American Life League

Founded by Judie and Paul Brown with help from right-wing strategist Paul Weyrich, the American Life League (ALL) is a spin-off from the National Right to Life Committee with a more grassroots orientation. ALL is closely aligned with the Catholic Church and opposes birth control, stem cell research and euthanasia. ALL was an enthusiastic backer of the extreme anti-abortion tactics promoted by Operation Rescue.

American Life League
P.O. Box 1350, Stafford, VA 22555
Website: www.all.org

Established: 1979
President/Founder: Judie Brown
Finances:: $7,365,884 (2003)
Membership: claims 300,000 members
Formerly known as: American Life Lobby
Board Members: Judie Brown; Scarlett Clark; Mildred F. Jefferson, M.D.; Robert Sassone, Esq.; and Phillippe Schepens, M.D.

Read the latest news on the American Life League on the group's Right Wing Watch index page

Principal Issues

  • To end all forms of abortion without any exceptions made for the health and life of the mother, rape or incest.
  • ALL's work includes campaigns against the use of all contraceptives, lobbying for "abstinence-only education" and the elimination of sex education in public schools.
  • ALL also fights against euthanasia, fetal tissue and embryo research, and questions the use of vaccines, such as rubella, that are created from human tissue cells.
  • Brown has strongly criticized President George W. Bush for not supporting the Human Life Amendment and has chastised other conservative groups for giving him any support.
  • According to Judie Brown, "Abortion is never necessary to save a mother's life."

Activities

  • Organizes grassroots activists.
  • Lobbies on behalf of its issues.
  • Produces educational materials and publishes a weekly newsletter.
  • Participates in legal action.
  • ALL has its own voting mobilization project.
  • Sells anti-abortion clothing, jewelry, stickers, and brochures.
  • In 2004, ALL published a full-page advertisement in USA Today urging Catholic priests and bishops to deny Communion to Catholic legislators who support abortion rights.

Judie Brown is the grandmother of the modern anti-choice movement

  • ALL's early networking created the foundation for the outspoken anti-abortion movement in the 1980s and the established movement as it exists now.
  • ALL helped to establish the "rescue" movement, which made the use of aggressive tactics to disrupt reproductive health services commonplace.
  • These tactics, adopted and popularized by ALL, include "sidewalk counseling," clinic blockades, and the systematic harassing and intimidation of patients, clinics and doctors.
  • According to Brown these activities are "free speech" and in 1994 ALL filed charges over the Freedom of Access to Clinics Act (FACE) in American Life League v. Reno. ALL lost in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court refused to hear the case.

Friends and Allies in High Places

  • ALL defends anti-choice activists who have been arrested for blocking clinics and has applauded the controversial work of Operation Rescue and Randall Terry.
  • In 1996 when Bill Bennett and Ralph Reed questioned the GOP's absolutist anti-abortion plank, Judie Brown gathered together 11 pro-life leaders including Family Research Council's Gary Bauer and Focus on the Family's James Dobson to express their strong support of the Human Life Amendment and collective rejection of any exceptions for abortion.
  • Judie Brown is allegedly a member of the clandestine right-wing organization Council for National Policy.

History

  • In 1979, Judie Brown broke from the National Right To Life Committee to form ALL.
  • Within less than a year of its founding, ALL had 68,000 members. ALL received virtually free publicity from religious-right leader Paul Weyrich with the help of right-wing direct mail specialist Richard Viguerie's massive membership lists.

 

Updated: April 2006

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