Critics say law turns the state into an ‘abortion sanctuary’
The Massachusetts State House in Boston, Massachusetts. | Wikipedia/Ajay Suresh licensed under CC BY 2.0 Massachusetts Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has signed into law a measure establishing abortion and “gender-affirming care” as constitutional rights, a move pro-life activists contend will turn the state into an “abortion sanctuary.”
Baker approved Bill H.4930, “an Act expanding protections for reproductive rights,” Friday. The bill’s approval follows the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 24 ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, which reversed the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
The bill passed in the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives on June 29. The House voted 136-17 to advance the legislation, with 119 Democrats, 16 Republicans and an independent supporting it, while six Democrats and 11 Republicans voted in opposition to the bill. The Senate approved H.4930 in a unanimous vote of 40-0 on July 25.
“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 declares. “Interference with this right, whether or not under the color of law, is against the public policy of the commonwealth.”
The social conservative advocacy group Massachusetts Family Institute claims the legislation ensures the state will protect “abortionists who perform abortions out-of-state, even if they violate other states’ laws.” The group contends the bill will lower or eliminate “safety requirements for pharmacies to dispense abortion pills” and “force[s] state universities to provide the abortion pill to students.”
The group stresses that the bill will also force insurance companies to cover abortion “even if they have religious objections” and prohibits insurance companies “from charging deductibles or copays for abortions but allows them to do so for all other pregnancy-related services.”
“[The bill allows] […]
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