The Massachusetts pro-life community is urging Gov. Charlie Baker to veto newly passed legislation that expands access to late-term abortion and removes protections for babies who survive an abortion.
At issue is the House- and Senate-passed state budget, which includes a controversial pro-choice amendment that expands access to abortion after 24 weeks and removes parental consent for minors ages 16 and 17 who want an abortion. The amendment also eliminates specific protections for late-term babies who survive an abortion.
Baker, a Republican, has said in the past he opposes late-term abortion.
The pro-life Massachusetts Family Institute is one of several pro-life groups urging him to veto the amendment. Massachusetts law allows governors to “line-item veto” specific parts of a bill.
“Call the Governor at 617-725-4005 and tell him he must veto this bill,” Massachusetts Family Institute said in a blog. “Even if you can’t get through to a live person, please still leave a message. The fight is not over yet.”
Massachusetts Family Institute calls the amendment the “Infanticide Act.”
Although the House and Senate passed the amendment with veto-proof majorities, the Massachusetts Family Institute hopes to change the minds of at least five House members, which would be enough to sustain a veto.
“The reason why this legislation has earned the moniker ‘Infanticide Act’ is because it removes the requirement that an abortionist ‘shall’ save the life of a baby born alive during a botched abortion and replaces it with the requirement to simply have life-saving equipment in the room with no obligation to use it,” the Massachusetts Family Institute said.
The pro-choice amendment, sponsored by Democrat state Rep. Claire Cronin, removes language from current law that requires doctors to “take all reasonable steps, both during and subsequent to the abortion” to “preserve the life and health of the aborted child.” Cronin’s amendment includes weaker language that says a late-term abortion must be performed in a room that has “life-supporting equipment … to enable the physician performing the abortion to take appropriate steps, in keeping with good medical practice and consistent with the procedure being used, to preserve the life and health of a live birth and the patient.” The amendment removes the “shall” language and says the doctor only is enabled to save the baby.
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Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.