Three years ago, the American Bar Association voted to abandon its neutral position on legalized abortion and to endorse Roe v. Wade. In response to this action, some 14,000 members of the ABA resigned in protest. Many attorneys felt it was impossible for them to remain a member of, let alone contribute money to, an organization that now embraced abortion on demand as a constitutional right. It was in this climate that a group of six attorneys met in St. Louis on October 23, 1993, to form an organization called National Lawyers for Life. The six founding lawyers (myself included) were all officers or members of state pro-life groups, and our initial goal was merely to coordinate activities with other pro-life groups. But the overwhelming support we received from attorneys across the country—who were fed up with the ABA not only on the issue of abortion, but on more practical matters, including services provided, the high price of membership, and the future direction of the ABA—convinced us that the time was indeed ripe for the formation of a full-blown alternative to the ABA, which we decided to call the National Lawyers Association (NLA).
Currently, the NLA has some 700 members in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and has mass mailings in the works designed to tap into the 90,000 attorneys nationwide who are potential members of this new organization. The NLA remains unequivocally pro-life and hopes to dispel the image that “abortion on demand” is acceptable to the legal profession as a whole.