Legislators in Massachusetts this week approved a bill providing protections for abortion access and gender-affirmation services following votes by the state House and Senate.
"Access to reproductive health care services and gender-affirming health care services is recognized and declared to be a right secured by the constitution or laws of the Commonwealth," the legislation states, according to The Hill. "Interference with this right, whether or not under the color of law, is against the public policy of the Commonwealth."
The bill will allow vending machines to sell emergency contraceptives, will require that the state's Medicaid program provide coverage for abortion, and increases the availability of medication that will terminate a pregnancy at colleges and universities.
"In the wake of the shocking Supreme Court decision last month to overturn Roe v. Wade, it is imperative for the Commonwealth to ensure that abortion providers are fully protected and patients, whether from Massachusetts or other states, have access to the care they need," state Sen. Jason Lewis tweeted on Wednesday.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, said during a bill-signing ceremony on Tuesday that while he hasn't read the full text of the legislation, he's "hoping that we'll be able to have a ceremony for that one, too."
He went on to say: "We know how important this is not just to people in Massachusetts, but to women around the country. So we'll be pretty aggressive about reviewing it."
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