My name is Audrey O’Donnell and I’m here to advocate in favor of the Reproductive Health Care Act. I’m a junior at the MET High School, a peer educator, a youth empowerment organization coordinator, and intern at Planned Parenthood.

You might already begin to see why the Reproductive Health Care Act would be important to me, particularly as a young person who’s going to be affected by whether or not this bill is passed. So, where do we currently stand? We fear that Roe v Wade will be overturned and will interfere with our right to a safe and legal abortion. Roe v Wade has enabled those of whom that need an abortion to access it legally and has historically prevented people from experiencing complications due to unsafe, illegal abortions. Therefore, we need you as members of the General Assembly to be on our side by protecting the right to a safe and legal abortion right here in Rhode Island.

Young people, like me, need to have access to full sexual and reproductive health care services, including contraceptive care, immunizations, STD and STI tests, pregnancy-related services, and more. The challenges threatened by not passing the Reproductive Health Care Act pose various risks. We see these through discrimination or potential future troubles of finding providers who do clinical work around reproductive health. We need these services to benefit our health and our futures. We should all be able to build families when we are ready and plan for the future we dream of.  We need to be able to get the healthcare we need and that includes abortion. It’s time to pass the RHCA.