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General Sessions at the 52nd National Right to Life Convention continued to educate, inspire, and motivate

by | Jun 27, 2023

By Dave Andrusko

Alex Schadenberg (left) and Wesley Smith. Behind them is Scott Fischbach, NRLC Executive Director and Jennifer Popik, J.D., director of NRLC’s Medical Ethics department.
Photo: Lisa Andrusko

It’s been our pleasure at NRL News Today to discuss the opening Prayer Breakfast of the 52nd annual National Right to Life Convention; the Friday Evening General Session featuring the dynamic Benjamin Watson; the Friday morning General Session discussing what the aftermath was “One Year after Dobbs,” featuring experts NRLC General Counsel James Bopp, Jr. and former Executive Director David N. O’Steen, Ph.D.; and the Saturday evening closing Banquet that introduced the CEO of the Babylon Bee, the great Seth Dillon.

But that’s just the beginning. Following the Prayer Breakfast, Wesley J. Smith, the great pro-life bioethicist, and Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the influential Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, addressed “Assisted Suicide: It’s even worse than you ever imagined.”

They talked, back and forth, while sitting in comfortable chairs. In Canada, where Schadenberg lives, assisted suicide has metastasized. The United States, Smith warned, is not far behind. Smith drove home the point that the reason assisted suicide has not made the same inroads in the United States is the breadth and depth of the coalition fighting it, and particularly the opposition of the Disability Rights community.

At the general session Friday afternoon Amy Ford, the co-founder and President of “Embrace Grace,” and Thomas Glessner, Founder and President of the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) spoke of their ministries. Embrace Grace was formed to provide curriculum and leadership support for churches national wide to open their arms to young women with unexpected pregnancies and it is utilized by over a thousand churches. She offered the audience moving examples of what churches have done with and for these young women.

In 2018 NIFLA won a major free speech case before the Supreme Court. NIFLA represented a network of 1,400 pro-life pregnancy centers and ultrasound equipped medical clinics. California had tried to force pro-life pregnancy help centers to advertise for abortion. It should have been 9-0; the actual tally was 5 -4.

Saturday’s early afternoon General Session was very important: “Abortion Survivors are NOT a pro-life myth.” Lauren Eden told an incredible story of how her mother was determined to have an abortion but through a series of delays—they were so incredible they must have come from God—her mother did not get the abortion.

Lauren was born at 26 weeks, still inside the amniotic sac. As she told Nancy Flanders 

She was taken to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) immediately after birth — and though her mother had planned to place Lauren for adoption, she changed her mind when she saw her tiny two-pound, six-ounce daughter. 

Lauren told the audience that she “was a living testimony that our God is a God of miracles.”

Lauren told of the outreach of the Abortion Survivors Network which has connected with 666 abortion survivors.  “Abortion Survivors have a voice,” she said.

Speaking directly to the audience, Lauren said “You are not here by accident.”

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