Today over 60 pro-choice advocates and allies joined NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts to provide testimony to the Joint Committee on Public Health on An Act to Promote Access to Accurate Medical Information (S.1232/H.2082) and An Act to Improve Health Care for Young Women (H.2070). Together, these bills will greatly expand access to reproductive health care for women across the state and ensure they are allowed to make health care decisions free of coercion.
“Massachusetts has been a leader on reproductive health access, and in that tradition it is time to lift restrictions and limit the impact of ideologues who seek to coerce and shame women out of seeking the abortion care that is their constitutional right,” said Megan Amundson, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts. “There is no place in our state for policies or facilities that seek to limit access to abortion under the guise of protecting women.”
An Act to Promote Access to Accurate Medical Information (S.1232/H.2082) would limit the impact of anti-abortion “crisis pregnancy centers”—facilities that pose as legitimate reproductive health clinics, but use misinformation and deceptive tactics to delay or prevent women from accessing abortion care. The bill would ensure that state contracts continue to go only to licensed medical providers and not to anti-choice funded facilities with an ideological agenda. It would further prohibit any recipient of a state contract from making referrals to crisis pregnancy centers.
“All women deserve access to medically accurate information. This bill is critical to ensuring that all women in our state are able to access health care free of judgment and coercion. The 32 crisis pregnancy centers in Massachusetts outnumber legitimate women’s health clinics by three to one—and it is important to limit their impact and exposure by limiting their funding,” Amundson stated.
An Act to Improve Healthcare for Young Women (H.2070) would allow young women greater access to the abortion care they need by reducing the barriers they face in accessing reproductive health care and recognizing that many different parental figures may represent the safest adults in their lives.
“Fortunately, most young women do seek help from their parents when facing an unintended pregnancy,” said Amundson. “But for those who can’t go to their parents, current Massachusetts law makes it nearly impossible for them to access abortion care. We know that requiring young women to consult with their parents does not compel them to do so. It simply results in them taking desperate measures, such as seeking care out of state or in other ways that might be unsafe.”
“We urge the Joint Committee on Public Health to take action to protect women’s health and report these two bills favorably out of committee. We look forward to working with legislators as we look to pave the way toward making Massachusetts a model for providing all women equal access to the full range of reproductive healthcare.”