Massachusetts abortion laws are considered less restrictive than many other states, according to FindLaw
. The state has informed consent regulations. Abortions may be performed after 24 weeks if it is necessary to save the mother’s life or there is a risk of physical or mental impairment.
Massachusetts received a B- rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America
, which judges states according to permissive abortion laws. Neighboring states Connecticut and Vermont each received A ratings from the pro-choice group. New York had an A- rating.
The bordering state of Rhode Island was given a D+ by NARAL and New Hampshire received a C+ for more restrictive abortion laws than Massachusetts.
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Women must be told about the procedures involved, possible problems that may occur and alternatives before having an abortion. Abortions are allowed for minors, younger than age 18, with consent from a parent. However, she can seek permission for an abortion from a judge with the Massachusetts Superior Court if for some reason she cannot tell her parents, according to NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts. The judge will not inform the parents or anyone else.
NARAL stated that women younger than age 18 can seek counseling for an explanation on this judicial bypass method, which usually takes a few days before receiving permission to have an abortion.
Abortions are less restrictive in Connecticut where there is no mandated parental involvement or limitations on public funding for abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute
. There are also no restrictions on waiting periods. New York also has similar laws to Connecticut, making it less restrictive than Massachusetts when it comes to abortion.
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However, neighboring Rhode Island and New Hampshire have stronger regulations when compared with Massachusetts abortion laws. In Rhode Island, the parent of a minor must provide consent for an abortion. Public funding is only available in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest, according to Guttmacher. New Hampshire has similar laws regarding parental consent and public funding for abortions.
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