PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The U.S. Supreme Court has officially overturned Roe v. Wade, which guaranteed women the constitutional right to an abortion since 1973.
The decision comes more than a month after Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion was leaked, indicating the Supreme Court was preparing to roll back abortion rights.
The Supreme Court’s ruling punts the decision whether to allow abortions back to the states, 13 of which are poised to ban them in the absence of Roe v. Wade.
The Rhode Island Supreme Court upheld the Reproductive Privacy Act last month, which was signed in 2019 by then-Gov. Gina Raimondo. The act codifies Roe v. Wade into state law and was crafted in anticipation of such a ruling.
“Here in Rhode Island, we will always support a woman’s right to choose,” Gov. Dan McKee said. “Despite [Friday’s] ruling, Rhode Islanders still have the right to access abortion health care services in our state thanks to the General Assembly codifying these protections into law – but all people should have the ability to make their own reproductive health care decisions, no matter where they live.”
The situation is similar in Massachusetts, where Gov. Charlie Baker signed an executive order Friday to protect access to reproductive health care services statewide.
“I am deeply disappointed in [Friday’s] decision by the Supreme Court, which will have major consequences for women across the country who live in states with limited access to reproductive health care services,” Baker said. “The Commonwealth has long been a leader in protecting a woman’s right to choose and access to reproductive health services, while other states have criminalized or otherwise restricted access.”
The executive order protects health care providers who perform abortions for out-of-state individuals, including those from states where the procedures are illegal.
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont signed legislation earlier this year that protects medical providers and patients seeking abortion care in the state.
Lamont said he’s “grateful” that state laws “make it clear that women have a right to choose.”
“As long as I am governor, reproductive rights will be protected in Connecticut and I will do everything in my power to block laws from being passed that restrict those rights,” Lamont said.
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