Why I voted in favor of the Reproductive Privacy Act
To me I believe that a woman’s reproductive health care should remain a private matter between her and her doctor like every other medical procedure. Privacy was the basis of the Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision.
I would like to make note that I shared this view with people whenever I was asked during the campaign, it was on my website and I answered questions on this topic in a straightforward manner during the candidate forums.
H5125A Reproductive Privacy Act does the following:
Protects the right to abortion prior to fetal viability making use of the same definitions created by the Supreme Court.
Prohibits abortion after fetal viability except when necessary to save the life or health of the pregnant person also using language from the Supreme Court Decisions.
Includes language affirming the federal law banning “partial birth abortion”.
Affirms existing RI law pertaining to the existing ban on Medicaid funding for abortion in accordance with the federal Hyde Amendment and the role of the Dept of Health in licensing and regulating abortion providers.
Finally the Bill repeals unconstitutional and unenforceable laws that remain on the law books in RI
Based on the emails I have received many of the arguments against the Bill are based on religious beliefs. With all due respect I do not believe that it is correct to develop public policy based on religious teachings.
This Bill if passed into law will give every pregnant citizen of RI the right to exercise their own moral and religious beliefs in the making these deeply personal decisions in consultation with their medical doctor. I am not pro-abortion but I do trust women to make decisions that are the best for them and their families.
As a side note I spoke to my father last week a couple of days after the vote in the House. My father is a devout Catholic and I realized when I began talking to him that he and I may not have discussed Reproductive Rights and that didn’t know what his current thoughts were on this subject. My dad is also a retired crime scene investigator from Dade County FL. As I explained that the RI House had passed the Reproductive Privacy Act he reflected back to his days as an investigator and shared with me that he remembered the days before the Roe v. Wade decision, he recalled being called to crime scenes in motel rooms where women had gone to have various people, including police officers, assist them with performing then illegal abortions on them. Recalling those scenes he did not think we should ever go back to those days.
You can watch the video of the session when the house voted at this link http://ritv.devosvideo.com/show?video=54c05ccc3266&apg=84a99049