At a time when the country needs to unify more than ever, the US Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the landmark Roe v Wade decision has only divided the country even further.
Protesters supporting women’s reproductive rights immediately took to the streets after the decision was handed down by the country’s consevative leaning highest court.
Local elected officials immediately condemned the Supreme Court’s ruling, which gave federal constitutional protection for women’s reproductive rights for 50 years.
“While protections still exist here in Massachusetts, as an American, I am outraged by the recent rulings of the United States Supreme Court regarding guns and reproductive rights,” said Rep. Adrian Madaro. “Our highest court has decided that weapons are more deserving of rights than women. The Court has stripped away freedoms, rather than protect them. We cannot let this rogue Court that is out of touch with the feelings of most Americans undo decades of progress. The last few days have already seen more than 10 states effectively ban abortion, with others ready to follow suit. In the meantime, my colleagues and I in Massachusetts are exploring all ways to ensure protections exist for residents in the Commonwealth and others who travel here for medical treatment.”
Madaro said this position was affirmed at a rally last Friday in front of the State House.
“We will continue this work in the days and weeks ahead,” he said. “While last week was discouraging, let us use this as motivation to fight for the protections and freedoms we deserve.”
Madaro said those who want to help should consider making a donation to support abortion funds at https://secure.actblue.com/donate/supportabortionfunds.
In response to the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v Wade, Governor 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,” said the Governor. “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,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “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.”
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.
Also 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.
Sen. Lydia Edwards said it is now time to ‘divest’ and ‘boycott’ and called on labor leaders to join the fight for reproductive rights.
“We need to learn from Divestment Movements in South Africa to today’s fossil fuel movement,” said Edwards. “We need to remember the Boycotts of the Civil Rights movement. I don’t want our state or the City of Boston to contract with other states that take away a woman’s right to abortion care.”
Edwards called on labor leaders to get on board.
“Worker’s Rights are Abortion Rights,” she said. “I expect you (union leaders) to make sure all of your union members have access to abortion care where ever they are, this includes health insurance, travel money, or whatever is needed. I’ve fought for Union jobs—it’s time you step up for gender healthcare.”
Edwards added any corporations with headquarters or franchises in anti-abortion states need to make sure labor workers have access to abortion care.
“If you don’t, I will not buy your products,” she said. “We need to support companies that will affirm the right to choose and divest from those that won’t.”
Over at the Quiet Few on Sumner Street in Eastie, owner Josh Weinstein donated 100 percent of proceeds last week from certain menu items to Planned Parenthood or an adjacent abortion fund.
The Quiet Few raised nearly $8,000 to support Women’s Reproductive Rights last week.
“We don’t view this as a political stance, but one of kindness and human nature,” he said. “To the inevitable emailers and phone callers and Yelp reviewers who will undoubtedly chastise us for standing in solidarity with other humans, there is a Chick-Fil-A in Copley Place that also sells a hot chicken sandwich. Today this is a reproductive rights issue, but it also opens the door for more discrimination and oppression down the road.”