Georgia split highlights discord in ranks of pro-life movement

Ending abortion may unite the pro-life movement, but a rift between the nation’s oldest and largest organization and a state affiliate shows there is still a raging battle over how to do it.

The National Right to Life Committee revealed late last week that it was making the newly formed Georgia Life Alliance its official affiliate in the state, breaking ties dating back more than a decade with Georgia Right to Life. The reason: Georgia Right to Life gave “destructive counsel” to Congress last year by urging lawmakers to oppose a bill that would block most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Georgia Right to Life officials say they fought the bill — also opposed by leading pro-choice groups — because they felt it did not go far enough. They said the national organization was cutting ties with them because they took a principled stand against virtually all abortions, even in cases of rape or incest.

National Right to Life Committee officials said they weighed their decision carefully.

“It is rare for a long-standing state affiliate to be replaced on the board, and it is action never undertaken lightly,” said Carol Tobias, president of the 46-year-old National Right to Life Committee.

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