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R.I. congressional candidate Allan Fung reacts to Roe v. Wade news

“In Rhode Island, they’ve already spoken about this issue,” the former Cranston mayor said. “And I’m not running to try to change the laws on abortion.”

Former Cranston, R.I., Mayor Allan Fung speaks at his campaign kickoff event, Tuesday, April 26, 2022, at the Varnum Memorial Armory in East Greenwich, R.I.David Goldman/Associated Press

PROVIDENCE — Former Cranston Mayor Allan W. Fung, a Republican candidate for Congress, on Tuesday responded to reports that the US Supreme Court has voted privately to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision by noting that Rhode Island has enacted a law to protect abortion rights and saying, “I’m not running to try to change the laws on abortion.”

When asked if he describes himself as “pro-choice” or “pro-life,” Fung chose neither description, saying, “I’m not a labels-type person.”

“I don’t support taxpayer funding of abortion,” Fung said during the taping of the Rhode Island Report podcast. “I don’t support late-term abortion. I don’t support partial-birth abortion.”

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He noted said that if the Supreme Court does adopt the leaked draft opinion, states would have the ability to limit or protect abortion rights. And he pointed out that in 2019 the General Assembly passed the Reproductive Privacy Act, aiming to protect abortion rights in Rhode Island in case the high court overturns the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.

“In Rhode Island, they’ve already spoken about this issue,” Fung said. “And I’m not running to try to change the laws on abortion. What I’m trying to run for in this race is making sure that we change the gas prices, make sure we change grocery prices, make sure we can get a lot of our products back on the store shelves. That’s why I’m running for this seat in Congress.”

Fung is running for the congressional seat that Democratic US Representative James R. Langevin is vacating at year’s end.

In September, Langevin changed his long-held stance on abortion rights and said he would back federal legislation that would enshrine a nationwide right to abortion. He said he reconsidered his position after the Supreme Court recently allowed Texas to ban abortions after six weeks.

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“Faced with the reality that Roe might no longer be the law of the land in a few months, I have come to the conclusion that I cannot support a reality where extremist state legislators can dictate women’s medical decisions,” Langevin said at the time. “We have to put our trust in women.”

When asked if he would support or oppose codifying abortion rights, Fung said, “Any bill that comes before me, I stand where probably a majority of Rhode Islanders stand on this issue: I don’t support taxpayer funding of abortion, so I won’t support any bill that has that. I won’t support late-term abortion, and I won’t support partial-birth abortion.”

Fung said he did not support the Reproductive Privacy Act that Rhode Island passed in 2019.

“I thought it went too far because it not only codified but it made the change in the statute and other changes besides Roe. So I thought that went too far.”

When asked if his faith informs his stance on the abortion issue, Fung said he is Catholic but he makes decisions on issues after looking at arguments on both sides.

“That’s how I governed during my 12 years as mayor,” he said. “That’s how I’ll govern and enact laws and vote on laws, based upon what I see before me and take into consideration where Rhode Islanders stand. And on this issue, I align more with where the majority is on it.”

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When asked what his message would be to 2nd Congressional District voters will choose a candidate based on the abortion issue, Fung said, “Well, I’m not the extremes on either side. I’ve never been during my course of public service. You’ve seen me in how I act during the time that I’ve been mayor for the past 12 years. It’s always in a bipartisan approach working towards common sense solutions.”


Edward Fitzpatrick can be reached at edward.fitzpatrick@globe.com. Follow him @FitzProv.