The governor of Rhode Island — a self-described Catholic — is following in the footsteps of her gubernatorial counterpart in New York.
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) is now advocating for legislation that would legalize abortion up until the point of birth. Her advocacy comes not long after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who also calls himself Catholic, signed into law a similar bill known as the Reproductive Health Act.
During her State of the State address earlier this month, Raimondo vowed to support the pro-abortion legislation, the Rhode Island Reproductive Health Care Act.
The proposed law stipulates the state cannot “restrict an individual person from terminating that individual’s pregnancy after fetal viability when necessary to preserve the health or life of that individual.”
The bill defines “fetal viability” as “that stage of gestation where the attending physician, taking into account the particular facts of the case, has determined that there is a reasonable likelihood of the fetus’ sustained survival outside of the womb with or without artificial support.”
In making her case for the law, according to WRGB-TV, Raimondo said she wants to make 2019 “the year we codify women’s access to reproductive health care here in Rhode Island,” meaning abortion — and the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v. Wade — would be protected in the state, regardless of future federal court or legislative decisions.
The Rhode Island governor was, like Cuomo, immediately rebuked for her support of the proposed bill. Many of her critics have called into question her stated Catholic faith.
One critic, Nichole Rowley, said she received a card from Raimondo roughly six months after her second son, Fulton, was born. The note, Rowley explained, “didn’t make sense” coming from the liberal governor because it “expressed the joy of having children.”
“If children are such a special gift, as the card claims, why does she offer those children no rights before they are born?” Rowley said during an interview with WRGB-TV.
The card from Raimondo even called Fulton a “sweet little child,” describing “how concerned the governor is about the health” of her newborn son.
For Rowley, things just weren’t adding up.
“Gov. Raimondo claims to be Catholic and is publicly lobbying for Rhode Island to pass radical abortion legislation,” the mother of two said.
This, it should be noted, is not the first time Raimondo has faced blowback over her support for abortion, which is anathema to Catholic Church teachings.
In 2014, LaSalle Academy, Raimondo’s Roman Catholic alma mater, removed the then-candidate’s photo from its collection of noteworthy graduates over her support for abortion.
Not long after the school removed Raimondo’s picture, the academy’s leaders just decided to remove the collection of photos altogether, according to the Providence Journal. At the time, the school’s president, Thomas Gerrow, said they just “don’t need this kind of distraction.”
And Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin, head of the Diocese of Providence, wrote in a Facebook post: “It is always disappointing when a Catholic candidate for political office abandons the teaching of the church on the dignity of human life for the sake of self-serving political gain.”
As for Rowley, on Tuesday, she and her husband testified before the House Judiciary Committee at the State House, arguing for the defense and protection of unborn children.
Rowley has also turned to Facebook to encourage her friends and followers to participate in her “me, still me” photo campaign, in which people take an ultrasound image of themselves and place it next to a photo taken after their birth.