Planned Parenthood President Dr Leana Wen speaks at the Rhode Island State House

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Dr Leana Wen, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), visited the Rhode Island State House to help local advocates push for the Senate passage of the Reproductive Health Care Act (RHCA) (S0152A), which will codify the protections of Roe v Wade into Rhode Island state law upon passage. The bill was introduced by Rhode Island State Senator Gayle Goldin (Democrat, District 3, Providence) with 16 cosponsors and now awaits a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Leana Wen

“In 2019, already more than 250 bills have been introduced across the country that directly restrict abortion access. With Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, the landscape for women is even more dire. States are a critical backstop to protecting the right to safe, legal abortion,” said Dr Wen. “It’s Rhode Island’s turn to stop politicians from directly interfering with medical practice and endangering women’s lives. We urge the Senate to stand with us and vote to protect women’s health and the health of families and communities.”

“With reproductive freedom under constant attack from the federal government, it is more important now than ever for the Senate Committee on Judiciary to pass the Reproductive Health Care Act and send the bill to the chamber for a full vote,” said Amanda Skinner, President and CEO of Planned Parent of Southern New England (PPSNE). “Rhode Island residents overwhelmingly support access to safe, legal abortion. We need the Senate to listen to their constituents and take action to pass the RHCA now.”

“All individuals have the right to bodily autonomy, and a woman should always have control and say over when and if she wants to have children,” said Senator Melissa Murray (Democrat, District 24, Woonsocket, North Smithfield), cosponsor of the RHCA. “We need to trust women. Trust them to manage their own health, to make their own decisions, to plan their families and their futures, and to do what is best for them in their own circumstances.”

“Abortion, like pap smears and prenatal care, is essential health care,” said Dr Beth Cronin, Vice Chair of the Rhode Island Section of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. “Protecting an individual’s right to end a pregnancy is necessary for the health and well-being of all pregnant individuals. The Reproductive Health Care Act is vital to ensuring everyone has access to the full range of medical treatment options.”

On March 7, advocates celebrated the passage of the Reproductive Privacy Act, (H5125A), sponsored by Representative Anastasia Williams (Democrat, District 9, Providence). The bill passed with a vote of 44-30, including 60 percent of all Democrats and 21 of the 26 women in the House.

“This is our moment to make the change that needs to be made. We are halfway there, and we cannot allow anyone to stop us,” said Representative Williams. “We need to celebrate once we accomplish this in the Senate. We have waited long enough—and we’re ready.”

Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE) is one of the region’s largest providers of family planning and reproductive health care services. Since 1923, PPSNE has evolved into an organization with 17 health centers in Connecticut and Rhode Island, delivering care to 75,000 patients annually. For more than 95 years, PPSNE health centers provided a broad range of services, sexual health education, information and health counseling. Ninety percent of the services provided are preventive. PPSNE is one of the region’s largest providers of family planning and reproductive health care services. Since 1923, PPSNE has evolved into an organization with 17 health centers in Connecticut and Rhode Island, delivering care to 75,000 patients annually. For more than 95 years, PPSNE health centers provided a broad range of services, sexual health education, information and health counseling. Ninety percent of the services provided are preventive.

[From a press release]


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