This post is written by Marty Walz, President of the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts.
Earlier this week, the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund announced its endorsement of Maura Healey for Attorney General. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. A few people have wondered why we endorsed Maura when her opponent, Warren Tolman, is a supporter of women’s health. If you’ve been wondering the same thing, read on for insight into why we are confident Maura Healey is the Attorney General we need in Massachusetts.
Maura Healey has been a leader. Indeed, she has been a champion for women’s access to health care. And she’s been doing it from the very place she seeks to lead.
Back in 2007, I was a State Representative and took a leadership role (with former Representative Carl Sciortino) in passing the state’s buffer zone law. Fast forward to 2014. As the CEO of Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, I’m invested in preserving the law and protecting the safety of our patients and staff. I can attest that Maura Healey’s work from 2007 to 2014 to enforce the buffer zone and preserve women’s access to health care has been unceasing.
For Maura, there was little time to celebrate after Governor Patrick signed the buffer zone law. She ensured the law did the job it was meant to do: protect public safety. That meant partnering with providers like Planned Parenthood, local law enforcement, and District Attorneys to ensure it was properly implemented and enforced. When the buffer zone law was challenged in court, Maura was an instrumental member of the legal team that successfully defended the buffer zone four times in the federal courts.
In addition, as head of the Civil Rights Division within the Attorney General’s office, Maura assigned herself direct responsibility for responding to the concerns and fears of doctors and staff at reproductive health centers who received hate mail, threats, and other forms of harassment.
In her final days at the Attorney General’s office before dedicating herself as a full-time candidate, Maura spearheaded a Supreme Court amicus brief opposing Hobby Lobby’s efforts to undermine contraceptive coverage in health insurance policies.
From her first to last days working in the Attorney General’s office, Maura made women’s health her priority – and she will continue to champion women’s health when elected as Attorney General.
Massachusetts needs an Attorney General who will prioritize women’s health. Massachusetts voters need elected officials they can count on to make Massachusetts a state that leads the nation in protecting and advancing women’s health. Maura’s unique record of leadership and unwavering focus on protecting women’s access to health care are what earned her Planned Parenthood’s endorsement.