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Abortion measure speaks to notion of valuing individual dignity

The sunset was seen above the State House on Dec. 1 while lawmakers convened inside.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Re “Baker balks at abortion expansion in state budget” (Page A1, Dec. 12): I am 21 weeks pregnant. This pregnancy was both planned and a blessing. I know that for many, pregnancy is an unexpected challenge. As a rabbi, my perspective on reproductive rights is framed by my experience as a woman and by my religious beliefs.

I was disappointed by Governor Baker’s rejection of the recent budget amendment, which would have assured Massachusetts residents access to robust reproductive care. His action does not remove barriers for young people, and it undermines women facing hard choices after 24 weeks of pregnancy.


People of faith and conscience support reproductive rights. We are guided by the value of “Kavod Habriyot,” or respecting individual dignity. Every person, regardless of age or access, deserves the right to make health care decisions for themselves.

This month, my doctor will test for fatal fetal anomalies, two days shy of the 24-week limit on abortion care under current law. I pray each day that my pregnancy will continue to be healthy. If that is not the case, my spouse and I will have two days to make a difficult decision if that scan reveals the worst.

My story is one of many. I urge our lawmakers to safeguard reproductive rights in Massachusetts for all.

Rabbi Liz P.G. Hirsch