The bill would also have required physicians to provide women seeking abortions with information about risks and alternatives to the procedure. Women would have had to confirm in writing that they had received the information.
The House passed a similar measure (HB 1659) in 2012, but it was rejected by the Senate.
State Rep. Jane Cormier (R), a supporter of this year's bill, argued that it "in no way comes between a woman and her doctor" and "in no way prohibits a woman from obtaining an abortion should she choose to do so." Supporters also said the bill was needed to give women more information about the procedure.
Opponents of the bill argued that state law already requires physicians to get their patients' consent. "This [bill] would impose a legislative requirement that does not exist for any other medical procedure," said Rep. Sylvia Gale (D) (AP/Boston Globe, 3/13).