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Massachusetts' 'Roe Act' would allow abortion up to birth if needed to protect mothers' mental health

Closer and closer to unlimited abortion

Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

A bill in Massachusetts aims to allow women to get an abortion any time before birth in cases where a physician deems it necessary to protect either physical or mental health.

The bill, known as the Roe Act, would significantly broaden the ability for women to get abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy, which is the point before which a woman can currently obtain an abortion for any reason. An excerpt from the bill is below:

A physician, acting within their lawful scope of practice, may perform an abortion when, according to the physician's best medical judgment based on the facts of the patient's case, the patient is beyond twenty-four weeks from the commencement of pregnancy and the abortion is necessary to protect the patient's life or physical or mental health, or in cases of lethal fetal anomalies, or where the fetus is incompatible with sustained life outside the uterus. Medical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors — physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the person's age—relevant to the well-being of the patient.

Also, the Roe Act would allow minors to get abortions without parental or guardian consent. The language in the bill allows any "pregnant person" to get an abortion as long as they give informed consent.

Prior to performing an abortion, a physician shall obtain the pregnant patient's written informed consent on a form prescribed by the Commissioner of Public Health. A pregnant person seeking an abortion shall sign the consent form before the abortion is performed, except in an emergency requiring immediate action.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, who does support abortion, has told NPR that he does not support the expansions to abortion rights and access in the Roe Act.

Bills and laws with language allowing abortion due to mental health or emotional and psychological concerns open the issue up to subjectivity that could allow girls or women of any age to end the life of an otherwise healthy unborn child anytime before it is born. And that's the point, as demonstrated by the formal title of the bill: "An Act to remove obstacles and expand abortion access."

(H/T: National Review)

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