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Bill would help protect abortion rights in Massachusetts should Roe v. Wade be overturned

Among the things the state legislature just hates to do is formally repeal laws that have been overturned by court rulings or newer laws. Rather than get stricken from the law books, these measures just sit there, dormant, for decades, mostly unnoticed except by the occasional historian or blogger. But a bill passed by the state Senate and now in the House would formally repeal a series of currently non-enforced laws that could suddenly be used to ban not just abortions and contraception in Massachusetts but even articles telling women where to get them, should Roe v. Wade be overturned.

S.2260, designated an act "negating archaic statutes targeting young women," and originally sponsored by 28 legislators, including Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, would delete several sections of the state morality code (of course we have one) that, if ever enforced, would let officials bar abortions and the use of contraception by unmarried women.

The laws as they stand now also allow for five-year prison sentences for anybody convicted of writing articles telling women where they could get an abortion or contraception; the bill would strike this provision as well.

The bill would also amend a later state law that currently might allow stricter limits on when a woman could get an abortion and under what circumstances.

Unmarried women's right to birth control was set in a 1972 Supreme Court case involving this very statute (Eisenstadt v. Baird), but a court willing to throw out Roe might be willing to consider tossing this ruling as well.

S.2260 has a preamble:

Whereas. The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to negate archaic statutes targeting young women, therefore, it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public health.

The Senate passed the bill 38-0 in January. The Joint Committee on Health Care Financing voted favorably on the measure in April; it is now before the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Comments

Less than 24 hours after Kennedy retires, they're passing laws to legalize abortion.

How long did it take the legislature to legalize a type of plant?

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Since you missed the end of my post: The Senate actually passed this back in January. Don't worry - this isn't at all like the upskirting bill, they're taking their time with it.

I'm writing it today because:

A) Yes, events of the past couple of days have made me think about such things;
B) Because I know the legislature has consistently resisted efforts in the past to strike unenforceable laws from the books, so it seemed interesting this one passed the Senate, at least, unanimously;
C) I just learned about this particular bill today.

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Well, don't worry, they obviously didn't read any other articles, since Anthony Kennedy doesn't retire until July 31. So it's less than 24 hours after he announced he's retiring, in a month, over the summer break for the Supreme Court (they'll meet again in October).

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Here's a side by side comparison of the changes in the bill:
NEW BILL:
4 Except in an emergency requiring immediate action, an abortion shall not be performed
5 under section 12L or 12M unless the written consent of the proper person has been delivered to
6 the physician performing the abortion as set forth in section 12S.

Current law:
Section 12Q. Except in an emergency requiring immediate action, no abortion may be performed under sections twelve L or twelve M unless the written informed consent of the proper person or persons has been delivered to the physician performing the abortion as set forth in section twelve S; and if the abortion is during or after the thirteenth week of pregnancy, it is performed in a hospital duly authorized to provide facilities for general surgery.
Emphasis mine. Minors, anyone? Draw whatever conclusions you want from that change, but it appears to have little to do with President Trump, SCOTUS, or anyone else on the federal level.

NEW BILL:
SECTION 2. Sections 19 to 21, inclusive, of chapter 272 of the General Laws are hereby
8 repealed.

Current law:
Section 19: Procuring miscarriage

Section 19. Whoever, with intent to procure the miscarriage of a woman, unlawfully administers to her, or advises or prescribes for her, or causes any poison, drug, medicine or other noxious thing to be taken by her or, with the like intent, unlawfully uses any instrument or other means whatever, or, with like intent, aids or assists therein, shall, if she dies in consequence thereof, be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than five nor more than twenty years; and, if she does not die in consequence thereof, by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than seven years and by a fine of not more than two thousand dollars.

OK, strike the last sentence and you have the change you want. Strike the whole thing and you just let an abortion provider off the hook for a botched abortion that kills the mother.
Again, false advertising here a bit.

Current law covers advertising for abortions.
"Section 20. Except as provided in section twenty-one A, whoever knowingly advertises, prints, publishes, distributes or circulates, or knowingly causes to be advertised...which is represented as intended to prevent, pregnancy shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than three years or in jail for not more than two and one half years or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars.
Section 21A: Furnishing drugs, articles or information for prevention of pregnancy or conception"

This one will be repealed in its entirety.

The 21A replacement appears to clarify the authority of pharmacies to sell stuff that interferes with pregnancy, like 'drugs or articles.'

I'm wondering if this means that liquor stores can't sell condoms...

Truth of the matter is, always read the changes in the laws before you make an uninformed decision. The only real change I see here is the change about an 'after thirteen week' abortion being done in a 'real' hospital, as opposed to a small clinic. Oh, and the 'procuring information' thing. The actual penalty for performing an abortion can be struck by removing one sentence.

So, maybe we could call it the 'Fund Planned Parenthood' bill?

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So, maybe we could call it the 'Fund Planned Parenthood' bill?

Please donate today to PP. I think they've gotten alot outta me the past few weeks. I always stop and give.

I almost feel sorry for the girls who collect, they get spit on, yelled, and worse.

One guy was annihilating one girl (who just took it in stride), after he left, I walked up to her said "I'd like to donate 25 now, and another 25 bucks because that guy was an asshole"

She smiled.

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They're your dollars. Do with them as you wish. I just wish there was more civility on the subject.
I mean that. It's a difficult thing for anyone to go through. It's a shame people make it worse.

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It's fine to talk about abortion, but if you and those on your side want civility, you need to avoid incendiary, counterfactual phrases such as "killing babies". It's a good place to start.

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Fund Planned Parenthood? Nothing in the new bill would do that, but nice try.

As for sections 19-21, yeah, real minor provision that do nothing except ban abortion and contraception for unmarried people and make it a crime to even write an article telling people where to go instead.

As mentioned above, these sections are, at present, moot, because of court cases and more recent laws (so a clinic that botches an abortion will still face potential legal action).

Again, as mentioned, Eisenstadt v. Baird specifically outlawed the provisions that limited birth control to married couples.

Striking these sections entirely from the books would simply keep somebody from trying any mischief by bringing them up after any possible ruling striking down Roe v. Wade.

You're right this was not in reaction to any federal laws or rulemaking, because to date, there really haven't been any, except to try to ban payments to Planned Parenthood beyond the already existing ban on payments to Planned Parenthood specifically for abortions (the Hyde Amendment). Again, this is really more of a cleanup of current state statutes to make it even more difficult for somebody in the future to futz around with women's bodies.

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"section twelve S; and if the abortion is during or after the thirteenth week of pregnancy, it is performed in a hospital duly authorized to provide facilities for general surgery. "

This section is struck. Unless I'm missing something, simply put, no abortions have to be performed in a hospital. I think this is a major procedural change. If there are serious complications, patient could be screwed. But, please don't try to tell me that these clinics won't be clamoring for money...Safe and Effective Abortions Here!!...until something goes wrong, then the fact is they're in over their head. But, it's no longer encoded in the law specifically.

Sect 19 banned abortion. It's struck, but the last sentence could be struck preserving the liability clause for a botched abortion. Hey, no problem. Whatever.
My summation was simple, "The only real change I see here is the change about an 'after thirteen week' abortion being done in a 'real' hospital, as opposed to a small clinic. Oh, and the 'procuring information' thing. The actual penalty for performing an abortion can be struck by removing one sentence."

Eisenstadt will stand as long as any of the rest of it stands. Not an issue, except for the sneaky little change in 'proper person' versus 'person or persons' which implies a spouse as having a say in the matter. Therein lies the making of expensive case law...

Bottom line is, this had nothing to do with Rowe v. Wade until yesterday. It was a nice quiet tune up to state law that has a few interesting points that appear to be glossed over and was sold as 'helping women' where it's a bit more complicated than that.

"...a cleanup of current state statutes to make it even more difficult for somebody in the future to futz around with women's bodies."

Well, technically speaking, it's not the woman's body that's at risk, it's the baby's body, but that's another discussion for another time.

Other than that, the play wasn't too bad.

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Is sad.

Uses lots of words to pretend to smartness - just spews gibberish.

People who can handle complexity know the difference.

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So you have a problem with women receiving healthcare for their icky women parts, but probably consider it a right for men to get health care for their virtuous man parts.

So noted.

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Well, technically speaking, it's not the woman's body that's at risk, it's the baby's body, but that's another discussion for another time.

Not always.

And further, you contradict yourself when you claim concern for the woman.

If there are serious complications, patient could be screwed.

Concern troll is concerning.

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We live in scary times in America. Old creepy republican men are gleeful over the possibility of being able to tell young women what to do with their bodies. At least our state is sane.

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LOL

My life does not revolve around abortion.

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Most people's lives don't revolve around abortions. But what you're saying is you don't care if people's rights are taken away. Good to know, I guess.

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HAHAHAHAHA,

You want big government, you got it.

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I get it - you like to think government is some vast overarching conspiracy to deprive you of your hard earned money when, in fact, it's traditionally been the bulwark against the fascists and authoritarians who would ride roughshod over our rights. Eh, there's always Kansas for you.

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Vast conspiracy? Deprive me of my hard earned money?

When did I say that?

It's been a tough week for leftists so I know everyone is on edge, but this is like the day after the 2016 election all over again.

When a certain side loses, they lash out with wild accusations, name calling and emotional rants. You guys crack me up and don't worry, I never take you serious and I suggest you do the same.

Good day

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How about your sisters? You on their side or what?

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Oh, and how are you going to handle it when you have to pay out of pocket for uterine or ovarian cancer, darling?

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You are the one who wants legislators and police in every vagina. It is other people who want less government.

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We already have it Patricia....hence the GOP all up in our uteri. They want small government when it suits their needs - don't be fooled.

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Well, Mike Pence and a few others like him, but that's about it

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what your life revolves around. I'm too polite to say, but it's a very small orbit.

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Do tell, since you know me so well :)

I do really want to know....

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White, middle to upper class, and infused with the false sense of security that being the same brings. A fan of the current Administration of thieves and has no problem complaining about her taxes going to waste on anything but a wall that her idol promised Mexico would pay for.

I'll also venture a guess and say your personal relationships leave you unfulfilled to the point that being an obnoxious twit that pops up here occasionally gives you the satisfaction you are filled with too much shame to even consider other ways to satisfy yourself when you're alone and angry.

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That's quite a psychological workup from someone that lost his job to a Ukranian Uber driver.

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I retired at 53. Have fun at work today.

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She used to have an actual account but I think she realized that her saved comment history would be used against her and her "sensible opinions",
She's the female version of another longtime male commenter - the "retired policemen".

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at which point it very much does.

But you're a habitual conservative troll, and the modern conservative ethos is "problems aren't real unless they apply to me," so you do you. The rest of us are going to keep working to make sure women have access to reproductive health care services.

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"The rest of us are going to keep working to make sure women have access to reproductive health care services."

Even if they are provided by sub-standard medical facilities (after the thirteenth week) that are not real hospitals.

Think of the victims. Not the babies, they're screwed, they're getting killed. I'm talking about the mothers, assured that the clinic 'can handle it' when if something goes wrong, minutes turn into hours.

Please note this is not an abortion argument. It's a 'reducing the level of care' argument.

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Can you site specific examples of women dying in Massachusetts from procedures in Massachusetts clinics?

Yes, I specified Massachusetts for a reason: We're not Pennsylvania or wherever.

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I hear they have a decent hospital or two.
HIPPA prevents the release of medical information.
Not everyone dies from a botched procedure.
Many women, from 'anecdotal' evidence, suffer permanent sterility from botched abortions.
But since you ruled out Pennsylvania, I must mention this gem of a clinic doctor...
https://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/14/us/kermit-gosnell-abortion-doctor-fou...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kermit_Gosnell

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Anecdata.

Stats from MA or STFU

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Mine neither but I do give a shit about those women who will be living in the knuckle dragging states that may lose their right to do what the f*ck they wish to do with their own bodies if, indeed, Roe v. Wade kicks the bucket.

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I want to post something snarky but I won't.
FYI, I have no problem with abortion. Friends have had them, etc... no problem here.

My issue is it's the emotional outrage it causes. To me it is very selective.

We are still at war, soldiers dying, getting maimed physically and emotionally daily. We have many issues right now, the economy, housing, what's going on in Europe and the middle east has a direct effect on us.

Abortion makes people go nuts .

I equate abortion to Second amendment discussions.

The difference between me and most posters here, if someone doesn't believe in abortion, is Pro Life, I respect their opinion. I'm not going to argue with them, nor will I get nasty and feel the need to call them names.
But you do you... My life does not, and will never, revolve around the abortion discussion. There are many things in life I don't agree with and aren't fair, it doesn't make me a nasty person.

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The difference between me and most posters here, if someone doesn't believe in abortion, is Pro Life, I respect their opinion. I'm not going to argue with them

Your continued comments here to the contrary.

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My issue is it's the emotional outrage it causes. To me it is very selective.

It sure is. Have you looked at the lunatics who picket clinics? They are very selective in their manufactured concern for human life. Calling them "Pro Life" as you do is the act of a disingenuous idiot who believes that she is somewhat cleverer than others, when in fact you are manifestly more stupid.

But you do you... My life does not, and will never, revolve around the abortion discussion.

Of course it doesn't. It doesn't have to.

"If your son will never be one of the 1 in 3 black men imprisoned in America, if you will never need an abortion, if you don’t have to fear watching your family die in a drone strike, debate can be vigorous fun — like being a freshman in Poli Sci all over again. When you have nothing to fear, the most important decisions in our government all turn into thought experiments where everything — even the lives of human beings — is up for compromise."

But for the rest of us, for those of us directly and horrifically impacted every day by the slow and comfortable pace of “progress,” the call for civilized debate is barbaric. The lack of yelling, the lack of protest, the lack of rage and urgency around issues that are literally killing people is a glaring testament, not of our manners, but of our lack of basic empathy as a society."

That's you in the first paragraph, Patricia. She's talking about you. You talk about "soldiers dying, getting maimed physically and emotionally daily", about the economy, about "what's going on in Europe" (what, exactly?), but you are entirely selective in your concern. You reserve it for situations where you have no skin in the game, where it IS a game that you can quit at will.

You are what's wrong with America.

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I would have you talk to my neighbor. She worked in an abortion clinic. One reason her life revolved around it was constant threats to her safety.

Except you can't talk to her. Terrorist John Salvi murdered her.

Now go fuck off.

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Welcome to UHub. This is the land of the self-righteous. This anon person, who may or may not be Swirlly (but I do know where my money is going on this one...) will try to guilt trip you by equating a neighbor of hers that was killed in 1994 to, um, whatever point it is she's trying to make about you fu$king off.
Salvi was a psychotic asshole, decided to shoot up some abortion clinics. Look him up, (www.duckduckgo.com, the search engine that doesn't track you!) he was surrounded by people that should, but didn't, get him help.

Hey, I post here under a nickname, but it's consistently me.

Swirl...if you don't have the intestinal fortitude to post under your name, if you won't own your own statements, then kindly keep your bullshit and rude comments to yourself.

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Gee, "DMC", why not grow a pair of real balls and list your real name along with your moronic comments in a place you seem to loathe so much...?

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I try to discuss shit intelligently.
I don't want you leading (probably from behind) a horde of unwashed antifa hooded savages in front of my house...providing you actually know any.
Because that's how you ignorant progressive assholes roll.

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I try to discuss shit intelligently.

Literally. Everything you say is shit.

I don't want you leading (probably from behind) a horde of unwashed antifa hooded savages in front of my house...providing you actually know any.
Because that's how you ignorant progressive assholes roll.

You and your fabricated villains manufactured by your fevered imagination and your lies and your incessant dog-whistling are what's wrong with America.

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Progressive....maybe...ignorant..jury's out...asshole...most definitely. And I receive about a death threat a week on Twitter and my address is public knowledge. And Antifa? My personal sense of style alone precludes me from joining their band. Though I believe you to be one of those chin pube wearing Proud Boy types that probably begs for the cookie after the rest of the knuckle draggers finish on it.

So tough talk from yet another keyboard warrior...

Have a great day!!

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Dies in a filthy basement from a coat hanger puncture, it will.

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Well you're not young so yeah, it doesn't apply. And, if you read things, you would see it is not just abortion.

And my life doesn't revolve around The fiourth amendment, but I'm glad its not going anywhere.

And Im glad access to contraception is still relevant to me.

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Take a break. Go for a walk.

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eroding individual rights as long as it's a position or policy you personally agree with. It's going to be a painful 10 or so years, but that's about it. Things will turn. When they do, I expect those that you feel are less American and less deserving of the Constitution will take the country back. When that inevitably happens, I sincerely hope they proceed with capricious and resolute action to destroy your government sanctioned privilege with similar glee.

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is CONSIDERING being sane. I don't know why this wasn't repealed 40 years ago. We've now seen up close and personal what can happen if you leave a series of laws on the books, but informally agree that you won't enforce them: one day, the population catches a bad case of The Crazies and elects a would-be fascist who immediately turns around and starts shitting on every vulnerable population he can by "changing the priorities of law enforcement." When you rely on extralegal policies to make your system of laws work, you're practically begging for someone to exploit the system.

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It was only a few years ago that native americans were still required to have an escort by two musketeers to enter the city of Boston.

I gave my visiting Cayuse cousins and two friends (one Lumbee, one Algonquin) Three Musketeers Bars to travel with - provided a spare just in case.

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...but I believe there are a few old ones still on the books concerning Rhode Island men 'trespassing' into Massachusetts.

But, while I was looking through the 'blue' laws, most of which deal with sex with minors and other relevant stuff like 'procuring', I found this gem which I thought was repealed years ago:
Section 34: Crime against nature
Section 34. Whoever commits the abominable and detestable crime against nature, either with mankind or with a beast, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than twenty years.

I'll throw in a Snickers.

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Adorable!

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IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/uztzYQN.jpg)

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Kansas awaits you.

Except everyone with a brain already left for Colorado.

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Here's a helpful guide to do so:

https://act1.myngp.com/Forms/-4814348001659060224

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At what point would the MA legislature move to outlaw abortion in MA? MA, the only state where HRC won every county? Which MA legislator is going to introduce that bill, let alone find a co-sponsor, let alone scare up anything close to a majority?

Even if Roe v. Wade were overturned, I find it hard to believe that that would have any effect on women's access to abortion in MA, regardless of any archaic laws on the books here.

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So what happens when Congress passes a federal law outlawing it? Do we thumb our noses at the Supremacy Clause, and explicitly legalize it here, at which point it be at the whim of the feds to raid clinics and arrest all the medical staff like they did at marijuana dispensaries? Or do we leave these old laws on the books, at which point it's de facto illegal here?

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So why didn't the legislature get rid of these laws on the books back when SCotUS said they were illegal with Roe Vs. Wade? What's with MA blatantly ignoring SCotUS rulings for years or in this case decades when it comes to women's issues?

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The problem isn't that Massachusetts refused to recognize Roe or Baird; it did, and it stopped enforcing the old laws.

The problem is that the legislature has failed to strip the old laws from the official record. That was fine as long as Roe was the law of the land, but with that potentially not being the case in a year or so, it becomes a bit more important to not leave these things hanging around where a hostile Justice Department or cranky DA decides to try to use them.

I suspect there's no similar urgency to formally deleting the laws against adultery, smut, taking Jesus's name in vain and yelling obscenities at umpires and refs at sporting events.

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The political climate was different at the time. I believe Ted Kennedy was still prolife then. Ed Markey for instance definitely was.
https://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/2013/02/28/ed-markeys-anti-abortion-...

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Adam's comment provides some detailed examples, but the bottom line is that legislative reform is the least popular chore of any legislator. It takes as much work as crafting new legislation and is a whole lot less shiny and exciting. It's a lot like paint over wallpaper over drywall over plaster: not the best thing, but it's what happens.

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Which MA legislator is going to introduce that bill,

Geoff Diehl

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A bill authorizing MA to join Canada if our neighbors also agreed to do so.

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If our legislators had more of a sense of history they might have named this bill the "We Should Have Thanked You a Long Time Ago, Bill Baird" act

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At this point I will settle for amnesty for climate scientists whose closest genetic relative is a Canadian citizen.

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Roe V Wade gets overturned and the coat hanger business proliferates and the ones who don't go that route can watch as their kid's SNAP and CHIP benefits get cut by the party of pro-life until you get them out of the womb and then they're on your fucking own.

Unless you want to join the military...

You voted your consciences. Now live with them.

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Or...Not.

The people you are adressing on this hyper-local site almost all reside in a state where third-party votes made zero difference to the electoral count.

And even in the swing states, I think you'll find that the margin of loss for HRC was accounted for (and then some) by lower turnout of regular Dem voters, particularly minority and union voters.

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Please demonstrate that this even mattered.

You know what did matter?

Hillary held a coronation rather than a REAL PRIMARY where the Democratic Party could sort out what people REALLY WANTED and NEEDED. As opposed to what Hillary was told that Goldman Sachs wanted.

Yeah. That.

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IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/41cjEGs.jpg)

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It was Russian election interference and failure to listen to non-bankers. Duh.

Why do right wingers always oversimplify reality to a binary system?

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is as an issue, and it is huge, there is lots of reason to worry about a fascist supreme court's view of elections, which Trump will reflexively cast as rigged when he loses, and which as far as we know government agencies have been unable to adequately protect against future Russian interference...

but republicans appear to love this idea of destroying elections...if they didn't love it, they wouldn't allow evidence of their love of it to mount

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The GOP has made a lot of money off of the idea of repealing Roe v Wade, if they do, what else can they fund raise on? Trump, Elizabeth Warren and children in cages?

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They get a lot of mileage out of attacking LGBT people too.

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When the conservatives overturn Roe vs Wade they will do so in such a way that the fetus is defined as a "person" as undertood in the 14th amendment.

nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

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This means that women dying from pregnancy are nonpersons.

Look up "El Salvador Abortion Ban".

Right wingers are never good at science, biology, or reality.

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"Women dying from pregnancy are nonpersons" still needs 3 words removed from the middle of that phrase before they'll be truly happy

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Why is abortion so controversial today? Because we've been trained to react. A century ago, even among Catholics, abortion was not a big deal. But abortion, Gay people, the idea of a right to own guns, are the culture war weapons of people who benefit from creating controversy.

Who benefits in the nation from creating controversy? People who benefit from generating fear. In a culture where conservatism is generally where most people swing, generating fear among the population puts evil people into office. Trump is example # 1.

Without hot, emotional wrought, crazy making controversial issues, the people who want to dominate have nothing to scare the average person.

Today the issues are immigration, guns, abortion and Gays. In the 50s the issues were Communists and Gays. At other times the fears have been other immigrants. That includes the illegal imprisonment of Japanese-American citizens, and the fears in the 19th century that millions of Catholic immigrants would result in the US becoming enthralled to the Catholic Pope.

It's sadly and darkly humorous that so much energy and lives were wasted in the Cold War, against the monstrous enemy of Communism, and now Trump can't bend over far enough to keep the Chinese Communists happy, what with making sure that a major Chinese company did not suffer sanctions or to make sure that Communist Chinese can still invest in the US.

Sometimes the socalled Liberals put fire to controversy. With an issue such as slavery how could a person not. But usually the fires of controversy are about manipulation and creating fear by the ultra right.

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A century ago, even among Catholics, abortion was not a big deal.

Citation needed.

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Wouldn't it depend on what type of challenge, what legal question, that would even get it to the Court?

I've read that "overturning" R v W would simply throw the matter back to the States, and wherever law there stood/stands.

I'm not sure what (if anything) would be overturned.

The medical privacy/autonomy that is so much a part of R v W and some other cases isn't likely to be thrown out.

However, if the challenge and finding is (as it should be) that the child has a right to life that outweighs the right to a nonmedical procedure ("nonmedical" as in "not needed to treat any medical problem") - done.

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However, if the challenge and finding is (as it should be) that the child has a right to life that outweighs the right to a nonmedical procedure ("nonmedical" as in "not needed to treat any medical problem") - done.

...what?

Please clearly define your terms, these being "child", "right to life", "medical problem", "outweighs the right" and "done". If your definition ends up in a sick Mad Lib that reads "the blastula's right to have its existence (alive or dead) supported by any means necessary outweighs the right to a procedure that that would be considered medically necessary if the health of old white men were involved - fuck you", then...fuck you.

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I don't think it means what you think it means.

This is about a clump of cells inside a person, who ultimately has autonomy over her own body ("as it should be")

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