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Baker: Providing support for abortion access if Roe is overturned ‘should be a high priority’ in Mass.

As the governor approaches the end of his term, he told WBUR he has some goals still to accomplish and very few plans post-office.

Gov. Charlie Baker speaks to reporters after receiving his second Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster April 28. Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Amid discussions of his coffee tendencies (he likes hot coffee when he wakes up in the morning) and questions about his post office plans (he doesn’t have many yet) on WBUR’s “Radio Boston” Thursday morning, Gov. Charlie Baker called the possibility of a Supreme Court decision overturning abortion protections a “major setback for women.”

“Everybody in Massachusetts should know that in Massachusetts we have court decisions and laws that enshrine a woman’s right to choose, period,” Baker said. “That’s not an issue for people here.”

A new poll from University of Massachusetts-Amherst, conducted immediately after the Supreme Court leak, shows a country divided but still supportive of keeping abortion rights protected. According to WCVB, 50% of the poll’s 1,000 respondents think the Supreme Court should not over turn Roe v. Wade, with 34% saying it should and 16% reporting they are unsure.


When it comes to what Congress should do, 39% said the decision about abortion rights should be left up to the states.

While the legality of abortions in Massachusetts may not be threatened, Baker recognized that if the Supreme Court were to overturn Roe v. Wade, people in many states would no longer have access to legal abortions.

Massachusetts already has broad abortion rights protections in place, and Baker said Thursday he has talked to his legislative colleagues about how the state can support people who wouldn’t be able to access abortion services where they live.

“We need to see a decision before we decide what else we might be able to help with, but I think this is something that should be a high priority for us,” Baker said. 

Beyond his reaction to the Supreme Court leak, Baker also discussed with WBUR his legislative agenda, the MBTA, and what being in office during COVID-19 has been like.

As he approaches the end of his years as governor, Baker said he doesn’t have just one legislative priority, rather a whole host of topics are on his mind.  

Specifically, he spoke about an economic development bill containing resources for all 351 cities and towns in the state. 


“I’m very worried that [if] we don’t get something done on that this spring or this summer and enacted so people have certainty, the supply chain issues and labor issues and all the other things … will push all the projects out for years before they get done,” Baker told “Radio Boston.” 

He also said he would “really like” to see the legislature take action on tax cuts before his term is up. 

“We have an incredible surplus on the tax revenue side and everybody’s dealing with the rising cost of everything — food, rent, gas, just daily life,” Baker said.

The governor said there are many people in Massachusetts who do not make enough money to have to pay federal taxes but still pay state taxes, something he would like to see change.

“I don’t think this is partisan, many of the tax initiatives I have filed were ones that had been filed by Democrats in the House and the Senate,” Baker said. “We certainly have the resources, you could fund the entire tax package that I filed with just the surplus in April tax revenues.” 


With less than a year left in office ahead of him, host Tiziana Dearing asked Baker what he plans to do after January.

The governor’s answer was simple: spend time with his wife.

“I really haven’t left Massachusetts hardly at all since the beginning of the pandemic and I think one of the things we’ll do is try and go visit some friends that we haven’t seen one time and maybe some family, too,” Baker said. 


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