Today, 62 million women lost birth control coverage when the Trump administration rolled back contraceptive mandates. On Tuesday, Republicans in the House of Representatives voted to ban abortion at 20 weeks. Even with these national attacks on women, there was a bright spot for woman in Rhode Island: after listening to doctors and female constituents, Congressman Langevin voted against the bill, which he had supported in previous sessions.
His vote signifies that the world changed on November 9th, 2016. It shows that Congressman Langevin takes seriously the threats that the Trump Administration represents to women and that it was time to reconsider past positions. Hopefully, the gravity of Representative Langevin’s decision to change his mind can be a wakeup call for other Rhode Island elected officials. Speaker Mattiello has said the General Assembly will not act to repeal Rhode Island’s draconian abortion laws and codify the tenets of Roe v. Wade until it is actually overturned by the Supreme Court. After this week, our question for the speaker is: is it really fair to over 51% of Rhode Islanders to make them wait to take action?
The Woman Project believes that it is not fair or just to make Rhode Island women wait any longer. We live in daily fear of our rights being stripped away. It is time for our General Assembly to step up and pass legislation to protect our reproductive rights. The General Assembly needs to come back with a plan to make sure health care for over 51% of Rhode Islanders isn’t marginalized. The women of Rhode Island need access to birth control. They need our draconian abortion laws repealed. They need to have the tenets of Roe v. Wade codified to ensure safe and legal access to abortion.