Editor’s note. These are NRLC President Carol Tobias greetings at the delivered this morning at the opening session of NRLC 2015.
Thank you all for coming to this wonderful convention in this wonderful city. It is truly an honor to be with all of you this week to celebrate Life and to learn how we can be even stronger advocates for unborn children, the elderly and those with disabilities whose lives are being threatened in a variety of ways. We want to leave this convention knowing how we can be even stronger voices for those who have no voice.
We have an amazing staff at National Right to Life, and many of them are here this weekend. If you haven’t met them yet, please make an effort to introduce yourself and just say hi. Our staff, your staff, knows that we are effective at a national level because you are working with us in your communities to change hearts and minds; to make a difference in the battle for life.
When the Supreme Court decisions of Roe and Doe were handed down in 1973, people generally acknowledged that the unborn child was a human being, even though the court referred to a “fetus” and “potential human life.” However, the pro-abortion forces put forth the myth that the unborn child wasn’t a person. He or she was just a “fertilized egg,” a “blob of tissue,” or “a mass of cells.”
But we know that a new life begins at fertilization. A baby’s heart begins to beat at 18 days, and brainwaves are present after just six weeks. The subsequent use of sonograms, now in full-color, with 3D and 4D imaging, helps us to recognize the unmistakable face of a child, not a blob of tissue.
In 1983, President Ronald Reagan penned an essay that became a book entitled, “Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation.” He wrote, “The real question today is not when human life begins, but, ‘What is the value of human life?’
The abortionist who reassembles the arms and legs of a tiny baby to make sure all its parts have been torn from its mother’s body can hardly doubt whether it is a human being. The real question for him and for all of us is whether that tiny human life has a God-given right to be protected by the law– the same right we have.” (end quote)
We continue to put forward the question, as President Reagan did, “What is the value of human life?” We know that, for those in the abortion industry, innocent human life has no value. That precious little one, growing inside her mother, can be destroyed and discarded for any reason, in a manner of cruelty that if practiced on animals would stir outrage.
Think about it— what would be this country’s response if someone built a facility for the sole purpose of tearing off legs and other body parts from little puppies before they were born.
But we do it to babies!
“What is the value of human life?” Are we no better than dogs, or trees, or a lump of coal? Of course we are. Human beings are different. Human beings are special because we are created in the image of God.
Too many in this country do not value the life of an unborn child. Too many do not value the life of an individual with disabilities. Too many do not value the lives of our elderly. When these individuals become problems to someone, the proposed solution is to end their lives.
But each of us, as a voice for the voiceless, will not let that happen. We stand up. We speak out. We organize. and we impact our communities.
When there is a powerful force fighting to take away the right to life, how do we respond? Not with anger or with hatred, but with LOVE.
We work to save people we will never meet. Whether those persons are unborn babies saved from abortion, or individuals with disabilities and the elderly saved from euthanasia, they may never know that our efforts and our intervention made it possible for them to live. Being a Voice for the Voiceless is a beautiful expression of love.
Everything we do, we do because of, and with, love. We educate to change the hearts and minds of our friends and neighbors; we work through pregnancy resource centers to help women going through a difficult time in their lives; we protect our vulnerable brothers and sisters by passing pro-life legislation and defeating bad legislation, such as assisted suicide bills ; and we work to elect men and women who will work with us on that pro-life legislation. We do everything in love. And we do it with smiles on our faces and joy in our hearts.
We are making a difference. The latest Gallup poll shows that only 42% of Americans think abortion should be legal in all or most circumstances.
The number of abortions is in decline. We have gone from 1.6 million abortions per year to just a little more than one million per year. That is still one million too many, but we are saving more than 500,000 babies nationwide, every year. More and more women are choosing life for their babies.
We still have a long way to go, but I’m encouraged and optimistic. One of our brightest lights for the future of the pro-life movement is young people. Meeting just down the hall, is the National Teens for Life convention, celebrating 30 years of bringing young people into the movement. Many of our state affiliates operate youth camps to train and equip young people to be a voice for the voiceless. The National Right to Life Academy, for college students, is starting this week and will continue through mid-August, training young people to be leaders in the pro-life movement. Several of our Academy graduates from previous years are here with us this week.
Some of you have been working in the movement for a long time. I can assure you that your work has not been in vain. This struggle for basic human rights will continue as we add to our ranks. For those of you who are fairly new to the movement, maybe this is your first time at an event like this, welcome and thank you for coming. I’m thrilled to see all of you here with us today.
There is a lot going on in the next three days. Dynamic speakers, a wide variety of workshop topics, an opportunity to visit with others to share your success stories, and a fun way to make new friends.
Make the most of this convention so you can return home energized and determined to be an even stronger voice for the voiceless.