By Dave Andrusko
It would be difficult to imagine a more inspiring opening session to National Right to Life’s annual convention in Herndon, Virginia.
Convention goers heard inspiring welcoming addresses from NRLC President Carol Tobias, The Honorable Geline Williams, who chaired the NRLC board of directors for 35 years, Olivia Gans Turner, president of the Virginia Society for Human Life, and Ed Gillespie, who worked for former President George W. Bush, chaired the Republican National Committee, and ran for the Senate from Virginia.
Gillespie, who lost by less than 1%, encouraged pro-lifers to remain steadfast and optimistic.
But not to be topped, Guy Benson, the keynote speaker, explained how important it was to”Be kind, be Smart, Speak Up—the Pro-life Message resonates.” Benson, an author and Political Editor for Townhall.com, began by outlining the challenges to “Building a Pro-Life Future,” some of them familiar, others less so.
Mr. Benson distinguished between pro-choicers who are amenable to reason, who can appreciate there can be limitations on abortion, and a “fanatical small group” who hold sway over the Democrat Party and who have long since abandoned the (always bogus) banner of “safe, legal, and rare” abortion.
For instance over the last year Democrats have filibustered bills that the American people overwhelmingly support, including a bill to attack the Zika virus because it did not increase the amount of money sent to Planned Parenthood, and to combat sex trafficking.
But there were far more reasons, in Benson’s talk, for optimism. For example, much of his speech centered on Millennials—his generation—which, except for seniors, is the most pro-life demographic. But first he reminded us of the “inherent joy and dignity” in battling on behalf of human rights. Often used as a cliché, it is a truth for our Movement: we are on the right side of history.
“Our side has science, reason, ethics, compassion, and faith,” Benson declared.
But about Millennials—18-29—Benson said they understand “instinctively” that there is someone who is a victim in an abortion and that when considering the question of where to draw, if the two brightest lines are conception and birth, it leads even pro-choicers to consider the need for limitations on abortion.
Mr. Benson ended his upbeat speech with encouragement to pro-lifers. When discussing abortion, be cheerful, loving, empathetic, and do not assume the worse of the other side, he counseled.
There are more potential allies out there than we can possibly imagine.