FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Tuesday, Dec 6, 2022
Jocelyn Foye, Director
On behalf of members from the Campaign for Equal Abortion Coverage
Groups from Across RI Come Together to Urge Action on EACA in 2023
More than 20 organizations representing tens of thousands of Rhode Islanders are coming together to push the governor and General Assembly to act to end bans on health coverage for abortion.
[Providence, RI] –
Statement from members of the Campaign for Equal Abortion Coverage on the public launch of a letter urging Governor McKee and his administration and the General Assembly to take swift action to pass the Equality in Abortion Coverage Act (EACA):
“A majority of voters agree that someone enrolled in Medicaid should have all of their pregnancy-related health care covered by their insurance. That includes abortion services. There is also strong support for proposals to make sure that private and public health insurance programs provide equitable coverage for the services people need to manage their reproductive and sexual health and plan their families.
We must do all we can to help the people who have been hurt most not only in this time of economic challenges, but also by ongoing systemic racism and the cycle of poverty. That is why groups from across Rhode Island representing a broad cross section of voters and issues are coming together in a public call to action to the governor and his administration, as well as to the Rhode Island General Assembly urging them to take swift action to pass and enact the Equality in Abortion Coverage Act in 2023.
Withholding coverage for abortion care creates profound hardships, particularly for those who already face significant barriers to receiving care. We are urging our elected officials to take action to do something about it!
As organizations committed to ensuring all people in our state can be healthy and thrive and address obstacles that deny equal opportunities and fuel health disparities, we believe that each of us should be able to make decisions about pregnancy and parenting that respect our needs and our circumstances without political interference. However, policymakers have enacted bans on insurance coverage of abortion that push this decision out of reach for many, particularly those struggling to make ends meet.
Many of the organizations on the letter and involved in the statewide Campaign for Equal Abortion Coverage worked hard to secure the passage and enactment of the RPA, which affirmed the right to abortion in our state. However, if we allow policies to remain in place that take away health benefits and make care unaffordable, then that right is taken away
Rising costs and inflation are putting up financial barriers to care. This in combination with the fact that care was already hard to get even before Roe was overturned mean that abortion bans cause very real harm.
It is more important than ever that we do all we can to ensure each of us makes a living wage and everyone has access to the full-spectrum of health care, including abortion. This is how we ensure that every person truly gets to decide when and how to build or add to their families and that we can do so with dignity and respect.
The ability to get an abortion should not be limited by the type of insurance you use. That is what this is – a public insurance program is being limited by political agendas and it is just plain wrong. We believe that our governor and the members of the General Assembly should do all they can to address the very real challenges facing Rhode Islanders. Part of that must include getting rid of obstacles to the right to abortion that is protected under state law. We are calling on our lawmakers to use their power to make a positive difference by eliminating these restrictions in the state budget and getting them off the books.
Studies have shown that providing coverage for abortion can actually result in savings for insurance programs and increased financial stabilities in situations where people are not prepared to add to their families and are not forced to forego paying for things like rent or groceries because they are denied insurance coverage for an abortion. It is an issue of financial stability, health equity and it is the right thing to do!”
Representatives from the groups signed on to the letter are available for interview upon request.
Rhode Island organizations calling for Governor McKee and the General Assembly to pass the EACA in 2023:
- American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)
- Amnesty International PVD
- BLM RI PAC
- COYOTE RI
- Haus of Codec
- Latino Policy Institute
LGBTQ Action RI
- Old Lesbians Organizing for Change (OLOC-RI)
- Physicians for a National Health Program – RI Chapter
- Rhode Island Academy of Family Physicians
- Rhode Island Democratic Women’s Caucus
- SAGE Rhode Island
- SISTA Fire
- South County Huddle
- The Womxn Project
- Unitarian Universalist Congregation of South County, Social Justice Team
- Women’s Fund of Rhode Island
- Women & Infants Hospital
(Writing on behalf of members of the Campaign for Equal Abortion Coverage and other supporting organizations)