Boston, MA – NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, the leading grassroots pro-choice advocacy organization in the Commonwealth, is launching a campaign to affirm the need and support for the ROE Act to protect and expand abortion access in Massachusetts — and to counter the misinformation purposefully communicated about the bill. The campaign, which includes multi-platform placements and online and in-person organizing actions and events, asserts what the majority of Massachusetts voters know to be true: Massachusetts women need abortion care without shame, stigma, or barriers.
“At a time when abortion access is being threatened across the country, we’re fighting for the ROE Act to ensure that access to safe, legal abortion care is protected for all Bay Staters,” said Rebecca Hart Holder, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts. “Abortion opponents have been misrepresenting efforts to protect access to abortion care, using inflammatory language to score political points. The ROE Act will ensure that all people — no matter where they live, their age, income, or insurance — can access safe, legal abortion care.”
In Massachusetts, anti-choice advocates are deliberately working to spread misinformation about the ROE Act. High-level politicians and religious leaders are also using their positions of power to try to impose their ideological agenda to restrict the healthcare of Massachusetts women.
“Politics and ideology have no place in the physician’s office or in the personal medical decisions of women and families,” said Dr. Talia Herman, an internist in Boston, Massachusetts. “As a physician, I have experienced how people seeking abortion care in our state face medically unnecessary restrictions every day. We need the ROE Act to break down the barriers that prevent women from getting the care they need.”
The vast majority of Massachusetts voters support a woman’s right to safe, legal abortion care, with more than 8 in 10 voters — including those who identify as Catholic — saying that Massachusetts should be a leader in ensuring that a woman who has made a decision to get an abortion is able to get safe, supportive, respectful care in her community. NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts is giving voice to these voters and advocating on the ground to ensure access to safe, legal abortion, without political interference. The campaign supports NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts organizing efforts with online advertisements in news outlets across the state and on social media.
Though the constitutional right to abortion is currently protected by Roe v. Wade, access to abortion care is still not guaranteed for many Massachusetts women and families. Current Massachusetts law creates unnecessary and sometimes insurmountable barriers to abortion for young people, people in need of abortion later in pregnancy due to fatal fetal anomalies, and uninsured people with low incomes. Furthermore, current Massachusetts law places barriers between patients and their doctors, undermining health care providers and patients’ ability to make the best decisions for themselves and their families.
“As a Jewish woman forced to travel out of state for an abortion at 30 weeks, current Massachusetts law not only separated me from my doctors at a time of medical crisis, it also took me away from my children, rabbi, and faith community during a time of family crisis,” said Tara Mendola, a Brookline woman forced to travel out-of-state for abortion care. Mendola also insisted, “the language used by politicians and religious ideologues to criticize my decision is not only inflammatory, it is extremist rhetoric that hurts families like mine.”
The ROE Act will ensure all women and families in Massachusetts can access safe, legal abortion by removing unnecessary, burdensome provisions that delay and deny care. The ROE Act will:
- Ensure equitable access to abortion by eliminating the onerous judicial bypass process teenagers must navigate to access safe, legal abortion and bolstering access to safety-net coverage for abortion regardless of a resident’s income.
- Protect the patient-provider relationship by expanding access to abortion after 24 weeks of pregnancy in cases of fatal fetal anomalies; eliminating unwarranted government intrusions and criminal penalties; and ending intrusive reporting requirements that jeopardize physician safety and patient privacy.
- Reform outdated state laws and language by removing medically inaccurate and inflammatory language that effectively establishes fetal personhood and marginalizes the lives of pregnant people; abolishing medically unnecessary abortion restrictions, including a currently unenforceable 24-hour waiting period and a requirement that any abortion after 24 weeks take place in a hospital; and codifying the principles of reproductive freedom into state law to prevent any future restrictions on the right to safe, legal abortion.
“Misinformation and harmful rhetoric have no place here,” said Hart Holder. “We are proud to stand up for all Massachusetts women who want to make their own personal decisions about whether or not to end a pregnancy, and will keep fighting to make sure that reproductive freedom is a reality for all Massachusetts women and families.”