Mainstream pro-lifers do not condone violence

By Olivia Gans Turner, president, Virginia Society for Human Life (VSHL)

Editor’s note. This letter to the editor appeared in the Roanoke Times on July 29.

A July 25 letter from a Radford resident (‘Pro-life’ faction has grim history of violence) suggested that the pro-life movement is responsible for random acts of violence perpetrated by outliers in the 1990s and early 2000s. The exact opposite is true. In fact, mainstream pro-life organizations are on record condemning those actions in the strongest terms. By contrast, there are no statements from pro-abortion groups denouncing the actions of those vandalizing pregnancy centers around Virginia offering free support to women seeking help.

Virginia Society for Human Life, the state affiliate of the National Right to Life Committee, aligns with statements of NRLC and repeated over the years since its founding. VSHL rejects all violent or illegal action and supports prosecution for anyone who performs any such act. True pro-lifers work within the law to change the law.

From the resolution passed by the NRLC board in 1995:

WHEREAS, the National Right to Life Committee has a longstanding policy that “its directors, officers, employees, agents or any person or entity acting in its name, or in concert with it, shall not encourage, promote, or engage in any unlawful activities related to the purposes of the National Right to Life Committee, Inc.”;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT:

1. The National Right to Life Committee reaffirms its unequivocal condemnation of violence as a means to end abortion;

2. the National Right to Life Committee urges all who oppose abortion to adopt its policy of engaging in only peaceful, legal activities to seek protection for unborn children and aid women facing crisis pregnancies;

3. The National Right to Life Committee affirms that pro-life citizens have the same rights of free speech and peaceful legal assembly as any other citizens of the United States;

4. The National Right to Life Committee urges the media, for the common good, to cease immediately to publicize and promote the views of any who espouse or seek to justify violence as a tactic in the abortion debate and instead report the views of those who espouse non-violence and the use of peaceful legal means.