Democratic Bill Would Provide Millions In Abortion Funding To Massachusetts Public Universities

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If some Democratic state legislators have their way, there will be more taxpayer funding for abortion in Massachusetts.

A bill (H 2399 / S 1470) would require public universities in Massachusetts to provide medication abortion, including abortion pills, to students. It would also require them to provide referrals for abortion services not offered at their campus health centers.

The bill calls for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to provide grants of no less than $200,000 to each public university health center in the state “to pay for the cost, both direct and indirect, of medical abortion readiness.” There are 13 public universities in the state. That means, at minimum, the bill would provide $2.6 million in taxpayer funding for abortions at state schools.

The bill was filed by state Representative Lindsay Sabadosa (D-Northampton) and Sen. Jason Lewis (D-Winchester) 

Between 40 and 64 public university students in the state use medication abortion per month, a women-and-gender-studies professor at Smith College, Carrie Baker, who has researched the topic, told State House News Service this week. By her math, that is somewhere between 480 to 768 abortions per year.

Travelling to an abortion clinic is too time-consuming for some pregnant female students, Baker said. She argued it’s vital for pregnant students to be able to abort so they can get ahead in life.

“People who give birth while in college are less likely to graduate than those who do not and 89 percent of students say that having a child while in school would make it harder to achieve their goals,” Baker told a legislative committee during a hearing Monday, June 7, referring to her research, according to State House News Service. “Abortion using medication is a safe, effective non-surgical method of ending a pregnancy in the first 10 weeks that could easily be provided in university health centers, but it’s currently not available there.”

On the other side, Republican state committeewoman Debby Duggan, Dr. Mark Rollo, a family physician from Fitchburg who is involved with Massachusetts Citizens for Life, and Boston College Pro-Life Club co-president Max Montana testified against the bill, according to State House News Service.

Of the proposed bill, Duggan said, “It enslaves them to a lifetime of shame and guilt. I beseech you not to do this. As a Christian woman, I believe each and every one of us will be held accountable for our actions. And you ladies and gentlemen, also will be held accountable for your actions today.”

Rollo said, “I want you to imagine a daughter of yours being sent off to college, only to learn that the school is an adjunct to places like Planned Parenthood. I am sickened by the thought of a young woman hemorrhaging while she sits on the toilet in a college dormitory or looking into the toilet to see a fully formed fetus about to be flushed.”

And Montana expressed concerns about the capabilities of health centers at colleges.

“Public universities are not hospitals and their health and general staff are not equipped to handle this extreme change,” he said. “… Assuming this program will facilitate well over 20 medical abortions on these college campuses, this will mean universities and their personnel will have to find solutions to time sensitive, dangerous and, according to the FDA, sometimes deadly situations.”

Sabadosa and Lewis could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.


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