In response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v Wade on Friday (June 24), Gov. Charlie Baker signed an executive order to protect access to reproductive health care services in the Commonwealth.
“I am deeply disappointed in today’s decision by the Supreme Court which will have major consequences for women across the country who live in states with limited access to reproductive health care services. The Commonwealth has long been a leader in protecting a woman’s right to choose and access to reproductive health services, while other states have criminalized or otherwise restricted access,” Baker said. “This executive order will further preserve that right and protect reproductive health care providers who serve out of state residents. In light of the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v Wade, it is especially important to ensure that Massachusetts providers can continue to provide reproductive health care services without concern that the laws of other states may be used to interfere with those services or sanction them for providing services that are lawful in the Commonwealth.”
“We are proud of the Commonwealth’s history of ensuring access to reproductive health care, and will continue to do so, despite today’s ruling from the Supreme Court,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “With these actions, Massachusetts is once again leading the way in protecting a woman’s right to choose.”
Several other states have imposed laws that would criminalize providing abortions and other reproductive health services, and this executive order would protect providers who perform these services for out of state individuals as well as individuals from out of state who seek services that are lawful in Massachusetts.
The order prohibits any Executive Department agencies from assisting another state’s investigation into a person or entity for receiving or delivering reproductive health services that are legal in Massachusetts.
The order also protects Massachusetts providers who deliver reproductive health care services from losing their professional licenses or receiving other professional discipline based on potential out of state charges.
Under the executive order, the Commonwealth will not cooperate with extradition requests from other states pursuing criminal charges against individuals who received, assisted with, or performed reproductive health services that are legal in Massachusetts.