by Steven Ertelt
March 26, 2008
LifeNews.com Note: Steven Ertelt is the editor and CEO of LifeNews.com, the pro-life news service that reaches 250,000 people each week. Contact LifeNews.com for online or offline reprint information for this editorial.
The National Education Association came under fire last week for allowing a radical pro-abortion group to use its building to host a forum featuring controversial late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller.
Tiller is embroiled in a legal battle over charges filed by the state attorney general in Kansas that he repeatedly did illegal late-term abortions. He’s also been criticized for escaping charges in connection with the legal abortion death of a mentally disabled teenager.
LifeNews.com reported on the NEA-hosted pro-abortion forum and the criticism of it. On Wednesday, NEA Assistant General Counsel Michael Simpson sent me an email slamming us for alerting the public about it.
Simpson called our news story "untrue and unfair" by implying that the NEA "sponsored or hosted Dr. Tillers presentation."
Yet, that’s exactly what happened.
As Simpson confirmed to me, the NEA Conference Center approved a request by the National Council of Womens Organizations, which has used the NEA building previously for events, to host the March 10 forum.
He made it appear the NEA had no knowledge that the Feminist Majority Foundation, an abortion advocacy group that has been the most vocal Tiller defender and one affiliated with the NCWO, would wind up using the facility.
"Unbeknownst to NEA and NCWO, FMF invited Dr. Tiller to speak at the conference," Simpson told LifeNews.com in defense.
"NEA had nothing to do with sponsoring, funding, or organizing this conference," Simpson added. "NEA had no prior knowledge of this speaker or his presentation of materials that many people found to be offensive. Importantly, his appearance at this conference does not constitute NEA sanction or approval of his views and positions."
Either the last part is completely untrue or the NEA needs to hire more thorough staff.
The NEA has a history of promoting or tolerating abortion and/or pro-abortion candidates for elected office and has lost significant membership over the years as a result.
Simpson’s protestations to the contrary, surely the NEA doesn’t think the public is this ignorant and will buy its claim to have been blindsided by the fact that a rabidly pro-abortion group it allowed to use its facility would invite a controversial late-term abortion practitioner to speak at a conference.
The NCWO is a who’s who of pro-abortion organizations that includes as members the Center for Reproductive Rights, the Guttmacher Institute, NARAL, the National Abortion Federation, the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, the National Network of Abortion Funds, NOW, and Planned Parenthood.
A quick glance at the 213 members of the NCWO reveals not one pro-life group that is affiliated and extending an invitation to it alone to use its facilities puts the NEA in league with the most extreme pro-abortion groups in the world.
Surely the NEA conference center staff would have contacted the NCWO to find out which group would be using its building for an event.
After learning the Feminist Majority Foundation would be hosting an event, it would have taken just five minutes for NEA staff to view the FMF web site and see it has been working overtime to fundraise for George Tiller’s legal defense.
Any surprise on the part of the NEA is mitigated by the fact that it apparently didn’t undertake due diligence beforehand to find out what kind of radical pro-abortion group it allowed to use its building.
Simpson’s argument would be more compelling had this been the first time the NEA has opened its doors for abortion advocates.
In fact, the teacher’s union allowed its headquarters to become a hospitality center for participants at the pro-abortion march in 2004 in Washington. NEA state affiliates, including its New Jersey group, sponsored buses to bring pro-abortion activists to the march.
Ironically, the Feminist Majority Foundation was one of the key march organizers.
It will be interesting to see how much more of an outcry the NEA will receive for this sham of an excuse. Not only did the NEA allow the pro-abortion forum to take place at its facility, it expects the public to be snowed by this duplicitous explanation.
The NEA owes the hardworking teachers and school staff who are members an apology. They expect the NEA to fight for better teacher pay and higher standards in school — not to allow pro-abortion groups to argue for killing the next generation of students.
ACTION: Send your complaints to the National Education Association. Go to https://www.nea.org/aboutnea/contact.html for contact information.