Martha Coakley on Abortion



Pro-life Catholics shouldn't serve in emergency rooms

Secular elites, particularly in academia, the media, and the courts, are engaged in a steady assault on religious belief. They believe religious expression should be private, marginal, and irrelevant. It's okay to be religious as long as the religion has no meaning. It's fine to be vaguely spiritual as long as you don't try to translate it into some kind of historic religion, especially Christianity.

In the 2010 U.S. Senate special election in Massachusetts, Martha Coakley suggested Catholics shouldn't even serve in emergency rooms because they might hold unacceptable pro-life views. In a similar attempt at exclusion, the Left are trying to restrict the activities of faith-based social service agencies that believe marriage is between a man and a woman.

Source: To Save America, by Newt Gingrich, p. 29 , May 17, 2010

AdWatch: Brown denied contraception to rape victims

Coakley's campaign, in an ad released this week, describes Brown as someone who would march in step with "Washington Republicans," portraying him as anti-government, pro-business and, well, downright heartless.

Narrator: "Who is Scott Brown, really? A Republican. In lockstep with Washington Republicans. He'll block tougher oversight of Wall Street. Give more tax breaks to the wealthiest. Oppose new prescription coverage for millions of seniors. Brown even favors letting hospitals deny emergency contraception to rape victims. He lacks understanding and seriousness. In times like these, we can't afford a Republican like Scott Brown."

The ad is basically on track, factually, until we come to a claim that "Brown even favors letting hospitals deny emergency contraception to rape victims." Brown did vote for a 2005 amendment for that purpose, but the ad doesn't mention is that Brown voted for the underlying bill anyway, even after the Republican governor vetoed it.

Source: FactCheck "Bay State Battle": 2010 MA Senate debate AdWatch , Jan 13, 2010

Helped minors get court orders without parental consent

Abortion rights advocates said Coakley, the attorney general, has used whatever position she is in to advance their cause - and that her work predates her time in politics. Before she joined the Middlesex district attorney's office in 1986, for example, Coakley was a private lawyer who volunteered her time to help minors get court orders for abortions when they could not get their parents' consent.

"I know that none of the young women wanted to do this,'' Coakley said in a recent interview. "Many of them had tried to be careful or used contraception and it failed, or they did not understand. They had pointed out to me, what I still think is true, that we don't do a very good job around sex education for a lot of young women.''

As a district attorney, she called on the Legislature to create a stronger buffer zone between protesters and abortion clinics. As attorney general, she enforced and successfully defended the law against a legal challenge.

Source: Boston Globe on 2010 MA Senate debate , Jan 4, 2010

Partial-birth ban needs exceptions for maternal health

In 2007, Coakley spoke out strongly against a ban on "partial birth abortion,'' a procedure used late in pregnancies now barred unless the mother's life is at risk. The ban did not allow an exception to protect the mother's health, Coakley noted in an op-ed published in the Patriot-Ledger. "In one fell swoop, five justices set back the cause of a woman's individual liberty and self-determination, as well as decades of established legal precedent,'' she wrote in the co-authored opinion piece.
Source: Boston Globe on 2010 MA Senate debate , Jan 4, 2010

Steadfast champion of Roe v. Wade

Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, marthacoakley.com, "Issues" , Oct 1, 2009

Streamline approval process for stem cell research

In recent years, she has continued to play an active role in advocating for legislative change on a variety of issues. She joined Senate President Robert Travaglini in advocating for changes in the law streamline the approval process for academic and research institutions to conduct stem cell research.
Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, marthacoakley.com, "About" , Sep 3, 2009

Supported 35-foot buffer zone at abortion clinics

The US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed the constitutionality of the Commonwealth's buffer zone law. That statute creates a 35-foot buffer zone around entrances and driveways of reproductive health care facilities that provide abortion-related services. The law allows persons to enter the buffer zone only to enter or leave the clinic. Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office defended the constitutionality of the statute in the federal court proceedings.

"We are pleased that the First Circuit has upheld this important law, which enhances public safety and access to medical facilities," said Coakley. "The court agreed that the buffer zone law does not violate the First Amendment because it leaves open ample opportunities for civil engagement on public ways outside of reproductive clinics."

The buffer zone law was signed by Gov. Deval Patrick and took effect in Nov. 2007. In May 2007, Coakley testified before the Legislature in support of the passage of the legislation.

Source: Press release on Attorney General website, www.mass.gov , Jul 9, 2009

Other governors on Abortion: Martha Coakley on other issues:
MA Gubernatorial:
Bill Weld
Bob Massie
Charlie Baker
Dan Wolf
Deval Patrick
Don Berwick
Jay Gonzalez
Karyn Polito
Lawrence Lessig
Marty Walsh
Richard Tisei
Steve Grossman
Tom Menino
Warren Tolman
MA Senatorial:
Brian Herr
Bruce Skarin
Ed Markey
Elizabeth Warren
Gabriel Gomez
John Kerry
Mo Cowan

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Retiring 2017-18:
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(term-limited 2018)
CA-D: Jerry Brown
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Page last updated: Jul 20, 2017