West Virginians for Life Convention a Big Success

By Mary Anne Buchanan, Program/Communications Director

L to R: Jerrod Dean standing in for Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick, Senator Sue Cline, Delegate Andrew Byrd, Secretary of State candidate Mac Warner, House Speaker Tim Armstead, House of Delegates candidates Joshua Higginbotham and Chad Lovejoy, State Treasurer candidate Ann Urling, State Auditor candidate J.B. McCuskey and Delegate Kayla Kessinger. Not pictured is Chad Story, Field Representative for U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins, who spoke during the convention welcome and Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael, who spoke earlier as well. Another candidate who sent his wife to represent him is not pictured-- House of Delegates candidate Keith Pauley

L to R: Jerrod Dean standing in for Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick, Senator Sue Cline, Delegate Andrew Byrd, Secretary of State candidate Mac Warner, House Speaker Tim Armstead, House of Delegates candidates Joshua Higginbotham and Chad Lovejoy, State Treasurer candidate Ann Urling, State Auditor candidate J.B. McCuskey and Delegate Kayla Kessinger. Not pictured is Chad Story, Field Representative for U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins, who spoke during the convention welcome and Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael, who spoke earlier as well. Another candidate who sent his wife to represent him is not pictured– House of Delegates candidate Keith Pauley

If the number of elected officials and candidates who turned out last weekend for West Virginians for Life’s annual State Pro-Life Convention is any indicator, it was a success. Third District Congressman Evan Jenkins’ field representative spoke on his behalf. Also on hand were WV House Speaker Tim Armstead and House Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael as well as many others.

Held in a church family life center, the five-hour event was packed with pro-life videos. They included everything from the Labeled movie trailer to Live Action’s Debunking Planned Parenthood to the 20 minute version of the new documentary Hush, which addresses women’s health issues following abortion.

Keynote Speaker Nailah Winkfield with WVFL Program Director Mary Anne Buchanan

Keynote Speaker Nailah Winkfield with WVFL Program Director Mary Anne Buchanan

The pro-life audience was quite moved as keynote speaker Nailah Winkfield shared her story of medical discrimination against her daughter, Jahi. As explained in NRL News Today, three years ago Jahi’s adenoid surgery went horribly wrong. Doctors said the teenager was brain-dead, a diagnosis vigorously contested by her family. Her family eventually won the right to remove her from the hospital and she now resides with family in New Jersey.

Since then, despite being told repeatedly that her daughter is brain-dead, Nailah courageously continues to care for Jahi, almost 16. Moreover, as bioethicist Wesley J. Smith explained, “Her family has now released a video in which a breathing measuring machine is seen, with her mother urging Jahi to take breaths without mechanical assistance.”

Were it not for her mother’s advocacy , Jahi would be gone from us.

Seated are NRL Academy Alum Lacey Evans, Sophie Parlock, and Lena Dean. Standing are Logan Hill, NRL Political Director Karen Cross and Travis Wamsley.

Seated are NRL Academy Alum Lacey Evans, Sophie Parlock, and Lena Dean. Standing are Logan Hill, NRL Political Director Karen Cross and Travis Wamsley.

A teen day camp was held in conjunction with the event and led by NRL Academy alumna Lacey Evans.

Other topics covered ranged from Protecting Life AFTER Birth which dealt with end of life issues, The Battle Before Us, presented by National Right to Life Political Director Karen Cross, which addressed the upcoming election, and The Price of a Pro-Abortion Supreme Court.

The annual convention is always a long-awaited day for WVFL. Chapter leaders and board members walk away energized and empowered to carry on the fight to restore the sanctity of human life.