EDITORIAL

Protecting abortion rights in RI

Posted

In March, on a 44-30 vote, the Rhode Island House of Representatives approved legislation that would codify abortion rights in our state. Last week, however, the Judiciary Committee in the state Senate voted that measure down on a 5-4 vote.

The committee’s vote was a deeply disappointing and unfortunate turn of events. We hope lawmakers can find a means to bring the proposal back up for consideration before the legislature’s current session ends and that they act to protect a woman’s right to choose here in Rhode Island.

The rights of women to make reproductive health care decisions in consultation with their doctors has been the law of the land since the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. Public opinion surveys have found widespread support for abortion being legal, both nationally and in the Ocean State.

Nonetheless, the recent passage of highly restrictive abortion laws in a number of states – including Alabama, which has adopted a law that represents a virtual ban on abortions – points to a renewed effort to overturn Roe v. Wade through legal challenges.

Some have argued that because the Roe v. Wade decision remains the law of the land, Rhode Island does not need to act. But women in our state deserve to know they are protected, particularly in a political climate as charged and fluid as today’s. They deserve to know that their leaders value their rights. They deserve to know that their autonomy over their bodies and their health care decisions will not be infringed upon, no matter what occurs nationally.

We understand the sensitivity of the issue. We understand and respect the objections of those who find abortion at odds with their faith. It is as much their right to hold and express their views as it is the right of any woman to make her own health care decisions.

We also understand that the decision to seek an abortion is one no woman makes lightly. It is a deeply personal choice, and one that deserves to be made with safely with proper medical attention.

We applaud the example set by House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, who has spoken about his personal opposition to abortion but ensured the House measure received consideration. The people of Rhode Island have spoken loudly and clearly on this issue – and it is time our leaders act to heed their calls.

Comments

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davebarry

"We understand the sensitivity of the issue".

We don't think you do. Technology allows viability at earlier and earlier weeks of pregnancy. While women have the right to their own bodies, at some point the viable child has the right to theirs. Late-term abortions are nothing more than infanticide and should not be allowed. We are at a strange place in this country when people not only insist on abortions but will go to the lengths of marching, threatening, and even assaulting pro-life people to silence them, as evidenced by recent events. This is disgusting behavior. If one ever wondered how genocide could ever take place, you are now witnessing the origins. It used to be said that abortion should be 'safe and rare'. Now, pro-death folks demand it be on demand and even after birth.

Wednesday, May 22
Jane

Of course it would be a man on here giving his opinion when it has nothing to do with men. A man cannot get pregnant and does not have to worry about his body, if he can afford to raise a child, if he is mentally capable of raising a child or all the other hundreds of thoughts that go through a womens mind when they find out they are pregnant. Unfortunately many men will walk away and not help raise the child. It is called pro choice not pro death! Women do not make abortion decisions lightly. There are many things that go into that decision, I personally have never had an abortion but I know someone that was rapped and she was just a child herself. Taking away her rights is child abuse when it comes to minors in situations of rape or incest, it was not her fault or choice she was rapped she should not be forced to raise a child or have a child when she already had so much taken away from her! She should have a choice. No one is taking away your right for any part your body, but I wish they would make a law on men getting vasectomies since it is easily reversed but no wait we cant do that because it's your body your choice?

A woman has the right to choose

what to do with her body.

Legal abortion is safe, & preferable to

back-street operations.

Abortion is not a decision taken lightly, but people should be supported where necessary.

Abortion is preferable in cases of rape

or incest.

It is sad that this law is being decided mostly by men that do not have to worry about this affecting them.

Wednesday, May 22
davebarry

Jane, only a sexist would deny the other gender the right to comment on a subject. No, men do not bear children but we do contribute half the DNA. That child is as much ours as yours. Also, I did not mention denying for rape or incest. Funny how women love to go to the extreme case (rapes count for less than 1% of unwanted pregnancies) to make their pro-death opinion meaningful.

The bottom line is this: Abortion is an awful thing to have to think about. It is absolutely difficult. It is always FATAL for the unborn child. Abortion should never be used as birth control. Abortions should be extremely rare. Killing babies should never be easy.

I resent the stance that a man cannot have an opinion on abortion. Probably the most sexist, ignorant comment from the pro-death folk. I know men who have deeply, sorrowfully, mourned their aborted child and wish they never agreed to/helped pay for it. G_d will judge us all Jane. He will judge us all.

Thursday, May 23
Cat

Men can have an opinion but the choice rests in the person that is carrying the child. You can claim half the DNA but you can't claim 50% of the 9 months of carrying the child nor 50% participation in the birth of the child and many times not even 50% of the costs of raising the child. In a perfect world your opinion might be valid. In reality, it rarely is 50% of anything.

Tuesday, May 28
KimLorene

Jane and Cat are absolutely right on this issue. You really have no idea what a woman goes through when making this decision to end a pregnancy. The notion that women are using it as birth control is ridiculous. Because that is what we want to do. Have unprotected sex, get pregnant, and then put our bodies through an abortion. Probably one of the most absurd statements ever.

Tuesday, June 25