Presidential Forum: Speaking Out and Winning for Life

By Dave Andrusko

Convo8Louisiana Right to Life Executive Director Ben Clapper no doubt captured the thoughts of everyone who attended the Presidential Candidates forum held Friday morning: “The Bench is so deep with pro-life candidates [referring to the seven pro-life Republicans who appeared in person or sent a video], the other side’s bench is short. …We are on the right side of history.”

Beginning Thursday night with the appearance of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal at the “Festival of Life,” attendees at the 45th annual National Right to Life were treated to brilliant, passionate expressions of pro-life convictions by pro-life presidential candidates.

On Friday we heard from Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson. Joining the convention by video were Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Each candidate provided insights into themselves and into what there is about the cause of life that is so important they gladly take the “heat,” particularly from most of the media. Each drew from their unique experiences, reinforcing the driving principle that undergirds the Right to Life Movement: every human being, born and unborn, is one of a kind and irreplaceable.

Elsewhere at NRL News Today you can read excerpts from the candidates. But there were several common denominators.

First, and perhaps foremost, that protecting the littlest Americans and the vulnerable elderly is a reflection of our nation’s bedrock commitment to the equality of all—women and men, old and young—regardless of color or creed or national origins.

Second, in ending the slaughter that has already taken the lives of over 57 million unborn children we are taking a giant step forward in reclaiming the American Dream. Embedded in our nation’s DNA is a commitment to realizing the full potential of every human. That is impossible without the right to life.

And third, politics is critically important. Mr. Clapper asked the audience to imagine 2024. Will it be remembered as the conclusion of eight years of a pro-life presidency or the 16th year of pro-abortion Democratic presidents?

As a reminder of what is at stake, NRLC Executive Director David N. O’Steen, Ph.D., showed a picture of someone who would not be at our convention: Hillary Clinton. He then offered just a few quotes from the former Secretary of State to prove that the Democratic front-runner is a hard-core pro-abortionist with no patience for (or tolerance of) the religious liberties of pro-lifers.

Just how important politics can be—that elections really do matter—in other realms besides abortion, consider the Obama administration’s determination to ration health care. That was part of a second General Session Friday–”Health Care without Rationing or Deficits: The National Right to Life Alternative to ObamaCare.”

Using a very helpful PowerPoint presentation, Burke Balch, JD, director of the Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics, outlined what he called “The Virtuous Use of the Free Market.” In word Mr. Balch demonstrated that there is an pro-life alternative to President Obama’s relentless campaign to cut medical costs at all cost.

Jennifer Popik, JD, legislative counsel for the Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics, outlined the all-out push by euthanasia forces this year to pass laws legalizing physician-assisted suicide. Two states are still in session but the remaining 27 initiatives were defeated, sometimes by a single vote.

Popik outlined the strengths of the pro-assisted suicide lobby—think Brittany Maynard–and what it has required to fend off their well-financed campaigns coordinated by Compassion & Choices, formerly and more accurately known as the Hemlock Society.

They will be back, and we must be ready!

There were sixteen more workshops on Friday, illustrating again the enormous breadth of our Movement’s response to the Culture of Death. Subject matter ranged from Webcam/Chemical abortions and fundraising through the Myth of the “Unwanted Child” and abortion statistics to Surviving Unplanned Pregnancies and “The Post-Abortion Marriage: Understanding and Overcoming.”