MassGOP Chairman Jim Lyons Condemns Republican State Rep’s Support for Abortion Bill

Printed from:

The Massachusetts Republican Party does not support the abortion expansion bill on Beacon Hill, but one GOP state representative does.

The party vigorously opposes the bill. The Massachusetts Republican Party chairman Jim Lyons calls it an infanticide bill.’s three definitions of infanticide are: “the act of killing an infant”;  “the practice of killing newborn infants”; and “a person who kills an infant.”

State Representative James Kelcourse (R-Amesbury) is the lone holdout among Republican legislators in Massachusetts. Kelcourse has supported multiple versions of the ROE Act abortion expansion bill to date.

When asked for comment about Kelcourse’s votes, Lyons criticized the state representative’s actions.

“I think Mr. Kelcourse is at the very best misguided,” Lyons said. “What is it that he doesn’t understand about providing medical care to a baby born alive? Mr. Kelcourse touts the fact that he’s a lawyer and a Catholic. Obviously, he has a difficult time understanding that the ROE Act, or as I call it the infanticide act, allows for the killing of babies born alive. I would hope that Mr. Kelcourse would re-read the bill and re-read his catechism.”

Kelcourse could not be reached for comment on Thursday. He also did not respond to New Boston Post’s request for comment last month.

Kelcourse was a co-sponsor of the original version of the ROE Act (S.1209/H.3320) that never got a vote out of committee.

Last month, Kelcourse voted in favor of Budget Amendment 759 to the Massachusetts fiscal year 2021 budget. He also supported the latest version of the abortion expansion legislation (Massachusetts House Bill 5179.). He also voted against two proposed amendments that Republicans offered to the ROE Act on Wednesday. One came from Massachusetts Republican governor Charlie Baker, and the other came from state representatives Marc Lombardo of Billerica and Alyson Sullivan of Abington.

The current version of the ROE Act would expand the definition of legal abortion in Massachusetts beyond 24 weeks to include cases where “an abortion is warranted because of a lethal fetal anomaly incompatible with sustained life outside the uterus.” Current state law allows for abortion after 24 weeks “to preserve the patient’s physical or mental health.”

The bill would lower the age of girls needing consent from a parent or a judge to get an abortion from 17 and younger (as current law states) to 15 and younger.

It would also eliminate language from existing Massachusetts law that requires doctors to attempt to save the life of a baby born alive after an attempted abortion. The legislation would do so by repealing 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.

The amendment to the bill proposed by Lombardo and Sullivan would have required doctors to provide life-saving care to babies born alive. On Wednesday, December 16, the Massachusetts House rejected the amendment 34-120. That same day the House also voted 49-107 to reject the Baker amendment to maintain the current age minors need the consent of a parent or a judge to get an abortion, which is 17.