Boston, MA – A proposed bill to eliminate old Massachusetts legislation that criminalizes abortion is now gaining traction since President Donald Trump’s nomination of conservative politician, Brett Kavanaugh, to replace Anthony Kennedy on the US Supreme Court. Much discussion has been sparked about Kavanaugh’s potential leadership, and the possibility of him electing to overturn Roe v. Wade, a famous Supreme Court decision which allowed for the legality of abortion.

Under the 1973 Supreme Court decision, any in-state laws criminalizing abortion are invalidated by the federal legislation; however, if this decision is repealed, abortion may become illegal again in most US states. In an attempt to protect the right to abortion in Massachusetts, the proposed Negating Archaic Statutes Targeting Young (NASTY) Women Act would eliminate any old laws that could change the legality of abortion in MA should Roe v. Wade be overturned.

Ayanna Pressley, a Boston City Council member and firm supporter of the NASTY Women Act, claims that this kind of legal action is imperative:

“The constant attacks on women’s rights to self-determination and access to safe, competent reproductive healthcare — including abortion — know no bounds…another conservative justice to the U.S. Supreme Court threatens the critical federal protections afforded by Roe v. Wade, and makes it incumbent on states to step up and protect the rights of women.”

However, many feel that the pending act is unnecessary due to a 1981 MA Supreme Judicial Court decision, which coincidentally happens to be known as “Moe” (Moe v. Secretary of Administration and Finance). This decision allowed for the right to abortion under Massachusetts constitutional legislature, meaning that the Bay State would still have laws in place legalizing abortion even in the event of a Roe v. Wade repeal. J. David Franks, chairman of the MA Citizens for Life board and critic of the NASTY Women Act, voiced his concerns on the matter, after also referencing the Moe decision:

“Section 2 of the NASTY Women Act simply repeals, without making alternative provision, the holding responsible of those who botch an abortion so as to cause the death of a woman or girl. Could we not all instead agree to save ‘young women’ from being targeted by virtually unregulated abortionists?”

The Massachusetts House will vote on the act before the end of the state legislative period on July 31st.