July 2nd, 2013 at 12:07 pm by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes
By Ted Nesi
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Advocates of legal abortion are calling on Gov. Lincoln Chafee to veto legislation that would create a “Choose Life” license plate and direct some of the proceeds to a group that encourages women not to terminate their pregnancies.
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• Op-Ed: Hodges: Rhode Island lags New England on reproductive health (May 31)
May 31st, 2013 at 5:00 am by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
By Paula Hodges
Rhode Island is considered one of the most “blue” states in the country, ranking eighth most Democratic in Gallup’s 2013 State of the States report, and the Democratic supermajorities in the General Assembly would seem to indicate progressivism. Yet in stark contrast to this progressive marker, women comprise only 27% of General Assembly members. This critical lack of gender parity in positions of power and elected office – along with decades-old state laws and recent fights over healthcare reform – point to a more disturbing picture.
Alarmingly, when it comes to reproductive justice Rhode Island is comparable to conservative Midwest states such as Missouri, Arkansas or Oklahoma. Advocates in the Ocean State find ourselves similarly forced to defend annually against bills that would politicize abortion and make the procedure more difficult to access. Although 2013 will go down as a landmark year when Rhode Island became the 10th state to pass marriage equality, 20 years after that struggle began – and 40 years after Roe v. Wade – the cloud of religious-refusal clauses and discrimination recently overcome by marriage-equality advocates still threatens to rain down on women’s reproductive health.
Everything is not as it seems
Rhode Island merits a D+ grade from NARAL, with the most stringent abortion laws in all of New England. Conservative New Hampshire outpaces us with a C+, while Maine, Vermont, and Connecticut all receive A grades.