PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Democratic governor of Rhode Island has signed a bill into law that codifies the “right” to abortion under Roe v. Wade in the state, and allows abortion up to birth to “preserve the health or life” of the mother.
“It’s a difficult issue and there are good and principled people on both sides of the issue,” Gov. Gina Raimondo said during the signing on Wednesday night. “But in light of all the uncertainty in Washington, and frankly, around the country in many other states, there is a great deal of anxiety that a woman’s right to healthcare and her right to preserve access reproductive health care is in danger.”
H. 5125, also known as the “Reproductive Privacy Act,” passed the Senate 21-17 on Wednesday, followed by a vote in the House of 45-29.
“Neither the state, nor any of its agencies, or political subdivisions shall restrict an individual person from preventing, commencing, continuing, or terminating that individual’s pregnancy prior to fetal viability,” the bill reads in part.
It also allows for abortions without time limitation, or up until birth, “when necessary to preserve the health or life of that individual.”
The law language reflects the dictates of Roe, in which Justice Harry Blackmun, nominated to the bench by Republican president Richard Nixon, wrote:
“If the State is interested in protecting fetal life after viability [written in the ruling to be as early as 24 weeks], it may go so far as to proscribe abortion
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