[Update: The bill was not voted out of committee. Archambault voted no. The House bill is not quite dead though. WPRI has a comprehensive report: “Abortion bill rejected by RI Senate committee.”]
Attention women of Rhode Island! Senate President Dominick Ruggerio stands between you and your reproductive rights. Get to the State House today to show your support of the Reproductive Rights bill. It needs to come out of committee but Senate President Ruggerio has decided no. (Call his office at 401.222.6655. And make sure your state senator knows that women should have the right to make their own decisions.) According to the noon news on WPRI, protesters are already there! This will go into the evening so go whenever you can make it. Make a sign. Wear pink if you got it.
From Senator Sam Bell (please read his entire statement):
It looks like the Senate President plans on killing the reproductive rights bill tonight. With Trump’s Supreme Court getting closer and closer to rolling back Roe v. Wade, we need to codify Roe v. Wade into Rhode Island law. To get this bill through the House, it was compromised by adding what is basically the strictest possible late-term abortion ban allowable under Roe v. Wade.
Now, the Senate President has posted the bill for a vote in committee, and five out of nine committee members have announced they plan to vote against it. Make no mistake. The Senate President controls what bills move out of committee. If he wants a bill to move, it moves. If he wants it to die, it dies.
And for those who don’t know why the Senate President is called “Rubbers” Ruggerio (not to his face unless you want your car keyed) here is a refresher on the character of the man who would like to convince voters that he has scruples, and a conscience, and I guess a religion when it’s not inconvenient. The ProJo supplied this convenient summary of his rap sheet in 2017, upon his ascending to the throne.
In 1990, [at age 42] he was arrested and ordered to pay restitution to a Lincoln businessman for scratching his Mercedes with a key.
That same year, he was charged with stealing a dozen condoms from a Providence CVS. The pharmacy chain declined to press charges.
In 2012, he was charged with drunken driving in Barrington. He admitted to refusing a breath test as part of a plea deal that saw the charges eventually dismissed.
He was also among a dozen people who were forced to refinance special low-interest mortgages given out by the Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corporation in the 1980s. Ruggerio was not among those charged criminally.
His answer was that everyone makes mistakes. THREE brushes with the law? That may be everyone he knows and hangs around with, but most Rhode Islanders have not been arrested three times.
The ProJo neglected to add that that he had stuffed the rubbers in his sock. He was 42 years old at the time . . . and shopping with his mother. (Attention Bishop Tobin: Senate President Dominick Ruggerio uses birth control.)
The Womxn Project has been showing up in the Handmaid’s Tale outfits which is both great and unbelievably sad. They have been demonstrating in front of Senator Stephen Archambault’s house today. (Many citizens and activists are now familiar with this one-man filibuster, so in love with the sound of his own voice. Archambault has a penchant for sharing colorful anecdotes about how cool he was in high school — none of which ever help to illuminate the subject at hand — and pushing committee hearings well into the night. He has come out as a NO vote.)
UpriseRI wrote up the legislation and the statewide effort to protect women’s reproductive rights last month.
Rhode Island State House, 82 Smith Street, (directions)