Did you know that Governor McKee sent an email out to his supporters railing on GOP governors for attacking abortion rights? We appreciate him calling out attempts to take away our rights, but the fact is that when our governor had a chance to be a leader on abortion access this week – he failed to do so.
The governor just released his proposed budget for 2023, which talks about growing Rhode Island’s economy and supporting its people, but we have a problem with this claim. Activists and organizations from across the state urged the governor to show bold leadership by introducing a budget without the bans on health coverage for abortion for public health programs. He failed to do so.
Our state employee health plans cover about 32,000 Rhode Islanders – at least half of whom could become pregnant. The state Medicaid program covers close to 20,000 women of child-bearing age. In spite of huge public support to get rid of these harmful policies, the governor did not.
In his recent State of the State McKee said that, “Rhode Island is a leader in health insurance coverage.” We could be, but taking away one type of care that people need doesn’t seem to honor that goal. The governor wants to talk about “improving quality of life” and trying to build strong economy, but these bans are in direct contradiction to our values and to any claim to improve the financial stability of our families or communities.
We know that restrictions on access to reproductive health care are not only at odds with attempts to improve health equity, but they also affect the ability to ensure equal participation for women and cost billions of dollars across the country every year by reducing labor force participation and earnings levels and increasing turnover and time off from work.
Recent research shows that if all state-level abortion restrictions were eliminated an additional 505,000 women would enter the labor force and earn about $3.0 billion dollars annually. In Rhode Island, an estimated 1,548 more women would be able to maintain employment and better meet the needs of their families.
- QUICK ASK: Send a short email RIGHT NOW for MONDAY! Let him know we are watching and we will continue to speak out and show up to ensure that the state budget reflects our values.
Sample email (just copy, paste and SEND right away to [email protected]): Dear Governor McKee, I am writing in response to your proposed 2023 state budget. I applaud the investment in affordable housing, attention to climate change and the expansion of postpartum coverage, but I am incredibly disappointed that you refused to address the harmful health and financial impacts of the bans on abortion coverage for state employees and people who use Medicaid. This is short sighted and just plain wrong. I hope you will work with the General Assembly to rectify this and get rid of the harmful limits on benefits for people in our state who need an abortion. Thank you. Sincerely, (include your name and address to show you are a RI resident)
It is a simple ask – just one email to make your voice heard!
We will work to get this important change pushed through in the budget AND with your help, we will continue to build momentum for the passage of the Equality in Abortion Coverage Act to get rid of these archaic limitations for good!
We believe it is time for our state’s so-called leaders to do more to meet the needs of the people in our state. That includes addressing discriminatory and damaging limits on our ability to exercise our right to abortion. Thank you for being in this with us!