assachusetts lawmakers on Tuesday approved a sweeping abortion bill aimed in part at building a firewall to protect access to the procedure after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade last month.
The bill would protect abortion providers and people seeking abortions from actions taken by other states, including preventing the governor from extraditing anyone charged to another state, unless the acts for which the extradition was requested not be punishable by Massachusetts law.
The bill also states that access to reproductive health and gender affirmation services is a right protected by the Massachusetts Constitution; demands that the state Medicaid program, known as MassHealth, cover abortions; authorizes the sale of over-the-counter emergency contraceptives in vending machines; and requires public colleges and universities to create medical abortion preparedness plans for students.
Abortion rights advocates have welcomed the bill.
“The overturning of Roe v. Wade was a direct attack on a person’s fundamental right to make decisions about their own body,” Amy Rosenthal, executive director of Health Care For All, said in a written statement, calling the bill approved by lawmakers “a bold step to ensure Massachusetts residents will continue to have access to all the healthcare services they need.”
To read the full article, click here.