WASHINGTON, D.C. (02-09-12) – Americans United for Life, the legal arm of the pro-life movement and the oldest national pro-life organization, received a prestigious Weyrich Award for “Grassroots Organization of the Year” for 2011 Wednesday night, during an event leading into the annual CPAC conference. AUL develops model legislation for state and federal legislators, distributed each year through its guidebook Defending Life. Last year, AUL achieved passage of 28 bills based on AUL models or with AUL’s assistance.
“Americans United for Life was honored to be recognized for the success of our signature contribution to the pro-life movement – our work in drafting strategic and effective, Constitionally-sound legislation combined with the political skills to achieve passage,” said AUL President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest. “This award is a credit to AUL’s premier legal team who develop the legislation, and the thousands of pro-life activists across the country who use the legislative tools to ensure that everyone is welcomed in life and protected in law.”
Dr. Yoest noted that during the 2011 state legislative session at least 86 bills were introduced in 32 states that were based on AUL’s model language and on which AUL consulted and advised. The passage of 28 pieces of pro-life legislation was a significant pro-life victory, and represents increasing strength in the pro-life movement.
AUL’s experts testified 21 times, supporting 20 pro-life bills and opposing legislation in Hawaii that would have compromised healthcare freedom of conscience. AUL distributed more than 1,600 copies of our model legislation (with accompanying policy guides) to individuals in 47 states and beyond.
Dr. Yoest noted that AUL’s legislative agenda for 2012 includes more innovative legislation designed to defund Planned Parenthood, reverse Roe v. Wade, counter the abortion mandate in Obamacare, and protect rights of conscience. These models are currently available from the AUL legal team and the fully updated version of Defending Life 2012 will soon be released.
The Weyrich Awards Dinner honors the legacy of leadership of the late Paul Weyrich.
Paul Weyrich was the first president of the Heritage Foundation; a founder and past director of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC); the founder and Chairman of the Free Congress Foundation; and the National Chairman of Coalitions for America. A former radio news reporter and director, Paul came to Washington initially as an aide to Senator Gordon Allott of Colorado.
Current Heritage Foundation President Dr. Ed Feulner chaired the evening. The Weyrich Awards Dinner honors those who have made a major contribution to advancing the cause of liberty through organizations and media and whose work reflects beliefs, principles and convictions that are harmonious with Paul’s own values. The dinner was held at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC.