Life issues

Don Nelson

Photo By David Robert

You might not think abortion and cloning would be two of the main objectives of one organization, but for Nevada LIFE (Life Issues Forum Education), it makes sense, as they see abortion and cloning as parts of larger right-to-life issues. Don Nelson is president of Nevada LIFE, founding it in 1999. He is also the voice on the Voice for Life program on Immaculate Heart radio on station KIHM. Nelson says events in his own life and news about cloning he describes as “shocking” made him an enthusiastic anti-abortion advocate. Nelson’s concerned about a bill passed a couple weeks ago by the New Jersey legislature that authorizes the use of discarded embryos for scientific purposes. Visit

What is Nevada LIFE?

We don’t see a huge pro-life voice out there. There are a lot of crisis and pregnancy centers out there, but we want to communicate to the public what the pro-life message really is.

What got you involved in this?

I received some information on the merchandising of body parts from partial birth abortions and that so horrified and shocked me that I thought, ‘I don’t care what anybody thinks about this, I’m not going to be quiet.’ I have been pro-life for 20 years. But I wasn’t before that.

Why the change?

I was an abortion supporter, and I thought my Christian classmates at the evangelical school I was going to were totally nuts because they were pro-life. Three women that I knew when I was in college had abortions, and I saw the horrible impact it had on their lives. That’s not why I’m pro-life today. I’m pro-life today because I believe it’s an issue of justice. I believe that this is the most flagrant human rights violation in the world today.

Why is New Jersey legislation such a big deal?

This bill is something that I don’t even believe science fiction writers could think of. The intentional creation of a human being by cloning, implanting those clones into a uterus and allowing that human clone to develop through the end of pregnancy until sometime in the newborn stage is an outrageous abuse of humanity and human rights. Having a whole class of people killed for other people’s benefits violates what America is all about. That’s monstrous and bizarre. What words can you use to describe something like that? We’re creating a new slave class of human beings to support others.

Why does the New Jersey legislation matter to Nevada?

We’re against the inhumanity of it, and it’s happening in our country, which means it could happen in Nevada, too.

Is there a way cloning could be done right?

I want to say yes and no. No, if it causes the creation of a new self-directing human entity. Yes, if they are able to clone certain cells that do not result in a new human being. If they can take some of my kidney tissue and grow a new kidney that’s acceptable. If you create a new human being that could never be acceptable.

How about the argument that cloning saves lives?

We in the right-to-life movement are just as concerned about people that are ailing from degenerative diseases. My own dad has severe arthritis, diabetes. He’s an amputee. I want my dad to get well, but my dad says, ‘I’m not going to do it on the back of another human being.’

Explain the relationship between abortion and cloning.

[Some] who are pro-abortion are anti-cloning. Where are the researchers going to get all these unfertilized eggs? It’s going to exploit women because you might end up paying women from Third World countries to create unfertilized eggs through hyper-ovulatory drugs. All to serve the needs of western sufferers. We think that’s wrong.