The US Attorney for Massachusetts says the FBI and other federal agencies stand ready to enforce federal laws allowing access to abortion and reproductive care in the Commonwealth.
“We’re going to enforce this (Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act of 1994), which essentially means people block clinic entrances and entrances,” US Attorney Rachael Rollins said in a television appearance Sunday with Jon Keller WBZ.
“If we see riots happening, protests related to these things, the FBI and other federal agencies could be involved,” she said.
Rollins said her office receives frequent updates from the Biden administration and is already reviewing how recent Supreme Court decisions will affect federal employees in the state.
“We receive daily guidance from the United States Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Department of Justice regarding, for example, federal employees if they wish to access health care and reproductive rights themselves,” she said.
Her comments come in response to the Supreme Court’s June decision in Roe v. Wade to overturn the 1973 case that legalized abortion nationally and handed the issue of the legality of the medical procedure back to the states.
Abortion rights in the Bay State are protected under the state constitution, according to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Additionally, these rights were further codified through a recent executive order by Governor Charlie Baker and legislation known as the Roe Act, passed by the legislature in 2021.
The state is expected, and Baker’s order is preparing to become one, to become a sanctuary for women living in states that already outright prohibit abortion or are expected to do so. The executive order prevents state law enforcement agencies from complying with out-of-state requests for reproductive care and protects the records of those, including out-of-state, who receive such care.
Rollins also commented on the court’s decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, in which the court explained a New York state rule that limited who could obtain a concealed carry license to those who are believed to have that they have “reasonable cause,” which is unconstitutional Second Amendment.
This case will have a direct impact on Massachusetts, which Rollins says has been saved from the gun violence that has occurred in states with more relaxed laws.
“We’re lucky in Massachusetts,” she said. “We have really strict gun laws in Massachusetts, just like New York.”
The problem isn’t the Bay State, she said, but the states around us with looser laws making it easier for guns to make it into the Commonwealth.
The problem doesn’t even exist with law-abiding gun owners, who Rollins says already meet a very high legal limit for possession, but with criminals and people with mental health problems.