Fact Sheet: Equality in Abortion Coverage Act
By Planned Parenthood Votes! Rhode Island | Jan. 17, 2023, 7:32 p.m.
Abortion is still legal in Rhode Island — yet, state laws prohibit 1 in 3 Rhode Islanders from using their health insurance to cover abortion. These bans on insurance coverage impact nearly 80,000 enrolled in Medicaid and 6,500 people on the state employees plan of reproductive age in our state.
The right to abortion is meaningless if you can’t access abortion care. Passing the Equality in Abortion Coverage Act (EACA) will ensure people can make the health care decisions that are best for them without political interference.
WHAT IT DOES
The EACA will expand abortion access in Rhode Island by adding abortion coverage to our state’s Medicaid program and eliminating bans on abortion coverage for state employees and their dependents.
By passing the EACA, Rhode Island will join 16 other states — including neighbors Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maine — that cover abortion their Medicaid programs.
Learn more about state Medicaid coverage for abortion and laws regulating abortion coverage at Guttmacher Institute.
WHY WE NEED IT
Abortion is health care. Medical decisions should be private between a person and their health care provider. No one should be denied coverage for abortion because of who they are, where they work, or how much money they have.
Politicians should not be able to deny coverage for health care services that they object to. The EACA will keep people — not politicians — in charge of decisions that affect their bodies.
Abortion bans, including the ban on insurance coverage, disproportionately harm people who face the greatest barriers to health care due to this country’s legacy of racism and discrimination, including Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities, people with low incomes, people living in rural areas, and LGBTQ+ people, specifically trans and nonbinary people.
We need to trust our family members, our neighbors, and our friends to make the decisions that are best for them about their bodies and their lives.
We are in the majority. According to recent polling conducted by the national firm Impact Research:
Two-thirds of Rhode Island voters support passing the EACA.
72% of voters believe that patients enrolled in Medicaid should have the same coverage for abortion as people with private insurance.
There is broad support for passing EACA across demographics including race, age, and gender.
This is a matter of equity, fairness, and justice. When policymakers deny insurance coverage for abortion, they force people to carry the pregnancy against their will if they cannot afford to pay for care. This shouldn’t be about politics — every person deserves the ability to make personal medical decisions that affect their bodies, their health, and their lives.
Tags: Abortion, legislation, Rhode Island, policy