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Legislative Priority Issues

Our Purpose

RI NOW’s purpose is to take action to bring women into full participation in all aspects of public and private life without experiencing barriers based on gender. We are a membership-based organization that uses the legislative process to improve the lives of women and girls in Rhode Island. 

Advancing Reproductive Justice

RI NOW believes in a comprehensive approach to achieving reproductive justice for all women. This includes access to a full range of health services, including abortion and emergency contraception, comprehensive sex education in schools, and economic resources for family planning. RI NOW works legislatively to improve access to reproductive services and fight efforts that would restrict access.

Promoting Economic Justice

RI NOW fights for equity in employment, pay, benefits, access to education, and other areas that affect the economic well-being of women and girls. We work in coalition with other organizations to actively oppose punitive welfare reform that harms the most vulnerable women and children in our community.

Ending Violence Against Women

RI NOW works to end all types of violence against women, including domestic violence, sexual assault, violence at abortion clinics, hate crimes that cross gender lines, dating violence, human trafficking and gender bias in the judicial system. In addition, we support funding for programs that provide counseling to children who witness domestic violence.

Securing Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights

RI NOW works in coalition with others to end discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in all areas, including employment, housing, public accommodations, health services, child custody and military policies. We assert the right of lesbians and gays to live with dignity and security, and the rights of equal marriage for all.

Ending Racism

RI NOW recognizes that many women experience discrimination not just based on gender but race as well. RI NOW condemns racism and works with other organizations to identify and fight against those barriers to equality and justice that are imposed by racism.

Other Issues of Concern

In addition to RI NOW’s core issue areas, we lobby on behalf of older women, women with disabilities, and women with other health considerations. All are part of our purpose to bring women into full participation in the mainstream of society.

Contact Us

RI NOW is most effective when our geographically dispersed members lobby their elected leaders to affect change. To join us in our efforts to improve the lives of women and girls in Rhode Island, please visit us at, join our listserve, and become a member. You can also contact RI NOW President Carolyn Mark at 401-862-0354 or

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