By Bob Katzen
There was swift reaction across the state to the Supreme Court’s ruling that the constitution does not confer the right to an abortion and that decisions about regulating abortion are now up to each of the 50 states.
Gov. Charlie Baker said he was “deeply disappointed” with the decision and he quickly signed an executive order to protect access to reproductive health care services in the commonwealth. “This executive order will further preserve that right and protect reproductive health care providers who serve out of state residents,” said Baker. “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.”
“We are grateful for all those who never stopped fighting for the lives of the unborn,” said Andrew Beckwith, the President of the Massachusetts Family Institute. “For decades, we were told this was a ‘settled issue’ in American law and culture, but that was a lie and the tide has turned. The legalization of abortion by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973 was one of the most egregious cases of judicial activism this country has ever seen. It resulted in over sixty million dead American children and an unending contentious public debate.
“This dangerous and chilling decision will have devastating consequences across the country, forcing people to travel hundreds, sometimes thousands, of miles for care or remain pregnant,” said Dr. Jennifer Childs-Rosha, President of Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts (PPLM). “Abortion is health care, and access to care should not be based on one’s zip code, income level or identity. This is a dark day for our country, but we’ve been preparing for this. In Massachusetts, abortion will remain legal and protected under state law – the Court’s decision does not change this, and PPLM is here for our patients today, and always.”
Myrna Maloney Flynn, Massachusetts Citizens for Life’s president, said, “This is a moment that life advocates have worked tirelessly for throughout the past half-century. A grave and unjust abuse of judicial power has been corrected. The American people now have a voice, a united voice that, today, raises even louder on behalf of the voiceless. Our work is just beginning, as we aim to bridge the great cultural chasm that Roe v. Wade created. We will not stop working to save the lives of innocent unborn human beings.”
“The court’s ruling will have an immediate and devastating impact on people seeking abortion care in nearly half of the country, taking from them a right that has been central to their ability to plan their lives, families and careers,” said Carol Rose, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Massachusetts. “These burdens will disproportionately fall on people of color, those struggling to make ends meet, young people, rural residents, immigrants and LGBTQ+ communities. And make no mistake: anti-abortion politicians won’t stop here. Extremists have made it clear that they will use this ruling to press for a nationwide ban on abortion, as well as bans on birth control, gender-affirming care, and equal marriage, among other basic civil rights and liberties. The ACLU won’t back down until every person has the freedom and ability to make these most personal and life-changing decisions for themselves and their families.”