Massachusetts Legislature Passes ‘Infanticide Act’ Removing Requirement of Preserving Abortion Survivor’s Life

An anti-abortion activist holds a model of a fetus during a protest outside of the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on May 7, 2015. Protesters are demanding Republican lawmakers approve a bill banning all abotions after 20 weeks.
MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

The Massachusetts legislature has passed an amendment to a budget bill that would allow abortions after the 24th week of pregnancy, eliminate parental consent, and remove the requirement that abortionists must attempt to preserve the life of a baby who survives abortion.

The state House passed Amendment 759 by a vote of 108-49, while the state Senate approved it by a vote of 33-7. The amendment, as part of the fiscal year 2021 budget bill, is now on the desk of Gov. Charlie Baker (R) who, as Masslive.com reported, was critical of Democrats pushing a late-term abortion proposal in a budget bill.

“I do share some of the unhappiness that was raised by a number of members of the Republican Party that putting policy in the budget was something that both leaders in the House and Senate said they would not do,” Baker said Friday afternoon, according to the report. “It’s pretty hard to argue this isn’t a major policy initiative that is not in the budget.”

As late as last year, Baker disapproved of measures to expand late-term abortion.

“I do not support late term abortions,” the governor said. “I support current law in Massachusetts. It’s worked well for decades for women and families here in Massachusetts, and that’s what we support.”

The Massachusetts Family Institute (MFI) explained why Amendment 759 has been dubbed the “Infanticide Act:”

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.

MFI continued:

The current language in the law that prohibits passive infanticide is found in Section 12P:

“…the physician performing the abortion shall take all reasonable steps, both during and subsequent to the abortion… to preserve the life and health of the aborted child.”

Instead of simply striking this language, as the original ROE Act did, the new budget amendment version twists it to this:

“…the room where the abortion is performed shall maintain life-supporting equipment, …to enable the physician performing the abortion to take appropriate steps, …to preserve the life and health of a live birth and the patient.”

To summarize, this new version still requires life-saving equipment in the room where the abortion takes place, but removes the requirement for abortionists to actually have to USE it.

Additionally, the amendment removes the word “mother” and inserts, instead, the word “patient.” The current section of the law reads:

If a pregnancy has existed for twenty-four weeks or more, no abortion may be performed except by a physician and only if it is necessary to save the life of the mother, or if a continuation of her pregnancy will impose on her a substantial risk of grave impairment of her physical or mental health.

The same section under the new legislation removes the word “mother” and essentially allows abortion until birth for almost any reason:

If a pregnancy has existed for twenty-four weeks or more, no abortion may be performed except by a physician and only if it is necessary in the best medical judgment of the physician, to preserve the life of the patient, or if it is necessary, in the best medical judgment of the physician, to preserve the patient’s physical or mental health, or, in the best medical judgment of the physician, an abortion is warranted because of a lethal fetal anomaly incompatible with sustained life outside the uterus.

Massachusetts Senate President Emerita Harriette Chandler (D) said the amendment was added to the budget bill as an immediate response to the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

“The time has come for urgent action,” said Chandler, who sponsored the amendment. “I believe in an affirmative right to choose, but this right now hangs in the balance. Those of us who remember the days before legal abortion and contraception must unite with those of us who never knew those dark times to protect this right at all costs.”

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