October 6, 2014
Reflection Paper #2
Abortion is one of the most controversial and widely debated issues in our current society. For more than three decades, Americans have been deeply polarized over the issue of abortion and have shown no grounds of agreement. Based on my predominately conservative views, I believe life begins at conception and that the termination of an unborn child is murder. Therefore I decided to profile an interest group that shares my views on abortion, which is the National Right to Life Committee or NRLC.
The NRLC was founded in 1968 by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and is the oldest and largest national pro-life organization in the United States with affiliates in all 50 states and more than 3,000 local chapters nationwide. The mission of the NRLC is to protect and defend the most fundamental right of every human, which is the right to life from the beginning of life to natural death. They believe as stated in the Declaration of Independence, that we are all “created equal” and endowed by our Creator “with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Members of this interest group hold the belief that the Founding Fathers stressed the importance of the right to life by citing it first among the unalienable rights this new nation was authorized to secure. The National Right to Life Committee achieves this goal by promoting respect for the worth of every individual human being’s life. This includes unborn children in the womb, newly born children, people with disabilities, the elderly, and other vulnerable people, especially those who cannot defend themselves. Their areas of interest include abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, assisted suicide, and the termination of unborn children for their stem cells. The NRLC works through legislation, education, and political action to accomplish its goals. Its actions included providing educational materials, research, and leadership training for effective right-to-life citizenship. They also sponsor legislation that will advance the protection of human life and support the election of public officials who value and defend life.
Since the National Right to Life Committee has been around for more than forty years with affiliations in all fifty states, it has definitely gained a following. This is comprised of people who share the belief that the right to life is an unalienable right that no human being should be denied. The interest group gets the majority of its money through donors. These come from religious groups, pro-life activists, conservatives, and other private donors. One of the major groups that has supported the National Right to Life Committee over the years and in return has received endorsements from the interest group has been the Republican Party. Republicans have conservative views and in their platforms when taking a stance on abortion they support the right to life. One of the most recent endorsements by the NRLC was for Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. He donated and supported the NRLC and in return received endorsements during his presidential campaign. The National Right to Life Committee also gives private donors the option to donate through a link on their website.
The Department of State Legislation works hand in hand with the National Right to Life Committee’s state affiliates to draft legislation and pass protective pro-life laws at the state level. For example, the NRLC’s biggest legislative priority recently has been the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” which was first passed in Nebraska in 2010. This important piece of legislation protects from abortion those unborn children who are capable of feeling pain. According to substantial medical research, a unborn child is capable of feeling pain at 20 weeks. Another stride made by the NRLC at the state level was the passing of parental involvement laws. These laws