An Act to advance the safety of women seeking to terminate a pregnancy (H.2039), is being heard today by the Committee on Public Health. This is a deceptively named bill shamelessly making access to abortion harder for women across the Commonwealth. This bill, if passed, will make it difficult for independent physicians to provide safe abortions in their offices and require women to travel greater distances and wait longer for abortion care.
Abortions are already required to be performed by licensed physicians regardless of where they are provided. This bill would unnecessarily interfere with physicians’ ability to care for their patients and would prevent them from providing the care their patients need.
This bill asks legislators to create a separate licensing standard to be applied only to abortion care based on ideology rather than medical need. We know abortions are as safe as other outpatient procedures, such as a colonoscopy, which is another medical procedure not required to be provided in a licensed clinic.
This bill is similar to laws we’ve seen passed in states like Virginia and Texas to target abortion providers with medically unnecessary license requirements. Targeted restrictions on abortion providers are intended to shut down abortion providers and make abortion difficult to access. These regulations are about politics, not women’s health.
We cannot allow scare tactics and shame to replace medical science and the basic right to health care. Massachusetts is on the forefront of health care access, and it is time to expand access to ensure that all women have equal access to the full range of reproductive health care, not cow to interests that want to interfere with the decisions women make about their health care with their doctor.