Thorner: Phyllis Schlafly’s legacy honored at recent gathering in St. Louis

February 6, 2017

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By Nancy Thorner –  

The late conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly left a great legacy and much work to be done. That work was the topic of discussion at this year’s Gathering of Eagles as the attendees planned for the upcoming year.

Representatives of many of organizations Phyllis founded, including her many Eagle Forum chapters, RNC for Life and America’s Future met together at Gathering of Eagles in St. Louis, MO January 26 – 28. The conference was held one block away from the Phyllis Schlafly Center in Clayton, MO, which was dedicated on Friday, January 27. 

The weekend included panel discussions on “Pro-Life Matters”; “How to Reach the Next Generation”; “Education and Abstinence”; “What DC can do for you?”; a visit to Phyllis’ home where she wrote, read, and went about her daily life; and a dedication of the Phyllis Schlafly Center with Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft. Phyllis’ life was celebrated with expressions of love which included fond remembrances by many who had been inspired and mentored by her.

What you should know about Phyllis Schlafly

Phyllis Schlafly was a national leader of the conservative movement since the publication of her best-selling 1964 book, A Choice Not An Echo, until her death on September 9, 20l7.  Phyllis was likewise a leader of the pro-family movement since 1972 through her founding of Eagle Forum, which was successful in its fight to stop radical feminists’ ultimate goal, the Equal Rights Amendment.

Phyllis Schlafly founded Eagle Forum in 1972 and named it after reading the Biblical passage Isaiah 40:31:  “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be  faint.”

At a Trump rally in St. Louis, MO on March 11, 2016 Phyllis Schlafly, in keeping with her 1964 book,  A Choice Not An Echo, accordingly endorsed candidate Donald Trump.  Phyllis wrote a final book before her death six months later in collaboration with Ed Martin and Brett M. Decker, The Conservative Case for Trump.

As fate would have it, Phyllis Schlafly passed away on September 5, 2016, the day before the release of her book.  Candidate Trump attended her funeral mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016.

Celebrating Life! Dinner: Janet Porter Promotes Heartbeat Bill

One of several noteworthy events at this year’s Gathering of Eagles was the Celebrating Life! Dinner which featured Janet Porter.  Janet (Folger) Porter is the President and Founder of Faith2Action, the nation’s largest network of pro-family groups. Its mission is to win the cultural war for life, liberty, and the family.  She also hosts a 60-second daily radio commentary which airs in 200 markets, including the American Family Radio and the Bott radio network, contributes to WorldNetDaily.

Ms. Porter initiated the nation’s first Heartbeat Bill in Ohio on Feb. 2011 to legally protect unborn babies with detectable heartbeats.  This effort inspired Arkansas and North Dakota to pass Heartbeat Laws–now the most protective pro-life laws in the nation.  

While Janet Porter and Rep. Steven King were both attending the funeral of Phyllis Schlafly in St. Louis in September, 2016, Porter persuaded Rep. King to act by initiating a federal Heartbeat Bill. 

“I gave him a packet and Rep. King agreed to introduce a federal Heartbeat Bill, which would protect every baby whose heartbeat can be detected. Ninety to 95 percent of the abortions will be ended with that bill.” 

Janet Porter gave this certain and consistent marker:  It is with 96 – 97% certainty that a child will survive until a live birth when a heartbeat is heard.

Congressman King introduces Federal Heartbeat Bill

Republican Congressman Steve King, who represents the 4th District of Iowa, followed through with his promise to Janet Porter on January 12, 2017,  by releasing the following Press Release statement upon introducing “The Heartbeat Bill” that would require physicians to detect the heartbeat and prohibit the abortion of a baby with a beating heart: (HR 490, the “Heartbeat Protection Act of 2017”).   

This bill is modeled off similar legislation proposed in Ohio at the end of last year. Ohio governor John Kasich ultimately vetoed the state’s so-called Heartbeat Bill (which he said he feared might not be constitutional) in favor of a 20-week abortion ban.

Even the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals recognized that “the point at which an unborn child possesses a detectable heartbeat” is a “more consistent and certain marker than viability”—where the court allows legal protection.

H.R. 490 is now in the Judiciary Committee.  Rep. Steve King needs co-sponsors.  

Randy Hultgren as a co-sponsor (R-District 14)

Illinois Congressman Randy Hultgren participated in the 2017 March for Life in Washington, D.C. on Friday 27, 2017. Rep. Hultgren, having participated in the Washington D.C. event which celebrates life, should volunteer to become a co-sponsor of Rep. King’s bill. 

Get behind and help create a grassroots swell for Rep. King’s Heartbeat Bill – Federal HR 490. Contact Randy Hultgren and your own representative and encourage them to support the bill.

To contact Randy Hultgren:  Washington, D.C. office (202) 225-2976.  Campton Hills District Office:  (630) 584-2734 

Remember this slogan: “Heart my Heart, Save my Life”

Subsequent articles will cover other memorable events at the Gathering of Eagle, as well as one that will inform readers about the personal side of conservative icon, Phyllis Schlafly, observed from a field trip to her home and through others Eagles in attendance, some who knew Phyllis for 50 years.

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