National Pro-Life Leader Jay Duenwald of South Dakota Passes Away

State   |   National Right to Life   |   Sep 3, 2013   |   4:59PM   |   Washington, DC

The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) mourns the death of former South Dakota state Senator Jay Duenwald.

Duenwald served as a member of the National Right to Life Board of Directors from 1990-2013, as a member of the organization’s executive committee from 1997-2011, and as vice-chairman of the board from 1999-2011.

“Jay Duenwald was an exemplar of pro-life leadership at the local, state, and national level,” noted Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “Through his service to South Dakota Right to Life and National Right to Life, Jay was determined to do everything he could to provide a voice to the most vulnerable members of our society. Our thoughts and prayers are with his devoted wife, Agnes, and to Jay’s entire family.”

Former South Dakota State Senator Jay Duenwald served as National Right to Life Vice-Chairman of the Board from 1999-2011.

In 2001, shortly after his inauguration, President George W. Bush invited leaders from National Right to Life to meet with him in the White House – the first group to receive such an invitation from the new president. Mr. Duenwald was one the leaders present in the National Right to Life delegation.

In addition to his pro-life leadership, Duenwald was an active civic leader. He served in the South Dakota House of Representatives from 1997-2002, and in the state senate from 2003-2008. During his tenure in the legislature, he served as Republican majority whip for four years in the house and two years in the senate.



Earlier today, South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced that the flags at the South Dakota Capitol be lowered to half-staff on Friday, September 6, the day of Duenwald’s funeral.

“Jay Duenwald was a dear friend and an outstanding pro-life leader who touched countless lives through his selfless dedication to the right-to-life movement and he will be greatly missed,” added Darla St. Martin, National Right to Life co-executive director.