R.I. Senate Committee Cancels Vote on Abortion Rights Bill

A key state Senate committee has canceled a vote on a revised bill designed to preserve federal abortion protections in state law.

The judiciary committee transferred the bill to the chamber's health committee Tuesday, instead of voting.

Democratic Senate President Dominick Ruggerio says Republican leaders organized a "political stunt" and planned to use their status as ex-officio committee members to vote against the bill.

Senate Republican Whip Elaine Morgan, who was in the room with Senate Minority Leader Dennis Algiere, tried to object to the transfer.

The swing vote on the judiciary committee, Sen. Stephen Archambault, supports the revised bill. The Smithfield Democrat voted against the House-passed language last month, killing the bill in committee 5-4.

Among other changes, the revised bill removes the expansion of who may consent to a minor's abortion.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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