Rhode Island Laws

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Rhode Island Laws

Following is a list of pro-life laws that have been passed in Rhode Island.

Informed Consent for Abortion

Title 23 Health and Safety ~ Chapter 23-4.7

Requires parental consent for abortion for minor by at least one parent or guardian. This law has several exceptions including a judicial override. This law does not include a 24-hour waiting period, nor is it mandated by the state of Rhode Island that abortion clinics provide complete, scientifically accurate information about fetal growth with pictures of fetal growth and development at two-week intervals. Nor does it mandate complete, scientifically accurate information about the psychological and physical side effects of abortion.

To see complete law, click here.

Partial Birth Abortion

Title 23 Health and Safety ~ Chapter 23-4.12

This law provides that any person who knowingly performs a partial-birth abortion, defined as “deliberately and intentionally deliver[ing] into the vagina a living fetus, or a substantial portion thereof, for the purpose of performing a procedure the person performing the abortion knows will kill the infant, and kills the infant,” is guilty of a felony unless the procedure is necessary to preserve the life of a woman endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, and no other medical procedure will suffice. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a ban on partial-birth abortions is unconstitutional. Stenberg v. Carhart, 120 S.CT.2597 (2000).

To see complete law, click here.

Spousal Notification

Title 23 Health and Safety ~ Chapter 23-4.8

This law provides that a married woman may not obtain an abortion unless her husband has been notified, except if: she is living apart from her husband; or she provides a written statement that “the fetus was not fathered by her husband.”

A court has ruled that Rhode Island’s husband notification requirement is unconstitutional. Planned Parenthood of Rhode Island v. Board of Medical Review, 598 F. Supp. 625 (D.R.I. 1984).

To see complete law, click here.

The Safe Haven For Infants Act

Title 23 Health and Safety ~ Chapter 23-13.1

This law provides a safe haven for an infant child to be left at a hospital, open medial emergency facility, fire station, or police station operating in the state of Rhode Island without any criminal wrongdoing.

To see complete law, click here.

Willful Killing of an Unborn “Quick Child” Feticide and Post-viability Ban

Title 11 Criminal Offenses ~ Chapter 11-23 Homicide

Rhode Island has a law that states that the killing of an “unborn quick child” is manslaughter. The statute defines “quick child” to mean a viable child. This law recognizes unborn children as victims, but only during part of the period of prenatal development. Therefore, it is gravely deficient because it does not recognize unborn children as victims during certain periods of their pre-natal development. No abortion may be performed on a “quick child” defined as “an unborn child whose heart is beating, who is experiencing electronically measurable brain-wave (20 weeks), who is discernibly moving, and who is so far developed and matured as to be capable of surviving the trauma of birth with the aid of usual medical care and facilities” unless necessary to preserve the mother’s life. This law has not been challenged and is in effect.

To see complete law, click here.

No Health Insurance for Abortion

Title 36 Public Officers and Employees ~ Chapter 36-12

No health insurance contract, plan, or policy delivered or issued for delivery in the state may provide coverage for abortion unless the procedure is necessary to preserve the woman’s life or the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest. Coverage for abortion not meeting these requirements may be obtained only through an optional rider for which an additional premium must be paid. Section 27-18-28 (1994) The state or city or town may not include coverage for abortion in any employees’ health insurance contract, plan or policy unless the procedure is necessary to preserve the woman’s life or the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest. Section 36 12-2.1 (1997) A court has permanently enjoined section 27-18-28 as unconstitutional and ruled that section 36-12-2.1 is unconstitutional and unenforceable as applied to municipal employees. National Education Association of Rhode Island v. Garrahy, 598 F. Supp. 1374 (D.R.I. 1984), aff’d, 779 F.2d 790 (1 st Cir. 1986)

Judge Pettine, in 1978, struck down the “No health insurance law” covering abortion for the cities and towns, but upheld the “No health insurance law” covering abortion for state employees. This leaves the door open for the cities and towns to pursue on their own a “No health insurance law” for abortions.

To see complete law, click here.

Human Cloning

Title 23 Health and Safety ~ Chapter 23-16.4

The purpose of this legislation is to place a ban on the creation of a human being through division of a blastocyst, zygote, or embryo or somatic cell nuclear transfer, and to protect the citizens of the state from potential abuse deriving from cloning technologies.

To see complete law, click here.

Fetal Experimentation

Title 11 Criminal Offenses ~ Chapter 11-54

This statute prohibits non-therapeutic experimentation on unborn human beings. No person shall knowingly sell, transfer, distribute, or give away any fetus for a use which is in violation of the provision of this section. For purposes of this section, the word “fetus” includes an embryo or neonate.

To see complete law, click here.

Babies born alive during attempted abortions

Title 11 Criminal Offenses ~ Chapter 11-9

This law prohibits the killing of those babies who are born alive after attempted abortions.

To see complete law, click here.

Conscientious objection to participation in abortion

Title 23 Health and Safety ~ Chapter 23-17

This law indicates that doctors and nurses cannot be required to participate in abortion procedures.

To see complete law, click here.

Assisted Suicide

Title 11 Criminal Offenses ~ Chapter 11-60

This law bans the practice of assisted suicide in Rhode Island.

To see complete law, click here.

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