National Right to Life Announces New Executive Director

WASHINGTON – The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the nation’s oldest and largest pro-life organization, today announced that David N. O’Steen, Ph.D., who has led the organization as executive director since 1984, will step down from that role on December 31. Scott Fischbach, who currently serves as executive director of National Right to Life’s Minnesota affiliate, Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, will become National Right to Life executive director effective January 1, 2023. Dr. O’Steen will continue to serve in an advisory capacity.

“Words cannot adequately express our gratitude to Dr. David O’Steen for his unwavering dedication to the cause of life and his extraordinary leadership of National Right to Life and the right-to-life movement,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “It is no understatement to say that under Dr. O’Steen’s leadership, National Right to Life has been at the center of developing and executing the legislative and legal strategies that have not only saved millions of lives over the past four decades, but have also directly led to Roe v. Wade’s reversal by the U.S. Supreme Court last summer.”

Over the course of Dr. O’Steen’s tenure, National Right to Life greatly expanded its programming and outreach to support and strengthen the organization’s grassroots network. Working in tandem with affiliates in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia and thousands of local chapters, Dr. O’Steen has kept National Right to Life at the forefront of pursuing state and federal legislative initiatives like the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and the Dismemberment Abortion Ban Act, among others, that have saved countless lives, and caused the Court to revisit the issue of abortion time and again.

Under his leadership, National Right to Life also led the fight against the abortion-expanding provisions of the Clinton Health Care Plan in 1994 and Obamacare in 2009, as well as combatting many attempts to repeal the Hyde Amendment and expand taxpayer funding of abortion.

Additionally, Dr. O’Steen’s tenure saw the expansion of National Right to Life’s outreach efforts to minorities, young people, and women healing from abortion with the creation of outreach organizations like Black Americans for Life, National Teens for Life, and American Victims of Abortion. He established the organization’s Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics, which works to protect the medically vulnerable and disabled from efforts to expand physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia in the United States.

“The work of National Right to Life goes to the very core of our society – a human being’s basic right to exist,” said David N. O’Steen, Ph.D. “What a blessing and privilege it is to be part of this great cause and work with the staff, volunteers, and affiliates of National Right to Life as we restore a culture of life in our country. As a right-to-life movement, we’ve made tremendous gains over the past 40 years, but we know there is still much work to be done. We must ensure that our nation’s laws recognize and respect the humanity of the child in the womb, the elderly and the medically vulnerable and disabled, and that those laws protect these innocent human lives from the evils of abortion, infanticide, assisted suicide, and euthanasia.”

Scott Fischbach has served as executive director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) since 2001. Prior to joining MCCL, he served on the campaign staff for former Minnesota Sen. Rudy Boschwitz, as National Right to Life field coordinator, as coalitions director for Sen. Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign, and as an advisor to numerous pro-life public officials including former North Carolina Sen. Elizabeth Dole and former Mississippi Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck, among others. More recently he has overseen National Right to Life’s annual oratory and essay contests that are designed to reach out and mobilize and inspire more young people to become outspoken pro-life activists.

“It is an incredibly humbling honor to be chosen to lead National Right to Life as its new executive director,” said Scott Fischbach. “Ours is the greatest human rights cause of our time and National Right to Life, with our national network of state affiliates and local chapters, is at the center of that great cause. I look forward to building on the successes we have achieved under Dr. O’Steen’s leadership and capitalizing on the wonderful opportunities to save more and more lives.”