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Rhode Island Coalition for Reproductive Freedom raises objections to the Reproductive Privacy Act



From a press release:

The Rhode Island Coalition for Reproductive Freedom (RICRF) has great concerns with House Bill 5125 the Reproductive Privacy Act (RPA) that was introduced on Tuesday. While the RPA purports to protect the right to abortion, it falls short of preserving the current legal framework for abortion in Rhode Island, as the Reproductive Health Care Act would. In fact, the RPA preserves two anti-choice measures previously recognized as unconstitutional: explicitly preserving a revised version of the state’s antiquated “quick child” law that conflicts with Roe v Wade’s definition of fetal viability, and implicitly preserving the state’s ‘Partial Birth Abortion Act’ which is unconstitutional and far exceeds the federal law. Because of these flaws, if Roe were to fall or be undermined at the federal level, the RPA would not adequately protect Rhode Islanders’ right to safe, legal abortion. Furthermore, the bill contradicts itself in areas, and uses vague language such as making the RPA subject to “all applicable federal and state law,” which could support attacks on reproductive rights by virtue of its open-ended ambiguity, making it difficult for courts to determine what is and what is not allowed.

The Coalition is deeply disappointed that this flawed bill was created and introduced without the participation of the many organizations that have worked for decades to protect safe, legal abortion in Rhode Island. The Coalition opposes the RPA as it is currently written, and calls on the bill sponsors to work with the Coalition to amend the RPA to mirror the protections contained in the Reproductive Health Care Act (RHCA).

The RHCA (House Bill 5127) is the result of many years of work, including extensive revisions in response to concerns raised by legislators. The RHCA was introduced this week with a record majority 39 House members signing on as co-sponsors, including all of the sponsors of the RPA. The Coalition stands with these legislators and continues to support the RHCA as it accomplishes the goal of maintaining the status-quo by preserving the right to a safe, legal abortion and removes unconstitutional laws from the books.

See: Representative Williams bill would codify privacy rights and reproductive freedoms guaranteed by Roe v Wade

The Rhode Island Coalition for Reproductive Freedom (RICRF) is a coalition of organizations, working together to share resources, build strategies and coordinate efforts to connect reproductive freedom with social and economic justice. RICRF protects and advances access to reproductive health care through advocacy and legislative action.