National Right to Life Committee Elects New Pro-Life President

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 11, 2011   |   5:18PM   |   Washington, DC

On Saturday, members of the National Right to Life Committee board of directors elected a new president to head the venerable organization as it continues to fight for pro-life legislation and elected officials.

Carol Tobias of New Mexico was selected to head the organization and its 50 state affiliates and thousands of chapters. Tobias replaces Dr. Wanda Franz, a development psychologist from West Virginia who led the organization over most of two decades and helped elect pro-life presidents and pass a national ban on partial-birth abortions.

“I am extremely humbled and honored to be elected president by the National Right to Life board, which represents our nationwide network of state affiliates and local chapters,”  Tobias said in a statement LifeNews.com received.  “As the late pro-life Congressman Henry Hyde of Illinois said, National Right to Life ‘is the flagship of the pro-life movement.’  I’m looking forward to the opportunity to help our pro-life network in its continuing effort to educate the public and pass laws protecting mothers and their unborn children.”

A native of North Dakota, Tobias has served on the NRLC board of directors since 1987.  From 1983 to 1991 she was executive director of North Dakota Right to Life and in 1991 was hired as NRLC political director, a position she held until 2005.

During her tenure as NRLC political director, pro-life majorities were elected to both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.  In both 2000 and 2004, she oversaw the efforts of NRLC’s political action committee on behalf of President George W. Bush.

“The pro-life movement is the greatest social cause of our time,” added Tobias.  “I am eager to continue National Right to Life’s educational, legislative and political efforts to advance the right to life of the most vulnerable members of our human family – the unborn, the elderly, and the medically dependent and disabled.”

The NRLC board also elected other top officers at the meeting, including Executive Vice-President Tony Lauinger of Oklahoma and Vice-President for International Affairs: Jeanne E. Head, R.N. of New York; who recently was honored for her work against abortion at the United Nations. Wayne Cockfield, a double amputee, was elected Vice-President for Medical Ethics; Holly Gatling of South Carolina was elected Secretary; Rev. Dennis C. Day of Idaho was elected Treasurer; Geline B. Williams of Virginia, the former mayor of Richmond, was named chairman of the board; and Hon. Lynda Bell of Florida, a county commissioner in Miami-Dade, became vice-chair of the board.