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PPV!RI thanks Chairwoman Anastasia Williams and all those who supported passage for standing up for our patients

Statement by Amanda Skinner, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Voties! Rhode Island and President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England

(Providence, RI)—“Planned Parenthood Votes! Rhode Island stands with our partners in the Rhode Island Coalition for Reproductive Freedom in celebrating passage of the Reproductive Privacy Act (RPA). Tonight, the Rhode Island House of Representatives made history. Under the leadership of Chairwoman Williams, we are one step closer to protecting access to safe, legal abortion in our state. We call on the Rhode Island Senate to join their colleagues in the House and bring this legislation to a vote.

“The Reproductive Privacy Act of 2019 will guarantee the right to safe and legal abortion in Rhode Island law no matter what happens at the federal level. 

“Reproductive freedom is under attack like never before. Right now, there are at least 15 abortion cases just one step away from the Supreme Court. At the same time, the Trump-Pence administration is radically re-making the judicial branch. Courts are no longer a reliable backstop to anti-abortion politicians pushing unconstitutional policies — and we don’t expect the attacks to stop.

“In this environment, it is more important than ever to enact state policies that protect safe, legal abortion. The House has listened to the 71% of Rhode Island residents who support protecting safe, legal abortion in Rhode Island. We thank Speaker Nicholas Mattiello for respecting the will of the overwhelming majority of Rhode Island residents by bringing this legislation to the floor for a robust public debate and vote in best traditions of our democracy.

“We thank the record 38 Representatives who put their names on legislation to preserve reproductive freedom in Rhode Island, including both the Reproductive Privacy Act and the Reproductive Health Care Act. We recognize the long leadership of Representative Edith Ajello and the steadfast commitment of so many allies of reproductive freedom.

“Tonight’s 44-30 vote included 60 percent of all the Democrats in the chamber, 21 of the 26 women in the House, and had the support of Republican Jack Lyle.

“Planned Parenthood has been here for over 100 years, fighting to protect access to reproductive health care and providing health care. Let’s be clear: reproductive health care is health care and abortion is health care. 

On behalf of our 9,000 Rhode Island patients, our dedicated staff of care givers, and our thousands of activists, supporters and donors, we applaud the House and call on the Senate leadership to hold a vote on this critical legislation in 2019.”