Massachusetts Abortion Laws

Massachusetts abortion laws are, generally speaking, less restrictive than those in many other states. Other jurisdictions often require consent requirements and other statutory obstacles. Massachusetts does require a licensed doctor to perform the procedure. But all states, including Massachusetts, have some abortion restrictions.

The table below lists the basic provisions of Massachusetts abortion laws. See Abortion Laws and Abortion Rights FAQs to learn more.

Code Section Ch. 112ยงยง12K to 12U
Statutory Definition of Illegal Abortion Failure to meet standards for legal abortion; violation of procedural standards such as informed consent, medical procedure required, etc. Knowing destruction of the life of an unborn child or the intentional expulsion or removal of an unborn child from the womb other than for the principal purpose of live birth or removing a dead fetus
Statutory Definition of Legal Abortion Under 24 weeks, abortion may be performed only by M.D. and only if in M.D.'s best judgment the abortion is necessary under the circumstances; after 24 weeks M.D. must provide written statement that: 1) necessary to save life of mother; 2) continuation will impose substantial risk of grave physical or mental impairment; no procedure can be used which destroys or injures fetus unless in M.D.'s opinion other available procedures would be greater risk to mother or future pregnancies and all reasonable steps must be taken to preserve life, health of aborted child
Penalty for Unlawful Abortion Violation of standards of performing legal abortion: fine of $500 to $2,000 and/or imprisonment 3 months to 5 years; violation of written consent and physician filing requirements: $100-2000 fine
Consent Requirements Written informed consent within 24 hours before procedure except in emergencies; if mother less than 18 years and unmarried, consent of both parents or guardians or court, if convinced of mother's maturity or that procedure is in mother's best interest, except in medical emergency
Residency Requirements for Patients -
Physician Licensing Requirements Licensed M.D. except in medical emergency; after 13th week, must be performed in licensed hospital

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Massachusetts family law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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