O. Carter Snead
O. Carter Snead is the W.P. and H.B. White Director of the Center for Ethics and Culture at the University of Notre Dame where he is also a professor of law. In 2007, Mr. Snead was appointed to be the Permanent Observer for the U.S. Government at the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee on Bioethics. His scholarly works have appeared in such publications as Constitutional Commentary, the New England Law Review, the Yale Journal of Health Policy Law and Ethics, the National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, Quaderni Costituzionale, and The New Atlantis. His popular commentary and analysis have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, the Baltimore Sun, the Indianapolis Star, the San Jose Mercury News, Wired, Washington Lawyer, National Review Online, Science and Spirit, Today’s Catholic, and the National Catholic Register.
Wesley J. Smith
Wesley J. Smith is an attorney, award winning author, and a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. He is also a consultant to the Patients Rights Council, and a special consultant for the Center for Bioethics and Culture. In May 2004, because of his work in bioethics, he was named by the National Journal as one of the nation’s top expert thinkers in bioengineering. In 2008, the Human Life Foundation named him a Great Defender of Life for his work against assisted suicide and euthanasia.
Smith left the full time practice of law in 1985 to pursue a career in writing and public advocacy. He is the author or coauthor of twelve books.
His latest book is A Rat is a Pig is a Dog is a Boy: The Human Cost of the Animal Rights Movement, a searing critique of the ideology and tactics of the animal liberation movement and a rousing defense of the unique importance of human exceptionalism.
Smith’s book Forced Exit: Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide and the New Duty to Die (1997, Times Books), a broad-based criticism of the assisted suicide/euthanasia movement has become a classic in anti-euthanasia advocacy and is now in its third edition published by Encounter Books in 2006. Smith’s Culture of Death: The Assault on Medical Ethics in America, a warning about the dangers of the modern bioethics movement, was named one of the Ten Outstanding Books of the Year and Best Health Book of the Year for 2001 (Independent Publisher Book Awards). Smith’s also wrote Consumer’s Guide to a Brave New World, in which he explored the morality, science, and business aspects of human cloning, stem cell research, and genetic engineering.
Smith is an international lecturer and public speaker, appearing frequently at political, university, medical, legal, disability rights, bioethics, religious, and community gatherings across the United States, Europe, Mexico, Canada, South Africa, and Australia.
On January 5th, 1980, Chet McDoniel entered this world with no arms and shortened legs. Though dealt a vicious blow in the delivery room, Chet’s parents decided to raise him as they would any other child. They instilled a positive attitude in Chet that carries with him through to this day.
Throughout Chet’s life, he has faced many struggles and overcome countless obstacles. Chet has remained positive through it all, and believes that he has unlocked the secret to living a meaningful life.
As a walking case study for Pro Life, Chet has motivated youth and adults around the nation through his keynotes on happiness and how to overcome all odds and achieve your dreams, but it is his presentation “Not Perfect, but Worth It” that he holds closest to his heart. In “Not Perfect, but Worth It” Chet will lead you on a journey to discover the value of every life created. Through many stories, you will get to know Chet and his ability to live life to its fullest. Then, after you get to know him, Chet will leave you no choice but to do your part in the fight to save every life, because EVERY life is worth it.
David Barton is the Founder and President of WallBuilders, a national pro-family organization that presents America’s forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on our moral, religious and constitutional heritage.
WallBuilders is a name taken from the Old Testament writings of Nehemiah, who led a grassroots movement to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and restore its strength and honor. In the same way, WallBuilders seeks to energize the grassroots today to become involved in strengthening their communities, states, and nation.
David is the author of numerous best-selling books, with the subjects being drawn largely from his massive library of tens of thousands of original writings from the Founding Era. He also addresses well over 400 groups each year.
His exhaustive research has rendered him an expert in historical and constitutional issues and he serves as a consultant to state and federal legislators, has participated in several cases at the Supreme Court, was involved in the development of the History/Social Studies standards for states such as Texas and California, and has helped produce history textbooks now used in schools across the nation.
A national news organization has described him as “America’s historian,” and Time Magazine called him “a hero to millions – including some powerful politicians. In fact, Time Magazine named him as one of America’s 25 most influential evangelicals.
David has received numerous national and international awards, including Who’s Who in Education, DAR’s Medal of Honor, and the George Washington Honor Medal from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. His work in media has merited several Angel Awards, Telly Awards, and the Dove Foundation Seal of Approval.
David and his wife Cheryl have three grown children, Damaris, Timothy, and Stephen, and they reside in Aledo, TX.
Reggie Littlejohn is Founder and President of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, an international coalition to expose and oppose forced abortion, gendercide and sexual slavery in China. She also led the international effort to free blind activist Chen Guangcheng, who arrived in the United States on May 19, 2012.
An acclaimed international expert on China’s One Child Policy, she has testified six times at the United States Congress, twice at the European Parliament, and at the British and Irish Parliaments as well. She was told that in 2008, she was the first person ever to address the European Parliament on the One Child Policy. This first Address at the European Parliament was included as a chapter in the book, Human Rights in China After the Olympic Games, (Human Rights Without Frontiers, 2009), available on Amazon.com.
She has briefed officials at the White House, the United States Department of State and the Vatican. Ms. Littlejohn is a frequent guest on radio and television programs, including CNN, C-SPAN and the BBC, and has issued several groundbreaking reports that are included in the Congressional record. A dynamic keynote speaker, she has spoken at the Harvard and Stanford law schools, the Johns Hopkins and George Washington Universities, The Heritage Foundation, the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy and the Victims of Communism Memorial Commemoration. Reggie has appeared ten times on Voice of America, the official U.S. broadcast into China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
A graduate of Yale Law School, she has represented Chinese refugees in their political asylum cases.
DAVE ANDRUSKO, a graduate of the University of Minnesota, is the editor of National Right to Life News and National Right to Life News Today. The father of four adult children and one grandchild, Mr. Andrusko came to National Right to Life in 1981 after working as a freelance writer, a campaign manager, and an advocate for the developmentally disabled. During his career he has edited five books and written for newspapers, including USA Today; magazines, such as First Things; and biomedical journals, including the Hastings Center Report. In November 2000, Mr. Andrusko began Today’s News & Views, a Monday through Saturday blog, subsequently replaced by the more comprehensive National Right to Life News Today (www.nationalrighttolifenews.org). He is the husband of Lisa Andrusko, the editor of the NRL Yearbook. They are the proud parents of Emily, a special education teacher; David, who works in security; Joanna, who works as a government contractor; and Louisa, a 2011 graduate of Christopher Newport University, who works as a teacher’s assistant for special needs students.
BURKE BALCH, J.D., is director of the National Right to Life Committee’s Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics. A graduate of Williams College and New York University School of Law, Mr. Balch deals with euthanasia-related issues, including assisting suicide; denial of lifesaving medical treatment, food, and fluids; and rationing. Mr. Balch has authored or co-authored articles on assisting suicide, infanticide, euthanasia, rationing of medical care, and ethics committees. Prior to coming to NRLC, he worked on the federal Protection of Handicapped Infants project for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. During his career, Mr. Balch has served as chief staff counsel for the National Legal Center for the Medically Dependent and Disabled, a legal services program that protects the rights of poor people, especially older people and people with disabilities, to be free of discriminatory denial of medical treatment. He is among the authors of the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised. He has also served as parliamentarian for the National Association of Parliamentarians and a number of other organizations. He and his wife, Mary, are the parents of two children, Bridget and James.
MARY SPAULDING BALCH, J.D., is the director of National Right to Life’s Department of State Legislation. She received her law degree from Pepperdine University School of Law in California and her bachelor’s degree in political science from Queens College, City University of New York. After working as a legislative counsel to New Hampshire Sen. Gorden J. Humphrey and as a trial attorney in New York City, Mrs. Balch was offered the opportunity to work full time on behalf of the unborn. She accepted the position working with National Right to Life and has been on staff for over twenty years working with the National Right to Life Committee’s state affiliates to pass pro-life legislation and to defeat anti-life measures. She and her husband, Burke, live in Fredericksburg, Virginia, with their two children, Bridget and James.
Ryan Bomberger is an Emmy® Award-winning Creative Professional who founded The Radiance Foundation, a life-affirming 501(c)(3), along with his wife, Bethany. They have made an unexpected impact in the pro-life movement with the bold TooManyAborted.com billboard/web campaigns. As the first pro-adoption themed ad campaign created to address the disproportionate impact of abortion in the black community, the effort received massive media coverage from The New York Times, USA Today, LA Times, CNN, MSNBC, the Associated Press, Washington Times, Fox News, ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, and, seemingly, the entire blogosphere. Ryan’s biological mother was raped yet courageously chose to continue the pregnancy, giving him Life. He was adopted as a baby and grew up in a loving, multi-racial Christian family of 15. With siblings of varying ethnicities, he grew up with a great appreciation for diversity. Ten of the thirteen children were adopted in this remarkable family. His life defies the myth of the “unwanted” child as he was adopted, loved and has flourished.
PAMELA BROZOWSKI first began her pro-life work in college when she joined the Students for Life club at the University of Maryland. She served as an officer in the club for two years, first as the treasurer and then as the president. Later she took a semester off to work as a field representative for Students for Life of America in Wisconsin and Minnesota in order to establish new college pro-life clubs throughout the area. When she returned home she organized the first Maryland and Washington, D.C., Students for Life Conference in fall 2007. The conference brought together pro-life college students from many different
universities as well as representatives from various local pro-life organizations. In January
2008 Ms. Brozowski joined National Right to Life’s Outreach Department, where she works as assistant to the director, managing the Outreach Web site, developing new materials, and coordinating the various Outreach programs.
KAREN CROSS is the political director for the National Right to Life Committee. She helped to build the grassroots base in West Virginia, and, as director of West Virginians for Life PAC, helped to put George Bush in the White House in 2000 with his surprise win in the state. Mrs. Cross, who previously served as West Virginians for Life’s executive director, became involved in the pro-life movement as a result of her own two abortions. Her story has been featured in USA Today, in the video Aching Heart, Too, in Life Cycle magazine, in the magazine The Word among Us, on the 700 Club, on RBC Ministry’s radio program Words to Live By, and various radio and television programs and newspaper articles. She has spoken at National Right to Life Conventions, Rally for Life ’90, and numerous universities and colleges. She has testified before the West Virginia legislature and has successfully lobbied to pass a Partial-Birth Abortion Ban, a Women’s Right to Know Act, an Unborn Victims of Violence Act, and an Ultrasound Option law. Her presentation at an international conference on abortion in Poland in June 2004 was published as a chapter in the book Abortion: Causes, Ramifications, Therapy. She currently serves on the National Right to Life Committee board as an at-large member, on the West Virginians for Life board, and as an advisory board member for Labor of Love, a maternity home and crisis pregnancy center. She has three children and one grandson, Jameson.
INGRID ANN DURAN has served as an assistant in the NRLC State Legislative Department since 1995. She provides tools and assistance to NRLC affiliate lobbyists during their legislative session and tracks all pro-life legislation. Ms. Duran is also the first vice chairperson of Maryland Right to Life and serves on its board of directors. She is actively involved with outreach programs such as Hispanic Americans for Life and Black Americans for Life. She has counseled mothers and fathers in crisis pregnancy situations who have contacted National Right to Life. She is also involved in community activities with her local church. She has just completed her third year at Montgomery College. She is the proud mother of Gabriel, Rebekah, and Lystra.
ELIZABETH GRAHAM moved to Houston, Texas, in 1994 to pursue graduate studies in philosophy at the Center for Thomistic Studies at the University of St. Thomas. During her graduate studies, she volunteered for Texas Right to Life, where she learned of the mission and efforts to protect innocent human life. She married Jim Graham in 1997 and later started working full time with Texas Right to Life. With her husband, they have grown Texas Right to Life into the largest and only statewide pro-life organization in Texas with a staff of over twenty and a membership of over 250,000 households. Through Texas Right to Life’s Family Assistance Program, Mrs. Graham has advocated for and worked with over fifty families whose ailing loved ones faced losing medical care at hospitals across Texas.
JEANNE E. HEAD, R.N., an experienced obstetric nurse and former actress, has served in numerous capacities as a volunteer for the pro-life movement since 1970. Presently, she is NRLC’s vice president for international affairs, the United Nations representative for NRLC and the International Right to Life Federation (IRTLF), New York State Right to Life’s representative to the NRLC board of directors, a member of the executive committee of both boards, and president and co-founder of Metropolitan New York Right to Life Foundation and Manhattan Right To Life Committee. As UN representative, Jeanne has been involved in the continuing struggle to prevent the establishment of abortion as a fundamental human right worldwide at every major UN conference since the 1994 Cairo Conference on Population and Development. She has participated in the numerous follow-up and implementation meetings related to these conferences. Her work has taken her to the World Health Assembly and the Human Rights Committee and Council in Geneva and to other venues such as Bali, Bangkok, Beijing, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Mexico City, Nairobi, Rome, and San Juan. As a part of the Pro-Life and Pro-Family Coalition at the UN, Jeanne has helped thwart, so far, the establishment of abortion as a fundamental human right worldwide and played a key role in the meetings leading to the adoption of the historic UN Declaration calling on member states to ban all forms of human cloning and the UN Convention (Treaty) on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which includes (for the first time in any UN document) language calling for the prevention of discriminatory denial of health care, or health services, or food and fluids on the basis of disability. In recognition of her work at the UN, Jeanne was one of six recipients of the 2009–10 Norinne A. and Raymond E. Ruddy Memorial Life Prize on January 22, 2011. She has written about her experiences for NRL News; co-authored with Laura Hussey an analysis of abortion worldwide titled “Does Abortion Access Protect Women’s Health” for the Washington Times magazine, The World and I; and contributed to the very effective MCCLGO/NRL brochures: “Does legalizing abortion protect women’s health?” (2009) and “Why legalized abortion is not good for women’s health” (2011).
MOLLIE HEMINGWAY is a columnist for Christianity Today and contributor to GetReligion.org. Her writing on religion, economics and baseball has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Federal Times, Radio & Records and Modern Reformation. Originally from Colorado, she lives in Washington with her husband and two children. She enjoys combing flea markets to improve her vinyl record collection and believes that the designated hitter rule is the result of a Communist plot.
ANNE HERMANN is an assistant to the National Right to Life State Organizational Development Department. She first began working for National Right to Life in 1984 as an assistant for NRLC’s Volunteer Identification Program and later served as program coordinator. Over the years she has worked with nearly all of National Right to Life affiliates. She has been a speaker at both state right to life conventions and at National Right to Life’s annual conventions. She served as Illinois Federation for Right to Life secretary and as a board member. Ms. Hermann has five grown children and is a grandmother of three.
MARJORIE HIGGINS, with her experience as a speaker, newsletter editor, lobbyist, legislative aide, and with local, state, and national election campaigns, assists NRL state affiliates with the business end of the pro-life movement. Her current duties, as NRL State Organizational Development coordinator, include organizing educational exhibits, reviewing by-laws, developing and maintaining computer lists, and acting as a resource support for local chapters and state offices. Over the last several years she has brought local teens to serve at the NRL Convention as volunteers. She and her husband, now with only one of their five children still at home, live in Fleming Island, Florida.
DOUGLAS JOHNSON has served as federal legislation director for the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) since 1981. The Federal Legislation Department is charged with advancing NRLC’s public policy goals in Congress and within the federal executive branch. Mr. Johnson has played a key role in many past pro-life battles in Congress. A profile of Mr. Johnson in National Review (September 3, 2001) was subtitled “The Most Effective Lobbyist in Washington.” According to another profile of Mr. Johnson that appeared in the magazine The Weekly Standard (March 26, 1996), “The proposed ban on ‘partial-birth’ abortions … is the work of one of Washington’s least well-known but most influential lobbyists,” who “commands enormous respect on Capitol Hill.” Mr. Johnson’s role in the development of the partial-birth abortion debate also was highlighted in the article “Gambling with Abortion” by Cynthia Gorney (Harper’s, November 2004). Mr. Johnson is the author of innumerable articles and essays on pro-life topics, including federal abortion laws, unborn victims of violence (fetal homicide), human cloning, the ERA, legal restrictions on free speech about political figures, and the ways in which the news media cover pro-life topics. Many of his writings are found on the NRLC website at www.nrlc.org. He has given presentations on pro-life topics in settings as diverse as the National War College and the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. On January 22, 2011, Mr. Johnson was one of six recipients of the prestigious Norinne A. and Raymond E. Ruddy Memorial Pro-Life Prize for 2009–10, conferred by the Massachusetts-based Gerard Health Foundation. Mr. Johnson and his wife, Carolyn, are the parents of four grown children.
Michelle Laque Johnson is the Director of Communications at the Irondale, Ala.-based EWTN Global Catholic Network. One of her many responsibilities is social media for the Network, which broadcasts to more than 225 million households in four languages on 11 networks in over 140 countries and territories, making it the largest Catholic media network in the world. Michelle has worked in journalism and communications for more than 20 years, serving as an award-winning Editor-in-Chief of an 85,000 circulation newspaper, and as an award-winning editor/reporter for a metropolitan daily newspaper as well as several national publications, including “Investor’s Business Daily.” She has also given workshops for journalists at national and regional press conventions on how to use social media to expand their publications’ outreach and increase circulation, and has trained journalists on how to become an expert in their niche for a national publisher. She is the founder of the Facebook group, Social Media for Catholics, and is currently writing a new blog for her employer called “Inside EWTN.” She invites you to join her at http://insideewtn.wordpress.com!
BRIAN JOHNSTON is the western director for the National Right to Life Committee. He also serves as director for the California Pro-Life Council and is a member of the board of directors of NRLC. Mr. Johnston is a well-known advocate for the elderly and the dependent and has served as California Commissioner on Aging, on the Board of Examiners of California Nursing Homes, and as a hospice volunteer. He is the author of the important book Death as a Salesman: What’s Wrong with Assisted Suicide? This handbook provides valuable information and is a resource for those dedicated to protecting the medically vulnerable and those suffering from depression—prime candidates for “assisted suicide.” Both the book and a subsequent documentary film based on the book have been used as educational tools throughout the world. He has appeared on Fox News, CNN news programs, ABC’s World News Tonight, the McNeil-Lehrer NewsHour, and many other programs.
DERRICK JONES is a lifelong pro-lifer who serves as NRLC’s communications director. Raised in the pro-life movement by his mother and grandmother, his start in the movement came at an early age stuffing envelopes in the Springfield (Illinois) Right to Life office. In 1992, he co-founded a local Teens for Life group and soon joined the board of National Teens for Life where he served two terms as president. In 1996, he joined National Right to Life has an intern and never left. As NRLC communications director, Mr. Jones serves as NRLC’s chief liaison with secular and religious journalists; coordinates radio, television and print interviews with key NRLC spokespeople; works with other departments to coordinate public relations efforts; and serves as executive producer for NRLC’s daily radio program, Pro-Life Perspective. In addition, he is a co-advisor for National Teens for Life and directs NRLC’s college internship program. A graduate of the Catholic University of America’s drama department, he is a professional stage manager and freelance designer and event planner.
DOUG KECK, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, and host of “EWTN Bookmark,” is responsible for all TV, Radio and Internet Programming and Production. He previously served in senior level positions with Rainbow Programming, Cablevision and regional sports networks, and worked in New York-area radio. During his over 30 years in media, he has been involved in the development and launch of more than 25 international, national and regional television networks.
JOLEIGH LITTLE became involved in the pro-life movement at the age of fourteen, and in the twenty-six years since then she has worked on the local, state, and national levels to advance the cause of life. She served on staff at National Right to Life from 1992 until 1996 and has worked with the grassroots movement in Wisconsin from 1996 to the present. In her current position as Teens for Life director and Region 5 & 6 coordinator at Wisconsin Right to Life, she spends her time working with chapters and teen groups and promoting the right-to-life cause among young people through WRTL’s annual convention and four summer leadership camps. This past year she has been working with NRLC’s Life and Leadership Initiative to roll out a national camp program, along with colleagues from Louisiana RTL and Rhode Island RTL. Joleigh also serves as co-advisor to National Teens for Life and helps to plan the annual NTL Convention, Summit, and Congressional Reception.
MEGAN MCCRUM works in the Federal Legislation Department and serves as program director of the National Right to Life Academy, NRLC’s annual summer course for college students. As a student at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia, Ms. McCrum established a Students for Life club and served as president for three years. After interning at NRLC during college Ms. McCrum happily joined the NRLC staff in 2009.
PATRICK McGEE is the director of NRLC’s Information Technology (IT) Department. Mr. McGee maintains NRLC’s internal telecomm and data infrastructure (i.e. backbone) from top to bottom. During Mr. McGee’s tenure, he has overseen NRLC’s migration from word processors to PCs to networks to clients/server and now to cloud. In the IT world, things are cyclical. What was outsourced yesterday might be better accomplished in-house today and what was in-house might now prove beneficial to outsource. One of Mr. McGee’s roles is to position and balance NRLC with those trends. Mr. McGee recently accomplished providing NRLC staff with cloud technology. The next challenge for him is to improve NRLC’s coordination and mobilization with the grassroots who utilize smart phones. His focus will be how to achieve this connection at little or no cost to NRLC. Mr. McGee has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. He is married with four children.
ROSE MIMMS is the executive director of Arkansas Right to Life. She first became involved in the pro-life movement in 1988 when she volunteered at a local crisis pregnancy center in Little Rock where she learned more about the issues of abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia. Motivated to give more than a few hours a week of her time, she became active in her church through the Respect Life Office of the Diocese of Little Rock and in her community by organizing the first Central Arkansas Life Chain in Little Rock and the Rosary Novena for Life. In 1993 she quit her waitress job to become office manager for Arkansas Right to Life. In 1996 she was promoted to executive director the same year that she returned to college where she earned a degree in liberal arts and graduated with honors in 2002. Mrs. Mimms and her husband, Larry, have been married for thirty-eight years. They have two children and six grandchildren.
CRISTINA MINNITI is the development coordinator at National Right to Life, where she works on organizing various fundraising efforts for the National Right to Life Committee, PAC, and Educational Trust Fund. She has also represented National Right to Life as an NGO at the United Nations Commission on Population and Development. She has a long history with NRLC, having interned in the Media department upon graduating from Villanova University and rising to associate director of Media Relations. She recently spent three years in Madrid, Spain, where she worked as a teacher and director of studies at an internationally recognized English Academy and earned her master’s degree in Spanish linguistics and literature from St. Louis University’s Madrid Campus.
EILEEN NEWSOME, graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, where she majored in social work and sociology. She has been actively involved in the right to life movement with Wisconsin Teens for Life since she was in high school. After attending her first camps in the summer of 2005, she was hooked. She became involved in the leadership aspect of the camps, planning and running workshops for teens around the state. She has also volunteered at a crisis pregnancy center for the past four years and has been a member of the Pointers for Life group on the UWSP campus, working hard to educate her college peers about life issues. Last summer she worked with Joleigh Little as her youth outreach assistant at Wisconsin Right to Life, and in her limited free time, Eileen enjoys playing outside with her friends, trying to preserve the joy of youth.
RANDALL K. O’BANNON, Ph.D., first joined National Right to Life in 1989 and has served as its director of education and research since 1994. For nearly two decades, he has tracked the latest scientific research and statistics on abortion and other life issues for the National Right to Life Educational Trust Fund, enabling pro-life activists to better promote the cause and culture of life. Dr. O’Bannon developed the popular full color fetology booklet, a baby’s first months, and contributed to Infinite Possibilities, the beautiful DVD based on that brochure. Over the years, he has researched and written on several critical pro-life concerns, such as: the activities and funding of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion chain, paying special attention to recent efforts to expand the abortion empire through giant new mega-clinics and webcam abortions; the abortion industry’s efforts to develop and deploy chemical abortifacients like RU486 in the U.S. and elsewhere, the dangers and deaths associated with these pills; the reasons women have abortions; and the accumulating evidence for abortion’s post-abortive effects. Dr. O’Bannon has been interviewed by the national press on many of these subjects. He has also been responsible for the development and publication of a number of vital educational resources, ranging from factsheets to pamphlets. Many of those resources are available for download on the NRLC website. Dr. O’Bannon received his doctorate in philosophy (ethics) from Georgetown University in 1998. He and his wife, Sandy, live in Manassas, Virginia, with their lovely daughter Kerry, while their two oldest daughters, Kathleen and Kelly, study at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, respectively.
BROTHER PAUL J. O’DONNELL, FBP, has served in leadership of the Franciscan Brothers of Peace of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis since 1988. The Franciscan Brothers of Peace originated within the Catholic right to life movement and consider the promotion of the Gospel of Life to be their primary and central charism. Br. Paul received his bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Saint Thomas in 1982. Br. Paul was a primary caregiver to Br. Michael Gaworski, fbp, their severely disabled founder, for over twelve years until Br. Michael’s death on August 28, 2003. Because of their own experience, Br. Paul and the Franciscan Brothers of Peace were at the forefront of the battle to save the life of Terri Schindler Schiavo, speaking out on her behalf and offering spiritual guidance to the Schindler family. Br. Paul served as the official family spokesman, appearing daily before worldwide media, proclaiming Terri’s right to life and he right to life of all disabled persons. Br. Paul and his brothers are committed to carry on the legacy of Br. Michael and Terri Schiavo. Br. Paul serves on the board of directors of the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation, which defends the rights of the disabled and all vulnerable innocents in danger of death for being decreed “useless” or a “burden” to our secularized, utilitarian society. He is a volunteer and consultant for the ongoing mission of the foundation. Br. Paul also serves on several advisory boards and networks with dozens of various right to life organizations. He continues to appear on numerous Catholic, Christian, and secular radio shows and remains a firm pro-life contact for many national media outlets.
DAVID N. O’STEEN, Ph.D., is NRLC’s executive director and the author of many articles on abortion, euthanasia, and pro-life politics. A mathematics professor and Department chairman at the College of St. Scholastica in Minnesota at the time, he began his grassroots pro-life involvement in 1973. Dr. O’Steen served first as a chapter chairman and regional coordinator for Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL). He later became MCCL’s executive director and served in that position for nine years. In 1984 Dr.O’Steen assumed his position as National Right to Life’s executive director. Dr. O’Steen has played a key role in assisting numerous state right to life organizations to develop successful organizational, fundraising, and legislative programs. In the 1980s he also helped organize several statewide groups in the southeastern United States in an outreach program called “Mission Possible.” Dr. O’Steen has advised numerous campaigns. He has testified before various congressional committees on a wide range of issues important to the right to life movement.
LARA O’STEEN joined National Right to Life in 2003 and has worked in several departments since that time, including Outreach and Membership Records. Now an assistant in the State Organizational Development and Conventions Department, Mrs. O’Steen creates the Rose’s First Photo Album educational posters, assists with the annual NRL Convention, and conducts various research projects. In her spare time, Mrs. O’Steen enjoys scrapbooking and shopping for great deals. The O’Steens have one son, Nathan, and two baby daughters, Camryn and Kaitlyn.
DON PARKER is director of the Development Department for National Right to Life. His department expands NRLC’s membership base and oversees its direct mail and telemarketing programs. From 1989 to 1996 Mr. Parker worked for Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL), NRLC’s Minnesota affiliate. He served with MCCL as a lobbyist, organizational development director, and fundraising letter writer. He is the secretary of Virginia Society for Human Life (VSHL), the Virginia affiliate of NRLC, and previously served as treasurer of that organization. In addition to his pro-life activities, Mr. Parker taught speech and journalism at a community college in Minnesota; edited Good Age, a monthly newspaper for the elderly; and was twice elected a delegate to the Republican National Convention.
THE REV. FRANK PAVONE is one of the most prominent pro-life leaders in the world. Originally from New York, he was ordained in 1988 by Cardinal John O’Connor and specialized in Biblical studies. In 1993 he became the first full-time National Director of Priests for Life, the largest pro-life ministry in the Catholic Church. He is also the president of the National Pro-Life Religious Council, a coalition of groups from many different denominations working to end abortion. He has been an official of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family and is currently a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life. He travels to four states a week speaking at pro-life events and appears daily in Christian as well as secular media. Rev. Pavone produces regular broadcasts for outlets such as EWTN, Salem Communications, Bott Radio Network, Sky Angel TV, and numerous other outlets. He has addressed the pro-life caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives. He has been a spiritual guide for Norma McCorvey, the former “Jane Roe” of the Supreme Court’s abortion decision Roe v. Wade, and helped her become a full-time pro-life activist. He is pastoral director and chairman of Rachel’s Vineyard, the world’s largest ministry for healing after abortion, and is pastoral director of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. He is the author of two books, Ending Abortion, Not Just Fighting It and Pro-life Reflections for Every Day.
JENNIFER POPIK, J.D., serves as legislative counsel of the National Right to Life Committee’s Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics, which deals with euthanasia-related issues including assisted suicide; denial of lifesaving medical treatment, food, and fluids; and health care rationing. She lobbies Congress on end of life issues and euthanasia and assists in a variety of related legal issues. She also serves as counsel for the Department of State Legislation, assisting state affiliates with drafting pro-life legislation and providing any additional needed legal support. Prior to coming to NRLC, she worked with the Cleveland Bar Association’s ProBono Program as well as with the City of Cleveland Prosecutor’s Office. She received her bachelor’s degree from John Carroll University and her law degree from Cleveland Marshall College of Law. She and her husband, Eric, are the parents of four children.
DAVID PRENTICE, Ph.D., is senior fellow for life sciences at the Family Research Council. Previously he spent almost twenty years as a professor of life sciences at Indiana State University and as an adjunct professor of medical and molecular genetics at Indiana University School of Medicine. He is a founding member of Do No Harm: The Coalition of Americans for Research Ethics, a fellow of the Wilberforce Forum Council for Biotechnology Policy, a fellow of the Institute on Biotechnology and the Human Future, and an advisory board member for the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity. Dr. Prentice received the 2007 Walter C. Randall Award in Biomedical Ethics from the American Physiological Society, given for promoting the honor and integrity of biomedical science through example and mentoring in the classroom and laboratory. He is an internationally recognized expert on stem cells and cloning, and has testified before the U.S. Congress, numerous state legislatures, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, President’s Council on Bioethics, European Parliament, British Parliament, Canadian Parliament, Australian Parliament, German Bundestag, French Senate, Swedish Parliament, the Vatican, and the United Nations. He gives frequent invited lectures and media interviews regarding stem cell research, cloning, and bioethics.
JACKI RAGAN directs NRLC’s State Organizational Development Department and NRLC’s annual Convention, in addition to coordinating special events for the organization. Formerly president of Arkansas Right to Life, she is that state’s representative to the NRLC board of directors. While living in Arkansas she directed the Diocese of Little Rock’s Respect Life Office and also guided the diocese’s adoption program. In 1985 she became director of the State Organizational Development Department. Her department’s mission is to work in collaboration with all fifty state affiliates and more than 3,000 chapters to provide expertise, information, and tips on chapter development, fundraising, and legislation. Active in the pro-life movement since 1976, she is the mother of three grown children and has eleven grandchildren.
JESSICA RODGERS is the communications assistant for the National Right to Life Committee and assistant producer for Pro-Life Perspective, NRLC’s daily radio show that airs across the country. Before joining NRLC in 2007, she worked for Oregon Right to Life as an education assistant and as a grassroots coordinator for the Committee to Protect Our Teen Daughters, a 2006 parental notification initiative. From 2004–06 she was a columnist for the Statesman Journal. She has been interviewed on assisted suicide for publications such as the Oregonian, Statesman Journal, and Eugene Register-Guard, and she has appeared on the CNN Morning Show.
JONATHAN ROGERS is the field coordinator for the National Right to Life Committee. As field coordinator, Mr. Rogers works with right to life chapters in their efforts to educate themselves and their community, as well as helping start new chapters across the country. He is also an occasional contributor to National Right to Life News and assists with NRLC’s online social networking presence. As an NRL intern in 2008, he organized election efforts to support pro-life candidates in North Carolina and Georgia, and he has since made numerous trips across the country to work with and assist various chapters and state affiliates. This is his tenth National Right to Life Convention since he first became involved in the pro-life movement as part of Marji Higgins’ crew of teen volunteers in 2003. A native Texan, he has a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Dallas.
RAIMUNDO ROJAS, director of Hispanic Outreach for the National Right to Life Committee, travels nationally and internationally to speak on life issues and how they affect Hispanics in the United States and abroad. Mr. Rojas works to energize Hispanics, a naturally pro-life constituency, on behalf of the pro-life cause. He has been interviewed on numerous Hispanic radio and television programs, including multiple appearances on Univision’s Cristina and CBS-Telemundo’s Polos Opuestos. Mr. Rojas is the past president of Florida Right to Life and has served on the NRLC board of directors since 1991. Mr. Rojas also represents NRLC as an accredited non-governmental organization (NGO) at the United Nations, where he works with members of South and Central American delegations and other pro-life NGOs. He is a contributor to National Right to Life News as well as having been published in periodicals ranging from the Orlando Sentinel to World Magazine. Mr. Rojas lives in Miami, Florida.
DARLA ST. MARTIN is the Co-Executive Director of National Right to Life. She has served on the NRLC Board of Directors since 1974 and currently represents Maryland. She is the President of Maryland Right to Life. She has also served as a member of the NRLC Executive Committee, President of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, NRLC Director from Minnesota, and Co-Director of the Committee for a Pro-Life Congress. After graduation from the University of Minnesota, Mrs. St. Martin became a professional educator, teaching History and English. She has written numerous educational materials and authored essays for a number of books. During the administrations of President George H. W. Bush and President George W. Bush she served as National Right to Life’s liaison with the President and top White House staff. In 1983 she testified before the U.S. Judiciary Committee in favor of a Human Life Amendment. In 1997 after the fall of Communism, she went to Moscow and assisted Russian pro-life leaders with the development of the Russian pro-life movement. Over the years she has been a speaker at international events in Great Britain, Russia, the Vatican, as well as numerous states. Mrs. St. Martin has extensive experience with media, lobbying, political action committees, organizational development, strategic planning, fundraising, and political parties. She has three children, Catherine, Michelle, and John, and five grandchildren, Bryce Fischbach, Brianna Eisenbacher, Alexander Hammer, Julia Hammer, and Darla St. Martin, and one great grandchild, Aaron Eisenbacher.
THE HON. MIKE SPENCE is an alternate board member of the National Right to Life Committee and special assistant to the NRLC Western Office. He is vice president of the California Pro-Life Council, the state affiliate of National Right to Life. He is currently editor of the California ProLife News and past co-host of the Life Matters radio program. Mr. Spence is also serving his fifth term on West Covina Unified School District Board. As a school board member he authored the district’s parental notification policy. He is past president of the California School Board Leadership Council, a network representing pro-family school board members in the state as well as past president of the California Republican Assembly, and has served in various Republican Party positions. He was part of California’s delegation to the 1996, 2004, and 2008 Republican Party national conventions. In 1996, the speaker of the state assembly appointed Mr. Spence to a four-year term on the Library of California Board. He was awarded the Samuel Adams Leadership Award from the Washington, D.C.based Local Government Council in 1997 and the Capitol Resource Institute Award for Educational Excellence in 1999. Mr. Spence serves as a board member of the La Puente Valley Meals on Wheels and on the board of trustees of the Junior Statesman Foundation. He has appeared on numerous radio and television programs providing commentary on political issues, including shows such as the John and Ken Show, Laura Ingraham Show, Roger Hedgecock Show, Fox News, and shows on MSNBC and CNN. Mr. Spence has also had commentaries printed in the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News, Los Angeles Business Journal, and other papers. He is also a correspondent for the popular FlashReport weblogs. He is happily married to the former Marielena Barros and resides in West Covina with their daughter, Reagan, and son, Nathanael.
ELIZABETH SPILLMAN serves as National Right to Life’s Political Assistant. Elizabeth graduated from Corban University in Salem, Oregon, in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in history. She grew up in the pro-life movement as her parents were actively involved. After serving as an intern for Oregon Right to Life as a college senior, she joined the staff of ORTL full time. She was with Oregon Right to Life for almost four years, serving in a variety of positions in the PAC and Education Foundation. She also spent a year as a legislative assistant to a pro-life Oregon state legislator. In the fall of 2009 she moved to ashington, D.C., to join the staff of National Right to Life.
ROGER STENSON has researched and written about the Obama health care law and its inevitable rationing of lifesaving medical treatment. He has also done research on “comparative effectiveness” and on rationing in foreign countries that are often held up as models for the U.S. by advocates for the Obama health care law. Mr. Stenson was until recently the executive director of NRLC’s New Hampshire affiliate, Citizens for Life. He has also held the same position at Maryland Right to Life and Hawaii Right to Life. He supports NRLC’s state affiliates with their direct mail programs and assists wit
h the instruction of students at the National Right to Life Academy.
CAROL TOBIAS is president of the National Right to Life Committee. A native of North Dakota, she has served on the National Right to Life board of directors since 1987. From 1983 to 1991, she was executive director of North Dakota Right to Life and in 1991 was hired as National Right to Life political director, a position she held until 2005. In that capacity, she organized and conducted seminars on pro-life issues and on becoming involved in the political process. She was a regular speaker at conferences around the country and participated in candidate-training seminars, teaching candidates how to handle pro-life issues in a campaign. During her tenure as political director, pro-life majorities were elected to both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. In both 2000 and 2004, she oversaw the efforts of National Right to Life’s political action committee on behalf of George W. Bush. Mrs. Tobias has appeared on ABC’s World News Tonight, NBC’s Today show, The News Hour on PBS, news shows on CNN, C-SPAN, and Fox News Channel, as well as on numerous television and radio programs throughout the country. She has been quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and USA Today. She and her husband, Damon, live in Cedar Crest, New Mexico.
OLIVIA GANS TURNER directs American Victims of Abortion (AVA), an outreach project of the National Right to Life Committee. Mrs. Turner helped to organize one of the nation’s first peer-to-peer post-abortion support groups in the New York City area after almost two years of suffering through an acute emotional reaction to her own abortion experience as an unwed college student. Mrs. Turner has spoken widely on post-abortion syndrome and other abortion-related issues in the United States and in Europe. She travels to many college campuses throughout the year to meet with the students, and, as a frequent witness before legislative bodies, she provides testimony on informed consent laws and parental notification laws as well as abortion complications. In the twenty-six years since she became AVA director she has traveled to over seventeen countries. Between 1994 and 2000, Mrs. Turner was a non-governmental organization delegate to numerous United Nations conferences. Those include the 1994 World Population and Development Conference held in Egypt; the 1995 United Nations Conference on Women held in Beijing, China; and the 2000 World Summit on Children held in New York City. Mrs. Turner has appeared on such nationally syndicated programs as Nightline, Good Morning America, and Hannity & Colmes, and on C-SPAN, CNN, and National Public Radio news programs. In addition to her duties at NRLC, Mrs. Turner currently serves as the president of Virginia Society for Human Life.
GABRIELA WEIGEL attends St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee, Oklahoma. She is studying history and plans to continue on to law school once she graduates. Gabriela’s many activities at college include serving as the public relations chairperson for the St. Gregory’s University Pro-Life team, singing with the St. Gregory’s University Choir, representing the Hispanic Awareness Student Association on the student government board, and reigning as Miss Hispanic Awareness Student Association – St. Gregory’s University. Gabriela’s home is in Dallas, Texas, and she is the fourth in a family of ten children. She hopes to someday have a family of her own and to always promote and defend the sanctity of life through her prayer, work, and daily life. This summer, Gabriela will be an intern with National Right to Life as well as Co-Director of the National Right to Life Academy.
THE HON. GELINE B. WILLIAMS is chairwoman of the National Right to Life board of directors and the delegate to the NRLC board from the state of Virginia. A founding member in 1967 of the Virginia Society for Human Life, she continues to serve on VSHL’s board of directors. Mrs. Williams has been a civic activist for many years and also served in public office. She is currently a member of the Virginia Catholic Conference Advisory Committee. By appointment of the governor, she served on the Virginia Commission on Local Government from 1996 to 2006. From 1984 until 1994 she was a member of the Richmond, Virginia, City Council. From 1988 through 1990 Mrs. Williams was mayor of Richmond. She formerly was a member of the board of directors of the Christian Children’s Fund (now Child Fund International), vice chairman of the Richmond Metropolitan Authority, and president of the Richmond Catholic Family and Children’s Services. In 1985 Mrs. Williams received the Papal Benemerenti Medal and in 1979 she was given the Virginia Merit Mother Award. She was the recipient of the 2011 Distinguished Alumna Award of St. Catherine’s School. In the current year, Mrs. Williams was named by Commonwealth Catholic Charities to receive the 2012 Community Services Award. Mother of two sons and three daughters, she is the proud grandmother of twelve grandchildren and has two great grandchildren. Mrs. Williams is a member of Saint Bridget Catholic Church.
LUIS ZAFFIRINI did volunteer and part-time work with the State Organizational Development Department of National Right to Life and later worked as an intern during the 2004 election season in which pro-life President George W. Bush was re-elected. Since January 2005, he has been administrative assistant in the State Organizational Development and Conventions Department where he assists in organizing the annual NRL Convention, maintains several websites, coordinates social media, designs e-mail campaigns, and assists in chapter development. He received his bachelor’s degree in religious studies from the Catholic University of America and his master’s in public policy from the George Washington University.