Senate committee narrowly advances abortion bill to expand access to those on Medicaid, state workers

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced a bill that would expand abortion access for those on Medicaid and state workers.

The vote narrowly passed 7-6, with Senate President Dominick Ruggerio casting the tie-breaking vote.

“I view this legislation as a simple insurance equity measure. The bottom line for me is that I want state employees and individuals on Medicaid to have access to the same health insurance benefits as all other Rhode Islanders,” Ruggerio said in a written statement after the vote.

Others voting in favor were Senate Majority Leader Ryan Pearson, Senators Dawn Euer, Ana Quezada, John Burke, Mark McKenney and Matthew LaMountain.

Proponents of the measure, which is named the Equality in Abortion Coverage Act, argued the bill allows for equity in those who are on Medicaid and are looking for equal access to an abortion.

Opponents argued Rhode Island already codified Roe vs. Wade and current law allows those on Medicaid to get an abortion in the case of rape or incest and if the health of the mother is in jeopardy.

The bill will now go to the full Senate for a vote Thursday.

The House already passed the measure earlier this year.

Gov. Dan McKee is in support of the bill.

Categories: News, Providence, Rhode Island