By Jacki Ragan, Director, State Organizational Development Department and NRL Conventions, Inc.
The 52nd annual National Right to Life Convention is over, but the memories, the speakers, what we learned, what we shared, what we walked away with from Pittsburgh, PA with, is not. I learned many years ago that when the National Right to Life Convention is in town, people gather, they listen, they learn, and they remember! And then, they take it back to their local communities to share with other pro-lifers who could not make it to the convention.
One of my favorite quotes about the convention comes from the late Dr. Jean Garton: “The three days of the National Right to Life Convention represents the annual gathering of America’s Pro-Life ‘Family’ and it is like coming home again.” And Dr. Garton was never wrong. It is a Pro-Life Family Reunion of Pro-Life America.
We had so many fabulous speakers this year and they did not disappoint! From the very early morning until very late at night, speaker after speaker in the major sessions gave it their best and the attendees listened with rapt attention.
From Erik Rosales at the opening Prayer Breakfast, followed by Wesley Smith, J.D., and Alex Schadenberg on Assisted Suicide, to Amy Ford and Thomas Glessner, J.D., on Pregnancy Resource Centers to Benjamin Watson who wrapped up day one that evening, every speaker was motivational, filled with knowledge that they shared. It was a wonderful first day at NRLC 2023.
And, we had 24 workshops on important pro-life topics tucked in around all the major sessions.
Saturday opened with a session discussing what we have learned in the first-year post-Dobbs and great lessons, information, and suggestions on going forward were passed along. Next, we were held spellbound by a group of abortion survivors. Leading off with a video from Melissa Ohden, the session next featured Lauren Eden, the co-founder and President of “Embrace Grace, and then the abortion survivors who spoke about their stories. They provided that “Abortion Survivors are NOT a pro-life myth.” Our Federal Legislative Director, Jennifer Popik, J.D., wrapped it all up by suggesting what the attendees could do to help us pass, once and for all, the Born- Alive bill that is currently before Congress.
For the convention wrap up on Saturday evening, we were thrilled to welcome none other than Seth Dillon, founder and CEO of the famous Babylon Bee! Seth was amazing and funny, and a fabulous speaker. His speech ended the 52nd annual National Right to Life Convention on the highest of high notes. Add an additional 24 workshops to Saturday and it was a fact-filled day.
All sessions are now available for purchase of MP3s, and you can find what you are looking for here.
For me, one of the best parts of a National Right to Life Convention is connecting with old friends and making new ones. It is seeing those folks we see only once a year and catching up with the latest news. Visiting the exhibit hall and seeing the many vendors with their materials and offers is another exciting opportunity to get the latest information to take back home. This year did not disappoint on either front.
So, start now, by saving the dates for the 53rd annual National Right to Life Convention which will be held in Arlington (Crystal City), Virginia on Friday and Saturday, June 28, 29, 2024. The theme is “Strength in Numbers,” and we hope you will show us your strength by joining us there.
As we continue 2023, and early 2024 in making great strides in saving lives, let’s plan now on making next year’s convention one for the books! I look forward to seeing you there and working with you in the meantime.
Have a great rest of the summer!