CLEVELAND (ChurchMilitant.com) - A new no-compromises pro-life organization is being announced in Ohio.
The unveiling of the Right to Life Action Coalition of Ohio (RTLACO) was announced March 10 at the Bringing America Back to Life Convention held yearly in Cleveland, and hosted by Cleveland Right to Life.
The coalition's first press release announced that it's being formed to address "the need for a new strategy for pro-life victory and for a commitment to integrity." It is composed of local pro-life groups, including Toledo Right to Life, Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati and Dayton Right to life, among others.
It intends to focus "on developing and strengthening local grass roots pro-life leadership, true representative governing for the statewide organization, a commitment to a consistent, holistic pro-life standard to evaluate both policies and elected officials/candidates, and collaborative engagement to develop priorities for action."
The pro-life movement is generally split along two lines, between groups that support an incremental approach to rolling back abortion vs. those that will only support laws with no exceptions for abortion. The incrementalist approach is generally deemed to be more "realistic" and able to be passed, while pro-life purists believe such laws are a compromise, and ultimately fail the unborn because it sends the message that certain lives are still not worth saving.
Church Militant spoke with Molly Smith, executive director of Cleveland Right to Life and TRLACO board member, in December. She expressed frustration at some pro-life organizations that fail to throw their weight behind strong, no-exceptions pro-life laws because of their fear such laws will face court challenges.
Paul Coudron, executive director of Dayton Right to Life, noted how important it is for a truly pro-life group to support no-exceptions legislation: "[If] we leave any unborn child to the tender mercies of the abortionist's blade or forceps, or support politicians who believe a baby's value is dependent upon the circumstances of its conception, we have lost the right to continue to call ourselves 'pro-life'; we have become 'pro-regulation,' which is just saying 'pro-abortion-but-in-fewer-circumstances.'"
Ed Sitter, executive director of Greater Toledo Right to Life, commented, "Over the last several years it has become increasingly obvious that the pro-life community in Ohio needs a new voice to champion the Right to Life movement."
"It is time that we embrace a governance model and strategy for victory for the 21st century," he continued. "We are going to put the roots in Ohio's pro-life grassroots movement."
Sitter commented that the issue is "a classic example of the value of having a legislative steering committee. This group of individuals from around the state will look beyond the headlines to see the underlying content. We will understand why we would or would not support a specific piece of legislation and then in turn communicate that understanding to those we represent before taking a position."
Not all organization that maintain to be pro-life, however, are part of the coalition. Ohio Right to Life has yet to accept an invitation to join TRLACO. In December the group opposed the fetal heartbeat bill and was instrumental in having it vetoed by Gov. John Kasich.