Abortion takes center stage today in Massachusetts. Members of the House Judiciary Committee must decide by today whether to report out a bill, commonly known as the ROE Act, that expands abortion rights while taking away the rights of parents to determine whether their children have an abortion.

In a piece for the conservative site Breitbart, psychologist Dr. Susan Berry called the bill radical. "If passed, the measure would legalize abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy, allow a loophole for girls under the age of 16 to obtain an abortion without the consent of their parents, allow non-physicians to perform abortions, and allow abortionists to deny life-saving medical care to an infant who survives abortion," Berry reported.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo said this week in a statement, "the threat to women’s reproductive rights on the national level" makes the passage of this legislation "urgent." As a backup, DeLeo has allowed the bill to be attached to the state budget as Amendment 759. Attaching policy issues to the state budget violates DeLeo's standards, but what the hell.

As Phil Paleologos wrote yesterday, a coalition of more than 300 pastors has sent a letter to Governor Charlie Baker urging him to veto the legislation should it make it to his desk in one form or another. The pastors write that 18,593 abortions were performed in Massachusetts last year alone, and ask "How much more accessible does the murder of unborn children need to be?"

This legislation is beyond radical; it is twisted. Parents should be outraged at the thought of an appointed judge secretly deciding whether your child should have an abortion without consulting or even informing you. The very idea further sexualizes our children for the perverse satisfaction of some adults while at the same time removing all normal considerations of the sanctity of life.

Shame on any member of our local delegation that finds this legislation to be acceptable.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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