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August 2007
Vol. 34, No. 8

NRL News’
Fall 2007
Back to School Edition

Members of the NRL 2007 Academy. (Left to right) John Seago, Program Director Megan McCrum, Tristen Cramer, Eileen Crosby, Oliver Barbier, and Vanessa Faith Daubman.   Photo Credit: Lisa Andrusko

The National Right to Life Academy
The Summer of a (Pro-)Lifetime

By Megan McCrum

Summer 2007 marks the inaugural session of the National Right to Life Academy, a new summer program designed to educate and equip college students with the knowledge and skills to effectively work for the pro-life cause.

At the core of the program is the practicum. Students and staff alike agree that that these daily sessions that simulate experiences form the cohesive structure that ties the course together and helps the students to become more effective activists. 

The NRL Academy and NRL Interns for 2007: Back Row (Left to Right): Megan McCrum, Academy Program Director, John Seago (Academy), Tristan Cramer (Academy) Katie Pecha (Development Intern) Loretta McCommas (Financial Services Intern) Oliver Barbier (Academy) Front Row (Left to Right): Ashley Alquist (Medical Ethics Intern), Vanessa-Faith Daubman (Academy), Eileen Crosby (Academy), Rachel Tvrdy (Media/Outreach Intern), Jessica Rodgers (Federal Legislative Intern)

 As Academy director, Burke Balch’s vision is to offer an in-depth curriculum of courses that survey virtually all conceivable subjects related to the pro-life movement. That list includes history, ethics, parliamentary procedure, lessons learned from other social movements, specific legislation, and of course an in-depth look at the various arguments for pro-death proposals, such as assisted suicide, health care rationing, and embryonic stem cell research, and the contrasting evidence supporting pro-life alternatives.

Mr. Balch, the director of NRLC’s Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics, models the Academy on the former National Youth Pro-Life Coalition, a training program designed for teens, that flourished in the 1970s and 80s.

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Right of Older Americans to Add Own Money to Get
Unrationed Insurance in Medicare at Stake

House Votes to Ration Medicare,
Critical Votes Will Come in Conference
By Burke J. Balch

On August 1, 2007, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 225–204 to adopt legislation that would effectively end the right of older Americans to spend their own money to save their own lives through the private fee-for-service alternative the National Right to Life Committee’s efforts had added to Medicare in 1997 and expanded in 2003.

National Right to Life had sent a letter to all member of the U.S., House of Representatives opposing the measure. 220 Democrats and 5 Republicans voted for the bill while 194 Republicans and 10 Democrats voted against the bill as NRLC had urged.

The bill, known as the “CHAMP Act” (“Children’s Health and Medicare Protection Act”), now goes to a conference committee with a Senate bill that contains no such provisions. Both bills relate to the state expansion of the “State Children’s Health Insurance Program—SCHIP.”

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Vol. 34, No. 8


From the President

Wanda Franz, Ph.D.


BY Wanda Franz, Ph.D.

“This decision marks a dramatic departure from four decades of Supreme Court rulings that upheld a woman’s right to choose and recognized the importance of women’s health. Today’s decision blatantly defies the Court’s recent decision in 2000 striking down a state partial-birth abortion law because of its failure to provide an exception for the health of the mother. As the Supreme Court recognized in Roe v. Wade in 1973, this issue is complex and highly personal; the rights and lives of women must be taken into account. It is precisely this erosion of our constitutional rights that I warned against when I opposed the nominations of Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito.”
     —Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY), 4/18/2007

Read Dr. Franz's Entire Column

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