By Dr. Jean Garton
Editor’s note. Dr. Garton, author of the pro-life classic, Who Broke the Baby? spoke both at a general session at the National Right to Life Convention—“The Real War on Women”—and a workshop entitled “The Art of Pro-Life Persuasion: One Size does not fit all.”
You won’t hear that statement from the overflow crowds that attended workshops, general sessions, and a prayer breakfast, at last week’s annual National Right to Life convention in Louisville, Kentucky. The three days represented the annual gathering of America’s pro-life “family” sponsored by The National Right to Life Committee, and it was definitely like going home again.
Attendees came from every state in the Union along with a attendees from Canada and Australia.
It was a working Convention with 64 different workshops that covered the gamut of pro-life issues. There were five general sessions, a prayer breakfast, and a closing banquet. NRLC 44 began with a general session devoted to debunking the allegation that those of us who oppose abortion are carrying on a “war” against women. There is a war, all right, but it is a war on facts about the humanity of the unborn and on the truth about the affects of abortion on women. And the war is being waged not by pro-lifers, but by pro-abortionists.
THE WAR ON WOMEN was also covered in a general session by NRLC President, Carol Tobias. Noting that abortion is the least regulated medical procedure, she asked why abortion defenders oppose “informed consent” for women seeking an abortion. If, as they argue, abortion is between a woman and her doctor, why do they promote webcam abortions which involve a doctor who never personally examines or even meets with the woman and, indeed, is simply on a TV screen and often in another State.
If abortion supporters really cared about women’s well being why have they consistently opposed parental involvement for teenagers or a requirement that abortionists have hospital privileges close to the abortion clinic in the event the woman encounters difficulty from the procedure. And, why, if they really care about women do they oppose crisis pregnancy centers and try to close them down. So who is really waging a war on women?
END OF LIFE ISSUES were, as always, given a lot of attention this year, only more so. Among the many workshops offered on the growing concern for people at the other end of the life spectrum were “Doctor Prescribed Suicide,” “Denial of Treatment Against Your Will” and “Medicine’s Intentional Killing Through Dehydration.” The criteria that have been used to justify the elimination of 56 million unborn children are now being used on those already born when they become unwanted, dependent, “nonproductive,” and economically costly.
Dr. Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who spoke at the prayer breakfast, said, “I used to talk about how we were treating our old people. Now I’m 64 and I’m really worried.”
WORKSHOP TOPICS also included Lobbying, “Overcoming Apathy in Churches,” “Raising Money to Build Chapters,” Planned Parenthood, Legislative and Political Strategy, School Based Health Clinics, and dozens of other interesting and informative sessions.
Other featured speakers at general sessions included pro-life Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky who along with others addressed the topic “Challenging the Nation to Respect Life.” Dr. Angela Lanfranchi, a New Jersey breast cancer surgeon who was named 2013 “Top Doc” for Women’s Health in Breast Surgery, spoke of the abortion-breast cancer link. Another general session, “Bioethics War on Humans” featured Wesley J. Smith, internationally known lawyer, author and bioethicist.
Among the good news. Last year’s NRLC convention in Dallas was heavily attended. But there were even more people assembled at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville.
The number of young people continues to increase at each convention. Very good news! In fact, young people and middleagers far outnumbered those of us with white hair or no hair.
Eight times in the New Testament we are reminded of the words of Jesus who said there are two great Commandments. First, we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and, secondly, we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. We are never more intimately involved with a neighbor than when we carry a “neighbor” in our womb.
The 2015 NRLC Convention will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana, on July 9, 10, 11. If you are interested in building a culture of life; in protecting the most defenseless among us; in helping women to find life-giving and life-affirming solutions to their problem pregnancy, then, as they say in the Louisiana part of the country, “Y’all come!”