NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts recently released new research showing that the availability of abortion care in the Commonwealth has declined dramatically since the early part of the decade.
The study found that Massachusetts – like the rest of the nation – has witnessed an overall decrease in the number of health care providers offering abortion services. They are also increasingly concentrated in the Metro-Boston area – leaving women in the Southeast, Central, and Western regions with the least access to these medical services.
Massachusetts prides itself on being a leader in improving access to health care, but we’re heading in the opposite direction when it comes to meeting the needs of women as they make personal, private decisions about their pregnancies. Without providers, the right to choose could become but a hollow promise.
Moreover, while Massachusetts is recognized for its role in training many future physicians, there are gaps in what medical residents learn here. A review of the six ob/gyn and five family practice residency programs found that nearly half (4 family practice, 1 ob/gyn) did not offer training in abortion care. Of the remaining six that do, all but one is located in Boston.
Clearly, even in Massachusetts, women face significant barriers to abortion care. Our elected officials have an opportunity this session to show their support for women’s private medical decisions – and the courageous physicians who care for them – by repealing the last vestiges of our anti-choice history.
NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts is calling on legislators to pass An Act Updating the Public Health Laws. Sponsored by Sen. Chandler and Rep. Story, the bill would revoke three, archaic and unconstitutional statutes that could jeopardize women’s health and well-being if they were ever enforced again, including a pre-Roe v. Wade ban on all abortions and a medically unjustified mandate that pregnancy terminations after twelve weeks take place in a hospital.