NEA Convention Protesters Find Support, Criticism Over Abortion Concerns

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 3, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

NEA Convention Protesters Find Support, Criticism Over Abortion Concerns Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 3
, 2007

Philadelphia, PA ( — What effect a pro-life protest at the National Education Association’s annual convention is having depends on who answers the question. Some teachers and educators attending the convention agree with the pro-life advocates who say the teacher’s union should take no position on abortion, others don’t.

Many delegates openly expressed disbelief, skepticism, and even shock, at the revelation that NEA supports abortion.

But others refused to accept the fact that the NEA is one of Planned Parenthood’s primary advocates and co-sponsored huge pro-abortion rallies in Washington in April 2004 and other years.

Bob Pawson, the coordinator of Pro-Life Educators and Students has been heading up a pro-life protest at the event, which started over the weekend.

The New Jersey computer science instructor says the NEA is pro-abortion and points to a resolution adopted in 1985 to make his case.

"The National Education Association supports family planning, including the right to reproductive freedom," the resolution said. "The Association urges the government to give high priority to making available all methods of family planning to women and men unable to take advantage of private facilities."

Then, in 1990, the group adopted another resolution affirming its support for Roe v. Wade and opposition to any legislation that would undermine the Supreme Court decision.

"Respect the diversity of 3.2 million members. Totally disengage NEA from the abortion issue. Become truly neutral and completely non-involved," Pawson said.

"We joined NEA for collective bargaining representation; not to be misrepresented on socio-political or moral issues like abortion," he added.

But, Donna Morey, a delegate from Arkansas’ NEA affiliate, told The Bulletin newspaper that the NEA is not "advocating abortion."

Pawson says otherwise.

"When they try to say they’re neutral on abortion, they’re lying, just like they’re lying to their millions of members," Pawson said.

Pawson said the protests are having an effect and pointed out that 75 teachers, parents and students participated in the Sunday protest.

He said some delegates verbally berated the pro-lifers, accusing them of "lying" while others thanked pro-lifers for bringing NEA’s abortion activism into sharp focus.

Pawson urged pro-life advocates to run for union leadership positions and to work for change from within the organization.