Locals react to US Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — As Roe v. Wade was struck down by the Supreme Court Friday, thousands came out to the Rhode Island State House to rally for Americans’ rights for reproductive health.

Abortion rights are now to be determined by individual states, unless Congress acts.

Former Rhode Island Supreme Court Justice Robert Flanders told ABC 6 News, he expects legal ramifications when it comes to people now being forced to travel out of state for an abortion.

“There’s really nothing specific in the Federal Constitution that guarantees women a right to an abortion,” said Flanders.

“It will depend on where people live and it may have some influence on where people live and where people move to,” he explained. “But there are other jurisdictions in the country, other states, that have gone the other way and basically enacted trigger laws saying if Roe v. Wade is ever abolished by the Supreme Court, then in our jurisdiction, we’re not going to allow it to happen.”

Back in 2019, former Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo signed a legislation to ensure abortion protections in the state if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned.

According to the Department of Health, there were 2,611 abortion procedures done in the state in 2020 alone.

“It’s now back to the states one way or another to make a decisions politically, do they want to do this or not?” said Flanders.

But with states banning or restricting abortions, those looking for the procedure may have to travel out of state for it.

Dr. Ben Brown, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Brown University, said now more than ever, he feels it’s important to back abortion funds and support organizations that work to get patients the support they need when it comes to finding places to stay when they travel to seek care.

“Today’s decision really stands in the way of people being able to access the care that they need,” Brown said. “It makes it so geography is part of determining whether someone can access the support they need.”

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