MAY 14th – – – – – – – – – –
Last Tuesday, May 14th the Senate Judiciary voted down the Senate bill – the Reproductive Health Care Act (S 152A). Two senators who had made public commitments to support Roe and a bill to protect the right to abortion when they were campaigning – Senator Lou Raptakis and Senator Stephen Archambault voted “no” and it was defeated 5-4. The Reproductive Privacy Act (H 5125A), which had been amended after conversations with the Rhode Island Coalition for Reproductive Freedom and sponsors to reach a compromise, was tabled for further study. This means the House version is still in play and could be moved to the full Senate floor. The Senate president has made a public commitment to get a bill to the floor for a full Senate vote. Once the vote was complete, supporters of abortion rights chanted in protest and took over the Senate chamber and State House. We have continued to keep up the pressure.
After generating hundreds of calls, Senators Lynch Prata and Miller, heads of the Senate Judiciary and Health and Human Services committee publicly stated the need for the Judiciary Committee to come together to find a solution of how best to proceed. The Womxn Project also put pressure on the governor to take a more public and vocal lead in support of getting a bill to her desk this year. Finally, we continue to show up, speak out and to put pressure on lawmakers who are not standing up for our health and rights!
So what does the current bill do?
Let’s say it again, this bill DOES NOT permit abortion at any stage in pregnancy.
- The RPA protects an individual right to seek abortion until viability.
- After viability, the RPA ensures that if someone needs an abortion to protect their life or health, abortion will be available.
- It also removes unconstitutional laws from the state books.
- It DOES NOT in any way impact the enforcement of the federal law that is known as the “partial-birth abortion ban” (totally inflammatory name that is not scientifically based and is meant to stir up emotions, but we digress).
We will continue to work to do all we can to get this done. We know the stake are high. We are not giving up!
—————–below you will find info from the House efforts….
March 2019 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
What does it look like now?
- Read the statement from the Rhode Island Coalition for Reproductive Freedom.
- The sub A (amendment) for the RPA (H 5125) will be voted on Tuesday in House Judiciary. The Coalition and The Womxn Project are in support of this amendment.
- We would like to see the Senate version of the RHCA (S 152) be amended in the Senate to line up with the RPA.
- We want both of the bills to move to the floor right away and to pass without exception or amendment. NO AMENDMENTS. This amendment was very thoughtfully crafted. It is time to stop the delays and get these bills passed into law.
What should we know about the proposed amendment to the RPA?
While the language is not exactly the same as the RHCA, here’s the good news – the facts behind the bill are the same.
- It codifies the protections of the Roe v. Wade decision into Rhode Island statute.
- It removes laws that are currently on Rhode Island books that are unconstitutional and unenforceable.
- It allows a pregnant person the legal right to obtain an abortion up to fetal viability.
- After viability, access to services would be limited to cases where a woman’s life or health was at risk. This is the law as it stands today and neither the RHCA nor the proposed amendment for the RPA change that.
So what’s different?
- There is language regarding the state law that forces young people to obtain parental consent. It would allow a grandparent or an adult sibling over 25 to also provide consent for a young person to seek an abortion.
- It removes the state law around partial birth abortion, which was already found to be unenforceable.This does NOT change that abortion after the point of viability is provided only in cases where a woman’s life or health is at risk. The amended RPA has language making clear that the federal PBA ban would still be enforced.
- Opposition will make all kinds of inflammatory and ridiculous claims, but it does NOT permit abortion at any point in pregnancy. It does protect the difficult situations where a woman’s life or health is at risk. That’s it.
In the end, the facts behind the proposed amendment to the RPA and the RHCA as currently written are essentially the same – codify Roe, remove unconstitutional laws from the books, protect the individual right to abortion up until viability, provide medical options including abortion after viability to save a woman’s life or health – that is it. That is protecting the status quo, fulfilling the promise of Roe and protecting the right to abortion. That is what we need to do now, so that no matter what happens at the federal level if you need an abortion in Rhode Island, you know you can get safe, legal care.
No more delays. The time is now. Let’s get this done and protect the right to abortion THIS YEAR!
February 15, 2019:
This goal of this bill is to protect the right to seek an abortion in Rhode Island. We believe every person should have the ability to make their own decision about how to build their family, manage their health and plan their pregnancies. This ensures that we become parents when we are ready and that we control our own futures. We have a chance to pass this important legislation this year.
WHAT DOES THE BILL DO?
The RHCA prohibits the state from restricting people from seeking an abortion until the pregnancy reaches viability.* The intent of this bill is to guarantee that no matter what happens at the federal level people in Rhode Island will have the legal right to seek an abortion.
The RHCA gets rid of old laws restricting abortion that have been found unconstitutional.Some people don’t want abortion to be available at all regardless of circumstances, so over the years laws have been passed in order to limit access to care. Many of these policies have been found unconstitutional or cannot be enforced based on legal precedent. This bill strikes these laws from the books.
WHY DO WE NEED THIS BILL NOW?
This bill will draw the line and make it abundantly clear that we protect every person’s ability to make their own decisions and to follow their own beliefs when it comes to pregnancy, parenting and abortion.
WHAT DO VOTERS HAVE TO STAY?
More than 70% of voters and 61% of Catholics in our state have said that they want to see this bill enacted and to make it clear that the right to abortion is protected in our state. It has strong support and is frankly the right thing to do.
MORE INFORMATION TO DOWNLOAD
- Rep. Christopher R. Blazejewski (D-Dist. 2, Providence)
- Rep. Julie A. Casimiro (D-Dist. 31, North Kingstown, Exeter)
- Rep. Robert E. Craven (D-Dist. 32, North Kingstown)
- Rep. Kathleen A. Fogarty (D-Dist. 35, South Kingstown)
- Rep. Justine Caldwell (D-Dist. 30, East Greenwich, West Greenwich)
- Rep. Arthur Handy (D-Dist. 18, Cranston)
- Rep. Jason Knight (D-Dist. 67, Barrington, Warren)
- Rep. Marvin L. Abney (D-Dist.73, Newport, Middletown)
- Rep. Charlene Lima (D-Dist. 14, Cranston, Providence)
- Rep. Karen Alzate (D-Dist. 60, Pawtucket)
- Rep. Terri Cortvriend (D-Dist. 72, Portsmouth, Middletown)
- Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston)
- Rep. Teresa Tanzi (D-Dist. 34, South Kingstown, Narragansett)
- Rep. Lauren H. Carson (D-Dist. 75, Newport)
- Rep. Marcia Ranglin-Vassell (D-Dist. 5, Providence)
- Rep. Dennis M. Canario (D-Dist. 71, Portsmouth, Tiverton, Little Compton)
- Rep. Rebecca Kislak (D-Dist. 4, Providence)
- Rep. Susan R. Donovan (D-Dist. 69, Bristol, Portsmouth)
- Rep. Gregg Amore (D-Dist. 65, East Providence)
- Rep. Moira J. Walsh (D-Dist. 3, Providence)
- Rep. Evan Shanley (D-Dist. 24, Warwick)
- Rep. Katherine Kazarian (D-Dist. 63, East Providence)
- Rep. Jean Philippe Barros (D-Dist. 59, Pawtucket)
- Rep. John W. Lyle Jr. (R-Dist. 46, Lincoln, Pawtucket)
- Rep. Deborah Ruggiero (D-Dist. 74, Jamestown, Middletown)
- Rep. Joseph S. Almeida (D-Dist. 12, Providence)
- Rep. Anastasia P. Williams (D-Dist. 9, Providence)
- Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee (D-Dist. 33, South Kingstown, Narragansett)
- Rep. Liana Cassar (D-Dist. 66, Barrington, East Providence)
- Rep. Mary Duffy Messier (D-Dist. 62, Pawtucket)
- Rep. John Lombardi (D-Dist. 8, Providence)
- Rep. David Bennett (D-Dist. 20, Warwick, Cranston)
- Rep. Mario Mendez (D-Dist. 13, Johnston, Providence)
- Rep. Carlos E. Tobon (D-Dist. 58, Pawtucket)
- Rep. Shelby Maldonado (D-Dist. 56, Central Falls)
- Rep. Daniel P. McKiernan (D-Dist. 7, Providence)
- Rep. Robert B. Jacquard (D-Dist. 17, Cranston)
- Sen. V. Susan Sosnowski (D-Dist. 37, South Kingstown, New Shoreham)
- Sen. Erin Lynch Prata (D-Dist. 31, Warwick, Cranston)
- Sen. Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence)
- Sen. Cynthia A. Coyne (D-Dist. 32, Barrington, Bristol, East Providence)
- Sen. James A. Seveney (D-Dist. 11, Portsmouth, Bristol, Tiverton)
- Sen. Adam J. Satchell (D-Dist. 9, West Warwick)
- Sen. Dawn Euer (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown)
- Sen. Ryan W. Pearson (D-Dist. 19, Cumberland, Lincoln)
- Sen. Donna M. Nesselbush (D-Dist. 15, Pawtucket, North Providence)
- Sen. Ana B. Quezada (D-Dist. 2, Providence)
- Sen. Sandra Cano (D-Dist. 8, Pawtucket)
- Sen. Valarie J. Lawson (D-Dist. 14, East Providence)
- Sen. Samuel W. Bell (D-Dist. 5, Providence)
- Sen. Melissa A. Murray (D-Dist. 24, Woonsocket, North Smithfield)
- Sen. Bridget Valverde (D-Dist. 35, North Kingstown, South Kingstown, East Greenwich, Narragansett)
- Sen. William J. Conley Jr. (D-Dist. 18, East Providence, Pawtucket).
- Sen. Gayle L. Goldin (D-District 3, Providence)
- Sen. Ana B. Quezada (D-District 2, Providence)
- Sen. Adam J. Satchell (D-District 9, West Warwick)
- Sen. James A. Seveney (D-District 9, West Warwick)
- Sen. Dawn Euer (D-District 13, Newport, Jamestown)
- Sen. Donna M. Nesselbush (D-District 15, Pawtucket, North Providence)
- Sen. Ryan W. Pearson (D-District 19, Cumberland, Lincoln)
- Sen. Joshua Miller (D-District 28, Cranston, Providence)
- Sen. Erin Lynch Prata (D-District 31, Warwick, Cranston)
- Sen. Cynthia Armour Coyne (D-District 32, Barrington, Bristol, East Providence)
- Sen. V. Susan Sosnowski (D-District 37, New Shoreham, South Kingstown)
- Sen Sandra Cano (D-District 8, Pawtucket)
- Sen William Conley (D- District 18, East Providence, Pawtucket)
- Sen Bridget Valverde (D-District 35, East Greenwich, North Kingstown, South Kingstown, Narragansett)
- Sen Valerie Lawson (D-District 14, East Providence)
- Sen Melissa Murray (D-District 24, Woonsocket, North Smithfield)
- Sen Samuel Bell (D-District 5, Providence)