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Tipsheet

Catholic Rhode Island Governor Signs Abortion Expansion Bill

AP Photo/Steven Senne

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) signed the Reproductive Privacy Act into law on Wednesday that allows abortion up until the birth of the child.

The law permits late-term abortions, including partial-birth and dismemberment abortions, LifeNews reports, allowing them in cases where the health (intentionally vague) or life of the mother is at risk. 

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The state Senate voted for the measure, 21-17. All five GOP senators voted against it and they were joined in opposition by 12 Democrats. 

Pro-life lawmakers and activists were outraged. 

“All of you! How could you not vote for a woman – for a baby to be ripped apart! In the womb! That’s hideous!” said Minority Whip Elaine Morgan.

Democratic Sen. Frank Lombardo urged members of his party to vote against the bill, reminding them that "we are all children of God and I tell you, we will all be accountable to God for the position of influence that He has given to all of us."

Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser told LifeNews she was upset by the influence of the abortion lobby on state lawmakers.

“It is extremely disappointing to see Rhode Island lawmakers cave to pressure from the abortion lobby to pass this radical bill,” she said. 

“More than three in four Ocean State voters – Democrats, Independents, women, and a strong majority of self-described pro-choice voters – agree expanding late-term abortions is too extreme,” she added. “Rhode Islanders should not be fooled by the smokescreen of ‘compromise’: this law expands abortion on demand through the moment of birth.” 

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Raimondo, a Catholic, said she believed signing the legislation was the "right thing to do."

“Fundamentally, this bill is about healthcare,” she argued. “The majority of Rhode Islanders are for it. Which isn’t to say it’s not controversial, and I hear from both sides, but I believe it’s the right thing to do.”

She said there are “good and principled people on both sides of the issue,” but decided to sign the legislation given the “uncertainty in Washington” and across the U.S. 

“There is a great deal of anxiety that … a woman’s right to access reproductive healthcare is in danger,” she added. 

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