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February 6, 2020


Cites commitment to reproductive justice & women’s health

WATERTOWN, MA -- State Senate President Emerita Harriette L. Chandler, a Democrat who represents Worcester, Boylston, Holden, Princeton, West Boylston, Clinton and Northborough, today endorsed Congressman Joe Kennedy III in his bid for the United States Senate.

“I am proud to endorse Joe Kennedy for Senate because he fights for issues that are important to me,” said Senator Chandler. “Since my first day in office, I have worked tirelessly to legislate policies that expand access to reproductive healthcare and improve the healthiness and well-being of new mothers. Fighting for women’s healthcare isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it. Joe Kennedy understands what it takes. He has done more than vote the right way on reproductive and maternal healthcare -- he has championed the issue. I trust Joe to continue the legacy that Massachusetts has set leading the nation on women’s healthcare.”

“Senator Harriette Chandler has been a leading voice for women's reproductive health since her first day in office, and I am honored to have her with me in this race,” said Congressman Joe Kennedy. “As states across the country seek to further restrict a woman’s access to fundamental -- and often lifesaving -- health care, it is vital we continue to set the right example here in Massachusetts. Senator Chandler has made this fight her life’s work and I am proud to have her support.”

Senator Chandler continued: “I also trust Joe because he understands that Massachusetts is a tapestry of communities, each with their own needs and desires, and each integral to one another’s success. He knows that without reliable and accessible regional public transit, our Main Streets cannot succeed. He knows that with rising rents, many people facing poverty, and young-adults, and working families cannot afford to live in Massachusetts. He understands that when we connect our communities and build housing across the Commonwealth, we grow closer together. This is leadership that I believe in, and I am proud to endorse Joe in this race.”

Kennedy is a staunch supporter of reproductive justice and women's health. He has a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice. He was an early federal partner and advocate for the ROE Act and has championed legislation in Congress to repeal the Hyde Amendment, codify Roe vs. Wade into law, and ensure birth control is available over the counter.

He has prioritized maternal health care for women most at risk and most in need. His CHIP Mental Health Parity Act, signed into law last year, ensures that low-income, pregnant women have access to behavioral health treatment. He has pushed legislation to improve access to postpartum care for women on Medicaid. A founding member of the Black Maternal Health Caucus, his efforts to highlight the racial inequities in our healthcare system have garnered national attention.

Senator Chandler is the former Massachusetts Senate President. One of the first bills she championed ensured a minimum-hospital stay post-delivery to ensure the well-being of new mothers. She was the lead sponsor of the NASTY Women Act, which repealed an 173-year-old abortion ban that was still in Massachusetts law, and the ACCESS Bill, which ensures that all women have access to copay-free contraception. She is a lead sponsor of the ROE Act, which would ensure that all people across the Commonwealth can make decisions about pregnancy and abortion directly with their doctors, without impediment from the state.

Posted on February 6, 2020 in Press Releases.