Conference Speakers

 

Dr. Francis Beckwith

Francis Joseph Beckwith is a philosopher who teaches, publishes, and speaks on a variety of topics and issues in ethics, law, politics, and religion. He is currently Professor of Philosophy & Church-State Studies at Baylor University, where he also serves as Affiliate Professor of Political Science, Resident Scholar in the Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR), and Associate Director of the Graduate Program in Philosophy. Prior to arriving at Baylor in 2003, he was a Visiting Research Fellow in the James Madison Program in the Department of Politics at Princeton University. He earned a PhD and MA in philosophy from Fordham University, and a Master of Juridical Studies (M.J.S.) degree from the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. He is the author of over 100 academic articles, book chapters, reference entries, and reviews. Among his over twenty books are Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice and Taking Rites Seriously: Law, Politics, and the Reasonableness of Faith, both published by Cambridge University Press, and most recently, Never Doubt Thomas: The Catholic Aquinas as Evangelical and Protestant, published by Baylor University Press in 2019. He and his wife, Frankie, live in Waco, Texas. His website is http://francisbeckwith.com

 

Rebecca Parma

Rebecca Parma is a Senior Legislative Associate at Texas Right to Life. She's been involved in politics and the Pro-Life movement from an early age. She earned her bachelor's degree in Economics from Texas A&M University and her Master of Public Service and Administration from the Bush School of Government, concentrating in Public Policy Analysis and State and Local Policy and Management. Part of her master's Capstone project involved working in the Texas House of Representatives for Representative Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth) during the 84th Session of the Texas Legislature. Upon graduating, she moved to Washington, D.C., to work for Senator Ted Cruz and then for Congressman Gary Palmer from Alabama's 6th district. Rebecca has worked for TRTL since June 2017.

 

Emily K. Cook

As a mom and East Texas native, Emily has devoted her career to the protection of innocent human Life and helping others. A graduate of SFA and Baylor Law, Emily has worked in various facets of the Pro-Life movement from volunteering at local pregnancy centers to working numerous legislative sessions on behalf of Texas Right to Life. Emily currently serves as General Counsel of Texas Right to Life where she focuses on nonprofit corporate governance law, campaign finance law and patient advocacy issues. Emily lives in Liberty County with her husband, Justus, and two children.

 

Jennifer Lahl

Ms. Lahl is founder and president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. Lahl couples her 25 years of experience as a pediatric critical care nurse, a hospital administrator, and a senior-level nursing manager with a deep passion to speak for those who have no voice. Lahl's writings have appeared in various publications including Cambridge University Press, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News, and the American Journal of Bioethics. As a field expert, she is routinely interviewed on radio and television including ABC, CBS, PBS, and NPR. She is also called upon to speak alongside lawmakers and members of the scientific community, even being invited to speak to members of the European Parliament in Brussels to address issues of egg trafficking; she has twice addressed the United Nations during the Commission on the Status of Women on egg and womb trafficking.

She serves on the North American Editorial Board for Ethics and Medicine. In 2009, Lahl was associate producer of the documentary film Lines That Divide: The Great Stem Cell Debate, which was an official selection of the 2010 California Independent Film Festival. She made her writing and directing debut producing the documentary film Eggsploitation, which has been awarded Best Documentary by the California Independent Film Festival and has sold in more than 30 countries. An updated and expanded version of Eggsploitation was released in the Fall of 2013. She is also Director, Executive Producer, and Co-Writer of Anonymous Father's Day (2011), a documentary film exploring the stories of women and men who were created by anonymous sperm donation. In 2014 she completed what is now a trilogy of films on the ethics of third-party reproduction with Breeders: A Subclass of Women?, which focuses on surrogacy. In July 2015, she released a documentary short Maggie's Story, which follows one woman's egg donation journey. Compassion and Choice: Denied (2016) is a short documentary on Physician Assisted Suicide. Lahl's next feature film, #BigFertility was released in the Fall of 2018. Her most recent film, Trans Mission: What's the Rush to Reassign Gender? was just released in June of 2021.  All of her films are available for FREE streaming on The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network YouTube channel.

 

Joyce McCauley-Benner

For the past 20-plus years, Joyce McCauley-Benner has worked as an advocate for vulnerable populations, including sex trafficking victims, domestic violence victims, and low-income families. While working with those populations, she was a case manager, researcher, and legal advocate. Joyce weaves her personal story of pregnancy after rape along with experiences from her advocacy efforts to help audiences understand the powerful connection between the exploitation of women and the exploitation of abortion. As a pro-life feminist, Joyce has also worked as a racial justice facilitator and community organizer, and currently oversees a utility assistance program for low-income families in addition to her pro-life feminist work. She is a frequent contributor to FFL's magazine, The American Feminist, and has addressed poverty, violence, and exploitation during her presentations on campus, on Capitol Hill, and at international conferences.

 

Alex Schadenberg

Alex Schadenberg is the Executive Director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition since 1999 and he has been the International Chair since 2007. Alex co-produced the Euthanasia Deception documentary (2016) and the Euthanasia Deception (2018). Alex has authored thousands of articles and his book - Exposing Vulnerable People to Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide was republished by Connor Publishing in Australia. In 2020, Alex co-authored a book of great articles titled - Celebrating 20 Years of Protecting People. Alex has spoken throughout North America but he also participated in speaking tours in Australia, New Zealand and Ireland. His International speaking engagements have also taken him to Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Hungary and Scotland. Alex is married to Susan. They have 6 children and 2 grand children.

 

Dr. Joseph Eble

Dr. Joseph M. Eble is the president of the Tulsa Guild of the Catholic Medical Association and a managing partner of Fidelis Radiology. Subjects about which he is passionate include brain death, adoption, and building bridges between persons of different ethnicity. His publications include "Brain Death: What Catholics Need to Know" and his most recent interview on the topic of brain death was with Jesuit Father Mitch Pacwa on EWTN Live. He may be reached at eblej@yahoo.com.

 

Abby Johnson

Abby Johnson has always been fiercely determined to help women in need. This desire is what led Abby to a career with Planned Parenthood, our nation's largest abortion provider, and caused her to flee the organization, becoming an outspoken advocate for the pro-life movement.
During her eight years with Planned Parenthood, Abby quickly rose through the organization's ranks and became a clinic director. However, Abby became increasingly disturbed by what she witnessed. Abortion was a product Planned Parenthood was selling, not an unfortunate necessity they were fighting to decrease. Still, Abby loved the women that entered her clinic and her co-workers. Despite a growing unrest within her, she stayed on and strove to serve women in crisis. All of that changed on September 26, 2009 when Abby was asked to assist with an ultrasound-guided abortion. She watched in horror as a 13 week baby fought for, and ultimately lost, its life at the hand of the abortionist. At that moment, she fully realized what abortion actually was and what she had dedicated her life to. As it washed over Abby, a dramatic transformation had occurred. Desperate and confused, Abby sought help from a local pro-life group. She swore that she would begin to advocate for life in the womb and expose abortion for what it truly is. 
The media was, and continues to be, intensely interested in Abby's story as well as her continued efforts to advocate for the unborn and help clinic workers escape the abortion industry. She is a frequently requested guest on Fox News and a variety of other shows. She is also the author of the nationally best-selling book, Unplanned, which chronicles both her experiences within Planned Parenthood and her dramatic exit.
Today, Abby travels across the globe sharing her story, educating the public on pro-life issues, advocating for the unborn, and reaching out to abortion clinic staff who still work in the industry. She is the founder of And Then There Were None, a ministry designed to assist abortion clinic workers in transitioning out of the industry. To date, this ministry has helped over 430 workers leave the abortion industry. Abby lives in Texas with her husband and eight precious children.