Around New England

Massachusetts Abortion Advocate Lauds ‘Life-Saving Abortion Care’

August 5, 2022

The state’s new abortion expansion bill protects abortionists and “life-saving abortion care,” an advocate for abortion said Thursday.

Rebecca Hart Holder, executive director of Reproductive Equity Now, formerly known as NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, made the comment during the public portion of a roundtable discussion that included the vice president of the United States, Kamala Harris.

Hart Holder praised Massachusetts House Bill 5090 (“An Act Expanding Protections For Reproductive and Gender-Affirming Care”), which became law Friday, July 29.

“The law includes best-in-the-nation provider protections, and protections for helpers, for those who aid people seeking abortion and gender-affirming care, from harmful out-of-state litigation,” Hart Holder said. “Because we know that we cannot separate the fight for life-saving abortion care and the fight for gender-affirming care.”

Hart Holder’s organization, Reproductive Equity Now, is one of 10 private organizations named in the bill that state officials are supposed to consult before issuing regulations to implement the law.

The abortion-policy roundtable took place Thursday, August 4 at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers hall in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston.

Hart Holder was among seven speakers. She sat on the right of the vice president. On the other side of Harris sat Governor Charlie Baker, the only Republican at the event, who signed the new abortion expansion bill last week.

Baker supports legal and publicly funded abortion, but in December 2020 he vetoed an earlier abortion expansion measure known as the ROE Act bill. Baker expressed opposition to a provision in the bill that lowered the age at which a girl needs the consent of a parent or a judge to get an abortion, from 17 to 15. At the time, Hart Holder called Baker’s attempts to make changes to the bill through amendments “deeply disappointing,” and her organization called Baker’s subsequent veto “callous.”


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