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Monday, March 27, 2017

House 5343

Right to Abortion in Rhode Island

The Judiciary Committee will hold hearings on reproductive rights issues on  Wednesday, March 29, at the rise of the House (around 4:30 p.m.) in the House Lounge.

The most important bill on the agenda is the Reproductive Health Care Act, House Bill 5343, which puts into RI law the right to abortion. There was an article in the latest State Voter about this legislation (Download the issue at the LWVRI website, www.lwvri.org.)

The issue as hand is that there is nothing to guarantee a right to abortion should Roe v. Wade be overturned. Momentum is strong for passing the bill this year, but it must be passed in Committee, and then allowed onto the floor of the House for a vote by the full House. Thus, it is important that the Judiciary Committee hear our voices as well as the House leadership—Speaker Mattiello—who has the power to allow or deny all bills to reach the full House.

What you can do:  
  • Come to the State House on Wednesday, March 29, and sign up to testify,
  • Sign in on sheets placed outside the hearing room indicating your position support/oppose and whether you intend to speak or not.  You can also submit written testimony.
  • Or you can just sign up, indicate your support or opposition to a bill, and not speak or submit written testimony.

Planned Parenthood is also holding a Lobby Day session at 3:00 p.m., on March 29, where you will be encouraged to speak to your legislator, and perhaps members of the Judiciary Committee, where the bills are being heard.

     PP will provide quick training including script, etc. and guide people to appropriate legislators

     3:30 p.m.  People can start signing up for testifying.

There will also be other members of the RI Coalition for Reproductive Justice, who can be helpful.

The League supports two of the bills on the Committee agenda:

  • House Bill No. 5343 - by Ajello, et al - Puts into RI law the legal right to an abortion
  • House Bill No. 5830 - by Handy, et al - Repeal the unconstitutional and unenforceable "spousal notification" law.

The League is opposed to:

•     House Bill No. 5100 - by Corvese, et al - would make certain abortion procedures illegal (so-called "dismemberment abortion")

     House Bill No. 5158- by Felella - would prohibit abortion as means of sex-selection.

     House Res. No. 5399 – by McLaughlin - Would recognize a fetus as a human life at the existence of a heartbeat
To view the content of the above bills, go to the RI State website:  http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/Legislation/  and insert the bill number under Bill Status.  There is also a place to click for Committee Memberships.

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