Pass the Rhode Island Reproductive Health Care Act
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THE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE ACT
We the undersigned support the passage of House Bill 5343 and Senate Bill 274.
The proposed Reproductive Health Care Act would preserve women's rights to make their own decisions regarding abortion up to the time of fetal viability by codifying in Rhode Island law the rights now guaranteed by Roe v. Wade.
Rhode Islanders have for many years supported keeping abortion safe and legal by a consistent and overwhelming margin of two to one, including in a recent survey performed by the Pew Research Center.
Rhode Island has a current law on its books R.I.G.L. § 11-3-1, that
- outlaws abortion at all times from the instant of conception with no exceptions whatsoever to protect the health of the mother, or for cases of rape or incest, or for cases of catastrophic or even fatal fetal abnormalities and
- makes it crime for a doctor to even talk to a patient about abortion or to answer a patient's questions about abortion, and would punish those doctor-patient conversations with up to 20 years in prison.
While this draconian law is currently unenforceable and deemed unconstitutional under the Roe v. Wade decision guaranteeing women the right to make their own decisions regarding abortion up to the time of fetal viability, the current President of the United States has promised to appoint Supreme Court justices that would overturn Roe v. Wade, which would make this draconian Rhode Island law immediately in force.
As residents and voters in the State of Rhode Island, we ask that you bring House Bill 5343 and Senate Bill 274 to the floor for a full vote and support its passage without delay.
RIGL CHAPTER 11-3 (currently deemed unconstitutional due to Roe v Wade)
11-3-1. PROCURING, COUNSELING OR ATTEMPTING MISCARRIAGE.-Every person who, with the intent to procure the miscarriage of any pregnant woman or woman supposed by such person to be pregnant, unless the same be necessary to preserve her life, shall administer to her or cause to be taken by her any poison or other noxious thing, or shall use any instrument or other means whatsoever or shall aid, assist or counsel any person so intending to procure a miscarriage, shall if the woman die in consequence thereof, be imprisoned not exceeding twenty (20) years nor less than five (5) years, and if she does not die in consequence thereof, shall be imprisoned not exceeding seven (7) years nor less than one (1) year; provided that the woman whose miscarriage shall have been caused or attempted shall not be liable to the penalties prescribed by this section.
11-3-2. Murder charged in same indictment or information.-Any person who shall be charged with the murder of any infant child, or of any pregnant woman, or of any woman supposed by such person to be or to have been pregnant, may also be charged in the same indictment or information with any or all the offenses mentioned in 11-3-1, and if the jury shall acquit such person on the charge of murder and find him guilty of the other offenses or either of them, judgment and sentence may be awarded against him accordingly.
11-3-3. DYING DECLARATIONS ADMISSIBLE.-In prosecutions for any of the offenses described section 11-3-1, in which the death of a woman is alleged to have resulted from the means therein described, dying declarations of the deceased woman shall be admissible as evidence, as in homicide cases.
11-3-4. CONSTRUCTION AND APPLICATION OF SECTION 11-3-1.-It shall be conclusively presumed in any action concerning the construction, application or validity of section 11-3-1, that human life commences at the instant of conception and that said human life at said instant of conception is a person within the language and meaning of the fourteenth amendment of the constitution of the United States, and that miscarriage at any time after the instant of conception caused by the administration of any poison or other noxious thing or the use of any instrument or other means shall be a violation of said section 11-3-1, unless the same be necessary to preserve the life of a woman who is pregnant.
11-3-5. CONSTITUTIONALITY.-If any part, clause or section of this act shall be declared invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, the validity of the remaining provisions, parts or sections shall not be affected.
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