Pin it

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Problem of Sex Selection Abortion in the United States

Sex selection has long been a problem in countries such as India and China, where cultural customs place greater value on male children. Before there were accurate tests to determine the sex of unborn children, infanticide or abandonment was common, and girls were in danger as soon as they were born. Now, however, advances in technology make determining a child’s sex possible months before birth, endangering girls long before delivery. Many people are aware of sex selection in other countries, but what they don’t realize is that it is widespread across the United States, too.

While some places, like India, have passed legislation to ban sex selection abortion, in the United States no such federal ban exists. Last year, the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act, which would have made sex selection abortions illegal, failed to pass in Congress. Though a strong House majority voted in favor of the bill, it failed to achieve the required two-thirds vote. Currently, sex selection abortions are illegal in only four states: Illinois, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and Arizona. This means that in most states, women may obtain abortions at any time during their pregnancy and for any reason, including sex of the child.

This is ideal for many of the immigrant families who come to the United States from cultures where gendercide is practiced and accepted. They can abort their female children, no questions asked, and continue trying to have a boy. Although these families leave their country’s culture behind, they bring the expectations and traditions with them, and these include placing greater importance on boys. Even if a pregnant mother wants to keep her baby girl, she often feels pressure to abort from her husband or extended family. In one study of immigrant Indian women, one of the participants revealed that when she gave birth to her second daughter, her mother-in-law refused to hold the child. Another woman said she had to know the sex of the baby she was carrying because, if the baby was a girl, “I will have to get an abortion because he [husband] does not want another daughter.”

Though sex selection is most common among women of Asian and Indian descent, it is not limited to them. Abortion on demand has fed American women a sense of entitlement when it comes to children. Not only can a woman abort an unwanted child, but modern technology allows for “customized” families, too. Using in vitro fertilization, women can screen their embryos for health problems, certain genetic traits, and yes, even sex. While American culture does not directly place greater value on male children, it does emphasize a “perfect family” stereotype of one boy and one girl.  

In 2012, Live Action began a series of undercover videos to show just how prevalent sex selection is in the United States. Women entered abortion facilities and posed as expectant mothers who had one daughter and wanted a son. They would then ask the counselors how to test for sex and schedule an abortion “just in case” they were carrying a girl. In each video, the counselor assures the woman that they are there to help, not judge, and gives her the information she requests. In some cases, they advise the women how to lie in order to get away with a sex selection abortion. Live Action’s most recent videos were filmed in North Carolina.

To view the complete video series or to learn more about Live Action’s investigation, visit

For a more in depth look into what National Right to Life and its affiliates are doing to ban sex selection abortions, visit

Monday, March 18, 2013

Julie Emmons Named North Carolina Right to Life PAC Director

North Carolina Right to Life Political Action Committee announced March 18, 2013 that Julie Scott Emmons, a native of Alamance County, will serve as the its new PAC Director.

“North Carolina Right to Life Political Action Committee is confident that Julie Emmons’ skills and her political experiences will greatly benefit her in helping North Carolina Right to Life achieve its goal of electing/reelecting pro-life candidates from the White House to the State House,” stated Barbara Holt, President of North Carolina Right to Life.

As a teenager, Julie became passionate about protecting the unborn and began working on political campaigns.  Over the last 24 years, Julie has worked successfully to help elect pro-life candidate at the national, state, and local level.  She served as the President of Bryan College Students for Life for 3 years and was also a volunteer counselor and abstinence educator at a local crisis pregnancy center. 
In 1995, Julie received a B.A. in History from Bryan College. In 2000, she earned a M.Ed. in Special Education/Learning Disabilities from Elon University.  After 8 years in the classroom, Julie now works as an Adjunct Instructor in Elon’s School of Education. 
 Julie and her family live in Mebane.
"NC Right to Life PAC has a strong track record of identifying and supporting candidates who will vote to protect the sanctity of human lif," stated Ms. Emmons. " I look forward to joining this mission and fighting for justice for all Americans---both born and unborn."

The Link Between Abortion and Preterm Deliveries

Most of us know the obvious consequences of abortion—dead babies, wounded and grieving mothers, an entire generation gone. Abortion’s tragedy extends even further, though. An increasing number of studies show that abortion not only affects the life of the baby involved, but also the lives of subsequent siblings, who have an increased chance of being born premature if their mothers have had previous abortions.

Premature infants are in more danger of having health complications both immediately after birth and later in life. The risk of cerebral palsy is higher in premature babies, as are recurring respiratory problems. Women should be aware, then, that having abortions can increase their risk of preterm births in later pregnancies.

According to a recent Canadian study at McGill University in Montreal, women who had had one abortion “were 45% more likely to have premature births by 32 weeks, 71% more likely to have premature births by 28 weeks, and 117% more likely to have premature births by 26 weeks.”[1] You can read more about the McGill study here.

Last fall the New York Times reported a similar study conducted in Finland, which found that the risk for very preterm birth (defined as 28 weeks and earlier) was higher when women had had multiple previous abortions.  While the researchers were careful not to say that abortion is itself a problem, they did think their findings should be taught in sexual education classes. The online version of this Times piece is here.

These studies aren’t limited to one country, nor are they being reported by only “pro-life” media sources. Researchers have studied women from multiple generations and countries, and their findings are published in medical journals, newspapers, and online news outlets worldwide. No  matter where people stand on the issue of abortion, they should agree that abortion-vulnerable women must receive all the information they need to make a fully informed decision about abortion’s consequences. In addition to counseling women at abortion facilities about the risk, schools are the logical places to begin educating about this growing problem of preterm delivery.

[1] Baklinski, Thaddeus. “Abortion Linked to Significantly Increased Chance of Preterm Birth: Canadian Study.” Life Site News. 13 Feb. 2013. Web. 11 March 2013. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Why Should a College Student Attend the NRL Academy?

Why should a college student take five weeks of their summer to go to the NRL Academy?

We asked this question to the four North Carolina graduates of the Academy, and here’s what they told us!

Andrew Votipka, a 2010 graduate, has reason to be grateful for his time at the Academy. Not only did he get an amazing pro-life education, he also met his wife Natalie there! Andrew describes the Academy as “much more than an internship.” “If you could have learned from the leaders of the abolitionist movement, would you?” he asks. “Well the teachers at the Academy are quite literally the founders and current leaders in the right to life movement!”

Andrew has used his Academy education to promote a culture of life at UNC-CH, campaign for pro-life candidates, lobby, and volunteer whenever possible. Natalie works for New York State Right to Life, where Andrew also volunteers. They are pleased to announce that they are expecting their first baby soon. Congratulations, Andrew and Natalie!

Christina Geradts, Class of 2011, praises the Academy’s curriculum and says “It prepares you for real-life conversations you may have.” She notes that the oral practicum sessions, which require the student to mock lobby, debate, and give speeches on the issues, are especially helpful for this. “After the Academy, I’ve definitely been more confident speaking out on pro-life issues . . . . Additionally, I have people I can contact for help with these issues as well.”

After the Academy, Christina served as president of UNC-CH’s Students for Life group. She now teaches high school English in Raleigh and helps coordinate the school’s pro-life activities.

Teresa Pincus and Sarah Urdzik attended the Academy in 2012. Sarah, a UNC-CH student, and Teresa, an NC State student, had mutual acquaintances but didn’t know each other before meeting at the Academy. Like many other Academy graduates, they are grateful for the friendships they made at the Academy and the support network these friendships provide. Teresa also calls the knowledge she gained “priceless,” and Sarah agrees, adding, “More importantly, I learned how to effectively implement that knowledge by practicing lobbying, debating, and giving speeches. I still use these important skills in discussions today.”

Both young women are the presidents of their university Students for Life groups, and they note how the Academy has helped them more effectively lead their organizations. Teresa has started sidewalk counseling at a nearby abortion facility, noting that the Academy “renewed my enthusiasm to protect the vulnerable among us.”

Andrew, Christina, Sarah, and Teresa all enthusiastically recommend the Academy to college students who are interested in becoming effective pro-life leaders. As their experiences illustrate, an Academy education equips young people to become valuable assets to their state and local Right to Life organizations, inspires them to be more actively involved, and ensures a future for the pro-life movement.

For more information about the Academy, visit

To apply for the North Carolina Scholarship for Life, visit

Hurry, the application deadline ends soon! 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

NRL Academy Accepting Applications for Summer 2013

Every summer, thousands of young people flock to D.C. for internships, study programs, and summer jobs, many of them headed to National Right to Life. Every year, NRLC offers several internships as well as something a little more unique—the National Right to Life Academy.

Founded in 2007, the NRL Academy is a self-described “pro-life educational boot-camp for student leaders who want to refine their pro-life passion.” College-age students spend five weeks in D.C. learning everything from the history of the pro-life movement to the arguments against abortion, euthanasia, and assisted suicide from respected leaders of the pro-life movement.  In addition to lectures, much of the Academy curriculum focuses on using the arguments in sessions called practicum. During practicum, students give speeches, participate in debates, and lobby instructors for hypothetical pro-life legislation. Though challenging, practicum helps students learn how to use pro-life arguments effectively in real-world situations.

Graduates of the Academy have gone on to lead their college pro-life groups, work for various state affiliates, counsel in pregnancy resource centers, and lend their time and talents in many other ways.

This summer’s Academy begins June 27th, but applications are due by March 15th. North Carolina students should know that they can apply for the NC Scholarship for Life, which covers the cost of the Academy tuition. Interested students must first be accepted into the Academy before applying for the scholarship.

For more information about the Academy, visit Applications are available online.

For more information about the NC Scholarship for Life, visit