Karyn Polito on Abortion

Eleventh Worcester Republican (MA State Rep)


Support buffer zone and access to contraceptive care

Polito once sponsored a "right to know" law in 2003 that "was backed by an anti-abortion organization" and which pro-choice advocates say "would force a woman to 'needlessly delay her medical care.'" Polito now says she regrets her earlier position and would no longer support "right to know" legislation.

"I am extremely proud of my nearly perfect ratings from NARAL, and consistent support of provisions like the buffer zone and women's access to contraceptive care," Polito said in a statement. "With respect to this 2003 legislation, I no longer support this approach and regret being associated with it. As lieutenant governor I will not waiver in my support for choice and women's healthcare access." Baker's campaign said Baker also opposes a "right to know" law. During her time in the House, Polito was ranked highly by pro-choice groups like NARAL and Planned Parenthood. (Mass Live, 7/16/2014)

Source: Mass IEPAC: Research Profile on Charlie Baker, p.237 , Sep 1, 2014

2003: Supported "right-to-know" law; now opposes it

In 2003, Polito, a state representative from Shrewsbury, was one of three lawmakers to introduce a "right to know" bill in the legislature. The bill was a priority of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, which opposes abortion rights, and was strongly opposed by pro-choice groups. The legislation would have required doctors to give women considering an abortion a pamphlet describing the brain and heart functions and the internal organs of a fetus, and the physical, psychological and emotional risks "commonly associated" with abortions. Doctors would then offer a list of alternatives.

Polito said in 2003 that the bill fits into "the philosophy that women have the right to determine their own lives in an enlightened, educated and objective way." Polito now opposes such a bill. She and Baker both filled out questionnaires for women's and abortion rights groups pledging to oppose a "right to know" law. (Mass Live, 7/16/2014)

Source: Mass IEPAC: Research Profile on Charlie Baker, p.237 , Sep 1, 2014

High marks from NARAL

Stephen Kerrigan, a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, said "In choosing Karyn Polito as his running mate, Charlie Baker is showing his true colors by aligning himself with an avid backer of the Tea Party movement whose views are well outside our Commonwealth's mainstream." Baker's campaign defends Polito against charges she's too right-wing by pointing to her high marks from NARAL and her vote to override Gov. Romney's veto of stem cell research legislation. (Boston Globe, 12/4/2013)
Source: Mass IEPAC: Research Profile on Charlie Baker, p.155 , Sep 1, 2014

Voted YES on overriding veto on Stem Cell Research Bill

Massachusetts Democratic Party Platform indicates voting YES in Part II: HEALTH CARE:Clause 14: Stem cell research. [State Rep. Polito, a Republican, voted YES].

This vote affirmed passage of the bill supporting stem cell research as originally passed by the House and Senate, rejecting Governor Romney's proposed amendments and veto, and avoiding delays of implementation. A vote of YES indicates support for embryonic stem cell research and support for regenerative medicine research.

The relevant part of the MassDems Platform is Part II, clause 14: HEALTH CARE: We endorse the Legislature's support for stem cell research, including embryonic stem cells, in the belief that such research will yield treatment for many illnesses.

Bill S. 2039 ; vote number H069

Source: Massachusetts House Journals via MassScorecard.org , May 31, 2005

Other governors on Abortion: Karyn Polito on other issues:

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Page last updated: Nov 28, 2014