New Bedford's Jon Mitchell is among 11 Massachusetts mayors to sign a letter urging state lawmakers to pass the so-called ROE Act legislation. This is disappointing to me.

Supporters say the bill protects Massachusetts from potential federal action to restrict access to abortion and sends a message to other states as well as the Trump Administration. Translation: it uses scare tactics to expand abortion rights to heights that most residents might otherwise find appalling.

The State House News Service says H 3320 and S 1209 "does away with
parental consent requirements for teenagers seeking abortions, would allow for abortions after 24 weeks to protect the physical or mental health of a patient, or in cases of diagnosed lethal fetal anomalies, and would include abortion in the pregnancy-related 'safety-net' health coverage for Massachusetts residents ineligible for MassHealth."

Mayor Mitchell and his wife Annie are the parents of daughters. Everything that I have seen suggests that they are good parents. So, why then would he want to make life more difficult for other parents? The ROE Act would strip parents of their right to be involved in an important decision for their teenager.

The state has no business interfering in personal family matters at a time when a teenager most needs the counsel and advice of a parent. I get that not all children have caring parents that they can turn to for guidance, but most do and their rights should not be trampled on by a nanny state that can't even make the trains run on time or fill the potholes on our roadways.

Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone – you know, the one who called Sheriff Tom Hodgson a "jackboot" for wanting to work with ICE to keep dangerous criminal illegal immigrants off the streets – said the bill would help de-stigmatize abortion. He said passing it presents an opportunity "for us to actually act like the most progressive state in the United States." Hey, there is something to aspire to.

Richard Tyson Moultrie/
Richard Tyson Moultrie/

I am disappointed by Mitchell's support of this anti-family legislation. I am equally disappointed that as of this writing Mitchell has not responded to a request for comment by WBSM News. Mitchell's opponent in November's election, Tyson Moultrie, has declined multiple requests by me to comment on the legislation.

I will vote for no one who endorses this anti-family legislation.

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 and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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