Roe was overturned. We took action.
On July 29, 2022, just 34 days after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a sweeping abortion access bill into law. The new law protects reproductive health and gender-affirming care providers and makes abortion and other sexual and reproductive health care, including emergency contraception, more affordable and accessible across the Commonwealth.
The ROE Act, passed in 2020, codified the right to abortion into Massachusetts state law and made access to abortion care more accessible. But with federal constitutional protections for abortion eliminated, further steps had to be taken to ensure that Massachusetts will remain a safe place to access abortion care and a national leader in reproductive rights.
The Beyond ROE Coalition
Immediately after a leaked draft of the opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization indicated that the Supreme Court would overturn Roe v. Wade, PPAF joined with the ACLU of Massachusetts and Reproductive Equity Now to form the Beyond Roe Coalition, a statewide coalition committed to protecting and expanding access to the full spectrum of reproductive health care in Massachusetts. Working with policymakers, advocates, and other partners, the Beyond Roe Coalition developed a legislative agenda designed to remove barriers to reproductive health care in the Commonwealth and to advance reproductive justice.
The new reproductive health care law includes a number of recommendations from the Massachusetts Beyond Roe agenda. In addition to these recommendations, $2 million was invested in the fiscal year 2023 budget to support abortion access and funds in Massachusetts.
Learn more about how the new law...
The reproductive health care law includes a provision to end cost-sharing for abortion care. It also implements a requirement that Massachusetts insurers cover abortion and abortion-related care.
A statewide standing order for both prescription and over-the-counter emergency contraception was adopted as an amendment to the Senate Budget and passed as part of an economic development package.
The law ensures that public college and university students in Massachusetts have access to medication abortion, either through the institution’s health services or by connecting students with outside resources.
Additional language clarifies the ROE Act so that no one is forced to leave Massachusetts for abortion care later in pregnancy. The change allows for abortion after 24 weeks in cases of a “grave fetal diagnosis.”
Massachusetts has a confidential address program for reproductive health care and gender-affirming care providers who too often face threats and violence for providing health care. The program now includes those engaged in legally protected healthcare activity, which gives our providers an added layer of protection and privacy from threats and violence for providing health care.
The law contains language intended to protect provider licenses and malpractice insurance, prohibit extradition for the provision of in-state care, deter out-of-state litigation for lawful care, and ensure Massachusetts courts do not become a venue for hostile-state claims.