Rhode Island Democrat Gov. Gina Raimondo signed into law Wednesday the Reproductive Privacy Act , legislation that allows abortion up until the moment of birth.
“Fundamentally this bill is about health care,” Raimondo said, reported the Associated Press (AP). “It’s about protecting and providing access to health care for all the women of Rhode Island.”
“This bill is this chamber and this legislature performing our responsibility to the citizens of the state of Rhode Island. It is our responsibility to protect our citizens,” said Democrat State Sen. Erin Lynch Prata, according to AP. “We are not putting our citizens in the hands of a changing Supreme Court.”
However, Democrat Senate President Dominick Ruggerio and two other Democrats in the chamber, Elizabeth Crowley and Harold Metts, voted against the measure.
As AP reported, Crowley said she believes in life and that pregnancy is a blessing, while Metts, a Baptist deacon, said he would never vote for an “ungodly” abortion-rights bill because “we are made in God’s image.”
Leading up to the vote, national pro-life organization the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) conducted a poll that found 77 percent of Rhode Island voters oppose allowing abortion up until birth.
According to the survey, 73 percent oppose late-term abortions, including 63 percent of Democrats, 77 percent of independents, and 89 percent of Republicans.
The poll also found 80 percent of Rhode Island women voters are opposed to abortion up until birth as are 62 percent of self-described “pro-choice” voters.
“It is extremely disappointing to see Rhode Island lawmakers cave to pressure from the abortion lobby to pass this radical bill,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser.
“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,” she added. “Rhode Islanders should not be fooled by the smokescreen of ‘compromise’: this law expands abortion on demand through the moment of birth.”
Planned Parenthood Votes Rhode Island celebrated the new law, repeating the abortion vendor’s narrative that “abortion is healthcare”:
"The essential protections instilled by the RPA will ensure all Rhode Islanders can access the reproductive health care they need. Abortion is health care, reproductive care is health care and health care is a human right.” —@AmandaSkinnerPP https://t.co/hPqDHzfsVY
— PlannedParenthoodVotes!RI (@ppvotesri) June 21, 2019
However, Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence tweeted the bill’s passage was “profoundly disappointing”:
The passage of the pro-abortion law in R.I. is profoundly disappointing, a very dark day in the history of our state. But…to the pro-life community, sincere appreciation! Your witness to the dignity of human life has been powerful, peaceful and prayerful. God is pleased!
— Bishop Thomas Tobin (@ThomasJTobin1) June 20, 2019
The new law expands abortion to any time it is considered “necessary to preserve the health or life of that individual.”
Katie Glenn, government affairs counsel with Americans United for Life, wrote in testimony opposing the legislation that “the Supreme Court considers ‘health’ to include all factors, including ‘physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age’ for the purposes of post-viability abortions.”
“By failing to define or limit ‘health,’ the Act allows for abortion up to the moment of delivery of the child which effectively creates abortion on demand at any point in the pregnancy,” Glenn said. “Adding a requirement that the physician record the reason for the late-term abortion in the woman’s medical record is not a restriction on late-term abortions and therefore does nothing to prevent them from happening.”