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NRL News
Page 1
Fall 2011
Volume 38
Issue 8

2011 Saw a Huge Advance for the Protection of the Unborn:
Your donation now can help us save even more lives in 2012!

By Carol Tobias

As the end of the year approaches and you consider where your charitable donation may make the most difference, I hope that you will seriously consider National Right to Life.

When the history of the pro-life movement is written, 2011 will prove to have been a very, very important year. In no small measure that will be because of the work of your National Right to Life which your generosity underwrites and makes possible. Please go to page five where you will see all the many ways you can help NRLC fight the fight on behalf of unborn babies.

2011 might well be remembered as the year National Right to Life paved the way for a major change in the way that the U.S. Supreme Court applies to so-called “right to abortion.” Many, many lives may be saved by such a development, as I will describe in a moment.

Where 2012 will fit in a history of our movement will depend on you.

In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down one of the most infamous decisions in its history. It was also one of the most one-sided.

Roe v. Wade, taken together with the companion case Doe v. Bolton and other rulings in the years that immediately followed, established that in practice, abortion would be allowed for any reason whatever, up to the point that the baby can survive independently of the mother (“viability”)—and even after that, if an abortionist asserted that it would benefit the mother’s “emotional health.” The radical 1973 rulings were imposed by votes of 7–2, over the vehement dissent of the late Justice Byron White, who accurately characterized them as “an exercise in raw judicial power.”

Only years later, after pro-life presidents were able to appoint new Supreme Court justices who respect the text and history of the Constitution, did the Court begin to allow some meaningful limitations on abortion—for example, allowing states to require a 24-hour waiting period, and to require that women be provided with certain basic information about their unborn babies and about alternatives to abortion.

These new laws resulted in fewer abortions, meaning that babies’ lives were saved.

Then, beginning in 1995, a breakthrough occurred—National Right to Life drew national attention to partial-birth abortion, an abortion method in which babies were mostly delivered alive before being killed. When the public learned of this heinous practice, Congress attempted repeatedly to ban it. President Clinton vetoed the ban twice, but in 2003 President George W. Bush signed the ban into law—and in 2007, in a major pro-life victory, the Supreme Court upheld the ban. The ruling in favor of upholding the ban was 5–4—and it was a justice appointed by President Bush who cast the deciding vote in support of the ban.

With that decision, a slim majority of justices ruled for the first time that they would uphold a ban on a particular abortion procedure because the state has a “compelling interest.”

Seeing this new opening, National Right to Life then crafted a model state law that would prohibit the abortion of any unborn child who had reached the stage of development at which compelling scientific evidence indicated that he or she had the capacity to experience pain.

In 2010, NRLC helped Nebraska pass the first law to prohibit the abortion of any such “pain-capable” unborn child. This year (2011), we helped pass similar laws in Kansas, Idaho, Alabama, and Oklahoma. With our help, other states are expected to do likewise in 2012.

It speaks volumes that as the state legislatures debated these bills, the pro-abortion groups insisted that they were “unconstitutional”—but since the five states passed the bans, not one of the laws has been challenged in court by any major pro-abortion advocacy group! It seems that the pro-abortion groups are now in mortal fear that that a majority of Supreme Court justices may well uphold a ban that is based on the scientifically established fact that the unborn child is capable of experiencing pain no later than 20 weeks after fertilization.

National Right to Life, working with legislators at both the federal and state levels, will continue to “push the envelope” to seek the maximum possible protections for unborn children. And many lives are being saved as we advance towards the day when we will truly see a Culture of Life restored!

National Right to Life devised these laws that are undermining the legal ground on which Roe v. Wade stands. Your financial support for National Right to Life is needed to pass more lifesaving laws in 2012 and ultimately overturn the unjust and deadly Roe v. Wade decision.

Of course, National Right to Life wants to protect all children from abortion and is working for the day when that is reality. But we wouldn’t have gotten to the point of being able to protect 20+-week-old children without the partial-birth abortion ban opening the minds of countless Americans on this issue. And we wouldn’t have had that ban upheld without the election of pro-life presidents who nominated justices to the Supreme Court who were not captives of the pro-abortion movement—and U.S. senators who would vote to confirm justices who refused to swear an oath to preserve an unlimited “right to abortion.”

Each step we take saves lives and opens the door to saving more.

What does this change in Roe mean to every pro-lifer?

I’m glad you asked that question! Because as much as it means for every little baby who will not be painfully killed because of the new laws we can now pass, it also means a lot to those of us who make up the movement. It means our work is even more likely to make a difference, to save lives.

It means the pro-life education we do when we talk about the issue with friends or in social media or in letters to the editor now can help lead to significant laws that directly save the lives of many, many children.

It means the way we vote, and convince our neighbors to vote, is even more important.

And it means your financial gifts to National Right to Life will have a powerful effect on the chance an unborn baby can survive, because National Right to Life is working all-out to pass as many of these lifesaving laws as we can, and to craft new laws that will further reduce abortions.

As you read this, National Right to Life is putting together a major campaign to educate the American people about the pain unborn babies suffer in abortion. The campaign is funded through January, but we really need the resources to be able to extend this campaign throughout the rest of 2012, so the public will know why they’re being asked to support legislation to ban late abortions, and why they’re being asked to vote for candidates who support such laws.

Believe it or not, one pro-abortion governor (Democrat Mark Dayton of Minnesota) vetoed his state’s Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. He said the law was “unconscionable.” Every other governor who had a chance to sign the bill did so, grateful to have the opportunity to save lives.

Only a pro-abortion zealot of the highest order could think it “unconscionable” to pass a law to protect pain-capable children from late abortions. Please donate to National Right to Life today (go to so we can convince every American that we can stop the pain of abortion ... and we must!