SALEM, MASS. (WHDH) - Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll and members of the Salem City Council announced Thursday plans to install emergency contraception dispensers in the city’s public restrooms to build on the state’s new law protecting providers against prosecution by other states or jurisdictions.

“These measures are intended to ensure all Salem residents, visitors, and those who work in our community are able to access all legally-protected healthcare services to which they are entitled while in the Commonwealth,” said Driscoll, who is also running for Lieutenant Governor. “Right now, these rights are under attack across much of our nation and, as a welcoming, inclusive, and forward-looking city, we have an obligation to stand up to protect these important rights by every means possible.”

This decision comes a few months after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and its constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place for nearly 50 years, which caused outrage across the state and the U.S.

“As more people look to Massachusetts for care, it is critical that we have the strongest possible protections for patients and health care providers so that everyone can access reproductive health care without fear or shame,” said Dr. Jennifer Childs-Roshak, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts.

The machines in Salem will dispense, at cost, over-the-counter emergency contraception, as well as, for free or at cost, other public health items.

“The City of Salem is taking critical action to insulate providers from harmful consequences for providing care that is legal in the Commonwealth, ensuring that our state remains a place people can turn to for compassionate abortion care,” said Rebecca Hart Holder, executive director of Reproductive Equity Now.

“As a community, it is important to reaffirm our support for human rights and health care equality,” said Ward 6 City Councillor Meg Riccardi. “This matter is of grave importance, and we need to treat it as such.”

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