Decision to abort puts Bay State on the front line

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Massachusetts is now in the spotlight.

Governor Charlie Baker on Friday signed an executive order following the U.S. Supreme Court’s abortion ruling that will protect Bay State health care providers who perform abortion services. for women from out of state.

But the last thing this state needs is to become an abortion destination.

A dozen states allow abortion before viability – 24 weeks – or when necessary to protect the life or health of the pregnant woman. It is the law of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, Connecticut and New York. Abortion is also legal in New Hampshire, with some restrictions, and in Vermont.

The Guttmacher Institute found just under 50 abortion centers in Massachusetts in a recent survey. The Washington, DC-based nonprofit markets itself as a research and policy organization committed to advancing sexual and reproductive health.

Massachusetts’ ROE law further strengthens abortion rights. So getting an abortion here is not at risk. But the Supreme Court ruling has inflamed debate over women’s rights and the rights of the unborn child.

The polls are clear: 61% of Americans polled say abortion should be legal in all or most circumstances. That’s according to the Pew Research Center. A closer reading shows that it is more nuanced.

“The attitude of the public depends on circumstances such as when an abortion takes place during a woman’s pregnancy, whether the pregnancy endangers a woman’s life, and whether a baby would have serious health problems,” Pew declares.

Financial stability, timing, parental consent, rape, incest, mother’s health, child’s health – all play into the abortion decision.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley said the court’s decision creates “the opportunity to protect human life from conception.” He adds that it “also calls us to recognize the unique burden that women face during pregnancy.”

The ruling, he adds, “starts a new chapter” in state houses, Congress and the courts. This shouldn’t place a burden on healthcare workers here in Massachusetts, but it should help advance healthcare and birth control.

Now is the time to address alternatives to abortion while the courts face other challenges.

It’s also time to stand up for what Massachusetts is doing. This includes not attacking the Baby Safe Haven Act. As the group wrote on Friday, “social media criticism of shelter laws is the reason for the Roe decision…couldn’t be further from the truth.”

Massachusetts’ Safe Haven Act, which went into effect October 29, 2004, allows a parent to legally abandon infants 7 days old or younger in a hospital, police station, or fire station without facing penalties. criminal prosecution if there are no signs of abuse. or child neglect.

We wrote this after someone left a baby in the car park of a Leominster hospital in 2017.

A nurse returning to her car found the little boy wrapped in a blanket and left in a box on the ground next to her vehicle in the hospital parking lot. The infant was immediately taken to the emergency room and declared in good health. This law has nothing to do with the right to abortion. But it shows that Massachusetts cares deeply about children.

As the Cardinal said, the Supreme Court ruling forces us to evolve and consider alternatives to abortion. We can think of no better state to begin this discussion.

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