Massachusetts

Mass. Lawmakers to Debate Reproductive Rights Bill

Many provisions of the bill were already included in an executive order issued by Gov. Charlie Baker in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade

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Beacon Hill lawmakers will take up legislation on Wednesday intended to protect abortion providers as well as people from out-of-state who travel to Massachusetts for care.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, reproductive rights have been left to the states. Last month, a sweeping reproductive rights bill passed through the Massachusetts House of Representative and now moves to the Senate.

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The legislation would protect providers and people who travel to Massachusetts to get an abortion from legal action in other states. It would also mandate health insurance plans to cover abortions, make emergency contraceptives more widely available and allow providers to make their addresses private.

In a 136-17 vote, a bill that would declare access to reproductive health care as state law passed the Massachusetts House Wednesday night. A number of women representatives took tot he House floor, arguing in favor of House Bill 4930.

Many provisions of the bill were already included in an executive order issued by Gov. Charlie Baker in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Lead sponsor of the Senate's redrafted version of the bill, Sen. Cindy Friedman, said the legislation is "extremely important," and would go beyond the governor's orders to keep protections in place permanently. The Massachusetts State Senate is expected to vote on the bill in formal session at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

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