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Massachusetts Bishops criticize radical new abortion measure

by | Jan 8, 2021

By Dave Andrusko

Tip of the cap to Micaiah Bilger for alerting us to a statement issued by the Roman Catholic Bishops of Massachusetts criticizing an amendment passed by the legislature to the Fiscal 2021 budget that was so awful they have to override the veto of a pro-choice governor.

The Bishops’ statement begins

The unborn child is a human life that must be protected. That precious child has no voice to protect itself from the evils of abortion. The Catholic Church recognizes that it has a primary moral responsibility to speak for the most vulnerable among us – the unborn. That responsibility is at the center of the Catholic moral vision. Because of its centrality, the Church must oppose the directly intended taking of human life through abortion at any stage of pregnancy. It is a serious moral wrong and directly undercuts our unyielding goal to promote the common good throughout a civil society.

The joint statement, released December 31, was signed by Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, Springfield Bishop William D. Byrne, Worcester Bishop Robert J. McManus and Fall River Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha.

The measure was not a free-standing bill, but, as noted above, an amendment to the budget for Fiscal Year 2021.

The Boston Pilot’s Jacqueline Tetrault wrote today

The amendment’s passage came after many months of campaigns for and against a bill containing similar proposals, known as the ROE Act. Advocates for the bill presented it as an attempt to codify Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court case that legalized abortion in the United States, into state law, to guard against the possible overturning of Roe v. Wade by an increasingly conservative Supreme Court.

Of course, this is sheer poppycock, as James Driscoll, executive director of the Massachusetts Catholic Conference, told The Pilot. “In reality, the Massachusetts law would remain in place, even if Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court, so it’s a false narrative that the proponents painted when it comes to this issue.”

The amendment allows for abortions at and after a 24-week period, if merely deemed “necessary, in the best medical judgment of the physician, to preserve the patient’s physical or mental health,” replacing the current more stringent standard that requires that “continuation of the pregnancy will impose on [the mother] a substantial risk of grave impairment to her” physical or mental health.

“In addition, abortions at and after 24 weeks are allowed if there is a ‘lethal fetal anomaly,’ or if the fetus is incompatible with sustained life outside the uterus,” said Patricia Stewart, Executive Director of Massachusetts Citizens for Life. “However, “ she continued, “the term ‘lethal fetal anomaly’ is ambiguous and not defined, opening the door to massive abuse.”

Moreover, prior to the bill, the age at which teenage girls could obtain abortions without parental consent was 18. It is now 16.

Then there is the situation when babies survive an abortion. In those instances, “the bill provides only that there must be ‘life-supporting equipment’ present in the room; it does not require the abortionist to actually use it,” Stewart added. “Without mandated use, infanticide becomes a legal option for the disposal of abortion survivors, like so much medical waste.”

Categories: Legislation