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Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP)

Massachusetts imposes extra restrictions on abortion providers, despite the fact that all health-care providers already must comply with a variety of federal and state regulations governing health, safety, building and fire codes, and zoning requirements.  

Restrictions on Where Abortion Services May Be Provided

Among the most common TRAP regulations are those restricting the provision of abortion services to hospitals or other specialized facilities, which require doctors to obtain medically unnecessary additional licenses, needlessly convert their practices to mini-hospitals at great expense, or provide the procedure only in hospitals, an impossibility in many parts of the country.

Massachusetts has an unconstitutional and unenforceable requirement that all non-emergency abortion procedures during or after the 13th week of pregnancy must be provided "in a hospital duly authorized to provide facilities for general surgery."  Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 112, § 12Q (Enacted 1974; Renumbered and Amended 1977).

A state appellate court held that the requirement is unconstitutional.  See In Re Mary Moe, 517 N.E.2d 170 (Mass. App. Ct. 1987).  See also Akron v. Akron Ctr. for Reprod. Health, 462 U.S. 416 (1983) (holding second-trimester hospitalization requirement unconstitutionally burdens a woman's right to choose).

Restrictions on Who May Provide Abortion Services

Massachusetts prohibits certain qualified health-care professionals from providing abortion services.

Only a physician authorized to practice medicine in the state may provide abortion.  Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 112, § 12K (Enacted 1974; Last Renumbered 1977; Last Amended 2005), Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 112, § 12L (Enacted 1974; Last Renumbered 1977).

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