BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — More than a month after a draft opinion leaked, the Supreme Court of the United States released a decision, authored by Justice Samuel Alito, to overturn Roe v. Wade on Friday, effectively allowing states to ban abortions— but what does that mean for the Bay State?
Massachusetts is one of fourteen states, in addition to the District of Columbia, that has laws in place to protect residents' rights to abortion, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights. The Massachusetts Supreme Court has previously recognized the right to abortion under the state's constitution, and in 2021, Massachusetts passed comprehensive abortion right legislation.
In other words, even with Roe v. Wade overturned, Massachusetts residents will still have access to abortion care.
Primary Massachusetts law dictates that a physician, their assistants, nurses, or midwifes, can perform an abortion in their best judgment if the pregnancy has existed for less than 24 weeks. After that timeframe, state law says no abortion may be conducted unless a licensed physician deems it necessary to preserve the life of the patient or in fatal fetal anomaly scenarios.
Additionally, Governor Charlie Baker signed an executive order on Friday to protect access to reproductive health care services in the state, something that prohibits any Executive Department agencies from assisting another state's investigation into a person or entity receiving or delivering reproductive health services that are legal in the Commonwealth.
The order also protects Massachusetts-based providers from losing their professional licenses or receive discipline based on out of state charges.