Parent Petition for the ROE Act

Massachusetts State Legislature

We are fighting for the ROE Act, state legislation that will break down unjust, politically motivated barriers to safe, legal abortion in Massachusetts. A key provision of the ROE Act safeguards the health, safety, and privacy of young people seeking abortion in Massachusetts by eliminating the current state mandate for the consent of a parent or judge. If you are a parent, sign the Parent Petition for the ROE Act to urge the Massachusetts Legislature to pass the ROE Act (scroll down).

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To: Massachusetts State Legislature
From: [Your Name]

I am a parent.

If my child were under 18 and discovered they were pregnant, I would want them to come to me. But if, for whatever reason, they did not, I would not want them to be forced to go through the courts should they want to end their pregnancy.

The government can mandate healthy family communication, and it does not have to. When faced with an unintended pregnancy, 77 percent of young women turn to a parent or other trusted adult. But, for young women who can’t, the current law puts their health and wellbeing at risk.

The judicial bypass process is extremely harmful because it delays medical care and prevents young people from connecting with a trained medical professional.
My child can consent to any other pregnancy-related care without my consent, including prenatal care, delivery, and a Caesarean section. They can consent to birth control and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections without my consent.

I want to stand up for the young people who are disproportionately impacted by these burdensome requirements: young people of color, young people with low incomes, young people with incarcerated or sick parents, and young people in abusive homes or foster care.

I am concerned about the impact of the judicial bypass system on my child or any other young person. Studies show the courts significantly delay medical care and negatively impact the mental health of young people. Judges are not trained to care for young people and are constitutionally bound to keep the proceedings of their hearings confidential, and thus cannot report the abuse of minors.

I trust abortion providers to deliver the best possible care to my children and other young people. Abortion providers are trained to recognize the signs of abuse and coercion. They are connected to a network of other support services that can help young people in difficult situations. They are mandated reporters.

I agree with the American Medical Association, the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, American Public Health Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, which all oppose mandatory parental consent laws on the grounds that they harm young people.

Massachusetts’ mandatory parental consent law is designed explicitly and solely to block young people from accessing safe, legal abortion and is not in the best interests of parents or their children.

As a parent, I urge the Massachusetts Legislature to pass the ROE Act to protect young people and ensure they have access to timely medical care when they need it.