Politics

‘I certainly support a woman’s right to choose’: Charlie Baker comments on Supreme Court leak

Gov. Charlie Baker said he is glad Massachusetts will be able to keep Roe in place regardless of the decision.

Governor Charlie Baker appeared on WCVB's "On the Record" program Sunday. Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker reiterated his support for the right to abortion Sunday on WCVB‘s “On the Record” in the wake of a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that indicated the highest court in the nation may soon overturn the historic Roe vs. Wade decision.

“I certainly support a woman’s right to choose. I always have, and that’s why I signed legislation on a number of occasions and argued and advocated for resources and funding to make that possible,” Baker said.

Baker said he is “glad Massachusetts is in the position we’re in” now that it appears Roe vs. Wade might be overturned. He said that the state has already overturned many old statutes that people were worried might endanger a woman’s right to choose if Roe was overturned.

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WCVB‘s Janet Wu questioned Baker on his decision not to support a bill that was going through the Massachusetts Legislature a few years ago that would have codified Roe vs. Wade in the state of Massachusetts. That bill was later passed without Baker’s support.

Baker responded by saying that he did not support the bill because it changed the age of consent in the state from 18 to 16, and because he disagreed with the wording in the bill regarding late-term abortions.

“I made very clear during the discussion on the bill you’re talking about that I supported all of the sections in that legislation that would have codified Roe,” he said.

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Baker added that he submitted a different version of the bill that would’ve codified Roe without changing the age of consent and without the language that was written around late-term abortions.

“I don’t support those sections, which is why I didn’t sign the law. I absolutely supported the rest of it, which I’m glad is law here in the Commonwealth,” he said.

When asked about whether he supports legislation passed by the Legislature this week that would protect abortion providers in Massachusetts who serve out-of-state patients and would provide resources to support those patients, Baker said it was “a topic that is worth discussion.”

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“People have started to have preliminary discussions on it, but until we actually know what the federal rules of the game are going to be, it’s basically impossible to know what exactly we should do,” he said.

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