Monday: Hearing on ROE Act to Expand Reproductive Rights on June 17

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

RSVP here

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.

Thursday: Add Your Voice at Election Day Registration Hearing on June 20

From LWVMA:  Demonstrate that Election Day Registration has broad public support. Please join us and our partners in the Election Modernization Coalition when the Joint Committee on Election Laws holds a hearing on Election Day Registration (EDR) Thursday, June 20. Wear a League pin or shirt if you have one; we’ll have EDR stickers for you. Email Nancy Brumback if you can come.

Election Day Registration Legislative Hearing 

Joint Committee on Election Laws

Thursday, June 20

Hearing starts at 1 p.m. in hearing room A-1

Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon Street, Boston

If you can’t be with us at the State House, please call or email your Senator and Representative now and tell them you want to see Election Day Registration in Massachusetts. Contact information is here. And share this action alert with others who are interested.

If you or a family member has been turned away from the polls or had to cast a provisional ballot because of an error in your registration, consider testifying about that experience. We will help you. Contact Nancy Brumback. If you can’t testify, please share any such story when you contact your legislator.

EDR Talking Points

  • Election Day Registration is a proven and common-sense election reform; 21 other states already offer it.
  • Election Day Registration allows voters to fix problems with their registration. In states where it is offered, 70% of those using EDR are already registered to vote but encounter a snag with that registration when they go to vote.
  • Election Day Registration will make election administration easier in the long run by reducing the need for provisional ballots.
  • Election Day Registration is supported by the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

LWVN Membership Supports Climate Emergency Resolution

At our recent Annual Meeting, members voted to support the resolution below, to be presented at the LWVMA Convention in Westford with other Leagues from around the state.

Climate Emergency Resolution

Unanimously approved by LWVMA Environmental Action and Advocacy Committee, May 22, 2019 for submission to the LWVMA Convention, June 7-8, 2019.

Whereas on October 8, 2018, the United Nations released a special report that projected that limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius this century will require an unprecedented transformation of every sector of the global economy over the next 12 years; and

Whereas on November 23, 2018, the U.S. Fourth National Climate Assessment was issued, which detailed the massive threat that climate change poses to the American economy and underscored the need for emergency climate action at all levels of government; and [Read more…]

LWVMA Moderator Training on June 12 in Beverly

LWVMA is recognized locally and statewide for our work moderating informative, respectful, and inclusive candidate and issue forums. The competence and fairness of League-trained moderators has contributed to the high level of public trust LWVMA has earned. This work is essential to our mission and identity as a nonpartisan political organization working for good government.

In Fall 2019, cities will be in need of moderators for forums for many city council races! They will count on neighboring Leagues to help them. This is a great way to gain skills and get involved.

LWVMA and the League of Women Voters of Salem are co-hosting a moderator training on June 12. Acton League member and expert moderator Jo-Ann Berry will lead this training.

 Details:

  • Who should attend:  Whether you have never moderated before or are an experienced moderator looking to refresh your skills, this training is for you!  (This training is only for current League members)
  • Date and Time: 7-8:30pm, June 12, 2019
  • Location: Sohier Room at the Beverly Library (32 Essex Street, Beverly, MA 01915)
  • Registration: Space is limited so please register today!
  • Questions: Call (857-452-1715) or email lwvma@lwvma.org

Support March for Our Lives on Monday, June 3rd at the State House

Join LWVMA, a member organization of the MA Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, on Monday, June 3, 2019 at 2:00 PM in Room 428 at the State House to support March For Our Lives: Boston as they lobby for passage of S.1388/H.2045, An Act Relative to Crime Gun Data Reporting and Analysis. We will hear from the chief sponsors of the bill Sen. Cindy Creem and Rep. Marjorie Decker and then meet with legislators. Haven’t lobbied before? We will show you how! 

Register here: http://bit.ly/June3LobbyDay

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