Mass. House of Representatives considering bill to further protect abortion rights
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - The Massachusetts House of Representatives is considering a bill that would further protect citizens who receive or administer abortion services. This move comes as the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last week.
Lawmakers said that this legislation would further protect doctors who administer abortions, and women who come from others state to Massachusetts to get an abortion.
The Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade has many people feeling divided on the hot button topic of abortion.
“I believe in a woman’s right to choose, but I believe the decision was correct,” said Paul Porter of Plymouth. “It’s not a constitutional right in the Constitution for abortion.”
“Are you kidding me? Are you for real? 50 years and now they want to play that?” Daniel Mihalak of Northampton.
However, the goal of some state legislators is they will not be divided.
Four days after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the Massachusetts House of Representatives rolled out bill H 4930..
Plus, on Wednesday, the House is expected to debate the Reproductive Rights Bill.
“We’re doing everything that we can to preserve and protect women’s rights,” Representative Orlando Ramos told us.
The bill is aimed at protecting doctors of reproductive and gender-affirming care, as well as their patients, from out-of-state legal action.
So, if a woman from another state where abortion is illegal comes to Massachusetts to receive an abortion, this bill would protect both her and the doctor that gives her that abortion.
“Protect individuals both who get them, who help other people get abortions, and the medical providers involved with them,” said Jennifer Levi, Professor of Constitutional Law at Western New England University.
The bill also says that licensing boards would be prohibited from punishing any Bay State provider for giving an abortion. Plus, any law enforcement agency would not be allowed to aid in a state’s investigation for these crimes.
The State Senate already added similar legislation to their recent budget bill.
Senator Eric Lesser spoke with Western Mass News to explain the steps he and his colleagues took, which included the same protections to providers and the protection of women purchasing emergency contraception, like Plan B.
“I think we’re all committed, in both the House and the Senate, to getting something very important and significant done in response to Roe,” Senator Lesser said.
With this legislation in place, women’s reproductive rights are even more protected in the Commonwealth. It ensures that those rights cannot be challenged, even with the Supreme Court decision.
“The Dobbs decision doesn’t require states to prohibit access to abortion,” Professor Levi said. “It just allows states that seek to do so, to be able to do that.”
Any action on this bill in the House would have to also go through the Senate before going to the governor.
The governor issued an executive order which is already in place, protecting doctors and patients, similar to this bill.
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