From Massachusetts Citizens for Life: Voters in eleven legislative districts in Massachusetts had an advisory measure on last Tuesday’s ballot:
“SHALL THE STATE REPRESENTATIVE FROM THIS DISTRICT BE INSTRUCTED TO VOTE IN FAVOR OF LEGISLATION THAT REQUIRES ALL NON-HOSPITAL FACILITIES PERFORMING MORE THAN 10 ABORTIONS A YEAR TO BE LICENSED AS “CLINICS” AND TO BE INSPECTED AT LEAST EVERY TWO YEARS BY THE MASSACHUSETTS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH?”
Voters in all eleven districts said “yes” by landslide majorities. This question was strictly advisory, but it puts the legislators for those districts on the spot – will they or won’t they heed what the voters said?
New Hampshire law doesn’t provide for initiative and referendum questions, although individual towns and cities can put questions on local ballots. Citizens may also petition local officials to enact a municipal ordinance. An interesting idea: what if New Hampshire residents get tired of waiting for the legislature to act, and try to get local action on abortion facility oversight? There’s no question that most known New Hampshire abortion facilities are located in “friendly” territory. Still, it would be interesting to hear what the neighbors say about subjecting abortion facilities to the same requirements that must be met by ambulatory care facilities. I’ll bet most of the neighbors think (incorrectly) that the requirements are already the same. They’re not.