Rhode Island governor signs bill protecting abortion rights

Rhode Island governor signs bill protecting abortion rights
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Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) signed a bill into law on Wednesday codifying the “status quo” on abortion rights in the state under Roe v. Wade.

Under the Reproductive Privacy Act, the “status quo” allows abortions up until the point when a fetus can survive outside the womb, according to the law. Abortions would also be allowed “when necessary to preserve the health or life” of the pregnant woman.

Raimondo signed the measure into law shortly after it was approved by the General Assembly.

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"When this bill becomes law, women and their families across Rhode Island will be free from the fear that the reproductive health care they need today will be illegal tomorrow,” Raimundo said in a statement. “We owe this certainty to every Rhode Island woman - and the bill before me today provides exactly that.”

The legislation comes as other states, including Alabama, Georgia and Missouri, have passed restrictive abortion legislation aimed at challenging the Supreme Court's landmark Roe v. Wade ruling.

“It keeps the most personal and difficult decisions of a woman’s life between her and her doctor where they are today, and where they belong,” Raimondo said in a statement.

Rep. Anastasia Williams (D), the bill’s House sponsor, said in a statement that “we will not turn back the clock on decades of progress for female reproductive health equality.”

The law also comes after other states, including Maine, have passed laws aimed at promoting abortion access for women. Maine’s law, passed earlier this month, expands the number of medical professionals allowed to perform abortions in the state.