Jane Swift Says She Supports Latest Version of ROE Act Abortion Expansion Bill

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2020/11/13/jane-swift-says-she-supports-latest-version-of-roe-act-abortion-expansion-bill/

Charlie Baker is not a fan of the ROE Act abortion bill, but another Republican governor of Massachusetts has a different opinion.

That would be Jane Swift, who served as acting governor from 2001 to 2003. She endorsed the legislation, a version of which passed in the Massachusetts House of Representatives on Thursday, during an appearance on WBUR’s “Radio Boston” Week-in-Review panel on Friday afternoon.

Host Tiziana Dearing asked Swift if this version of the ROE Act (Budget Amendment 759) passing in the House 109-49 would put Baker “in a pickle” where he may feel pressure to sign it into law.

Swift disagreed with that notion but noted that she has a different position on this version of the ROE Act from Baker’s.

“So I think Charlie has been very clear in his position on social issues,” Swift said. “I don’t think it puts him in a pickle. I think the mistake is when we try to make the argument that women’s votes are all about abortion and frankly, I think that it’s important that this bill passed. I think we presupposed what’s gonna happen in the Supreme Court and I’m not sure frankly that that is always correct thinking we know how certain justices are going to act before they do and perhaps that’s a topic for another session on Radio Boston when we’re not quite so packed with other issues.

“The thing I would say as a mother of three daughters who, yes, care about that issue, there’s a lot more work to do for underrepresented groups and for equity and inclusion and diversity than abortion,” she added.

Governor Baker supports existing abortion law in Massachusetts, which makes abortion legal with few restrictions up until 24 weeks and under certain circumstances after that, as well. But says he opposes late-term abortions.

This version of the ROE Act that Swift supports would allow for legal abortion after 24 weeks in Massachusetts in cases where “an abortion is warranted because of a lethal fetal anomaly incompatible with sustained life outside the uterus.” That’s in addition to the already existing exemption “to preserve the patient’s physical or mental health.”

Additionally, it would lower the age of a girl needing parental or judicial consent for an abortion from 17 and younger to 15 and younger.

It eliminates language from existing Massachusetts law requiring that a doctor attempt to save the life of a baby born alive in an attempted abortion. The bill does mandate that abortions take place in rooms with life-supporting equipment, but not that the doctor has to use the equipment to save the baby’s life.

The ROE Act has not come up for a vote in the Massachusetts Senate yet.