New Challenges and New Opportunities

By Carol Tobias, President, National Right to Life

Editor’s note. This appeared on page three of the May edition of National Right to Life News. Please share this and the other stories, commentaries, and opinion pieces in this 40-page issue.

National Right to Life has a flyer, available for download, titled, “Infinite Possibilities.” A picture of an unborn child is surrounded by potential occupations and attributes. Will she be a physicist or photographer? Will he be mischievous? Merciful? It makes the reader wonder what that child will do– will he influence thousands of young children as a teacher, will she discover a vaccine for the next pandemic?

I was reminded of that flyer as National Right to Life, along with the rest of the country, was dealing with the coronavirus and the fallout of its impact. Like many business places, our office was essentially closed and our employees have been working from home.

Sadly, we had to cancel the 2020 NRLC convention. The summer NRLC Academy, which brings in students from around the country for a five-week, in-depth study of pro-life issues and leadership training, was also canceled. (But both will be back next year!)

Rest assured, our staff has been extremely busy as they worked from home. It was more difficult– not being able to walk down the hall or go upstairs to discuss some matter with a co-worker– but by phone, computer, and social media, our efforts have continued.

Similar to the previously-mentioned “Infinite Possibilities” flyer, this latest crisis presented NRLC with new challenges and new opportunities.

As governors were saying, “No elective surgeries; essential procedures only,” National Right to Life and its state affiliates led the way in urging state officials to properly declare that elective abortions are non-essential medical services.

We know that the abortion industry cares nothing about women and is only interested in increasing the number of babies who die each day. Their response to this tragic pandemic gave us opportunities to showcase their true colors.

As people were being told to stay home to prevent the spread of the virus, abortion facilities were encouraging women to come to their facility to end their pregnancies.

As health care personnel around the country were begging for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) so they may better protect themselves as they cared for COVID-19 patients, some Planned Parenthood clinics were asking supporters to donate PPE so their staff could continue killing babies. In fact, some Planned Parenthood affiliates suspended all services BUT abortions.

NRLC issued press releases and, during several interviews, I pointed out Planned Parenthood’s rabid commitment to killing unborn babies. That point of view didn’t necessarily show up in the mainstream media but people around the country heard and read the information via social media and more reasonable media outlets.

We pushed back against the abortion establishment’s efforts to change Food and Drug Administration (FDA) protocols that protect women. The industry that deals in death wants to expand access to mail-order and telemedicine abortions. They want the FDA to loosen restrictions on chemical abortions so they can promote do-it-yourself abortions that take place at home.

NRLC worked with Congress to ensure that federal funds in the CARES Act, the COVID-19 stimulus bill which provides forgivable loans to small businesses, would not be available to the multi-billion dollar abortion industry.

One critically important, yet often overlooked, pro-life matter addresses the discrimination and rationing of health care to persons based on age or disability. Examples of this utilitarian ethic have flared up during the pandemic.

News stories and articles in medical journals written by “bioethicists” began discussing the possibility of rationing care based on the age and ability of those affected by COVID-19. Others raised the possibility of instituting mandatory “do not resuscitate” orders for COVID-19 patients, even if doing so overrode a patient’s advanced directive or the family’s wishes.

National Right to Life sent a letter to President Trump, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, and Office of Civil Rights(OCR) Director Roger Severino sounding the alarm about the danger of discriminatory policies and the need to protect persons with disabilities, the elderly, and individuals with chronic conditions.

OCR, later followed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, issued a strong statement to ensure that “covered entities do not unlawfully discriminate against people with disabilities when making decisions about their treatment during the COVID-19 health care emergency.”

Never forgetting that we have critical elections this year, NRLC and its political action committees have been interviewing candidates by phone, e-mailing candidate questionnaires and promoting our endorsements through social media and press releases.

One more opportunity is on-going right now, until June 10. NRLC is partnering with Christian Creative Media to bring the play, “Viable,” into homes via WatchSalemMedia.com.

“Viable” is a story of heartbreak, grieving, sorrow, and shame. It is also a story of God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness. The play was filmed while playing at North Greenville University in Greenville, SC. Making this film available online, on phones or smart TV gives NRLC the opportunity to reach into homes we may not otherwise have reached. At the same time we help promote a terrific pro-life play, we are able to enlarge and enhance the NRLC name in a new, unusual, and fun way.

If you haven’t seen “Viable” yet, I hope you will make an effort to do so. Set a date with family or friends to watch it together, even if that means you watch in your own homes then discuss it later on Facebook. There is a charge to watch the play but you will find it worth every penny.

Just as an unborn child has infinite possibilities, you can count on National Right to Life to use new challenges to further our efforts to protect the most voiceless among us.