Tag: nonviolence

Civil Disobedience

“Whether or not you have children yourself, you are a parent to the next generation. If we can only stop thinking of children as individual property and think of them as the next generation, then we can realize we all have a role to play.”
~Charlotte Davis Kasl, Finding Joy, 1994

The movement to support human life and to oppose abortion involves a great diversity of individuals and organizations with each contributing in different ways toward the goal of protecting the unborn child.

Right to Life of Michigan, a nonprofit corporation, and its affiliates have decided through years of consensus planning to focus their energies and resources on education, legislative lobbying activities and political action to achieve our goals. We have always opposed, and continue to oppose, actions that are contrary to the law. Other individuals and groups believe that civil disobedience is a legitimate approach in waging a campaign against abortion.

Without in any way judging individuals who choose this approach, Right to Life of Michigan and its affiliates reaffirm their dedication to lawful efforts to protect the unborn, and have rejected any RLM participation in civil disobedience.

The board of RLM must be particularly concerned with the potential liability of the organization in the event of lawsuits surrounding civil disobedience activities. For this reason, it is essential that RLM, its affiliates and members, avoid any involvement what-so-ever of the organization in any of the following activities:

  1. Use of the Right to Life of Michigan name or designation of individual participants in civil disobedience activities as members or leaders of Right to Life of Michigan.
  2. Participation in or support for civil disobedience or other unlawful activities as RLM affiliates or as RLM representatives.
  3. Raising money as RLM affiliates or representatives or providing RLM funds or assistance to any group involved in civil disobedience.
  4. Use of RLM membership or mailing lists for any activity involving groups involved in civil disobedience or other unlawful activities.

Of course, these policies do not preclude any individual from acting on the basis of his or her own conscience. They are designed to isolate the RLM corporation and its affiliates from activities where RLM and its affiliates may be inadvertently linked with activities which would subject the corporations and their board members to legal charges and financial claims.

(November 16, 1988)

Nonviolence & Picketing


Peaceful solutions to the violence of abortion are the goal of Right to Life of Michigan.

For over a decade our members have marched, educated, lobbied, and voted for peaceful solutions to the violent ending of life. Each day, during every abortion procedure, babies are dismembered and women often suffer long-lasting physical and psychological harm. The violence of abortion kills approximately 1.5 million babies each year.

Recent bombings and arson in other parts of the nation against abortion facilities concern Right to Life of Michigan. To counter violence with violence is against our principles. Prolifers have consistently worked peacefully through the democratic process in order to reach our goal – the end of violence within clinic walls. We are a peaceful movement.

Clearly, the actions against abortion clinics are unrelated to Right to Life of Michigan and its legislative and educational efforts. We reject any attempts to link these isolated incidents to the Michigan prolife movement which is composed of citizens throughout the state who are committed to restoring the civil rights of the unborn child and additionally to helping the woman facing a problem pregnancy.

There are peaceful alternatives to abortion. There have to be.
(Adopted 1985)


The health of a democratic society is fostered by the open expression of dissent by its citizenry on matters of justice and social policy. Public protest on matters of conscience is a fundamental part of the American tradition.

In the present context of the legalization of abortion-on-demand by fiat of the U.S. Supreme Court (which swept aside statutes restricting abortion in every state), Right to Life of Michigan finds it entirely appropriate that citizens should exercise their free speech rights to publicly express opposition to the callous destruction of human life by abortion.

Picketing activities at abortion facilities, and in the context of appearances by government officials who espouse a pro-abortion position, serve to awaken the public conscience to the presence and evil of abortion, and to educate abortion clinic clients, those accompanying them, clinic personnel and the general public about the value of the unborn child, the potential physical and psychological harm to the mother as well as positive alternatives to abortion.

Both the United States and Michigan Constitutions protect the fundamental free speech rights of citizens to peaceably speak, assemble, picket and leaflet in public places. Right to Life of Michigan supports picketing activities which exercise these free speech rights on behalf of the unborn, provided that any statutes or ordinances against trespassing or blocking accesses to public or private property are not violated, and provided that no tactics designed to intimidate or harass abortion clinic clients, those accompanying them, clinic personnel, counter demonstrators or any member of the public are employed. Conscious of the fact that many women who opt for abortion do so under the duress of difficult circumstances, Right to Life of Michigan encourages picketing activities which communicate to women considering abortion and the public at large a willingness to assist in any way possible with difficult circumstances accompanying a decision to choose life of an unborn child.