Tanisha Sullivan Bringing Abortion-Expansion Agenda To Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth Race

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2022/09/06/tanisha-sullivan-bringing-abortion-expansion-agenda-to-massachusetts-secretary-of-the-commonwealth-race/

What’s the difference between Bill Galvin and Tanisha Sullivan?

On abortion, their approaches vary.

Sullivan, president of the Boston chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, is seeking the Democratic nomination for Secretary of the Commonwealth against Galvin, who has held the office since 1995 and is seeking an unprecedented eighth term.

Sullivan is running on a platform that includes using the office to increase access to abortion in the Commonwealth and decrease organized opposition to it. Meanwhile, Galvin, who has been endorsed by Massachusetts Citizens for Life, does not appear to see abortion as part of his agenda.

Sullivan’s campaign web site lays out many priorities she has when it comes to abortion.

First, she says she would not adhere to public records requests “that could be used to criminalize or punish those who seek abortion services.” By that, she means she would not adhere to state law in instances where pro-life states wanted to gather evidence in cases if one of their states’ residents or doctors illegally received or performed an abortion.

Sullivan also wants to incorporate abortion politics into businesses’ applications for a Certificate of Good Standing.

A certificate of good standing is “a state document that verifies your business was legally formed and has been properly maintained,” as Truic points out.

Here is what her campaign web site says on the matter:


As Secretary, I will require companies applying for a Certificate of Good Standing or to issue a security in Massachusetts to disclose certain information about the reproductive health services it provides its employees and dependents. This would include whether: 1) its health plan covers contraception, abortion services and miscarriage care, 2) provides on-site or subsidized child care provisions, 3) has collaborated with law enforcement to punish anyone seeking or aiding reproductive health services, as well as any other essential information when it comes to deciding whether to start a family. If necessary, I will work with the legislature for additional statutory authority. 

From this information, I will compile a “Reproductive Health Grade” easily accessible on the state website for each company that allows consumers and investors to see for themselves whether companies doing business in Massachusetts are supportive of women and families. 


Sullivan also wants to turn up the heat on crisis pregnancy centers, claiming they “harass pregnant women.” Sullivan’s web site states:


So-called “crisis pregnancy centers” feign to offer legitimate abortion services, but actually gather personal information and then harass pregnant women. Like Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) who has led on this issue at the federal level, I believe these centers deceive women and should be held accountable.

As Secretary, I will work with the Attorney General to ensure the records of crisis pregnancy centers are complete, their advertising is truthful and will seek to add disclaimers where necessary to minimize fraud and deception. 

In addition, I will explore whether the broad authority within the Massachusetts Securities Act — which mandates that “any person who offers or sells a security in the Commonwealth cannot engage in any act, practice, or course of business which operates or would operate as a fraud or deceit upon any person” — can be applied not only to crisis pregnancy centers but any affiliate or funder.


Sullivan says that she wants to enforce already-existing state law so that lobbyists must reveal which bills they are working to support and oppose, including when it comes to abortion.

Here is what her campaign site says:


Today, when lobbyists and businesses register in the Commonwealth, they agree to disclose what legislation they lobbied on and whether they opposed or supported it. But they don’t, because Bill Galvin doesn’t hold them accountable. As a result, powerful institutions often are permitted to simply state they advocate on “issues of interest to the institution.” This has implications for women, as today lobbyists are currently advocating in the legislature against reproductive health care legislation such as the Roe Act and funds in the budget for out of state abortion care.

As Secretary, I will enforce existing lobbying law to ensure timely, accurate and transparent disclosure of what lobbyists and companies are advocating or opposing. This will apply not only to reproductive health but a host of issues before the legislature important to women and families, including voting reform, public records law and economic opportunity.


Sullivan has attacked Galvin on abortion.

“Secretary of State Bill Galvin is a 27-year incumbent and the only anti-abortion constitutional officer in Massachusetts,” Sullivan’s web site says. “I believe that if Republicans can use their elected offices to push a radical agenda on issues like abortion, then the least Democrats can do is use their offices to push back against it. On this issue, as with others, Massachusetts must lead.”

Galvin voted pro-life as a state representative during the early 1980s. But in recent years he has downplayed his past opposition to abortion, without formally switching sides.

Most recently, on August 8, Galvin said:  “I believe ultimately an abortion is a personal decision of the woman. I’ve made that clear, and I’ve conducted my office at that. Any other representation about me or my office is untrue.”

Sullivan’s campaign could not be reached for comment on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or Monday. Nor could Galvin’s. 


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