By: Jessica Jewell
A zygote (sperm + egg) is a self-growing, living organism. It grows separate from the mother, with different DNA that can encode different blood cells. Most medical books point out that after the first week of conception, the zygote is considered an embryo. An embryo has blood cells, nerve cells and kidney cells. After the third week of conception, it is said that the baby has a heart, brain, spinal cord and gastrointestinal tract. After six weeks the embryo is now a fetus. A fetus looks like a tiny baby and continues to grow during pregnancy. At 20 weeks, scientific evidence has shown that babies can feel pain. After 18 days the baby’s brain starts to develop and after 5 weeks the pain receptors are developed. The fetus continues to grow in the mothers body after 24 weeks but has also survived outside of the mother with life support in very rare circumstances. The National Right to Life Committee believes if a fetus can survive outside of the mother, has its own DNA and is a self growing living organism that feels pain, the fetus should have the right to life.
The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) is an interest group whose sole purpose is to stop abortion in the United States of America. They believe it says in the constitution that “all men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life..”. This means that no matter how old, no matter how small, no matter what color, etc, all Americans have the right to life, even if they can’t speak for themselves. They also work to stop infanticide, euthanasia, assisted suicide and the killing of babies for stem cells. They do not voice their opinion on the issues of contraception, sex education, capital punishment or national defense. They have more than 7 million members and 3 thousand chapters with affiliates in every state. Their headquarters are in Washington DC, but offices are located everywhere.
The Catholic Conference of Family Life Bureau founded national Right to Life Committee in 1973 after the decision of Roe vs. Wade. However, later to appeal to the nonsectarian movement, a new organization model was made to disassociate from the Catholic religion. Currently the page of the history and founding of the NRLC is “undergoing maintenance” so little information is known on the founding and history of the organization”.
The current president is Carol Tobias from North Dakota. She has been with the NRLC since 1983. She was an executive director of National Right to Life of North Dakota from 1983-1991 and a political director of National Right to Life from 1991-2005.
Unlike many other interest groups, the National Right to Life Group is a nonprofit organization. It does not have benefits for its members except daily emails and posts of the progress of the organization itself. They also have free fliers and fact sheets available for anyone, member or nonmember, to print out and use on their website. They hold conventions and encourage college students to become pro-life advocates. The interest group even has classes college students can take for credit. The point of joining an interest group is because you care about the cause and want to fight, protect and educate not the discounts and other perks you will receive. Even though, the NRLC is a nonprofit organization, the donations they have received have given them plenty to thrive on. Currently they have more than 9 million dollars.
The money the NLRC collects is distributed to four outreach programs: National Teens for Life, American Victims of Abortion, National Pro-Life Religious Council, and Black Americans for Life. National Teens for Life is an organization whose goal is to help teens that are pregnant and thinking about abortion. They provide counseling and essentials to these teens to encourage them to have the baby and not have an abortion. The American