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In a time when states across the country are restricting access to essential care, Rhode Island is taking a stand against the intrusion of politics into personal health care decisions. Spearheaded by Senate Judiciary Chair Dawn Euer and Representative John G. “Jay” Edwards, the Health Care Provider Shield Bill (S2262/H7577) is a crucial step in safeguarding Rhode Island's health care system, protecting health care providers, and ensuring access to essential care for all.

Across more than 20 states, individuals are facing limitations on their right to make critical medical decisions for themselves and their families. Restrictive laws have been enacted that ban essential care for transgender individuals and place medically unnecessary barriers on abortion care. These laws not only exert control over people's lives but also impose civil and criminal penalties on health care providers for practicing medicine in accordance with professional standards of care. The Health Care Provider Shield Bill aims to clarify that access to reproductive health care and essential care for transgender individuals are legal rights within our state.

The Health Care Provider Shield Bill will:

  • Protect health care providers in Rhode Island who offer reproductive and gender-affirming care consistent with professional standards, including care provided via telehealth.
  • Protect Rhode Island health care providers from abusive, civil, or criminal litigation originating from other states.
  • Ensure protected health care information is not shared with law enforcement agencies in states where such care is banned.
  • Protect health care providers from unfair penalties by health care institutions or insurance carriers for providing legally protected care consistent with professional standards.
  •  Protect health care providers' personal contact information and shield them from surveillance that could negatively impact their ability to provide legally protected care.
  • Bar Rhode Island's resources from being used to support hostile litigation from states where essential health care is banned.

The Health Care Provider Shield Bill is a testament to Rhode Island's commitment to individual freedom, inclusivity, and the protection of health care rights, including reproductive and transgender health care. By championing this legislation,we are taking a proactive approach to ensure that  Rhode Island remains a desirable place to practice medicine and joining eleven other states including Massachusetts and Connecticut who have passed similar health care provider shield laws. For those looking to get involved and support this important initiative, contact [email protected].

Tags: Rhode Island, Abortion Access, legislative priorities

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