In 2019 we are advocating for:

An Act to Increase Access to Disposable Menstrual Products in Prisons, Homeless Shelters and Public Schools: HD2272/SD1381 (I AM. bill)

This bill would provide access to free menstrual products to all menstruating individuals in prisons, homeless shelters and public schools from 6th-12th grade. The bill also contains language to ensure the products are truly accessible without stigmatizing the individual seeking them. Mass NOW co-wrote this bill with Sen. Jehlen and Rep. Livingstone’s offices, and is taking the lead on building an intersectional coalition to advocate for this measure.

An Act to Protect the Civil Rights and Safety of All Massachusetts Residents: HD1500/SD926 (Safe Communities Act)

Bars law enforcement and court personnel from asking people about their status unless required by law. Protects due process by informing people of their right to decline and requiring police to obtain consent before allowing ICE to question someone in local custody. Limits notifications to ICE and bars 287(g) consent agreements which allow state and country personnel from acting as federal immigration agents. The bill also requires training and accountability. Mass NOW is collaborating with the Massachusetts Safe Communities Coalition to promote action days, call in campaigns, and other advocacy to promote this measure.

An Act Relative to the Scheduling of Employees: SD1881 (Fair Scheduling bill)

The bill would require certain employers to provide employees with a good faith estimate of their work schedule, including the expected number of work hours among other things. The bill would also give employees the right to make work schedule requests  and provide employees predictability pay when schedule changes are not done in the prescribed manner. Mass NOW is collaborating with the Fair Scheduling Committee to promote action days, call in campaigns, and other advocacy to promote this measure.

An Act Relative to Healthy Youth: HD827/SD579 (Healthy Youth Act)

This bill would ensure that a comprehensive curriculum is taught in public schools which offer sex education. This would include helping students learn the benefits of delaying sex, how to prevent STIs and pregnancy, creating a culture of consent, recognizing LGBTQ  youth health needs and giving students tools to create healthy relationships. Mass NOW is collaborating with Planned Parenthood of MA and other organizations to promote action days, call in campaigns, and other advocacy to promote this measure.

An Act to Remove Obstacles and Expand Abortion Access: SD109 (ROE Act)

This bill would codify the right to an abortion in state law, remove mandatory parental consent requirements, remove a mandatory 24 hour waiting period for abortion care, and allow abortions after 24 weeks in case of fetal abnormalities. The law would also update inflammatory and inaccurate definitions of abortion and pregnancy in the law, and establish safety net coverage for abortion care for people who do not have insurance. Mass NOW is collaborating with NARAL and other organizations to promote action days, call in campaigns, and other advocacy to promote this measure.

An Act Supporting Parents Running for Public Office: SD304

This bill would allow state and local candidates to use campaign funds for childcare services. Mass NOW is collaborating with childcare advocates as well as bill sponsor Sen. Jehlen to promote action days, call in campaigns, and other advocacy to promote this measure.

An Act Relative to Abuse Practices to Change Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Minors: SD1502

This bill would ban deceptive conversion practices that aim to change a minor’s same-sex attraction or gender identity. It would prohibit licensed medical health and human service professionals from attempting to change a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Mass NOW is collaborating with LGBTQ advoactes and bill sponsor Rep. Khan to promote action days, call in campaigns, and other advocacy to promote this measure.

And Mass NOW has signed on in support of the following legislation:

An Act Relative to Affordable and Accessible High Quality Early Education and Care: HD1879/SD1744

The bill aims to make high quality early education and childcare affordable and accessible to all MA families using a sliding-scale fee structure.

An Act to End Child Marriage: HD583/SD343

This bill would make 18 years old the minimum age to marry in MA.

An Act Relative to Female Genital Mutilation: SD617

This bill would create a program of education, prevention and outreach for communities that commonly practice female genital mutilation, as well as education for health officials and other who may come into contact with victims or potential victims of female genital mutilation. The bill also creates a legal claim for genital mutilation no matter where it occurred, and criminalizes efforts to assist in genital mutilation, including taking a girl outside of the state to undergo the procedure.

MA Healthy Workplace: SD1355

The bill creates a legal claim for bullying targets who can prove they were subjected to malicious health-harming behavior. The bill also creates defenses for employers who act responsibly to prevent such behavior and discourages frivolous claims.

Out of Hospital Birth Access and Safety Act: HD2959/SD1570

This bill would integrate midwifery into the MA maternity care system, giving pregnant individuals equitable access to midwives and out of hospital birth options. It would also require midwives to be licensed, helping to ensure positive health outcomes and cost savings.

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