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Policy Statement and Positions
Rhode Island State Right to Life Committee Inc.
Rhode Island Right to Life is a non-sectarian, non-denominational organization affiliated with the National Right to Life Committee. It educates the public with regard to life issues in the area of biomedical ethics and advocates pro-life public policies. Through its affiliate organization, Right to Life Services, it provides direct assistance to needy women and their children. One of the first grassroots anti-abortion organizations in the nation, Rhode Island Right to Life (then known as the Constitutional Right to Life Committee) was founded in 1970, prior to the U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, which struck down all state laws against abortion then in existence. The Constitutional Right to Life Committee was formed to address the question of abortion at a time when there were mounting efforts to liberalize existing abortion laws, but it soon became apparent that the unborn were not the only ones threatened by the culture of death. Infants, the elderly, and the disabled needed protection as well.
The mission of Rhode Island Right to Life is to promote policies in the state, nation, and world that protect the lives of the unborn, the elderly, the dying, and the disabled.
In keeping with this mission, Rhode Island Right to Life opposes all direct attacks on preborn human beings.(1) We acknowledge the scientific fact that human life begins at fertilization and believe that innocent human beings should be protected, from the time of fertilization until natural death. Therefore, we oppose induced abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, dehydration or starvation of patients by the withdrawal of food and fluids, non-therapeutic experimentation on live human fetuses and embryos(2), practices that can be associated with in vitro fertilization that threaten the lives of the unborn, human cloning, violent attacks upon pregnant women including capital punishment of pregnant women, embryonic stem cell research that harms the unborn, requiring amniocentesis or other cytogenetic tests as a condition precedent to being insured, so-called wrongful life suits(3) , and the use of public facilities or personnel or funding of any of the previously mentioned practices.
We support the enactment of human life amendments to both the state and federal constitutions that would protect the right to life of unborn babies. We support the promotion of alternatives to abortion, informed consent for women considering abortion including information concerning pre-natal development and fetal pain, parental consent prior to a planned abortion of a minor, spousal notification prior to a planned abortion, a waiting period prior to abortion, the provision of educational materials to women considering abortion, abstinence education, requiring that abortions be done by physicians only, abortion clinic regulation promoting the health of women, the rights of pro-life persons to pray and protest outside of abortion clinics, legislation protecting persons who conscientiously object to participating in such practices as abortion or euthanasia, protection for babies born alive during attempted abortions and unborn human lives killed or otherwise harmed by violent attacks on pregnant women. We support the availability of ethical pain management for dying patients.
We support those suffering from the aftereffects of induced abortion. We support candidates for political office who share our commitment to the protection of human life. We support adult stem cell research when informed consent has been obtained from the donor.
- Rhode Island State Right to Life acknowledges the moral acceptability of supporting imperfect anti-abortion laws as interim measures which, while not banning all abortions, would have the effect of reducing the number of abortions. We believe that legislators and others who support such imperfect legislation should make it clear that they support protection for all innocent human life and only support such imperfect interim measures in order to increase protection for innocent human life.
- We oppose fetal and embryonic experimentation that does not benefit the unborn human being who is being experimented upon.
- An example of a wrongful life suit would be one in which parents of a child with a disability sue a doctor for not informing them of the disability before birth, as they would have aborted the child if they had known.