by Steven Ertelt
June 14, 2007
Kansas City, MO (LifeNews.com) — When the Supreme Court handed down the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, many political observers believed the decision spelled the beginning of the end of the movement to offer legal protection to unborn children. But leaders of the National Right to Life Committee told attendees on Thursday that the pro-life movement is alive and well 35 years later.
Dr. Wanda Franz, a former professor of clinical psychology at West Virginia University and the president of NRLC, welcomed more than 1,100 pro-life activists to the Midwestern city.
"It is wonderful to return to the Heartland of America for what has become the pro-life educational event of the year," Franz said. "The convention gives every member of the pro-life community the opportunity to network and learn from some of the leading experts in the pro-life movement."
"Our hope is that everyone – young and old – leaves the convention energized and equipped with the tools and information they need to continue their pro-life work in their home communities," Dr. Franz added.
She said the pro-life movement has reason to celebrate because of the high court’s recent decision affirming the constitutionality of the national ban on partial-birth abortions — the first time the court has allowed a ban on any kind of abortion.
"You know it’s the end of the world when the Supreme Court finally acknowledges that a fetus is an unborn child, or a baby," she said.
Franz said polls show Americans are increasingly pro-life because of the partial-birth abortion debate and the new type of ultrasounds that depict the unborn child in more real ways than ever before.
Following Franz’s opening speech, bioethics watchdog Wesley J. Smith led off the convention by telling pro-life advocates that they need to be aware of the new ways that human life is targeted through practices such as human cloning and embryonic stem cell research.
He talked about how opposition to abortion and opposition to assisted suicide and euthanasia go hand in hand.
Smith, an attorney and author, said that the idea of opposing human cloning and destroying human life in research is viewed as anti-science but shouldn’t be because science doesn’t deal with ideology or morality and the concepts of right and wrong.
"Science is being politicized by the so-called scientists and they’re the ones who are actually corrupting science. And that would become clear if the media was doing their job and their reporting on human cloning and embryonic stem cell research has them becoming more biased than they normally are," he said.
The convention features a who’s who of leaders and researchers in the pro-life community, including Dr.Joel Brind, the leading scientist providing analysis of the link between abortion and breast cancer; James Bopp, one of the top pro-life attorneys in the country who has appeared before the Supreme Court on numerous pro-life issues; and Father Richard John Neuhaus, one of the top Catholic thinkers on pro-life issues.