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Civil Disobedience

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.

RLM, 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, RLM 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 RLM.
  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)