Abortion remains legal in Massachusetts, despite Supreme Court overruling Roe v. Wade
BOSTON - Today, the United States Supreme Court overturned nearly 50 years of precedent and eliminated the federal constitutional right to abortion. The Supreme Court’s final decision comes 7 weeks after the leaked draft decision, and could lead to 26 states swiftly moving to ban abortion. In Massachusetts, abortion is – and will remain – legal and protected under state law, codified by the ROE Act.
Statement from Dr. Jennifer Childs-Roshak, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts:
“This dangerous and chilling decision will have devastating consequences across the country, forcing people to travel hundreds, sometimes thousands, of miles for care or remain pregnant. Abortion is health care, and access to care should not be based on one’s zip code, income level, or identity.
This is a dark day for our country, but we’ve been preparing for this. In Massachusetts, abortion will remain legal and protected under state law – the Court’s decision does not change this, and PPLM is here for our patients today, and always.
Right now, people can look to Massachusetts: for care and for leadership. We must meet this moment with the urgency it demands by taking action to expand access to all sexual and reproductive health care — in our clinics providing care to all who want it and by legislating reproductive health equity in every corner of the Commonwealth.”
The right to abortion is protected in Massachusetts:
In 2020, in anticipation of a future Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, the Massachusetts legislature overrode two vetoes from Governor Baker to pass the ROE Act, which protects the right to abortion in Massachusetts up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, with exceptions for later-in-pregnancy abortions if the health of the pregnant person is in danger or there is a lethal fetal anomaly.
The ROE Act also further removed barriers to accessing abortion care for young people by reducing the age of parental or judicial consent to 16.
The Beyond Roe Coalition recently released a comprehensive legislative agenda to improve abortion access and reproductive health outcomes in Massachusetts. Recommendations include mandating insurance coverage for the full spectrum of pregnancy care, including abortion; investing in abortion funds that help patients cover costs of care; increasing access to medication abortion, especially on college campuses and through telehealth services; enacting legal protections for health care providers who perform abortion services in Massachusetts; and increasing training, research, and education efforts to help close gaps in services statewide.
Both the Massachusetts House and Senate have included funding to support abortion access funds and reproductive health care facilities in their FY23 budgets, a first for the legislature.