If RI Senator Paul Jabour (Democrat, District 5 Providence) and RI Representative John Lombardi (Democrat, District 8, Providence) are pro-choice, why did Rhode Island Right to Life endorse their re-election last year?
At last night’s West Broadway Neighborhood Association (WBNA)’s 4th Annual Conversation With Our Elected Officials, Jabour was asked about the Reproductive Health Care Act of 2017 (SB 274 and HB 5343), introduced by Senator Gayle Goldin and Representative Edie Ajello. This bill would codify the rights protected under Roe v Wade into Rhode Island state law.
Jabour said that he did not sign onto Goldin’s bill, “but that does not necessarily mean I would not vote for the bill… I am an attorney, I believe in the Constitution of the United States and I support the decision of Roe v Wade. I’ve made that very public.”
Jabour said that he wants the bill to be properly vetted, to make sure the bill does not go beyond Roe v Wade before adding his support. He cautioned that the bill does not have a lot of Senate support, but as the vice-chair of Senate Judiciary he would like the bill to have a proper hearing.
After the WBNA event was over I asked Jabour about his endorsement from Right to Life. Jabour told me he had “no idea” about the endorsement and that he “certainly never asked for it.” Jabour said that he’s been pro-choice since his time in the RI House of Representatives.
Representative John Lombardi, who was also endorsed by Right to Life, said “if the law is Roe v Wade I certainly support that” but predicted that the bills will never “see the light of day.” Lombardi said that for the bills to get a fair hearing pressure should be placed on House leadership.
How many more elected officials, endorsed by RI Right to Life (see list below), are actually pro-choice? This is certainly a question RI Future will be asking. I’d encourage readers to ask their Representatives and Senators about the issue and get a real answer.
Senator Harold Metts (Democrat, District 6, Providence) said that it’s no secret that he’s been pro-life for years and that he would not support the bill.
Representative Anastasia Williams (Democrat, District 9, Providence) strongly identified as pro-choice saying she backs a woman’s right to choose, period.