Statement by Amanda Skinner, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Votes! Rhode Island:
“I am elated to announce that last night we made history in Rhode Island. After more than 25 years of unwavering effort, we passed the Reproductive Privacy Act of 2019 (RPA), legislation that protects access to safe, legal abortion in Rhode Island no matter what happens at the federal level. In a momentous evening, the bill passed in both chambers of the General Assembly and was immediately signed into law by Governor Raimondo.
“When I say ‘we’ made history, I mean the thousands of activists, organizers, and supporters who have worked tirelessly—some for decades—alongside our dedicated coalition partners and tenacious legislators. This moment was made possible thanks to their determination.
“We must thank countless courageous and committed legislators, especially Representative Anastasia P. Williams, the sponsor of the RPA in the house, Senator Gayle Goldin, the initial sponsor in the Senate, and Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Erin Lynch Prata who worked incredibly hard to get this bill across the finish line. A special note of thanks goes to Representative Edith Ajello, who has been a stalwart reproductive rights champion for decades.
“Thank you to Governor Gina Raimondo who signed the bill immediately into law after it passed the General Assembly. Now, access to safe, legal abortion is finally codified in Rhode Island state law. The essential protections instilled by the RPA will ensure all Rhode Islanders—and especially people of color, people with low incomes, members of the LBGTQ+ community, and anyone who struggles with barriers to health care—can access the reproductive health care services they need. Abortion is health care, reproductive care is health care, and health care is a human right.
“There will always be so much more work to do to fully realize our vision of a world where sexual and reproductive rights are basic human rights, where access to health care doesn’t depend on who you are or where you live, and where every person has the opportunity to choose their own path to a healthy and meaningful life. This is a moment to celebrate a hard-fought victory!”