Judie Brown

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Judie Brown
Born Judith Ann Brown
née Limbourne

(1944-03-04) March 4, 1944 (age 73)[1]
Los Angeles, California
Residence Indio, California
Nationality USA
Alma mater St. Mary's Academy
Inglewood, California
El Camino Junior College
Alondra Park;
A.A., 1963
University of California
Los Angeles, California
B.S., 1965
Occupation president of 501(c)(3)
tax exempt organization
Employer American Life League
1991 -
American Life Lobby
National Right to Life Committee, 1976 - 1979
Kmart, 1965 - 1968
Organization Human Life International
Priests for Life
Pro Life Action League
Opponent(s) Planned Parenthood
Board member of Pontifical Academy for Life
Catholic Scholars for Social Justice
Fellowship of Catholic Scholars
Children of God for Life
Spouse(s) Paul A. Brown
December 30, 1967 -
Children Hugh Richard Brown III[2]
Catherine Marie Brown[2]
Christina "Christy" Lee Brown[2]
Parent(s) Chester Limbourne, stepfather
Awards Elected Daily Catholic #49
Top 100 Catholics of Century
Website all.org

Judith A. Brown is the president and cofounder of American Life League,[3] the oldest Catholic grassroots pro-life organization in the United States.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Brown was born in Los Angeles, California on March 4, 1944. Her father abandoned his family a year and a half later, leaving her mother and her younger sister Sheila, who had just been born, to fend for themselves. Brown's mother had remarried during 1952 to Chester Limbourne when she was six years old. Judie's grandparents took them in and were very influential in molding her character and resolve and her grandparents insured that she received the proper Catholic education and then paid for her to attend the Catholic all-girls St. Mary's Academy in Inglewood by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.[2]

After graduating St. Mary's Academy in 1962, Brown worked at Kresge's as a bookkeeper while attending El Camino Junior College, where she earned an Associated Arts degree during 1963 and completed a bachelor's degree program at UCLA two years later.[2]


By the time she turned 21, Browne was an office manager for the Kmart western region. Brown was later transferred by Kmart Seattle, where she met a young man named Paul Brown who was interviewing for a retail job with Kmart. Judie Limbourne and Paul Brown were eventually married on December 30, 1967 in the same church in Hawthorne, California where Judie had received her First Holy Communion. Both of the Browns had worked for K-Mart at this time when she opted to stay home to begin a family. Their first child was Hugh Richard III born on November 23, 1968, followed by Catherine Marie.[2]

In 1970, Brown began handing out pro-life literature at the request of her parish priest, and over the next several years, she became more and more involved in the pro-life movement. As her husband had been transferred by Kmart during 1973 to Savannah, Georgia, Brown got involved with helping organizers of the Georgia Right to Life stuff envelopes and mail out anti-abortion materials following the U.S. Supreme Court Roe vs. Wade decision. Her third child Christina Lee was born on June 19, 1973 and eight months later the Brown family moved with Kmart again, from Georgia to Kannopolis, North Carolina and later to Steubenville, Ohio.[2]

Cofounded American Life League[edit]

With her husband Paul Brown having been transferred again by Kmart to the Washington D.C. area in 1976, Brown began working with the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC). American Life League was founded on April 1, 1979[5][6] by Brown, her husband Paul, and eight other pro-life Americans after a schism with the National Right to Life Committee allowing for legal abortion in the case of rape, incest, and health of the mother. According to Brown, Abortion is never necessary to save a mother's life.[7] Brown reportedly stated in 1981 that the NRLC had been “trying to destroy my husband” by absorbing his Life Amendment Political Action Committee.[8]

Within a month of her split with NRLC, she began the American Life Lobby (dormant since 1991) and the American Life League through contacts made by her husband who had previously founded the Life Amendment Political Action Committee or LAPAC. The stated purpose of the American Life League (ALL) was to educate the public about pro-life issues and Brown began developing ideas for ALL About Issues printed newsletter and within less than a year of its founding, ALL had 68,000 members and received assistance launching the organization from Howard Phillips,[9] virtually free publicity from Heritage Foundation co-founder Paul Weyrich, and the help of extensive membership lists provided by right-wing direct mail specialist Richard Viguerie.[10]

The American Life Lobby that had begun in the basement of the Brown's residence had by September 1981 ALL moved into regular office space and earned legitimate notice on Capitol Hill during October of that year when ALL played a positive role in defeating the Hatch Amendments pertaining to the Human Life Amendment legislative proposals.[10]

ALL street tactics[edit]

The American Life League helped to establish the "rescue movement", which utilizes several tactics against abortion and related services. These tactics, adopted and popularized by ALL, include sidewalk counseling, and offering abortion alternatives to abortion-seeking patients. According to Brown these activities are free speech, and in 1994 ALL filed suit to challenge the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. In American Life League v. Reno [1], ALL lost in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court refused to hear the case.[10]

The People for the American Way web site notes that ..ALL defends anti-choice activists who have been arrested for blocking clinics and has applauded the controversial work of Operation Rescue and Randall Terry, and that ...Judie Brown is allegedly a member of the clandestine right-wing organization Council for National Policy.[7]


As Brown stated in her book, Not My Will but Thine: "I am a zealot, and I am wildly proud of it. I am an enthusiastic supporter for all the babies. I am convinced that every one of them is equally valuable to God. Frankly, if each person who claims to be pro-life would passionately pursue personhood, abortion would be over in the twinkling of an eye" (p. 205).[11]

Brown has written 12 books, including an autobiography entitled Not My Will but Thine (2002),[11] Saving Those Damned Catholics: A Defense of Catholic Teaching (2007),[12] and her most recent The Broken Path: How Catholic Bishops Got Lost in the Weeds of American Politics (2011).[13]

In 2013, Brown wrote a short booklet on Pope Francis entitled Pope Francis: Portrait of Holiness.[14] In addition, Brown has written numerous articles for magazines and newspapers, including The Washington Post and USA Today and has also appeared on numerous television programs including 20/20, 60 Minutes, Mother Angelica Live, The O’Reilly Factor, Good Morning America, Oprah, and Larry King Live, as well as countless radio talk shows.

Brown currently hosts a pro-life question and answer forum for the EWTN Global Catholic Network mass media website.

Brown travels often spreading pro-life messages. She writes a commentary twice each week that is posted on the American Life League website. Her topics include contraception, abortion, Catholic bishops, Catholic dissent, euthanasia, in vitro fertilization, biotechnology, and pro-life activism.

Awards and recognition[edit]

Brown has received awards including a Knights of Columbus Service Award, a Protector Award from Pro-Life Action League, and a Disciple for Christ Award from Rachel's Vineyard.[15] Judie is also a corresponding member of Pontifical Academy for Life and served three five-year terms as a member. She is the host of EWTN Experts Pro-Life Forum.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Brown is married to American Life League co-founder Paul A. Brown. Brown lives in Indio, California.


  1. ^ "Celebrity Photo Gallery, Celebrity Wallpapers, Celebrity Videos, Bio, News, Songs, Movies". www.in.com. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "October 4, 1999 DAILY CATHOLIC TEXT Section One (oct4dc1.htm)". dailycatholic.org. 
  3. ^ "ALL". Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  4. ^ "ALL founded". Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  5. ^ "Founded". Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  6. ^ "Celebrate Life Magazine". clmagazine.org. 
  7. ^ a b "American Life League". rightwingwatch.org. 
  8. ^ "The American Life League: "More interested in making a statement than making a difference"" (PDF). catholicsforchoice.org. 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-05-31. 
  9. ^ "Catholics Bid Farewell to Pro-Life Lion Howard Phillips". National Catholic Register. 
  10. ^ a b c "People For the American Way - American Life League". pfaw.org. Archived from the original on 11 October 2006. 
  11. ^ a b "Not My Will but Thine". Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  12. ^ "Saving Those Damned Catholics". Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  13. ^ "The Broken Path". Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  14. ^ "Pope Francis: Portrait of Holiness". Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  15. ^ a b "Awards and memberships". American Life League. 2014-03-25. 

External links[edit]