Americans United for Life, the nation’s premier pro-life legal team, works through the law and legislative process to one end: Achieving comprehensive legal protection for human life from conception to natural death. The nonprofit, public-interest law and policy organization holds the unique distinction of being the first national pro-life organization in America— incorporated in 1971, before the infamous Roe v. Wade decision.
AUL’s legal team has been involved in every abortion-related case before the U.S. Supreme Court since Roe v. Wade, including AUL’s successful defense of the Hyde Amendment before the Supreme Court. AUL’s legal expertise and acumen set the bar in the pro-life community for the creation of effective and defensible pro-life positions. At the state, federal and international levels, AUL works to advance life issues through the law and does so through measures that can withstand judicial obstacles so that pro-life laws will be enforced. AUL knows that reversing Roe v. Wade can be accomplished through deliberate, legal strategies that accumulate victories, build momentum, and restore a culture of life.
A LEADER IN THE STATES:
But AUL’s distinction extends beyond federal measures. AUL works at the state level to craft tailored strategies and legislative tools that will assist state and local officials as they defend and protect life. In all fifty states, AUL’s team has worked with governors, legislators and pro-life leaders to ensure that everyone is welcomed in life and protected in law. AUL’s representatives in the states are on the frontlines of the policy debates, while AUL attorneys craft model legislation and legal analysis, as well as provide expert testimony on critical life issues being debated in the states.
An example of success: since 1985 AUL has spearheaded efforts both to educate about and to pass Fetal Homicide Laws and protections for Unborn Victims of Violence. As a result, 36 states —and counting — have passed the historic provisions.
A LEADER IN PRINT:
Comprehensive analysis and state-by-state insight are extraordinary resources that AUL makes available to pro-life leaders, attorneys and officeholders nationwide. The source: DEFENDING LIFE, an annual guide which details the life initiatives underway in all of the 50 states, analyzes many important issues, provides model legislation, and compares the 50 states in the well-publicized “Life List,” which ranks the states based on the status of all life issues at play.
Defending Life has been unparalleled in pointing the way to protecting women now, to limiting the abortion license created by the Supreme Court, and to preparing the ground to overturn Roe.
A LEADER ON CAMPUS:
AUL is taking its pro-life message to law schools through ADVOCATES FOR LIFE, building networks of future lawyers and helping develop and train the next generation of pro-life leaders. To equip them, AUL experts created the Constitutional Law and Abortion Primer as a resource for students who are learning how to turn their pro-life conviction into pro-life legal expertise. And law students contribute their enthusiasm and ideas to the work of AUL at the state and local levels.
A LEADER AROUND THE NATION:
LAWYERS FOR LIFE, the nationwide network of pro-life attorneys, is building a presence in the legal community to enable pro-life lawyers to network, to learn from one another and to provide protections for all in every state.
A LEADER AROUND THE WORLD:
AUL is defending life around the world. Though human rights belong to all human beings, anti-life forces seek to develop “international law” to provide for a “right to abortion” that agenda-driven U.S. judges will, in turn, impose upon us. AUL, joining with pro-life lawyers around the world, fights this at the United Nations, in international courts, and in other countries. Our groundbreaking Latin American version counterpart to Defending Life was published in 2011. And, our attorneys regularly consult with pro-life allies in other countries to assist them in passing pro-life laws.
A LEADER AMONG LEADERS:
AUL’s expertise leads to many opportunities to make a case for life and the legal foundation that supports this gift we share. AUL experts speak and write for news outlets and at events nationwide. And AUL’s name appears thousands of times each month in the media as the complicated legal issues surrounding life are debated. You can find AUL on television, in print, and on informative websites every day, from the New York Times to Fox News. And AUL has been innovative in getting its message out through online events, innovative media strategies and award-winning advertising.
AN AWARD-WINNING VIEWPOINT:
The national vantage point of AUL’s operation makes it uniquely qualified to recognize and honor pro-life leadership for accomplishments at state, federal and international levels, often achieved in partnerships with AUL’s team. Among the leaders who have accepted AUL’s honors for their consistent and effective efforts to protect life are the legendary Rep. Henry Hyde, Gov. Haley Barbour and U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner.
AUL’S PROVEN TRACK RECORD OF SUCCESS
With more than 40 years of pro-life legal leadership, AUL has a distinguished record of accomplishments. A few key victories stand out as representative of AUL’s unique contributions to pro-life success.
1. Winning the Hyde Amendment Case Before the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 1980, Americans United for Life won a historic victory for the Hyde Amendment in Harris v. McRae case before the U.S. Supreme Court. AUL attorney Victor Rosenblum argued the case before the Court, resulting in a favorable decision and ending a four-year court battle. This monumental court decision upholds federal and state prohibitions on public funding of abortion except in the case of the life of the mother.
2. Establishing Fetal-Homicide Legislation in 36 states.
A fetal-homicide law recognizes an unborn child as a potential victim of criminal violence. AUL’s legal experts laid the intellectual groundwork to implement this legislation nationwide. At the time of the Roe decision in 1973, only three states enforced these protective laws. Today 36 states have fetal homicide laws in place. Twenty-four of those states even protect the child beginning at conception.
3. Defending Life, Reducing Abortions State by State.
According to scholar Dr. Michael J. New, AUL’s crucial work in helping parental involvement laws, informed consent laws and limits on taxpayer funding of abortions has reduced abortions across the country by an estimated 25 percent since 1992 when the Supreme Court started allowing significant abortion limitations. In 2006, AUL decided to make its legal knowledge accessible to pro-life legislators and activists across the country and published the first edition of Defending Life, which instantly became known as the “legal bible of the pro-life community.”
4. A Leading Role in the Fight Against Assisted Suicide.
In 1980, AUL published an important book on “Death, Dying and Euthanasia,” and has continued to be involved in every significant case, at the state and federal level, about assisted suicide, including the extensive role AUL played in Baxter v. Montana in 2009.
5. Successfully Protecting Life Overseas.
In 1979, AUL played a pivotal role in amending the Irish Constitution to protect life by precluding abortion. At a pro-life conference in Ireland, AUL was consulted about abortion and the role Roe v. Wade played in the US. Subsequently, AUL engaged in an extensive educational and media campaign in Ireland. Eventually, the Irish people amended their constitution, and Ireland remains one of the strongest pro-life nations in Europe, and a target of the international pro-abortion Left. Their pro-life constitution is being challenged currently before the European Court of Human Rights in a case in which Senior Vice President William Saunders is a consultant.