MA Residents: How did your State Rep vote on the ROE Amendment?
For almost two years now, we have been supporting, and asking you to help advocate for, the ROE Act in MA. We joined a state-wide coalition of organizations and began supporting the act before it was official filed at the beginning of this legislative session in January 2019.
We all, you included, have been contacting committee leaders as it made its way through the legislative process, and our legislators when the time came.
There was a feeling that the make-up of the US Supreme Court with Kavanaugh added, and the assaults coming from red states, put ROE v. Wade at risk. Protection for women’s access need to be established state-by-state. Surely this would be an easy task in We were frustrated as the false rhetoric against the ROE Act in MA, took hold and the bill was stuck in committee.
Then we lost Ruth Bader Ginsburg, leaving the chances that Roe v. Wade would be overturned or dismembered even greater, prompting the leaders of both the MA House and Senate to vow to do something to protect women’s rights to access abortion here in MA.
The result is a budget amendment – the only policy amendment in this year’s budget – that included some of the protections of the ROE Act.
The ROE Act removed judicial bypass for minors who couldn’t ask for permission from parents for an abortion, but the amendment sets the minimum age to obtain abortioncare without a parent or appearance before a judge at 16, and adds the ability for minors under 16 to appear before a judge remotely.
The amendment, like the ROE Act, does add fatal fetal anomalies as another reason for a late pregnancy abortion. As it is now, mothers who are dealing with that tragedy have to fly to another state and pay $20,000, making it an option only for women with means. However the amendment retains language that is not practical but feeds the narrative of the anti-abortion crowd, the requirement that the hospital performing a late pregnancy abortion have life saving equipment in case the infant survives. (The opposition uses the term late-term abortion – a late-term pregnancy is a pregnancy that continues past the due date.)
The amendment does not include the section in the ROE Act that would require public insurance to cover the costs of abortioncare, an important piece that would make abortioncare accessible to women of all incomes.
The amendment is not the ROE Act, but it’s passage in the House last night, by a veto-proof majority, was a step in the right direction. And, in order to get this passed completely, we will be asking you to contact Senators next week!
DID YOUR STATE REP VOTE TO PASS THE AMENDMENT?
The House voted on the amendment Thursday night and it passed by a veto-proof majority.
The changes to the language in the ROE Act that were used in the amendment were made to appease some who said they wouldn’t support the ROE Act because of issues described above. Yet, some of those legislators towed the line set by the Catholic Church leadership in this state, who worked hard to fight against it with lies and misleading language, and the MA GOP, and voted against, regardless of the changes. Some of those who vote against it were Democrats.
If your State Rep voted against the amendment, remember that. Send them a message telling them you know how they voted, how you feel about that and tell them you will remember. If your State Rep voted in favor, send them a message thanking them. Find your State Rep’s contact info here. Here on the Cape, all of our GOP State Rep’s voted against this amendment, gratefully one of those Reps was voted out and a new Rep will support us.
Our two Democratic Reps, Sarah Peake and Dylan Fernadez voted to pass it.
Let’s hope that someday there will be no laws regulating any aspect of women’s health and medical decisions. In the meantime, we must keep fighting and electing legislators who will help us change the laws that are on the books now.
HERE IS THE ROLL CALL VOTE LIST
Republicans are listed after Democrats – so not necessarily in alphabetical order – note the number of Democrats who voted against it:
Contact your state rep to thank them or let them know you know how they voted, and tell them how you feel about that. Find your rep’s contact info here.
Did you know?
(If you see errors or omissions please contact CapeCodWomenforChange@gmail.com)
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