For the 191st Session of the General Court of Massachusetts, MCFL is once again advancing a full life-afirming legislative agenda. The bills are geared toward promoting a society in which the value of human life is respected through its entire continuum, preborn to natural death. They oppose the horror dehumanzing and deadly policies, which reduce our most vulnerable citizens to objects. This page is regularly updated throughout the legislative session. Check here and our our social media channels for timely changes and new efforts. 

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Current MCFL-Supported Bills:

Women's Right to Know, H.936

Unborn Child as Second Victim, H.935

License Abortion Facilities, H.1211

Pain Capable, H.934

Coercion, H.3119

Prenatal Development Education, H.307


Current MCFL-Opposed Bills: 

An Act to Remove Obstacles and Expand Abortion Access, SD.109

Bills From the Past Legislative Session (2017-18):

Bills Written by MCFL:

H.1211 An Act to advance the safety of women seeking to terminate a pregnancy
Primary Sponsor: Rep. Elizabeth Poirier, R-North Attleboro
Committee Assignment: Joint Committee on Public Health
Summary: Also known as the “Woman’s Safety Act,” this bill seeks to have some 16 unlicensed, non-hospital facilities in Massachusetts that perform 10 or more abortions annually to be classified as a “clinic” and, thus, required to obtain a license and periodic safety inspection.
Text of the Bill
Latest Bill Status: 12/19/2017 – Hearing before Committee on Public Health from 1-5pm in A-2
Quick Facts:

  • This Act aims to reduce potential health risks to women who feel compelled to use these facilities.
  • Are unlicensed abortion facilities safe? No one knows. We do know that in 2007, a Cape Cod woman underwent an abortion in one such facility and died in the recovery room.
  • Amending the definition of “clinic” in §52 of Chapter 111 to include these facilities will not impose an undue burden on facility operators. It will merely require them to follow the same licensing and inspection requirements as other medical facilities in the Commonwealth.
  • In 2015, 1,275 women in Massachusetts obtained an abortion in facilities that were neither licensed nor inspected. Surely people on both sides of the issue can agree that women seeking to terminate a pregnancy deserve to be safe.

H.936 Women’s Right to Know Act
Primary Sponsor: Rep. Elizabeth Poirier, R-North Attleboro
Committee Assignment: Joint Judiciary Committee
Summary: Also known as “Laura’s Law,” this informed consent bill honors Laura Hope Smith, a young woman who died while recovering from an abortion at a substandard facility on Cape Cod in 2007. It seeks to require abortion facilities to inform clients fully about the abortion procedure, the possible immediate and long-term risks to the mother; and to offer the mother the completely optional opportunity to see her baby on ultrasound. A 24-hour waiting period would be imposed to ensure considered, informed decisions were made.
Text of the Bill
Latest Bill Status: 8/31/2017 - Hearing scheduled for 9/12/2017 from 1-5pm in Hearing Room A-1
Quick Facts:
Currently, there is no requirement for abortion providers to inform a woman seeking to terminate a pregnancy of information material to her decision which includes:

  • complete and accurate facts of fetal development and the developmental stage of her unborn child,
  • full and accurate information about abortion risks, including the well-documented risk of an adverse psychological impact,
  • full and accurate information about abortion alternatives and how to pursue them, and
  • an opportunity for mature consideration of all relevant information to arrive at a truly informed decision.

H.935 Unborn Victims of Violence Act
Primary Sponsor: Rep. Elizabeth Poirier, R-North Attleboro
Committee Assignment: Joint Judiciary Committee
Summary: This bill recognizes that when a criminal attacks a pregnant woman and injures and/or kills both the pregnant woman and her unborn child, the perpetrator has seriously harmed and/or ended two human lives.
Text of the Bill
Latest Bill Status: 7/11/2017 – Hearing before Joint Judiciary Committee
Quick Facts:

  • Massachusetts is one of only 13 states that have not yet enacted some version of this law.

H.307 Prenatal Development Education Act
Primary Sponsor: Rep. Elizabeth Poirier, R-North Attleboro
Committee Assignment: Joint Committee on Education
Summary: This bill will require 7th, 8th, or 9th grade students to be taught the correct scientific facts about human prenatal development. The goal of this instruction is to help them recognize the humanity of the unborn child and prepare them for the responsibilities of future parenthood.
Text of the Bill
Latest Bill Status: 6/27/2017 – Hearing before the Joint Committee on Education
Quick Facts: 

  • An understanding of the physiological development of human prenatal development is likely to reduce the number of abortions by educating students to the humanity of the unborn child.
  • Students’ knowledge of human biology is not comprehensive without studying prenatal development.
  • Lack of knowledge of prenatal development contributes to insufficient prenatal care, poor nutrition, and failure to avoid drugs and alcohol during pregnancy. The consequences of these abuses include: low birth weight, fetal alcohol syndrome, risk of premature birth, and birth defects.

H.3119 Protect Women from Coercion Act
Primary Sponsor: Rep. Elizabeth Poirier, R-North Attleboro
Committee Assignment: Joint Committee on the Judiciary
Summary: This bill requires facilities performing abortions to inform a pregnant woman seeking an abortion that no one can force her to have an abortion against her will. It requires both verbal notification and the posting of a sign in the abortion facility notifying patients of these rights. Failure to post the required sign carries a fine. An individual injured by the failure to post the sign or to provide verbal notification to the pregnant woman may bring a civil action for damages.
Text of the Bill
Latest Bill Status: 8/31/17 - Hearing scheduled for 9/12/2017 1-5pm in Hearing Room A1
Quick Facts:

  • As many as 62% of post abortive women report that they felt forced into making the abortion decision.
  • While this case of coercion in China is extreme, due to the one-child policy, it reflects the kinds of pressures that pregnant women often undergo, even from their husbands.

Bills Supported, but not Written, by MCFL:

H.1209 Stem Cell Research Act
Primary Sponsor: Rep. Elizabeth A. Poirier, R-North Attleboro
Committee Assignment: Joint Committee on Public Health
Summary: This bill bans the creation of embryonic unborn children or the donation of stored embryos for the purpose of research. It encourages the use of human skin cells reprogrammed as stem cells instead. The bill would also state that human life begins at fertilization, not just at implantation.
Text of the Bill
Latest Bill Status: 7/11/2017 – Hearing scheduled before Public Health committee
Quick Facts:

  • In decades of research, embryonic stem cells have not yielded a single therapy or treatment and not even any successful clinical trial. Meanwhile, adult and cord blood stem cells, which are ethically sourced and derived, are being used in a number of successful clinical applications, including treatments for cancers, liver disease, heart disease, arthritis and more.
  • The use of embryonic stem cells requires lifelong use of expensive drugs to prevent tissue rejection, whereas adult stem cells derived from the patient himself do not.
  • Embryonic stem cell use has resulted in a number of serious and tragic side effects including uncontrollable random movements in Parkinson’s disease patients, rapid growth of tumors, and genetic instability.
  • Embryonic stem cell research could lead to the utilitarian treatment of human life as raw materials for the growth of human body parts.

H.926 Partial Birth Abortion Act
Primary Sponsor: Rep. Elizabeth A. Poirier, R-North Attleboro
Committee Assignment: Joint Committee on Judiciary
Summary: The bill bans abortions in which the child is partially delivered in such a way that a portion of the baby remains inside the mother and portion outside and then is killed. It would not ban abortions that take place entirely within the mother’s womb by means of cutting or suction. Criminal penalties would apply to the abortionist who violates this act.
Text of the Bill
Latest Bill Status: 7/11/2017 – Hearing scheduled before Public Health committee
Quick Facts:

  • This bill would ban abortions at any stage of development where the child is partially delivered first.
  • State law already bans abortion after 24 weeks, except under certain circumstances.
  • The medical community consensus is that abortion is never medically necessary to save a mother’s life.
  • Most abortions are conducted without delivering the child first. Once in the standard position for partial-birth abortion, the child is just moments away from being fully born with full legal protections anyway.

H.931 Sex Selection in Pregnancy Act
Primary Sponsor: Rep. Elizabeth A. Poirier, R-North Attleboro
Committee Assignment: Joint Committee on Judiciary
Summary: The bill would ban abortions that are sought solely based on the sex of the unborn child. Criminal penalties would apply to any physician who performed such an abortion if they have knowledge of the mother’s reason.
Text of the Bill
Latest Bill Status: 10/16/2017 - Hearing scheduled before Judiciary Committee from 1pm to 5pm in Hearing Room A-2.
Quick Facts:
  • Sex selection abortions are a global problem, but also happen with increasing frequency in the US.
  • Girls are predominantly the target of sex selection abortions, even in the US, and are a particularly heinous form of discrimination against women. Some have called it the real War on Women.
  • Some studies have shown that in certain demographic groups in the US where male children are preferred to female children, the sex ratio has tilted to 1.51 boys for every girl.

H.934 Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act
Primary Sponsor: Rep. Elizabeth A. Poirier, R-North Attleboro
Committee Assignment: Joint Committee on Judiciary
Summary: The bill would ban abortions on an unborn child capable of feeling pain, which is defined as being after 20 weeks gestation. Criminal penalties would apply to the abortionist for conducting abortions after this time, except where the death of the child was an unintended consequence of treating a serious health risk to the mother. Abortionists would also be required to determine the age of the unborn child before performing an abortion, except in the case of a medical emergency. The bill would also require that abortions on unborn children after 13 weeks be conducted in a hospital with surgical facilities.
Text of the Bill
Latest Bill Status: 7/11/2017 – Hearing scheduled before Public Health committee
Quick Facts: 

  • By 20 weeks after fertilization, all the physical structures necessary to experience pain have developed.
  • Unborn children react to painful stimuli, and their hormonal reactions consistent with pain can be measured.
  • For the purposes of surgery on unborn children, fetal anesthesia is routinely administered and is associated with a decrease in stress hormones compared to their level when painful stimuli are applied without such anesthesia.
  • Sixteen states have passed similar laws (one has had it declared unconstitutional by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals) and a Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection bill has been introduced in the House in the current session of the US Congress.

H.3680/S.1204 Mass. Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
Primary Sponsor(s): Rep. David M. Rogers, D-Cambridge; Sen. Joan B. Lovely, D-Salem
Committee Assignment: House Committee on Ways and Means
Summary: The bill would ban discrimination against women in the workplace due to their pregnancy or circumstances related to pregnancy. It would require employers to reinstate women to their jobs after pregnancy and ban them from forcing mothers to include in their duties any activity that would be unwise or impossible due to pregnancy. Without the protections of this law, some women might feel pressured to seek out an abortion in order to keep their jobs and to avoid any penalties due to getting pregnant.
Text of H.3680 (amended version of H.3659) and Text of S.2104 (Senate amended version of H.3680)
Latest Bill Status: 7/27/17 - Signed into law by Gov. Baker.

MCFL will be encouraging all members to testify at hearings and to lobby their legislators for these common-sense bills.

Bills Opposed by MCFL:

S.1225/H.1194 Massachusetts End of Life Options Act
Primary House Sponsor: Rep. Louis Kafka, D-Stoughton
Primary Senate Sponsor: Sen. Barbara L’Italien, D-Andover
Committee Assignment: Joint Committee on Public Health
Who to Contact: The Committee. If your state Rep. or Senator sits on the committee, contact them to register your opinion; otherwise, contact committee co-chairs Sen. Jason Lewis and Rep. Kate Hogan. (See contact information at the link above.)
Latest Bill Status: 3/22/18: Bill sent to study committee, effectively killing it in this session.

Text of the Senate version of the Bill and text of the House version
Summary: This law would overturn the will of the voters as expressed in 2012 when they voted against Question 2, the doctor-prescribed suicide referendum. Kafka has introduced a version of this bill each year since 2009. It would allow doctors to prescribe suicide pills to terminally ill patients with “six months to live”, but doesn’t address all the same concerns about coercion of patients, the imprecision of terminal diagnoses and time to live, and the rest. MCFL will be asking members to vigorously oppose these bills just as they have previous attempts to force this legislation on Massachusetts.

If passed, this bill would place the elderly, infirm, sick, disabled, and vulnerable at grave risk and radically change the nature of our healthcare system. The bill’s sponsoring organization, Compassion and Choices (formerly the Hemlock Society), recently moved Massachusetts to the top of its priority list. H.1194 has 45 sponsors this session, up from 39 in the last session, while S.1225 has 11 sponsors.

Among the many problems with S 1225 and H 1194, the Doctor-Prescribed Suicide Bills.

  • There is no required waiting period between a person’s request for a lethal dose and receiving the deadly prescription.
  • The actual death may occur in secret.  There are no witnesses or medical professional required to be present when the patient takes the dose. There is no way to be sure of what happened or if the dose was taken of the patient’s own free will.
  • There is no required reporting of suicide requests. This means that if there is suspicion of coercion or deception involved it could only be investigated by the authorities after the fact.
  • The bill calls for a terminal diagnosis for the patient with a prognosis of six months or fewer left to live. This is an extremely flawed standard. All of us know someone who has survived a prognosis by weeks, months, years, or even decades.
  • While the bill claims that healthcare providers are not required to participate in a suicide, those who refuse to participate must provide a referral to a physician who will write a lethal prescription, thus facilitating the act.

These bills are dangerous for poor people, for sick people, for disabled people, for elderly people, and for minority people!

For more information on Doctor-Prescribed Suicide and its dangers and effects.

S.2128/H.3704 Healthy Youth Act
Primary House Sponsor: Rep. James J. O’Day, D-14th Worcester, Rep. Paul Brodeur, D-32nd Middlesex
Primary Senate Sponsor: Sen. Sal DiDomenico, D-Middlesex and Suffolk
Committee Assignment: Joint Committee on Education
Text of the Senate version of the Bill (was originally S.234) and text of the House version(was originally H.2053)
Bill Status: S.2128/H.3704 – 4/24/18 – Reporting date extended to May 16, 2018
Quick Facts:

  • This is the first sex education bill to date that would explicitly teach young people the acceptability of abortion among the “options for pregnancy”.
  • It makes the MA Health Curriculum Frameworks the legal standard for compliance for sexuality education programs in public school districts. The Frameworks as currently written explain to young people how to obtain an abortion or contraceptives without parental knowledge.
  • Future revisions of the Frameworks would rest solely in the hands of the commissioner of education, meaning loss of control by parents in local districts to determine the content of sexuality education programs.

Testimony: MCFL VP Linda Thayer’s Testimony before the Joint Committee on Education Against S.234.

Find more information on the Mass. Health Curriculum Frameworks and read an div my MCFL Vice-President for Education Linda Thayer called If You Send Your Child to Public School, Are You Still the Parent?. You may also be interested in What Sexuality Education Really Means For Children in Massachusetts.

S.2296/H.2960 Protect Access to Confidential Healthcare Act
Primary Senate Sponsor: Sen. Karen Spilka, D-Ashland
Primary House Sponsor: Rep. Kate Hogan, D-Stow
Committee Assignment: Senate Ways and Means
Text of the Senate version of the Bill (originally S.591) and text of the House version
Bill Status: 3/30/18 - Signed into law by Governor Baker. Because of the addition of language that this law won't supersede prior laws on parental notification, MCFL views this as a partial win. While a wife can now access abortion with her husband's insurance without his knowledge, a minor girl cannot use her parents' insurance for abortion or birth control without her parents' being notified, unless she has a court order.
Quick Facts: We stopped a similar bill at the end of last year, when the legislators tried to pass it in informal session, as a Christmas gift to Planned Parenthood. Otherwise known as the Secret Abortions bill, this legislation would prohibit insurance companies’ explanation of benefits notices from being sent to policy holders if the insured accessed sensitive, “confidential” health care services. For example, a woman on her husband’s insurance, or a girl on her father’s insurance could use that insurance to pay for her abortion or birth control, and he could not be notified.

S.754 Safeguarding the Health Care Decisions of Young Adults Act
Primary Sponsor: Sen. Michael J. Barrett, D-Lexington
Committee Assignment: Joint Public Health Committee
Text of the Bill
Bill Status: 4/12/2018 – Sent to study, effectively killing it in this session
Quick Facts: This bill would lower the age of consent for abortion without parental consent or notification to 16 years old. We have defeated this bill in every session for many years and it has been unpopular with the public all this time. The current bill adds the wrinkle of allowing “emergency” abortions without parental consent at any age if a girl’s life is threatened and can only be saved by an abortion, a circumstance that doesn’t happen.

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