In a statement released Saturday, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) announced that Georgia Right to Life would no longer represent them as their Georgia state affiliate, despite their massive pro-life successes over the past 12 years.
National Right to Life welcomed the Georgia Life Alliance as its new affiliate in the state. Georgia Life Alliance is backed by RedState.com’s Erick Erickson and others who hold that legislative exceptions for rape and incest are acceptable political compromises. Last summer, Erickson called Georgia Right to Life the “Westboro Baptist Church” of the pro-life movement because they encouraged their Georgia representatives in Congress to withdraw support for the federal Fetal Pain Act once exceptions for rape and incest were included by Rep. Eric Cantor.
Georgia Right to Life pointed out that the Pain Capable Act was a messaging bill that never had a chance of clearing the Senate or wooing President Obama’s signature. GRTL believed the introduction of exceptions for rape and incest in the messaging bill was not only morally repugnant, but completely unnecessary and counterproductive for the success of the bill.
What message does it send to our pro-life representatives when you whip them to support legislation that denies the right to life to innocent babies conceived in rape? What message does it send to America about the value of children conceived in that violent act?
Georgia Life Alliance will apparently endorse NRLC legislation that sometimes exempts children conceived in rape and incest from legal protection. Nevertheless, GLA attorneys Emily Matson and Lance Cooper, could not state what exactly GLA’s pro-life positions would be. Cooper stated, “The group is very much still in the formation stage.” Matson said, “We’re formulating . . . . We don’t have, or have not produced or published, our position on all of those issues. There are a lot of people involved in this, and so we are still finding our position on a lot of those things.”
Save the 1 spokesperson Rebecca Kiessling, who was conceived in rape, was discouraged by NRLC’s decision. She writes on Facebook: “NRLC’s actions in support of rape exceptions and against Georgia Right to Life are disgraceful to the prolife no exceptions cause.” It is now “clear that the emperor has no clothes, and they will need to be told so.”
The controversy seems to point to a fundamental question within the pro-life movement: what is the standard for being pro-life?