By a 9 to 7 vote, the state House of Representatives Judiciary Committee tonight approved the controversial legislation that would embed Roe v. Wade as the law in Rhode Island, while scores, both pro and con, converged on the Senate Judiciary Committee, where the legislation was being heard for the first time.

A vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected within days.

Meanwhile, Facebook exploded with comments demonizing the legislators who approved the legislation, Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello and Gov. Gina Raimondo.

“The death of Rhode Island. Reps voting yes on infanticide. They won. It is out of committee and headed for floor vote Thursday. God help us,” posted ultra conservative talk show host John DePetro.

On the other side, it seemed more a feeling of relief, after years of battling to get the legislation even heard in committee. “Hooray! A monumental day for RI!” wrote one individual, capturing the sentiment of many who fear that the U.S. Supreme Court could overturn Roe v. Wade.

A revised bill that was meant to prevent late term abortions unless the mother’s life was in jeopardy failed to assuage the bill’s opponents, who called the compromise a sham.

The House Judiciary Committee has voted H5125A out of committee and onto the House Floor for a full vote by the House of Representatives on Thursday. This a monumental moment in Rhode Island,” The Rhode Island Coalition for Reproductive Freedom said in a statement following passage of Reproductive Privacy Act in the House Judiciary Committee.

“The last time a vote on a bill to codify Roe v. Wade happened in Rhode Island was 1993 when it passed out of the House of Representatives but did not pass the Senate. It is timely and fitting that the Reproductive Health Care Act S152A, which is (was) being heard on Tuesday night in the Senate, was also amended to match the Reproductive Privacy Act…These bills have momentum and the time to codify Roe v. Wade is now.”

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Frank Prosnitz

Frank Prosnitz brings to WhatsUpNewp several years in journalism, including 10 as editor of the Providence (RI) Business News and 14 years as a reporter and bureau manager at the Providence (RI) Journal. Prosnitz began his journalism career as a sportswriter at the Asbury Park (NJ) Press, moving to The News Tribune (Woodbridge, NJ), before joining the Providence Journal. Prosnitz hosts the Morning Show on WLBQ radio (Westerly), 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday, and It’s Your Business, also on WBLQ, Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Prosnitz has twice won Best in Business Awards from the national Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW), twice was named Media Advocate of the Year by the Small Business Administration, won an investigative reporter’s award from the New England Press Association, and newswriting award from the Rhode Island Press Association.