UPDATE! MA Roe Act: Need your letters of support to protect abortion access!
UPDATE: The committee will take testimony until next Monday, June 24.
PLEASE, USE YOUR VOICE
A hearing on the ROE Act has been scheduled and the Catholic, MA GOP and anti-choice opposition are mobilizing their armies. We need to ACT to protect abortion access in MA. This is what you can do now.
Last week the MA Legislative Joint Committee on Health transferred the ROE Act to the Joint Judiciary Committee which promptly scheduled a hearing. We encourage you to join us at that hearing as the opposition will be there in force and we need people who support this bill to fill the seats. The details about the hearing and how to join us are here.
We also need you to write letters of support for this bill, whether or not you can make it to Boston for the hearing.
Your letters can be submitted to the committee as testimony, this post includes info on how to write a letter and where and how to email it.
Your letters are important, despite the suggestions here, don’t worry about perfection. We must show more numbers, in every way, than the opposition.
About the ROE Act:
The ROE Act, Senate bill S and House bill, removes archaic laws on the books in MA and protects women’s right to access abortion-care in Massachusetts. This is especially important, because if the Supreme Court overturns Roe V Wade, or eliminates any of it’s protections, the archaic laws currently on the books in this state can be enforced and MA women are at risk. MA also enforces restrictions on abortion access in ways that must be changed, the ROE Act addresses those restrictions.
To help with testimony, here are more details about the ROE Act:
- The MA Roe Act, what it is, and why it is so important now
- View/download ROE fact sheet.
- View/ download ROE_Info-graphic.
- Read a post about the Myths vs Facts surrounding abortion access.
- Download the Myth vs. Facts sheet.
What you should say in a letter to the committee and how to send it:
These letters must arrive before the hearing on June 17. Thus, as time is limited, letters should be sent via email, in the body of an email or attached, or both. As an organization, we send our letters copied and pasted in the body of a email and attached. Email addresses are below, formatted so you can easily copy and paste into an email address line.
You can address your letter formally to the chairs individually and “members of the committee”, or you can simply address it to the “Members of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary.”
The letter should begin with “Please submit this letter as written testimony regarding the ROE Act – S1209/ H.3320 for the record of your June 17 hearing.” The email subject line should read “Written testimony for the record for the June 17, hearing on the ROE Act – S1209/ H.3320.”
Try to keep your letters to one page.
The most effective letters of testimony (and letters to your own legislators) include a personal narrative, a short story about you, or someone you know, relevant to the subject matter. In this case, a personal story about abortion access, or your personal feelings about the right to access.
Other key ideas you can include can be taken from the fact sheets and research listed above, you can address the myths and lies being used by the opposition, and/or you can talk about those who are impacted by insurance and other restrictions.
End your letter by asking committee members to vote this favorably out of committee, as soon as possible so that your legislators can vote on it. And, thank the members for their consideration of your testimony.
Be sure to sign your name and include the town you live in to prove you are a resident of MA. Anonymous letters will not be added to the record of testimony.
This is an emotional issue for many of us. It is hard not to simply declare abortion is a decision that should be no one’s business but the person making it. That’s what the Roe v. Wade decision was based on, the right to privacy. We are all feeling this way, but that right is at risk, and our state is among those that adds restrictions that right. The Catholic church has influence in this state and is in opposition, that is difficult for many of us considering their own issues with sexual abuse. The language used by the national GOP has made it’s way to the MA GOP and along with lies and misleading rhetoric from the Catholic Church is being spread throughout their networks. We must prove these patriarchies don’t control the narrative. Sometimes it is difficult, you can be firm, but please be polite in your letters.
If you are not comfortable with a letter and would prefer to make a call, leave a message with the committee office and ask that your message be made part of the testimony for the hearing on The ROE Act, that doesn’t always work. Letters are best.
We would appreciate it if you share your letters with us – blind copy or forward a copy to CapeCodWomenforChange@gmail.com so that we can track how many of our followers are sending letters. We want to be able to say that our followers are actively engaged in this issue.
CONTACT INFO FOR THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY.
To copy and paste into an email:
James.Eldridge@masenate.gov, Sonia.Chang-Diaz@masenate.gov, Claire.Cronin@mahouse.gov, Michael.Day@mahouse.gov, William.Brownsberger@masenate.gov, Cynthia.Creem@masenate.gov, firstname.lastname@example.org, Patrick.OConnor@masenate.gov, Colleen.Garry@mahouse.gov, Jay.Livingstone@mahouse.gov, Carole.Fiola@mahouse.gov, email@example.com, Chris.Hendricks@mahouse.gov, firstname.lastname@example.org, Susannah.Whipps@mahouse.gov, Sheila.Harrington@mahouse.gov, email@example.com,
Copy and paste into BCC or Cc to: (bills’ sponsors will help ensure testimony is added to record) Jay.Livingstone@mahouse.gov, Patricia.Haddad@mahouse.gov, Harriette.Chandler@masenate.gov,
You can also let your State Representative and Senator know you sent a letter. Contact information for all MA State Reps can be found here – All State Senators here – Cape and Islands Legislators are here.
Here is the formal committee list with phone numbers:
(All email addresses firstname.lastname@example.org or mahouse.gov)
Office of the Joint Committee on Judiciary:
Senate Contact: (617) 722-1120
House Contact: (617) 722-2396
- Sen James Eldridge, Chair (D) (617) 722-1120 James.Eldridge@masenate.gov
- Sen Sonia Chang-Diaz, Vice Chair (D) (617) 722-1673 Sonia.Chang-Diaz@masenate.gov
- Rep Claire Cronin, Chair (D) (617) 722-2396 Claire.Cronin@mahouse.gov
- Rep Michael Day, Vice Chair (D) (617) 722-2396 Michael.Day@mahouse.gov
- Sen Will Brownsberger (D) (617) 722-1280 William.Brownsberger@masenate.gov
- Sen Cynthia Creem (D) (617) 722-1639 Cynthia.Creem@masenate.gov
- Sen Eric Lesser (D) (617) 722-1291 email@example.com
- Sen Patrick O’Connor (R) (617) 722-1646 Patrick.OConnor@masenate.gov
- Rep Colleen Garry (D) (617) 722-2380 Colleen.Garry@mahouse.gov
- Rep Jay Livingstone (D) (617) 722-2013 Jay.Livingstone@mahouse.gov
- Rep Carole Fiola (D) (617) 722-2430 Carole.Fiola@mahouse.gov
- Rep John Velis (D) (617) 722-2877 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rep Chris Hendricks (D) (617) 722-2305 Chris.Hendricks@mahouse.gov
- Rep Liz Miranda (D) (617) 722-2430 email@example.com
- Rep Susannah Whipps (U) (617)722-2090 Susannah.Whipps@mahouse.gov
- Rep Sheila Harrington (R) (617) 722-2305 Sheila.Harrington@mahouse.gov
- Rep Alyson Sullivan (R) (617) 722-2014 firstname.lastname@example.org
After you’ve sent your letter, ask people in your community to do the same. Share this post with your email contacts and on social media.
Again, let us know that you sent an email either here in the comments on this post, or send us an email: CapeCodWomenforChange@gmail.com. If you get responses we’d appreciate hearing about that, too.
We will post the results of the committee’s vote when it is recorded or we will let you know if it seems there is no action being taken. And, we will let you know when it is due to be voted on by your own legislators. We will need to contact legislators as well.
Women’s rights are under attack. There is so much at stake – we need the ROE Act to protect women! Thank you for giving your voice to this important issue, it really does make a difference.
If you see errors or omissions in this post please contact CapeCodWomenforChange@gmail.com
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