THIS THURSDAY, starting at 4pm, the Rhode Island House Judiciary Committee will hear a set of anti-abortion bills. WE NEED YOUR HELP to stop these bills and show Rhode Island supports the right & access to abortion!
- Provide testimony in person (much needed). We will provide talking points/guidance.
- Show up in your TWP t-shirt to show your support for the right to abortion.
- Send a letter in opposition to the committee.
Check out some more info below – and click here to let us know how you can help, so we can get you the materials and support you need to make our voices heard at this critical moment!
Let’s be clear – these bills are unlikely to pass. We know that, but we also know that showing up is also about our proactive bills and about making it clear that Rhode Island supports the right to abortion and wants to stop ALL bans on abortion. We can’t let our opposition control this day or try to say that support for abortion rights isn’t strong. We know that Rhode Island believes in the right and access to abortion!!
Help us make that clear THIS THURSDAY (and long after)!
- Emails are great, but we know calls make a bigger difference. Chances are you are leaving a message, so it is really easy. PLEASE, if you care about this bill and about access to abortion, it is just A FEW QUICK CALLS. PLEASE call TODAY!!! House Speaker Joe Shekarchi (401-222-2466 and/or 401-222-2447)Sample Voicemail for Speaker Shekarchi: “My name is __. I am a Rhode Island voter calling to express my concern that five different bills attacking abortion are being heard on Thursday, but a bill with broad support and a large number of co-sponsors is not being given fair attention. Rhode Island voters have made it clear we support the right to abortion. I am urging you to stop delaying on a hearing for the Equality in Abortion Coverage Act, House Bill 7442. This bill deserves a hearing. Thank you.”
Senate President Dominick Ruggerio (401-353-1311 and/or 401-222-6655)
Sample Voicemail for Senate President Ruggerio: “My name is __. I am calling to express my concern that the Equality in Abortion Coverage Act was put in Senate Judiciary and there is still no hearing. This bill has broad support in the General Assembly and Rhode Island voters support the right to abortion. It deserves a hearing and a floor vote this year. This feels like more political games with our right to abortion and there is enough of that happening in other parts of the country. Rhode Island can and should do better. Please, get a hearing scheduled right away for Senate Bill 2549. Thank you.”
Background on the April 7th House Judiciary Hearing
There are FIVE different bills being considered this Thursday in House Judiciary that are about pushing harmful rhetoric and creating additional barriers to abortion. We must SPEAK OUT!
You can send in testimony in opposition to the committee: [email protected] (include AGAINST, bill numbers).
I am writing as a Rhode Island voter to strongly oppose the set of bills being heard in House Judiciary on Thursday that push lies and harmful rhetoric about abortion to try to demonize providers, judge and stigmatize the people who need abortions, and put up limits to abortion. These bills are way out of touch with Rhode Island values. Any barriers to abortion cause great harm – and frankly, I am very concerned with the false information and judgment pushed in these bills. Every person should decide for themselves whether to choose adoption, seek abortion, become a parent or add to their family – and they should have access to quality, affordable health care and compassion. Please, vote no on ALL FIVE of these bills. They are anti-science, anti-abortion and just plain wrong. Thank you.
These bills include “born alive” in the title. This is a purposely incendiary and deceptive title to try to make people support obstacles to abortion – and perpetuate really insulting lies about providers. We have seen legislation like this before that meddle with health services and push truly ridiculous rhetoric to demean and denigrate abortion providers and people who seek abortion. These bills have no place in Rhode Island.
- I am very concerned by the false implication that licensed doctors would ever withhold care from any infant. It is insulting and dangerous to imply that this is happening. Abortion providers are trained and compassionate professionals doing their best to help patients in spite of frequent harassment and even violence.
- This bill is meant to disparage abortion provider in order to lay the groundwork to take away all access to abortion and we know who that harms most – people who are pushed to the margins who are already struggling to obtain affordable, quality health services.
- Anti-abortion politicians across the country have attempted to pass several abortion bans in recent years. This bill is just another tactic in their quest to make abortion completely inaccessible, or even illegal. This bill has no grounding in reality. This nonexistent situation is offensive, and dangerous.
- Instead of respecting every person’s decision, anti-abortion politicians are resorting to false rhetoric to distract from their true agenda — to push abortion care out of reach and punish patients and their providers. There are politicians who do not want abortion to be available at all in any circumstances. They create bills that play on the worst lies to restrict or outright ban abortion.
- If we really cared about the lives or health of women and families in our state, there are so many policies that would truly help, including H7442, the Equality in Abortion Coverage Act to make sure folks can afford safe abortion care and H7454 and H7442 to improve access to health services for healthy pregnancies. These are the bills people need!
This is a resolution, so it does not change law, but given that it includes incredibly problematic language around abortion and pushes the concept that abortion should be banned after fertilization – often referred to as “personhood” – we should be alarmed – and we are!!!
- It is not the place of lawmakers to define human life or to decide what kind of health care a person should be able to obtain. These are personal decisions that we need to make for ourselves based on our own faith beliefs and traditions.
- Legislation that attempts to enshrine personhood into law is part of an agenda of denying personal decisions and criminalizing women and providers. This kind of attack falls hardest on low-income women and women of color.
- We should be working to eliminate barriers to health care and support women and families in our community, rather than pushing laws that impose personal beliefs and could have dangerous consequences.
This bills pushes the emotionally charged concept of fetal pain to try to impose limits on abortion. We have seen this type of legislation before using half-baked science to take away abortion care. It is made even worse by the inclusion of the idea of fetal anesthesia, which is untested and likely extremely unsafe for the pregnant person. So junk science and harm to the pregnant person to push an anti-abortion political agenda – WOW!!! This is just another bill pushing a ban on abortion later in pregnancy though it also includes reference to “as early as 8 weeks”, which means it could be interpreted to ban abortion earlier. It is full of debunked claims in the name of banning abortion plain and simple.
- Bans on abortion later in pregnancy ignore the reality that not all pregnancies go the way a family hopes they will. Because each situation is different, we should protect the ability for people to make tough health decisions in consultation with those we trust and with the support of our health professionals who can help us to weigh all of the options in a difficult moment.
- It is not our place to judge someone facing a difficult diagnosis or pregnancy complication and we certainly shouldn’t take away health care options. It is bad health policy and downright cruel.
- Whether it is abortion bans like this one that are being pushed throughout the country or the laws that put up extra barriers like the one that are being addressed in H7442, this is about a calculated agenda to take away all access to abortion. It is about taking away the ability to make our own decisions.
- Let’s be frank. This bill is not really about a certain point in pregnancy. It is about trying to make care unaffordable and make it harder for clinics to provide abortion. It is just a creative ban on abortion care using fake scientific claims as justification.
- Sham science as a justification to ban abortion is concerning, but also dangerous.
Curious about the science or lack thereof – in this ridiculous bill?
- Thorough reviews of medical evidence rejects the idea that fetuses can actually feel pain at 20 weeks. They don’t fully develop the proper neurological structures to feel pain until later, around 29 to 30 weeks in the third trimester.
- There’s really no such thing as “fetal anesthesia” in standard medical practice. To administer an anesthetic or analgesic to the fetus, you’d have to go through the pregnant person first using general anesthesia — which renders them unconscious or a heavy dose of narcotics. Both options are much riskier than the IV drugs people would normally get during a second-trimester abortion and neither is standard medical practice for that procedure.
JOIN US IN SPEAKING OUT to not only halt these harmful, hateful attacks on our ability to control our bodies and futures, but also to build a movement to get rid of policies denying health coverage to ensure abortion care is affordable!