In the four decades since the Supreme Court discovered a constitutional right to abortion in Roe v. Wade, more than 58 million abortions have taken place in the United States. Some call it the “American holocaust.”
Pro-life advocates persist in speaking out for the unborn victims who were never able to protest their fate. Supporters of the pro-life movement vehemently oppose abortion, and believe that personhood is denied to millions through the practice — never to grow, to learn, to realize their potential, to love, or to live full lives.
Committed defenders of the right to life have never relented in their no-holds-barred struggle to end what they see as the systematic slaughter of innocent life. Like a tiny rudder that moves an entire ship, their tireless efforts have gradually begun to change society’s view on abortion. Each year, it seems, another state adopts legislation to protect the unborn.
Based on a variety of media and pro-life sources, Newsmax has compiled this roster of the nation’s top 100 pro-life icons. These cultural warriors long for the day when the last abortion is conducted in the United States, and they won’t cease their protests until that time.
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1. Rev. Franklin Graham
, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association — The son of the great global evangelist Billy Graham has emerged as one of the nation’s strongest voices in defense of traditional values, including the right to life. The chief of the international Samaritan’s Purse relief organization recently blasted the U.S. Senate for hypocrisy after it blocked Planned Parenthood defunding, and then hours later greeted Pope Francis with a standing ovation.
2. David Daleiden
, founder of the Irvine, California-based Center for Medical Progress — As leader of a group of citizen journalists exposing “bioethical issues that impact human dignity,” it was Daleiden’s release of undercover videos depicting Planned Parenthood officials allegedly offering up baby parts harvested from abortions that spurred a push to defund the organization. Related threats to shut down the federal government led House Speaker John Boehner to conclude that his time in office had run its course.
3. Sarah Palin
, former Alaska governor — Palin proudly doted on “perfectly beautiful” infant son Trig during her address to the 2008 Republican National Convention. Some 40 million viewers learned Trig had been prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome. Palin, the “mama grizzly” who ran for vice president, has been revered by the pro-life community ever since.
4. Phyllis Schlafly
, founder of the Eagle Forum and the Republican National Coalition for Life — She's been called the “first lady of conservatism” and now, at 91, she continues to crusade as an activist for conservative causes. In 2014, she released her 23rd book called "Who Killed the American Family?" In a recent Newsmax TV interview, the conservative firebrand voiced skepticism over Planned Parenthood’s claims that it did not profit from the fetal tissue of aborted babies. “They’re still going to cut up babies, and distribute the human parts of the baby, but they’re not get paid for it? Well, I don’t believe it. They’re going to get rewarded someway," she said.
5. Tim Tebow
, NFL quarterback — Before Tebow’s mom knew she was pregnant, she fell sick while working in the Philippines as a missionary. Her medication caused a dangerous placental defect, and doctors informed her that her baby would likely be stillborn. The doctors recommended an abortion, but she refused. Tebow told his “miracle baby” story in a series of inspirational Super Bowl commercials in 2010. Several mothers have credited those ads with encouraging them not to terminate their pregnancies and to carry their babies to term.
6. Marjorie Dannenfelser
, president of the Susan B. Anthony List — Dannenfelser leads a group that uses lobbying and grassroots campaigns to promote laws protecting unborn children and their mothers. Her SBA List Candidate Fund PAC also helps elect pro-life candidates, especially women, to state and national offices.
7. Mike Huckabee
, former governor of Arkansas and current GOP presidential candidate — He adamantly opposes any funding for abortion, and supports the repeal of Roe v. Wade. Huckabee told Newsmax TV recent that “there would be no funding for Planned Parenthood” if he is elected president.
8. Rick Santorum
, former Republican senator from Pennsylvania and current GOP presidential candidate — Santorum has long been a staunch pro-life advocate who supports a federal ban on abortions. As CEO of EchoLight Studios, he also shepherds the production of faith-based films including "The Christmas Candle" and "One Generation Away."
9. Dr. Ben Carson
, retired pediatric neurosurgeon and current GOP presidential candidate — As a surgeon, Carson dedicated his entire career to trying to save infants. “I am unabashedly and entirely pro-life,” Carson proclaims. “Human life begins at conception and innocent life must be protected.”
10. Ted Cruz
, Texas senator and current GOP presidential candidate — Cruz enjoys a 100-percent National Right to Life voting record. The 2016 contender has joined with Utah Sen. Mike Lee to oppose the GOP establishment’s decision to pass a spending bill that fails to nix federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
11. Rev. Billy Graham
, founder of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association — By some estimates, the 96-year-old Graham has preached the gospel to more than 2 billion people. “The spiritual condition of man is at the root of the abortion issue,” the “pastor to presidents” writes on BillyGraham.org. “Until man’s spiritual condition is changed by the power of Jesus Christ, we will not find a solution to this problem. It is sin that produces the problem of most unwanted pregnancies, as well as all the other disorders which plague the human race. It is also sin that produces the misbelief that women have a ‘right’ to take the lives of unborn babies.” While Graham’s ministry focuses on salvation through Christ, as one of history’s greatest evangelists his contribution to the pro-life movement is beyond measure.
12. Charmaine Yoest
, president and CEO of Americans United for Life — Yoest, the former vice president of communications for the Family Research Council, has changed the conversation when it comes to opposing abortion. “We’re fighting Planned Parenthood to protect women,” she said in a 2012 New York Times profile. “When those babies aren’t born, that is a loss for their mothers, and that’s part of why they need a chance to live.”
13. Dr. James Dobson
, founder of Focus on the Family— Dobson, 79, has played a central role in the effort to preserve life as a core value in American culture. His organization’s “Focus on the Family” radio broadcast has been heard by an estimated 220 million people. Dobson left the organization in 2010 and launched a new broadcast, “Family Talk with Dr. James Dobson.” Some 300 stations carry the program.
14. Donald S. Smith
, founder of Crusade for Life — Smith produced a number of pro-life films, most famously “The Silent Scream,” featuring ex-abortionist Dr. Bernard Nathanson. He is also credited with originating the Presidential Proclamation of Personhood signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1988.
15. Tony Perkins
, president of the Family Research Council — As a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1996 to 2004, Perkins played a big role in increasing the regulation of abortion clinics within the state, pushing for stricter sanitary regulations and state licensing as a requirement for operation. He now heads the Washington, D.C.-based policy and lobbying group that strongly opposes abortion.
16. Fr. Frank Pavone
, national director of Priests for Life and president of the National Pro-Life Religious Council — The man who called a recent blessing of an abortion clinic by Methodist and Episcopalian pastors a "perversion of the Bible" also wrote "Abolishing Abortion: How You Can Play a Part in Ending the Greatest Evil of Our Day."
17. Jim Daly
, president of Focus on the Family — As host of Focus on the Family’s broadcast, Daly’s voice is heard by nearly 3 million listeners each week. In January, Daly will serve as co-host of the Evangelicals for Life conference in Washington, D.C., an event held in conjunction with the March for Life.
18. Roland C. Warren
, president and CEO of Care Net — Care Net operates 1,160 pregnancy-care centers — one of the largest such networks in the country. Its mission of providing compassion, help, and hope to pregnant women has been linked to more than 462,089 affirmative “life decisions,” according to its website.
19. Russell Moore
, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention — An ordained Southern Baptist minister, Moore is the author of several books including "Onward: Engaging the Culture Without Losing the Gospel." He is co-hosting the Evangelicals for Life conference in January in Washington, D.C., held in conjunction with the March for Life.
20. Carol Tobias
, president of the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) — As head of the nation's oldest and largest pro-life organization, she is a sought-after speaker on pro-life issues.
21. Penny Nance
, president and CEO of Concerned Women for America — In 2013, the Christian Post identified Nance as one of the most powerful pro-life women in the United States. Beverly LaHaye, wife of "Left Behind" series author Timothy LaHaye, founded the organization in 1979. It touts itself as “the nation’s largest public-policy women’s organization.”
22. Randall Terry
, founder of Operation Rescue — Terry has been arrested some 40 times for his pro-life activism, most recently in March 2009 when President Barack Obama spoke at a commencement ceremony at the University of Notre Dame. Terry protested the event because of the president's support for abortion.
23. Abby Johnson
, founder of And Then There Were None — A former abortion worker for Planned Parenthood, Johnson became the pro-life founder of a group to help abortion workers leave the abortion industry.
24. Judie Brown
, president and co-founder of the American Life League — Brown, the author of "The Broken Path: How Catholic Bishops Got Lost in the Weeds of American Politics," helped jumpstart the oldest Catholic grassroots pro-life organization in the country. "I am a zealot, and I am wildly proud of it. I am an enthusiastic supporter for all the babies. I am convinced that every one of them is equally valuable to God. Frankly, if each person who claims to be pro-life would passionately pursue personhood, abortion would be over in the twinkling of an eye," she wrote in her 2002 book, "Not My Will but Thine."
25. Pat Robertson
, chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network — A former Southern Baptist minister, Robertson often shares his outspoken views against abortion and organizations like Planned Parenthood, which he once claimed on an episode of "The 700 Club" "is teaching kids to fornicate, teaching people to have adultery, every kind of bestiality, homosexuality, lesbianism — everything the Bible condemns."
26. Bobby Jindal
, governor of Louisiana and current GOP presidential candidate — Jindal signed many pro-life laws, including a pain-capable unborn child protection law and an ultrasound law. The NRLC has given the 2016 hopeful a 100-percent pro-life voting record.
27. Cathy McMorris Rodgers
, Republican congresswoman from Washington state — As the highest-ranking Republican woman in Congress, McMorris Rodgers has been a strong opponent of any federal funding for abortions, while shielding Republicans from charges of a “war on women.”
28. Catholic Bishop Thomas J. Olmstead
— In 2009, Olmstead opposed Notre Dame's invitation to President Barack Obama to give a commencement speech and receive an honorary degree, saying, “The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors, or platforms which would suggest support for their actions."
29. Lila Rose
, founder of Live Action — Long before the latest controversy erupted over the trafficking of fetal body parts, Rose was going undercover at abortion facilities nationwide to videotape staff members suggesting underage girls should lie about their ages.
30. Dr. Monica Migliorino Miller
, director of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society — Miller, who is also an associate professor of theology and religious studies at Madonna University in Livonia, Michigan, has long been an advocate for the rights of unborn babies. Her 2012 book, "Abandoned," presents the untold stories of the abortion war. "Every day, thousands of children — fragile, innocent, alone — are abandoned. They are brutally snuffed from the world and literally left in the trash . . . and it's all legal," she writes.
31. Dr. Alveda King
, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King — Strongly pro-life, she says: "You don't serve the poor by taking their money to terminate their children."
32. Sam Brownback
, governor of Kansas — The Republican governor signed legislation outlawing procedures commonly used in second-trimester abortions, also known as "dismemberment abortions," thereby winning the praise of the NRLC.
33. David Bereit
, national director of 40 Days for Life — Bereit runs this pro-life ministry of prayer and fasting, vigils and community outreach.
34. Serrin Foster
, president of Feminists for Life — Foster is also creator of the Women Deserve Better campaign.
35. Chuck Norris
, martial arts and acting legend — Norris, now a conservative columnist, is a committed Christian and pro-lifer. Among his controversial remarks: "Instead of baby, we say fetus. Instead of killing, we say aborting. Instead of extermination chambers, we say abortion clinics."
36. Joe Scheidler
, national director and founder of the Pro-life Action League — Scheidler, who some say pioneered the on-the-streets direct action method of anti-abortion activism, is also author of the daily Action News Hotline.
37. Peggy Noonan
, Wall Street Journal columnist and author — A former speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan, Noonan is a staunch pro-lifer. "The Democratic Party is the party of abortion; it supports the widest possible interpretation of choice, and is heavily funded, literally, by the abortion industry," she wrote in a 2012 WSJ column. "Abortion involves the killing of children. Sometimes Democrats speak of it, publicly, in such a way that it sounds like a small thing, a tooth extraction."
38. Joyce Ann McCauley-Benner
, activist — At 20, she became pregnant after being raped and chose not to have an abortion. She presents her talk, "Pregnant By Rape?" at college campuses across the country and at Capitol Hill briefings.
39. Chaunie M. Brusie
, a nurse and founder of S.U.P.P.O.R.T. — Brusie, the author of "Tiny Blue Lines: Reclaiming Your Life, Preparing for Your Baby, and Moving Forward in Faith in an Unplanned Pregnancy," founded a group that helps pregnant and parenting students.
40. Mel Gibson,
actor, director, and producer — The Oscar winner will always be remembered for his landmark 2004 film "The Passion of the Christ." In 2009 he stated: "God is the only one who knows how many children we should have and we should be ready to accept them."
41. Kelly Ayotte
, New Hampshire senator — The former New Hampshire attorney general once took Planned Parenthood to the Supreme Court in a fight over parental notification.
42. Phil Robertson
, "Duck Dynasty" star — Robertson has never been shy about his pro-life beliefs, saying, "You have a God-given right to live."
43. Kristi Noem
, Republican congresswoman from South Dakota — Noem has battled for pro-life causes both in the Senate and in the South Dakota Legislature.
44. Norma McCorvey
, author — The "Jane Roe" referenced in Roe v. Wade, now a pro-life Catholic activist in the anti-abortion movement, wrote the book "I Am Roe."
45. Karen Brauer
, president of Pharmacists for Life International — Brauer and her organization are fighting for protection for pharmacists who choose not to fill prescriptions for birth control pills.
46. Michele Bachmann
, former Republican congresswoman from Minnesota — She made her pro-life position a key part of her 2012 presidential campaign. "Why would our government legalize taking the life of an unborn baby?" she wrote in her 2011 book "Core of Conviction." "Why should an abortion-minded young woman not be told of the negative emotional and physical repercussions she would face as the result of an abortion? How could anyone kill a little baby?"
47. Robert George
, professor of jurisprudence at Princeton University — Once dubbed one of the most influential conservative Christian thinkers in America by The New York Times, George has likened Catholic scholars who support abortion rights to "defenders of chattel slavery"
48. Martha Roby
, Republican congresswoman from Alabama — Roby is also a member of the board of directors for Sav-A-Life Montgomery, a Christian crisis pregnancy center.
49. Thomas Brejcha
, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society — His national public-interest law firm defends conservative causes and pro-life activists.
50. Jaime Herrera Beutler
, Republican congresswoman from Washington — With a 100-percent NRLC voting record, the right to life has become more than a policy position for her. In June 2013, Beutler learned her unborn child had a rare disease called Potter’s Syndrome. She became only the ninth woman in history to give birth while serving in Congress.
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51. Jeanne Mancini
, president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund — "It’s sad, of course, that we still have to march," Mancini said in an interview promoting her organization, which holds an annual pro-life rally in Washington, D.C. "We all look forward to the day when abortion is no longer legal or wanted, but it’s heartening to see that people will not give up defending the lives of unborn children and their mothers and fathers, who can suffer so deeply after abortion."
52. Keith Mason
, president of Personhood USA — A firm believer in the idea that unborn children are persons, Mason has held onto his beliefs despite becoming a target for pro-abortion activists. A group of them even attacked his home in 2012, throwing a rock through the front door and spray-painting obscenities. Mason and his wife, Jennifer, however, have remained committed. “We’re in it to end it," Jennifer Mason has said. "We’re not going to compromise. We’re just saying every human being is a person and every person has a right to live."
53. Pat Boone
, singer and actor — He has addressed the National Right to Life convention and is outspoken on his pro-life stance. Boone has blasted President Barack Obama for his pro-abortion actions.
54. Kirk Cameron
, actor — Cameron, founder of the Way of the Master evangelism ministry, has stated that abortion is "wrong, under any circumstance." He contends that even in the case of rape or incest, abortion “is not taking the moral high road."
55. Virginia Foxx
, Republican congresswoman from North Carolina — She has co-sponsored the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, the Sanctity of Human Life Act, the Child Custody Protection Act, and the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act.
56. Fr. Shenan J. Boquet
, president of Human Life International — Also a priest of the Houma-Thibodaux Roman Catholic Diocese in Louisiana, Boquet is a well-known pro-life missionary.
57. Ron Galloy
, director of Life: God's Sacred Gift — This organization gives pro-life witness to the media. Galloy has spoken out in opposition to the media's use of terms like "fetus" or other "dehumanizing" language. “Such language dehumanizes the unborn child, who is a baby,” Galloy said in a 2002 article. “If a child were born at seven months or five months, he or she would be called a baby. It is no less a baby in the womb at nine months.”
58. William Blacquiere
, president and CEO of Bethany Christian Services — Blacquiere's organization promotes adoption, foster care, and pregnancy counseling.
59. Leslie Hanks
, president of American Right To Life — Hanks is a key activist in the Personhood movement.
60. Tom Hoefling
, founder and chairman of America's Party — He has pledged to “shut down every abortion facility in the country."
61. Dr. Dianne N. Irving
, research biochemist and biologist — Irving is a consultant for the Catholic Medical Association and author of the influential paper, "The Dignity and Status of the Human Embryo."
62. Susana Martinez
, governor of New Mexico — The Susan B. Anthony List endorsed her bid for governor. Martinez says one reason she is staunchly pro-life is because “I have seen what abortion can do to a woman.” She calls partial birth abortion “atrocious.” Named “Woman of the Year” by Heart Magazine, Martinez is getting a lot of buzz as a possible GOP vice-presidential candidate.
63. Lynette Auch
, president of Lutherans for Life — Auch, who has a background in nursing, was instrumental in fundraising for an ultrasound machine that was gifted to a pregnancy crisis center.
64. Donald Smith
, founder of Crusade for Life — Smith wrote "The Silent Scream," an anti-abortion educational film produced in 1984.
65. Julia Holcomb
, spokeswoman for Silent No More Awareness — She authored a book, "The Light of the World — the Steven Tyler and Julia Holcomb Story," about the abortion she had at 17.
66. Joni Ernst
, Republican senator from Iowa — Ernst is a leader in the fight to defund Planned Parenthood.
67. Kristen Day
, executive director of Democrats for Life of America — Day has helped to pass pro-life and pro-family legislation.
68. Jan Brewer
, former governor of Arizona — While in office, Brewer signed anti-abortion legislation and was a member of the National Pro-Life Women's Caucus.
69. Mary Fallin
, governor of Oklahoma — Fallin has signed bills banning dismemberment abortions, and requiring a 72-hour waiting period before an abortion.
70. Tony Lauinger
, NRLC vice president — He founded Tulsans for Life and also serves as president of Oklahomans for Life. He railed against the Planned Parenthood organ-harvesting scandal in September, accusing the organization of "harvesting and trafficking in the body parts of the innocent children it slaughters."
71. Pam Bondi
, Florida's attorney general — She has led challenges to the Obamacare law's abortion provisions, taking the case all the way to the Supreme Court.
72. Sharon Weston Broome
, Louisiana state senator — A Democrat, she championed a bill to make women listen to the fetal heartbeat and witness an ultrasound before having an abortion, and received Louisiana Right to Life’s Defender of Life Award.
73. Judy Emmons
, Michigan state senator — Emmons chairs the state's Pro-Life Caucus and sponsored a bill making an attempt to coerce an abortion a criminal offense.
74. Kimberly Yee
, Arizona state senator — A Republican, Yee sponsored a bill for a ban on 20-week abortions, restricted chemical abortions, and increased the waiting period for abortions from one hour to 24 hours.
75. Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson
, founder of BOND — His organization has confronted abortion clinic workers and considers abortion to be black genocide.
76. Cynthia Lummis
, Republican congresswoman from Wyoming — She has backed the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, the Ultrasound Informed Consent Act, and the Patients First Act.
77. Mary Ann Kuharski
, leader of Prolife Across America — Under her leadership, Prolife Across America has erected billboards carrying the anti-abortion message. So far, billboards are posted in 44 states.
78. Jack Nicholson
, actor — "I'm positively against it," he has said of abortion. "I don't have the right to any other view."
79. Diane Black
, Republican congresswoman from Tennessee — A member of the Pro-life Caucus and the Pro-life Women’s Caucus, she boasts a 100-percent pro-life voting record with the National Right to Life Committee.
80. Jessa Duggar Seewald
, reality TV star on "19 Kids and Counting" — She has attended the March for Life and maintains that "every life is precious."
81. Deb Fisher
, Republican senator from Nebraska — She co-sponsored the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
82. Patricia Heaton
, actress — The Emmy winner is outspoken when it comes to abortion, and has blasted Planned Parenthood in the past.
83. Marsha Blackburn
, Republican congresswoman from Tennessee — She stands as a committed opponent of continued federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
84. Justin Bieber
, singer — A fetus "is a human. It’s like killing a baby," the pop star told Rolling Stone in 2011. His mom, Pattie Mallette, has been involved in promoting the pro-life short film "Crescendo."
85. Andrea Bocelli
, tenor — The singer has said that his mother, misdiagnosed with appendicitis, was urged to have an abortion. If she had obeyed, we never would have had Bocelli's glorious voice.
86. Ben Stein
, economist — Stein, who moonlights as an actor and Newsmax columnist, calls the right to life his No. 1 issue. "People who think of abortion as a reasonable method of birth control just are never going to get my vote," he said.
87. Kenny Chesney
, country music star — He went very public with his pro-life views when he released his song called "There Goes My Life."
88. Matt Birk
, football player with the Baltimore Ravens — Birk made headlines when he turned down a luncheon invitation with President Barack Obama to protest the president's pro-abortion policies.
89. Kathy Ireland
, supermodel — She used to be pro-choice, but no longer. Today, she is an outspoken pro-lifer who strongly supports the defunding of Planned Parenthood.
90. Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio
, founder of The Crossroads Initiative — The author of "The Integrated Catholic Life" is also a well-known opponent of abortion.
91. Martin Sheen
, actor — Surprisingly, the liberal actor is a strong opponent of abortion. He notes his wife was conceived as a result of rape, and her mother considered abortion.
92. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
, Republican congresswoman from Florida — She is lead sponsor of the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act.
93. Jordin Sparks
, "American Idol" winner — Sparks is a pro-life Democrat, and appeared at a National Right to Life rally holding a sign declaring: "Stop Abortion Now."
94. Jim Caviezel
, "The Passion of the Christ" actor — "Look, I am for helping women. I just don’t see abortion as helping women," he once said. "And I don’t love my career that much to say, 'I’m going to remain silent on this.'"
95. Michelle Malkin
, journalist — Malkin, honored by Feminists for Life, has doggedly slammed Planned Parenthood, referring to abortionists as "baby butchers."
96. Kevin Sorbo
, "Hercules" actor — He is proudly pro-life, and states, "We pray that the thousands of babies slaughtered are never forgotten."
97. Brooke Shields
, model and actress — "Too many people use abortion as a form of birth control, and that's very wrong," she once said. "I could never, ever have an abortion."
98. Janine Turner
, "Northern Exposure" actress and model — She has become a staunch conservative and pro-lifer, who disagrees with Planned Parenthood receiving tax dollars while pro-life groups do not.
99. Kim Alexis
, supermodel — A pro-lifer, she has said, "Pregnancy is not something that 'just happens.' Pregnancy is a gift from God."
100. Vicky Hartzler
, Republican congresswoman from Missouri — She is the author of "Running God’s Way: Step by Step to a Successful Political Campaign," and a strong advocate of pro-life legislation.
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