Kathleen Gilbert


New Rhode Island governor appoints major abortion leaders to top positions

Kathleen Gilbert

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island, December 3, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Pro-life advocates in the state of Rhode Island are raising the alarm after their governor-elect has appointed abortion industry insiders, including a top Planned Parenthood abortionist and the chairman of NARAL Pro-Choice America, to high-ranking positions in the state administration.

Governor-elect Lincoln Chafee last month selected NARAL chairman Richard Licht as the director of the state’s Department of Administration, an office with broad authority. A local government reporter, WPRI.com’s Ted Nesi, called the position “akin to being the state’s chief operating officer.”

Licht, a former state senator and lieutenant governor, joined NARAL’s board of directors in 2001. Governor-elect Chafee, a Republican before becoming an Independent in 2007, also joined the NARAL board in 2008.

NARAL president Nancy Keenan hailed Chafee’s and Licht’s step into power in Rhode Island. “We are proud that two of our family members will write a new chapter for Rhode Island’s future,” she said in a Nov. 15 press release.

In addition to his work promoting abortion, Licht has found success as a lobbyist for various organizations, including Bank of America and several insurance companies and investment groups.

Last month, Chafee also appointed abortionist Pablo Rodriguez as a member of his transition team. Rodriguez is the former Medical Director of Planned Parenthood of Rhode Island.

Barth Bracy, executive director of Rhode Island Right to Life, questioned the power that the abortion industry would now wield over state citizens.

“What input can NARAL be expected to have in shaping Rhode Island’s implementation of the national health care restructuring law?” said Bracy. Given the clues that Chafee is “preparing to pursue a vigorous abortion agenda,” he said, “We thus call upon pro-lifers in Rhode Island to prepare to oppose Chafee’s administration during the next four years.”

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