Dear fellow Catholics:

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I write to you today at a crucial time for our state. Legislation has been introduced at the RI General Assembly radically expanding abortion in Rhode Island. In the House these bills are H 5125 sponsored by Rep. Williams and H 5127 sponsored by Rep. Ajello and in the Senate the bill S 152 sponsored by Senator Goldin.

This legislation goes far beyond β€œcodifying” existing federal law on the subject of abortion and includes the elimination of any constitutional restrictions on late-term abortion. Our advocacy against these bills is ongoing but there is mounting pressure from the well-financed pro-abortion lobby and their many elected allies at the General Assembly and in state government to bring these bills to a vote. The RI House Judiciary Committee conducted a hearing on the bills a couple of weeks ago and thankfully many pro-life people turned out in opposition to these bills. A hearing in the RI Senate has not yet been scheduled.

In the meantime, our advocacy in promoting a culture of life in RI and opposing this legislation continues as we work with our allies in the General Assembly and with Mr. Barth Bracey, the Director of RI Right to Life. RI Right to Life is leading the petition drive against these bills and a link to this petition is included below. Also included on that site is the excellent legal analysis of this legislation by Paul Linton which clearly illustrates that it goes far beyond the codification of Roe vs Wade in RI law. I suggest you read his analysis.

Many have asked how they can help at this time. First, I would ask that prayer for the unborn and for our elected officials be taken up in some way in every parish. Second, I would ask that you act now by encouraging the people of your parishes to write letters, emails and make phone calls to their local RI State Representative and RI State Senator to voice their opposition to these bills. Also encourage people to write the local print media expressing their opposition to this radical expansion of abortion in our state. Additionally I would encourage all people to advocate against this legislation by having as many people as possible to sign the online petition. Please consider placing this information in your weekly bulletin or making pulpit announcements.

Also please know RI Right to Life is need of crucial support and additional resources to keep the fight going against a very well organized and well financed pro-abortion lobby. Volunteers to help advocate against these bills at the General Assembly during the legislative session are needed. Please contact Barth Bracey at RIRTL by phone (401) 521-1860 or by email at bebracy@rirtl.org if you are able to provide any kind of assistance of your time, talent or treasure.

Pray, act and advocate is what we each of us is called to do as faithful citizens. I thank you for your support in protecting the lives of the unborn at this critical time for our state and nation.

Fr Bernard A. Healey
Director of the RI Catholic Conference

Link to online petition:

http://www.rirtl.org/action/index.php?vvsrc=%2FPetitions%2F1564%2FRespond