Modern already thoroughly covered the abortion issues that have been floating around Ohio the past few days including Ohio Right to Life’s support for certain anti-abortion bills (and lack of support for one specifically unconstitutional one) along with their attempts to “petition the Governor to install pharmacists with conscience and pro-life convictions to the Board of Pharmacy”.

But reading about Ohio Right to Life in each one of his posts just made me realize (again) what a bunch of hypocrites anti-abortion groups like this can be. If you don’t want to stick around while I vent I completely understand. You will probably disagree with my perspective on this issue so feel free to move on to something else.

Still here?

Ok then. Here it goes…

At first glance it would appear Ohio Right to Life is a group of good Catholics who believe all life is sacred. After all, isn’t that what their their mission statement says?

The mission of Ohio Right to Life is to promote and defend the right to life of all innocent human beings, from the time of fertilization until natural death.

Yay! “Right to Life” for all human beings! Sounds like a great goal. And it is.

Unfortunately, that’s not the goal of Ohio Right to Life. Their mission statement clearly says “all innocent human beings”, and that tends to leave out a pretty large portion actual human beings.

No, the goal of Ohio Right to Life has nothing to do with protecting human lives. If it was, they would have also been out in front of the other big news story that’s been flooding Ohio’s media the past few weeks: capital punishment in Ohio.

Recently Ohio Supreme Court Justice Paul Pfeifer – the guy who “helped draft Ohio’s death penalty statute” – asked Gov. John Kasich and the Ohio Legislature to end capital punishment in Ohio.

And this weekend Catholic Bishops in Ohio asked for the same thing

Archbishop Dennis Schnurr of Cincinnati and Bishop Frederick Campbell of Columbus are among 10 Catholic church leaders in Ohio who have signed a statement urging the state to stop using the death penalty

The statement signed by the Catholic bishops said they believe capital punishment is wrong in nearly all cases and that “just punishment can occur without resorting to the death penalty.”

I know I’ve said this before but it seems worth bringing up again: how the hell can someone can claim to be Pro-Life without taking a stand against capital punishment?

I don’t think any reasonable person wants to see an increase in abortion or capital punishment. Obviously, neither choice should be made lightly. And every opportunity to reduce the need for and necessity of both should be taken. So I’m not in favor of abortion or capital punishment but I’m not against them either, and I think this is a reasonable stance to take.

And I can also understand if someone has the opposite view. While I don’t necessarily agree with the Catholic perspective on life, I certainly understand and respect it. The idea that ALL life is sacred makes sense, especially if you believe in the Catholic version of God.

But I absolutely can not understand a person who thinks it’s totally fine for a state official to take the life of a living and breathing human being but a hundred or so cells forming a human blastocyst needs to be protected at all costs from the woman in whom the cells are growing.

Ohio Right to Life and other anti-abortion groups like to brand themselves as pro-life groups which leads people to believe they support the protection of all life. But it’s absolutely not true. Call it hypocrisy or lying or maybe just false advertising. Whatever you call it… it stinks.

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  • guest

    by and large, I agree with most everything you wrote here – with the exception of calling any Right to Life group anti-abortion. I think that frames the debate all wrong. In my opinion, no one is on the converse side of that argument. In other words, no one is pro-abortion anymore than they’re pro-chemo or pro-amputation of limbs.

    It really is a choice. It’s a choice no one really should want to or have to face, but under certain, unique circumstances, I’d hope everyone would have the right to that

  • Anonymous

    “If someone killed one of my family members I would want to see them dead. But that doesn’t make it right. That just makes me human. It is wrong to take a life.”

    I don’t know who first said that, so I am sorry I can’t give proper attribution for it, but I think it is a great statement about human feelings, and why the death penalty is wrong.

    Thank you for stating what I have felt for years—that many on the “Pro-life” bandwagon are hypocritical.

  • nineball

    How quickly the new government forgot about jobs and revealed their real intentions to roll back abortion rights.

  • Slapshot

    If they were pro-life, wouldn’t they speak out on issues like gun control, healthcare, war, poverty,etc.? They aren’t pro-life, they are pro birth, because after that you are on your own

  • Mike B.

    Given the fact that we have likely executed innocent people (like Cameron Todd Willingham in Texas) perhaps the death penalty should fall into their current mission statement.

  • Anastasjoy

    So who makes the judgment that any particular life is “innocent”? What about those Christian groups that believe in “original sin”?

  • Fabius

    I’ve spent time volunteering with some Pro-Life groups in the past, so take this as you please.

    Right to Life organizations like Ohio Right to Life are explicitly single issue in their opposition to abortion and euthanasia and such. You can disagree with them on what policies they take a stand on, but they are being internally consistent. Whether or not you agree, it’s not a ridiculous argument to say that there’s a qualitative difference between capital punishment (even if it’s unjust), and the taking of an innocent unborn life. Staying focused solely on abortion and directly related issues allows them to be more persuasive and credible on that issue. You don’t see most pro-gun control groups also getting into anti-war issues (even if most of the activists are probably pacifists).

    Also, Ohio Right to Life, like other RTL organizations, isn’t Catholic. It’s non-sectarian, representing individuals from many different faiths. Personally, some pro-lifers differ amongst themselves on the death penalty, and taking a public stand one way or the other on it would only cause internal dissension. And even if you believe the death penalty is wrong, it’s not a silly point to say that abortion is a greater problem (more children are aborted every day than the death penalty kills in a year by far) worthy of more immediate focus.

    Also, anyone who thinks that pro-lifers don’t care about the baby after it’s born or don’t care about the mother has spent no time with the thousands of pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes which provide counseling, material assistance, and help single mother’s finish school or find jobs.

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