National Right to Life Holds Convention, Honors Ronald Reagan
by Steven Ertelt
June 30, 2004
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — In advance of its 32nd annual convention, members of the National Right to Life Committee’s board of directors passed a resolution honoring President Ronald Reagan, who passed away recently following a 10-year long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
"President Reagan was a champion of the pro-life movement who used the office of the White House to defend the sanctity of human life with unflinching courage," the resolution said.
One of Reagan’s lasting legacies is the Mexico City Policy, an executive order he handed down in 1984 that prohibits taxpayer funds from going to groups that perform or promote abortions in other countries.
Reagan was credited with redefining the abortion debate and "bringing abortion to the forefront of the national conscience."
The pro-life group plans a video presentation recognizing President Reagan’s pro-life legacy to open its convention on Thursday.
Jacki Ragan, NRLC’s director of state organizational development and also the convention director, said she expects a successful conference and more than 1,000 pro-life activists from across the country will attend.
"Some great speakers are lined up and there will be new information from first-time speakers," Ragan told LifeNews.com. "Everyone will leave feeling that their time is well-spent."
Ragan said the convention is an opportunity for the pro-life community to come together and be energized in their pro-life advocacy – something needed in an election year.
"They’re energized because they know what is ahead of them," Ragan said, looking to the upcoming presidential election.
The convention features actress Jennifer O’Neil, who has become active in post-abortion outreach work, and will honor Terri Schiavo and her family.
In the resolution, NRLC cites Reagan’s blocking of federal funds for research using tissue from babies who died from abortions.
Pro-life advocates have been concerned in recent months that the media and lobbyists for the scientific research community have been using President Reagan’s disease as a tool to request that President Bush reverse his August 2001 policy preventing taxpayer funding of any new embryonic stem cell research.
Nancy Reagan has also become more outspoken in her request of President Bush to change his mind.
However, a spokesman for the president says that is unlikely. As a result, members of Congress have introduced legislation that would require the Department of Health and Human Services to provide federal funds for the unproven research.
The pro-life community opposes embryonic stem cell research because it destroys the life of human beings just days into their lives. It promotes adult stem cell research which has proven more successful in clinical trials.