Yesterday, President Trump and Senate Republicans succeeded in their unprecedented march to confirm a conservative Supreme Court justice just days before a presidential election. Future historians will rightly cite the GOP’s rank hypocrisy and stunning disregard for the democratic process.

But those of us who need to deal with the reality of the present do not have the luxury of time to dwell on how future generations will judge this confirmation. What we must focus on are the days to come — as a 6-3 conservative court puts so many of our rights on the line. In particular, we need to immediately face the reality that the right to safe and legal abortion is in the greatest jeopardy since before Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973.

To push back on this assault on reproductive healthcare, we will need to take immediate action at both the state and federal legislative levels. Working in unison, we can break down many of the barriers to abortion care and work towards equitable access for all.

On the state level, Massachusetts could lead the nation in passing the ROE Act, which will put reproductive healthcare decisions in the hands of patients and their doctors. Specifically, the ROE Act will protect the right to abortion in state law and improve access to safe and legal abortion, no matter a person’s age, income or insurance coverage. It dismantles medically unnecessary barriers to care, regardless of what the U.S. Supreme Court decides.

Massachusetts can lead the way for states nationally by proactively protecting women’s reproductive healthcare and not waiting to react to Supreme Court decisions, whether they chip away at access or overturn Roe in its entirety.

On the federal level — if Democrats maintain control of the House and win the presidency and the Senate majority — we must immediately pass the federal equivalent of the ROE Act. This would encompass a number of bills that have already been filed and that, in their entirety, could serve as a “ROE Bill of Rights.”

This broad legislative package includes the EACH Woman Act, which would ensure coverage for abortion access, regardless of financial circumstances or insurance coverage. It mandates that all federally funded health insurance plans cover abortion procedures. It also prevents local, state and federal abortion restrictions on private insurance companies. Passage of this bill would go hand in hand with repealing the Hyde Amendment once and for all, finally allowing federal funding for abortion.

It also includes passing the Women’s Health Protection Act to establish the rights for medical professionals to provide abortions and for women to receive that care. In addition, it would remove medically unnecessary restrictions that create additional barriers to treatment.

But action can’t stop there. We must work to end needless restrictions that have no basis in real healthcare outcomes but have put abortion services out of reach for millions. We need to bolster family planning in the U.S. and beyond, restore abortion rights for servicewomen and protect young people’s reproductive health.

No longer can we rely on the Supreme Court to protect women’s reproductive rights. Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell want their legacy to be the abolition of the legal right to abortion, and this confirmation is just another step on their chosen path. But Massachusetts — as it has so many times in our history — will take action when our rights are threatened.

Working together, our state and federal legislators can protect the right to safe and legal abortion, thwarting this latest conservative attack on sexual and reproductive healthcare.

Representative Patricia Haddad is Speaker Pro Tempore of the Massachusetts House of Representatives.
Jake Auchincloss is the Democratic nominee for Congress in Massachusetts’ Fourth District.