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NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts Statement in Response to Governor’s Council Hearing on Supreme Judicial Court Nominee Judge Frank Gaziano
Boston, MA – At a confirmation hearing today, Governor’s Council members secured a guarantee from Supreme Judicial Court nominee Judge Frank Gaziano that he would uphold the constitutional right to abortion as a justice on Massachusetts’ highest court. Until today, Gov. Baker has repeatedly refused to disclose the positions on abortion rights of his three nominees to fill Supreme Judicial Court vacancies.
"NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts commends the Governor’s Council, in particular Councilors Michael Albano, Eileen Duff, Robert Jubinville, and Terrence Kennedy, for stepping in to secure the guarantee that Gov. Baker has refused to offer, and that Commonwealth women deserve: namely, that his Supreme Judicial Court nominees will uphold abortion rights,” said Christian Miron, deputy director of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts. "Further, NARAL applauds Judge Gaziano for making a commitment to protect the health and safety of Massachusetts women as a Supreme Judicial Court justice. Now, we call on Gov. Baker to ensure that his remaining nominees will uphold the constitutional right to abortion as well.”
"Without assuring that his Supreme Judicial Court nominees will uphold women’s constitutionally protected right to abortion, Governor Baker is rolling the dice on our constitutional rights,” said Massachusetts Senate Majority Leader Harriette Chandler at a State House press conference this morning. "History has made it abundantly clear that the courts have the power to provide or deny women these rights. We hope that in the confirmation hearings by the Governor’s Council that this important issue for the Commonwealth will be considered for all nominees.”
"It is my hope that, given Governor Baker’s pro-choice views, he would understand that -- even in Massachusetts -- we need to continue to protect reproductive rights that continue to be threatened. It’s more important than ever that we ensure that those rights - which are being chipped away at nationally and at the state level in so many places - would never be allowed to erode here in the Commonwealth,” stated Rep. Marjorie Decker. "Only by nominating strong pro-choice justices can the Governor protect the constitutional rights of the women of Massachusetts.”
Rep. Decker also encourages the Governor’s Council to seek affirmative statements of support for the constitutional right to abortion from Governor Baker’s candidates for the Supreme Judicial Court.
Miron added, "More than 1,000 NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts member activists have contacted Gov. Baker requesting his commitment to select nominees who will uphold the right to choose, and dozens of NARAL member activists attended today’s hearing in person to make clear that we are holding Gov. Baker accountable for his refusal to guarantee basic constitutional rights. With two nominees yet to receive hearings, and two more yet to be selected, we hope that Gov. Baker understands that protecting the constitutional right to abortion in the highest court in the state is absolutely critical to women’s ability to determine their families, their lives and their reproductive freedom.”
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Since 1972, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts has led the way in advancing reproductive freedom for women and families in the Commonwealth. Our mission is to develop and sustain a grassroots constituency that uses the political process to guarantee every woman the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy; bearing healthy children; and choosing safe, legal, accessible abortion. NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts is proud to be the political leader of the pro-choice movement here in the Commonwealth. We are a state affiliate of NARAL Pro-Choice America. Learn more atwww.prochoicemass.org.