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Lt Governor Daniel McKee admonished for dismissive comments on reproductive rights



The Woman Project is shocked by Lieutenant Governor Daniel McKee’s out of touch statement, which makes us wonder where he has been since January 2017,” said Jocelyn Foye. “Did he miss that a 15-week abortion ban was passed in Mississippi? Did he hear that four pregnant teenagers have been detained by ICE [United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement] and were denied their right to receive abortion health care? Does he know that there is legislation pending in Ohio that could completely ban abortion? I hope Mr McKee will start paying attention. Reproductive health care is under attack, and women and marginalized communities are already feeling the impact.”

Foye’s comments come after McKee made comments on Rhode Island Public Radio’s Political Roundtable program questioning if passing the Reproductive Health Care Act (RHCA) was necessary, whether it would hold up in court, and described the campaign to pass the bill as, “more of a gesture.”

“Passage of the Reproductive Health Care Act (RHCA) is important to women in Rhode Island because they see their reproductive rights being eroded in this state, and across the country,” said Hilary Levey Friedman, President of RI NOW. “Even if passage were ‘only’ a gesture, it would be one that shows women that they control the choices they make about their bodies. We need elected representatives who will not make excuses and instead act to protect all Rhode Islanders. If Lieutenant Governor McKee attends next week’s hearings in the House on the RHCA he will see that women’s voices – especially those within his own Party – cannot simply be dismissed.”

“Our members have selected passage of the Reproductive Health Care Act as one of our top priorities,” said Andy Acciaioli, executive director of Indivisible Rhode Island. “Someone should explain to Lieutenant Governor McKee the difference between a gesture and the preservation of a woman’s right to choose; given the current anti-women’s rights climate in Washington.  If Mr McKee or any other Rhode Island elected official choose to not protect women’s reproductive health care, perhaps others should fill those offices.”

“You can’t have economic justice without reproductive justice,” said Georgia Hollister Isman, state director for Rhode Island Working Families, “Last week we heard very clearly that Dan McKee is not willing to stand up for reproductive justice. Rhode Island women should have leaders who understand how reproductive justice is essential for women and their families to thrive.”

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RIPR Interview:

Transcript of Remarks

SCOTT MACKAY: A lot of women of the Democratic Party  and the Women’s Caucus are pushing to get the Roe v Wade federal abortion standard which of course means pro choice, enshrined in Rhode Island law.

DAN MCKEE: First of all I’m not a constitutional lawyer so I don’t even know if that like, you know is it more of a gesture, as opposed to support, is actually, is it actually going to hold up, I don’t know. I don’t see the Roe Vs Wade going to be reversed…I don’t know if it adds anything any more protection or not quite frankly, Scott.

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