Catholic Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo Signs Bill Legalizing Abortions Up to Birth

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 20, 2019   |   8:53AM   |   Providence, Rhode Island

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo has signed a bill that would legalize abortions up to birth in the northeastern state.

The state Senate voted Wednesday to pass the radical bill that would allow late-term abortions on viable unborn babies, including partial-birth and dismemberment abortions. Recent amendments appear to provide some limits on late-term abortions but still allow them for the “health” of the mother, a term so broadly defined that basically any situation could qualify.

Barth Bracy, executive director of the Rhode Island Right to Life Committee, described the legislation as a “New York-style abortion expansion bill.”

But that didn’t stop the state’s Democrat governor for putting her name on the bill shortly after the legislature gave it the final approval.

“Fundamentally, this bill is about healthcare,” said Governor Raimondo “The majority of Rhode Islanders are for it. Which isn’t to say it’s not controversial, and I hear from both sides, but I believe it’s the right thing to do.”

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Despite several attempts to amend the bill, all amendments were ultimately defeated, angering pro life supporters.

“All of you! How could you not vote for a woman – for a baby to be ripped apart! In the womb! That’s hideous!” said Minority Whip Elaine Morgan.Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser told LifeNews the pro-life grouo conducted polling and generated hundreds of constituent phone calls in opposition to the bill and said she was very disappointed by the governor signing the bill.

“It is extremely disappointing to see Rhode Island lawmakers cave to pressure from the abortion lobby to pass this radical bill,” she said.

“More than three in four Ocean State voters – Democrats, Independents, women, and a strong majority of self-described pro-choice voters – agree expanding late-term abortions is too extreme. Rhode Islanders should not be fooled by the smokescreen of ‘compromise’: this law expands abortion on demand through the moment of birth. We thank all the legislators, especially the many courageous Democrats who stood firm in their opposition and fought for the will of their constituents,” she added.

A poll released last month by Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) and Rhode Island Right to Life found that:

  • 73 percent of Rhode Island voters – including 63 percent of Democrats, 77 percent of Independents, and 56 percent of self-described pro-choice voters – oppose late-term abortions in general.
  • When told that the legislature is considering a bill that would allow abortions up until birth, for any reason, fully 77% of Rhode Island voters – including 69 percent of Democrats, 79 percent of Independents, 80 percent of women, and 62 percent of self-described pro-choice voters – say they oppose allowing abortions up until birth.

Democrats have been accused of playing political games to push the legislation. In May, a state Senate committee narrowly defeated the pro-abortion bill, but many suspected that abortion activists would push lawmakers to resurrect it.

Last week, they transferred the bill to a different committee – an unprecedented move — which passed it by an overwhelming majority. A Democratic lawmaker who describes herself as pro-life voted in favor of the bill, The Providence Journal reports. State Sen. Elizabeth Crowley said she is pro-life, but she believes the full state Senate should vote on the bill.

Rhode Island Right to Life accused state lawmakers of betraying voters by pushing the bill. In an email to supporters, the organization urged voters to contact their senators:

It has become absolutely clear that House and Senate Leadership are stubbornly determined to push this bill through. For reasons not yet fully known or revealed, they are tenaciously “whipping” those who would otherwise vote against the bill. And they are violating their own rules as well as the assurances and representations they have made to constituents, to fellow lawmakers, and to me and my predecessors. A treacherous madness and bloodlust has descended upon both legislative chambers with former “friends” now nearly snarling when asked to honor their pro-life representations.

There is still time to intervene with your state Representative and state Senator, and I ask you now to do it in a very direct and clear voice, in the language most of them understand best, namely, that if they oppose this extreme abortion bill, you will support them, and if they do not oppose this extreme abortion bill, then you will vigorously oppose them, in every primary, in every general election, and in every lawful manner possible with your time and treasure and talents… in 2020, in 2022, in 2024, in 2026, in 2028, and beyond… you will not forget… and you will recruit others to join you.

Earlier this month, Democratic lawmakers amended the bill to address concerns by some wavering politicians. The bill still repeals the state fetal homicide law, but the newly amended version includes language creating a new felony assault category that allows charges against an individual whose assault on a pregnant woman results in the “termination of a pregnancy,” according to the local news.

Lawmakers also removed a section allowing an older sibling or grandparent to provide consent for an underage girl to have an abortion, rather than her parents, as is currently required by law.

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.”

Most residents do not support the legislation. The pro-life organization pointed to a recent WPRI/RWU poll that showed “ the overwhelming majority of Rhode Islanders oppose what this legislation does.”

ACTION: Contact Gov. Gina Raimondo to complain.