Pro-Lifers to Protest NEA Convention Over Its Abortion Views

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 25, 2012   |   8:24PM   |   Washington, DC

Pro-life advocates will be protesting the NEA national convention because they are upset the teachers’ group continues to support legalized abortion and is spending tens of millions of dollars supporting the re-election of pro-abortion President Barack Obama.

The National Education Association’s annual convention in Washington on July 2 and New Jersey teacher Bob Pawson, a teacher in the Trenton Public Schools since 1980 and a member of the NEA and the New Jersey affiliate, is leading the charge against the labor union.

“The NEA leadership suffered a humiliating defeat in Wisconsin’s recall election last month. Now, four weeks later, Conservatives have the opportunity to deliver another high-visibility reprimand to the NEA leadership — on their home turf,” he said. “Despite the short notice, come support this important demonstration. Rain or shine since the primary picketing area on L-Street has a protective overhead covering. If you are coming, please send us an e-mail. Bring appropriate signs or posters.”

“Why do millions of Americans oppose the NEA leadership? Why do hundreds of thousands of NEA members resent being forced to join — or pay steep agency fees if they don’t? It’s because the NEA leadership’s extremist, left-wing, ultra-liberal positions in social, moral, and political issues have nothing to do with collective bargaining,” he explained. “NEA’s leftist ‘educrats’ have dragged the union through the mud of dozens of divisive issues and candidate endorsements. It must stop.”

The NEA committed last year to spending as much as $60 million for Obama’s re-election campaign and, at the time, National Education Association executive director John Wilson acknowledged many NEA members were not enthused about supporting Obama again.

“We’ve got a lot of selling to do. Our members are very unhappy,” Wilson told Politico. “We’ve got to explain to them the stakes. We cannot wait until a few months before the election.”

The executive board of the NEA voted to endorse Obama’s re-election bid in May 2011, after waiting until the last minute to support his presidential campaign in 2008.

Karen Cross, the National Right to Life political director, told in 2008 after the NEA endorsed Obama that the educational lobby doesn’t understand the irony of what its endorsement means.

“The tragic irony of the NEA’s endorsement of Barack Obama is not lost on millions of pro-lifers across the country,” Cross said. “The NEA has chosen to back a presidential candidate who wants to continue a policy of abortion on demand, which has resulted in nearly 50 million missing students in classrooms from coast to coast since 1973.”

“Barack Obama’s extremist pro-abortion agenda is a poison pill for our nation’s classrooms,” Cross added. “It borders on the incomprehensible that our nation’s educators would get behind a candidate whose agenda will result in more and more missing children.”

Pawson hopes to appeal to educators who have serious disagreements with the radical agenda of the NEA leadership over issues like abortion to come protest the event and appeal to the 10,000 members of NEA’s leadership cadre who will attend.

“It’s worth your investment of time, effort, and sacrifice, to be at this ‘Picket & Pray’ demonstration outside the NEA Assembly. Don’t let the fact that it’s on a Monday stop you,” says retired Ohio teacher Judy Bruns, an outspoken conservative who served as an NEA Convention Delegate from 1998 – 2009.

Bruns added, “In my opinion, the NEA is one of the most far-left organizations in America. It affects our children, and its influence reaches into our homes and society. Be on the public sidewalk outside the NEA Convention. Exercise your right to free speech — while you still can.”

Bruns quit the NEA in 2009 after “witnessing the mocking of conservative members to the point of bullying and virtual isolation of the union’s own delegates.”

In 2009, the NEA defeated a measure that would have had it take a neutral stance on abortion. The bylaws amendment would have invalidated NEA Resolution I-16 which says the NEA “supports family planning, including the right to reproductive freedom,” which is a code word for abortion.

The defeated proposal would have had the NEA take “no position” and would have prohibited the group from filing a Supreme Court brief supporting Roe v. Wade if the Supreme Court ever considers a case that would overturn the decision allowing virtually unlimited abortions throughout pregnancy. It would have also prohibited the NEA from “lobbying for or against legislation regarding the dissemination of birth control information, the funding of birth control procedures, or the sale of birth control products.”

In 2008, pro-life advocates protested at the national NEA convention at the Washington Convention Center. The protest pointed out how the union has upset pro-life advocates many times over the years.



Most recently, the NEA received criticism from pro-life advocates when it hosted a forum featuring a late-term abortion practitioner. The National Education Association came under fire for allowing a radical pro-abortion group to use its building to host a forum featuring controversial late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller. reported on the NEA-hosted pro-abortion forum and the criticism of it. Later, NEA Assistant General Counsel Michael Simpson slammed the criticism as “untrue and unfair.”

The NEA has also come under fire for attacking abstinence education programs.

ACTION: Send your complaints about the Obama endorsement to the National Education Association. Go to for contact information.