Each legislative year, over 5,000 bills are introduced and hundreds of amendments are filed in the Illinois General Assembly. Illinois Right to Life Action reviews each and every one of these bills and amendments, looking for any language that is anti-life or may affect the pro-life movement in Illinois. We thoroughly comb through the content of bills that are drafted specifically on life-related issues. With this information, we work tirelessly to defeat dangerous legislation, keep our legislators informed so they can vote pro-life, and support the implementation of more pro-life policies in our state. It is our aim to promote a culture of life in Illinois by working to transform the political culture in Springfield, to one less threatening and more open to protecting the most vulnerable members of our state.
Much of the great work of Illinois Right to Life Action can be attributed to the incredible leadership and dedication of our legislative chairman, Ralph Rivera. For over 30 years, Ralph has been on the front lines of the battle for life down in Springfield, lobbying at the Illinois General Assembly. Many of the legislative victories made by the pro-life movement in Illinois are due, in large part, to his committed work.
After Roe v. Wade was decided on January 22, 1973, Ralph began his pro-life work in legislative and political matters. Over the years, Ralph has worked on hundreds of pieces of legislation, while testifying before numerous Senate and House committees and appearing on many Illinois television and radio programs. He has also worked closely with pro-life, constitutional attorneys and legislators to help craft pro-life legislation. As a matter of fact, Ralph lobbied on the first pro-life bill in Illinois that was successfully passed into law.
In 1977, Ralph lobbied for a bill prohibiting the use of taxpayer funding of abortion in Illinois under Medicaid. With the help of other pro-life organizations, it passed into law over a Governor’s veto, after which a lengthy court battle ensued. In 1980, the U.S. Supreme Court took up the Illinois court case on the law and eventually ruled that states had every right to prohibit taxpayer funding of abortion. Literally hundreds of thousands of babies have been saved from abortion over the years, through this one Illinois law.
In addition to his work as a lobbyist, Ralph was former chairman of one of the main pro-life political action committees in Illinois: Illinois Citizens for Life, PAC. Through this organization, Ralph has led efforts to elect pro-life legislators to the General Assembly and the U.S. Congress.
Ralph and his wife, Cindy, have been married for over 30 years and have six children.
Illinois Right to Life Action has seen hundreds of pro-life and anti-life bills drafted in our General Assembly. For over 30 years, we’ve been committed to opposing and working to defeat any legislation that poses a threat to the dignity of human life, while encouraging legislation that protects it.
Illinois Right to Life Action’s legislative chairman, Ralph Rivera, is the only full-time, pro-life lobbyist working to defend the right to life in our state capitol. He reads through legislation, day in and day out, usually keeping over 800 bills on his “watch list” year round. Our pro-life legislators greatly rely on Ralph to keep them informed on bad bills.
Each year, Illinois Right to Life Action makes at least 700 contacts with legislators and meets with each of them often four or more times.
Illinois Right to Life Action has stopped a number of bad pro-abortion bills by identifying them early. Through strong, united efforts, alongside our members and other grassroots pro-life organizations, we have successfully defeated dangerous legislation posing a threat to human life, and we will work hard to continue to do so. To see a list of some of these bills and learn how they were defeated, click here.
Legislative Lobbying Internship Program
Are you interested in:
- Learning how to read and analyze bills?
- Working with leaders and attorneys of pro-life organizations on pro-life related legislation?
- Sitting in on meetings and conversations with our legislators in the Illinois General Assembly?
- Working side-by-side with the only full-time pro-life lobbyist in the state of Illinois
- AND MORE!
Then Illinois Right to Life Action’s Lobbying Internship Program may be just for you. To learn more about this opportunity, and for an application, click HERE.