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In Massachusetts

After Roe, abortion will still be legal in most circumstances. Connect with your local family policy council to stay up-to-date on the pro-life movement in your state—now and after Roe. Then, keep reading to find out more about what abortion law would be in your state after Roe.

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MORE ABOUT YOUR STATE’S ABORTION LAWS

Below, we’ve summarized what abortion laws would be in your state after Roe.


The Big Question

After Roe, will my state ban nearly all abortions or allow nearly all abortions?

Massachusetts will still allow most abortions after Roe. The Supreme Court of Massachusetts held that the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights protects a supposed “right to an abortion” as a fundamental right. Moe v. Sec’y of Admin. & Fin., 417 N.E.2d 387 (Mass. 1981).

Abortion Limits, Exceptions and Enforcement

Limitations on abortions

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If my state won’t ban all abortions, what are the limits to abortion?

Abortions are banned after 24 weeks. Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 112, § 12M (Enacted 1974; Last Renumbered 1977), 12P (Enacted 1974; Last Renumbered 1977).


Exceptions to any limitations

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Are there any exceptions to those limitations placed on abortion?

Yes: If the abortion is necessary to preserve the woman’s life or to prevent “substantial risk of grave impairment of her physical or mental health.”  Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 112, § 12M (Enacted 1974; Last Renumbered 1977), 12P (Enacted 1974; Last Renumbered 1977).


Penalties for performing an illegal abortion

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What are the penalties to abortion providers for committing an illegal abortion (one of the forms of abortion that my state has limited under the law)?

Violations of the 24-week ban are punishable by 1-5 years imprisonment. Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 112, § 12K.


Enforcement

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When abortion laws are violated, who can file a lawsuit to enforce their rights and the law?

No one


Special standards of care

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Does my state impose a special medical standard of care on abortion providers?

Yes: A physician must take all reasonable steps to preserve the life and health of the fetus. Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 112, § 12P (Enacted 1974; Last Renumbered 1977).


Protecting Fundamental Rights

Parents

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Does my state give parents the right to consent for their child to get an abortion?

Yes: Parental consent from both parents is required; however, this state has a method where a minor can obtain permission from the courts to receive an abortion without parental notice or consent. Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 112, § 12S (Enacted 1974; Last Amended 1980).


Medical professionals

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Does my state have conscience protections for medical professionals who do not want to participate in abortions?

Yes: Physicians, persons associated with, employed by, or on the medical staff of a hospital or health facility, private hospitals, or health facilities, may object in writing on moral or religious grounds and refuse to participate in medical procedures that result in an abortion. Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 272, § 21B (Enacted 1973).


Babies Born Alive

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Are there legal protections for babies born alive following a botched abortion in my state?

No


Safety & Health of Women

Physician-only requirement

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Does an abortion have to be provided by a licensed physician in my state?

Yes: Physicians must be authorized to practice medicine in the state in order to perform abortions. Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 112, § 12K (Enacted 1974; Last Renumbered 1977; Last Amended 2005), Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 112, § 12L (Enacted 1974; Last Renumbered 1977).


Informed consent

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Does my state’s law require that a woman give informed consent and/or receive counseling prior to allowing an abortion to be performed?

Yes: Counseling and informed consent are required. Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 112, § 12S (Enacted 1974; Last Amended 1980).


Waiting period

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Does my state place any waiting requirement on abortion so that a mother has more time to decide?

Yes: A 24-hour delay after signing the consent form is required. Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 112, § 12S (Enacted 1974; Last Amended 1980).


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