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Rhode Island

Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP)

Rhode Island imposes extra restrictions on abortion providers, despite the fact that all health-care providers already must comply with a variety of federal and state regulations governing health, safety, building and fire codes, and zoning requirements.  

Restrictions on Where Abortion Services May Be Provided

Rhode Island places medically unnecessary restrictions on where abortion services may be provided.

Any abortion providers-including private physicians-must comply with a uniquely imposed licensure scheme not required of other medical providers. R.I. Code R. 14 000 009.

Rhode Island requires that abortion services provided up to 14 weeks outside of a hospital have "hospital emergency back-up services" available.  For procedures between 15 and 18 weeks, the state requires they be provided in a hospital, a licensed freestanding ambulatory surgical center, a licensed physician's "office operatory," or a freestanding surgical facility.  After the 18th week, abortion services must be provided in a hospital or ambulatory surgical center. R.I. Code R. 14 000 009, §§ 2.3 to 2.4.

Restrictions on Who May Provide Abortion Services

Rhode Island prohibits certain qualified health-care professionals from providing abortion services.

Only a physician licensed by the state to practice medicine or osteopathy may provide surgical abortion.  However, other licensed health-care practitioners acting within the scope of their practice may provide medication-abortion services.  R.I. Code R. 14 000 009, § 1.4, 1.5, 5.1 (Enacted 1973; Last Amended 2000).

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