Reproductive freedom is not just about the ability to decide if, when, and how to become a parent, it’s about being able to afford your health care options, being able to access the care you need, and, if you become a parent, being able to pay for childcare without breaking the bank. This session, our top legislative priorities reflect our commitment to the broader work of reproductive freedom:
An Act Ensuring Access to Full Spectrum Pregnancy Care (H1196, S673) filed by Representatives Lindsay Sabadosa and Ruth Balser, and Senator Cindy Friedman
Cost should never be a barrier to accessing prenatal or abortion care but all too often, it is. Because high-deductible plans are common, many people face steep deductibles when trying to access full spectrum pregnancy care. We are trying to change that by passing a law that would require health insurance plans to cover all pregnancy care, including abortion care, prenatal care, childbirth, and postpartum care, without any kind of cost-sharing. Learn more about this legislation.
An Act to Improve Access to Emergency Contraception (H2264, S1372) filed by Representative Marjorie Decker and Senator Joe Boncore
Massachusetts laws on emergency contraception are outdated and do not conform to best practices in dispensing emergency contraception. We are working to update the Massachusetts General Laws to ensure that pregnant people can get emergency contraception without jumping through unnecessary hoops at the pharmacy. Learn more about this legislation.
NARAL MA Executive Director Rebecca Hart Holder submitted testimony in support of this legislation to the Joint Committee on Public Health on June 7, 2021. Read the full testimony here.
An Act to Require Public Universities to Provide Medication Abortion (H2399, S1470) filed by Representative Lindsay Sabadosa and Senator Jason Lewis
Forty percent of all abortion care in Massachusetts is medication abortion care. Expanding access to medication abortion on college campuses will improve many Bay Stater’s ability to stay in control of their lives, bodies, and futures. Requiring public universities to provide medication abortion on campus instead of requiring young people to go off campus will put care within reach for many young people. It establishes a fund which draws on both state and private donations to provide grants to universities to build the necessary infrastructure to provide medication abortion care.
An Act Relative to Medicaid Coverage for Doula Services (H2372, S1475) filed by Representatives Liz Miranda and Lindsay Sabadosa and Senator Joan Lovely
This legislation would mandate MassHealth coverage of doula care which improves birth, breastfeeding, and maternal health outcomes and is an essential tool for the Commonwealth to address racial inequities for birthing people.
Common Start (H605, S362) filed by Representatives Ken Gordon and Adrian Madaro, and Senators Jason Lewis and Su Moran
Reproductive freedom is not only the ability to decide if, when, to have a family, it’s also about ensuring that when you decide to become a parent, you can raise a family in a safe and healthy environment without breaking the bank on child care. No one should have to take on multiple jobs or go into debt to pay for childcare. NARAL MA is proud to work with the Common Start Coalition to establish a 5-year pathway to a universal system of affordable, high-quality early education and child care for all Massachusetts families, starting at birth. Massachusetts has the second highest child care costs in the country. These exorbitant early childhood care costs harm both parents and children.
Other Supported Bills:
- An Act relative to transparency of consumer health insurance rights (H1042, S651) filed by Representative Ruth Balser and Senator Julian Cyr
- Increases transparency around which health plans are subject to state laws such as the ACCESS law.
- An Act relative to expanding equitable access to maternal postpartum care (H1297, S799) filed by Representative Liz Miranda and Senator Joan Lovely
- Extends MassHealth coverage from 60 days to 12 months postpartum.
- An Act relative to out-of-hospital birth access and safety (H2341, S1519) filed by Representative Kay Khan and Senator Becca Rausch
- Improves access to home birth by bringing Massachusetts state licensure of certified professional midwives in line with national guidelines.
- VOTES act (An Act fostering voting opportunities, trust, equity, and security) (H805, S459) filed by Representative John Lawn and Senator Cindy Creem
- Expands access to voting by making voting by mail permanent, implementing same-day voter registration, and increasing accessibility for eligible incarcerated citizens.
- An Act relative to healthy youth (H673, S318) filed by Representatives Jim O’Day and Vanna Howard and Senator Sal DiDomenico
- Requires that any public school which teaches sexual health must be comprehensive, medically accurate, LGBTQ inclusive, and teach consent and healthy relationships.
- An Act providing health education in schools (H567, S284) filed by Representative Marjorie Decker and Senator Harriette Chandler
- Requires that every public school teach comprehensive health education, including sexual health education.
- An Act to lift kids out of deep poverty (H199, S96) filed by Representative Marjorie Decker and Senator Sal DiDomenico
- Sets a floor for cash assistance benefits at 50% of the federal poverty level, improving basic financial security for low income families with children.
- An Act relative to HIV prevention access for young adults (H2349, S1404) filed by Representative Jack Lewis and Senator Julian Cyr
- Allows young people to consent to PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), a safe, daily medication which can prevent contraction of HIV.
- Parentage Act (An act relative to parentage to promote children’s security) (H1714, S1133) filed by Representative Kay Khan and Senator Bruce Tarr
- Updates Massachusetts’ outdated parentage law so that it is clear, equitable, and provides legal protection for all families, including LGBTQ families.
- An Act to promote efficiency in co-parent adoption (H1712, S1013) filed by Representative Kay Khan and Senator Rebecca Rausch
- Streamlines the process for co-parent adoptions for LGBT families when the child is a product of assisted reproduction.
- An Act to Increase Access to Disposable Menstrual Products in Prisons, Homeless Shelters and Public Schools (I AM bill) (H2354, S1445) filed by Representatives Jay Livingstone and Christine Barber and Senator Pat Jehlen
- Provides access to menstrual products in prisons, homeless shelters, and public schools.
- An Act relative to women’s health (S634) filed by Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz
- Improves access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), particularly for people who have just given birth. See our white paper on the importance of access to immediate postpartum LARC here.
- An act relative to telehealth and digital equity for patients (H1101, S678) filed by Representative Tom Golden and Senator Adam Gomez
- Makes pay parity for telehealth services permanent and addresses the digital divide by increasing access to telehealth services for marginalized populations.
- An Act advancing the health of pregnant persons (S1518) filed by Senator Becca Rausch
- Improves access to abortion care in a number of ways and requires insurance to cover postpartum mental health care.