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Brief History


After several unsuccessful attempts in the mid-60’s, the New York State legislature passed the nation’s first abortion-on-demand bill, by one vote, in 1970. Individuals, dismayed by the new law, began to write and talk to their legislators, and to organize. Within two years a "repealer" bill was passed, but was vetoed by Gov. Nelson Rockefeller. Clearly, education of the public about the reality of abortion had to take priority, and "Right to Lifers" throughout New York State turned to the task.

In 1972, the New York State Right to Life Committee was incorporated and opened an office, staffed by volunteers. When the Supreme Court, in its January 22, 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, ruled that the unborn child was not a person and the right to privacy encompassed the right to abortion until birth, legislative action shifted from just the state level to the state and national levels. The New York State Right to Life Committee was a strong force in the founding of the National Right to Life Committee.

The scope of the New York State Right to Life Committee was enlarged in 1977 by the establishment of the New York State Right to Life Educational Trust and the New York State Right to Life Political Action Committee. Currently we staff a central office in Albany. Our organization is funded entirely by voluntary contributions.

The New York State Right to Life Committee, Inc. works directly with the National Right to Life Committee, Inc. in monitoring all legislation which affects the lives and status of the pre-born, newborn, those with disabilities and the dependent elderly. Through a network of local affiliates, the New York State Right to Life Committee helps to encourage communication among active pro-lifers, coordinate state-wide activities, and organize more effectively. The Board of Directors is the policy-making body of the New York State Right to Life Committee, Inc. It is comprised of six officers (Chairman; 1 st Vice Chairman; 2 nd Vice Chairman; Secretary, Treasurer, Delegate to National Right to Life) and Area Directors who are selected by, and represent, the affiliated groups across the state.

New York State Right to Life’s Legacy of Life, has been built over these decades and continues to be enriched daily. The legacy has grown in value, a value which cannot be measured in financial terms. The legacy is the result of continuing efforts of a diversity of people who share a deep and abiding commitment to restoring respect for the sanctity of innocent human life. We are committed to do whatever we can, with whatever we have, for as long as we are able - until the time comes when innocent human life is once again respected.

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