BOSTON (WWLP) – Vice President Kamala Harris recently visited the Bay State and applauded the work the state has done in protecting a woman’s right to choose.
On Tuesday, Governor Baker held a ceremonial bill signing to celebrate the passage of a sweeping reproductive health care bill. Surrounded by Secretary Sudders, Senate President Spilka, House Speaker Mariano and other lawmakers and advocates, Governor Baker penned his signature.
Massachusetts codified the right to abortion access through the Roe Act in 2020, but this bill takes protections a step further in light of the Supreme Court overturning Roe. In the bill is language to protect abortion and gender-affirming care providers who could face litigation from another state, expands the availability of emergency contraception, and requires insurers to cover the cost of abortions.
“We will do what needs to be done to make sure people have access to the health care services that are best and right and appropriate for them. And that the providers who deliver that care here in Massachusetts will be protected,” said Baker.
The portion of the bill that lawmakers were unsure if it would get passed Governor Baker’s desk dealt with when a woman could receive an abortion. The compromised language that came out of conference committee gives a woman the ability to terminate a pregnancy after 24-week for four reasons:
- To save the patient’s life
- To preserve a patient’s physical or mental health
- If there is a “lethal fetal anomaly”
- Or for a “grave fetal diagnosis”
Baker vetoed the Roe Act in part because of the language surrounding terminating a pregnancy after 24-weeks, but he approved this latest language. This law went immediately into effect after Baker’s signature.