The morning general session began with a review of the health care reform law. NRLC’s concerns include funding of abortion (obviously), Medicare cuts, and the potential for rationing. In response to Congressman Mike Doyle’s comment in the press that NRLC was aligning with the Republican party, NRLC said that they started from pro-life principles and that the Republican party happened to align with them.
General comment: Over the course of the convention, there’s been lots of talk about bipartisanship. It might be a moot point, since it looks like all the pro-lifers in close races this election cycle are Republican, but which races are close is continually changing. Various NRLC speakers, at various times, have reiterated that they would support a pro-life Dem over a pro-abortion GOP candidate.
Next, Congressman John Boehner was presented with an award. He gave us a nice pep talk. Toward the end, a man in the audience started screaming–most notably “May God strike you dead!”– and continued ranting as security escorted him out. The mistress of ceremonies, NRLC co-executive director Darla St. Martin, handled it very gracefully, simply noting that “our opposition can be quite vehement.” Ho hum, just another day at National Right to Life.
I went to another fundraising workshop, then to a presentation on pro-life work at the United Nations. This included a discussion of the real relationship between abortion and maternal health; I highly recommend this pamphlet. John Cockfield related the successful battle to get pro-life language in a disability rights document. Most importantly, they have blocked the continual efforts of the Center for “Reproductive Rights” from establishing an international right to abortion.
Finally, I went to a presentation by Rai Rojas, who I only knew on Facebook, about Hispanic outreach. SecularProLife.org has many Hispanic supporters, especially from my old stomping grounds at the University of Miami, but their numbers have not been increasing as quickly compared to white supporters. Rojas gave me some good advice that I hope to implement soon.
And so the convention comes to an end. I’ve had a wonderful time, met lots of cool people, and learned a ton. I hope I’ll see you there next year: June 23-25, 2011 in Jacksonville, FL!