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Massachusetts law about contraception

A compilation of laws, regulations, cases, and web sources on contraception law by the Trial Court Law Libraries.

Table of Contents

Massachusetts laws

St. 2017, c.120 Mandating coverage for birth control added Nov. 20, 2017
MGL c.94C, s.19A Emergency Contraception
MGL c.111, s.70E Mass. patient bill of rights includes the right of victims of sexual assault to be promptly offered emergency contraception.
MGL c.175, s.47W Insurance Coverage for Contraception
MGL c.176A, s.8W Non-profit Hospitals Coverage for Contraception
MGL c.176B, s.4W Medical Service Corporations Coverage for Contraception
MGL c.176G, s.4O HMO Coverage for Contraception
MGL c.272, s.21 Unconstitutional under Eisenstadt v. Baird
MGL c.272, s.21A Unconstitutional under Eisenstadt v. Baird
MGL c.272, s.21B Private Hospitals Not Required to Provide Contraception

Massachusetts regulations

105 CMR 130.1041 through 130.1043 "Emergency contraception" shall mean any drug that is approved by the Federal Food and Drug Administration and that is used as a contraceptive method after sexual intercourse.

Federal regulations

45 CFR 147.132 Religious exemptions in connection with coverage of certain preventive health services.

Selected case law

  • Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., 573 US __, 134 S.Ct. 2751 (2014)
    Under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, closely-held corporations are not required to follow the Affordable Care Act's mandate that insurance cover contraceptives, if to do so would violate their sincere religious beliefs.
  • Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 US 479 (1965)
    Legalized distribution of contraception to married people.
  • Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405 US 438 (1972)
    Expanded Griswold to include unmarried people
  • Massachusetts v. U.S. Dep't of Health and Human Services, U.S. Dist, Mass, Civil Action No. 17-11930-NMG (March 12, 2018)
    U.S. District Court dismissed Massachusetts's challenge to Federal regulations that allow employers to use a "moral exemption" to deny insurance coverage for birth control. In part because Massachusetts has its own law requiring coverage for birth control for certain employers, the court ruled that the "Commonwealth has not established that it is likely that any Massachusetts employers will avail themselves of the ... expanded exemptions." 
  • Tummino v. Hamburg, 936 F.Supp.2d 162 (2013)
    Court ruled that the morning-after pill should be made available "without a prescription and without point-of-sale or age restrictions..."

Web sources

  • Access to Emergency Contraception, Executive Office of Health and Human Services. 
    Topics include: For Acute Care Hospitals with Emergency Departments, Consumer Information, Contact Information
  • Family Planning Program, Mass. Dept. of Public Health
    "The Family Planning Program promotes and provides comprehensive family planning services, which include clinic-based services and may include community education and outreach. These services are targeted to low-income women, men, and adolescents. Family planning services aid individuals and families in making choices regarding the spacing and number of their children. Family planning is an integral component of the Department of Public Health's efforts to prevent unintended pregnancies and STDs including HIV/AIDS, reduce infant mortality and morbidity, and improve the health of women and men of all ages."
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Plan B Information
    On June 6, 2013, the FDA approved sale of Plan B contraception over-the-counter to all women of child-bearing potential.
  • Pharmacy Refusals: State Laws, Regulations and Policies, National Women's Law Center
    Summarizes state laws that permit pharmacists to refuse to fill legal prescriptions (or that require them to do so).

Print sources



Within Massachusetts only

Within Massachusetts only


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Last updated: April 18, 2018