Abortion legislation update: Massachusetts abortion protection and Indiana’s near-total abortion ban

by mcardinal

Lauren Moye, FISM News


At the end of July, the Republican governor of Massachusetts signed a sweeping bill into law that protects abortion, reproductive care, and transgender healthcare. Meanwhile, Indiana has become the first state to pass a new abortion ban since June. Both are examples of states regulating abortion now that the Supreme Court of the United States has returned their authority back to them.

When SCOTUS overturned Roe v. Wade in June, abortion advocates were outraged that conservative justices found no national right to abortion in the U.S. Constitution. Nearly two months later pro-abortionists are still portraying the decision as an “extremist decision” and a “direct attack” on women.

“The overturning of Roe v. Wade was a direct attack on a person’s fundamental right to make decisions concerning their own body,” said Amy Rosenthal, the executive director of left-leaning Health Care for All Massachusetts.  Rosenthal then praised state legislators for the “bold step” to legalize abortion and transgender services.

“Like so many others, I was devastated by this extremist Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the rights enshrined in Roe v. Wade,” stated Massachusetts State Senator Karen Spilka, a Democrat.

The bill referenced by both is the sweeping abortion protection bill recently signed into Massachusetts law.

House Bill 5090 codifies abortion as a state constitutional right allowable for any reason up to the 24th week of pregnancy. The state’s taxpayer-funded Medicaid program must also pay for abortions, and allows for emergency contraception to be sold in vending machines.

More controversially, the law will also require state universities to have a medication abortion readiness plan for students. It also simultaneously protects access to gender-affirming healthcare like transitioning medical procedures.

It will also allow abortion past 24 weeks if a physician deems it necessary and prevents other states from prosecuting Massachusetts’ abortion providers.

“Massachusetts remains steadfast in its commitment to protect access to reproductive health care services, especially in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade,” said Baker. The Republican Bay State governor portrayed the bill as a bipartisan compromise.

In reality, his party affiliation makes him an oddity as a politician in power. There are only 30 Republicans in the state’s Senate and House compared to 162 Democrats.

Meanwhile, the new law is exactly what SCOTUS’s recent Dobbs v. Jackson decision allowed for. Far from a direct attack, it simply opened the door for states to create their own laws regarding elective abortions, whether those laws fall on the side of being pro-choice or pro-life.

On Friday, Governor Eric Holcomb of Indiana signed a near-total ban on abortions. The SCOTUS decision means both laws are allowable without federal intervention.

Indiana’s new law will prevent elective abortions outside of certain exceptions. Life of mother, rape, incest, and fatal fetal anomalies are exceptions that will grant abortion up to 22 weeks.

The freedom from federal interference does not stop Democratic leaders from trying to force abortion on conservative voters who disagree with it. Accordingly, the White House slammed Indiana’s new law as a “devastating” and “radical step” from the GOP in a statement released yesterday.

Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre further wrote, “Yesterday’s vote, which institutes a near-total abortion ban in Indiana, should be a signal to Americans across the country to make their voices heard.  Congress should also act immediately to pass a law restoring the protections of Roe – the only way to secure a woman’s right to choose nationally. “

However, for the first time in 50 years, conservative voters have been given a chance to make their voices heard because of the Dobbs decision.

Indiana is the first state to pass new legislation restricting abortion since the release of the Dobbs decision. However, West Virginia nearly became the first before their near-total ban stalled out over the question of prison time for medical providers who break the law.