PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island, March 7, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – On Tuesday, the Judiciary Committee of the Rhode Island state House approved a New York-style bill to liberalize the state’s already lax abortion laws.
The House committee voted 9-7 on Tuesday in favor of H-5125A, which faces probable approval by the full House as early as Thursday. It will still have to go to the state Senate, where a companion bill, S.152A, has been prepared. Democrat Gov. Gina Raimondo, a Catholic, has vowed to sign the legislation, which would enshrine abortion on demand in state law should the U.S. Supreme Court eventually overturn Roe v. Wade.
Senate Bill 152A is being weighed by the state Senate Judiciary Committee and resembles the Reproductive Health Act that was passed in New York in January. The Rhode Island bill would strike down the modest abortion restrictions currently on the books and allow abortion for practically any reason.
The crowd is 10-1 pro-life according to Barth Bracy of R.I. Right to Life pic.twitter.com/nbtnToEFrH
— Larry Gillheeney (@LGillheeney) January 29, 2019
“As in New York and Virginia, abortion proponents in Rhode Island are pushing extreme legislation that would strike down a wide range of state restrictions on abortion, including our longstanding post-viability abortion ban, thus allowing abortion up to the moment of birth,” the Catholic Diocese of Providence said in a statement.
Hundreds of pro-life advocates protested at the state capitol to denounce the bill. According to Barth Bracy of Rhode Island Right to Life, the ratio of pro-lifers to abortion supporters was ten to one.
House Judiciary Committee approved the abortion rights bill 9-7. The legislation now goes to the full House for a vote Thursday. Pro-life and pro-choice people are still here listening in on the Senate hearing (no vote will take place—just discussion) @NBC10 pic.twitter.com/gYMjovJJZ3
— Ashley Cullinane (@AshCullinane) March 6, 2019
State Republican party chair Brandon Bell expressed his opposition to the bill. According to the Providence Journal, he said, “Late term abortions for vague health reasons will now be legal under state law. Unborn children will lose a possible legal protection if their mother is a victim of a crime.”
Speaking on Saturday, Bell warned, “Taxpayers could now be paying for the abortions of local government employees.”
Following the lead set by New York, the legislatures in Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Vermont are considering bills to expand late-term abortions.