We are gearing up for another busy year advocating for women’s health here in Rhode Island. Our Junior Fellows have been amazing advocates, rallying loads of support to get there at all hours of the day and night to testify. We are working on adding additional curriculum into the residency program on advocacy to help additional residents learn and get involved in advocacy during the upcoming academic year.
The Rhode Island Section had a major legislative victory with the passage of legislation that finally allows pregnant adolescents to consent for their own health care. The law provides that “any person, including, but not limited to, a minor who is pregnant, may give effective consent for medical, dental, health and hospital services relating to prenatal, delivery, and postdelivery care.” It was signed into law by Governor Gina Raimondo (D-RI) this summer and has benefited many of our pregnant teens since. Getting this legislation passed in Rhode Island took a united effort of women’s health care providers and nurses advocating for this vulnerable population by calling and emailing their representatives. We are so proud to be part of such a caring community!
Our team also advocated for the Contraceptive Access Bill (S 2529/HB 7635), which passed. This legislation allows for a woman to receive up to a year of prescription birth control at the pharmacy instead of needing to return monthly.
We spoke out against multiple bills trying to limit abortion access within the state and in support of legislation that would ensure access to care, and we plan to do so again this year. The Reproductive Health Care Act, a bill that would codify the protections of Roe vs. Wade into Rhode Island law, will hopefully be voted on during the upcoming legislative session.
There is lots of work still to be done, but with the enthusiasm and support of our Junior Fellows, many hands are making the work easier! Please do not hesitate to contact us with any concerns or legislative issues at [email protected].
Emily White, MD, ACOG Rhode Island Section Chair
Beth Cronin, MD, ACOG Rhode Island Section Vice Chair
Other than the snow, legal marijuana, and political turmoil, there is nothing new to report in Quebec. We are still waiting for the negotiation of Francois Legault’s new Coalition Avenir Québec government regarding physicians’ salaries. On the health care minister’s to-do list is implementing a system of dealing with no-show patients.
Carnet Santé, the Quebec Health Booklet, is fully operational. Patients can access test results, medical imaging reports, consult their list of prescribed medications, and schedule appointments all online.
We are actively looking for ACOG Quebec Section leaders, so if you are interested in getting involved, please let us know!
Yvonne Vasilie, MD, ACOG Quebec Section Chair