Testimony in support of S2262 (healthcare provider shield bill)

Last updated: March 07, 2024

Testimony in support of S2262 (healthcare provider shield bill)
Senate Committee on Judiciary
March 7, 2024
Nina Harrison, Policy Directory, Economic Progress Institute

The Economic Progress Institute strongly supports Sen. Euer’s S2262, which would create a protective legal shield for healthcare providers, precluding any civil/criminal action by other states/persons against healthcare providers involving persons seeking access to transgender and reproductive healthcare services provided in RI. S2262 would improve healthcare access and equity in Rhode Island, while providing much needed protection for vulnerable communities.

Since its founding, Rhode Islanders have been known for valuing our freedom. However, across the country, doctors and patients providing and seeking gender-affirming medical care, as well as contraceptive and abortion care, have been under relentless attack for trying to exercise their rights to bodily autonomy. At a time when many medical providers are leaving the industry and we are struggling to retain medical practitioners in Rhode Island, it is imperative that we protect the rights of medical providers and those seeking their care in our state. Sen. Euer’s S2262, would prohibit any individual from interfering with another's access to transgender health care services and reproductive health care services. The bill is designed to protect established, best-practice medical care that is legal in Rhode Island, and to ensure that our local providers and health care infrastructure are not harmed by hostile laws in other states. Medical providers and patients deserve to do their jobs and receive medical treatment without fear of harassment, hate crimes, or legal repercussions. It is also well-established that failure to access necessary gender-affirming care can have dire mental health consequences and contribute to suicidal ideation; for some Rhode Islanders, this legislation is a matter of life or death.

S2262 will protect Rhode Islanders from unnecessary suffering, uphold personal liberty and dignity for providers and patients, and improve equity by proactively reducing disparities for the transgender community. The Economic Progress Institute strongly urges passage.

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