We have seen what could happen if access to safe abortion care is taken away. Before Roe, every large municipal hospital in the U.S. had a special section of the hospital filled with women suffering from infections from improperly performed, illegal abortions and an estimated 5,000 women died every year before 1973.
Women drank household chemicals or tried to throw themselves down stairs or in many cases tried to use a sharp item to end their own pregnancy. This is where the iconic image of a coat hanger comes from. The question is not if people will have abortion or not. It is whether they will be able to do so safely.
Overturning Roe risks the health and dignity of pregnant people. It would also fuel mass incarceration. If abortion is a crime, then doctors who want to be there for their patients would be punished, but so would women who seek care or who are even suspected of wanting to end a pregnancy.
As if this was not enough reason to stop the delays and pass the Reproductive Privacy Act, we know there is also an economic impact if we do not take action – not only to the individuals who will not be able to plan their families and become parents when they are ready, but also to our state’s economy.
In response to the recent slew of 6 weeks bans being passed across the country, businesses have decided to end contracts or cancel events in states pushing these extremist bills. People are cancelling vacation plans or pledging not to travel to states that have taken away people’s rights.
While there is some discord about the idea of boycotts that take resources away from places where people are already struggling with health disparities made worse by the bans, the fact is that people want to make a statement with the dollars they spend and they DO NOT want to move or go to school in a place where they won’t have access to the safe care they may need. Failing to get a bill to the governor’s desk this year is not just dangerous to our health, but also to our economy.
Senate Judiciary Chair Erin Lynch Prata recently stated that a small group has been pulled together to develop a solution. While we are pleased to hear this, time is running out!
We need to make it clear that in Rhode Island we protect our rights. We must pass a bill that will TRULY protect our rights. There is too much at stake to continue the delays.
We are proud to join our partners from the Rhode Island Coalition for Reproductive Freedom and activists from across Rhode Island at the State House to make it clear we expect action this year. The time is now. We simply cannot afford to wait any longer! Join us at the State House TODAY, Wednesday June 5th for an emergency action or find another action you can attend.
It is critical that we speak out and that we keep showing up to push our lawmakers to take action. We can’t afford to have our rights trampled on or ignored!
Can’t make it up to the State House this week (we are there every day)? You can still help. Our postcarding program is a great way to make an impact on your own time. We provide the lists and supplies, so you can write postcards to help generate calls in targeted districts. We just produced a new set targeting the Minority Leader, Senator Dennis Algiere. Contact our postcarding rock star, Deb to get a packet (or two or more) today and be part of our campaign.