Massachusetts Lowers Age of Legal Abortion Without Parental Consent to 16

Madison Tolchin leaves after having a health checkup at a Planned Parenthood clinic on April 14, 2017, in Wellington, Florida. President Donald Trump recently signed legislation that allows states to withhold federal money from health care providers that provide abortion services, including Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood has approximately 700 health …
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The Massachusetts legislature overrode a veto from the state’s Republican governor to pass a law lowering to 16 the age girls may legally get an abortion without their parents’ consent.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker vetoed the bill, called the ROE Act. The bill, which the Massachusetts legislature passed last month, codified the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision and allowed abortions after 24 weeks if the infant is not expected to survive past birth.

Baker said while he supported some of the legislation, he did not support the provision that changed the age of consent from 18 to 16 to obtain an abortion.

Baker told lawmakers he supported the provisions that allowed abortions at 24 weeks and took away a 24-hour waiting period, WBUR reported.

The pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List slammed the law’s passage in a statement on Tuesday.

“This dangerous new law allows for late-term abortion-on-demand across Massachusetts, and secret abortions for minor girls as young as 16,” the group’s president, Marjorie Dannenfelser, said. “Governor Baker is pro-choice, but this legislation was too much for him to stomach: his veto exemplifies just how extreme it is.”

State Sen. Harriette Chandler (D-First Worcester) praised the ROE Act as a victory for “reproductive freedom”:

“Pregnant people who once faced near-insurmountable barriers accessing abortion care can now seize the right to control their own bodies,” she said in a tweet. “I am so proud of the policies included in the #ROEAct and of the @MA_Senate for our commitment to reproductive freedom.”

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