The governor of Rhode Island signed a bill Wednesday protecting abortion access within the state and repealing pro-life laws.
Rhode Island Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo signed the bill, HB 5125, after it passed through the House and Senate, calling it an “important, consequential bill,” according to The Associated Press. The bill passed the Senate 21 to 17 and passed the House 45 to 29.
“Fundamentally this bill is about health care,” Raimondo said, according to the publication. “It’s about protecting and providing access to health care for all the women of Rhode Island.”
The Reproductive Privacy Act says that Rhode Island will not restrict a mother’s right to obtain an abortion before the baby is able to survive outside of the womb. The bill also says Rhode Island will allow abortions after fetal viability if the mother’s health is at risk, effectively allowing abortion up until birth.
The bill also repeals several chapters of Rhode Island General Laws on abortion that charge doctors with murder and jail time for inducing miscarriages and declare dying admissions of women who die during abortion procedures to be used as evidence in homicides. (RELATED: This Is What A HuffPost Reporter Called An Unborn Baby’s Heartbeat)
Lawmakers intend for the bill to protect abortion access in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned, the AP reported.
Rhode Island Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin reacted to the news in a tweet, saying that it is “a very dark day in the history of our state.”
“The passage of the pro-abortion law in R.I. is profoundly disappointing, a very dark day in the history of our state,” Tobin said. “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!”
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
“And don’t be discouraged by this very temporary set-back,” Tobin added. “We will continue to oppose the prevailing culture of death in our society and faithfully and joyfully proclaim the goodness and beauty of life! God bless you!”
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