Massachusetts Senate votes to eliminate antiquated laws

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Senate has unanimously approved a bill aimed at eliminating several antiquated state laws still on the books.

Among the laws that would be eliminated by the bill are a ban on unmarried people having access to contraception; a ban on distributing information about how to access contraception or abortions; and a law which would punish pharmacists, doctors and other health care providers for distributing contraception or performing an abortion.

The bill would eliminate a five-year mandatory minimum sentence for “procuring a miscarriage” — aimed at clinicians who provide abortions.

An amendment to the bill would also eliminate a ban on adultery and “fornication.”

Abortion rights groups praised the bill, arguing the laws are outdated and unenforceable.

The bill now heads to the Massachusetts House.

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