The Rhode Island Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a vote Tuesday on a version of a bill meant to ensure abortion rights in the state.
The committee last month rejected a Senate version of the bill on a 5 to 4 vote, while holding the House version for further study. The House of Representatives had passed its own version on a 44 to 30 vote in March.
At the time of the vote last month, Sen. Stephen Archambault (D-Smithfield) voted against the bill, while also calling himself a supporter of abortion rights. It appears Archambault is more likely to vote in support of a revised bill in committee.
The scheduling of the vote suggests that supporters may have the count to pass the bill. But some uncertainty is posed by how Sen. Elaine Morgan, a GOP leader in the chamber, is an opponent of abortion and could potentially vote in an ex officio capacity.
The move to try to ensure abortion rights gained significant moment after the election of President Trump in 2016. Supporters point to steps to restrict abortion rights in other states. Opponents have downplayed the likelihood of Roe v. Wade being overturned and objected to the RI bill.
Senate spokesman Greg Pare said a revised abortion bill will be posted by 4 pm Monday. The bill currently on the legislative web site is what was considered by the Judiciary Committee last month.
Pare said Judiciary Chairwoman Erin Lynch Prata has been working with parties "to develop language that would pass committee." He said he could not comment on whether there are now enough votes on the committee to pass the bill.