CITATION: Changes to be made to Massachusetts General Law chapter 112, §§12Q and S: informed consent and parental consent. (Rewritten in the new Section 12N of the ROE Act, which eliminates all requirement of parental consent.)
Veronica, left, in a childhood photo
We spoke with a family whose daughter went to a Planned Parenthood clinic after discovering her unexpected pregnancy. The discussion revealed truths about what it’s like for a teenage girl to face pregnancy in Massachusetts.
Current state law requires one parent to provide consent before a minor undergoes an abortion. (If the ROE Act passes, a girl as young as 12 could legally obtain an abortion without a parent, or any adult other than clinic staff, knowing about it.) We asked Jerry and Maggie, Veronica's parents, “As a 16-year-old, how accessible was abortion to Veronica?” “Obviously, we weren't informed when Veronica went [to Planned Parenthood],” they said. “We asked her, and she said no one there mentioned her age. We don't think that law is being followed.”
Veronica agreed. “When I went to Planned Parenthood there was no adult or parent with me,” she said. “The woman I talked to knew my age, and it did not seem to be a problem for me to get an abortion.”
“What do you remember about the clinic?” I asked. “I was expecting to be given more resources and options, but it felt like they were just mainly focused on abortion," Veronica said. One worker told her, "It isn't a baby yet," a comment Veronica says haunts her today.
In spite of the difficult memories of being alone at Planned Parenthood, she says, “Every day, when I wake up to Myles’ smiling face, I am so thankful that I made the decision I did. My life would be very empty without him."
The "ROE" Act would leave Veronica without the protection of her parents or an adult.
Call the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Judiciary Committee today.
Ask them to shelve the "ROE" Act, and protect Hope.
Chair Claire Cronin
Vice Chair Michael Day
For more information on the "ROE" Act, and a call script, click here.