RI Senate passes bill codifying abortion rights in Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Rhode Island’s Senate has passed a bill to preserve federal abortion protections in state law, sending it to the House where it’s also expected to pass.

The bill passed 21 to 17 Wednesday.

Democratic Sen. Erin Lynch Prata, of Warwick, says it codifies the status quo and its passage protects state residents.

Democratic Senate President Dominick Ruggerio opposed the measure.

The House version, passed in March, was changed during the Senate’s committee process.

An expansion of who may consent to a minor’s abortion was removed. Language was added to make clear that late-term abortions are only allowed when necessary to preserve the mother’s life or health.

The Senate is amending another statute to ensure the attorney general can prosecute crimes that result in the death of a fetus.

This version of the bill now moves to the House, which had previously passed a different version of the bill. Governor Gina Raimondo has said she would sign the legislation into law if it reaches her desk.

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