Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Massachusetts Bill Drops “Mother,” “Unborn Child” From Pregnancy/Abortion Definition

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Radical efforts to normalize late-term abortions continue to be underway in Democratic states. The latest effort is a bill out of Massachusetts similar to that of New York’s recent abortion law that removes the terms “mother” and “unborn child” from the legal definition of pregnancy.

According to Life News, Massachusetts’ Remove Obstacles and Expand Abortion Access Act (ROE Act) mirrors that of New York’s Reproductive Health Act by expanding late-term abortions after 24 weeks for any “loosely defined ‘health’ reason.” The ROE Act also repeals state law that currently requires parental consent for minors to obtain abortions and would even end a state law requirement that infants born alive from botched abortions receive medical care. It also removes a mandatory 24-hour waiting period for abortion care established under a 1974 law, though that requirement is currently unenforced, and establishes a safety-net coverage for people who do not have health insurance but wish to obtain an abortion.

The ROE Act attempts to spin what an abortion actually is by removing the words “unborn child” and “mother” from the legal definitions of pregnancy and abortion. The National Catholic Register’s Michael Forrest provides the comparison to current law versus that proposed in the ROE Act:

Current wording of Massachusetts General Law 112, section 12K:
Abortion: the knowing destruction of the life of an unborn child or the intentional expulsion or removal of an unborn child from the womb other than for the principal purpose of producing a live birth or removing a dead fetus.

Pregnancy: the condition of a mother carrying an unborn child

Unborn child: the individual human life in existence and developing from implantation of the embryo in the uterus until birth.

Replacement wording of ROE Act:
Abortion: any medical treatment intended to induce the termination of a clinically diagnosable pregnancy except for the purpose of producing a live birth. The term abortion does not include miscarriage management.

Pregnancy: means the presence of an implanted human embryo or fetus within a person’s uterus.

Pro-Choice Massachusetts claims the bill’s passage is their “top priority.”

“The ROE Act goes above and beyond the protections of Roe v. Wade, and will break down unjust barriers to safe, legal abortion and build healthier, more equitable communities,” the group asserts.

Pro-Choice Massachusetts also appreciates the bill’s definition changes, claiming it updates “inflammatory and medically inaccurate definitions of abortion and pregnancy.”

Anne Fox, president of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, said the public might not be on board with all that the ROE Act proposes, particularly the parental consent provision.

“It’s so trite, but if a girl wants to get her ears pierced, if she wants to take an aspirin in school, she has to get consent,” said Fox. “An abortion is much more serious than that.”

States across the country are taking radical steps to enshrine abortion rights in fear that the Supreme Court’s controversial Roe v. Wade ruling may finally be overturned. Following in New York’s footsteps, legislatures in Rhode Island, New Mexico, Vermont, and Illinois have proposed measures to expand access to late-term abortions. And House Democrats have blocked a bill to stop infanticide and provide care for aborted babies born alive for the 15th time on Monday.

But pro-life lawmakers are fighting back. The Missouri House has passed possibly the strongest pro-life legislation to date. HB 126 awaits action in the Missouri Senate, where Democrats have threatened a filibuster. The Arkansas Senate approved a measure on Monday that restricts most abortions after 18 weeks. The proposal now faces one final vote in the House before heading to Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson’s desk for signature. The Mississippi House passed a heartbeat bill on Monday, which will head back to the Senate for a final vote before being signed into law by Governor Phil Bryant.

Additionally, the Boston Globe reports voters in both Alabama and West Virginia approved constitutional amendments that state abortion is not guaranteed under their state constitutions.

And pro-lifers celebrated a significant court victory last week in Alabama after the Madison County probate court ruled that an unborn baby is a person with rights.

February polling data from Marist University shows a significant increase in the number of Americans who identify as pro-life in the wake of the radical movement toward late-term abortions and infanticide. The poll shows Americans are as likely to identify as pro-life (47 percent) as pro-choice (47 percent), as opposed to a January poll, which showed that 55 percent of Americans identified as pro-choice and just 38 percent as pro-life. The shift was led by Democrats and individuals under the age of 45, according to the data.

“Current proposals that promote late-term abortion have reset the landscape and language on abortion in a pronounced — and very measurable — way,” said Barbara Carvalho, director of the Marist poll.

Image: kjekol via iStock / Getty Images Plus

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