Massachusetts law about contraception

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

Table of Contents

Massachusetts laws

MGL c.32A, § 28 Insurance coverage for contraception for active or retired state employees

MGL c.94C, § 19A Emergency contraception

MGL c.111, § 70E Mass. patient bill of rights includes the right of victims of sexual assault to be promptly offered emergency contraception.

MGL c.118E, § 10K Insurance coverage for contraception under Medicaid

MGL c.175, § 47W Insurance coverage for contraception under individual or group insurance

MGL c.176A, § 8W Non-profit hospitals coverage for contraception

MGL c.176B, § 4W Medical service corporations coverage for contraception

MGL c.176G, § 4O HMO coverage for contraception

MGL c.272, § 21A Furnishing drugs, articles or information for prevention of pregnancy or conception

MGL c.272, § 21B Private hospitals not required to provide contraception

Massachusetts regulations

105 CMR 130.1041 - 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

45 CFR Part 88 Protecting statutory conscience rights in health care, effective July 22, 2019
Allows health workers to refuse to perform or assist medical procedures,  like abortion, sterilization, or assisted suicide, if it violates their “conscience” or religion. It applies to health care institutions receiving federal funding.

Selected case law

Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., 573 US 682, 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, 301 F.Supp.3d 248 (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

Emergency contraception services, Executive Office of Health and Human Services. 
Topics include: For Acute Care Hospitals with Emergency Departments, Consumer Information, Contact Information

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.

HelpSteps.com, Mass. 2-1-1 service.
"HelpSteps connects individuals to local health and human resources... The assessment and referral tools are available at no cost to anyone with access to the internet or a smart phone." Click on Sexual Health & Testing for information about emergency contraceptives in Massachusetts.

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).

Sexual and reproductive health program (SRHP), Mass. Dept. of Public Health
“The MDPH Sexual and Reproductive Health Program aims to reduce unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection rates by continually improving access to high quality education, outreach and clinical services through a statewide provider network and related special projects. Learn how to improve individual and community health…”

Print sources

Labor and employment in Massachusetts, by Jeffrey Hirsch. Lexis Law Publishing, loose-leaf. Sec.4-4 Types of Discrimination and Related Topics: ACA contraceptive mandate and exceptions; Sec.15-9 Discrimination, maternity leave, and prescription contraceptives.

Massachusetts practice series, Vol. 2 (Family law and practice) 2013 with supplement, chapter 27.

Contact

Phone

Within Massachusetts only

Within Massachusetts only

Online

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Address

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Boston, MA 02108
Last updated: July 2, 2019
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