RI gov candidates spar over abortion

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Gina Raimondo speaks at a campaign event in September 2014.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The candidates for Rhode Island governor are scooping up endorsements in hopes of swaying voters in their favor, and an endorsement picked up by Democrat Gina Raimondo has introduced a hot-button issue into the race.

At a news conference Thursday, women’s health and rights organization Planned Parenthood announced their support of Raimondo, and she tried to use it against her Republican opponent, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung.

Fung was recently endorsed by Rhode Island Right to Life, despite him saying he is pro-choice.

“Rhode Island Right to Life is already out there supporting Mayor Fung. Mayor Fung is on the record saying an employer can get in the middle of a decision between a woman and her doctor about her reproductive rights, and I disagree with that,” Raimondo said.

“I have a respect for people on both sides of the issue,” Fung retorted. “I’ve always said, even during the debates, I’ve always said I was pro-choice.”

Moderate candidate Robert Healey believes Raimondo is using the pro-choice/pro-life debate as a shameless sideshow.

“You’re throwing gasoline on a fire,” he said. “It gets people talking about an issue that avoids the issues that could haunt her: the 38 studios issue, the failure to disclose issue, issues surrounding the unemployment in the state.”

Planned Parenthood Votes! Rhode Island also recently commissioned a poll to show opinions on women’s reproductive health services in Rhode Island. Visit the Planned Parenthood Reproductive Health Services poll website to view the results.

Other candidates in the race for governor include independents Kate Fletcher and Leon Kayarian.

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