For Immediate Release:
September 1, 2021
East Boston, MA — After the Supreme Court and our federal courts last night allowed Senate Bill 8, a new Texas law banning abortion after six weeks, to go into effect, former state senator, clean energy business leader, and current gubernatorial candidate Ben Downing released the following statement:
“Today the The Texas Legislature and our federal court system allowed an extremist, unconstitutional attack on reproductive rights to go into effect,” Downing said. “Not only does this law ban abortions after six weeks, it allows citizens to file civil suits against anyone who helps facilitate the procedure after six weeks, including abortion providers, clergy, healthcare workers, or even rideshare drivers. The lack of action by the Supreme Court and our federal courts to block this law both effectively eliminates the guarantee in Roe v. Wade that a person has a right to an abortion before viability and criminalizes support for those most in need of care across the country. But let’s face it, those that can afford it will find a way to get an abortion, while others will be further pushed into the shadows in the middle of an ongoing global pandemic.
“As our country faces these accelerated attacks on Roe v. Wade, Massachusetts needs a Governor who champions abortion access and views reproductive freedom as intrinsically linked to our fights for economic justice and racial equity. Governor Baker has repeatedly failed to meet that standard. When we in Massachusetts had the opportunity to strengthen reproductive rights in 2020 with the ROE Act, Governor Baker vetoed critical provisions of the bill. When advocates and the legislature passed the ACCESS law to protect affordable birth control, Governor Baker slow-walked implementation so much that today women still can’t access the law’s protections.
“With the Supreme Court prepared to hear a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade this fall, our protections in Massachusetts are all the more critical and the stakes of this battle locally all the more serious. Under a Downing Administration, I will protect against federal-level attacks on abortion access, ensure sound health care access for low-income women, LGBTQ+ and trans youth, and affirm reproductive freedom as integral to our identity as a Commonwealth.”