FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Tuesday, May 3, 2022
Jocelyn Foye, Director
We Will Never Stop Fighting
Advocates call on lawmakers to stake swift action to get bans out of the state budget and off the books to truly protect the right to abortion in Rhode Island!
[Providence, RI] – The Womxn Project statement on a draft memo from the Supreme Court on the case challenging the Mississippi ban on abortion after 15 weeks – and poses questions about the future of Roe v. Wade:
“Some people are waking to find out that last night a draft opinion from the Supreme Court was leaked that fuels our worst fears – a possible overturn of Roe v. Wade. We have been getting calls and texts and emails throughout the night from people who are scared. They are angry. They want to do know what they can do. We understand and we are feeling it all, too.
For people in our state who have had an abortion, they are feeling it. The health professionals who work so hard are feeling defeated and diminished. We get it. But please, know we are with you and we will never stop fighting!
This leaked opinion is horrifying and unprecedented. It confirms our worst fears: that the Court is prepared to end the constitutional right to abortion by overturning Roe v. Wade. Let’s be clear. It is not final and this fight will never be over for us.
We have been preparing for this. We’re ready for this fight. This will not stop us. We are calling on our Governor, Dan McKee and the leadership of the General Assembly, House Speaker Joe Shekarchi and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio to take swift action to halt the bans on health coverage for abortion in the Rhode Island budget.
The governor took to digital channels last night to say, “Here in Rhode Island, we will always protect a woman’s right to choose. We will NOT go backwards on reproductive rights.”
While we appreciate his pretty words without action to address the very real financial barriers that are created by denying state employees and people who use Medicaid health coverage for abortion, they are just that – WORDS. We need actions. Low-income Rhode Islanders do not have the same right to abortion when we allow insurance benefits to be taken away specifically for abortion.
Last night’s news has made clear: We have reached a crisis moment for abortion access. It’s on each of us to take action. We are done waiting.
It is time for the governor to make a public commitment to getting the harmful and discriminatory bans on health coverage for abortion out of the budget. No more denials of insurance benefits for state employees and people who use Medicaid.
It is time for the General Assembly to schedule a hearing – and ensure a floor vote THIS YEAR on the Equality in Abortion Coverage Act (H7442/S2549), which permanently ends the racist bans on health coverage for abortion in state health program.
It is time for anyone who wants to call themselves a leader to take action. We are calling on activists to join us at the State House tonight. This will be the first of many actions in the coming days.
The law has not changed — the leaked memo is a draft opinion with no current legal authority. It IS a call to action to fight even harder.
We will always fight to get bans off our bodies and to advance reproductive health, rights and justice. We are not going anywhere.”