At a time when the country needs to unify more than ever, the US Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the landmark Roe v Wade decision has only divided the country even further.
Protesters supporting women’s reproductive rights immediately took to the streets after the decision was handed down by the country’s consevative leaning highest court.
Local elected officials immediately condemned the Supreme Court’s ruling, which gave federal constitutional protection for women’s reproductive rights for 50 years.
“Like many of you, I am deeply saddened and angered by the Supreme Court Dobbs v. Jackson ruling, which overturned 50 years of federal abortion protections,” said Rep. Jay Livingstone. “As we know, this ruling will not prevent abortions from happening, it will only make them more dangerous – especially for our nations most vulnerable residents. This rollback of our country’s civil rights is outrageous and unprecedented. I have fought for a women’s right to choose during my time in the Massachusetts legislature and I will continue to do so. I will do everything I can to protect abortion rights for the people of Massachusetts and urge my colleagues in the House and Senate to do the same.”
In response to the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v Wade, Governor Charlie Baker signed an executive order to protect access to reproductive health care services in the Commonwealth.
“I am deeply disappointed in today’s decision by the Supreme Court which will have major consequences for women across the country who live in states with limited access to reproductive health care services,” said the Governor. “The Commonwealth has long been a leader in protecting a woman’s right to choose and access to reproductive health services, while other states have criminalized or otherwise restricted access,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This executive order will further preserve that right and protect reproductive health care providers who serve out of state residents. In light of the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v Wade, it is especially important to ensure that Massachusetts providers can continue to provide reproductive health care services without concern that the laws of other states may be used to interfere with those services or sanction them for providing services that are lawful in the Commonwealth.”
The order prohibits any Executive Department agencies from assisting another state’s investigation into a person or entity for receiving or delivering reproductive health services that are legal in Massachusetts. The order also protects Massachusetts providers who deliver reproductive health care services from losing their professional licenses or receiving other professional discipline based on potential out-of -state charges.
Also under the executive order, the Commonwealth will not cooperate with extradition requests from other states pursuing criminal charges against individuals who received, assisted with, or performed reproductive health services that are legal in Massachusetts.
Sen. Lydia Edwards said it is now time to ‘divest’ and ‘boycott’ and called on labor leaders to join the fight for reproductive rights.
“We need to learn from Divestment Movements in South Africa to today’s fossil fuel movement,” said Edwards. “We need to remember the Boycotts of the Civil Rights movement. I don’t want our state or the City of Boston to contract with other states that take away a woman’s right to abortion care.”
Edwards called on labor leaders to get on board.
“Worker’s Rights are Abortion Rights,” she said. “I expect you (union leaders) to make sure all of your union members have access to abortion care where ever they are, this includes health insurance, travel money, or whatever is needed. I’ve fought for Union jobs—it’s time you step up for gender healthcare.”
Edwards added any corporations with headquarters or franchises in anti-abortion states need to make sure labor workers have access to abortion care.
“If you don’t, I will not buy your products,” she said. “We need to support companies that will affirm the right to choose and divest from those that won’t.”