• Dale Bartscher

50 Years Defending Life!

Updated: Sep 17, 2018

By April Entringer

National Right to Life Founded in 1968, National Right to Life is the nation’s oldest and largest pro-life organization. National Right to Life is made up of 50 state right-to-life affiliates and over 3,000 local chapters. With education and legislation, National Right to Life works to protect the most defenseless in our society who are threatened by abortion, assisted suicide, and euthinasia. With a half century of experience under its belt, National Right to Life is working to change a culture of death into a culture of life. National Right to Life does this by working with the pro-life leadership in Congress to protect unborn babies, infants born with disabilities, and the medically vulnerable. The legistlative and political outreach goes together with educating pro-lifers and giving them the tools they need to stand up for life. All of this requires National Right to Life to be active and effective both locally and nationally through state and local prolife organizations affliated with National Right to Life, like South Dakota Right to Life South Dakota Right to Life While South Dakota Right to Life still has a couple years before we hit our 50th anniversary, we join with National Right to Life in looking back on 50 years of defending life. South Dakota Right to Life was founded three years after the founding of National Right to Life, and began on September 1, 1971. The first area right to life group was founded in Pierre and in December of that year, Eastern and Western South Dakota were brought together at the Pierre Area Right to Life meeting, where Kathleen Barthel of Rapid City, acting as directior of SD Right to Life, was the guest speaker. From there SDRTL grew fast with a lot of momentum. By June of 1973, twenty-seven towns had local organizations. South Dakota Right to Life is now organized between 12 regions with 40 chapters and hundreds of volunteers helping the many events throughout the year. With National Right to Life’s 50th anniversary and South Dakota Right to Life’s not far behind, it’s good to look back at where we’ve been. In the upcoming newsletters, be on the lookout for photographs and stories about South Dakota Right to Life’s history over the years.

National Right to Life Convention

“Love Them All” was the theme for this year’s National Right to Life Convention in Overland Park, Kansas which took place on June 28th – 30th. Five adults and one teen from South Dakota were excited to take part in this celebration of the 50-year history of National Right to Life and the impact they have made in the fight to protect the vulnerable lives of the unborn and those at risk of euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Dave Cutshall, Sioux Falls “This was truly a “WOW” experience that opened my eyes and energized me to get involved in Right to Life and politics to make a difference. This was my first convention and I was amazed at how much was packed into each day. I am already making plans to attend next year’s convention and I hope many others from South Dakota will join me!”

Nancy Cutshall, Sioux Falls “Attending the national convention helped me realize that I am part of a huge number of pro-lifers across the nation that are making a difference. I believe anyone who is involved in this movement would benefit greatly from attending as it equips you with resources, encouragement, new ideas, positive persuasion tips and fundraising ideas.”

Fred Deutsch, Watertown “This is the second national convention I have attended. In each I learned a wealth of information about what’s happening behind the scenes at the national level to save babies, as well as practical state-level legislative strategies, pro-life programming suggestions and important fund-raising recommendations necessary to keep SDRTL going. It was very much worth the time and effort to attend and God willing the RTL board and I will be able to use the information to help save more unborn babies in South Dakota.”

Dale Bartscher, Rapid City “The entire National RTL Convention was simply inspiring from start to finish. Friday morning, we experienced an inspiring Prayer Breakfast. There it was reported that Dr. Bernard Nathanson once said, ‘We would never have gotten away with what we did if you, the clergy, had been united, purposeful and strong.’ Dr. Nathanson was the director of the world’s largest abortion clinic and the nation’s most prominent abortionist having presided over 60,000 abortions. May God forgive His people for being SILENT for so long! I returned to SD with a renewed energy and commitment to NEVER AGAIN be silent!!”

Debbie Pease, Centerville “I am so grateful for the opportunity to network with pro-life champions from across the country. Learning how they are overcoming their challenges is inspiring and enlightening and definitely helps me in my pro-life work in South Dakota. It would be awesome if even more South Dakotans could attend next year!”

Ellie Pease, Centerville Teens for Life “The National Right to Life Convention was a fun and educational experience. Each day was packed with amazing speakers who shared interesting stories and tons of information. It was a wonderful opportunity to make new friends and strengthen my pro-life beliefs.”

For those of you who wish you could have attended, we encourage you to start making plans now to attend next year’s convention which is usually the last Thursday - Saturday in June. In the meantime, the recordings of all the talks from this year are available at:

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