Sarah T. McArdle: Easthampton City Council should override mayoral veto

Published: 07-18-2023 8:21 PM

As bans on transgender care and abortion rights grow in numerous states, families and individuals are moving to Massachusetts for available medical treatment and legal protection of their privacy. Congratulations to the Easthampton City Council for passing a bill to guarantee protection of a person’s private medical records for treatment in Massachusetts. It will provide “safe and fair access to legally protect reproductive and gender affirming healthcare services.” In other words, the Easthampton City Council has voted to prevent release of medical records to out-of-state authorities. Gov. Maura Healey’s administration has invested a million dollars in transparency and access to reproductive healthcare information and this furthers that initiative for personal freedom and protection.

Easthampton Mayor Nicole LaChapelle vetoed the ordinance, citing legal concerns that were addressed by the city solicitor and health care attorneys as being inapplicable. This ordinance will provide safe and fair access to treatment and privacy of health care records. Towns across the state are being urged to pass similar ordinances by Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll, as part of a statewide response from the governor’s office. I urge the Easthampton City Council to override La Chapelle’s veto, recognizing Easthampton as a community committed to individual rights and the protection and privacy of individual medical decisions!

Sarah T. McArdle

Easthampton

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