From LWVMA: It’s time to be heard on abortion rights in Massachusetts! Anti-abortion forces are loud, persistent, and spreading misinformation. Your voice is needed to counter them.
The bill to expand reproductive rights and access to abortion in Massachusetts, H.3320/S.1209, known as the ROE Act (Remove Obstacles and Expand Access), will have a hearing before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary Monday, June 17, starting at 1 p.m. in the Gardner Auditorium at the State House.
The ROE Act Coalition seeks volunteers to attend this hearing and demonstrate strong public support for this bill. Since the hearing may well run into the evening, the coalition is asking volunteers to sign up for specific shifts to assure a continuing presence during the hearing. You can register for a shift here. Wear a League pin or shirt if you have one.
ROE Act Legislative Hearing
Joint Committee on the Judiciary
Monday, June 17
Hearing starts at 1 p.m.
Volunteer arrival times: Noon, 3 p.m., and 6 p.m.
Massachusetts State House, Gardner Auditorium
24 Beacon Street, Boston
If you cannot be at Monday’s hearing, you can still take important action to support this bill. Legislators are being bombarded by the anti-abortion side. They must hear from constituents who support this bill.
Please call or email your own Senator and Representative this week or Monday; contact information is here. Tell them you support H.3320/S.1209, the ROE Act, and you hope they will urge the Joint Committee on the Judiciary to report the bill favorably for a vote. Even if your legislators already support this bill, it is critical that they hear from constituents who are in favor of the bill to offset the anti-abortion blitz. It only takes a minute. Please take this action now.
ROE Act Talking Points
1. The ROE Act protects the health, safety, and privacy of young people. The ROE Act eliminates the requirement that teens obtain permission from a parent or judge to access abortion. This process causes teens to delay care or travel outside of the state, and is opposed by the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Massachusetts has one of the most restrictive parental consent laws in New England. Teens go to Vermont or New York, which do not have parental consent laws.
2. The ROE Act ensures medical decisions remain between patient and doctor. The ROE Act expands access to abortion after 24 weeks of pregnancy to include cases of fatal fetal anomalies when the fetus will not survive. The current law allows abortion after 24 weeks only to protect the mother’s health. Someone needing to end a pregnancy in the case of a fatal fetal anomaly must travel to another state.
3. The ROE Act leads the way in ensuring equitable access to abortion. The ROE Act establishes safety net coverage for abortion for people excluded from MassHealth. Such coverage already exists for all other pregnancy-related care.
4. The ROE Act brings our abortion laws into the 21st century. The ROE Act reforms outdated state laws by removing medically inaccurate language, abolishing medically unnecessary abortion restrictions like an unenforced 24-hour waiting period, and codifying the principles of reproductive freedom into state law.
For additional information on the bill from Planned Parenthood, click here.
A recent statewide survey of nearly 2,000 registered voters, conducted by MassINC, found that 78% of voters (and 72% of Catholics) support a state law to guarantee a legal right to abortion. In addition, 76% of all voters (and 75% of Catholics) support adding an exception to the ban on abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy to protect a woman’s health or in cases where there is a grave fetal anomaly. Voters want Massachusetts to be a model for other states and the country; 85% of voters agree that Massachusetts should be a leader in ensuring that a woman who has made a decision to get an abortion is able to get safe, supportive, respectful care in her community.
With the right to safe and legal abortion at risk nationwide, it is important to do all we can in Massachusetts to expand and protect access. Come to Monday’s hearing if you can. Contact your legislators and tell them you support the ROE Act. Forward this email to your network.