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NRLC’s 53rd Annual Conference Demonstrates the truth that “We love both: Standing Strong with Moms and Babies”: Day One

by | Jul 1, 2024

By Dave Andrusko

Fr. Paul Scalia with NRLC president Carol Tobias

From Rev. Paul Scalia’s Opening Prayer breakfast speech on Friday until former Trump Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s gangbusters closing remarks at Saturday night’s closing Gala, the 53rd annual National Right to Life Conference could not have been more of a success.

The theme of the Conference at the Crystal City Marriott was “We Love Both:  Standing Strong with Moms and Babies.” The Five General Sessions, Prayer Breakfast, and closing Gala, reinforced by the Multiple Breakout Sessions, demonstrated how pro-lifers back those words of assurance up with a bevy of loving actions.

Rev. Scalia’s theme for the Opening Prayer Breakfast was “Reflections on the Mission of the Prophets of the Pro-Life Movement.” All pro-lifers are prophets in three ways: We bear witness to the truth; We condemn and rebuke that which is not true; and Pro-life prophets also bring comfort and healing.

Rev. Scalia asked and answered the question, “How do we grow in our role as prophets?” First, as co-workers, we do our work but know that the truth “has a power of its own.”

NRL Assisted Political Director, Andrew Bair, Florida Rep. Kat Cammack, and NRLC Federal Legislation Director, Jennifer Popik, JD

Second, we play “the long game.” [Seekers after instant gratification we are not.] Third, Prayer for healing and forgiveness.

The Open General Session of the conference featured passionately pro-life Rep. Kat Cammack; Megan Wold, JD, who serves on the Right to Life of Idaho and litigated against the Biden Administration’s attempted use of EMTALA to bypass state protective laws; and Jennifer Popik, JD, Director of NRLC’s Federal Legislation.

Rep. Cammack told her personal story which tells you much about her. Her mother was urged to abort the future congresswoman several times but her mother chose to protect her unborn daughter.

Wold talked of how changes to Idaho’s pro-life law had been made to reflect demands of the Idaho Supreme Court. The concession that the Biden administration made along the way—that “mental health” is not a justification for abortion—was frequently overlooked.

Popik spoke of the many pro-life initiatives the House of Representatives is working on. Creativity is the name of the game with the Senate and the Presidency (for now) in the hands of pro-abortion Democrats.

Tatiana Bergum, Jean Marie Davis, and Tim Garrison

The next General Session featured Jean Marie Davis, executive director of Branches Resource Center, and Tim Garrison, senior counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom’s Center For Life. Ms. Davis outlined the many profound challenges she has overcome in her life, including being caught up in sex trafficking, but which eventually led her with God’s help to head a Pregnancy Resource Center. Mr. Garrison spoke of how the Alliance Defending Freedom litigates the many assaults leveled against Pregnancy Centers by pro-abortion politicians.

Peter Northcutt is the executive director of Kansans for Life; Peter Range is the Chief Executive Officer for Ohio Right to Life; and Amber Roseboom is the President of Right to Life of Michigan. This all-star panel shared lessons learned at the closing General Session of Friday’s first day of National Right to Life’s 53rd annual conference.

These three pro-life experts, battle tested in the fight to keep abortion out of their state constitution, shared “how to transform the setback of state initiative losses into future successes.” Their insights are invaluable as many states are seeing or will see similar campaigns to enshrine abortion in their state constitutions.

Left to Right. Peter Northcutt, Amber Roseboom, Lynda Bell, and Peter Range.

Northcutt discussed how the “Value Them Both” amendment tragically failed to pass in August 2022, defeated by a campaign built on lies, including the false assertion that women would die. However, looking ahead, Northcutt talked about post-amendment victories in Kansas where for the first time pro-lifers were able to override a pro-abortion governor’s veto. Not just once but seven times!

Range spoke of how pro-lifers in Ohio controlled both legislative branches by super majorities and the governorship. Yet they lost because pro-abortionists cynically co-opted Faith, Family, and Freedom for their own purposes.

He talked about how effective the Democratic machine was in turning out voters who cast a “yes” vote. That included overwhelmingly those who knew very little about “Issue 1.” Range also discussed the larger cultural factors that favored pro-abortionists.

As was the case in Kansas and Ohio, pro-lifers were massively outspent in Michigan in the fight to defeat “Proposal 3.”

Roseboom explained that the pro-abortion playbook included an insistence that Prop 3 was not the least bit radical followed by a slew of pro-abortion bills that passed once the measure was ratified.

She discussed how pro-lifers must take back the issue of choice. “Life: the Other Choice” is a wonderful example. You can see two samples of this television ad here.

A great panel that furthered the audience’s understanding of “The Path Forward” was a wonderful way to end the first day of NRLC’s 53rd annual conference.

Categories: NRLC