By Laura Echevarria, Director of Communications and Press Secretary
Editor’s note. This appeared in the post-election issue of National Right to Life News. Please share the entire edition with pro-life family and friends.
In the last few weeks—prior to the November 3rd General Elections—NRLC’s media relations’ staff received a number of emails and phone calls challenging the information National Right to Life included on materials we published detailing various candidate’s position on abortion.
Most people contacting us had already made up their minds about the candidates they were supporting. They were offended that our mailing pieces listed their candidate as a supporter of abortion on demand. Clearly, our callers wished to believe otherwise.
However, everything National Right to Life staff say and what we release to the public is based on fact. Our information is sourced and vetted extensively. NRL takes our reputation for accuracy seriously.
We do not arbitrarily decide who is pro-life or pro-abortion. We base our conclusions on candidate questionnaires (where the candidate tells us—in her or his own words—what the candidate’s position is on abortion).
If we do not receive a candidate questionnaire from the campaign, then our materials rely on interviews the candidate gives to local or national media, statements the candidate has made at rallies or during campaign speeches, and what his or her campaign site says about the candidate’s position.
And, of course, we rely heavily on a candidate’s voting records—if they have held office prior to the election.
The materials National Right to Life presents to the public go through several departments and are proofed for accuracy.
Every radio ad, mail piece or candidate comparison sheet goes through a multi-step proofing process.
Every statement by a candidate is proofed against official documents such as news reports, published statements by the campaign or campaign speeches. Every vote made by a candidate is double-checked and every policy position taken is verified.
But this is not surprising. The National Right to Life Committee has always been known for its elaborate attention to detail.
And there are many reasons for this, but a primary one that goes beyond the obligation everyone has in any context: to be honest and ethical.
As the flagship of the pro-life movement, we are vilified by our opposition which has many, many allies in the media eager to pounce on any inaccuracies. We do not have the luxury of playing fast and loose with the facts. (Of course, we wouldn’t anyway.) NRL must have facts backed with supporting documentation so that our materials are unassailable.
Even after showing that a candidate is pro-abortion, we may face several challenges, one perennial. And that is candidates who change the definition of “pro-life” to fit their goals which do not include the protection of unborn children.
Some candidates take a different tact. They prefer to say that they are “personally opposed to abortion” but will do nothing to change the regime of abortion on demand.
These candidates are not pro-life and prove this by their own actions and statements supporting policies that promote abortion on demand. Some voters cling to these evasions as if they are “proof” that the vague assurances of their pro-abortion candidate will somehow mitigate the damage her concrete actions will cause if she is elected.
Unfortunately, this cycle, like every election cycle, we see some people buy into the words of candidates who hope to persuade voters that their position on abortion isn’t that bad.
But if a pro-abortion candidate tries to persuade you that his or her position on abortion policy won’t increase abortions, they are wrong.
Encourage your friends and neighbors to read, learn, and investigate on their own.
And be assured that anything you see or share that comes from National Right to Life will be fully vetted, verified, and documented.