Right to Life Mourns Passing of Senator Douglas Henry

Right to Life Mourns Passing of Senator Douglas Henry Sponsor of Tennessee's First Pro-Life Laws NASHVILLE, MARCH 6, 2017 - After the 1973 Roe v Wade decision struck down abortion laws across the nation, Tennessee's first pro-life protections were sponsored by Senator Douglas Henry, a conservative Nashville Democrat. Just weeks after the decision, Henry led legislative efforts to ensure that abortion would be regulated as strongly as possible under the court's wrong ruling. "Because of the Supreme Court's decision which in my opinion is horrendous, until a national amendment can be achieved, we must put a law on the books of our state," state Senator Curtis Person declared on May 2, 1973. "The bill I voted for, today, in my opinion and as explained by the Sponsor, Senator Douglas Henry, is the most stringent law to control abortions we can pass under the Supreme Court ruling." Continue reading

National Right to Life Mourns the Death of Norma McCorvey

For immediate release: Saturday, February 18, 2017  National Right to Life Mourns Death of Norma McCorvey WASHINGTON – Today, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of 50 state right-to-life affiliates, joined with right-to-life advocates nationwide in mourning the death of pro-life activist Norma McCorvey. Known as "Jane Roe" in the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, McCorvey became an outspoken advocate for the right-to-life cause. McCorvey died at her assisted-living facility in Texas. She was 69. The following statement may be attributed to Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life: While pro-abortion advocates used Norma McCorvey to advance their efforts to legalize abortion in the early 1970s, she spent the last half of her life attempting to right the terrible wrong that the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions legalizing abortion visited upon the country. Norma became an outspoken advocate for protecting the lives of mothers and their unborn children, speaking at right-to-life events across the country, including the National Right to Life convention. Norma McCorvey was a friend and valued ally in the fight for life and she will be deeply missed. Continue reading

NRLC Commends President Trump Pick of Judge Neil Gorsuch

For immediate release: Tuesday, January 31, 2017 For more information: Tatiana Bergum, (202) 626-8825, mediarelations@nrlc.org National Right to Life Committee Commends President Trump For His Selection of Judge Neil Gorsuch as Successor to Justice Scalia WASHINGTON – Today, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of 50 state right-to-life affiliates, commended President Donald Trump for his selection of Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the U.S. Supreme Court seat vacated by the February 2016 death of Justice Antonin Scalia. "All too often, our efforts to protect unborn children and other vulnerable humans have been overridden by judges who believe they have a right to impose their own policy preferences," said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life.  "We are heartened that Judge Gorsuch appears to share Justice Scalia's view that federal judges are constrained to enforce the text and original intent of constitutional provisions, and on all other matters should defer to democratically elected lawmakers." Continue reading

US House Votes to End Taxpayer Funding of Abortion

For immediate release: Tuesday, January 24, 2017 For more information: Tatiana Bergum, (202) 626-8825, mediarelations@nrlc.org  NATIONAL RIGHT TO LIFE APPLAUDS U.S. HOUSE VOTE TO ENACT PERMANENT, GOVERNMENT-WIDE HYDE AMENDMENT WASHINGTON – The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) today commended the 238 members of the U.S. House of Representatives who voted to pass the landmark No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 7), but directed sharp criticism at the 183 House members who voted against the bill. The White House issued a statement, in advance of the House vote, affirming that President Trump "would sign the bill." Tennessee Congressmen voting Pro-Life include: Black, Blackburn, DesJarlais, Duncan, Fleischmann, Kustoff, and Roe. Tennessee Congressmen voting to tax-payer funding of abortions include: Cohen and Cooper."Over two million Americans are alive today because of the Hyde Amendment," said Carol Tobias, National Right to Life president. "With today's vote, we are one step closer to getting the federal government out of the business of paying for abortion once and for all. The 183 House members who voted against the bill will be firmly marked as supporters of federal funding for elective abortion."  Continue reading

JAMA Psychiatry Publishes Flawed UCSF Study

"We know that some women do eventually have serious negative psychological responses to their abortions, some within a year or two, but most several years down the road. Women still deserve to have that information when making up their minds about abortion." -Randall K. O'Bannon, Ph.D. National Right to Life Director of Education and Research WASHINGTON, Wednesday, December 14, 2016 – Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco today published a report in JAMA Psychiatry ("Women's Mental Health and Well-being 5 Years After Receiving or Being Denied an Abortion") that supposedly aims to further the myth that women who have an abortion experience little psychological effects. Using data from their "Turnaway Study," the UCSF authors have attempted to argue that state pro-life informed consent laws are detrimental to women. Now, the same data are being used to argue the non-existence of post-abortion syndrome. Continue reading

Yes on 1 Ballot Committee Files Friend of the Court Brief

Advocates Urge 6th Circuit to Protect Voting Rights of Pro-Life Tennesseans Nashville, October 14, 2016--On Friday morning, supporters of the 2014 Amendment dealing with abortion regulation in Tennessee filed a Friend of the Court brief as the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals prepares to consider arguments as to whether the votes of some pro-life Tennesseans may be thrown out. 8,850 Tennessee voters joined their names to the brief on behalf of the Yes on 1 campaign arguing that the campaign has a direct interest not only in supporting Amendment 1's ratification, but also in ensuring that the constitutional right to vote guaranteed to each Tennessean is fully protected. On November 4, 2014, Amendment 1 was passed by a vote of 53% to 47%.  Three days later, supporters of Planned Parenthood filed suit in Federal District Court insisting that the minority must prevail over the majority because "certain votes in favor of Amendment 1 receive(d) disproportionate weight..." Earlier this year, Federal District Judge Kevin Sharp sided with Planned Parenthood and ordered that the votes of potentially tens of thousands of voters be disqualified on the basis that "voting for governor is a precondition to having a vote on an amendment count." Sharp has directed state election officials to prepare to recount the 2014 ballots, an order that has been stayed pending a decision by the 6th Circuit in the case. "The people of Tennessee spoke with their votes in 2014," said Brian Harris, president of Tennessee Right to Life.  "Pro-life advocates organized early to win Amendment 1 and then worked the campaign plan all the way to the closing of the polls on election night.  As a result of focused hard work and sacrifice, the amendment was won in 88 of 95 counties. That's how our political system works and we fully expect the courts to uphold the votes of every Tennessean, including those who supported the passage and ratification of Amendment 1." Tennessee election law expert Daniel Horwitz filed the brief on behalf of Yes on 1 saying "This is not a case about whether one is pro-life or pro-choice.  This is a case about whether one believes that people who are pro-life should have the right to vote." As the case unfolds, additional briefs and oral arguments by both sides are expected to be scheduled by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

U.S. House Rebukes Obama Administration; Votes to Protect Health Care Providers

U.S. House votes to protect health care providers from state-mandated abortion WASHINGTON (July 13, 2016) – The president of National Right to Life today commended Republican leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives for winning passage of a bill to protect health care providers from the growing threat of state-government attempts to coerce participation in abortion. The House passed the Conscience Protection Act (S. 304, containing text identical to H.R. 4828) on a near party-line vote of 245-182. "State agencies in California and New York are mandating insurance coverage of abortion, and the Obama Administration recently made it clear that it will not enforce federal laws that prohibit such mandates," said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. "The Conscience Protection Act will allow direct access to the federal courts for the victims of coercive pro-abortion government policies." Continue reading

NRLC Responds to US Supreme Court Decision in Whole Women's Health v. Hellerstedt

WASHINGTON – By a vote of 5-3, the U.S. Supreme Court today struck provisions of a Texas law requiring abortion clinics to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers and requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital in case of medical emergencies (with certain exceptions.) The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals previously rejected facial attacks on both provisions. “How shabby are these abortion clinics that they cannot meet the minimum standards other outpatient surgical centers are required to meet, and just how bad are these abortionists that they can’t get admitting privileges at a local hospital?,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “As we saw with Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia, it’s clear that the lucrative abortion industry is not able or willing to police itself and allows filthy, deplorable conditions to go unchecked.” Continue reading

Yes on 1 Files State Court Motion on Behalf of Disenfranchised Voters

Yes on 1 Campaign Seeks to Intervene On Behalf of Voters Threatened with Disenfranchisement Motion Filed Friday Morning in State Court   Nashville, April 29, 2016---A motion filed Friday morning by proponents of Yes on 1 seeks to intervene on behalf of state voters who are threatened with having their votes thrown out as a result of last week's ruling by federal Judge Kevin Sharp.  In an unprecedented decision, Sharp directed state election officials to undertake a recount of the November 2014 general election and to void all ballots cast on Amendment 1 by voters who did not also vote in the governor's race.   On Tuesday, Tennessee's Attorney General announced an appeal of Sharp's ruling to the U.S. Sixth Circuit stating, "We obviously disagree with the federal court's decision...Simply put, deciding what vote is required to amend the Tennessee Constitution is a matter of state law to be determined by a Tennessee Court."   In a separate action, Daniel Horwitz, counsel for the Yes on 1 Ballot Committee, prepared a motion asking state court Judge Michael Binkley to allow supporters of the pro-life amendment to intervene in the case in order to address the unique harm threatened to YES voters that the federal judge seeks to disenfranchise.    Continue reading

TN Right to Life Responds to Ruling on Amendment 1

Federal Judge Threatens to Disenfranchise Pro-Life Voters Judge Kevin Sharp issues ruling singling out Amendment 1, Leaves others intact   Nashville (April 25, 2016)---Just a day after a state court judge ruled in favor of the state's process for counting and ratifying votes on proposed amendments to the state constitution, a federal judge has ordered a recount of ballots on pro-life Amendment 1 and declared that some votes in support of the amendment be thrown out.  At question is the interpretation of Article XI, Section 3 of the state Constitution which now places state and federal judges favoring different readings of the same clause.   On Thursday, Williamson County Circuit County Judge Michael Binkley, sitting as Chancellor, ruled that there is no constitutional restriction or precondition on the right of a citizen to vote for or against a constitutional amendment and also voting in the gubernatorial election.   On Friday, U.S. Federal District Court Judge Kevin Sharp countered by ordering a recount of the Amendment 1 votes and affirming the arguments of Planned Parenthood plaintiffs that the manner of counting votes, specifically on Amendment 1, violates undue process and equal protections clauses of the U.S. Constitution.  As such, Sharp has ordered state election officials to prepare a timetable for a recount of the votes on Amendment 1.    Continue reading