Though Baker supports liberal abortion rights, he objected to allowing girls younger than 18 to obtain an abortion without their parents’ consent and to expanding abortion access after 24 weeks.
“I cannot support the sections of this proposal that expand the availability of later term abortions and permit minors age 16 and 17 to get an abortion without the consent of a parent or guardian,” Baker wrote in his veto message, WGBH News reported.
The ROE Act was originally attached to the annual state budget bill, but Baker sent it back to the legislature, which then returned it to the governor without any changes. According to the news report, Massachusetts House and Senate leadership will likely seek to override Baker’s veto.
“If he vetoes it we have enough votes to override that veto and therefore it would become law,” State Rep. Jay Livingstone (D), a cosponsor of the legislation, said.
A coalition of abortion industry organizations called Baker’s veto “callous and dangerous” to the health and well-being of Massachusetts women:
With this veto, the Governor has made plain that he has no problem imposing medically unnecessary barriers that delay and deny care, and forcing families to fly across the country to get compassionate care. Our abortion laws are broken, and with two recent actions against equitable abortion access, Governor Baker is upholding our broken system.
The state Democrat Party rebuked Baker for not agreeing to abortion access at any time during pregnancy, as is the case in other Democrat-led states.
“Hoping that we would all be too busy to notice, Charlie Baker once again caved in to the extreme right-wing of his Republican Party by vetoing critical abortion access provisions that would put our laws in line with neighboring states like Maine, New York and Connecticut,” Democrat Party chairman Gus Bickford said.
State Rep. Marc Lombardo (R) attempted to amend the bill to require abortionists to use lifesaving equipment “to preserve the life and health of a live birth baby and the patient,” but Democrats rejected the amendment, claiming it was unnecessary and only sought to stigmatize women seeking abortion in the ninth month of pregnancy.
Many abortion rights supporters make the claim that such “Born Alive” legislation is “unnecessary” because protections against infanticide already exist under the 2002 Born-Alive Infants Protection Act and under state homicide laws.
However, as Family Research Center’s Patrina Mosley wrote in February, the 2002 federal Born-Alive Act only provided a “definitional change” that states “all infants who survive abortion are full persons under the law.”
“It neither required any medical care for infants born alive nor included a provision for prosecuting anyone who failed to provide care,” Mosley explained:
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) April 8, 2019
Massachusetts Republican Party chairman Jim Lyons expressed significant concern about the bill’s removal of the requirement for abortionists to provide care for infants who survive the procedure.
“Gov. Baker correctly recognized that this legislation simply goes too far, and he should be applauded for standing up and saying ‘no’ to the abortion lobby,” Lyons said, the Associated Press reported:
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) April 2, 2019
The Massachusetts Family Institute (MFI) explained that the bill has been dubbed the “Infanticide Act” because “it removes the requirement that an abortionist “shall” save the life of a baby born alive during a botched abortion and replaces it with the requirement to simply have life-saving equipment in the room with no obligation to use it.”
More than 400 Christians, many of them pastors, have signed a letter urging the defeat of the bill, the New Boston Post reported.