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BOSTON (LifeSiteNews) – Liberal Republican Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts signed into law Friday a measure to insulate abortion-on-demand in the Bay State from out-of-state enforcement actions and to make abortion pills easier to obtain for everyone in the state.
The Washington Times reports that the bill shields anyone in Massachusetts who helps facilitate an abortion that would be legal in Massachusetts for someone in another, pro-life jurisdiction from extradition. It also declares “access” to abortion and “‘gender-affirming” procedures are rights under the Massachusetts Constitution, mandates abortion coverage under the MassHealth state Medicaid program, lets over-the-counter emergency contraception be sold in vending machines, and requires state-funded colleges and universities to establish student “medication abortion readiness plans.”
It also clarifies that abortions may be committed past 24 weeks for fetal anomalies or diagnoses “incompatible with sustained life outside of the uterus” or cases where a physician deems the abortion medically necessary for a patient’s physical or mental health (emphasis added).
Additionally, the new law empowers any licensed pharmacist to hand out emergency contraception and requires the state Public Health Department to issue recommendations for how to obtain abortion in parts of the state that lack “abortion access” within a 50-mile radius.
“This new legislation signed today builds on that action by protecting patients and providers from legal interference from more restrictive laws in other states,” Baker declared, vowing that Massachusetts “remains steadfast in its commitment to protect access to reproductive health care services.”
The bill appears primarily intended as insurance against pro-life efforts to prevent pro-life laws from being ignored by crossing state lines, a subject which is itself a reaction to Democrats proposing support for abortion travel in response to the U.S. Supreme Court striking down Roe v. Wade in June. Pro-life groups such as the Thomas More Society and the National Association of Christian Lawmakers are currently brainstorming potential policies in that area.
Roe’s overturn, which did not ban abortion directly but allowed the issue to be decided once more by the American public via their elected branches of government, sparked the restoration or activation of scores of pro-life laws across the country, including pre-Roe bans that have gone unenforced for almost half a century, more recent measures blocked by lawsuits, and “trigger laws” designed to automatically ban abortions once Roe was gone.
In response, abortion giant Planned Parenthood quickly begun suspending abortions and/or closing locations, and pro-life attorneys general have declared their intentions to enforce their states’ duly-enacted abortion prohibitions.
But leftists prosecutors in dozens of localities have vowed not to enforce such laws, ensuring that work and debate will continue over the prospect of banning abortion nationally. President Joe Biden has called for electing more Democrats to Congress to support codifying a “right” to abortion-on-demand in federal law.