Why A Pro-Abortion Rhode Island State Senator Killed An All-Nine-Months Abortion Bill

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2019/05/15/why-a-pro-abortion-rhode-island-state-senator-killed-an-all-nine-months-abortion-bill/

A Democratic state senator in Rhode Island who supports legal abortion provided the one-vote majority to kill a bill in committee that would have removed most restrictions on late-term abortions, saying the bill “goes well beyond Roe v. Wade.”

The Rhode Island Senate Judiciary Committee rejected the bill Tuesday night on a 5-4 vote. Some analysts had previously thought the bill would garner 5-4 support from the committee, but state Senator Stephen Archambault (D-Smithfield) flipped the expected result by voting no.

“While I am pro-choice, I do believe in reasonable restrictions on abortions, once a pregnancy moved beyond viability. Simply put, viability means when a fetus is so close to fully formed that it is likely to be able to survive outside the womb – if born. … I cannot support post-viability abortions that are based on undefined ‘health’ reasons and would permit very late term, up to the date of birth, abortions. It simply goes to far,” Archambault said in a written statement.

Rhode Island House Bill 5125, called the Reproductive Privacy Act, would make it illegal for state and local government to “Restrict an individual person from terminating that individual’s pregnancy after fetal viability when necessary to preserve the health or life of that individual.”

The bill doesn’t define “health,” but the term is widely interpreted to include mental health, which opponents of abortion say means late-term abortions could be justified legally based on a standard that can’t be measured.

The Rhode Island bill doesn’t go as far the pending ROE Act abortion bill in Massachusetts, which would remove a state statute that requires doctors to try to save the life of a baby born after an attempted abortion. The Rhode Island bill leaves a similar provision in Rhode Island state law as is.

In Rhode Island, Archambault proposed his own pro-legal-abortion bill, which would specify that abortion is legal in the state unless a fetus is determined capable of living outside the womb.

The purpose of the abortion bill that died in committee could be revived on the floor of the Rhode Island Senate if supporters attach the language to another bill, according to The Providence Journal.

Supporters of the bill are also threatening the five senators who voted against it in committee with a challenge in the 2020 election.

Here is Archambault’s full statement on Twitter: