The Consistent Life Ethic and the Law: the Ethical Argument for Life
The Honorable Peter Breen, Vice President and Senior Counsel at the Thomas More Society, served as Illinois State Representative from 2015-2019. During his second term, Peter held the position of Republican Floor Leader, steering his party’s debate on all bills that reached the floor. Peter was the first resident of the Village of Lombard in 140 years to be elected to the Illinois General Assembly.
A national expert on issues of law pertaining to life, family, and religious liberty, Peter is a frequent voice in the media and a prolific pro-life advocate. He is the lead Thomas More Society attorney in multiple defenses, both civil and criminal, and of David Daleiden, the undercover journalist whose videos exposed Planned Parenthood’s involvement in aborted baby body parts trafficking.
Peter left a lucrative private law practice in Chicago to enter full-time public service in 2004. A year later, Peter founded a local not-for-profit, serving thousands of Chicago-area pregnant women and their children. He spearheaded the Chicagoland Project Gabriel campaign, which distributed tens of thousands of “Pregnant? Need Help?” bumper stickers throughout local churches to reach out to women in difficult and untimely pregnancies.
Peter joined the Thomas More Society in 2008. As a leader of this national not-for-profit law firm, he represents churches, organizations, and individuals, in courts across the country. Peter also regularly advises elected officials on the effects of proposed legislation and is sought out by local and national media as an expert legal analyst.
Peter completed his Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical Engineering from Vanderbilt University is 3 years, then earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Notre Dame, which he attended on scholarship. He is a member of the Father Boecker Council of the Knights of Columbus and is an Eagle Scout. Peter and Margie, his wife of 14 years, are the proud parents of two sons, Matthew Elijah, whom they adopted in August 2016, and James Francis, adopted in September 2018.
Catherine Glenn Foster
Catherine Glenn Foster, M.A., J.D., is President and CEO of Americans United for Life, America's first national pro-life organization and the nation's premier pro-life legal team. AUL’s legal strategists have been involved in every pro-life case before the U.S. Supreme Court since Roe v. Wade. AUL is the pioneer of the state-based model legislative strategy, which works to save lives today and protect mothers and children from abortion industry abuses while undermining the so-called “reliance” interest adopted by the Supreme Court in Planned Parenthood v. Casey: the false idea that women “rely” on abortion to succeed in American society. Foster has litigated precedent-setting § 1983 and other constitutional questions, abortion and maternal health, health and safety regulations, False Claims Act healthcare and Medicaid fraud, euthanasia and assisted suicide, denial of medical care, First Amendment rights, genetic engineering issues, Freedom of Information Act and open records issues, and healthcare and corporate conscience protections. She has testified before and advised the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce Select Investigative Panel and other federal, state, and international bodies and representatives. Previously, Foster was Litigation Counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, founder of a law practice focusing on respect for the sanctity of human life, and Executive Director of Euthanasia Prevention Coalition USA. Foster serves on the boards of And Then There Were None, Christian Legal Society D.C. Metro Chapter, the Family Policy Alliance, and Rockville Women’s Center, as well as on the advisory board of the Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity. She earned her J.D. at Georgetown University Law Center, M.A. in French from the University of South Florida, and B.A. in History and French from Berry College, and is admitted to the bar in Virginia and Washington D.C., as well as the U.S. Supreme Court; the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 1st, 5th, 8th, and 9th Circuits; and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
O. Carter Snead
Carter Snead is the William P. and Hazel B. White Director of the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture, professor of law at the Notre Dame Law School, and concurrent professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame. Professor Snead is one of the world’s leading experts on public bioethics—the governance of science, medicine, and technology in the name of ethical goods. He has published over forty journal articles, book chapters, and essays on abortion, embryo research, neuroethics, assisted reproduction, end-of-life decision-making, assisted suicide, and euthanasia. His articles have appeared in such publications as the New York University Law Review, the Harvard Law Review Forum, the Vanderbilt Law Review, Constitutional Commentary, the Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law and Ethics, the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, and Political Science Quarterly.
Professor Snead has advised officials in all three branches of the federal government on matters of public bioethics. He served as general counsel to President George W. Bush’s Council on Bioethics (chaired by Leon R. Kass). He led the United States delegation to UNESCO and was its chief negotiator for bioethics-related treaties and conventions from 2003–2005. He also served as the U.S. Permanent Observer to the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee on Bioethics from 2006–2008. From 2008–12, the Director General of UNESCO appointed him to a four-year term on the International Bioethics Committee. He regularly provides expert testimony in Congress, state legislatures, and federal courts. In 2016, Pope Francis appointed him to the Pontifical Academy for Life, which advises the Vatican on culture of life issues. In 2018, he was named a Fellow of the Hastings Center, the world's oldest and most prestigious independent bioethics institute.