Massachusetts abortion laws are fairly lenient when compared to other states around the nation. Some states are even more permissive, but many others have more restrictions than the abortion regulations in Massachusetts.
Abortions are usually allowed before 24 weeks, but may be performed after 24 weeks if a doctor determines the procedure is necessary to save the life of the mother or if continuing the pregnancy causes risks for severe physical or mental impairment, according to FindLaw
Women who give informed consent for an abortion must be told about the difficulties that might arise and be advised of possible alternatives to abortions, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts noted
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A woman under age 18 must receive permission from a parent to have an abortion. However, she can take the judicial bypass route and seek permission from a judge at the Massachusetts Superior Court. The judicial procedure is offered to young women who cannot tell their parents about their pregnancy. Depending on the circumstances, the judge may give permission for the abortion without informing the parents.
The abortion laws in Massachusetts are less strict than in the neighboring states of Rhode Island and New Hampshire, according to the Guttmacher Institute
. The main restriction in Massachusetts is parental consent for a minor. Rhode Island and New Hampshire have these restrictions as well. They also deny public funding for abortions except in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest.
Neighboring New York has far more liberal policies pertaining to abortion. The state has no mandated parental involvement or requirements concerning public funding for abortions. California has similarly permissive laws to New York with no waiting periods, mandated parental involvement or limitations on public funding, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
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Massachusetts has more permissive laws on abortions than other states, such as Pennsylvania where a woman requires state-directed counseling designed to discourage an abortion and then must wait 24 hours before the procedure, Guttmacher reported. Health plans under the Affordable Care Act and public funding are only allowed in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest.
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