Every day, the endless news cycle gives us a few more things to be against. It’s exhausting. So let’s talk about what might happen if we did more to support what we’re for.
It’s time to join the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island (WFRI) in supporting the work of the RI Senators Goldin, Sosnowski, Miller, Calkin, and Nesselbush who’ve introduced S:274, Relating to Health & Safety- Reproductive Health Care Act. They’ve given me, and gave all of Rhode Island, something to stand up for.
WFRI’s work focuses on systemic change, and I greatly appreciate that WFRI’s Board of Directors has made reproductive freedom a priority. We need to support organizations such as WFRI who are standing up for us. We grow strong when our demands are clear. In contrast to the crippling weariness of extended outrage, we are energized by standing for the reproductive rights of Rhode Islanders.
If you agree, it means you are for better economic outcomes. As WFRI Director Kelly Nevins shared in testimony with our legislators: “The most recent study, done by the University of CA, indicates that women who carry unwanted pregnancies to term are more likely to live in poverty.”
If you agree, it means you are for healthier outcomes for women, children, and their families.“Unintended and teenage pregnancies are associated with delayed prenatal care, fetal exposures to tobacco and alcohol, and poorer health outcomes for newborns.”
If you agree, it means you agree with the overwhelming majority of Rhode islanders who also support reproductive freedom. Sixty-three percent of Rhode Islanders support keeping abortion legal in all or most cases. (January 2017 PEW Research Center poll)
If you agree, but feel that your voice, your dollar, your phone call for your rights is not important, just take a look at the Rhode Island Fact Sheet posted on the Guttmacher Institute’s website and you’ll understand why Rhode Island is deemed “hostile” by Guttmacher. You’ll understand why the 2016 NARAL Pro-Choice gave RI an “F” for our state laws. You’ll remember that these laws are actually unconstitutional.
RHODE ISLAND RESTRICTIONS ON ABORTION
In Rhode Island, the following restrictions on abortion were in effect as of January 1, 2018:
? Abortion is covered in insurance policies for public employees only in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest.
? The parent of a minor must consent before an abortion is provided.
? Public funding is available for abortion only in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest.
? An abortion may be performed at 24 or more weeks after the woman’s last menstrual period only if the woman’s life is endangered.
Let’s take a page out of the playbook being used by the young people around the country who are leading the charge on March for Our Lives: let’s be clearly for the reproductive rights for women, and let’s be for a better, healthier, stronger Rhode Island.
Cathy Plourde is a writer, publisher, and activist living in Pawtucket
Contents of this blog constitute the opinion of the author, and the author alone; they do not represent the views and opinions of Women's Fund of Rhode Island.