Last week, I attended the Statehouse hearing on the ROE Act along with hundreds of other supporters. But many pro-choice people are inattentive, assuming – falsely - that liberal Massachusetts has liberal abortion laws and that our legislature will always vote pro-choice. These assumptions are dangerous.
About half of state representatives support the ROE Act, hardly a reassuring count for those who share my beliefs. Some would-be supporters are intimidated by the Massachusetts GOP’s vicious campaign targeting them as criminals.
Do not be deceived by the inflammatory disinformation and defamatory accusations promulgated by the Massachusetts GOP. They hope the Supreme Court will reverse Roe v. Wade, thus enabling or even mandating enforcement of egregious barriers and penalties in current law that have not previously been enforced.
Poor women, women of color and inadequately insured women are disproportionately penalized by abortion restrictions. A woman who can’t afford to raise a healthy child is being rational and responsible in choosing abortion. Forcing her to give birth condemns her and her children to worsening poverty and likely, poorer health.
When doctors determine after 24 weeks that a fetus cannot survive beyond birth, we cruelly force the bereaved woman to complete her tragic pregnancy.
A pregnant, young girl who is homeless or in foster care, or cannot safely obtain consent from an abusive parent, needs judicial permission for abortion. Since the court rarely denies these requests, this requirement is clearly an intentional barrier and delay tactic. Indeed, the American Medical and Pediatric Associations oppose it because delays increase the girl’s medical risk.
The ROE Act protects lives by addressing these and other real-life scenarios and ensuring access to abortion in the commonwealth regardless of age, income, insurance or legal status. It replaces politically charged language with actual medical terms and affirms women’s right to make all their own healthcare decisions without interference.
Intentional abortions go back to the beginning of time and will continue as long as women can get pregnant. No law can change that, but the ROE Act keeps abortion safe and legal. Please ask your legislators to support the ROE Act.
3 Athena Circle