BOSTON (WWLP) – Members of the judiciary committee heard dozens of bills on Monday, but the one the piqued the most public interest had to do with abortion access.
Pro-choice and pro-life activists filled the hearing room and two other overflow rooms to get a chance to share their thoughts on what is being called the ‘ROE’ Act.
The bill would allow women to get an abortion after 24 weeks when the health or life of the person pregnant is at risk. The legislation would also allow women to get an abortion without parental consent.
“What we are trying to do is for a small number of people, to offer compassionate care, to offer alternatives,” Rep. Haddad said.
Pro-life demonstrators who oppose the bill believe it would increase abortion rates while taking away parental control.
“And eliminate parental consent for girls under 18, so a girl as young as 12 could have an abortion,” Andrew Beckwith said.
Pro-life and pro-choice organizations were given the same three-minute time frame to testify on the bill. Members of the audience were banned by the committee from ‘booing’ or ‘hissing’ at opposing opinions.
As many states move to ban abortion altogether, others are working to expand abortion access.
Members of the Judiciary Committee will decide where Massachusetts falls on that spectrum.