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PPSNE supports the ‘Equality in Abortion Coverage Act of 2020’ to make sexual and reproductive health care more accessible for all Rhode Islanders

(Providence, RI) – Today, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE), a member of the Rhode Island Coalition for Reproductive Freedom (RICRF), stood with advocates and elected officials to support the Equality in Abortion Coverage Act of 2020. The bill, sponsored by Senator Bridget Valverde (D-35) and Representative Liana Cassar (D-66), eliminates Rhode Island’s unfair, discriminatory laws that prevent state employees and people enrolled in Medicaid from using their health insurance to cover abortion.

Statement from Brittany Fonteno, Chief External Affairs Officer, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England:

The Equality in Abortion Coverage Act of 2020 ends discrimination that exists in our laws today by removing harmful bans that prevent 300,000 Rhode Island state employees and people who are enrolled in Medicaid from using their insurance to cover abortion. Put simply, the right to abortion does not mean much if you don’t have access to affordable sexual and reproductive health care.

“We are grateful for the leadership of Senator Bridget Valverde and Representative Liana Cassar—two powerful voices for reproductive freedom—for working to make sexual and reproductive health care more accessible for all Rhode Islanders. And, we are proud to fight alongside our fellow members of the Rhode Island Coalition for Reproductive Freedom to ensure a more equitable Rhode Island.

“These laws can and must be changed. If we want a health care system—and a political system—that reflects our values of equity and justice, we must put an end to these bans, which enshrine and reinforce our country’s legacy structures of racism and classism. As a result of these systems of oppression, Medicaid coverage of abortion impacts black and brown people and people with low incomes the hardest. This is as much a call for equity in health care as it is for racial and economic justice in our society.

“Rhode Island is moving forward, not backward. Now is the time to repeal these harmful bans and ensure that when we say people have the right to control their lives, their futures, and their bodies, that it truly means everyone—regardless of who you are, where you work, or how much money you make.”