Right to Life Australia
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Right to Life Australia is an organisation which advocates pro-life positions in issues such as abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Margaret Tighe is the President of Right to Life Australia and Dr Toni Turnbull is Vice President. It is non-denominational and is not affiliated with any political party.
History of this pressure group
Right to Life was started in 1973 as Right to Life Victoria. It became Right to Life Australia in 2001.
The purposes of Right to Life Australia Under the Associations Incorporations Act 1981 Section 5 (b) are:
1. To provide an organisational structure for all forms of collective citizen action in defence of the right to life.
2. To initiate and develop public campaigns designed to secure the legislative recognition of the civil right to life of every human being from the moment of fertilisation until natural death.
3. To campaign for the election of legislators committed to the civil right to life and for the exclusion from office of candidates who refuse to give a commitment to the civil right to life.
4. To provide support for people facing crisis pregnancies.
5. To engage in whatever forms of activity throughout the Commonwealth of Australia as may be necessary to achieve objects (1), (2), (3) and (4).
6. To co-operate with other organisations in pursuance of the above objects.
Its main objective is to provide an organisational structure for collective citizen action against abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and assisted suicide. Since the 1970s and 1980s Right to Life has run political campaigns and public demonstrations against these things. Their members also lobby politicians, and give talks to schools and community groups.
Right to Life Australia organises an annual conference and a newsletter every two months, and funds Pregnancy Counselling Australia, which provides free counselling 24 hours per day, all year. The number for Pregnancy Counselling Australia is 1300 RESPECT.
Right to Life Australia was closely involved in the passing of the Euthanasia Bill 1996 and the Research Involving Human Embryos Bill 2002. In 2005 Right to Life made a statement on the Maria Korp case. Right to Life Australia supports Mothers Without Medicare, an organization that helps cover the cost of childbirth for financially insecure mothers.
Right to Life Australia campaigned in the 2010 Victorian state election in the electorates of Mount Waverley, Seymour, Gippsland East, Frankston, Mordialloc, Bendigo East, Mitcham, Burwood and Essendon. In 2012 Right to Life Australia campaigned in the Algester and Springwood electorates and against members of EMILY's List in the 2012 Queensland State Election.
- Lyle Allan (2010). The Right to Life campaigned in Victoria in the 2010 election in 9 seats, in 7 pro-choice politicians were replaced with pro-life politicians. "Margaret Tighe. The most powerful woman in Victoria," in Tasmanian Times, 30 November 2010. http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/weblog/article/margaret-tighe.-the-most-powerful-woman-in-victoria/
- Holly Ife: "Leader calls an end to an era" Herald Sun 03.01.09: 22
- Ainsley Symons (2014), “Anti-Abortion Campaigning and the Political Process,” in Recorder (Melbourne Branch, Australian Society for the Study of Labour History), No. 279, March, p.3