The following was released by four Women’s groups in response to comments made earlier on Friday by Speaker Nicholas Mattiello (Democrat, District 15, Cranston):
Earlier today Rhode Island Public Radio aired Rhode Island House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello’s Political Roundtable appearance.
One of the topics covered was codifying Roe v Wade. Speaker Mattiello was very clear that he is not aware of any laws or court cases nationwide that challenge Roe v Wade. He went on to say:
“So I don’t think it’s a real concern…And we’ve got significant budget challenges, we’ve got the PawSox we’re working on, we’ve got important bills that are of concern to a lot of people. I choose to concentrate on everything and not to utilize every drop or ounce of oxygen on one particular issue. Which, is not of consequence either way. For everybody that wants that there’s almost someone who doesn’t what that, so it’s just divisive. For no, for no, for no real, no real benefit either way. Roe v Wade is NOT going to be overturned. I think that’s a concern that’s not rooted in reality.”
The Rhode Island chapter of the National Organization for Women (RI NOW), The Woman Project, the Women’s Caucus of the Rhode Island Democratic Party, and The Women’s Fund of Rhode Island would like to remind the Speaker that while this may not be an issue that is of real concern to him personally, this is an issue that is of serious concern to a great many Rhode Islanders.
The women, and men, who support the codification of abortion rights are indeed rooted in reality and are very much aware of the fact that just two days ago the Iowa Legislature mounted an aggressive challenge to Roe v. Wade.
RI NOW, The Woman Project, the Women’s Caucus of the Rhode Island Democratic Party, and The Women’s Fund of Rhode Island believe that our elected leaders are capable of multi-tasking, dealing with more than two or three major pieces of legislation at the same time.
We urge the Speaker to follow his own advice and work on bills that are of concern to a lot of people—or at the very least to allow Rhode Island’s legislators to vote on the Reproductive Health Care Act of 2018.
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