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Thanks to your support and advocacy, we saw some BIG wins in Rhode Island’s 2021 legislative session! This year, the General Assembly passed important investments in health care access and policies that advance equity in the Ocean State.  

Our wins this session include: 

  • Ensuring Medicaid and private insurance coverage for perinatal doula services – and providing more equitable payment for doulas – to reduce racial disparities associated with birth outcomes in Rhode Island 
  • Permanent regulatory changes protecting and expanding access to telemedicine and telehealth 
  • Policy protecting patients' privacy to help everyone feel safe and confident to use their health insurance 
  • Providing free menstrual products in all Rhode Island public schools, grades 6-12, to help combat period poverty 
  • Removing the gender rating in health insurance that has historically charged women more for their coverage to make health care more accessible and affordable 
  • Fair Pay legislation addressing wage discrimination based on gender and other protected classes while expanding employee protections and employer penalties 
  • Defeating bills meant to stigmatize and penalize patients seeking abortion

That’s not all! Here are some additional achievements from this session, thanks to the work of our coalition and community partners leading the fight for social justice: 

  • Guaranteeing a $15 minimum wage by 2025 
  • Access to gender-neutral bathrooms in public buildings 
  • Banning guns on school grounds and “straw purchases” of firearms 
  • Setting minimum staffing levels at nursing homes 

All of this is thanks to you. You showed up, spoke out, took action, and contacted your legislators – it made a big difference. But the work isn’t over. We know there’s still more to do to keep Rhode Island moving forward. We’ll continue to fight to ensure health care access for all, protect reproductive freedom, and build a more equitable state. 

Tags: legislation, Rhode Island, policy