Rep. Thomas Stanley Acts to Protect Reproductive Rights in Massachusetts
“We clearly need to bolster the Commonwealth’s reproductive freedom infrastructure as we prepare for our providers, clinics, and Funds to face increased demand for care when and if Roe v Wade falls this year,” stated Rep. Stanley.
The Commonwealth’s Roe Act enacted in 2020 will continue to uphold the reproductive rights of all Massachusetts women regardless of actions expected from the Supreme Court this year.
However, barriers to those rights in our state currently remain. High deductible health plans, and related travel, lodging, childcare expenses, and time away from work create cost barriers for women seeking care in the Commonwealth. The financial pressures created by the pandemic have increased the barriers to care for many women statewide.
The Eastern Massachusetts Abortion Fund, the Jane Fund of Central Massachusetts, and the Abortion Rights Fund of Western Massachusetts have been filling systemic gaps in health care coverage by helping pay for reproductive care for decades.
These Funds are a critical source of financial support for Bay Staters. But the increased demand expected resulting from the Supreme court actions will negatively impact the ability of these Funds to continue to serve the needs of all Bay State women who seek their assistance, especially low-income and communities of color that need assistance most.
This is an issue of access, equity and racial justice. The Stanley successful budget amendment allocated $500,000 to these Funds is an immediate and effective way to support an experienced, grassroots network helping women access time-sensitive reproductive health care.
This amendment provides not less than $500,000 for the purpose of improving reproductive health care access, infrastructure, and security, including grants to those Funds that have been critical to providing reproductive health care access to Massachusetts women.
Rep. Stanley is committed to continue support for additional efforts to strengthen reproductive rights of women in the wake of the Supreme Courts suppressive decisions.