The State of Rhode Island’s House Majority Whip, Katherine S. Kazarian, has introduced the Equality in Abortion Coverage Act, which aims to ensure that individuals on Medicaid and state health insurance plans have coverage for abortion procedures.

Kazarian (D-Dist. 63, East Providence) stated that access to reproductive health is not equal in the state and that many individuals are unable to pay the costs out of pocket or are not on private insurance, making essential healthcare services out of reach.

The Act would eliminate all bans on abortion coverage in Rhode Island and add the state to the list of 16 states, including Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, and Maine, whose Medicaid programs cover abortion.

Kazarian also noted that excluding state employees and low-income patients from having insurance coverage for reproductive health services is unfair.

The legislation has received support from the Rhode Island Coalition for Reproductive Freedom and several cosponsors in the House.

Cosponsors of the legislation are Reps. Edith H. Ajello (D-Dist. 1, Providence), Karen Alzate (D-Dist. 60, Pawtucket), Leonela Felix (D-Dist. 61, Pawtucket), House Majority Leader Christopher R. Blazejewski (D-Dist. 2, Providence), Reps. Kathleen A. Fogarty (D-Dist. 35, South Kingstown), Carol Hagan McEntee (D-Dist. 33, South Kingstown, Narragansett), Jason Knight (D-Dist. 67, Barrington, Warren), Joshua J. Giraldo (D-Dist. 56, Central Falls) and Lauren H. Carson (D-Dist. 75, Newport).