WASHINGTON -- Georgia Right to Life is taking the state's pro-life schism national, as it announced today the launch of the National Personhood Alliance.
GRTL, long a force in state politics advocating a strict no-exceptions line on abortion, was booted as an affiliate of National Right to Life in March after it clashed with the national group over supporting a U.S. House bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks -- while allowing exceptions for rape and incest. The newly formed Georgia Life Alliance took over, promising a less confrontational approach and a push for incremental gains over an all-or-nothing approach.
GRTL and its backers held that this is, in fact, a life or death issue and should be treated as such. Today's announcement includes backing from a pro-life group in Cleveland and said the National Personhood Alliance will be officially formed at an October conference in Atlanta, with the goal of becoming a force on Capitol Hill with a "higher standard than is currently embraced by most national pro-life groups today."
Erick Erickson, the Atlanta talk radio host who is on the board of Georgia Life Alliance and has been critical of Georgia Right to Life, weighed in with this via email:
"I'm excited for them. I think no group should have a monopoly on the life issue and a national group competing against NRTL will force NRTL to focus more on the issue and less on Republicans. ... NRTL will force NPA to work on advancing an agenda and not just on screaming."
Here's the full release from Georgia Right to Life:
NORCROSS, Ga., June 16, 2014—Georgia Right to Life (GRTL) President Daniel Becker today announced the formation of a new national pro-life organization, the National Personhood Alliance (NPA), a confederation of faith-based, pro-life organizations and leaders who believe pursuing Personhood is essential to protecting all innocent human beings in the 21st century.
“The focus of NPA will differ from most national pro-life groups,” Becker said. “The general consensus of many in the movement is that it’s time for a fresh strategy for ending the disregard for innocent human life. We intend to be ‘standard-bearers’ as opposed to ‘king-makers’. This will require the application, politically and legislatively, of a higher standard than is currently embraced by most national pro-life groups today.”
Becker said, “There has been an overwhelming call from many within the movement to form a new national pro-life group which will represent us on Capitol Hill.”
The new organization will be officially formed at a convention to be held in Atlanta, GA on October 10th and 11th. Representatives of existing pro-life organizations and leaders from across the country are invited. Attendees who affirm the founding charter will begin the process of electing a national board of directors representing each state.
“The pro-life movement is more than 40 years old,” Becker said. “From its inception in the late 1960’s, the focus has primarily been on ending abortion. Our concern must be expanded to encompass the dignity and value of each human being at any developmental stage through natural death.
"To achieve that goal, we must ensure that our strategies are consistent with our policies and objectives. Compromise is not possible. This is not like roads or highways or agricultural subsidies; when we compromise - someone dies."
Keith Mason, Personhood USA President: "Personhood USA looks forward to working with emerging groups like the National Personhood Alliance who share our commitment to never compromise on the lives of pre-born babies."
Other groups, such as Cleveland, OH Right to Life (CRL) have pledged their support for the new organization.
“GRTL has helped lead the way with a winning pro-life strategy for the 21st century,” said Molly Smith, CRL President. “This strategy will help restore the family and finally bring an end to destructive practices that devalue and destroy human life. Our organization is excited to become a charter member of NPA and bring America back to life by restoring first principles.”
Becker noted that, “Georgia has proven that pro-life groups don’t have to compromise when it comes to electing pro-life officials or enacting life-saving laws."
Since 2005, Georgia’s pro-life legislators have enacted eight major life-affirming laws. Georgia is one of only two states in the nation which have not encased “rape & incest” exceptions into its legal code.
In addition, Georgia is the only state where all eight statewide constitutional officers have affirmed their refusal to support rape and incest exceptions in any public policy or legislation.
“NPA, which is supported by many national leaders, will provide guidance and assistance in helping other states implement these proven strategies,” Becker said. “It’s time to bring our nation back to life.”
For information regarding participating as a founding delegate in the initial NPA convention see www.personhood.net.- See more at: http://grtl.org/grtl-responds-to-call-for-new-national-pro-life-group#sthash.YP4ti4hl.dpuf