Photo Credit: Daisy Laparra
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — In a city that was founded in 1636 by Baptist theologian Roger Williams, and was named after “God’s merciful providence,” lawmakers in the Rhode Island House Judiciary Committee have approved a bill that codifies the “right” to abortion under Roe v. Wade into law, and also removes a segment from the state’s criminal statutes allowing for the prosecution of a person who causes the death of a woman’s unborn child.
According to reports, the committee voted 9-7 on Tuesday in favor of H. 5127, also known as “The Reproductive Health Care Act.”
“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 during that period, except when it is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.”
However, some have stated that the term “the health of the mother” is a broad catchall, and point to the companion case of Doe
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