By Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D. Academic Director, NRL Academy
Editor’s note. These were Dr. O’Bannon closing remarks concluding a very successful five weeks.
Fifty years after Roe and just a year after Dobbs.
Your class is a unique one.
Last year, it was exciting to hear that Roe had been overturned and that we were entering a new era where real protections for unborn children were possible. We knew there would be challenges, but it was a new day for American mothers and their unborn children.
This year, with thirteen months now under this new legal framework, we are beginning to see a bit more about what this new era offers. It will offer great opportunities. But it will also offer considerable challenges. And it is going to take hard, smart, strategic, dedicated work to turn this immediate legal advantage into long term, effective protections.
And that’s where you come in.
You are the next generation of pro-life leaders, who until a couple of months ago, had lived your entire lives under Roe’s regime of abortion on demand. That you have resources that will enable you to be even more effective advocates than before.
Lingering Problems, New Challenges
While the abortion industry has always had a rather tenuous connection to the truth, they have in recent months launched an aggressive effort to mislead the public, to confuse the issue. They have tried to make it sound as if every abortion is a “medical emergency,” or one for sexual assault, or a poor, minority woman being denied care for a miscarriage.
That laws protecting the unborn typically do not apply in any of these situations and should not in any way affect the medical care of women facing these crises matters little to the abortion industry. They are satisfied so long as they can confuse the issue, get uninformed doctors and misinformed medical personnel on their side, and undermine public support for pro-life legislation.
Though chemical abortions have been legal your entire lifetimes, you have witnessed how in recent years the abortion industry has put in place plans to use mailed abortion pills to get around whatever protections exist for mothers and the unborn children, flouting the law and putting women’s lives at risk for the sake of the pro-abortion cause.
You have seen how that when the safety and efficacy of these pills is challenged, the industry has fought back by selectively releasing and reporting study data that makes these abortifacients look safer than they are, all the while raising phony concerns about safety and efficacy of abortion pill reversal.
You have watched as advocates of abortion have derailed efforts at passing good pro-life legislation by publicizing and seeking to imply that pro-life goals include harsh, unrealistic, or ineffective measures such as prosecuting aborting women. They have spotlighted legislation without provisions for cases of rape, incest, or life of the mother, or have implicitly encouraged laws pretending to limit late abortions that actually limit none, thus keeping any sort of real protections from passing and blocking any that might survive constitutional muster.
Despite Dobbs, we have had to continue to fight the idea that killing someone is the best way to treat pain, depression, or difficulty, whether it be a mother facing an unexpected pregnancy or a family member dealing with a traumatic injury or illness.
A Significant Challenge
This is the world into which you are now thrust. One in which there is both great opportunity and great danger. But one in which we believe you two are now particularly suited to lead and make a difference.
[After a few brief personal remarks to students, Dr. O’Bannon continued…]
The knowledge, the skill, the passion, the commitment you now possess should serve both of you well in the days that lie ahead.
It will not be easy. The lies, the disinformation, the callous exploitation of the abortion industry, generated by the ethically challenged researchers working at the country’s top universities, funded by the of world’s economically elite, amplified by Hollywood and the media are only going to get worse.
But we believe you are ready.
You are prepared to explain and defend common sense protections favored by the vast majority of Americans that will not only save the vast majority of babies but will leave room for creating a presumption and an opportunity for life in even the hardest cases.
You are armed with the truth about chemical abortions and are ready to make the case about how dangerous and difficult these really are. You are ready to lobby for some legal and legislative counterstrategies that will better enable states to enforce laws prohibiting the mailing of these dangerous drugs to women’s homes.
You know the facts and are ready to defend the safety and efficacy of abortion pill reversal.
You know how to respond sensitively and compassionately to a woman who is pregnant as a result of rape, or who carries a child with a fatal disability, or who just doesn’t know how she’s going to be able to put food on the table for her family.
You know that the answer to pain, to difficulty, to poverty, to loneliness, to depression, to trauma is never killing, that being pro-life means being committed to loving your neighbor, offering personal, practical support, of helping people get through whatever crisis in which they find themselves, rather than abandoning them at their greatest time of need.
Ready, Willing and Able
You are trained, you are prepared. You are committed and capable. You are tried and talented.
You are ready to speak out, to write, to advertise, to advocate, to lobby, to legislate, to get out the vote for people, for policies, for lives that need and deserve protection.
You are ready to carry the torch, to lead this movement forward, to face the challenges that lie ahead.
And I believe the future looks bright with you leading the way.