‘Reproductive Justice Unit’ Coming To Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2023/01/19/reproductive-justice-unit-coming-to-massachusetts-attorney-generals-office/

The new Massachusetts attorney general plans to form a Reproductive Justice Unit “to protect and expand the right to access safe and legal abortion and reproductive care throughout the state,” her office said.

Andrea Campbell, 40, a Democrat, took office as attorney general on Wednesday, January 17. She was elected in November 2022.

In a 3,004-word inaugural address at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in South Boston, abortion got a only short mention toward the end:  “And in Massachusetts, we will always stand up for reproductive and abortion rights and protect the right for each and every person to decide whether, when, and how to have and parent a child,” Campbell said, according to the text of the speech posted on the attorney general’s web site.

But a press release issued by her office mentions a Reproductive Justice Unit as among her priorities.

The written statement does not provide further details.

Campbell, who lives in the Mattapan section of Boston, served on the Boston City Council from January 2016 until January 2022.

She ran for mayor of Boston in 2021, but finished third in the preliminary election in September of that year, failing to qualify for the two-candidate general election in November.

She won the Democratic nomination for state attorney general in September 2022. In November 2022, she won the general election over the Republican nominee, Jay McMahon, 63 to 37 percent.

As a city councilor in September 2021, Campbell voted for an ordinance that provided up to 12 weeks of paid abortion leave to city employees in Boston.

In October 2022, while she was campaigning for state attorney general, an interviewer asked Campbell if there should be any “reasonable limits” on abortion. She didn’t name any.

“I am 100 percent for a woman’s right to choose,” Campbell said. “I have been stressing on the campaign trail why people should care about the attorney general race, and this is one very reason. The fact that the Supreme Court could take away a Constitutional protection, that means other civil rights that we probably take for granted are under threat.”

Campbell is now the 45th attorney general of Massachusetts since independence.

Her immediate predecessor is Maura Healey, who served as attorney general from January 2015 through early January 2023. Healey took office as governor on Thursday, January 5.

The Massachusetts Constitution provides that the governor takes office on the first Thursday in January, but the state attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer, and auditor take office on the third Wednesday in January.

For each, the term is four years.


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