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Massachusetts

State Constitutional Protection

The Massachusetts Declaration of Rights protects the right to choose as a fundamental right and to a greater extent than the U.S. Constitution.  The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that a law limiting state medical assistance for abortion to cases of life endangerment was unconstitutional under the Declaration of Rights because it prohibited reimbursement for medically necessary abortion services.  Moe v. Sec'y of Admin. & Fin., 417 N.E.2d 387 (Mass. 1981).  A similar restriction has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court under the U.S. Constitution.  Williams v. Zbaraz, 448 U.S. 358 (1980).

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that imposing a two-parent consent requirement upon a minor seeking abortion care, even with a judicial bypass, is unconstitutional under the Declaration of Rights.  Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, Inc. v. Attorney General, 677 N.E.2d 101 (Mass. 1997).  The U.S. Supreme Court has held that a two-parent notice requirement with a judicial bypass is constitutional.  Hodgson v. Minnesota, 497 U.S. 417 (1990).


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