Rep. Pressley Urges Massachusetts State Legislature to Pass ROE Act

June 17, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), chair of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus’s Abortion Rights and Access Task Force, sent a letter to Massachusetts state legislators urging passage of the ROE Act. The letter was sent ahead of a public hearing today on the legislation, which would ease restrictions on an individual’s right to make decisions about their reproductive health. Specifically, the ROE Act would eliminate the parental consent requirement for individuals under 18-years-old accessing abortion services and would amend state law (which currently bars abortions after 24 weeks except in cases where the life of the mother is at risk) to include cases of “fatal fetal anomalies.”

“In the wake of statewide abortion bans in Alabama and Louisiana, Massachusetts has the opportunity to realize the full promise of the landmark Roe v. Wade case by expanding access for minors under 18 and rolling back restrictions that make it harder for people to get an abortion after 24 weeks,” writes Congresswoman Pressley. “Last year, the Commonwealth joined together to pass the NASTY Women Act to repeal archaic statutes that undermine a person’s right to choose for themselves when and if to start a family. We must unite behind that common goal again to ensure safer, healthier, and more equitable health care access for all people across the Commonwealth.”

In response to the draconian, coordinated attacks on reproductive health care, Congresswoman Pressley led a resolution with more than 100 of her colleagues reaffirming the House’s support for Roe v. Wade. Last week, she introduced a bill that would strengthen reproductive freedom by making birth control available over the counter while ensuring it remains covered by health insurance plans.

The full text of Congresswoman Pressley’s letter to the state lawmakers can be found below and here:

 

Chairwoman Claire D. Cronin

Chairman James B. Eldridge

Joint Committee on the Judiciary

24 Beacon Street

Boston, MA 02133

 

To the Honorable Members of the Judiciary Committee,

I write in support of S.1209 and H.3320 – An Act Removing Obstacles and Expanding Access to Women’s Reproductive Health (Roe Act), filed by Speaker Pro Tempore Patricia Haddad, Representative Jay Livingstone, and Senate President Emerita Harriette L. Chandler.

As the U.S. Representative of the Massachusetts 7th Congressional District and as Chair of the Abortion Rights and Access Task force of the House Pro-Choice Caucus, I call upon my colleagues in the Massachusetts State Legislature to act with swift urgency to enact the Roe Act and expand and protect the right to abortion services for all.

I am proud to have recently filed a resolution, with support from over 150 of my colleagues, to affirm Congress’ support of Roe V. Wade and an individual’s constitutional right to abortion. Abortion care is health care and health care is a human right. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, people – especially low-income individuals and young people – are facing unjust, and often discriminatory barriers to accessing abortion. No person, regardless of their insurance status, immigration status, age, or income should be denied access due to laws designed to delay and deny a person’s right to comprehensive healthcare.

In the wake of statewide abortion bans in Alabama and Louisiana, Massachusetts has the opportunity to realize the full promise of the landmark Roe v Wade case by expanding access for minors under 18 and rolling back restrictions that make it harder for people to get an abortion after 24 weeks. Last year, the Commonwealth joined together to pass the NASTY Women Act to repeal archaic statutes that undermine a person’s right to choose for themselves when and if to start a family. We must unite behind that common goal again to ensure safer, healthier, and more equitable health care access for all people across the Commonwealth.

As the White House continues to roll out draconian policies designed to strip away the rights and freedoms of women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community, states like Massachusetts have the opportunity to actively resist these policies and stand up for rights of Bay Staters by supporting policies like the Roe Act.

I commend the leadership of State Senator Chandler, Speaker Haddad, and Rep. Livingstone and urge my colleagues in the Massachusetts State Legislature to join together in support of this important legislation.

 

 

 

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