Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed a pro-abortion bill Friday to keep the killing of unborn babies legal in the event that the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
“It’s a good day for Massachusetts,” Baker said, prior to signing the bill, Patch reports.
Surrounded by abortion activists, the pro-abortion Republican celebrated the N.A.S.T.Y. (negating archaic statutes targeting young) Woman Act, which repeals several century-old state laws that ban abortions. The legislature approved the bill last week.
“Today, we formally repeal a number of antiquated laws, some of which could lead to denying young women reproductive health care,” Baker wrote on Twitter afterward. “These laws do not represent Massachusetts’ leadership on these issues or the shared goal of protecting women’s access to health care.”
Pro-abortion lawmakers pointed to President Donald Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, as a reason for their urgency in passing the legislation. If confirmed, Kavanaugh could swing the court to a 5-4 conservative majority and be a deciding opinion on vital issues like abortion restrictions and Roe v. Wade.
House Judiciary Committee Co-chair Rep. Claire Cronin told the State House News Service as much in an interview.
“We have both a president and a vice president who have expressed an intent to overturn Roe v. Wade and we take them at their word,” Cronin said. “We must ensure that if this occurs, in Massachusetts we have taken the necessary steps to protect the right to choice and to protect the right to access to health care and access to the information need to make private medical decisions. These will be upheld.”
Anne Fox of Massachusetts Citizens for Life said abortions would still be legal in Massachusetts post-Roe, even without the legislation.
“They claim, that, if or when Roe v Wade is overturned, those old laws will kick in and abortion will be illegal in Massachusetts. That would be wonderful but it is exactly the opposite of the truth,” Fox wrote on the pro-life organization’s blog.
“The truth is that Massachusetts is one of the 15 states which have abortion enshrined in their state Constitutions. Overturning Roe v. Wade will change nothing in the state,” she continued.
She said Massachusetts cannot pass abortion restrictions unless it amends the state constitution.
In an interview with One News Now, Fox said state lawmakers had political motivations for the legislation.
“Obviously it’s part of their talking points,” Fox said. “They’re all saying the same thing, but it raises money for them – it chins up their supporters, so they do it.”
Boston Magazine, a liberal, pro-abortion news outlet, also highlighted the political motivations of the legislation, writing:
It’s largely symbolic, and designed to make a loud political statement—which it has, as the cleverly named law has attracted plenty of national attention. The state hasn’t enforced its anti-abortion or anti-contraception laws in a very long time, a state Supreme Judicial Court decision in 1981 backed up the right to an abortion, and our deep-blue leadership is unlikely to try to restrict access anytime soon, Roe or no Roe.
Still, good riddance.
Though the situation is discouraging, Fox has not given up hope. She said pro-lifers in the state must double their efforts to restore protections for unborn babies.