March 21, 2019 – San Juan – Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló today vetoed Senate Bill 950, a piece of legislation that would dramatically limit Puerto Rican women’s constitutional right to choose, enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.
“Our administration is committed to protecting every citizen’s rights, and this includes a woman’s right to privacy and to decide whether or not to terminate a pregnancy”, said Puerto Rico’s Governor Ricardo Rosselló.
“We respect the beliefs and intentions of the legislators that drafted this bill, but this legislation violates the rights guaranteed to every citizen of Puerto Rico. We cannot allow for rights established by the Constitution to be stripped away from Puerto Rican women, or from any other protected group.”
The bill approved by the Puerto Rico Legislative Assembly would require parental consent for a minor to be able to have an abortion, a new requirement that would violate a woman’s right to privacy. Moreover, it imposes new structural requirements on abortion clinics, potentially forcing many to close, limiting access to quality healthcare to Puerto Rico’s most vulnerable citizens.
“A woman’s right to choose, and to make healthcare decisions that affect her body, is fundamental. It has been established law in the United States for more than forty years as a result of the landmark Supreme Court ruling Roe v Wade. We cannot –and should not – revisit past decisions in order to limit and take away fundamental rights. I will not stand for it. I am vetoing this measure, and any other that would follow, in order to guarantee the right to choose, to privacy, and to freedom,” concluded Rosselló.