(Providence, R.I.) –Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE) welcomed Jamie Rhodes as its Rhode Island Public Policy & Government Relations Director on August 4, 2014.
As Director of Rhode Island Public Policy & Government Relations, Rhodes is the primary lobbyist for PPSNE at the State House and leads the RI Coalition for Reproductive Justice. Rhodes also represents Planned Parenthood on the coalition, Citizens for a Responsible Government, which is currently focused on defeating the ballot question to call a Constitutional Convention in Rhode Island.
Rhodes comes to PPSNE from the Rhode Island office of the national organization Clean Water Action where he served as state director. Additionally, Rhodes led the group’s field canvass program from 2007 – 2009. Rhodes is a 2012 graduate of Roger Williams University School of Law in Bristol, R.I. and has been active in progressive politics since coming to Rhode Island in 2007.
“We are excited to welcome Jamie to the team. He is joining us at critical yet exciting time,” said Susan Yolen Vice President of Public Policy and Advocacy of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. “Planned Parenthood is extremely well-liked in Rhode Island with a majority of voters having a favorable opinion of PPSNE. Planned Parenthood is viewed favorably across demographic subgroups and party.”
A poll conducted by PPSNE revealed an overwhelming 93 percent of Rhode Island voters say it is important for women in Rhode Island to have access to all of the reproductive health care options available to them. A full 85 percent express support for all available options, including abortion. This belief is equally true among women and men. The poll data highlights a deep divide between what voters believe and the agenda at the State House which at times is damaging to women’s health care.
“Rhode Islanders clearly support women’s access to comprehensive reproductive health services. However, constituents are unaware of the positions of their legislators regarding women’s health. The legislature should be clear and speak in favor of these issues which are important to their constituency,” Rhodes said. “Planned Parenthood of Southern New England has an extremely pro-active policy agenda, and as a life-long Planned Parenthood supporter, I am thrilled to represent the organization in Rhode Island.”
As Rhodes embarks on his new career at Planned Parenthood, PPSNE expects to continue its support of efforts such as the expansion of family planning services and eliminating gender discrimination by health insurers that charge women higher premiums than men for identical coverage.
Planned Parenthood is a trusted, local resource for convenient and confidential services for women, men and young people. Services include STD/STI testing, HIV testing and counseling, all FDA-approved birth control methods, pregnancy testing and counseling, emergency contraception and more. PPSNE has a sliding fee scale based on one’s income and participates in many insurance plans.
For more information, call (401) 421-7820 or visit ppsne.org.
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 18 health centers in Connecticut and Rhode Island, delivering care to over 70,000 patients annually, and 90 percent of the services provided are preventive.