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Senate adopts several major components of Massachusetts Beyond Roe Agenda

The Massachusetts Senate today adopted Amendment #388 as part of the FY2023 budget to protect and expand reproductive health care access in Massachusetts. The amendment would simplify access to emergency contraception and protect abortion providers in our state–key components of the new Massachusetts Beyond Roe Agenda

The Senate budget also includes an historic $2 million in funding for improving reproductive health care access, infrastructure, and security in Massachusetts. A portion of these funds would also be allocated in grants to several Massachusetts abortion funds. If the budget is passed, it would mark the first time in Massachusetts history that the annual budget includes investments in abortion funds. 

“We thank Senate President Spilka and Senate leadership for their commitment to reproductive freedom,” said Carol Rose, Executive Director of the ACLU of Massachusetts. “With the Supreme Court poised to overturn Roe and other state legislatures introducing abortion bans, it is more important than ever that our state leaders ensure meaningful access to abortion, contraception, and gender-affirming care for anyone who needs it. Everyone–no matter where they live or how much money they have–should have the freedom to make health care decisions for themselves and their families.”

“I am excited to see the Senate adopt many of our recommendations outlined in the Massachusetts Beyond Roe Agenda, and I look forward to working with the legislature to get the budget passed and these provisions implemented quickly,” said Rebecca Hart Holder, Executive Director of Reproductive Equity Now. “As our Commonwealth prepares for the fall of federal constitutional abortion protections, strong state leadership on reproductive equity issues is critical to ensure every person has access to the full spectrum of reproductive health care. I'm proud that the Massachusetts legislature is acting to meet this enormous challenge and ensure our Commonwealth remains a beacon for reproductive freedom. Thank you to Senate President Spilka and Senate leadership for their exemplary commitment to abortion access and reproductive equity.”

“Now is the time to use every legislative tool to protect and expand access to reproductive health care in Massachusetts. I applaud Senate President Spilka and Senate leadership for acting swiftly to include investments in abortion and contraception access and provider protections in its budget, which will be critical to ensuring reproductive freedom in a post-Roe world,” said Dr. Nate Horwitz-Willis, Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts.

As anti-abortion states threaten to force pregnancy within their borders and chill access beyond their borders, today’s adopted amendment includes protections for Massachusetts providers from abusive litigation for the provision of lawful care.

Currently, people often pay out-of-pocket for over-the-counter emergency contraception, like Plan B One Step, regardless of its efficacy for them, to avoid the lengthy process of acquiring a prescription. The Senate amendment will also implement a statewide standing order for both prescription and over-the-counter emergency contraception, making insurance coverage—without cost-sharing—possible for all forms of emergency contraception at the point of sale.

Following a leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, the newly rebranded Beyond Roe Coalition—led by the ACLU of Massachusetts, Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts, and Reproductive Equity Now—launched a new advocacy agenda to protect and expand abortion access in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Beyond Roe Agenda includes 21 legislative solutions, budget investments, and regulatory actions that state leaders can take to ensure Massachusetts remains a beacon for reproductive freedom.