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Seeking Women’s Health Justice: Reproductive Rights

Wed June 21, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EDT

Since the fall of Roe last June in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health U.S. Supreme Court decision, every week brings new court rulings and more bad news in the abortion rights space. Fortunately, abortion providers and pro-choice lawmakers in Massachusetts and throughout the country are fighting back. Join us for a webinar to update you on the latest news out of U.S. courts, as well as state and national public policy responses.

Planned Parenthood Federation President and CEO Alexis McGill Johnson pleads with the nation to reverse this erosion of reproductive rights. In the days since the Supreme Court made the cruel and heartbreaking decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, I’ve traveled across the country to some states where people have been most impacted by the decision. On every trip, I’ve heard the stories of people feeling the insurmountable weight of losing access to a right with each passing day. Providers — whose sole priority should be delivering health care to those who need it — have to consider new constraints including weighing the very real risk of criminalization.

The new Reproductive Rights Task Force announcement from the Justice Department is a meaningful step in providing a framework for enforcing federal protection for those helping patients navigate access to abortion, and we look forward to seeing its work quickly take shape. Planned Parenthood Federation of America encourages leaders at all levels of government to continue to consider the ways they can mitigate the fallout of the court’s decision.


Cindy F. Friedman was first elected to the Massachusetts Senate in 2017 and represents the Fourth Middlesex District, which includes Arlington, Billerica, Burlington, Woburn, and precincts 1-2 and 4-7 of Lexington. 

Cindy’s legislative agenda is informed by her decades of public activism, dating back to when she first marched for women’s rights in the 1970s. Since then, Cindy has been a proud and vocal supporter of efforts in the Senate to protect and expand access to commonsense reproductive healthcare in Massachusetts. In 2020, Cindy joined her colleagues in overriding former Governor Baker’s veto and enacting the “ROE Act,” which codifies the right to abortion care in state law. In 2022, in direct response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to ignore 50 years of judicial precedent and overturn Roe v. Wade, Cindy collaborated with legislative colleagues, healthcare providers, and patients to spearhead the passage of comprehensive legislation designed to further protect and improve reproductive health care and gender-affirming services in the Commonwealth. Notably, this new law requires carriers to provide health insurance coverage for abortion and abortion-related care without cost-sharing, directs public higher education institutions to create a medication abortion readiness plan for its students, and protects providers and patients from other states’ extraterritorial laws that seek to limit legal healthcare activities in Massachusetts.

Cindy’s legislative priorities are also reflected in the committee, caucus, and working group memberships she has held since her election to the Senate. Cindy currently serves as the Chairperson of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing and the Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, is co-chair of the Senate Working Group tasked with identifying and prioritizing policy issues in the reproductive and gender-informed healthcare space, and was Senate Chair of the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators between 2019-2020. 

Cindy holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Roger Williams University and a master’s degree in special education from Lesley University.


MaryRose Mazzola is an attorney and the inaugural Director of Planned Parenthood Massachusetts’ ASPIRE Center for Sexual and Reproductive Health, which oversees Planned Parenthood’s nationally recognized research, clinical training, and professional education programs. MaryRose also serves as an Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, where she teaches speechwriting, and as an Adjunct Professor in the Merrimack College Women’s and Gender Studies Department, where she develops and teaches the department’s legal courses.

MaryRose has held many leadership positions on political campaigns and in state and local government. Most recently, she served as Senior Advisor to Mayor Michelle Wu’s campaign, Chief of Staff to Massachusetts State Senator Barry Finegold, and as the Executive Director of the Boston Women’s Workforce Council, the City of Boston’s public-private initiative dedicated to closing gender and racial wage gaps. She holds a Master in Public Policy degree from the Harvard Kennedy School, a law degree from Northeastern University School of Law, and a Bachelor’s degree in political science from the Merrimack College Honors Program.



Wed June 21, 2023
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EDT
Event Category:


Massachusetts Peace Action
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