FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – April 26, 2021
Jocelyn Foye, Director
Committee to Hear Bill to End Bans on Abortion Coverage
The Womxn Project makes it clear that legislators should be working to eliminate barriers to health services in these troubled times – not allowing care to be pushed out of reach.
[Providence, RI] – Statement on the hearing on a set of anti-abortion bills along with the Equality in Abortion Coverage Act, a bill to eliminate state laws that take away health coverage for abortion for state employees and the Medicaid program:
“We are in a pandemic and yet time and again we see limitations put in place or allowed to stand – politically motivated policies that take away access to abortion or that make it harder for health professionals to provide care. Rhode Island is no different. We have a long-standing law that denies health coverage for abortion for the people who keep our state running and for low-income people who use Medicaid. Today, the Senate Judiciary has a chance to do something about it by passing the Equality in Abortion Coverage Act (S267).
So many people are not sure how to make ends meet or get needed healthcare. Denying health coverage makes it so much worse. This means when someone has an unintended pregnancy and is in an already tough situations having to scramble to pay for a health care service. Research on these kinds of policies found that they can push families even further into poverty. People have shared stories of not paying rent or buying groceries and having to ask family and friends for money – to pay for a health care procedure.
Some people talk about this issue as taxpayer funding for abortion. Let’s be clear. These are state health insurance programs. They were created so people could use their benefits to get the services they need. This is a policy that specifically takes away just one area of care. Why? To deny the ability to get affordable abortion care plain and simple.
We enacted a bill to protect the right to abortion – the Reproductive Privacy Act, but we left people without the ability to access that right. No one should be told they don’t get to make their own decisions about abortion because they happen to use a state health program. It is time to pass the Equality in Abortion Coverage Act and to push back on the myths, misinformation and endless attacks.”
“We are fighting to dismantle oppression in every system, including healthcare. Getting rid of policies that exist simply to push affordable abortion care out of reach are a great place to start. Women of color are overrepresented in low wage jobs and more likely to use the state Medicaid program to get their healthcare. This means the state ban on coverage for abortion for people who use Medicaid falls hardest on women of color and takes away their right to make their own health decisions. We need to take bold action to get rid of this harmful policy.”
– Jocelyn Foye, Director, TWP
Jocelyn Foye is available for interview by request.