“For the first time in decades you do not have a majority on the Supreme Court that is committed to seeing abortion as a fundamental right. You have a pro-life majority.”
This has helped foster interest in pushing the limits, to see what cases the Supreme Court might take to decide whether and what kinds of new limits are constitutional.
“It’s a very healthy thing,” he said. “The Supreme Court will make its own decisions.”
In January, controversy arose over a Virginia state bill that a sponsor admitted would allow abortion up through birth. The outcry was further inflamed when Gov. Ralph Northam, a pediatric neurologist, suggested that if a woman in labor decided to abort and the baby was delivered alive, the baby would be “kept comfortable,” given medical attention “if that’s what the mother and the family desired,” and “a discussion would ensue” between the woman and her doctor on what to do next. The bill ultimately failed.
Aden suggested there is a “strong response” to the “extreme pro-abortion bills” seen in states like Vermont and New York, where “abortion is being legalized, for all intents and purposes, any time up to nine months, for any reason, and paid for by state taxpayer dollars as well.”
One such proposal is under consideration in Massachusetts, where the pro-abortion rights Republican Gov. Charlie Baker appears to have balked at a proposal to further strengthen abortion.
“I don’t support late-term abortions. I support current law here in Massachusetts,” Baker said, the State House News Service reports.
Abortion is currenty legal in Massachusetts after 24 weeks when the pregnant woman’s life is at risk. However, the ROE Act would also allow for abortions explicitly in cases of threats to a woman’s physical or mental health - a phrase that critics say has been interpreted broadly to essentially allow for abortion on demand - or “in cases of lethal fatal anomalies, or where the fetus is incompatible with sustained life outside the uterus.”
Planned Parenthood has claimed about 92 House members and 22 Senate members as co-sponsors of the legislation, numbered H. 3320 and S. 1209. These backers include Senate President Emerita Harriette Chandler and Speaker Pro Tempore Pat Haddad.
Jim Lyons, chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party, characterized it as an “extreme infanticide bill” that “removes all practical limitations on aborting unborn babies.” The bill would mean “absolutely nothing would be done to protect or even comfort a baby who survives a late-term abortion,” he objected.
Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston stressed that abortion involves vital questions of human dignity and cannot be described in “purely medical terms.”
“While the procedure has significant clinical dimensions, there is also a human reality that deserves more adequate recognition at any stage of development. By depersonalizing the reality, the legislation dehumanizes the decision faced by women, their families and physicians,” the cardinal said April 6.
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O’Malley said even those who back the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, which helped mandate legal abortion nationwide, should oppose the state law proposals.
He criticized provisions that allow legal abortion in “all nine months of pregnancy;” ban requirements that abortions be performed in hospitals, even late into pregnancy; bar requirements to care for a child who survives an attempted abortion; and prevent any requirement that a minor receive parental consent before undergoing an abortion.
Haddad, one of the co-sponsors, still backed the bill.
“Late-term abortions are for very specific reasons that should be decided with a medical professional and the family involved,” she said, according to the State House News Service. She objected said that women presently leave the state to seek abortion in cases of fatal anomaly.
“We’re talking a fetus that can’t survive outside the womb. We’re talking about a fetus that has no future,” said Haddad, denying the legislation constituted “abortion on demand.”
For Aden, of Americans Untied for Life, pro-abortion legislation of “radical extremism” only produces “a strong reaction on the other side.”