Rhode Island Defiant in Defense of Trans Rights in Medical Care

When becoming a doctor, one is required to swear to do right by their patients. This swearing, known as the Hippocratic Oath, vows that medical professionals will do their best to also include their patient in as much as the decision-making process.

Not So Simple

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Likoper

Of course, this can become a Herculean task. Practicing medicine demands years of rigorous study as well as strong grasps in the fields of biology, chemistry, and physics. This of course is also paired with plenty of hands-on experience.

Breaking It Down

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Drazen Zigic

Needless to say, high ranking positions in the medical industry are well-guarded and often unwelcoming. This can make situations quite frustrating for doctors needing to fully explain complex treatments to non-trained patients in their care.

Removing Choices

Image Credit: Shutterstock / yanishevska

However, many states around the US have simplified this, at least for doctors specializing in gender-affirming health care. These states have banned gender treatments, effectively reducing a doctor’s treatment option to nothing.

Strong Shields

Image Credit: Shutterstock / 9nong

As a result of the political attack against modern medicine, some states have begun to develop “shield bills” which grant their territory as a legislative safe haven for genderqueer individuals facing national persecution.

A New Soldier

Image Credit: Shutterstock / PeopleImages.com – Yuri A

One such state to pass a shield bill is the small but mighty Ocean State, Rhode Island. On Thursday, May 2nd, Rhode Island approved a bill that protects medical workers attempting to provide reproductive care.

Protecting All People

Image Credit: Shutterstock / WHYFRAME

While this umbrella term can be difficult to unpack, the new law covers a variety of services. These services such as operations, hormone therapy, and abortions are legally permitted within state borders.

Many Against Few

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Andrii Yalanskyi

This legislation seeks to protect its LGBTQ+ citizens, allowing them the utmost freedom when combining medical practice and gender identity. The bill passed with a 29-7 vote, showing a valiant commitment to serving its queer population.

Catching Up

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Salivanchuk Semen

Some may consider Rhode Island’s shield bill to be quite a step forward, but in actuality it is quite late when compared to neighboring states. Before its approval, Rhode Island was the second to last New England state to adopt a shield bill, with New Hampshire now on its own.

Who’s Who

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Carol La Rosa

In total, 7 opposed its implementation. Five of those were unsurprisingly Republican members of the state Senate. This implies a further party alignment when it comes to enthusiasm for pro-trans legislation. Of the entire Senate, only one member was not present.


Image Credit: Shutterstock / megaflopp

The Rhode Island law, formally labeled as the Healthcare Provider Shield Act keeps disruptors of development at bay. Trans and nonbinary people looking for medical support may come from out of state, receive the care they desire, and return home without threats of legal persecution.

Attractive Offers

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sean Pavone

An action like this makes Rhode Island a much more desirable location for trans and nonbinary people to live. By providing legal legitimacy to specialized and controversial care, the state could bring more citizens that could stimulate economic growth.

Backed by Science

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Pressmaster

Sen. Lauria, who is a nurse practitioner,  backs this sentiment of economic growth. Well, this is a health care workforce bill, because if we want to keep our providers here in Rhode Island or providers to come to Rhode Island. We have to protect the job that they’re trained to do.”   

Standing Together

Image Credit: Shutterstock / zimmytws

This comes at quite an appropriate time. Genderqueer folks are being used as political ploys across the country. Not to mention the degradation of women’s rights following the Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade back in 2022.

Puritans in the Woods

Image Credit: Shutterstock / SeventyFour

Despite the overwhelming support for the bill’s passing, there are no doubt those who reside in the state who are not happy. New England is known to house its fair share of Conservative Christians, who struggle with upholding the dignity of those in the queer community.

Bound by Law

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sebastian Duda

Pulling out specifics, the new bill highlights its extent against outside political forces, stating that “Any public act of a foreign jurisdiction that prohibits, criminalizes, sanctions, or authorizes a person to bring a civil action” will not be upheld in a court setting.”

As It Is Written

Image Credit: Shutterstock / PreciousJ

As long as the medical entities and its participants are “in this state that engages in legally protected healthcare activity…shall be an interference with the exercise and enjoyment of the rights secured by this chapter,”.

New England vs New Hampshire

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Andrii Yalanskyi

Rhode Island has now joined its fellow New England states, placing a high amount of pressure on New Hampshire to follow in its footsteps. If New Hampshire complies, New England will become one cohesive safe haven for the trans community. 

The post Rhode Island Defiant in Defence of Trans Rights in Medical Care first appeared on Pulse of Pride.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Mehaniq.