NRL News

Dr. David O’Steen honored for his many years of service as executive director of National Right to Life

by | Jan 23, 2023

By Jacki Ragan

Congresswoman Michelle Fischbach (R-Mn.] and
Dr. David O’Steen, retiring NRLC executive director

Congresswoman Michelle Fischbach, co-chair of the Pro-Life Caucus, presented Dr. David N. O’Steen, retiring executive director of National Right to Life, with the flag that was flown over the U.S. Capitol in honor of his 38 years of service to the unborn and the medically vulnerable.

Dr. O’Steen was also the recipient of a grateful NRL Board of Directors Resolution for his many years of service.


WHEREAS, David N. O’Steen, Ph.D., first became involved in the right-to-life movement when he was elected to serve as chairman of the Duluth chapter of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) shortly after the Supreme Court’s deadly Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, and

WHEREAS, Dr. O’Steen stepped away from his career as a mathematics professor to become executive director of MCCL in 1975 where he worked to build efforts to protect innocent human life in Minnesota, and through MCCL’s “Mission Possible” program, provided seed grants and organizational development assistance to many state right-to-life organizations across the country that grew and strengthened National Right to Life’s networks of state affiliates and local chapters, and

WHEREAS, Dr. O’Steen became executive director of National Right to Life in July 1984 and devoted more than 38 years to guiding the nation’s premiere right-to-life organization, and

WHEREAS, Dr. O’Steen greatly expanded National Right to Life’s programming and outreach to support and strengthen the organization’s grassroots network and 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, and

WHEREAS, Dr. O’Steen’s tenure saw National Right to Life lead the fight against the abortion expanding provisions of the Clinton Health Care Plan in 1994 and Obamacare in 2009, as well as combating many attempts to repeal the Hyde Amendment and expand taxpayer funding of abortion, and

WHEREAS, Dr. O’Steen expanded 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, and

WHEREAS, Dr. O’Steen established the Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics, which is devoted to protecting the medically vulnerable and disabled from efforts to expand physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia in the United States; and

WHEREAS, because of Dr. O’Steen’s efforts, 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 also directly led to Roe v. Wade’s reversal by the U.S. Supreme Court last summer;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the National Right to Life Committee Board of Directors sitting in Alexandria, Virginia January 21, 2023 commends Dr. O’Steen for his more than 38 years of service as executive director, and expresses its profound and sincere gratitude for his unwavering dedication to the cause of life and for his extraordinary leadership of National Right to Life and the right-to-life movement.

Categories: NRLC