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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Another constituency faults Raimondo record

By Steve Ahlquist in Rhode Island's Future
2016 RI NARAL Rating

NARAL Pro-Choice America (NARAL) rated Governor Gina Raimondo as “mixed-choice” in their recent report, a step down from her previous rating as “pro-choice.” Raimondo had run as a pro-choice candidate, earning the endorsement of Planned Parenthood Votes RI PAC and Emily’s List.

In Who Decides? The Status of Women’s Reproductive Rights in the United States, NARAL rates each of the states with an overall grade. Rhode Island received a failing grade of F. 

Massachusetts and New Hampshire received a C+, 

Vermont and Maine a B+ and Connecticut an A-. 

Rhode Island’s failing grade makes it, to borrow a favorite word of Speaker Nicholas Mattiello’s, an “outlier.”

The report notes that “Rhode Island enacted a measure that restricts insurance coverage of abortion in the state insurance exchange” in 2015, a reference to Raimondo’s behind the scenes budget shenanigans that ultimately resulted in an estimated 9000 people losing their abortion coverage under Obamacare

NARAL, a non-profit that engages in political action and advocacy efforts to oppose restrictions and expand access to abortion, has three ratings for governors and legislative bodies: pro-choice, mixed choice and anti-choice. Both the Rhode Island House of Representatives and the Rhode Island Senate were rated anti-choice.

All three Democratic candidates for president are running on strong pro-choice platforms. Hillary Clinton recently won the endorsement of Planned Parenthood and Bernie Sanders called for an expansion of Planned Parenthood funding, Raimondo’s mixed-choice rating puts her badly out of step with the national Democratic Party.

As of this writing a request for comment from the governor’s office has gone unanswered.

Steve Ahlquist is an award-winning journalist, writer, artist and founding member of the Humanists of Rhode Island, a non-profit group dedicated to reason, compassion, optimism, courage and action. The views expressed are his own and not necessarily those of any organization of which he is a member. and Twitter: @SteveAhlquist