FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“The Legal Landscape has Completely Changed”
May 23, 2019—VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.—America’s pro-life leaders, women’s advocates and Christian voices assembled in Virginia Beach on Wednesday to celebrate the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates’ groundbreaking Supreme Court victory in NIFLA v. Becerra one year ago.
“We have arrived at a pivotal moment for the pro-life movement and the culture war for the very soul of our nation. If there is any positive outcome from states such as Virginia, New York, and others pushing extreme abortion bills earlier this year, it is that perhaps a sleeping public has been awakened to the true nature of Roe v. Wade,” said NIFLA President and Founder Thomas Glessner to celebration attendees. “How did it come to this? It came to this when our government decided there is such a thing as a life unworthy of life. That is what Roe and its adherents have to defend.”
“The post-NIFLA v. Becerra legal landscape is dramatically different,” added Anne O’Connor, NIFLA Vice President of Legal Affairs. “The Supreme Court ruled that the government can not force anyone to express a message that violates their convictions. NIFLA stands ready to continue protecting pregnancy centers so that they can continue to provide life-saving resources to mothers, families and communities. We are thankful for the dedication of pregnancy centers serving women across the nation. It is an honor to equip, serve and defend them regardless of any opposition they may face.”
State Representative Katrina Jackson (D-La.) delivered the keynote address for NIFLA’s Celebrate Life Luncheon after receiving the NIFLA 2019 Life Legislator award for her inspirational work in support of life.
“It doesn’t matter if you are Democrat or Republican, black or white, in Louisiana we fight for life,” Representative Jackson said to the applause of those gathered. “We don’t do it for ourselves, because someone has already chosen life for us. For those that cannot speak for themselves, we fight for life. Because it’s the right thing to do, we fight for life. Because we know that every time someone doesn’t speak out their silence means consent—we fight for life. When I am asked as to why I am a black, female, Democrat fighting for life, I tell them I am a Christian first,” continued Rep. Jackson. “There is no blood more innocent than an unborn child. So on behalf of these children—regardless of being Republican or Democrat, black or white, male or female—together, we will fight for life.”
State Delegate Mark Cole (R-Va.) also received NIFLA’s 2019 Life Advocate Award during the luncheon and addressed those assembled. “I’m pro-life, and I think the government has a responsibility to protect innocent life,” Delegate Cole said. “Thanks to the Supreme Court’s favorable ruling in NIFLA v. Becerra and other significant moments over the past year, the public has become more educated on the issue of life, and more women are choosing life over abortion. New studies show the average American has come to oppose the concept of abortion on demand. I am proud to support NIFLA and their work on the front lines of the battle for life.”
Many attendees of NIFLA’s celebration luncheon also participated in NIFLA’s 2019 National Legal and Medical Summit. Summit seminars and workshops focused on the legal landscape post-NIFLA v. Becerra, as well as preparing for the eventual overturning of Roe v. Wade. Education on the legal rights of 501 (c)3 organizations, the realities of abortion’s impact on women’s health, regulatory and legislative challenges facing pregnancy centers and other important topics were also discussed.
The National Institute of Family and Life Advocates is a national nonprofit providing legal counsel, education, and training for pro-life pregnancy centers and medical clinics. Representing a network of nearly 1,500 pregnancy centers across the nation, NIFLA has challenged laws targeting its members in several states including California, Hawaii, and Illinois.
The NIFLA v. Becerra ruling in favor of pro-life pregnancy centers and free speech was released on June 26, 2018. NIFLA Vice President of Legal Affairs Anne O’Connor acted as co-counsel on NIFLA v. Becerra before the Supreme Court. To book interviews with Anne O’Connor or Thomas Glessner about NIFLA’s Celebrate Life Luncheon, NIFLA v. Becerra or NIFLA’s pending legal action in other states, please contact NIFLA’s media team at [email protected]