A legislative and potential legal battle is shaping up around abortion, and pro-choice advocates have a fighter on their side in Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.

In an interview on Boston Public Radio Thursday, Healey said she supports the ROE Act, an effort to codify and expand abortion access in the state.

"This is just playing catch up," Healey said, noting that other states like New York and Connecticut already have more progressive laws around abortion access. Multiple state legislatures, like Alabama and Georgia, have recently passed into law policies that limit or restrict abortion, some even in cases of rape or incest.

"What's important here is that people understand what has happened over the last 10 to 15 years with the evisceration of women's access to health care in this country. To me, it's a violation of a woman's right to privacy, and autonomy, and the right she should have to make medical decisions by herself in consultation with a doctor," said Healey. "But it's also about empowerment. What I see in these actions across state legislature after state legislature ... is an effort to keep women down. If you don't have access to this health care, you are less likely to go to school and stay in school, less likely to join the workforce and stay in the workforce. To me, it's as much an issue of economic empowerment. I think it's an affront to women's dignity and the economy."

Six states — Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, Missouri and Alabama — have recentlypassed laws banning abortion. The Missouri law bans abortion after eight weeks of pregnancy, and does not make an exception for rape or incest. Alabama's law carries a penalty of up to 99 years in jail for doctors who defy the ban.

Louisiana is set to approve a law banning the procedure once a heartbeat is detected; it has Democratic support from more than a dozen lawmakers and its governor.

These laws have not yet taken effect, and facechallenges in the legal system under the precedent set by the Supreme Court in its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, allowing abortion as a right of privacy.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker acknowledged recently on Boston Public Radio that "there is a tremendous amount of anxiety" about abortion rights nationwide, and broke with other Republicans by vowing to "do everything I need to do to protect a woman's right to choose here in Massachusetts, period."

The state legislature will soon debate the ROE Act, which would allow abortions later in a pregnancy when "the abortion is necessary to protect the patient's life or physical or mental health, or in cases of lethal fatal anomalies, or where the fetus is incompatible with sustained life outside the uterus," and would also remove the requirement that minors get permission from their parents before getting an abortion.

Maura Healey is the Attorney General for Massachusetts. In a wide-ranging interview with Boston Public Radio as part of the monthly segment "Ask The AG," Healey also discussed her office's investigation into the State Police overtime fraud, her efforts to crack down on e-cigarette retailers' marketing to underage users, and the closure of the Pilgrim Energy plant.