PLAN TO JOIN US ON SUPREME COURT DECISION DAY AT 8PM AT THE STATE HOUSE!
We did not get the Dobbs decision today (Thursday), but the next decision day is tomorrow, which was added yesterday and could make it more likely this IS decision day on Roe and abortion rights. (Decisions will all be put out by end of next week and no new days confirmed yet, so stay posted and try to block Friday night, TOMORROW, to be with us.)
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It is a tough moment. Abortion rights are under attack and we expect a decision from the Supreme Court any day. School lunch funding expiring at the federal level. Add to that a 2022 Rhode Island legislative session where in spite of the fact that the Equality in Abortion Coverage Act is needed more than ever has a MAJORITY support among voters and the General Assembly, the leadership continues to play harmful games and deny a floor vote and the budget that just passed in the House includes the bans on health coverage for people who use Medicaid and state employees. More than ever, we need our state lawmakers to do the right thing on abortion and they just aren’t. Well that is something we will have to consider in the upcoming elections, isn’t it?!
If you are feeling tired or angry or sad or all of the above, we get it.
We are too, but there is good news to celebrate!
- The House budget incorporated several of the requests made through the Raising RI Coalition, including the increase to the lifetime limit from 48 to 60 months so parents do not need to apply for ‘hardship’ benefits to receive continued assistance and work support services. This will reduce stress for families and ease the process for staff. It also included the change to allow parents to attend CCRI for two years without requiring an additional work activity. The final budget also included an amendment to exempt the Child Tax Credit from counting as income for RI Works, a change that is necessary to ensure RI Works families receive the benefit of these additional dollars. These will help to lift children out of deep poverty.
- We were part of the coalition that passed the Let Rhode Island Vote Act to improve voting access.
- We had HUGE hearings on the EACA and made it clear that we will not stop until we get rid of harmful bans on health coverage for abortion in our state. The robust campaign and public education we have built mean we leave this session with exciting momentum to get this done!
- Our amazing EACA sponsors are likely to pass (fingers crossed, but it looks good) legislation to increase Medicaid coverage eligibility to ensure more low-income pregnant people are able to get care for healthy pregnancies (H7443/S2502) and a bill to create a special enrollment period for pregnant people to get coverage through the state health insurance exchange (H7454/S2548).
So many more important changes we pushed for will happen this year and MANY horrific bills we spoke out against will not. Let’s be real. We are disappointed that Governor McKee and the leadership did not listen to the MAJORITY of folks who wanted to see abortion bans out of our state budget. And we are angry (yes ANGRY) that in spite of the fact that majorities in both chambers support the EACA and the hearings were amazing that we will likely not get a floor vote.
Denying a floor vote on the Equality in Abortion Coverage Act is more political games with our rights and our bodies. It is wrong and upsetting. But we won’t let it stop us from continuing to fight the good fight together!
We should be proud that we have built a robust statewide movement that is making a BIG difference not just in the policy arena, but empowering and training up volunteers who are taking on leadership positions throughout the state and we are building a strong community that will take care of each other in the coming days!
We have big fights ahead and we need you in it with us, but that means we must all care for ourselves and each other, so we can not only keep working and striving for justice, but also so that we can all find joy. We deserve love and healing and happiness. We all do.
So rather than dwell on all that is frustrating and f*cked up in the politics of our state and around the country, we want to share just a few tips on self-care for activists. Your work matters. But so do YOU! You matter and your health and well-being matters! Sustainable activism requires taking time to care for mind, body, and spirit. Check out this video from TWP’s Emma Gauthier with a few tips to help us all care for ourselves and care for each other!
We hope this helps you to re-think your relationship with your own activism and yourself in a way that will make us all be more whole and healthier and happier. The fight for justice is hard, but damn we are lucky to be fighting for what’s right. So let’s make sure we can keep doing it — and keep being there for each other. Thank you for all you do. We will be in touch again soon!
See our whole poster library from the TWP Education Fund collection: