By Carol Tobias, National Right to Life President
I’m proud to be part of this wonderful organization. When I think of everything accomplished by National Right to Life, its state affiliates, chapters, and grassroots volunteers, I’m amazed. How much do you really know about the wonderful organization that you are a part of?
The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) is the only single-issue pro-life organization with an affiliate in every state. We have more than 3,000 chapters of grassroots volunteers that work within their communities—educating, lobbying state and federal governments on behalf of pro-life policies, and conducting political activities to elect pro-life men and women to office.
Let me tell you just some of what NRLC does on a regular basis.
As a regular reader of NRL News, you are very familiar with our Federal Legislative Department. We are the “gold standard” when it comes to pro-life legislation and monitoring the voting records of members of Congress. Journalists and other interested persons go to the NRLC website for factual, detailed information about pro-life legislation and pro-life ratings of congressmen and –women.
We have a State Legislative Department that works with affiliates to introduce pro-life legislation in their states. The latest brilliant idea to come from our staff in this area is the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks gestation because the unborn child can then feel pain. Four states have already passed this legislation, with several others still working on it. And sometimes, our State Legislative Department helps to defeat bad legislation—that can also be a pro-life success.
National Right to Life News, which you are reading now, is THE pro-life newspaper of record. At NRLC, we are proud of being factual and relevant. If you read something in NRL News, you don’t have to wonder if it’s true. It is. Along with the newspaper, we also have NRL News Today, a daily Internet paper to keep you updated. You can sign up to receive e-mails from NRL News Today by going to our website at http://www.nrlc.org/.
While you’re on the Internet, you can also visit our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter, both of which can be reached through our website. We have videos on YouTube and, at the Convention in Jacksonville, we will roll out our new QR code (short for Quick Response) that will advertise various NRLC promotions, readable by barcode readers and camera phones.
National Right to Life’s Outreach Department coordinates programs to many different cultural and religious groups by providing newspapers, newsletters, and a wide variety of flyers, pamphlets, and books. This includes post-aborted women, Hispanics, Black Americans for Life, and Indians for Life. We want to help individuals and groups organize more effective pro-life activities in their local community.
We also have an energetic youth outreach program with an annual convention for teens, an annual oratory and essay contest, a six-week summer training course for college students, known as the Academy, and pro-life camps to train and equip young people of various ages.
Our Education Department provides in-depth research and educational materials on abortion trends and statistics, and topics such as stem cell research, RU486, and prenatal development. The department extensively tracks the activities of Planned Parenthood, and most recently disseminated information about telemed abortions, the practice of doctors visiting with abortion-vulnerable women and dispensing RU486 via a web-cam.
The annual NRL Convention is a place for pro-lifers from around the country to gather. They get new ideas to take back to their home communities, they meet new people, and have an opportunity to educate themselves on the important pro-life issues of the day. I hope you are making plans to attend this year in Jacksonville, Florida, on June 23–25.
National Right to Life has a tremendous impact on the United Nations through the tireless efforts of Jeanne Head, R.N., our vice president for international affairs. Jeanne works with ambassadors and delegates from many countries to prevent the UN from promoting abortion in other countries. One delegate said of Jeanne, “her mere presence, even if she doesn’t say a word, is enough to give delegates the strength they need to go on negotiating.”
Our Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics provides the research and lobbying efforts against assisted suicide, rationing of medical care, and other forms of euthanasia. Its analysis of President Obama’s health care legislation and the dangers to elderly and disabled persons are invaluable to the country’s debate over rationing.
Our Communications Department does a fantastic job of getting our message out—whether it be press releases on congressional and state legislation, updates on pro-life activities at the various UN conferences, or the daily five-minute radio program, Pro-Life Perspective. A poll conducted in November 2010 found that 77% of all voters recognized National Right to Life.
Our Political Action Committee does yeoman’s work in helping to elect pro-life men and women to Congress. Last year, 68% of the congressional candidates endorsed by NRL PAC (88 out of 130) won their elections.
Our State Organizational Development Department daily works with state affiliates and chapters, providing fundraising aids, petitions, church bulletin inserts, packets for county fair booths, kits for pastors, ad slicks, a chapter newsletter and website, and in-person on-the-ground assistance. It maintains e-mail lists, sends out legislative alerts, and organizes the annual National Right to Life Convention.
And I certainly can’t forget the wonderful people in our office who keep track of our membership records, file all the necessary paperwork with federal and state agencies, and raise the much needed funds so we are able to continue our efforts to protect innocent human life.
We are a one-stop shop for pro-lifers looking to educate their communities, pass life-affirming legislation, and elect pro-life men and women to public office. Because of the time, talent, energy, and resources you put into the pro-life movement, working alongside the absolutely fantastic staff of NRLC, we have accomplished much. Let’s get excited because the best is yet to come!