An archaic Massachusetts abortion law has been officially overturned with Gov. Charlie Baker’s signing of the NASTY Women Act.
Baker on Friday signed the act after state legislators and Boston City Council members pushed for the legislation, saying it is necessary to protect abortion rights as Roe v. Wade faces federal threats.
“It’s a good day for Massachusetts,” said Baker, a pro-choice Republican, after signing the new abortion law, per the State House News Service.
How does the NASTY Women Act change Mass. abortion law?
The NASTY Women Act, first passed by the state Senate in January, overturns a 173-year-old law that criminalized abortion in Massachusetts as well as the medical providers who performed it, limited contraception access to married couples and required that all abortions from the thirteenth week of pregnancy onward be performed in a hospital.
Many legislators referred to this abortion law that has been on the books since the 19th century as “archaic,” and the NASTY Women Act itself is an acronym for “an act negating archaic statutes targeting young women” — as well as, of course, a nod to President Donald Trump’s insult toward Hillary Clinton that has turned into a badge-of-honor phrase.
Before the governor’s signing of the NASTY Women Act, the Massachusetts abortion law was unconstitutional under Roe v. Wade, and Massachusetts was one of 10 states with an abortion ban still on the books from the monumental Supreme Court ruling.
In the wake of the president’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, many officials were concerned about how women in Massachusetts would be affected if Roe v. Wade were overturned.
“Forty-five years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that secured the right to abortion. Nearly ten years later, an ACLU of Massachusetts case guaranteed reproductive freedom under our state constitution. Since then, across the country, there have been countless attempts to interfere with women’s personal health care choices, including President Trump’s promise to appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe and his subsequent nomination of Brett Kavanaugh,” Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, said in a statement following Baker’s signing of the act.
“We are deeply grateful to the Massachusetts Legislature for stepping up to block recent threats to reproductive freedom, and we thank Governor Baker for swiftly signing this legislation,” she continued. “By taking action to repeal Massachusetts’ archaic statutes, Massachusetts leaders have committed to safeguarding the right to make the most fundamental decisions about our bodies, our families, and our lives, no matter what happens federally.”