BOSTON–NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, the Commonwealth’s leading grassroots, reproductive freedom advocacy organization, will honor former Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo and Senate President Karen Spilka as its 2021 Champions for Choice, during a virtual gala on Thursday evening.
NARAL MA hosts the Champions for Choice gala each year to celebrate Bay Staters working to expand access to reproductive health care in Massachusetts. With this award, the former Speaker and Senate President join leaders like New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Katherine Clark, and Attorney General Maura Healey as recipients of the nonprofit’s highest honor.
The two legislators are being recognized for their leadership in passing the ROE Act, a landmark bill that repealed anti-choice barriers to care in place in Massachusetts since 1974. Speaker DeLeo and Senate President Spilka led efforts to override a Christmas Eve veto from Governor Charlie Baker, making Massachusetts a leader in ensuring access to safe, legal, and accessible abortion care.
“Immediately after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, Speaker DeLeo and Senate President Spilka made it clear that they would protect safe, legal abortion care from the Trump administration and an anti-choice Supreme Court. They followed through on that promise with passage of the ROE Act,” said Rebecca Hart Holder, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts. “In the face of multiple vetoes from Governor Baker, Speaker DeLeo and Senate President Spilka held fast and steered both chambers towards a historic override vote. Today, with the Supreme Court set to take up a case that could overturn Roe v. Wade and jeopardize abortion access across the country, their work to pass the ROE Act is even more impactful. The Commonwealth is better because of their leadership.”
Thursday’s event will also feature appearances from several notable political figures including Massachusetts Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, New Hampshire Senator Maggie Hassan, Missouri Congresswoman Cori Bush, and state leaders such as Attorney General Maura Healey, State Representative Liz Miranda, State Senator Cindy Friedman, and State Senator Julian Cyr. Additionally, Love Your Menses Co-Founder and Executive Director, Bria Gadsden, will be honored with the Ellen Paradise Fisher Award for Activism in Action.
This year’s Champions for Choice gala will take place virtually on June 3rd, from 7:00pm to 7:30pm. Attendance is free and open to the public. Those interested in attending can register here.