Testimony from Jocelyn Foye, executive director of The Womxn Project, in support of the Equity Impact Statement bill (H5763) to be heard by the House Committee on State Government and Elections
The Womxn Project is a 501c4 and works toward reproductive justice and freedom in Rhode Island. The movement we stand behind is based on creating a culture that embraces the human dignity of all people living in Rhode Island and beyond, but a focus on the state.
Reproductive work isn’t just about people having the freedom to make choices about their health care. It’s about their home and food security and income–it’s about making sure people’s needs are met so they have the freedom to make decisions that put them on the path to their best future, whatever that looks like for them. This freedom supports individual dignity and kindness as well.
In 2019, The Womxn Project was instrumental in ensuring the passage of the Reproductive Privacy Act (RPA), which codified the right to abortion in Rhode Island. In order to get this bill passed, however, two key groups were left out: those who rely on the state’s Medicaid program and state employees and their dependents. Neither of those groups have access to insurance-funded abortion.
Had the Equity Impact Statement bill been law in 2019, the unfairness of the RPA would have been addressed and its disproportionate impact on people of low income and people of color eliminated.
I passionately believe that the Rhode Island legislature should consider the impact of every bill on the lives of people living within its borders. Rhode Island must join the nine other states in our country that address fairness, kindness, and human dignity in their legislative process, and be a model for other states to do the same. I urge you to put into law the Equity Impact Statement to create a more kind Rhode Island.
Contact: Jocelyn Foye, [email protected], 401-400-0061