As states continue to craft legislation in response to the Supreme Court overturning Roe v Wade earlier this summer, the state of Massachusetts has officially enshrined the “right” to abortion — as well as so-called “gender-affirming healthcare” — into its state constitution.
Last week, Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill which had been approved by the state legislature that was aimed at “expanding protections for reproductive rights” and “gender-affirming health care services.”
In late June, The Christian Post reports, Democrat-majority state House of Representatives passed Bill H.4930 in a vote of 136-17.
“Access to reproductive health care services and gender-affirming health care services is recognized and declared to be a right secured by the constitution or laws of the commonwealth,” the bill states. “Interference with this right, whether or not under the color of law, is against the public policy of the commonwealth.”
The bill had the support of 119 Democrats and 16 Republicans, while 11 Republicans opposed and six Democrats broke party lines to join the handful of their GOP colleagues to vote against.
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The state Senate approved the bill unanimously in late July with a vote of 40-0.
When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, Baker signed an executive order prohibiting state agencies from assisting other states seeking to impose their laws on anyone performing an abortion in Massachusetts.
“Massachusetts remains steadfast in its commitment to protect access to reproductive health care services, especially in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade,” he said in a statement.
“The Court’s decision has major consequences for women across the country who live in states with limited access to these services, and our administration took quick action in the hours following that decision by issuing an executive order to protect access here in the Commonwealth,” he also said. “This new legislation signed today builds on that action by protecting patients and providers from legal interference from more restrictive laws in other states.”
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