At a time when the country needs to unify more than ever, the US Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the landmark Roe v Wade decision has only divided the country even further.
Protesters supporting women’s reproductive rights immediately took to the streets after the decision was handed down by the country’s consevative leaning highest court.
Local elected officials immediately condemned the Supreme Court’s ruling, which gave federal constitutional protection for women’s reproductive rights for 50 years.
“This decision will forever alter the fabric of our society,” said District 1 City Councilor Gabriela Coletta. “We will never be the same. We grieve. We are tired. We will fight like hell. I take solace in knowing my colleagues in federal, state, and local government are exploring any and all protects to protect access to abortion in this Commonwealth.”
Mayor Michelle Wu added, “To all those who have received abortion care, considered getting an abortion, or supported a loved one who needed care: I stand with you. Abortion is crucial healthcare. Every level of government, from city to federal, needs to stand up now to protect access to care.”
In response to the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v Wade, Governor Charlie Baker signed an executive order to protect access to reproductive health care services in the Commonwealth.
“I am deeply disappointed in today’s decision by the Supreme Court which will have major consequences for women across the country who live in states with limited access to reproductive health care services,” said the Governor. “The Commonwealth has long been a leader in protecting a woman’s right to choose and access to reproductive health services, while other states have criminalized or otherwise restricted access,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This executive order will further preserve that right and protect reproductive health care providers who serve out of state residents. In light of the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v Wade, it is especially important to ensure that Massachusetts providers can continue to provide reproductive health care services without concern that the laws of other states may be used to interfere with those services or sanction them for providing services that are lawful in the Commonwealth.”
The order prohibits any Executive Department agencies from assisting another state’s investigation into a person or entity for receiving or delivering reproductive health services that are legal in Massachusetts. The order also protects Massachusetts providers who deliver reproductive health care services from losing their professional licenses or receiving other professional discipline based on potential out-of -state charges.
Also under the executive order, the Commonwealth will not cooperate with extradition requests from other states pursuing criminal charges against individuals who received, assisted with, or performed reproductive health services that are legal in Massachusetts.