With abortion care under attack in states across the country, MA lawmakers meet the moment with historic funding for abortion funds.
The Massachusetts House of Representatives last night adopted Consolidated Amendment D as part of the FY2023 budget to provide $500,000 for improving reproductive health care access, infrastructure, and security in Massachusetts. A portion of these funds will also be allocated in grants to three abortion funds throughout the state: the Jane Fund of Central Massachusetts, the Abortion Rights Fund of Western Massachusetts, and the Eastern Massachusetts Abortion Fund. Abortion funds are grassroots organizations that help finance abortion care for those facing unintended pregnancy. If the budget is passed with this amendment, it would mark the first time in Massachusetts history that the annual budget includes investments in abortion funds.
“We thank House Speaker Ronald Mariano and Ways & Means Chair Aaron Michlewitz for their leadership and commitment to reproductive freedom," said Carol Rose, Executive Director of the ACLU of Massachusetts. “As other state legislatures introduce abortion bans and the Supreme Court is poised to gut or overturn Roe, we are grateful for the Massachusetts House's work to ensure that all Bay Staters have equal access to the reproductive health care they need. Our state can and should continue to be a leader in dismantling barriers to abortion access and ensuring that abortion is accessible, affordable, and available to all. Our right to abortion shouldn't depend on where we live or how much money we make; all people should be able to control their own bodies, lives, and futures.”
“As anti-choice states across the country look to eliminate access to abortion care, Massachusetts remains a beacon for reproductive freedom. This funding is an essential first step to securing access to abortion care for each and every Bay Stater that wants it,” said Rebecca Hart Holder, Executive Director of Reproductive Equity Now. “Abortion funds work around the clock to fill systemic gaps in health care coverage and ensure that Bay Staters who want access to abortion care can get it, regardless of cost. Gaps in insurance coverage result in high out-of-pocket costs for abortion care, and these costs disproportionately impact communities of color. Abortion funds are critical to achieving true reproductive equity. We are thrilled to see the Massachusetts House support their mission by providing much-needed funding. Thank you to House Speaker Ronald Mariano, Ways & Means Chair Aaron Michlewitz, and Representative Tom Stanley for their continued leadership.”
“At a time when millions of people across the country are losing their access to abortion care, it is inspiring and important to see our Massachusetts legislature demonstrate leadership with this investment in reproductive health care access, especially through abortion funds that will serve every part of our state,” said Dr. Nate Horwitz-Willis, Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts. “These funds are a critical part of expanding access to abortion equitably in Massachusetts.”
Representative Tom Stanley sponsored the amendment. Lead cosponsors include Representatives Kate Hogan, Sarah Peake and Jay Livingstone.
“Last night, the Massachusetts House took historic action to expand access to reproductive health care for Bay Staters,” said Representative Tom Stanley, the House lead of the amendment. “With the funding in my amendment, our commonwealth can improve its reproductive health care infrastructure and help our abortion funds provide critical, lifesaving assistance for those seeking abortion care. At a time when reproductive rights are under attack across the country, Massachusetts can lead the way in expanding access to care.”
“Abortion is health care, and abortion funds provide critical financial support to ensure every person can access it,” said Vikky Angelico, President of the Board of Directors of The Jane Fund of Central Massachusetts. “At the Jane Fund, we work diligently to connect residents of Central Massachusetts to abortion care, and to bring that care within reach through financial assistance. We thank the Massachusetts House of Representatives for supporting our work.”
The inclusion of this amendment comes ahead of the United States Supreme Court’s decision on Dobbs v. Jackson this summer, a case that experts predict is likely to dismantle the federal abortion protections enshrined in Roe v. Wade. Twenty-six states across the country are expected to restrict or ban abortion care following the Supreme Court’s decision this session, and several—including Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, Kentucky, and Idaho—have already begun to pass severe abortion bans through their state legislatures.