Boston Globe Truth-Shy About ROE Act Abortion Expansion Bill

Printed from:

Any honest discussion of the proposed ROE Act bill in the Massachusetts Legislature has to deal with a provision that would enable a doctor to let a baby born after an attempted abortion die.

The bill doesn’t say that. But it does that. It would remove an existing provision in state law that requires a doctor to try to save the life of an already-born baby. The obvious inference is that doctors in Massachusetts would no longer be required to save the life of a baby after birth, if that baby’s existence was supposed to have been ended by abortion.

We explained all of this in detail nearly a year and a half ago in an editorial that, we understand, has been seen by legislators on Beacon Hill. The New Boston Post editorial may be one reason why Massachusetts state legislators – who generally support legal abortion – have been so reluctant to move forward with the ROE Act bill or even to comment on it publicly.

On the one hand, they don’t want to offend the pro-abortion lobby. On the other hand, infanticide is hard to swallow.

This background suggests why a recent Boston Globe editorial on the ROE Act bill is not only wrong but dishonest. In 596 words, the Globe’s editorial board doesn’t mention the most noteworthy thing about the bill.

The Globe editorial also implies – without quite saying it – that if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, then the legal status of abortion in this state might somehow be uncertain. (“If a conservative majority … overturns … Roe v. Wade … it will be every state for itself – and Massachusetts needs to be ready for that event.”)

If only. But the impression this sentence leaves is not in touch with reality.

In 1981, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court claimed that the Declaration of Rights in the Massachusetts Constitution offers legal abortion “a greater degree of protection” than even the U.S. Supreme Court said the federal constitution did in 1973. (The state case is Moe vs. Secretary of Administration and Finance.)

Neither the state court decision of 1981 nor the more famous federal court decision of 1973 makes sense. Neither is based on constitution, statute, or common law. But the effect is clear. The highest court in Massachusetts holds abortion to be a fundamental right under our state constitution – irrespective of what happens to Roe v. Wade.

Nor is there any statutory threat to abortion in Massachusetts. In July 2018, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a bill officially repealing anti-abortion statutes that hadn’t been in even theoretical force since 1973. And everyone knows that a majority of state legislators are publicly pro-abortion. Massachusetts – sadly – isn’t likely to do anything to protect pre-born human beings any time soon.

So the alleged urgency of the ROE Act bill is nonexistent.

Instead of acknowledging the obvious, Globe readers were treated to this junk:  “This time the threat is real, the danger to women is real. And Massachusetts lawmakers need to respond accordingly and put the ROE Act on their 2020 must-do list.”

Here’s another inaccuracy from the Globe editorial:

“Current law allows late-term abortions only when the mother’s life is at risk.”

Not so. Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 112, Section 12M says that at 24 weeks an abortion can be performed “only if it is necessary to save the life of the mother, or if a continuation of her pregnancy will impose on her a substantial risk of grave impairment of her physical or mental health.”

In other words:  If a doctor will sign off on a non-measurable “mental health” impairment, then a woman can have an abortion at any stage in pregnancy in Massachusetts – right now.

So what is the ROE Act bill all about?

Three other provisions of the bill help point you in the right direction:

1)  The bill would remove an existing requirement that girls 17 and younger get permission from a parent or a judge to get an abortion. One study by a researcher who supports abortion says getting rid of parental consent would speed up abortions by an average of six days per girl. (The study found no evidence that the delay prevents any abortions from occurring, the researcher told WBUR in April 2019.)

2)  The bill would expand the number of women who would qualify to have the state pay for an abortion. That means that if you aren’t poor enough to qualify for MassHealth (the state’s Medicaid program), you might still qualify for a free abortion if the ROE Act bill passes, depending on your income level.

3)  The bill would remove an existing requirement in state law that abortions at 24 weeks or later be performed in a hospital. (It’s Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 112, Section 12Q, which refers to Section M.)

Are you getting a picture?

Abortions would be faster to get, easier to provide, less regulated, less burdened by safety precautions, and more likely to be paid for by state taxpayers. No pesky rules about whether the product of conception has been born yet or is still in the mother’s womb. No need for a higher-risk abortion to take place in a hospital instead of an abortion-factory clinic.

This sounds like a business plan for abortionists.

Indeed, that’s what Chanel Prunier, at the time the head of the Renew Massachusetts Coalition, suggested in a column in New Boston Post in March 2019.

Is this about individual rights and personal autonomy? Or is it about money?

Hey Boston Globe:  You’re right about this ROE Act bill:  “… the threat is real, the danger to women is real.”

It’s just it comes from you.