We Cannot Go Backward on Access to Reproductive Care
As State Auditor, I will be a strong, reliable, and consistent ally to those who are fighting for reproductive rights and those who depend on hard-won access to reproductive care.
Massachusetts must be a leader on reproductive equity. As State Auditor, I can help in two broad ways. First, my office will investigate areas of state government that impact reproductive equity and access. Second, the office comes with a platform as one of just six statewide officials elected statewide to improve state government. I will be a strong, reliable, and consistent ally to those who are fighting for reproductive equity and those who depend on hard-won access to reproductive care.
I was twelve years old when two abortion clinics in my hometown were attacked by an anti-choice terrorist who killed two women and injured five others. One of those clinics was less than a mile from my childhood home. I remember being scared and confused by the attacks, and talking with my parents about the importance of access to reproductive care and the importance of keeping people safe whether they were recipients or providers of reproductive care. In the 22 months prior to the Brookline attacks in December, 1994, there had been three other fatal shootings at clinics around the country. In 1991, more than 200 members of anti-abortion group Operation Rescue were arrested for blockading abortion care providers in Brookline. While arrests are less common, opponents of choice still seek to make abortion care less available and accessible, and I still often see anti-choice protestors in Brookline at the Women’s Health Services clinic I pass by on my way to the grocery store.
Threats to reproductive equity are real, and I admire and respect how groups like Reproductive Equity Now, Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and others have been on the front lines of expanding and securing access to reproductive care services. Continued progress on these issues is necessary for a more just and equitable Commonwealth and society.
We must ensure the full rights guaranteed by the ACCESS Law and ROE Act are available to anyone in Massachusetts, and the Office of the State Auditor can help shine a light on the gaps between those laws and reality. I believe broad and equitable access to affordable contraception is vital to individual autonomy and health equity. That’s why I’m concerned about the failures outlined in the implementation of the ACCESS law which have represented a failure of our Commonwealth to fully bring the benefits of legislation to the public. As Auditor, I pledge to conduct an audit of this implementation and so we can both improve access to contraceptives to those who need them and to prevent such failures in the future.
In addition to leveraging my platform as a statewide elected official and my purview in the Auditor’s office to advance equitable access to the full spectrum of reproductive health care, I will be an advocate for addressing the intersecting oppressions that impact an individual’s ability to live, parent, and/or choose not to parent in a safe and sustainable community. I am viscerally aware of the link between climate harms, maternal and reproductive health outcomes, and the overall health and wellbeing of families, and I believe that solutions for mitigating the harmful impacts of climate change must center environmental justice.
Continued protection and progress is necessary for a more just and equitable Commonwealth. As State Auditor, I will be a strong, reliable, and consistent ally to those who are fighting for reproductive rights and those who depend on hard-won access to reproductive care.