(cross-posted at Race42012)
Out of power in both houses of Congress and the White House, one would think that like the Republican Party, the Pro-Life Movement is in the wilderness and without leaders. However, this couldn’t be further from the case… In fact, the Pro-Life Movement is more united then ever. Case in point: the Susan B. Anthony List Campaign for Life Dinner held earlier this month in Washington, D.C.
In case you are unfamiliar with the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA), founded in 1994, it is EMILY’s List, except the opposite: it elects Pro-Life women to Congress or Pro-Life men running against Pro-Abortion women.
This past election cycle, its connected PAC bundled and earmarked over $1 Million into key races across the country. Besided electing pro-life candidates, it mobilizes over 150,000 pro-life activists nationwide to lobby Congress on critical life issues, and even helped form the Pro-Life Women’s Caucus for the women it helps elect. It also trains future generations of activists by conducting training academies on college campuses.
Unlike many Pro-Life organizations, SBA was not left in the dust by technology, as it has a very clean, cool website. SBA also has over 1,000 friends on Facebook, is active daily on Twitter and has its own “SuzyB” blog.
SBA founder and president Marjorie Dannenfelser and former chairman Jane Abraham, with the help of Jeri Thompson, were the braintrust behind the wildly successful Team Sarah Ning website of over 60,000 members which helped defend Sarah Palin against attacks during the general election.
But, back to to the dinner, which was held at the historic Willard in downtown Washington. The dinner was so packed that there was barely any room to move around in the biggest ballroom the hotel had to offer.
To show how united the Pro-Life Movement is in the face of a White House and Congress lead by Obama and Pelosi, there were all sorts of factions of the Pro-Life movement present.
I saw many of its Catholic leaders, many of its Protestant leaders. I saw one of the leaders of the troops on the ground, 40 Days for Life founder David Bereit. I saw some of its leaders in Congress, such as Cong. Trent Franks, Cong. Jean Schmidt, Cong. Marsha Blackburn, Cong. Joseph Cao, and Cong. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who gave a fantastic speech centered on her baby boy with Down syndrome. I saw Romney backers, I saw Brownbackers. I saw Thompson backers, which was easy since Fred and Jeri Thompson headlined the dinner. I saw Ken Blackwell, I saw Michael Steele staffers. I saw past members of Congress, such as Sen. Spence Abraham, Cong. Mike Ferguson, and Cong. Bob Livingston. I also saw future pro-life members of Congress, such as Rob Wasinger, who is a candidate for Congress in Kansas.
The mood wasn’t what you’d expect: instead of being depressed about the number of babies that will be aborted due to Obama’s anti-life policies or the millions of tax dollars that are being funneled to Planned Parenthood, the mood was… wait for it… of hope. All the speeches were about looking forward, about pro-lifers taking back Congress.
This was especially evident when SBA gave out their annual Susan B. Anthony List Trailblazer Award, which is given to young women who are making a difference in the battle to end abortion. It was especially a proud moment for my family, as my sister, Christina, was given an award for her work in the pro-life movement (she got her start in the movement as SBA’s first intern long ago). However, the climax of the night was when Lia, a very bright 12 year-old girl, received the award for a very compelling and persuasive speech on abortion to her class (which of course, school administrators tried to censor) that was put up on YouTube and has been viewed by over 500,000.
SBA also used the occasion to announce its new, groundbreaking project, “Votes Have Consequences,” a program that will target members of Congress who vote out-of-step with the pro-life views of their district. The project is being headed up by former Cong. Marilyn Musgrave, and will start targeting members in Fall of this year, well ahead of 2010 elections.
Overall, the night was a smashing success for the Pro-Life Movement. It strong, is here to stay, and isn’t going anywhere until every unborn child is welcomed into the most prosperous nation on Earth and women are protected from the horrors of abortion.
Billy Valentine is vice president of Students for Life of America and can be reached at billyvalentine(at)gmail.com
Susan B. Anthony List Trailblazer Awardees with Jeri Thompson and Marjorie Dannenfelser at the Susan B. Anthony List Campaign for Life Dinner.
12-Year Old YouTube Star Lia with Congresswoman Jean Schmidt (R-OH)