State of Massachusetts Archives: on Abortion


Ed Markey: Endorsed by Planned Parenthood; supports abortion rights

Markey repeatedly returned to two issue areas where he diverged from Gomez: his support for gun control measures that Gomez opposes and his support for abortion rights, which he juxtaposed with Gomez's professed personal opposition to abortion rights.

"You saw someone representing the oldest Republican ideas," Markey said in a scrum with reporters after the debate. "He obviously does not believe that a woman should have a right to choose." Gomez noted that he would not change any laws on the issue. "I couldn't be more clear: I'm not changing any law on abortion," he said to reporters after the debate.

During the forum, Markey noted that Planned Parenthood has endorsed him and emphasized

Source: Boston Globe on 2013 MA Senate debate Jun 6, 2013

Ed Markey: Litmus test for Supreme Court nominees on abortion

Gomez suggested he could support a waiting period for abortions. "I think asking somebody to wait 24 hours before they can actually go have an abortion is not asking a lot," he said.

Markey described himself as pro-choice: "I think the decision should be between the woman and her physician. That's it. The woman makes the decision, not some law that's imposed by politicians," he said.

Gomez also said he could vote for a Supreme Court nominee who is opposed to abortion. "If the judge comes in front of me and they follow the constitution and they're ethical and they're pro-choice and they've done a good job. I'll vote for them. If they're pro-life, I'll vote for them," he said. "There should be no litmus test."

Markey said there should be a litmus test when it comes to abortion. "I have a litmus test. I would not vote for a Supreme Court justice who would overturn Roe v. Wade," he said.

Source: Boston Herald on 2013 MA Senate debate Jun 6, 2013

Gabriel Gomez: I'm personally prolife but I'm not changing any abortion law

Markey repeatedly returned to two issue areas where he diverged from Gomez: his support for gun control measures that Gomez opposes and his support for abortion rights, which he juxtaposed with Gomez's professed personal opposition to abortion rights.

The debate ended with a robust exchange about abortion. "I'm Catholic and I'm personally prolife," Gomez said, noting though that he would not change any laws on the issue. "I couldn't be more clear: I'm not changing any law on abortion," he said to reporters after the debate.

During the forum, Markey noted that Planned Parenthood has endorsed him a

Source: Boston Globe on 2013 MA Senate debate Jun 6, 2013

Gabriel Gomez: 24-hour waiting period for a woman to get an abortion

Asked if he could support a law that would require women to wait 24 hours and review information about the development of a fetus before having an abortion, Gomez suggested he could support the waiting period. "I think asking somebody to wait 24 hours before they can actually go have an abortion is not asking a lot," he said.

Markey described himself as pro-choice: "I think the decision should be between the woman and her physician. That's it. The woman makes the decision, not some law that's imposed by politicians," he said.

Gomez also said he could vote for a Supreme Court nominee who is opposed to abortion. "If the judge comes in front of me and they follow the constitution and they're ethical and they're pro-choice and they've done a good job. I'll vote for them. If they're pro-life, I'll vote for them," he said. "There should be no litmus test."

Markey said there should be a litmus test when it comes to abortion.

Source: Boston Herald on 2013 MA Senate debate Jun 6, 2013

Steve Lynch: Protect Roe v. Wade; it keeps abortion in clinical setting

Student panelists asked the candidates questions relating to their opinions on abortion. Lynch said he would protect the ruling of Roe v. Wade in Congress. "Overturning Roe v. Wade doesn't end abortion," he said. "What it will do, however, is change the options for women from a clinical setting to one that is much more dangerous for women in crisis."

Markey said his history of voting for women's rights as well as his endorsement by Planned Parenthood represents his pro-choice beliefs.

Source: 2013 MA Senate debate in B.U. Daily Free Press Apr 9, 2013

Steve Lynch: Opposes abortion funding but funded Planned Parenthood

Markey highlighted a number of Lynch's more conservative positions, particularly on abortion, pointing out that Lynch voted in favor of an amendment that would restrict federal funding for abortion.

But Markey, who has the endorsement of Planned Parenthood, did not push back when Lynch touted his defense of funding for Planned Parenthood on the House floor.

Source: The Hill coverage of 2013 MA Senate debates Mar 27, 2013

Martha Coakley: AdWatch: Brown denied contraception to rape victims

Coakley's campaign, in an ad released this week, describes Brown as someone who would march in step with "Washington Republicans," portraying him as anti-government, pro-business and, well, downright heartless.

Narrator: "Who is Scott Brown, really? A Republican. In lockstep with Washington Republicans. He'll block tougher oversight of Wall Street. Give more tax breaks to the wealthiest. Oppose new prescription coverage for millions of seniors. Brown even favors letting hospitals deny emergency contraception to rape victims. He lacks understanding and seriousness. In times like these, we can't afford a Republican like Scott Brown."

The ad is basically on track, factually, until we come to a claim that "Brown even favors letting hospitals deny emergency contraception to rape victims." Brown did vote for a 2005 amendment for that purpose, but the ad doesn't mention is that Brown voted for the underlying bill anyway, even after the Republican governor vetoed it.

Source: FactCheck "Bay State Battle" AdWatch: 2010 MA Senate debate Jan 13, 2010

Scott Brown: 2005: Conscience-based opt out of post-rape contraception

Coakley's campaign ad says Brown "favors letting hospitals deny emergency contraception to rape victims."

It's true that in 2005, when the MA state Legislature was considering a bill to require hospitals to provide emergency contraception to rape victims, Brown introduced an amendment that would have let doctors and nurses opt out based on "a sincerely held religious belief" and refer patients elsewhere. It was similar to "conscience" provisions in federal legislation that would avoid forcing Catholic hospitals to provide abortion or contraception against the teachings of the church. Here's the language:

Brown amendment, Apr. 2005: "Nothing in this section shall impose any requirements upon any employee, physician or nurse of any facility t the extent that administering the contraception conflicts with a sincerely held religious belief. Said treating facility shall have in place a validated referral procedure policy for referring patients for administration of the emergency contraception."

Source: FactCheck "Bay State Battle" AdWatch: 2010 MA Senate debate Jan 13, 2010

Scott Brown: Provide info about emergency contraception to rape victims

Brown voted for a 2005 amendment to deny emergency contraception to rape victims, but Coakley's ad [on that subject] doesn't mention that when the amendment failed, Brown voted for the underlying bill anyway.

The most misleading part of the ad, though is not what the narrator says, but what appears on screen. As the contraception amendment is mentioned, viewers see the words, "Deny rape victims care." Emergency contraception is certainly a type of care. But the language on screen implies that Brown would support denial of even, say, treatment of injuries sustained in a rape.

That's far from the truth. The bill required that rape victims be provided with accurate information about emergency contraception and that they be offered it. Brown voted for the bill after unsuccessfully trying to carve out a religion exception. And there is nothing in the record that we are aware of to suggest that Brown ever supported denying any other type of care to victims of sexual assault.

Source: FactCheck "Bay State Battle" AdWatch: 2010 MA Senate debate Jan 13, 2010

Scott Brown: Support legalized abortion, but not partial-birth abortion

Brown pointed out that he and Coakley both support legalized abortion. "Yet we have a very real difference," Brown said, "and the difference is I'm against partial-birth abortion, you're not."

"That's not right," Coakley shot back.

"Martha", Brown said, "with all due respect, you wrote an editorial that anyone can go online and find where you actually criticized partial-birth abortion, the fact that it's in fact not allowed. And we also have have a difference in that I don't believe that federal funding of abortion should be allowed, and I believe in a very strong parental consent notification law."

In a 2007 op-ed article in the Quincy Patriot-Ledger, Coakley called a Supreme Court decision upholding a ban on late-term abortions "tragic."

Source: WBUR article on 2010 MA Senate debate Jan 12, 2010

Martha Coakley: Helped minors get court orders without parental consent

Abortion rights advocates said Coakley, the attorney general, has used whatever position she is in to advance their cause - and that her work predates her time in politics. Before she joined the Middlesex district attorney's office in 1986, for example, Coakley was a private lawyer who volunteered her time to help minors get court orders for abortions when they could not get their parents' consent.

"I know that none of the young women wanted to do this,'' Coakley said in a recent interview. "Many of them had tried to be careful or used contraception and it failed, or they did not understand. They had pointed out to me, what I still think is true, that we don't do a very good job around sex education for a lot of young women.''

As a district attorney, she called on the Legislature to create a stronger buffer zone between protesters and abortion clinics. As attorney general, she enforced and successfully defended the law against a legal challenge.

Source: Boston Globe on 2010 MA Senate debate Jan 4, 2010

Martha Coakley: Partial-birth ban needs exceptions for maternal health

In 2007, Coakley spoke out strongly against a ban on "partial birth abortion,'' a procedure used late in pregnancies now barred unless the mother's life is at risk. The ban did not allow an exception to protect the mother's health, Coakley noted in an op-ed published in the Patriot-Ledger. "In one fell swoop, five justices set back the cause of a woman's individual liberty and self-determination, as well as decades of established legal precedent,'' she wrote in the co-authored opinion piece.
Source: Boston Globe on 2010 MA Senate debate Jan 4, 2010

Scott Brown: Supported by right-to-life groups for stem cell stance

Brown picked up the support of the Massachusetts Citizens for Life in this race, based on his position on issues including abortion, stem cells, and federal health legislation. He also opposes federal funding for abortion, supports strong parental consent rules for minors, and supports the ban on what opponents call partial-birth abortion.

"We're behind him,'' said John Rowe, chairman of the group's federal political action committee. "The pro-life vote is very important at this point. It can make a big difference.'' The group did not support Brown in 2004, when, during his campaign for state Senate, he noted his support for Roe v. Wade. But Rowe said he believes that Brown's position has evolved. "We always welcome people coming over to our side,'' he said. Brown issued a statement through a spokesman: "While this decision should ultimately be made by the woman in consultation with her doctor, I believe we need to reduce the number of abortions in America,'' he said.

Source: Boston Globe on 2010 MA Senate debate Jan 4, 2010

Scott Brown: Authored bill for 24-hour waiting period for abortion

Brown has angered abortion-rights groups with acts like his cosponsorship of the Women's Right to Know Act, which would require a woman to wait 24 hours before having an abortion and to review pictures and information detailing the developmental progress of her fetus.
Source: Boston Globe on 2010 MA Senate debate Jan 4, 2010

Kerry Healey: I've always been pro choice, even when Romney disagreed

Q: Tell me what policy of Gov. Romney’s you disagree with.

HEALEY: We’ve always disagreed on choice and I think those differences have only become more stark over time. And I respect that, I respect differences of opinion, but I’ve always been pro choice.

Source: 2006 MA Gubernatorial debate on Fox News with Chris Wallace Sep 25, 2006

Scott Brown: Abortions should always be legally available

Source: 2002 MA Gubernatorial National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2002

  • The above quotations are from Commonwealth of Massachusetts Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Abortion.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2016 Presidential contenders on Abortion:
  Democrats:
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Andrew Cuomo(NY)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(IL)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)

Republicans:
Amb.John Bolton(MD)
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(UT)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Rep.Peter King(NY)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Secy.Condi Rice(CA)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
2016 Third Party Candidates:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg(I-NYC)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Jesse Ventura(I-MN)
Please consider a donation to OnTheIssues.org!
Click for details -- or send donations to:
1770 Mass Ave. #630, Cambridge MA 02140
E-mail: submit@OnTheIssues.org
(We rely on your support!)

Page last updated: Apr 20, 2014