Susan J. Tracy: Support Easthampton city councilors


Published: 7/26/2023 5:56:37 PM

I’m writing to urge the public to support the brave Easthampton city councilors as they work to pass Ordinance 6-23 (again), after Mayor Nicole LaChapelle recklessly vetoed it. First, this ordinance guarantees “safe and fair access to legally protected reproductive and gender-affirming health care services” to the citizens of Easthampton.

Second, it aims to provide honest information about legally protected reproductive and gender-affirming health care services coming from the state attorney general. Most importantly, it protects people seeking or providing reproductive health care from having their information shared by city officials with out-of-state entities who might try to prosecute them.

This very modest ordinance safeguards protections already available from the state of Massachusetts, but was vetoed because the mayor was concerned that outside legal challenges might be costly for the city, even though the city solicitor found the ordinance legally sound. Although the mayor has advocated for protecting reproductive rights in the past, she let down her community by caving in to outside intimidation by anti-abortion and transphobic groups. By doing so, she dishonors her office and fails to protect her community.

So please support the Easthampton city councilors on Aug. 2 at the next City Council meeting as they vote to override the veto and pass this ordinance to protect community members. They deserve our support as they work to protect freedom and safety for their community. We owe them our thanks for their courage and wisdom.

Susan J. Tracy

Amherst

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