National Right to Life Beats Pro-Abortion Groups as Top Lobbyist

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 10, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

National Right to Life Beats Pro-Abortion Groups as Top Lobbyist

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 10, 2003

Washington, DC ( — A survey conducted by a leading political newspaper shows that the National Right to Life Committee is one of the leading lobbying groups on health policy issues and it ranks ahead of top pro-abortion organizations.

The Hill, a newspaper that focuses on Congress, conducted the survey earlier this month of 95 Congressional staff members working for members of Congress from both parties.

They chose 25 organizations from a list of 171 interest groups that lobby on health-related issues and rated them based on the most influential, ones that regularly communicate with Congress and ones that provide reliable information to members and their staff.

Of the top 25, National Right to Life (NRLC) ranked 8th and was the only pro-life group listed.

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America (12th) and NARAL Pro-Choice America (14th) both made the cut and were the only pro-abortion groups to do so.

"It is certainly a good thing for unborn children that National Right to Life has repeatedly been rated near the top in effectiveness among hundreds of advocacy groups in Washington," David O’Steen, NRLC’s Executive Director, told "These findings are a testament to the hard work of our state affiliates and 3,000 grassroots chapters, as well as to our Federal Legislative and Medical Ethics Departments."

Abortion advocates were flustered that a pro-life organization would be named as more influential than both pro-abortion groups and leading medical organizations.

"You would hope that cancer experts and reproductive health care providers would rank higher than an anti-abortion advocacy group," said Beth Jordan, medical director for the pro-abortion Feminist Majority Foundation.

"American women and men deserve to have a health policy that takes medicine and science into greater consideration than economic interest or anti-abortion ideology," Jordan complained.

The Hill said smaller organizations like NRLC are able to place highly on the list because of successful grassroots organizing as opposed to wealthy bank accounts and high visibility, the manta of most abortion advocacy groups.

"If smaller groups want to counteract the push of their larger, wealthy opponents, much can be achieved through organizing at the grassroots and strategically forming coalitions," the Hill article explained.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America topped the list while the American Medical Association ranked second. Other leading organizations included the American Hospital Assn. (4th), the AFL-CIO (6th) and the American Bar Assn. (16th).

Although it didn’t make the top 25, many Congressional staffed cited the growing influence of the biotech industry.

Many staffers spoke favorably of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The organization is working closely with the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research, which has been lobbying members of the Senate heavily in favor of embryonic stem cell research and in opposition to a ban on both forms of human cloning that passed the House with a strong bipartisan majority.

Previous surveys conducted by Fortune magazine in past years have also ranked NRLC highly and always ahead of key pro-abortion groups.

Other pro-life organizations that didn’t make the top list in the Hill survey have made the Fortune list, including the Christian Coalition and Family Research Council.

Related web sites:
National Right to Life –