Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and Attorney General Brad Schimel Leave Audience Emotionally Charged

Part 1 of Daniel Degner’s National Right to Life Convention Diary. Part 2 can be seen here.

Thursday was the beginning of the 47th annual National Right to Life convention in Milwaukee.  Wisconsin’s Right to Life presence throughout the 2014 and 2016 elections brought attendees from throughout the country to take notes on the success of Wisconsin’s leaders.  

Photo by Daniel Degner

Ben Shapiro (left) and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch.

Rebecca Kleefisch Wisconsin’s Lieutenant Governor opened the convention with enthusiasm.  Kleefisch encouraged grassroots leaders by proclaiming, “We (Wisconsin) were one of the highest in abortions in 1980, and today abortions have been driven down 70 percent due to activism.”  

Kleefisch acknowledged Heather Weininger, the executive director for Wisconsin Right to Life.  Due to her work, the Wisconsin enacted Sonya’s Law in 2013 which requires ultrasounds prior to abortions. “Since the enactment of Sonya’s Law abortions have dropped 10 percent in Wisconsin,” Weininger said.

Kleefisch moved the audience to applause by proclaiming, “Here in Wisconsin we’ve fully defunded Planned Parenthood, but we have more to do.”   

Wisconsin’s Attorney General Brad Schimel followed Kleefisch. “As Attorney General, my job is to defend the law… thankfully we have a pro-life legislature and governor,” Schimel said.

Schimel said he is a huge supporter of the pro-life cause. He considers it an “honor to have a case named ‘Planned Parenthood v. Schimel‘.”  

Schimel talked about the importance of being pro-life from his own experience with two adopted daughters.  “My heroes are my daughters’ birth mothers that chose life,” Schimel said.

When speaking about his youngest daughter’s adoption story he teared up. Her birth mother chose life even though her family had pressured her to have an abortion. “That’s what real courage is,” he said.  When Schimel completed his speech, it was obvious that the audience was visibly moved to tears.

Schimel believes that conservatives in Wisconsin can grow the pro-life movement through “supporting organizations like Right to Life Wisconsin” along with “welcoming post-abortive women.”  He believes that through this, Wisconsin conservatives can make a greater impact in their communities.

 Another speaker was Chet Rucinski, the President of the Marathon County Right to Life Chapter here in Wisconsin.  Rucinski believes the best way to advance the pro-life message is through the Wisconsin state legislature to continue passing good laws along with conservatives taking action in educating those around them on the pro-life issue.  Rucinski recommends that anyone interested in learning more or partnering with Right to Life in Wisconsin should go to their website.  


The convention brought many speakers essential in the conservative and pro-life media to the convention.  Ben Shapiro,  who currently has the largest conservative podcast audience, spoke on how to debunk common abortion myths. Another controversial speaker was David Daleiden, the founder of Center for Medical Progress, that exposed Planned Parenthood in 2015 for illegally selling aborted fetal tissue.

Later in the day, the convention made a surprise announcement that Governor Scott Walker was going to join as a speaker during Friday’s morning session.  

Daniel Degner is a Junior at Liberty University
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