The ROE Act Coalition issued the following statement on the Massachusetts Senate voting to adopt budget Amendment #180 as part of the FY2021 budget:
“We applaud the Senate for adopting Amendment #180, and for overwhelmingly rejecting an anti-abortion effort to undermine the amendment. By removing medically unnecessary barriers to care in Massachusetts law, Amendment #180 reaffirms that abortion is essential, time-sensitive health care. The amendment also takes an important step forward by codifying the right to abortion care into Massachusetts state law.
“We are grateful to Senate President Karen Spilka for her leadership. Nationwide, we are in a critical moment in the fight for reproductive freedom; we are encouraged that elected leaders like the Senate President, ROE Act lead sponsor Senator Harriette Chandler, Senator Jamie Eldridge, and their colleagues are proactively working to protect and improve abortion access in our state.
“On Election Day, Bay Staters made their position clear when they re-elected every single ROE Act supporter and voted out anti-abortion lawmakers. Legislators listened to voters, constituents, providers, families, and activists and adopted an amendment that would make abortion more accessible. From Pittsfield to the Cape, these measures have a broad range of support from Bay Staters of all walks of life. We hope that the final version of the FY2021 budget will include these essential ROE Act provisions for the Governor to sign into law.”
The ROE Act Coalition is a statewide coalition committed to protecting and improving access to abortion in Massachusetts. Founding organizations include the ACLU of Massachusetts, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, and Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts.
Amendment #180 contains essential provisions that will improve access to reproductive health care for pregnant people across the state. The amendment would codify the right to abortion care into state law; allow 16 and 17 year olds to make their own decisions about abortion care without having to go to court; streamline access for those under 16 years old by allowing remote judicial hearings, minimizing harmful delays to care; and enable families to obtain care later in pregnancy in cases of lethal fetal diagnosis—without having to travel across the country.