Nikolas T. Nikas is co-founder, president and general counsel of Bioethics Defense Fund (BDF), a pro-life public-interest legal and educational organization that advocates for the human right to life and the fundamental right of conscience throughout the United States and abroad.
Nikas is known for his expertise in clearly integrating the principles of natural law and political theory with the facts of science and medicine to be used as the foundation for strategic legislation, litigation, education and media. Nikas is consulted across the nation and the world – by legislators, attorneys general and parliamentarians – on issues of abortion, healthcare rights of conscience, human cloning/embryonic stem cell research, and physician assisted suicide.
Among many other cases, Nikas has litigated ballot initiatives regarding human cloning and embryonic stem cell research, healthcare rights of conscience, clinic regulations and state-passed limits on late-term abortion.
Nikas has organized and participated in the oral argument preparation for attorneys arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court addressing the issues of partial-birth abortion, Stenberg v. Carhart (2000), and free speech for peaceful sidewalk counselors, McCullen v. Coakley (2014). Nikas has also consulted with members and legal staff of the President’s Council on Bioethics in Washington, D.C. during the Bush administration, and has testified before the U.S. Senate on abortion and First Amendment rights.
Nikas is a dynamic speaker, having lectured on the full range of bioethics topics at leading medical schools and law schools, including Stanford, Columbia, Cornell and dozens of others. He has lectured internationally at legal and medical conferences, including the Rome conference of Matercare, and a legal symposium at the University of Warsaw. Nikas received his B.A. (1979) and M.A. (1981) in government and international relations from the University of Notre Dame, with his masters focusing on political theory. He received his Juris Doctorate, magna cum laude, in 1986 from Arizona State University College of Law. He and his wife Melinda, the parents of five grown children, live in Phoenix, Arizona.