By Bob Katzen

The Senate 38-0, approved and sent to the House a bill repealing an 1800s ban on all abortions, a ban on contraception use for unmarried women and a requirement that all abortions after the 12th week of pregnancy be performed in a hospital. It also repeals laws punishing adultery and masturbation.

“I am so proud that, at a time when there are renewed threats nationally to providing comprehensive health services to women, the Massachusetts Senate voted unanimously to adopt this bill,” said Sen. Cynthia Creem (D-Newton). “We stand with a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body, including the right to complete control over her medical care, and decisions about contraception and abortion.”

Creem also said that just because these laws are not currently enforced does not mean they could not be enforced in the future. She noted that there is discussion in Congress about an attempt to reverse the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case that legalized abortion nationwide.

“We are living in a time when leaders at the highest levels of power in our country are demeaning women and attempting to roll back their rights,” said Acting Senate President Harriette Chandler (D-Worcester). “Massachusetts must affirm its commitment to protecting women’s rights to essential health care and expunge these dangerous laws.”

“The Massachusetts Senate is unwavering in its commitment to women’s health care,” said Sen. Karen Spilka (D-Ashland). ”This legislation continues our commitment to women and sends a strong message that this commonwealth will continue to move forward in improving the health and well-being of all our citizens.

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