BOSTON (CBS) — Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday vetoed a bill that would expand abortion access in Massachusetts, citing areas of disagreement with parts of the ROE Act. There’s been a push to codify abortion rights into law since the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg earlier this year.
Baker wrote in a letter to legislators that he strongly supports a woman’s right to get reproductive health care. He backs changes to the law that would allow abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy if the fetus would not survive after birth, eliminate the 24-hour waiting period, and give minors who are unable to get consent for an abortion access to a judicial bypass process.
“However, 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. “I, therefore, again urge the Legislature to enact the compromise version of this bill that would affirmative protect a woman’s right to access an abortion, but would restore the existing framework around latte-term abortions and parental consent.”
The Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts blasted Baker’s veto.
“Instead of standing up for patients, Gov. Baker has decided to pander to anti-abortion extremists for cheap political points and veto legislation that would remove racist & discriminatory barriers to abortion care,” the organization tweeted.
The State House News Service reports that the Legislature is likely to try to override Baker’s veto. The bill passed 107-50 in the House and 32-8 in the Senate.