Massachusetts became the eighth state to allow pharmacists to dispense the emergency contraception pill without a doctor's prescription when lawmakers easily overrode Governor Mitt Romney's veto yesterday. But the state's Department of Public Health, which is overseen by Romney, must write regulations to implement it. Sally Fogerty, the associate commissioner of the state agency, could not immediately offer a timetable for the new rules.
[ ... ]
In addition to allowing trained Massachusetts pharmacists to dispense the morning-after pill, the new law requires hospitals to offer it to rape victims. Most of the state's hospitals, 59 out of 71, according to a 2004 poll by abortion rights groups, already offer the pill to rape victims.
The Senate voted, 37 to 0, to reject Romney's veto, and the House followed suit with a 139-to-16 tally. Supporters needed a two-thirds majority in each chamber to overrule the governor.
I particularly like this quote from my state Senator:
"Not only was his veto irresponsible, his argument was based on weak and misguided information," said Senator Pamela P. Resor, an Acton Democrat.
Unfortunately, we don't yet know when this will be implemented. Romney could try and score some more points with the anti-abortion folks by stalling on getting rules written. Still, I happen to believe that the best way to reduce the number of abortions is to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies, and making this sort of emergency contraception more widely available is a rather effective way of doing just that.