Abortion bill sent to new committee to avoid second defeat


(SN) A DRAMATIC SCENE AT THE STATE HOUSE– AS OPPONENTS AND SUPPORTERS OF ABORTION RIGHTS– CROWD THE ROTUNDA. (HE) HOWEVER– STATE LAMAKERS WILL NOT TAKE A VOTE TONIGHT– ON A REVISED BILL– AIMED AT PROTECTING ABORTION RIGHTS HERE IN RHODE ISLAND. (SN) EYEWITNESS NEWS REPORTER STEPH MACHADO IS LIVE AT THE STATE HOUSE– WITH THE DETAILS ON THIS LAST MINUTE MOVE. STEPH? PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) In a highly unusual move, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday unilaterally transferred a high-profile abortion bill to another committee, apparently to avoid the measure being rejected by the panel for a second time. The announcement by Judiciary Chairwoman Erin Lynch Prata stunned State House observers. It came just 24 hours after the committee released the text of a revised bill on abortion rights that had won the backing of the committee’s swing vote, Sen. Stephen Archambault, who had voted down an earlier version of the bill last month. The Senate Health and Human Services Committee will hold a hearing about the bill, the Reproductive Privacy Act, on Thursday at 6:15 p.m., Senate spokesperson Greg Pare said. In a statement, Senate President Dominick Ruggerio said he authorized the move after learning the chamber’s top Republicans planned to invoke their so-called “ex officio” powers to join the committee for the day and vote the bill down. He called it “an unprecedented last minute political stunt.” “Throughout the day, I implored Republican leadership not to undermine the hard work of the Senate Judiciary Committee by abusing their powers as ex- officio members,” Ruggerio, D-North Providence, said in a statement. “In fact, Democratic and Republican leadership held several discussions this session where we agreed that we would not vote in committee on the bill because we wanted the committee process to take its normal course.” Senate Republican Whip Elaine Morgan, who was in the room along with GOP Leader Dennis Algiere, tried to protest the move by Lynch Prata, who countered by citing a rule that allows committee leaders to transfer bills. (HE)

4 Replies to “Abortion bill sent to new committee to avoid second defeat”

  1. Pass the bill, and have a committee that deals with medical science take this one, because this issue is about medicine and science.

  2. Banning abortion is beyond government interference. Removing citizen rights is authoritarianism 101. If you can't even trust your fellow citizens to make choices about their own families and health, then you have no place in America. There's nothing moral about criminalizing abortion. We already went through that nightmare and realized legal access to abortion was a not only a right but a moral obligation. After Roe v Wade, the number of dead women and girls ceased nearly overnight. No more finding dead mothers in alleys, hallways, cheap motel rooms, even in their own homes as they bled to death because of botched abortions, sometimes with husbands and male partners who had tried to assist. If you want a return to that, there is something very wrong with you. Especially when you consider that most people having abortions already have children. Birth control is not always effective. Health risks arise. Stop presuming you know what's best for others and you have the answers for them. You don't and you're not morally superior to anyone. Everyone loves their family. You're not some holier-than-thou exception. You know what's best for your family only. If you want to survive under religious tyranny and moral hypocrisy, there are other countries you can do that. This is America. We prefer democracy, self determination, free will, and allowing people to make their own choices about what works best for their families and health.

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