Lawmakers in the Rhode Island House of Representatives have approved a bill to enshrine abortion protections in state law.
The bill was approved 44 to 30 on Thursday after about four hours of debate. It would codify the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision establishing a nationwide right to abortion.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is now considering the legislation, which would pass to the full Senate for a final vote if the committee approves.
Lawmakers who supported it say they're anticipating renewed federal fights over abortion, so Rhode Island should act now to guarantee reproductive rights. Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo supports codifying Roe v. Wade.
Lawmakers who opposed it say they fear it expands the definition of abortion. Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, who is anti-abortion, voted no.