Gov. Charlie Baker said Monday that last week's decision by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, ending constitutional protections for abortion, could actually result in more businesses moving to Massachusetts.
"I do believe that having listened to and heard from a lot of companies over the course of the past several days about what this decision means with respect to their workforces and their benefit plans, there may be a big opportunity here for Massachusetts to encourage some employers to either come here or expand their footprint here because we are a state that takes this issue seriously and we'll be there for employees when they need those kind of reproductive services and support," the Republican governor said.
Baker said he hasn't reached out to employers yet, but his office has been tracking some of the companies that have been commenting on the ruling.
"I think you can expect we'll do some reach out," he said.
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In the wake of Friday's ruling, Apple, Disney, Starbucks and many other companies made it clear they would cover employees' abortion travel costs.
Baker, who was out of the state and hadn't spoken publicly since Friday's ruling, reiterated Monday what he said when a draft ruling was leaked a month ago, that the Supreme Court's decision was "deeply concerning."
He said his administration spent the time between the leak of the draft ruling and its final release "coming up with a plan that would keep providers here in Massachusetts safe and would provide relief to people from other states who came here seeking those services safe as well." That's why his office was able to issue an executive order to protect access to reproductive healthcare in Massachusetts within hours of Friday's decision.
His order protects providers who perform these services for out-of-state individuals as well as individuals from out of state who seek services that are legal in Massachusetts. It prohibits Executive Department agencies from assisting another state’s investigation into a person or entity for receiving or delivering reproductive health services that are allowed in Massachusetts.
It also protects Massachusetts providers who deliver reproductive healthcare services from losing their professional licenses or receiving other professional discipline based on potential out of state charges.
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Baker said he is confident the order will hold up if its legality is challenged.
He also said he has had numerous conversations with state police, the Massachusetts Fusion Center and many people in the healthcare space about any issues associated with security concerns here.
Baker wouldn't say what specific steps might be taken, but said it's "something we're all paying a lot of attention to and having lots of conversations about."
More on the Roe v. Wade ruling