Today is a dark, dark, day for human rights in the United States.  I am outraged by the reversal of Roe v. Wade. It is unconscionable to think that millions of people will lose their bodily autonomy, the right to make their own medical decisions. Last session, I was proud to vote for the passage of the ROE Act to ensure that all women in Massachusetts have access to safe and legal abortion. Now, however, with thirteen “trigger laws” set to go into effect across the nation, we can and must do more to extend these protections.
In preparation for the anticipated Supreme Court action the Massachusetts legislature is proposing in the upcoming budget to dramatically increase the amount of funding for family planning and abortion access services.

We are also reviewing the implications of the recent court decision on Massachusetts' laws and are planning on introducing comprehensive legislation, as may likely be needed, to shore up our statutes and guarantee that women in our state are protected and their rights preserved.

As states take draconian action and outlaw abortions, it is quite likely that Massachusetts will become a "safe haven" for out-of-state women seeking abortions. We must be ready to support and protect these women and their medical providers to ensure the health and safety of all.

Many of us are ready to move beyond outrage and despair and move into meaningful action. There are a variety of ways to do this. While demonstrations and events serve their purpose to bring awareness to the general public and the legislature, we must continue to channel that energy into meaningful action. You can donate to reputable abortion aid organizations, volunteer to be an abortion escort or chaperone, or offer profession-specific aid, like pro bono attorney work (where legal). Some of these options are not without risk, but all are essential to helping women have the final say over their personal medical decisions.
We also cannot discount the importance of spreading accurate information about safe abortions. Almost 20% of child-bearing-age women don’t know that medication abortions exist, let alone how to access them. Part of the insidious nature of these anti-choice campaigns is their cynical efforts to keep women in the dark about the options that already exist. 

Lastly, we know that the Supreme Court won’t stop here. Yesterday's decision on concealed gun carry was similarly devastating and the Massachusetts legislature is planning assertive action in response to that decision. 
In the Roe majority opinion released today, the Court specified that cases using similar legal reasoning will also need to be re-evaluated, specifying the following cases by name: Obergefell (legalizing same-sex marriage), Griswold (enshrining a woman’s right to contraception), and Lawrence (repealing laws against “sodomy” or same-sex relationships). The fall of Roe today marks the possible beginning, not the end, of the Supreme Court’s assault on healthcare and sexuality rights.
We must be ready and we must redouble our efforts to protect everyone's rights.
The photos above and below are from a previous visit with the
Boston Red Cloaks and Jessie Steigerwald, who have been bringing awareness to erosion of women's rights for years. 
Thank you to all in our community who will help us fight for open access to healthcare, when and how women need it.

Representative Michelle Ciccolo | Website