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60+ Rhode Island Organizations Urge General Assembly to Reject Harmful Legislation Targeting LGBTQ+ People

Organizations are joined by 400+ individual signers from across the state including medical providers, behavioral health providers, teachers, parents, and other concerned Rhode Islanders

A coalition of local organizations, advocates, and community members have sent an open letter to Rhode Island legislators urging them to reject a series of proposed bills that would undermine the well-being of LGBTQ+ people in the state.

The letter was signed by over 60 organizations, including the National Education Association Rhode Island, Rhode Island Medical Society, Rhode Island Academy of Family Physicians, Rhode Island Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Rhode Island Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Rhode Island Psychological Association, Rhode Island Section of American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Rhode Island Coalition for Children and Families, Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Rhode Island Black Business Association, and Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights.

“The majority of Rhode Islanders support equality, and we’ve proven that from one legislative session to the next,” the letter reads. It describes a series of proposed bills that target LGBTQ+ people and “run counter to our commitment to protect our families, friends, and neighbors,” including: 

  • A dangerous bill that would ban standard-of-care medical care for transgender youth – care that is supported as safe and effective by every major U.S. professional medical association, taking away parents’ ability to get their children the healthcare they need, as well as removing established protections in healthcare insurance coverage (H7884, S2703)
  • Bills targeting transgender students for exclusion by prohibiting them from playing on school sports teams with their friends and potentially subjecting any female student athlete to invasive medical exams (H7727, S2660)
  • Proposals which would threaten schools and teachers with penalties for not complying with vague requirements to allow virtually any individual parent to dictate school lesson plans, remove teachers’ and school staffs’ ability to support LGBTQ+ students in school, and mandate the forced outing of LGBTQ youth without regard to students’ safety (H7781, S2424, H7873, S2041)
  • A bill that could be used to classify any material with LGBTQ+ content as obscene and levy criminal charges (S2104)
  • A dangerous bill that would threaten the health of every Rhode Islander by allowing any medical provider, healthcare facility, or insurance plan to refuse to provide care based on the vague assertion that it violates their conscience (S2423)

The letter, which was also signed by over 400+ individual Rhode Islanders – including medical providers, behavioral health providers, teachers, parents, and other concerned residents – from towns across the state, goes on to read:

“Rhode Island protected transgender people under the law more than 20 years ago, recognizing that as the necessary first step to end the mistreatment too often experienced by the community. Nearly a decade has passed since our schools implemented policies to support transgender, nonbinary, and gender diverse students. We should be well beyond debates about transgender Rhode Islanders’ basic dignity and humanity and respect for their ability to live, work, go to school and participate in public life on the same terms as everyone else.”

“Rhode Islanders want our elected senators and representatives to work on policies that will actually improve the lives of everyone in the Ocean State, not stir up baseless fear about a small group of people.”

The organizations signing the letter are:
Thundermist Health Center
TGI Network of Rhode Island Inc.
Youth Pride, Inc.
Sojourner House
Project Weber/RENEW
Haus of Codec
Pride in Aging RI
Newport Pride
PFLAG Greater Providence
The Womxn Project
Young Voices
Rhode Island ACLU
Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights
National Education Association Rhode Island
Rhode Island KIDS COUNT
Economic Progress Institute
Women’s Fund of Rhode Island
SHIP
COYOTE RI
Amnesty International USA 1016
GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders
The Trevor Project
Planned Parenthood of Southern New England
Rhode Island Public Health Institute
Open Door Health
Family Service of Rhode Island
Thrive Behavioral Health
Rhode Island Medical Society
Rhode Island Academy of Family Physicians
Rhode Island Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Rhode Island Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Rhode Island Psychological Association
Rhode Island Section of American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Washington County Health Equity Zone
One Cranston Health Equity Zone
Protect Our Healthcare Coalition RI
Rhode Island Coalition for Children and Families
Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence
SafeBAE
Haven Box
Women’s Health & Education Fund
Rhode Island State Council of Churches
Hope and Change Partnership
Rhode Island Democratic Party LGBTQ+ Caucus
RI Working Families Power
Rhode Island Black Business Association
East Greenwich Pediatrics
Trident Psychological Services
East Side Psychotherapy, Inc.
Ann Adler, Ph.D., LLC
Providence Wellness, LLC
Radically Thrive Therapy, LLC
Wilder Therapy & Wellness
Bellwether Doulas
OkaySo
Secular Student Alliance
Rhode Island Atheists
Humanists of Rhode Island
Barrington United With Pride
Towards an Anti-Racist North Kingstown (TANK)
People Respecting Others With Dignity! (PROWD!)
Ryder | Talbutt Group
FabNewport
Carberry Development Group
CJG Notary of RI, LLC
Public Shop & Gallery
Sharper Harper LLC

And an additional 400+ individual signatures from across the state including medical providers, behavioral health providers, teachers, parents, and other concerned Rhode Islanders

Read the full letter is available

Read a fact sheet on the proposed bills

School Resources | Youth | Rhode Island

Schools are meant to be student-centered places where young people are safe and can learn what they need to succeed in life. Yet, extremist politicians and well-funded national groups are trying to make public schools and school libraries a site of attacks on LGBTQ+ people, especially youth, and families. 

Youth in Rhode Island public schools still have rights, and our schools have a responsibility to ensure all students, including LGBTQ+ students, are safe, supported, and able to learn. GLAD and our partners are sharing these resources on your rights as a student, parent, and educator.

Find national resources and organizations here.

Rhode Island Resources

Know Your Rights

Nondiscrimination: Rhode Island General Laws prohibit discrimination in educational programs, opportunities and other matters based on gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, and perceived sexual orientation in Rhode Island public schools.  You can read more under R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-38-1.1 

Anti-Bullying: Rhode Island has strong anti-bullying laws. It has strict requirements that schools must follow to protect students from a wide variety of bullying, be it physical, verbal, or online.  

Guidance for Schools: The Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has created guidance in 2016 for schools on the rights, responsibilities, and best educational practices for transgender and gender non-conforming students. Learn more about the guidance and contact the Department of Education for more information.

Learn more about youth rights in Rhode Island on the following Know Your Rights pages

What to do if you or your child is experiencing bullying, discrimination, or mistreatment in school

If you as a student or your child is experiencing bullying because of an LGBTQ+ status or a perceived LGBTQ+ status, you can take steps under your local policy as well as state and federal law to remedy the situation. And you can pursue both avenues at the same time. 

Rhode Island Anti-Bullying & Harassment Protections 

First, it is important to understand what Rhode Island considers bullying or harassment.  

Rhode Island anti-bullying laws include the following definitions of bullying: “Bullying” means the use by one or more students of a written, verbal or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof directed at a student that: 

  • Causes physical or emotional harm to the student or damage to the student’s property; 
  • Places the student in reasonable fear of harm to himself/herself or of damage to his/her property; 
  • Creates an intimidating, threatening, hostile, or abusive educational environment for the student; 
  • Infringes on the rights of the student to participate in school activities; or 
  • Materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school. The expression, physical act or gesture may include, but is not limited to, an incident or incidents that may be reasonably perceived as being motivated by characteristics such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or mental, physical, or sensory disability, intellectual ability or by any other distinguishing characteristic. 

Read more from StopBullying.gov FAQ

Second, consider whether you want to take action under the school’s anti-bullying or harassment policies, which should be available on the school website. If so, follow the steps from the school’s policies, keep copies/screenshots of emails and texts, and take notes of conversations with school staff to show that you have done what you are supposed to and that the school is on notice of your concerns.

If the school is not investigating the bullying, press them to do so. Rhode Island’s Safe School Act Statewide Bullying Policy “recognizes that the bullying of a student creates a climate of fear and disrespect that can seriously impair the student’s health and negatively affect learning. Bullying undermines the safe learning environment that students need to achieve their full potential.  The purpose of the Policy is to ensure a consistent and unified statewide approach to the prohibition of bullying at school.” See the full policy from 2012 here, and information Rhode Island Kid’s Count Bullying Prevention Brief from 2016 here. 

If you are not satisfied with the school’s response, consider contacting the school district’s Superintendent (information on the school website). 

If working with the administration and superintendent is not helpful, the RI Department of Education is the next place to turn.  You can contact Thrive, a part of the State government devoted to healthy and safe learning environments.

Under a Board of Regents Policy adopted in 1997 and revised in 2010, all students, without exception, have the right to attend a school in which they feel safe and able to express their identity without fear… certain students, because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity/expression, have been subject to discrimination through abuse, harassment, bullying and/or exclusion from full participation in educational activities. You can find more information here and here.

You may also choose to file a discrimination complaint with the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights. Find out more.

US Harassment & Discrimination Protections for Students 

Federal law is also a tool for addressing bullying and harassment.  When these behaviors are ignored or inadequately addressed, this may add up to discrimination or the denial of education opportunities based on sexual orientation or gender identity, among other characteristics.  

You can raise concerns about your or your child’s experience of discriminatory anti-LGBTQ+ bullying, harassment, or other discrimination by contacting contact the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights in Boston to file a complaint. The OCR has the authority to investigate a complaint of discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age. Note that sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination are aspects of “sex” discrimination.  

Contact the Office of Civil Rights. 

Harassment and bullying because of a person’s LGBTQ+ identities may also constitute sex discrimination under Title IX protections. Read more about the US Department of Education’s updated guidance on Title IX.  

If you have questions about the specific situation you are experiencing or questions that have not been answered above, please reach out to GLAD Answers

Get involved in your local community

  • Follow the issues that come up in your school committee and town/city council
  • Attend meetings when important issues are being discussed and even to participate in the public comment period in which School Board/Committee members listen to input from the public.  It is important that they hear support for good work and good arguments for why LGBTQ+ and race-based restrictions are bad educational policy for all students.
  • Follow education, curriculum, staffing, policy, library and other issues in school board and local elections, or run for office yourself
  • For support in talking about issues related to education and LGBTQ+ students, and more ways to take action, visit Campaign for Our Shared Future.

Organizations and Additional Resources

Organizations

For more youth-focused organizations, visit Youth Organizations | Rhode Island

Additional Resources

LGBTQ+ Youth Resource Lists:

Want to learn more about LGBTQ+ Equality in Rhode Island? Visit the Movement Advancement Project’s Rhode Island Equality Profile.

GLAD Answers

Still have questions? Contact GLAD Answers for free and confidential legal information, assistance, and referrals. Complete the online intake form at GLADAnswers.org, email GLADAnswers@glad.org, or leave a voicemail at 800-455-GLAD.

Removing Barriers and Increasing Safety for Name Changes in RI

Having identity documents that accurately reflect who you are-including your name-is important for day-to-day things like cashing a check or applying for a job. For transgender people, a legal name change can be essential to living fully as themselves.


Rhode Island has long had a process for an individual to legally change their name. Yet for many transgender people, as well as for people leaving a marriage, or survivors of domestic violence, barriers remain that make the process inaccessible and even a risk to their safety.


S2667 removes these barriers and makes legal name changes more accessible and safer for those who need them.

Trans Support & Advocacy | Transgender Rights | Rhode Island

GLAD works alongside many great organizations that strive to support and uplift the LGBTQ+ community. Below you will find links to several organizations that work with transgender folks and their loved ones in Rhode Island in a variety of areas. For further resources and referrals, please reach out to GLAD Answers by filling out our intake form. You can also email us at GLADAnswers@glad.org or leave a voicemail at 800-455-GLAD.

Removing Barriers to PrEP in Rhode Island

RI H7625/S2255 prohibits insurers from imposing cost sharing (copays or meeting a deductible) or utilization review (also referred to as utilization management), such as prior authorization or step therapy, for any HIV prevention drug.

Learn more about PrEP and how GLAD is working to expand access to this game-changing HIV prevention medication.

Blog

By Polly Crozier, Director of Family Advocacy

The ideological effort to roll back the clock on autonomy and equal rights for LGBTQ+ people and all women hit another milestone recently when the Alabama Supreme Court issued an alarming decision saying that frozen embryos are children, shutting down access to IVF in the state and sending shockwaves across the country. The resulting legislative “fix” in Alabama was no fix and further undermined hopeful parents and their efforts to build their families.

It was a staggeringly clear example of increasing efforts to control our lives and our most personal decisions: to cut off access to fertility healthcare, ban contraception, outlaw abortion in any form without exception, end access to critical healthcare for transgender people, preclude the formation of LGBTQ+ families, and even ban no-fault divorce and take the freedom to marry away from same-sex couples.

But as the outcry against that Alabama ruling shows, people across the country are saying no to that agenda of fear and control.

At GLAD, we are fighting alongside our partners and allies every day to protect our hard-won rights and push back against these attacks, so we can all live how we deserve to – freely, authentically, and joyfully.

In the past week alone, GLAD has:

  • Advocated in state houses for crucial shield bills to protect access to reproductive and transgender healthcare in Maine and Rhode Island, while we continue our federal legal challenges to bans on essential healthcare for transgender people in Alabama and Florida. These important bills would build on GLAD’s work to pass shield laws in Massachusetts (2022) and Vermont (2023).
  • Championed equitable coverage for fertility healthcare before multiple Connecticut legislative committees, so that Connecticut law reflects the standard of care ensuring LGBTQ+ people and single people on private insurance and Medicaid have access to the healthcare they need to build their families. GLAD was invited to appear with U.S. Senator Blumenthal to advocate not only for the Connecticut legislation but also for the federal Access to Family Building Act that seeks a national right to fertility healthcare.
  • Continued our work to update parentage laws in all states so that children of LGBTQ+ parents and children born through assisted reproduction are secure. We appeared in support of the Michigan Family Protection Act, which would repeal Michigan’s criminal ban on surrogacy and ensure protections for children born through assisted reproduction and surrogacy, in the state senate, and hope to see that bill, and a similar bill in Massachusetts, signed into law this session. As we see legislative and court actions put our families at risk, we must pass robust parentage bills like these to protect children and parents.
  • As the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit heard arguments Monday in Braidwood v. Becerra, a case about whether health insurers will have to continue to cover highly effective preventatives like HIV PrEP without copays or deductibles, our friend-of-the-court brief warned that upholding the lower court’s ruling would result in tens of thousands of preventable new HIV cases. GLAD continues to advocate for legislation to remove barriers to PrEP and address the racial disparities in access, including making PrEP available through pharmacies and without insurance prior authorization requirements which create unnecessary delays.

The agenda of fear and control won’t win.

With your support today and in the days to come, together we can protect our access to essential healthcare, our right to build our families, and our freedom to make important, personal decisions about our own lives.

News you may have missed:

Boston Review: GLAD Senior Director of Transgender and Queer Rights Jennifer Levi and NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter in conversation about the decades-long fight for transgender rights

MassLive: Highlighting LGBTQ+ leaders in Massachusetts, including GLAD Director of Family Advocacy Polly Crozier and GLAD Board Member and CEO of TransHealth Dallas Ducar

RI Health Care Provider Shield Act

The “Health Care Provider Shield Act,” (SB2262/HB7577) will ensure that Rhode Island health care providers aren’t penalized under the laws of other states that have banned access to established, standard-of-care reproductive and transgender health care, and that patients can continue to receive quality, legal, essential medical care in Rhode Island.

Sponsors: Senator Dawn Euer and Representative John G. Edwards

The Health Care Provider Shield Act is supported by a coalition of organizations

Provider Groups:

  • American Academy of Pediatrics, Rhode Island Chapter
  • American Association of Nurses- RI/Rhode Island State Nurses Association
  • American College of Emergency Medicine Physicians 
  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • American College of Physicians, RI
  • National Association of Social Workers
  • Nurse Practitioner Alliance of RI
  • Primary Care-Population Medicine MD-MSc Program Class of 2024
  • Rhode Island Academy of Family Medicine Physicians
  • Rhode Island Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Rhode Island Medical Society
  • Rhode Island Academy of Physicians Assistants 
  • Spectrum

Health Care Delivery:

  • Hospital Association of Rhode Island
  • Open Door Health
  • Planned Parenthood of Southern NE
  • Thrive Behavioral Health 
  • Thundermist Health Center
  • Rhode Island Health Center Association
  • Wood River Health Services

Other Interested Parties:

  • ACLU
  • Center for Reproductive Rights
  • COYOTE
  • GLAD
  • House of Codec
  • Protect Our Health Care RI
  • PPRI Votes
  • Pride in Aging
  • RI Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • RI Commission on Human Rights
  • RI Coalition for Reproductive Freedom
  • RI Public Health Institute 
  • RI State Council of Churches
  • The Trevor Project
  • The Womxn Project
  • TGI Network
  • Youth Pride Inc

Criminal Justice | Resources for Incarcerated People | Rhode Island

Sample Grievance

I, John/Jane Inmate, was harassed/threatened/physically attacked because of my sexual orientation by [name(s) of person(s) involved] on [date(s) that the act(s) took place].

When you write a grievance, be sure to include as much information as you can remember. Include in your complaint:

  • what happened
  • when it happened
  • who did it
  • where it happened
  • what was said by the attacker(s)—paraphrase if you do not remember the exact quote.
  • who saw it happen
  • why you think it happened

If you reported harassment to any prison official(s) previously, indicate who you told, when, and what they did or did not do about it.

GLAD’s 2024 Rhode Island Event

GLAD’s 2024 Rhode Island Event

GLAD is back in Providence, RI for our Rhode Island Event and this year will be one you won’t want to miss.

Thursday, May 30 2024  | 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Roger Williams Park Casino | Providence, R
I

Join us for an inside look at how GLAD is working on critical LGBTQ+ issues in Rhode Island and throughout the nation – and find out how you can make a difference.

Venue is mobility accessible. Parking is available at the venue.

Featuring

Image of Polly Crozier, Director of Family Advocacy

Patience “Polly” Crozier (she/her/hers) has engaged in cutting-edge trial court and appellate litigation involving assisted reproduction and parentage including Hunter v. Rose (2012), Adoption of a Minor (2015), Partanen v. Gallagher (2016), Adoption of Daphne (2020), and J.M. v. C.G. (2023). Polly’s work focuses on youth and family issues, including parentage protections, adoption, access to fertility healthcare, transgender family law, juvenile justice, and child welfare, and work at the intersection of LGBTQ justice and reproductive justice.  Most recently, she has successfully worked to help pass statutory family law reforms in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, as well as health care provider shield laws in Massachusetts and Vermont.

Polly is a graduate of Yale University and Boston College Law School, and she served as a law clerk to the Honorable Irma S. Raker of the Maryland Court of Appeals and to the Justices of the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court.

Become an Individual Sponsor

(You can also find this information here)

To join our fabulous Host Committee or become a Sponsor and help make this event a success, contact our Assistant Director of Development, Josh Arsenault, at jarsenault@glad.org.

Become a Corporate Sponsor

(You can also find this information here)

For Corporate Sponsorship, contact Aria Pierce, Senior Manager of Institutional Giving, at apierce@glad.org.

Check out last year’s event here.

Host Committee

Co-Chairs

Joseph Garland & Philip Haines
Katherine & Kimberly Weir
Janson Wu & Adam Levine

Members

Nick Autiello & Eric Rietveld, Esq.
Sen. Dawn Euer
Ruth DiGiovanni
Amy Goldfarb & Lisa Futato
Rebecca & Joanna Kislak Brown
Barbara L. Margolis, Esq. & Colleen J. Gregory, Ph.D.
Donna Nesselbush & Kelly Carse
Lauren Nocera
Cathy Plourde

As of  April 2, 2024

News

New Bill Will Safeguard Rhode Island’s Health Care System and Protect Access to Essential Care

Health Care Provider Shield Act limits the risk hostile out-of-state laws pose to health care providers and patients in the Ocean State; 11 other states + D.C. have enacted similar laws

Today, Rhode Island legislators introduced the “Health Care Provider Shield Act,” (SB2262/HB7577) to protect Rhode Island’s health care system, doctors and other medical care providers, and patients from hostile out-of-state laws that could negatively impact delivery of care in the Ocean State.

Sponsored by Senator Dawn Euer and Representative John G. Edwards, the Health Care Provider Shield Act will ensure that Rhode Island health care providers aren’t penalized under the laws of other states that have banned access to established, standard-of-care reproductive and transgender health care, and that patients can continue to receive quality, legal, essential medical care in Rhode Island.

“The Health Care Provider Shield Act is about protecting established, best-practice medical care that is legal in Rhode Island and ensuring that our local providers and our health care infrastructure aren’t negatively impacted by hostile laws in other states,” said Senate Judiciary Chair Euer. “Politicians in multiple U.S. states are engaging in alarming government overreach, banning access to essential medical care and instituting civil and criminal penalties on providers for practicing medicine in line with the professional standards of care. This bill will ensure that these out-of-state laws aren’t used against health care providers in Rhode Island.”

“Decisions about essential health care should be made by patients, their families, and their trusted care providers, not politicians. It is critical that Rhode Island take steps to protect access to legal, standard-of-care health care for all who need it, along with the providers who deliver that care,” said Representative Edwards. “The Health Care Provider Shield Act will ensure that Rhode Island providers can continue to deliver high quality, medically necessary care to their patients.” 

As multiple states have passed bans on abortion and transgender health care in recent years, authorities in some states, such as Texas, have also sought to intimidate or otherwise punish physicians or facilities in other states who provide such essential care to their residents. Eleven other states – including Massachusetts and Connecticut – and the District of Columbia have already passed health care shield laws to protect providers and patients and ensure their states remain desirable places to practice medicine.

“Family doctors, OBGYNs, and other practitioners want to be able to deliver high quality, essential care for our patients. Here in Rhode Island, we are able to provide the care that Rhode Islanders need, including full-spectrum reproductive services and gender-affirming health care. This bill will protect our providers against actions from other states and allow us to continue to deliver the standard of care and excellence that our patients deserve.” said Dr. Heather A Smith, RI Medical Society President and OBGYN. “We need the Health Care Provider Shield Act to ensure Rhode Island remains a state where clinicians want to practice, and so that physicians can continue to provide our patients with quality, compassionate, and essential care when they need it.”

The bill is supported by state health care associations and providers including the Rhode Island Medical Society, Rhode Island Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Rhode Island Health Center Association, Open Door Health, Thundermist Health Center, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, Inc., RI National Association of Social Workers, and the Rhode Island Public Health Institute.

The Health Care Provider Shield Act will:

  • Protect Rhode Island healthcare providers from abusive civil or criminal litigation from other states
  • Protect Rhode Islanders from having their information about protected health care shared with law enforcement agencies in other states where such care is banned
  • Ensure Rhode Island providers aren’t unfairly penalized by health care institutions or insurance for providing legally protected health care consistent with the professional standards of care
  • Protect health care providers from surveillance that could negatively impact their ability to provide legally protected care
  • Protect all providers involved in delivering legally protected transgender and reproductive healthcare in Rhode Island consistent with the professional standards of care, including care via telehealth
  • Ensure Rhode Island’s resources are not used to further hostile litigation from states where essential healthcare is banned

“The Health Care Provider Shield Act provides critically needed safeguards for Rhode Island’s health care system,” said Polly Crozier, Attorney at GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders. “Rhode Island has a strong public policy commitment to protecting access to health care, including reproductive and transgender health care. The bill protects Rhode Island providers and patients from unwarranted out-of-state intrusion into medical decision making and ensures clinicians can continue to practice in line with the professional standards of care.”

“Penalizing providers for delivering effective, best-practice medical care hurts patients and providers, and takes away people’s ability to make informed decisions about their own and their children and families’ health,” said Jeanne LaChance, President/CEO, Thundermist Health Center. “Rhode Island has a long history of supporting transgender people’s freedom to live without discrimination, including in access to health care. We appreciate Sen. Euer and, Rep. Edwards’ introduction of the Health Care Provider Shield Act to make it clear that access to essential medical care for transgender people as well as reproductive health care are legal rights in Rhode Island, and to protect Rhode Island’s health care system, providers, and those seeking essential medical care.”

“As more states across the country move to ban abortion and transgender health care, there is no doubt that patients and health care professionals are subject to increased health and legal risks when getting and providing health care. The introduction of the Health Care Provider Shield Act makes it clear that our state leaders are prioritizing patient access to legal, standard-of-care transgender and reproductive medical care and protecting those who provide this essential health care,” said Vimala Phongsavanh, Senior Director, External Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. “We look forward to working with Senator Euer and Representative Edwards to pass this critical legislation to protect essential health care for all Rhode Islanders.” 

The Health Care Provider Shield Act is supported by a coalition of organizations:

Provider Groups:

  • American Academy of Pediatrics, Rhode Island Chapter
  • American Association of Nurses- RI/Rhode Island State Nurses Association
  • American College of Emergency Medicine Physicians 
  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • American College of Physicians, RI
  • National Association of Social Workers
  • Nurse Practitioner Alliance of RI
  • Primary Care-Population Medicine MD-MSc Program Class of 2024
  • Rhode Island Academy of Family Medicine Physicians
  • Rhode Island Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Rhode Island Medical Society
  • Rhode Island Academy of Physicians Assistants 
  • Spectrum

Health Care Delivery:

  • Hospital Association of Rhode Island
  • Open Door Health
  • Planned Parenthood of Southern NE
  • Thundermist Health Center
  • Rhode Island Health Center Association

Other Interested Parties:

  • ACLU
  • Center for Reproductive Rights
  • COYOTE
  • GLAD
  • House of Codec
  • Protect Our Health Care RI
  • PPRI Votes
  • Pride in Aging
  • RI Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • RI Commission on Human Rights
  • RI Coalition for Reproductive Freedom
  • RI Public Health Institute 
  • The Womxn Project
  • TGI Network
  • Youth Pride Inc

Learn more about the Health Care Provider Shield Act

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