Women's Rights Issues The ACLU of Rhode Island is Involved With - Court Cases, Legislation, News Releases


Protecting Civil Liberties in Rhode Island for Over 50 Years


Women's Rights

Despite great strides made in recent decades, gender discrimination remains a  problem. This discrimination takes many forms – unequal pay in the workplace, gender differences in health insurance coverage and cost, and ongoing attempts to limit access to reproductive health care, including abortion.

Until full equality is a reality, the ACLU will continue its advocacy work in support of women’s rights.

“Women’s rights are an essential part of the overall human rights agenda, trained on the equal dignity and ability to live in freedom all people should enjoy.”
– Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice and Founder of the ACLU Women’s Rights Project

Women’s Rights in the News

  • Jun, 29, 2020: Court Challenge Filed to Brown University’s Abandonment of Gender Equity in Athletics Program
  • Nov, 20, 2019: Lawsuit Settled Against Harmony Fire District Over Alleged Sex-Discriminatory Firings
  • Oct, 02, 2019: Settlement Reached in Discrimination Suit Against Newport Grand Casino

View All Women's Rights Related News Releases »

Women’s Rights Court Cases

2019: Benson v. Raimondo
Category: Abortion    Active Case    Privacy    Women's Rights    

About this Case:
This is a lawsuit filed by private parties challenging the constitutionality of the Reproductive Privacy Act on the grounds that it violates the Rhode Island Constitution.  The ACLU of RI has filed an "friend of court" brief challenging the plaintiffs position.

Current Status:
Lawsuit filed in June 2019. Defendents have filed a motion to dismiss, and the ACLU of RI brief supports that motion.

Lynette Labinger and Faye Dion

Supporting Documents
2018: Foxy Lady v. City of Providence
Category: Discrimination    Gender Discrimination    Free Speech    

About this Case:
This is “friend of the court” brief filed in the R.I. Supreme Court, arguing that the Providence Board of Licenses’ revocation of the Foxy Lady’s entertainment license, and the failure to issue a stay of the decision pending full judicial review, violate the club’s First Amendment rights.  Our blog post on this ordeal can be found here (The Providence Board of Licenses Comes for the Foxy Lady).

Current Status:
On January 3, 2019, the RI Supreme Court decided to review the case (scheduled for April 2019) and ruled that the Foxy Lady could resume operations in the meantime.

Cooperating Attorney:
Jared Goldstein

Supporting Documents

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Women’s Rights Legislation

Fetal Heartbeat Resolution (H 7355) Held for Further Study
Category: 2020    Abortion    

Although this resolution would create no binding legal language or alter the protections codified just last session by the Reproductive Privacy Act, we opposed H 7355, which would claim to “recognize” that the existence of a fetal heartbeat of flutter is evidence of the existence of human life. We noted that preventing any type of legislative assertion based on dangerous, scientifically unsound ideological perspectives of abortion was critical, and that the General Assembly should not be eroding, even symbolically, the recognition that access to safe and legal abortion is protected in Rhode Island.