Massachusetts allowed late-term abortion while removing parental consent
Lawmakers in Massachusetts have approved an amendment to the state’s budget that will loosen abortion restrictions to allow late-term abortions and remove the parental consent requirement for underage girls.
Under current law, only a physician can perform an abortion in Massachusetts. However, the budget amendment passed by state lawmakers would enable physician assistants, nurse practitioners or midwives to perform abortions.
The law states that “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.”
Should the amendment passed by the legislature become law, abortions would be permitted after twenty-four weeks if “in the best medical judgment of the physician, an abortion is warranted because of a lethal foetal anomaly that is incompatible with sustained life outside the uterus.”
In addition, the requirement for girls younger than eighteen to obtain parental consent for an abortion would be amended to allow a judge to authorise a medical professional to perform an abortion on a girl younger than sixteen if she does not want to seek a parent’s consent.