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Friday, August 12, 2022

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker meets with legislative leaders for first time since Roe v. Wade overturned

Gov. Charlie Baker will hold his first press availability Monday since the Supreme Court ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place for nearly 50 years, a decision by its conservative majority to overturn the court’s landmark abortion cases.Baker will join legislative leaders in a weekly leadership meeting at 2 p.m. Immediately after the Supreme Court ruling was announced, Gov. Charlie Baker signed an executive order to protect access for all women — regardless of state of residence — to reproductive health care services in Massachusetts.”I am deeply disappointed in today’s decision by the Supreme Court which will have major consequences for women across the country who live in states with limited access to reproductive health care services. The commonwealth has long been a leader in protecting a woman’s right to choose and access to reproductive health services, while other states have criminalized or otherwise restricted access,” Baker said in a statement.The order prohibits any Executive Department agencies from assisting another state’s investigation into a person or entity for receiving or delivering reproductive health services that are legal in Massachusetts, and the state will not cooperate with extradition requests from other states pursuing criminal charges against individuals who received, assisted with, or performed reproductive health services that are legal in Massachusetts.In Massachusetts, state law permits an abortion prior to 24 weeks. After 24 weeks, abortions are allowed only if a physician believes it is necessary to preserve the mother’s life, the mother’s health or because of a lethal fetal abnormality.Other sections prohibit state and government officials from interfering with the personal decisions around pregnancy while requiring the commissioner of public health to collect data on abortions.Medical staff have a right to decline to participate in abortion on moral or religious grounds without facing penalties from their employers under the law.Some federal laws also apply, including the law guaranteeing freedom of access to clinic entrances and the 2003 ban on partial-birth abortions.

Gov. Charlie Baker will hold his first press availability Monday since the Supreme Court ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place for nearly 50 years, a decision by its conservative majority to overturn the court’s landmark abortion cases.

Baker will join legislative leaders in a weekly leadership meeting at 2 p.m.

Immediately after the Supreme Court ruling was announced, Gov. Charlie Baker signed an executive order to protect access for all women — regardless of state of residence — to reproductive health care services in Massachusetts.

“I am deeply disappointed in today’s decision by the Supreme Court which will have major consequences for women across the country who live in states with limited access to reproductive health care services. The commonwealth has long been a leader in protecting a woman’s right to choose and access to reproductive health services, while other states have criminalized or otherwise restricted access,” Baker said in a statement.

The order prohibits any Executive Department agencies from assisting another state’s investigation into a person or entity for receiving or delivering reproductive health services that are legal in Massachusetts, and the state will not cooperate with extradition requests from other states pursuing criminal charges against individuals who received, assisted with, or performed reproductive health services that are legal in Massachusetts.

In Massachusetts, state law permits an abortion prior to 24 weeks. After 24 weeks, abortions are allowed only if a physician believes it is necessary to preserve the mother’s life, the mother’s health or because of a lethal fetal abnormality.

Other sections prohibit state and government officials from interfering with the personal decisions around pregnancy while requiring the commissioner of public health to collect data on abortions.

Medical staff have a right to decline to participate in abortion on moral or religious grounds without facing penalties from their employers under the law.

Some federal laws also apply, including the law guaranteeing freedom of access to clinic entrances and the 2003 ban on partial-birth abortions.

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