BOSTON – Last week, Representative Jennifer Benson (D-Lunenburg) voted to repeal archaic, unconstitutional laws that impose criminal penalties for abortion and contraception in Massachusetts. With reproductive rights being threatened at the federal level, Massachusetts took decisive action to protect the reproductive rights of women across the Commonwealth.
“It’s critical that we protect the rights of Massachusetts women so they may continue to make their own choices regarding their health,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, (D -Winthrop). “This action takes outdated and misguided laws off the books and makes clear where the Commonwealth stands on reproductive and women’s rights.”
“Congress and the current presidential administration have signaled that they will continue to try to chip away at a woman’s right to choose,” said Representative Benson. “In repealing these archaic laws that criminalized abortion and contraception, we have committed to remaining a state where women have control over their own bodies and reproductive rights.”
Five of the Massachusetts laws the bill repealed were previously deemed unconstitutional under several U.S. Supreme Court rulings including Eisenstadt v. Baird (1972), Roe v. Wade (1973), and Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health (1983). The legislation also repeals the requirement that a person be married in order to receive contraceptives.
The bill, also passed by the Senate, now goes to the Governor for his consideration.