Statement of Position

Abortion in cases of rape?

According to the Guttmacher Institute, cases of rape and incest represent less 1% of all abortion cases. The recently updated Johnston Archive says the statistic is even less than 1%. However, regardless of statistics, rape is a horrific crime and act of violence against a woman. No woman should ever have to endure such a traumatic and violating experience. We have talked to women who have been victims of rape, and we sympathize with them. We have also counseled women who have become pregnant as a result of rape and had abortions. From our experience in speaking with these women, their abortions did not provide a solution to their pain, but exacerbated it.  Abortion in itself is an act of violence on both the woman’s body and the body of the unborn child conceived. The rapist should be punished to the fullest extent of the law for the heinous crime he has committed. At the same time, the unborn child conceived in the act is innocent of the crime. He or she is a separate human being, with his or her own unique set of DNA, never to be repeated in the history of the world. To abort the unborn child would be to kill a living human being, whose body is completely separate from the mothers, was conceived through no fault of his own, and cannot be guilty of the crime committed. Illinois Right to Life opposes abortion in cases of rape, as well as incest for the same reasons.

Physician Assisted Suicide: Yay or Nay?

Physician assisted suicide involves a patient self-administering a lethal dose of medication, prescribed by a physician, in order to end his or her own life. It is an act with the direct intention to cause death.  Illinois Right to Life firmly stands behind the principal that all life has value and dignity, from fertilization until natural death. Therefore, we strongly oppose physician assisted suicide. Proper use of pain management techniques and palliative care are few solutions among others that can be utilized to address fears and concerns about pain or discomfort at the end of life.

When does life begin?

The scientific and medical communities are in overwhelming agreement that, based on the latest scientific research, life begins at fertilization. At fertilization, sperm and egg unite to form a zygote, the earliest stage of development in which a baby already has its own unique set of DNA, completely separate from the mothers and never to be repeated again. The baby’s sex, hair color, eye color, skin color, and body type have already been determined. To learn more about when life begins, click here.

Is abortion a woman’s choice?

Women have the choice and the right to do what they want with their bodies. However, in an abortion, it is not only the pregnant woman’s body that is involved. The unborn child growing in her womb is a separate human being with its own body. His or her life began at fertilization, and it was at this point when the unborn child possessed its own unique set of DNA, completely separate from the mother’s. As early as three weeks gestation, the unborn child’s heartbeat is detected. By nine weeks gestation, the child will already have all its fingers and toes. Abortion is not a procedure performed only on a woman. It is performed on another, separate human being, who has its own rights over its body – including the right to life. Our rights end where another human person’s rights begin, and woman’s right to choose cannot trump the right to life of another human being.

Abortion to save the life of the mother?

Illinois Right to Life adopts the expert position of the certified OB-GYN’s in the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG). Their statement of position is as follows:

“Abortion is the purposeful killing of the unborn in the termination of a pregnancy. AAPLOG opposes abortion. When extreme medical emergencies that threaten the life of the mother arise (chorioamnionitis or HELLP syndrome could be examples), AAPLOG believes in ‘treatment to save the mother’s life,’ including premature delivery if that is indicated — obviously with the patient’s informed consent. This is NOT “abortion to save the mother’s life.” We are treating two patients, the mother and the baby, and every reasonable attempt to save the baby’s life would also be a part of our medical intervention. We acknowledge that, in some such instances, the baby would be too premature to survive.”


Illinois Right to Life recognizes the positive benefits of such procedures, but we also acknowledge the risk of miscarriage that goes along with these procedures. Furthermore, we oppose the use of amniocentesis and other methods of pre-natal diagnosis to identify a disorder, abnormality, or disability in a child if unfavorable diagnosis would result in abortion.


Several forms of contraception, such as Plan B, Ella, and the Morning After Pill, are abortifacients. These drugs cause the death of the zygote, a living human being with its own unique set of DNA, usually by preventing implantation. Illinois Right to Life opposes the intentional and systematic termination of human life, even in these circumstances.