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The Latest: Bill to protect abortion advances to House floor

March 5, 2019
People both supporting and opposing abortion protest at the Statehouse, Tuesday, March 5, 2019, in Providence, R.I., where a house committee is set to vote whether to enshrine abortion protections in state law, joining states around the country that are revisiting their laws in anticipation of renewed federal fights over abortion. (AP Photo/Jennifer McDermott)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Latest on lawmakers in Rhode Island seriously considering whether to enshrine abortion protections in state law (all times local):

6 p.m.

A bill to enshrine abortion protections in state law has advanced in Rhode Island.

The House Judiciary Committee approved a bill Tuesday, 9 to 7, codifying the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision establishing a nationwide right to abortion.

It’s backed by many Democrats in the chamber. A floor vote could happen Thursday.

A Senate bill by Democratic Sen. Gayle Goldin is being modified to match.

Democratic Rep. Robert Craven, the judiciary committee chairman, said the state should codify Roe v. Wade because the General Assembly’s previous attempts to deal with abortion in statute have been “unsuccessful, unenforceable and unconstitutional.”

Other lawmakers said they voted against the bill because they feared it expands the definition of abortion.

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11:40 a.m.

Lawmakers in Rhode Island are seriously considering whether to enshrine abortion protections in state law, joining states around the country that are revisiting their laws in anticipation of renewed federal fights over abortion.

The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a bill codifying the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision establishing a nationwide right to abortion. It’s backed by many Democrats in the chamber.

If it passes, a floor vote could happen Thursday. A Senate bill is being modified to match.

Activists are going to the State House on Tuesday to voice their support or opposition.

Results of the midterm elections buoyed supporters of abortion rights in several states, including Rhode Island.

Legislators in some other states are pushing for abortion bans, given the reconfigured U.S. Supreme Court.