Facing an unplanned pregnancy without clear knowledge of your options can be daunting. With the overturning of the recent Roe v. Wade decision, many women are wondering what their options are and what restrictions or protections for abortion access look like in their area.
Abortion is currently legal in the state of Massachusetts, but read the rest of this article for more information about the significance of the recent overruling and what steps to take if you are considering an abortion.
What Does it Mean that Roe v. Wade was Overturned?
In 1973, the Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade and found that abortion was a federally-protected right within the U.S. Constitution.
This ruling was recently revisited in the Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case. The current Supreme Court ruled that the original ruling couldn’t be substantiated and overruled Roe v. Wade.
Striking down Roe means the authority to decide to restrict or protect abortion access should be determined by the individual states.
What are Massachusetts’ Current Laws on Abortion?
Some states had “trigger laws” ready to go to automatically restrict abortion if Roe was ever overturned. Other states, like Massachusetts, had their own state laws to protect abortion access.
In Massachusetts, abortion is legal up to the point of viability (about 24 weeks) unless the woman’s mental health or life is endangered by the pregnancy. Other abortion restrictions include:
- The performing surgeon must obtain informed consent before carrying out an abortion.
- If a person is under the age of 16, an abortion may not be performed without their written consent.
- If the patient is under the age of 16 and unmarried, they must obtain consent from a parent or legal guardian. A judge may be sought to bypass such permission if unable to receive parental consent.
- No abortion will be given solely based on gender preferences.
What Should I Do If I am Considering an Abortion?
If you are considering an abortion, the best first step is to go on a fact-finding mission. A part of this is scheduling an ultrasound. At Your Options Medical, we offer no-cost ultrasounds which can give valuable information such as:
- Gestational age (important for medical abortion criteria)
- Location of the pregnancy (this can help confirm if the pregnancy is ectopic)
- Viability of the pregnancy (up to 20% of pregnancies miscarry naturally)
We also offer no-cost consultations where you can ask about pregnancy-related processes in a pressure-free environment and learn about your options.
Contact us today to schedule your appointment!