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Rhode Island Considering A Bill Legalizing Abortion Of Post-Viable Babies

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Grace Carr Reporter

Rhode Island is considering a bill that would allow the abortion of post-viable babies for reasons extending beyond the preservation of the mother’s life.

The state’s Reproductive Health Care Act, H5127, bars the state and any of its agencies or political subdivisions from interfering with a woman’s decision to abort a pre-viable child or post-viable child “when necessary to preserve the health or life of that individual,” according to the bill’s text.

The bill directs the attending physician to determine whether a baby is viable or not.

The measure was introduced Jan. 16 and presented on the House Committee floor Tuesday. The committee recommended the measure be held for further study.

“Let’s make this the year we codify women’s access to reproductive health care here in Rhode Island,” Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo said in her Jan. 12 State of the State address, promising to support the bill.

Late-term abortion bills have increasingly entered public discussion following comments Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam made Wednesday appearing to condone infanticide. Northam said he doesn’t regret the comments he made.

Vermont is considering H-0057 which would give women the right to abort a baby at any time and for any reason up until birth. “Every individual who becomes pregnant has the fundamental right to choose to carry a pregnancy to term, give birth to a child, or to have an abortion,” the bill reads.

Interference by the state, law enforcement or a public entity with an attempt to procure or induce an abortion is illegal under the proposal. An unborn baby also has no rights, according to the bill.

Virginia’s HB 2491 would repeal the state’s current restrictions on late-term abortions. The bill would allow a doctor to perform an abortion when a woman is dilating, meaning she is about to give birth. The proposal eliminates the state’s requirement that second and third-trimester abortions be performed only to preserve the health or life of the woman. (RELATED: Capitol Hill Democrats Respond To Late-Term Abortion Debate Within Party)

The state’s Republican-controlled House of Delegates tabled the measure Tuesday.

New York passed the Reproductive Health Act Jan. 22 expanding abortion access and codifying a woman’s right to abort under state law. The law removes abortion from the state’s criminal code and allows women to have abortions after 24 weeks in cases where “there is an absence of fetal viability, or at any time when necessary to protect a patient’s life or health,” according to the legislation.

Demonstrators rally in support of abortion and other women’s rights, and against President Trump’s administration, on March 8, 2017, International Women’s Day, in Washington, DC. Shutterstock/Rena Schild

Seventy-five percent of Americans support significant abortion restrictions and say abortion should not be legal after a woman is three months pregnant, according to a Jan. 15 Marist poll.

Gov. Raimondo did not reply to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment. Rhode Island Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed also did not immediately respond to TheDCNF’s request for comment.

Maryland, Maine and New Mexico are also considering similar bills expanding abortion access, according to the Associated Press.

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