Governor Baker signs legislation to further protect access to reproductive health services

BOSTONGovernor Charlie Baker signed legislation today to further protect access to reproductive health services in Massachusetts after the Supreme Court’s decision was overturned Roe v. Wade. The legislation codifies several measures that were first included in an executive order issued by Governor Baker in the hours after the Supreme Court decision last month. The Act also enacts several new or expanded measures to protect access to reproductive health services in the Commonwealth. All protections in the bill apply equally to reproductive and gender-affirming health services provided or available in the Commonwealth.

“Massachusetts remains steadfast in its commitment to protecting access to reproductive health services, especially after the Supreme Court’s reversal Roe v. Wade,” Gov. Charlie Baker said. “The Court’s decision has serious implications for women across the country who live in states with limited access to these services, and our administration acted quickly in the hours following this decision by issuing an executive order to protect access here in the Commonwealth.” This new legislation signed today builds on that action by protecting patients and providers from legal interference from more restrictive laws in other states. We are grateful for the compromise and dedication to the issue that our legislative colleagues demonstrated to make this important, bipartisan legislation a reality.”

“Following the reversal of the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wadeit is extremely important that we in Massachusetts affirm that our state will continue to provide access to reproductive health services,” said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. “The new protections in this law build on the steps our administration took last month and our shared bipartisan work to protect access to these services. We appreciate the opportunity to work with the Legislature to provide these important safeguards.”

“Like so many others, I was devastated by this extreme decision by the Supreme Court to overturn the rights enshrined in Roe v. Wade. I am very proud that by signing this legislation, Massachusetts will continue to be a national leader in protecting and protecting the rights of our residents and those people who come here to seek access to health care.” said Senate President Karen E. Spilka. “Pregnant people, trans people and all people should have the right to make their own healthcare decisions after consulting their doctor without fear. However, our fight to protect the rights and dignity of our residents cannot end today, and that is why the Senate will continue to explore ways to protect our basic rights. I am grateful to my colleagues in the Senate who came together to act quickly and decisively on this matter, to Speaker Mariano and the House of Representatives, and to Governor Baker for his swift action.”

“Following the Supreme Court’s decision to ignore nearly 50 years of judicial precedent and overturn Roe v. Wadeand as states across the country attempt to restrict access to abortion, I am extremely proud that elected officials in Massachusetts have acted to ensure that the Commonwealth can serve as a safe haven for women seeking reproductive health services , and for providers whose licenses may be at risk due to laws enacted in other countries,” said House Speaker Ronald J. Mariano (D-Quincy). “The protections codified into law by this legislation will help ensure that no woman is ever forced to leave Massachusetts to access reproductive health services because of devastating medical news during the later stages of your pregnancy have never been more important. I want to thank all of my colleagues in the House, as well as our partners in the Senate and in the Administration, for their commitment to protecting a woman’s right to choose and for the hard work and cooperation that ultimately facilitated the passage of this legislation.”

The new law protects patients and providers from legal interference when they are engaged in accessing or providing reproductive and gender-affirming health care services that are legally protected in Massachusetts. The law also codifies several protections that Governor Baker introduced by executive order last month to prohibit the Commonwealth from assisting other states in investigations or legal proceedings regarding health services that may be restricted in other states. The law also includes requirements for insurers to cover reproductive health services, provisions on abortions performed at 24 weeks or later, and measures that expand access to contraception in the Commonwealth.

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