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PPV!RI thanks Senate HHS Committee Chair Joshua Miller other Senators for Voting Yes

Statement by Amanda Skinner, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Votes! Rhode Island:

(Providence, RI) — “Today was a historic step forward for reproductive freedom in Rhode Island. Planned Parenthood Votes! Rhode Island (PPV!RI) stands with our partners in the Rhode Island Coalition for Reproductive Freedom in thanking Chair Joshua Miller and Senators Gayle Goldin, James Sheehan, Elizabeth Crowley, Valerie Lawson, Donna Nesselbush, Adam Satchell and Bridget Valverde of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services for passing the Reproductive Privacy Act of 2019 (H 5125 Sub B) and sending the bill to the Senate floor. We thank Chair Erin Lynch Prata and her Senate Judiciary Committee colleagues for their hard work in crafting this new version of the legislation. We also thank Senate President Ruggerio and his leadership team for listening to the public and ensuring the bill goes before the full Senate. And, we thank Senator Gayle Goldin for her years of leadership in protecting reproductive freedom in Rhode Island. Now, we call on the full Senate to act quickly to pass the Reproductive Privacy Act of 2019 (RPA) without delay.

“Passing the Reproductive Privacy Act of 2019 will guarantee the right to safe and legal abortion in Rhode Island no matter what happens at the federal level. 

“As the vile, misogynistic attacks on reproductive rights escalate across the nation, Rhode Island is poised to set an example by protecting an individual’s right to control their own body and their own future. President Trump has doubled-down on his attacks on women’s health care, using blatant lies to manipulate people’s emotions, and many states have passed laws aimed at eliminating access to abortion. In the last few weeks, states like Georgia, Missouri, and Louisiana have enacted extreme abortion bans as part of a coordinated effort to challenge the protections of Roe v. Wade—and four decades of legal precedents protecting the fundamental right to abortion—in front of Trump’s Supreme Court. Their intention to overturn Roe is clear.

“In this environment, it is more important than ever to enact state policies that protect safe, legal abortion. That is why Planned Parenthood stands behind the RPA and calls for a vote by the full Senate, and swift action by the House of Representatives, to bring this critical legislation to the desk of Governor Raimondo.

“There is a clear mandate to protect access to abortion. A new NPR/PBS/NewsHour/Marist poll saw an increase in those who self-identify as “pro-choice” and found that 77% of Americans want to see Roe v. Wade upheld. In the 2018 elections, Rhode Island elected the most Planned Parenthood-endorsed candidates in history, including 12 new voices for reproductive freedom. All five statewide General Officers support passing a law to put the protection of Roe v. Wade into Rhode Island statute, and we thank Governor Raimondo for calling on the Assembly to act this year in her 2019 State of the State address. There are now more than enough votes in the General Assembly to pass the RPA.

“Abortion is health care, reproductive care is health care, and health care is a human right. With reproductive rights under constant attack in America, we can’t wait—now is the time for our elected officials in Rhode Island to act by moving this legislation forward. PPV!RI won’t stop fighting until we finally safeguard access to safe, legal abortion in Rhode Island state law.”