McKee Signs Executive Order to Protect Access to Reproductive Health Care in RI

government DANIEL J. MCKEE Tuesday signed an executive order protecting access to reproductive health care in Rhode Island. / AP FILE PHOTO/STEVEN SENNE

PROVISION – Government Daniel J. McKee signed an executive order on Tuesday protecting access to reproductive health care in Rhode Island. The move follows the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, ending constitutional protections for abortion that had been in effect for nearly 50 years.

The injunction, which can be read here, ensures that individuals who come to the Ocean State to seek reproductive health services are protected from legal liability in other states, the McKee office said. When the Supreme Court voted 6-3 on June 24 to overturn Roe v. Wade, McKee — one of several elected officials and nonprofit leaders who opposed the decision — called the ruling a “travesty.” claiming the decision will make abortions less safe.

In 2019, Rhode Island passed the Reproductive Privacy Act, which codified women’s legal right to abortion in the Ocean State.

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McKee’s office said Tuesday’s executive order also protects Rhode Island-based providers who provide reproductive health care to individuals out of state. It will ensure they don’t lose their professional licenses or have out-of-state charges filed against them, McKee’s office said.

The order also prohibits state executive agencies from assisting in another state’s investigation of any person or entity for the purpose of receiving or providing such health services. Rhode Island will also not cooperate with extradition requests from other states that bring criminal charges against individuals who have received or provided legal reproductive health services in Rhode Island, the McKee office said.

“Women need to be trusted with their own health care decisions, and here in Rhode Island we strongly support the right to choose,” McKee said in a statement. Lt. gov. Sabina Matos also said in a statement that Rhode Island “must do everything” to protect access to reproductive health care and that the executive order “will ensure that anyone seeking this type of care anywhere in the country can do it in Rhode.” Island without fear of consequences.”

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James Bessette is the editor of PBN’s special projects and also covers the non-profit and education sectors. You can reach him at [email protected] You can also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette

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