Abortion rights debate divides Democrat politicians, states

Abortion rights debate divides Democrat politicians, states

PROVIDENCE, R.I.  — A bill seeking to preserve abortion protections in state law fails to pass a key committee. Lawmakers cite God, church and fa

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PROVIDENCE, R.I.  — A bill seeking to preserve abortion protections in state law fails to pass a key committee. Lawmakers cite God, church and faith in proclaiming their opposition to it. Abortion-rights groups protest outside a gathering of lawmakers.What sounds like a legislative fight in a state controlled by anti-abortion Republicans is actually quite different.The bill seeking to protect abortion rights is in Rhode Island, a state controlled by Democrats at all levels of political power, and it’s stalled.Story continues below

READ MORE: How abortion has changed since the Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973“This is an issue, I think, where it’s very difficult to draw a line down party lines,” said Democratic state Sen. Erin Lynch Prata, a committee chairwoman who voted in favor of the bill. “It’s a very personal issue to a lot of people.”Rhode Island is not the only state led politically by Democrats where abortion-rights legislation has either died or stalled this year. A bill to remove a dormant criminal ban on abortion in New Mexico was voted down in March by the Democrat-led state Senate, despite a push to shore up abortion rights by Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. In Hawaii, where all but six of the 76 lawmakers are Democrats, a bill allowing advanced-practice registered nurses to perform some abortions passed the Senate but died in a House committee.To be sure, some Democratic-led states are taking steps to enshrine the right to an abortion should the U.S. Supreme Court ever overturn the 1973 Roe v Wade decision. Among them are Nevada, New York and Vermont.WATCH: Sanders defends abortion, says women have right to control own bodies

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