs out on July 31, would delete Section 12P of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 112, which states:

Section 12P. If an abortion is performed pursuant to section twelve M, the physician performing the abortion shall take all reasonable steps, both during and subsequent to the abortion, in keeping with good medical practice, consistent with the procedure being used, to preserve the life and health of the aborted child. Such steps shall include the presence of life-supporting equipment, as defined by the department of public health, in the room where the abortion is to be performed.

Pro-life organizations tell New Boston Post they are disappointed to see Auchincloss’s support for the proposed ROE Act bill — and his desire to bring it to the rest of the country. 

Pat Stewart, the executive director of Massachusetts Citizens For Life, said it’s wrong that Auchincloss considers abortion “reproductive care,” as his web site calls it.

“Rep. Auchincloss needs a good dictionary,” Stewart told New Boston Post in an email message. “His definition of ‘reproductive care’ is not health care. ‘Care’ is ‘the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance, and protection of someone or something’. New Oxford American Dictionary, Third Edition (2010).

“His agenda de-humanizes the unborn child, even to the point of denying a child who survives the ordeal of abortion the right to life-saving treatment,” she added. “There is no ‘care’ in his policies, only the death of innocents.”

Andrew Beckwith, the president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, told New Boston Post in a telephone interview that he was not familiar with Auchincloss, but that he could not see a bill as extreme as the ROE Act passing at the federal level.

He said that the bill would put late-term abortions in abortion clinics that have no equipment to resuscitate babies that are born alive, and that eliminating parental consent laws for those under 18 who seek abortions would benefit sex offenders who impregnate underage girls.

“If you look at what the ROE Act does, it streamlines their profit pipeline for seedy abortion clinics,” Beckwith said. “The girls can come straight to them and be driven by their boyfriends, or abusers. They can be done quicker, more cheaply, and sacrifices the health and safety for women in addition to the lives of the unborn.”

“If the media and the abortion advocates were honest with what they were pushing for, people wouldn’t stand for it,” he added.

Auchincloss could not be reached for comment on Monday or Tuesday.

The Massachusetts Fourth Congressional District stretches from Newton and Needham in the north down to Somerset and Seekonk in the south. It includes Milford and Hopedale to the west, and Easton and Taunton to the east.