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Thursday, October 5, 2017

Decided based on concerns for mother’s health

By Bob Plain in Rhode Island’s Future

Related imageCongressman Jim Langevin continues to tack to the left.

Last month, the moderate Democrat who represents the 2nd Congressional District became a supporter of Medicare For All, after long being on the fence. Yesterday, he voted against H.R. 36, a bill that would prevent abortions after 20 weeks instead of the 24. In the past, Langevin has supported this limitation.

“Abortion is a very personal issue for me as it is for most people, and one that I have actively wrestled with,” Langevin said in a statement to RI Future.

“While I oppose most abortions, I do believe that exceptions should be made in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother. Unfortunately, having studied this issue with doctors and discussed it with women in my district, drawing a bright line between when a medical condition is life threatening or health threatening is an impossible task for a legislator. In medicine, doing nothing can indeed do harm. I, therefore, could not in good conscience support this bill that in some cases, requires doctors to let their patients’ health deteriorate before intervening.”

Progressives put pressure of Langevin to vote against the bill, including this post on RI Future by Justine Caldwell.

“A 20-week ban on abortion is not only unethical, it’s unconstitutional. It flouts the decision in Roe v. Wade that allows for a woman’s right to choose until 24 weeks, or fetal viability,” she wrote

“A vote in favor of H.R. 36 is a vote in favor of the GOP agenda that shackles women in their most intimate situations: a campus sexual assault, at the pharmacist, in the doctor’s office. We already know what our President thinks he can do to women’s bodies; we need Congress to stand up for us now.”

The bill, called “The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” passed 237 to 189. Both Langevin and Congressman David Cicilline voted against it. The bill now goes to the Senate.

Bob Plain is the editor/publisher of Rhode Island's Future. Previously, he's worked as a reporter for several different news organizations both in Rhode Island and across the country.