Senate sends House amended abortion, gender affirming care bill, late term rules added - Upsmag - Magazine News

Senate sends House amended abortion, gender affirming care bill, late term rules added

The state Senate is also jumping into the abortion fury.

It unanimously approved an amended version of the House’s reproductive and gender-affirming care protections, including a provision clarifying who decides when abortions can occur after 24 weeks of pregnancy.

“The important people in making these tragic decisions are the patient and her physician,” state Sen. Patricia Jehlen said of her late-term abortion clarification amendment.

The bill, passed 40-0 by the Senate, left the House in late June with a vote of 136-17.

The bill will expressly protect rights already codified into state law with the Roe Act, passed in 2021, while also adding provisions protecting people who seek care in Massachusetts from out of state. It comes about in response to the US Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationally in 1973.

It would make it illegal for physicians and other health care providers to share reproductive care information with out-of-state agencies and prevent law enforcement from participating in out-of-state extradition requests related to abortion care or those who come to the state to seek it. The law prevents a medical review board of any kind from interfering with an abortion decision.

“Each circumstance permitting an abortion for a pregnancy that has existed for 24 weeks or more under (the Roe Act) shall be considered independently by a treating physician and a patient or the patient’s health care proxy. No medical review process shall override a determination by a treating physician and a patient to provide an abortion consistent with the (Roe Act),” the amended bill now reads.

The bill will now be sent to back to the House to see whether they concur with the Senate’s amended version. If they don’t there will likely need to be a conference committee created to iron out the details.

Lawmakers will need to move very fast to get the bill made into law before the scheduled end of the legislative session on July 31, as they may also need to content with a veto by Gov. Charlie Baker.

Baker vetoed the Roe Act when it was presented to him specifically because of the language around late-term abortions and provisions allowing minors to receive abortion care without the permission of their parents. The Legislature overrode his veto.

The Legislature has the votes to overcome any veto by the governor may issue against this bill, but they also need the time to do so, and they still haven’t passed their fiscal 2023 budget, nearly $50 billion, or taken up a number of other long-awaited initiatives, like sports betting.

Joyful. Eric Lesser, who is running for lieutenant governor, hailed the bill’s advance.

“Abortion is health care. Anyone seeking an abortion in Massachusetts should feel safe and protected to do so. Today’s vote strengthens reproductive and gender-affirming care in Massachusetts and provides protection for both patients and health care providers,” he said following the vote.

The state Senate is also jumping into the abortion fury.

It unanimously approved an amended version of the House’s reproductive and gender-affirming care protections, including a provision clarifying who decides when abortions can occur after 24 weeks of pregnancy.

“The important people in making these tragic decisions are the patient and her physician,” state Sen. Patricia Jehlen said of her late-term abortion clarification amendment.

The bill, passed 40-0 by the Senate, left the House in late June with a vote of 136-17.

The bill will expressly protect rights already codified into state law with the Roe Act, passed in 2021, while also adding provisions protecting people who seek care in Massachusetts from out of state. It comes about in response to the US Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationally in 1973.

It would make it illegal for physicians and other health care providers to share reproductive care information with out-of-state agencies and prevent law enforcement from participating in out-of-state extradition requests related to abortion care or those who come to the state to seek it. The law prevents a medical review board of any kind from interfering with an abortion decision.

“Each circumstance permitting an abortion for a pregnancy that has existed for 24 weeks or more under (the Roe Act) shall be considered independently by a treating physician and a patient or the patient’s health care proxy. No medical review process shall override a determination by a treating physician and a patient to provide an abortion consistent with the (Roe Act),” the amended bill now reads.

The bill will now be sent to back to the House to see whether they concur with the Senate’s amended version. If they don’t there will likely need to be a conference committee created to iron out the details.

Lawmakers will need to move very fast to get the bill made into law before the scheduled end of the legislative session on July 31, as they may also need to content with a veto by Gov. Charlie Baker.

Baker vetoed the Roe Act when it was presented to him specifically because of the language around late-term abortions and provisions allowing minors to receive abortion care without the permission of their parents. The Legislature overrode his veto.

The Legislature has the votes to overcome any veto by the governor may issue against this bill, but they also need the time to do so, and they still haven’t passed their fiscal 2023 budget, nearly $50 billion, or taken up a number of other long-awaited initiatives, like sports betting.

Joyful. Eric Lesser, who is running for lieutenant governor, hailed the bill’s advance.

“Abortion is health care. Anyone seeking an abortion in Massachusetts should feel safe and protected to do so. Today’s vote strengthens reproductive and gender-affirming care in Massachusetts and provides protection for both patients and health care providers,” he said following the vote.

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