The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn a Massachusetts law meant to keep protesters 35 feet away from abortion clinics is drawing local reaction.
Rhode Island ACLU head Steve Brown says he thinks the court struck the right balance in this ruling, a balance between the right to free speech and the right to have an abortion. He says the court appropriately noted that clinics have other ways of dealing with protestors who cross a line.
Rhode Island Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin has taken a lot of heat for criticizing Nelson Mandela. Two days after Mandela died Tobin issued a statement calling his legalization of abortion “shameful.”
But now Tobin supporters are speaking out. The anti-abortion American Life League has put out a statement thanking Tobin. The statement said Tobin had the courage to point out the “shameful irony” between Mandela’s promotion of abortion and his stance against apartheid.
Rhode Island will not be joining 29 other states that offer anti-abortion license plates. Gov. Lincoln Chafee vetoed legislation Tuesday that would have created the plates, calling it an inappropriate use of state funding.
Proceeds from the $40 license plates would have gone to a Christian pregnancy clinic called CareNet, where women are advised against getting abortions. Supporters point out that Massachusetts and Connecticut offer similar plates.
State lawmakers approved the bill, but a three fifths majority is needed to override the governor's veto.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee is expressing skepticism over the General Assembly’s last-minute license plate legislation that created a special anti-abortion ‘Choose Life’ plate.
Chafee spokeswomen Christine Hunsinger says the governor has made no decision yet on whether to veto the measure or let it become law but that he is concerned whether ``it is appropriate for money that flows through the Division of Motor Vehicles to go to a religious organization.’’
Former Boston Mayor and Ambassador to the Vatican Ray Flynn was the keynote speaker at a Statehouse event marking the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.
Flynn was a guest of Rhode Island Right to Life which stages a protest every year on the anniversary of the controversial ruling. He told about 200 people assembled that they should take pride in the work they do.