Catholic World News

US bishops' key pro-life staffer retiring after 36 years

April 28, 2016

Richard Doerflinger, who has served on the US bishops’ pro-life committee for 36 years, will retire on April 29.

Beginning as a legislative assistant, Doerflinger earned several promotions, eventually becoming associate director of the pro-life secretariat at the US bishops’ conference. Over the years he became a fixture in pro-life activities in Washington, DC.

Looking back across his tenure in a CNS interview, Doerflinger reflected on the successes:

The high points would involve the passage of the ban on partial-birth abortion and the Supreme Court decision upholding that ban, the Weldon Amendment on conscience rights in 1994 and the Dickey Amendment on federal funding of embryo research in 1995.

He also recalled some low points of his experience, including the failure to block funding of abortion under Obamacare and to enact a ban on human cloning or restraints on assisted suicide.


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  • Posted by: unum - Apr. 30, 2016 11:41 AM ET USA

    Richard was a fighter for life, no holds barred, and he will be missed. As one who "crossed swords" (minor disagreements on abortion issues and remedies), I can testify that he never gave up on an issue to preserve the right to life. Some at USCCB disliked Richard's fighting style (we have all read their "soft soap" remarks on life isses), but the innocent always came first for Richard. We will look forward to his writing and continuing commentary on the fight for life in the U.S.