NRLC was host to a group of students from England this week. Thirty-five students and the teachers from St. Benedict’s School in London spent an enthusiastic morning filled with questions and answers about how NRLC participates in both the legislative and political process in the United States.
Olivia Gans Turner, Director of American Victims of Abortion, gave a presentation to the young visitors about the structure of NRLC and successes that are a product of NRLC’s leadership in the debate. Despite the students starting their day very early, their ensuing questions were sharp and well thought out. Many themes were ones that pro-lifers often hear, but no less important to answer with clarity and solid facts.
Mrs. Turner has visited Great Britain several times in the past to work with the British pro-life movement. This experience proved helpful in showing similarities and comparisons about how the movement in both countries has worked to change the law.
Many of the students were surprised to learn that abortion is essentially legal throughout all nine months of pregnancy in most of the USA. They did not know that abortion is also legal in the private medical system in Britain through all nine months as well.
Britain does have what they call an upper limit under the National Health Service, but abortions are frequently done after that on British women and women from other countries who travel to England just to get abortions late in pregnancy or on the grounds that the baby has a “severe disability,” which typically means Down syndrome.
The students learned about the many commonsense laws that NRLC has developed and promoted around the country through its 50 state affiliates, including Women’s Right to Know laws, Parental involvement laws, Partial-Birth Abortion bans, and most recently the powerful Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act which is now law in sixteen states. These laws are absolutely essentially to saving save the lives of unborn children and protecting their mothers.
The students also learned about NRLC efforts to protect the elderly and disabled from becoming victims of assisted suicide laws or health care rationing. The British pro-life movement has a long tradition of advocating for these people’s lives as well. A brief discussion of the threat of rationed health care in England and now the USA was lively.
As was explained to the students endorsing pro-life candidates and communicating directly with potential pro-life voters has had a powerful impact on elections. In the 2016 election alone, the pro-life candidate enjoyed a net 13% advantage among those who said the abortion issue affected their vote.
Mrs. Turner was peppered for an hour with many questions, including about NRLC’s positions on abortion after rape or if the baby might be born with a disability or a genetic disorder. There was keen interest in the way pro-lifers in the states have developed so many pregnancy resource programs for mothers in crisis. She pointed out to the students how important it is to expand this kind of effort in their own country was an opportunity to tap their own creativity in future.
Questions arose about how NRLC maintained a single-issue focus in a culture, like their own, which is wrestling with other social questions. Explaining that what made NRLC strong was that the people who support it come from every faith, political party, and life experience. What unites us all is the fact that every human life begins at fertilization and so must be protected under the law until natural death. That is our strength.
After two hours of very active participation from the young men and ladies, they were off to see the White House. They left with a new awareness of how both our countries have been deeply changed by legalized abortion.
They more appreciated the commitment of people dedicated to reshaping their society through law and education has made a powerful difference to the future of protecting all innocent human life—and the need for them to be part of this great movement for social justice.