My name is Daria Lyric Montaquila. I am on the board of directors for The Womxn Project. The Womxn Project is a statewide organization focused on leveraging the power of art, activism, advocacy and education to advance the principles of reproductive justice, which demands that we all have the right to determine when and how we build our relationships, families and futures and that we have the ability to live and raise our children with dignity.
I am submitting testimony in very strong opposition to H5552, H5579, H5037, and H5582, which use inflammatory claims about how labor and delivery care and how abortion care is provided. We have seen legislation like this before that meddle with health services and push truly ridiculous rhetoric to demean and denigrate abortion providers and people who seek abortion.
First let me say that we are concerned by the implication that licensed doctors would ever withhold care from any infant. It is insulting and dangerous to imply that this is happening. Abortion providers are trained and compassionate professionals doing their best to help patients in spite of frequent harassment and even violence. This bill is meant to disparage them and to lay the groundwork to take away all access to abortion and we know who that harms most – people who are pushed to the margins who are already struggling to obtain affordable, quality health services.
Anti-abortion politicians across the country have attempted to pass several abortion bans in recent years. This bill is just another tactic in their quest to make abortion completely inaccessible, or even illegal. This bill has no grounding in reality. This nonexistent situation is offensive, and dangerous.
Instead of respecting every person’s decision, anti-abortion politicians are resorting to false rhetoric to distract from their true agenda — to push abortion care out of reach and punish patients and their providers. There are politicians who do not want abortion to be available at all in any circumstances. They create bills that play on the worst lies to restrict or outright ban abortion.
If we really cared about the lives or health of women and families in our state, there are so many policies that would truly help. Attempts to take away access to health care or to denigrate health providers are not helping anyone. I am writing to strongly oppose this bill and call it what it is – another political game being played on the backs of women and families in Rhode Island.
These bills unnecessarily place politicians between a woman and her doctor. Numerous health care organizations, representing thousands of clinicians, oppose these bills including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American College of Nurse-Midwives, and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.
We urge you to vote no on this harmful legislation. Thank you.
Contact: Daria Lyric Montaquila (401-400-0061 or [email protected])