In Massachusetts, Many Can Have An Abortion, But Not Donate Blood, Without Parental Consent

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Do you want to donate blood in Massachusetts?

Then you better be at least 17 years old — or have your parent’s permission.

That’s not the case for abortions though, and it’s a double standard that pro-lifers see as baffling.

Massachusetts General Law places restrictions on minors who want to donate blood. Chapter 111 Section 184C of it states that “A minor 17 years of age or older may donate his blood without the prior assent thereto by his parent or guardian. A minor 16 to 17 years of age may donate his blood with the prior assent thereto of his parent or guardian.”

That means that from one’s 16th birthday until the day before the person turns 17, the would-be donor needs a parent or guardian’s permission to donate blood. That’s the case in 37 states and the District of Columbia, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Before late last year, the standard for a minor seeking an abortion in Massachusetts was more strict, but the state’s ROE Act eliminated that.

It used to be that any girl 17 or younger seeking an abortion in Massachusetts needed parental or judicial consent to obtain one. However, with the passage of the ROE Act in late December 2020, that’s no longer the case. Now only girls 15 and younger need parental or judicial consent. That means if a girl is 16 years old, she needs consent her parent’s consent to give blood, but not to terminate a pregnancy.

Pat Stewart, the executive director of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, said the state has it backward.

“This is another example of the breathtaking hypocrisy of the radical left that insists that a minor, aged 16 or younger, has the maturity to undergo a surgical procedure to abort a baby without the knowledge or consent of a parent, even though the law considers her too immature to consent to the comparatively benign procedure of blood donation, absent parental approval,” Stewart told NewBostonPost in an email message.

Kristen Day, executive director of the pro-life Democrats for Life of America, told NewBostonPost that it’s a double standard that puts people in danger. 

“The abortion lobby consistently puts their corporate interests and profits above the health and safety of women and young girls,” Day wrote in an email message. “Look no further than Massachusetts where a young girl cannot give blood without parental consent but can have surgery to end the life of her preborn child without parental consent. The Massachusetts legislature who approved lowering the age is complicit in endangering the lives of young girls. This is directly opposed to Democrat values to ensure the safety of its citizens.”

Andrew Beckwith, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, noted one key difference between the blood industry and the abortion industry:  profit. 

“Planned Parenthood makes more money on abortions than the Red Cross does on blood donations,” Beckwith told NewBostonPost by email. “This glaring inconsistency also demonstrates the Massachusetts Legislature‘s utter disregard for the rights of parents when it comes to the anti-family, anti-faith, culture of death that is the sexual revolution.”

Parental consent laws can result in fewer abortions. As The New York Times concluded in 2006, states that enact parental consent laws saw a 9 percent decrease in the number of abortions that occur among minors. The Guttmacher Institute had a slightly higher finding in 2003, concluding that parental involvement resulted in a 15 to 22 percent decline in abortions among minors.

A spokesman for Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, which supports the state’s ROE Act, could not be reached for comment.


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