Last Friday, Massachusetts’ Republican Gov. Charlie Baker signed a bill protecting access to abortion and “gender-affirming” care into law.
The bill, which passed both the State House and Senate, follows the Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
“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.”
Baker celebrated the bill’s signing on social media on Friday.
“Our administration took quick action in the hours after Roe v. Wade was overturned by issuing an Executive Order to protect access to reproductive health services in MA,” Baker wrote in a July 29 tweet. “Today, I was pleased to sign a bill that codifies many of these measures into law and further protects access.”
“The law protects against legal interference for patients and providers for services that are legally protected here,” he wrote in a subsequent Tweet. “We are grateful for the dedication + compromise demonstrated by our legislative partners to make this important, bipartisan law a reality.”
The law protects against legal interference for patients and providers for services that are legally protected here.
We are grateful for the dedication + compromise demonstrated by our legislative partners to make this important, bipartisan law a reality. https://t.co/Z30ao8VypV
— Charlie Baker (@MassGovernor) July 29, 2022
According to The Christian Post, the social conservative advocacy group Massachusetts Family Institute contended that the new law turns Massachusetts into an “abortion sanctuary,” prohibiting “the governor, courts, or law enforcement from cooperating with other states in enforcing their pro-life laws against abortionists who flee to MA.”
The measure also guarantees state protection for “abortionists who perform abortions out-of-state, even if they violate other states’ laws,” the group explained, adding that the bill will reduce or remove “safety requirements for pharmacies to dispense abortion pills” and “force state universities to provide the abortion pill to students.”
Under the new law, insurance companies will also be forced to cover abortion “even if they have religious objections.” The companies are also restricted “from charging deductibles or copays for abortions but allows them to do so for all other pregnancy-related services,” the group further warned.
“[The bill allows] late-term abortions when a doctor deems a baby ‘incompatible with sustained life’ outside of the womb, which decision is not subject to review by any medical board,” the group added.
“This is also an ‘intersectional’ bill, as its legal protections for abortionists extend to organizations who distribute puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, even in states where they have been criminalized for use on children. You might not have realized that Planned Parenthood was also in the transgender hormone business, but they are … aggressively so.”
On the same day the Supreme Court issued its ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson, Mississippi – the case that ultimately led to the court overturning Roe – Baker signed an executive order declaring that the state’s government agencies may not provide assistance to other states imposing civil or criminal liability against anyone who terminates a pregnancy in Massachusetts.
He also voiced concerns that other states would “impose civil or criminal liability or professional sanctions on health care professionals who provide and persons who seek and obtain reproductive health care services in the Commonwealth as permitted by the laws of the Commonwealth.”
“Health care professionals lawfully providing and persons lawfully seeking and obtaining reproductive health services in the Commonwealth should be protected from legal liability premised on and professional sanctions issued under the laws of other States,” Baker argued.
“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 concluded.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Scott Eisen/Stringer
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.