As has been widely reported, Rhode Island Senate Judiciary Committee Chairwoman Erin Lynch Prata (Democrat, Warwick) invoked Rule 6.14 to avoid a second defeat of the extreme New York style abortion expansion bill of which she is a cosponsor.
Her move [to unilaterally send the bill to another committee] was a brazen violation of the rules, as such a transfer should have been done on the floor of the senate during the reports of committees. Her justification? “This is my committee. I am the chair.”
Chairwoman Lynch Prata behaved disgracefully, as if she is above the rules, a law unto herself. It is frightening that an individual with such apparent lack of integrity and judicial temperament chairs the Judiciary Committee, which often serves as a launching pad for those who aspire to the Senate Presidency or an appointment to the Judiciary!
Should you wish to respectfully admonish Senator Lynch Prata for her shameful behavior you may email her at email@example.com or call her law office at (401) 737-4200, which the General Assembly website lists as her official contact number.
Sadly, rather than rein in Lynch Prata, Senate President Dominick Ruggerio denounced pro-life Republicans for availing of the powers expressly granted them under the Rules of the Senate, even while continuing to claim his personal opposition to abortion and to the bill. I expressed my frustration yesterday to Senator Ruggerio about the changing rules and moving goalposts. Should you wish to respectfully share your own sentiments with Ruggerio, you may do so through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at(401) 222-6655.
The Senate Committee on Health & Human Services will be voting on the bill tomorrow, Thursday June 13, at approximately 6:15 pm in Room 212. This committee was specifically chosen to produce a specific outcome.
It is a very small room with very limited seating, and no testimony will be heard. That being said, we will be scoring the committee vote, particularly the ex officio votes or absence of the Senate President, the Senate Majority Leader, and the Senate Majority Whip, all of whom have presented themselves repeatedly and publicly for many years as being pro-life lawmakers, and have solicited and received the endorsement of Rhode Island Right to Life.