BOSTON, MA –June 26, 2014 –The Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts (WBA) expresses its deep disappointment with the United States Supreme Court’s decision in McCullen v. Coakley, which strikes down portions of the Massachusetts buffer zone statute, G.L. c. 266, §120E1/2, that established a 35-foot fixed buffer zone around driveways and entrances of reproductive healthcare facilities. The WBA along with 31 other organizations, including NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, the National Women’s Law Center and the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, signed on to the National Abortion Federation’s amicus brief that was submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court in November 2013 in support of the buffer zone statute. The amicus brief argued that the statute’s 35-foot buffer zone did not violate the First Amendment, but rather is a necessary element to protect reproductive healthcare providers and their patients.
BOSTON, MA -July 1, 2014 - Following yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby that for-profit employers with religious objections can opt out of providing contraception coverage under the Affordable Care Act, the Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts (WBA) President Kara DelTufo issued the following statement:
“The decision is quite troubling as it appears the majority of the Supreme Court fails to recognize the detrimental effect it will have on a woman's right to important preventative health care. As Justice Ginsburg's dissent - quoting Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey - notes, women's control over their reproductive rights has facilitated their ability to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation. Decisions such as these and the McCullen decision threaten women's equality. The WBA will continue to advocate for women's equal rights as "persons" under the law. It is not lost on us that this decision was rendered by a Court where women do not yet have equal representation. Our resolve to continue our important work of advocating for a judiciary that represents the full and equal participation of women is only strengthened. The Hobby Lobby decision continues to resonate the importance of the WBA's mission to achieve the full and equal participation of women in the profession and in a just society.”
BOSTON, MA – July 7, 2014 – The Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts (WBA) proudly announces its 2014 Lelia J. Robinson Award recipients:
Pamela Berman and Monica Halas
Named after the first woman admitted to the Massachusetts bar, the Lelia J. Robinson Award has been presented by the WBA since 1994 to recognize women who, like Robinson, have captured the spirit of pioneering in the legal profession and have made a difference in the community. This year, the WBA is proud to honor Pamela Berman and Monica Halas with this award: two women who have made and continue to make immeasurable contributions to the legal profession and the greater community. Both women will be honored at the WBA’s Annual Gala on November 18, 2014 at the Boston Marriott Copley Place. The Gala is the WBA’s largest event of the year and is attended by approximately 1,000 attorneys, judges, legislators, and business professionals. “The WBA is delighted to honor Pam Berman and Monica Halas with this award. Both Ms. Berman and Ms. Halas demonstrate the professional excellence and commitment to women’s issues that are the hallmarks of this award. We know our Gala attendees will find these awardees to be inspiring and motivating,” said WBA President Kara DelTufo.
BOSTON, MA – June 13, 2014 - The Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts (WBA) commends Governor Deval Patrick’s nomination of Appeals Court Justice Geraldine Hines to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Justice Hines, if confirmed, would be the first African-American woman to serve on the state’s highest court.
“The WBA applauds the historic nomination of Justice Hines, who has devoted a large part of her accomplished career to advocating for civil rights. Diversity on the bench is essential to helping our judiciary deliver equal justice and to countering perceptions of systemic bias. The WBA has long promoted the benefits of a diverse bench, and we are thrilled that Justice Hines will serve as a role model for more women and persons of color to enter the Judiciary,” stated WBA President Kara DelTufo.
The Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts (WBA) commends both the Senate and the House for their commitment to reducing domestic violence (DV) and has reviewed both bills. The WBA has advocated for many of the provisions included in these bills and asks you to consider our specific requests below.