Massachusetts is moving to enact legislation to protect abortion rights in the wake of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, told reporters Monday that he plans to sign a bill passed by the state legislature last week that would repeal several archaic state laws, including a prohibition on abortion, which technically has been criminalized in the state since the mid-19th century.
But abortion is already legal in Massachusetts thanks to Roe v. Wade, which upholds a woman’s right to have an abortion nationwide, and a 1981 Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling that also upheld the right, citing the Roe decision. If Roe were to be overturned or struck down, legal challenges to the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision could default the state’s abortion law to the centuries-old law outlawing the practice in the Bay State.