Important Legislative Update:
On Friday, July 29th Governor Baker signed into law historic omnibus protections for abortion access and gender affirming care. We applaud the Governor, the Senate, and the House for taking swift action affirming abortion as healthcare and continuing to ensure Massachusetts leads the country in healthcare for all, especially low-income individuals. We are proud to have added to the advocacy efforts of our reproductive justice coalition allies. As the voice of the organized Jewish community, we continue to to speak out and organize for abortion justice for all people. We have more work to do to ensure abortion access, leveraging our networks and in coalition with reproductive justice leaders. Today, it is important to recognize the central work being done in Massachusetts:
Here are some of the components of the new law:
- Critical protections for Bay Staters who provide or help someone access reproductive health care and gender-affirming care;
- A requirement that insurance cover abortion and abortion-related care. The bill also ensures coverage is affordable—and not subject to cost sharing—for low-income individuals;
- A requirement that Massachusetts public colleges and universities provide medication abortion at campus health centers;
- A statewide standing order for both prescription and over-the-counter emergency contraception, making no-cost insurance coverage possible for all forms of emergency contraception without delay, and a statutory fix to ensure over-the-counter emergency contraception can be sold in vending machines;
- A confidential address program for reproductive health care and gender-affirming care providers who too often face threats and violence for providing health care; and
- Language to clarify the ROE Act and ensure pregnant people are not forced to leave Massachusetts for abortion care later in pregnancy.
As the representative body of the organized Jewish community, we condemn the Supreme Court ruling and are committed to working in partnership with policymakers and stakeholders to ensure continued abortion access. Click here to read our statement on the ruling.
We have long advocated for the protection of abortion rights and for unrestricted access to affordable healthcare for all people and will continue to actively work to ensure Massachusetts is a beacon for healthcare access. As hard-won civil rights are eroded disproportionally impacting marginalized communities, we must work to enact legislation that our society be governed by humanistic and universal principles.
This work is critical to bodily autonomy and religious freedom. We are proud to stand in partnership with Jewish organizations, like NCJW Massachusetts, JALSA, and Hadassah among others to strengthen access here in Massachusetts and to protect abortion for people across the country. Together we must find the ability to channel our outrage into action.
We need your active engagement to talk to legislators, to tell your stories, and to support innovative work that will leverage our strength as a community.
We applaud Governor Baker, the Senate, and the House for taking swift action to further protect and strengthen abortion access in Massachusetts. Click here to see our letter to the House and statements on the action of the Legislature.
We know we need to raise our voices to be clear that the organized Jewish community stands in strong support legislation that codifies protection for those seeking abortion care and those that provide it. We will be partnering with organizations to advocate on this critical agenda and are proud to have contributed to the passage of the ROE Act this past session through our engagement in the ROE Coalition.
We are exploring conversations with community based organizations and faith partners to understand how we can further use our resource networks to support abortion for people from other states. Massachusetts residents can play a pivotal role for people who seek abortion care and we want to learn from others how to best engage in this work. We need to best utilize our resources in this moment and are exploring what this could look like now and in the future.
If you are interested in advocating with us and continuing to stay informed as resource networks develop, please indicate your interest here. If you have any general questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to FayeRuth Fisher, Director of Government Affairs at .