Rhode Island Senate Will Vote Tuesday on Bill to Legalize Abortions Up to Birth

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jun 10, 2019   |   11:40AM   |   Providence, Rhode Island

Rhode Island abortion activists will try again this week to push a radical pro-abortion bill in the state legislature.

On Tuesday, the state Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on a New York-style abortion bill to legalize abortions for basically any reason up to birth. The legislation already passed the state Assembly.

A state Senate committee narrowly defeated the radical pro-abortion bill in May, but many have suspected that abortion activists would push lawmakers to resurrect the bill.

“… for the first time in history — Rhode Island law would create and recognize a ‘right’ to take the life of an innocent human being through abortion even though our state Constitution explicitly disavows such a ‘right,’” Rhode Island Right to Life warned in an email to supporters.

The organization urged residents to contact their state Senators as soon as possible.

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If the bill passes, it would allow late-term abortions on viable unborn babies, including partial-birth and dismemberment abortions. The legislation also would erode parental consent laws by allowing someone other than a parent to consent before an underage girl has an abortion.

Most residents do not support the legislation, according to Rhode Island Right to Life. The group pointed to a recent WPRI/RWU poll that showed “ the overwhelming majority of Rhode Islanders oppose what this legislation does.”

Last week, abortion activists from Planned Parenthood and the National Organization for Women held a rally in the state capitol demanding that politicians pass the bill, according to Uprise Rhode Island.

“It is simple – abortion is health care. It is time for the Rhode Island Senate to join the House and bring the Reproductive Privacy Act to the floor for a vote,” said Danika Severino Wynn, regional clinical director of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England.

Wynn said she is “petrified” by the new legislation in Missouri and Louisiana that prohibits abortions on unborn babies after their heartbeats are detectable.

Pro-abortion lawmakers, the ACLU and other pro-abortion groups claim the bill merely codifies Roe v. Wade in Rhode Island in the event that the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the ruling.

However, pro-life leaders said this is misleading. A legal analysis of the bill provided by Rhode Island Right to Life states, “… it is ‘a gross distortion and blatant misrepresentation’ to claim that this ‘slightly revised’ version of the original bill would merely codify the principles of Roe v. Wade.”

The bill appears to allow restrictions for late-term abortions, but it adds a broad “health” exception for abortions after viability. The exception would allow women to abort unborn babies up to nine months of pregnancy for basically any “health” reason, including “age, economic, social and emotional factors,” a definition given by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Doe v. Bolton.

Rhode Island Right to Life, state Catholic leaders and Republicans are urging pro-lifers to keep voicing their opposition to the legislation.

ACTION: Contact Rhode Island state senators here. Call Senate Leadership: Senate President at 401-222-6655, Majority Leader at 401-222-3310.