May 31, 2022

Rhode Island Supreme Court Upholds State Right to Abortion

On May 4, the Rhode Island Supreme Court upheld a 2019 state law declaring abortion to be a state right.

The court rejected a challenge by Servants of Christ for Life and two individual pro-life women who sued on behalf of their unborn children. They argued that state citizens should have been allowed to vote against the law in a referendum. Additionally, the mothers argued that the law erased the rights of their children.

The Court ultimately ruled that there was no right to a referendum on the law. It also ruled that unborn children had no legal standing because they are not "persons," and they further would not have standing because they were not harmed by the law (their pro-life parents chose life for them).

Attorney Diana Messere Magee, who represented the plaintiffs, said after the decision that her clients were considering whether to appeal to the US Supreme Court.