Hand Over the Bag, Ma’am: ‘Women Deliver’ Conf. Organizers Seize Pro-Life Handouts

Part 5 of 5-part series from Washington Women Deliver conference

Sessions at the Women Deliver conference may have frequently employed terms such as “life-affirming” and the “right to live” in describing the push for maternal health, but this didn’t stop conference staff from putting a stop to the efforts of pro-life activists who were seeking to inform attendees about the right to life of the unborn.

Volunteers with the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) spent about an hour on the sidewalk outside the Walter E. Washington Convention Center handing out pink “Celebrate Motherhood!” bags to conference participants. The bags included a small fetal model and some basic statistics comparing legal abortion and maternal mortality rates.

But pro-lifers learned that the bags were being confiscated by conference organizers inside the building.

One attendee who received a bag told LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) that she was interrogated in an intimidating manner by an organizer who said that “you need to throw away” any pink bag handed out by the “anti-woman” demonstrators, because “they’re trying to ruin our conference.”

However, one pro-life volunteer said that the aggressive approach taken by conference staff may have been for the better: when attendees, including UN delegates, asked about the confiscated material in clear plastic bags, they were told by pro-lifers that the materials could not be handed out because “they don’t want you to have this information.”

“It was great for what we’re getting across,” said the volunteer.

The pro-lifers were later able to collect the confiscated bags.

Jeanne Head, NRLC Vice President for International Affairs and UN Representative for National Right to Life, and a registered nurse, said she was frustrated at how the conference hijacked the issue of maternal mortality to push an agenda harmful to women.

“We’ve known how to save lives in the developing world for over 70 years, and women are still dying in the developing world,” Head told LifeSiteNews.com (LSN). “It’s aggravating to me that they’re spending all this money and all this talk about how to save women’s lives and it’s very simple.”

“Good health care, prenatal care, emergency obststetric care, antibiotics, clean blood, clean water, good nutrition. And they’re talking about all this garbage instead of doing the job.”

Concerned Women for America president Wendy Wright, who was present at the conference, said the treatment of the pro-life materials illustrated the conference’s hypocritical message.

“Here they are the whole conference saying: information, give women information and they’ll have power,” Wright told LSN, “and then they take that information away so that they’ll be powerless to argue against the indoctrination they’re getting.”

Wright further noted that the conference revealed how the pro-abortion movement’s “zeitgeist” is “all about power.” “They think that we’re driven by the same things that they’re driven by. They’re driven by rage and power. It’s just the opposite for us – we’re driven by love to serve others,” she said.

Subscribe to CE
(It's free)

Go to Catholic Exchange homepage