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Planned Parenthood Votes! Rhode Island Thanks the General Assembly and Governor Raimondo for Protecting Safe, Legal Abortion in Rhode Island

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

“This is a victory for women's health and reproductive rights. Tonight, Planned Parenthood Votes! Rhode Island (PPV!RI) stands alongside the Rhode Island Coalition for Reproductive Freedom in applauding the Rhode Island General Assembly for passing the Reproductive Privacy Act of 2019 (RPA), a milestone achievement that will enshrine access to safe, legal abortion in Rhode Island state law—46 years after Roe v. Wade guaranteed the fundamental right to abortion in America.

“In a historic evening, the Rhode Island Senate passed the RPA with a vote of 21-17 and the House of Representatives accepted the new version of the bill, which originally passed on March 7th, in a vote of 45-29. Moments after the bill passed the General Assembly, Governor Raimondo—joined by advocates for reproductive freedom—signed the RPA into law.

“We must thank our elected officials, especially Representatives Anastasia P. Williams and Edith Ajello, Senator Gayle Goldin, Senate Judiciary Chair Erin Lynch Prata, and Senate Health and Human Services Chair Joshua Miller, who have long championed reproductive freedom and were instrumental in leading this bill through both houses of the General Assembly. Thank you to Senate President Dominick Ruggiero and House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello who listened to the will of the people and brought this bill to a vote. We thank everyone who voted today to safeguard the right to safe, legal abortion in Rhode Island. And, thank you to Governor Raimondo for supporting reproductive rights by immediately signing the RPA into law.

“With access to health care and reproductive rights under constant attack, tonight we can celebrate Rhode Island’s commitment to advancing reproductive freedom. As states across the country continue to pass extreme, harmful, and unlawful abortion bans with the intent of challenging the protections of Roe v. Wade in front of Trump’s Supreme Court, Rhode Islanders can be assured that the fundamental right to abortion is guaranteed in their state, no matter what happens at the federal level.

“This accomplishment belongs to all of us—our champions in the Senate and the House, our tireless advocates, activists, and coalition partners, and thousands of Rhode Islanders who made phone calls, sent emails, showed up at the State House, voted for candidates who support reproductive rights, and who never gave up. The movement for reproductive freedom is strong and growing.

“While we commend this momentous achievement, our work is not done. We must work to combat racism and systemic inequalities in our health care system and expand access to affordable, accessible health care. We must address the root causes of racial disparities in health outcomes and commit to passing legislation that will help reduce the Black maternal mortality rate. We will work to provide access to doula services and affordable contraception, expand the state’s child care program, and make it easier for families to raise their children in healthy, supportive environments. We will fight to ensure all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, have full equality under the law.

“Today, we celebrate this incredible victory for all Rhode Islanders. This achievement reminds us that we can’t stop speaking out, showing up, and fighting for our rights. On behalf of our 9,000 patients in Rhode Island, our dedicated staff of health care providers, and our thousands of activists, supporters and donors, PPV!RI is proud to fight for every person’s right to access the care they need.”