National Right to Life Committee

The National Right to Life Committee was founded in 1973 in response to a United States Supreme Court decision released on January 22 of that year, legalizing the practice of human abortion in all 50 states, throughout the entire nine months of pregnancy. Prior to that Supreme Court case-- Roe vs. Wade -- the abortion debate had been centered in the legislatures of the states, 17 of which had legalized abortion under some circumstances and 33 of which had voted to continue to protect human life from conception.

In June of 1973, a group of pro-life leaders met in Detroit for the first meeting of a new organization, to be non-sectarian, non- partisan, and to have its board consist of an elected representative from each of the 50 states. These first board members included experts in the fields of science, medicine, medical ethics, constitutional law, and religion.

Since its official beginning at that conference, the National Right to Life Committee has grown to represent over 3000 chapters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The National Right to Life Committee has been instrumental in achieving a number of legislative reforms at the national level, including a ban on non-therapeutic experimentation of unborn and newborn babies, a federal conscience clause guaranteeing medical personnel the right to refuse to participate in abortion procedures, and various amendments to appropriations bills which prohibit (or limit) the use of federal funds to subsidize or promote abortions in the United States and overseas.

The ultimate goal of the National Right to Life Committee is to restore legal protection to innocent human life. The primary interest of the National Right to Life Committee and its members has been the abortion controversy; however, it is also concerned with related matters of medical ethics which relate to the right to life issues of euthanasia and infanticide. The Committee does not have a position on issues such as contraception, sex education, capital punishment, and national defense.

In addition to maintaining a lobbying presence at the federal level, NRLC serves as a clearinghouse of information for its states and local chapters, its individual members, the press, and the public.

For more information, or to contact National Right to Life Committee, see their website at:

» Recent News

Landrieu vs. Landrieu: This Week, Mary Landrieu Makes Directly Contradictory Promises on Federal Funding of Abortion
04 Dec 02 | In one newspaper, Senator Mary Landrieu reaffirms her longstanding support for federal funding of abortion without restriction. At the same time, thousands of readers of two Catholic newspapers are seeing Mary Landrieu support the Hyde amendment.

Bush Administration Finalizes Coverage Of Unborn Child In Health Insurance Program
27 Sep 02 | The federal Department of Health and Human Services today announced final approval of a rule to allow states to cover eligible unborn children under the State Children's Insurance Health Program (S-CHIP).

National Right to Life Applauds U.S. House for Passing Bill to Bar Discrimination Against Pro-Life Health Care Providers
25 Sep 02 | The National Right to Life Committee applauded today's strong vote in the U.S. House of Representatives approving the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act. Rejecting opposition by NARAL and other pro-abortion advocacy groups, the House passed the bill.

New Right to Life Radio Ads Says Senators Johnson and Daschle Are Blocking Bill, Backed by President Bush, to Ban Human Cloning
09 May 02 | South Dakota Right to Life, in cooperation with the National Right to Life Committee, today launched the third in a series of radio ads in support of legislation, soon to be voted on in the U.S. Senate, that would ban the cloning of human embryos.

Attorney General Acts To Bar Use Of Controlled Substances For Assisted Suicide
06 Nov 01 | Today, Attorney General John Ashcroft reversed a 1998 ruling by Clinton Administration Attorney General Janet Reno that authorized the use of federally controlled drugs to assist suicides in Oregon, the only state whose law permits it.

U.S. House Judiciary Committee approves Weldon-Stupak bill to ban cloning of human embryos
24 Jul 01 | The U.S. House Judiciary Committee today approved, on a party-line 18-11 vote, a bill to prohibit the creation of human embryos by cloning. The bill is H.R. 2505, sponsored by Rep. Dave Weldon (R-Fl.) and Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mi.).

Stem Cell Researchers Created Human Embryos to Kill Them; Other Advocates for Embryo-Killing Research Lament the "Bad Timing"
11 Jul 01 | Here are some comments from today's papers regarding a report that researchers at the Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine created 110 human embryos for the intended purpose of killing them to harvest their stem cells.

U.S. House Backs President Bush in Denying Funds to Overseas Groups That Promote Abortion Legalization
16 May 01 | The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the nation's major pro-life organization, commended today's action by the U.S. House of Representatives in reaffirming President Bush's policy against funding overseas organizations that perform abortions.

National Right to Life Applauds Restoration of Pro-Life "Mexico City Policy" by President Bush
22 Jan 01 | "We applaud President Bush for ending an eight-year crusade by the Clinton-Gore Administration to promote the killing of unborn children in developing nations," said Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee.



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