As a fundraiser was held for Senator Stephen Archambault (Democrat, District 22, Smithfield, Johnston, North Providence) at Ladder 133 in Providence, The Womxn Project held a small rally at the Rhode Island State House in support of legislation that would codify Roe v Wade into state law.
During his campaign, Archambault claimed to be pro-choice and was the crucial swing vote on legislation that would have codified Roe in the Senate Judiciary Committee. But at the 11th hour Archambault reversed his position and voted against the legislation, becoming a hero to anti-choice activists in the state. His fundraiser, held far outside the district he represents, was not targeted at raising campaign funds from the community he ostensibly serves, but at powerful and moneyed State House lobbyists eager to curry favor with politicians. Archambault did not attend the fundraiser or attend to his Senate duties on Tuesday or Wednesday.
[Note: A previous version of this story said that Archambault was present at his fundraiser. Several sources are now telling me that this is not the case. The Senate spokesperson has not responded to a request for comment.]
The Womxn Project rally was originally going to be held outside Ladder 133, but was redirected to the State House due to rain.
In the video below we see about two dozen women marching and chanting through the halls of the State House. At one point, while chanting, “Abortion is Healthcare!” the protesters walked by Senator Louis DiPalma (Democrat, District 12, Little Compton, Middletown, Newport, Tiverton), who is staunchly opposed to abortion rights. DiPalma did an abrupt about face.
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It is unknown when the Senate will introduce newly written legislation to codify Roe v Wade into State law, but Senate Judiciary Chair Erin Lynch Prata (Democrat, District 31, Warwick, Cranston) has stated that such a bill is forthcoming.
At the same time The Womxn Project was staging their rally, students from Classical High School in Providence were at the State House, taking prom pictures. The students were happy to pose with the protesters in support of reproductive rights.
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