Baker pledges to protect a woman’s right to choose

Ellen O'Brien, front, rallies with about 30 other Islanders against restrictive abortion laws at Five Corners. —Brittany Bowker

Just days after a rally was held on Martha’s Vineyard protesting laws across the country banning abortion, Gov. Charlie Baker has said a woman’s right to choose is safe in Massachusetts, according to the State House News Service.

“I certainly will do everything I need to do to protect a woman’s right to choose here in Massachusetts, period,” Baker said during an interview on “Boston Public Radio,” the State House News Service reported.

States across the country, including Alabama and Missouri, have approved antiabortion laws that test Roe v. Wade.

According to the news service, the governor noted that the right to an abortion is protected in Massachusetts by statute and a Supreme Judicial Court ruling affirming it as a constitutional right, and he listed steps he and the legislature have taken to wipe old antiabortion laws off the books and ensure full access to reproductive health.

The ROE Act, which is pending before two legislative committees on Beacon Hill, would legalize abortions after 24 weeks in cases of fatal fetal abnormalities that have been determined by a doctor to make life after birth unsustainable.

Baker has said he doesn’t see a need to change the current abortion laws in Massachusetts, and he repeated that Thursday. “I don’t believe we should be opening wide open the notion that any circumstance or situation beyond 24 weeks when there is viability, which has always been the standard, should be lost,” he said.