Moments after the Rhode Island House passed a bill ensuring abortion remains legal in the state up until viability even if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned, Catholic Gov. Gina Raimondo signed the bill into law. The bill passed in the Senate in a 21-17 vote and passed in the House 45-29.
Under the new law in Rhode Island, abortion is legal without restriction up until “viability” — the point when a child could survive outside the womb (a point that depends largely upon available medical technology, but is often around 22-24 weeks gestation, or 20-22 weeks post-fertilization). After that point, it is legal until birth “when necessary to preserve the health or life” of the mother — which is completely unnecessary, since at that point it would be much safer for the mother to have an emergency C-section than a days-long abortion procedure. The child is viable and therefore would have a good chance of surviving.
Use of the term “health” is consistent with Roe v. Wade’s companion decision, Doe v. Bolton, which states that “medical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors – physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age – relevant to the wellbeing of the patient. All these factors may relate to health…..”
Interestingly, lawmakers on both sides cited religion as the reasoning behind their vote. “I pray you do what’s right not because you have given your word… not because people are telling you it should be a woman’s right to choose. Do it because… 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,” Sen. Frank Lombardo (D) told his fellow senators.
On the other hand, Sen. Sandra Cano, who claims to be a pro-life Catholic, said that though her “faith is very important” to her and she believes “life is sacred” she also believes that “Roe v. Wade is the law of the land” and she “can’t impose” her faith on other people. This kind of “personally pro-life” inconsistent mindset, which allows human injustice to continue unabated, was refuted in the video below from Live Action:
Senator Jessica de la Cruz (R) called abortion “the great injustice of our time.”
“History will look back at us and say: Where were you? … You allowed for children to be ripped from limb to limb with no care, no concern for their literal feeling,” she said. De la Cruz has accurately described at least one abortion procedure, commonly done after 14 weeks of pregnancy — the D&E:
Gov. Raimondo, however, called “very important and consequential.”
“Fundamentally, this bill is about health care,” she claimed. “It’s about protecting and providing access to health care for all the women of Rhode Island,” she said.
But as most Americans instinctively know, true health care does not include electively killing human beings for convenience. In order to combat these pro-abortion laws, pro-lifers must not remain merely “personally pro-life.”
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