There are many unsung heroes of the pro-life movement who work tirelessly to defend life. Jacki Ragan is a mother and grandmother who works behind the scenes of the pro-life movement.
Jacki is the director of the State Organizational Development Department at National Right to Life. She works with the 50 state affiliates and more than three thousand pro-life chapters across the nation. She is also the convention director at National Right to Life.
LifeNews spoke with Jacki this week about her work and the upcoming National Right to Life Convention.
LN: How did you become involved in the pro-life movement?
Ragan: I offered to baby sit my girlfriend’s boys while she went to confession. Her penance was to attend a “meeting” that evening, and she invited me to go with her. It was a right to life meeting and I sat, listening and was completely blown away by what I heard. I have been actively involved ever since that night in 1976.
LN: Has working so closely in the movement changed your perspective on pro-life issues?
Ragan: It has made me far more patient and helped me to understand that overturning Roe v. Wade is not going to happen overnight. It will happen, but it will need to be done right and is going to take time. I believe it has also made me more tolerant, more loving and more accepting of rolling up my sleeves and digging in for the long haul.
LN: What are you working on right now?
Ragan: The National Right to Life Convention 2016. It’s July 7 – 9 in Herndon, VA! I would love to meet you there!
LN: What speaker are you most excited to hear from at this year’s National Right to Life convention?
Ragan: That is a difficult question…I am excited to hear and meet Guy Benson and the Schlapps in particular. But I am also excited to meet the Simons and see Jahi (McMath)’s mom again.
LN: If you could have any person from history come to speak at the convention, who would you choose?
Ragan: Many pro-life warriors have passed away during my time in the movement. I particularly miss the wisdom of Congressman Henry Hyde. You know, the Hyde Amendment turns 40 years old this September. It was, as a chapter chairperson in North Pulaski Pro-Life, in North Little Rock, Arkansas, one of my first actions. So while I am sure there are hundreds of historic people I should consider, I would love the wise words of Henry Hyde.
LN: What makes the convention unique?
Ragan: The convention is the only thing of its kind for the grassroots pro-lifer and the activist, the leader, or the just curious. We offer six topical general sessions, a Prayer Breakfast, a Banquet and 66 workshops in between covering every topic known to the right to life movement. We also offer a full three days of a National Teens for Life Convention, as well as dozens of pro-life exhibits, excellent childcare, and the chance to meet new faces, talk to others about a problem you might be experience with a local chapter, and then take it all back home and put it to use. There is nothing in the right to life movement that comes close to matching that.
LN: How can people learn more about the convention?
Ragan: Visit www.nrlconvention.com for a full schedule of events or call Luis at 202.378.8842.
LN: What would you suggest to someone who is pro-life and wants to become more involved in the movement?
Ragan: Try to come to the convention. If that isn’t possible, call us at NRLC and let us put you in touch with folks in your local area. We will come speak, offer materials, hold your hand through every step of the process. The time is right and the time is now. If you are not already involved, take the leap! We would love to have you!