The Right to Know and the Right to Life
This week we were at a press conference announcing that Representative Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) and Senator Peggy Lehner (R–Dayton) will introduce legislation in the Ohio House and Senate to amend Ohio’s informed consent law to require that women seeking abortion counseling get information about the Abortion Pill Reversal (APR) protocol.
Doctors have successfully reversed chemical abortions by administering doses of the hormone progesterone, which is necessary for maintain a healthy pregnancy. In the process of a chemical abortion, a woman initially takes a mifepristone pill, which blocks progesterone and causes the unborn child to be disconnected from the uterine lining. Several days later, she takes a second drug (misoprostol) to remove the contents of her uterus. The APR protocol consists of providing a woman who has taken the first dose of the abortion pill with supplemental progesterone within 72 hours (but preferably within 24 hours). By taking progesterone over a number of weeks to overcome the deficiency caused by mifepristone, is possible that the woman can save her baby. Over 750 babies have been born following the reversal protocol, which is similar in nature to a medical protocol that is frequently used to help women who are at high risk of miscarriage due to progesterone insufficiency. The protocol was recently described in a BBC article about reducing miscarriage.
“It is perfectly reasonable to require that the informed consent process include this indispensable piece of information that this procedure can be stopped once it has started,” Sen. Peggy Lehner said, during a pro-life press conference at the Statehouse on May 14, 2019.
Surprisingly, organizations that claim to a woman’s “right to choose” vehemently oppose the legislation and have embarked on an extensive campaign to dispute the science of the bill, a drumbeat which has been picked up by Ohio’s media.
Much of their argument stems from a lack of medical trials on the process. However, they fail to recognize that a medical trial pertaining to abortion is unethical, as it inevitably results in killing the life of an unborn child. In medical trials, there is always a control group, which either receives a placebo or experimental drug. In testing the effects of progesterone on a woman who has taken mifepristone, it would be necessary to induce an abortion, either by giving the patients in the control group a placebo or by later performing an abortion, if the abortion pill reversal procedure is successful. However, the purpose of medicine is to promote maternal and fetal health, not death.
GCRTL’s executive director commented, “With more than one-third of local abortions being performed via the abortion pill, it is important that the community be aware that reversal is possible. A woman who changes her mind after she starts the abortion process has the right to withdraw her consent from inducing the death of her child, and if abortion advocates were truly in the business of supporting women’s choices they would be the first to recommend this process, even if it only provided a fraction of a percent of success.” Initial studies suggest the APR protocol has a 68-74% success rate.
One of the national leaders of the Abortion Pill Reversal process will be in Columbus on Monday, June 10th for the Greater Columbus Right to Life’s banquet. There is no cost to attend, although advance registration is required. There will be an opportunity to make a donation to support the work of GCRTL following the program.
If you or someone you know may benefit from the abortion pill reversal procedure, you can call their help hotline (877) 558-0333 or visit https://www.abortionpillreversal.com/.
Did you miss your opportunity to watch the Gosnell Film at theaters?
Join Greater Columbus Right to Life and the Respect Life Committee at St. Simon and Jude Church (9350 High Free Pike, West Jefferson, OH 43162) for a showing of the film on Wednesday, May 22nd at 6:30 pm. Following the movie, GCRTL staff will be available to take questions and talk about local clinic conditions and opportunities to get involved in pro-life work.
Gosnell is the true story of the investigation and trial of America’s most prolific serial killer. Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia Abortion Doctor was brought to trial in 2013 after operating his abortion clinic for over 30 years while public authorities turned a blind eye to the atrocities taking place there. The film is rated PG-13. Many have asked, but the film is not "gory" in nature.
Popcorn and sodas will be served. To assist with planning, advance registration is requested, but not required.
You may know Andrea Bocelli as an Italian singer-songwriter and the world's most famous living tenor, but did you know that when his mother was pregnant with him her physicians urged her to abort him for medical reasons? She refused, giving her son the precious gift of life - a gift which he has shared with billions through his talent. A few years ago, Bocelli shared his story mid-concert, expressing his appreciation for his mother saying no to that abortion and sharing his hope that every woman can say yes to the life within her.
Why are we sharing this? Because in December, Bocelli will be coming to Columbus to perform for one night, and Greater Columbus Right to Life wants to give you an opportunity to experience Andrea Bocelli live while supporting the life-saving work that we do.
We are excited to announce that we have a phenomenal two-ticket VIP treatment concert package available, which we will be raffling off. The proceeds of the raffle will benefit Greater Columbus Right to Life. We will be making just 500 raffle tickets available. Tickets can be purchased online, in person at the GCRTL office (call ahead for open hours), or with select volunteers.
On an average day in central Ohio, 13 children are aborted. This is a tragedy, and Greater Columbus Right to Life works every day to help empower women to choose life for their unborn children, because we believe each one of them has the potential to change the world - regardless of if it is in the smallest or most profound of ways.
Ticket Package information:
This package consists of two tickets in Section F2, Row M, Seats 10-11 at the Schottenstein Center. In addition to the premiere seating location, these tickets are part of a VIP package that includes a pre-show Italian themed, multi-course dinner featuring a free glass of Bocelli wine (where liquor laws permit), additional cash bar, VIP parking, and a custom Andrea Bocelli merchandise gift bag with a color photo tour program, Bocelli music, embroidered tote bag, and more. The concert package has a retail value of approximately $1500.
You can visit our website for more information including rules here, or you can purchase your raffle ticket today here. With only 500 tickets available, we anticipate that this opportunity will sell out quickly. Note: While we appreciate his sharing his story and the opportunity to make this package available, this promotion is not endorsed or sponsored by Andrea Bocelli, his tour or tour promoters, or the venue.
Want to support GCRTL a little more? Consider joining us for our 2019 Dinner, An Evening with the Pro-Life Doc, on Monday June 10th. There is no cost to attend or to serve as a table host. Sponsorships and volunteer opportunities are still available.
Dr. William Lile, also known as “The Pro-Life Doc,” will give the keynote at the Greater Columbus Right to Life Annual Banquet on Monday, June 10th, 2019, at Villa Milano. Doors will open at 6:00 pm; the program and meal will start at 6:30. There is no cost to attend the banquet; an invitation to support GCRTL will be extended after the program.
Back in 1999, Dr. Lile and his partner bought out one of the busiest Florida abortion clinics. He immediately put the facility’s function into reverse; Lile used equipment once used to extinguish life to protect it. His passion to save the lives of the unborn landed him the nickname “The Pro-Life Doc.”
Now 20 years later, Dr. Lile continues to practice medicine, teach, and inspire countless others to defend the defenseless. Part of his practice includes offering abortion pill reversal and rescue. He provides this life-saving measure in his clinic and serves on the medical advisory board of Heartbeat International, a worldwide network of more than 2,600 pro-life pregnancy help organizations that provide comprehensive pregnancy assistance to women at all points in their pregnancies.
Dr. Lile has reached a national level of attention with his perspective on extreme abortion laws, including ones passed in New York, Vermont, and more. He discusses these scenarios from both medical and scriptural perspectives, shedding light on both sides.
GCRTL Executive Director Beth Vanderkooi commented, “We are so excited to hear from Dr. Lile, who has inspired the country with his bold plan to put a local abortion provider out of business, his courageous response to extreme abortion and infanticide laws, and his leadership in helping women who regret taking the abortion pill know that it may not be too late to save their babies."
There is no cost to attend the banquet, but advance registration is requested at www.gcrtl.org/banquet.
Cal Zastrow and his daughter Corrie have experienced victory in the protection of their free speech rights to advocate for life. This happened in Toledo, but it affects us right here in Columbus.
It all started when they were attempting to peacefully advocate for the lives of unborn babies on the public sidewalks near the Capital Care Network, a local abortion clinic.
Their advocacy includes prayer, preaching, worshiping, distributing literature and holding pro-life signs on public sidewalks near abortion centers where innocent children are killed on a daily basis.
But Toledo Police weren’t having it; the advocacy and voices of this father and daughter were effectively silenced. But not for long as God was on their side.
The American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) stepped in and filed a civil rights lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio on behalf of the Zastrows against the city, its chief of police, along with two officers. Said suit claimed the officers violated the Zastrows’ constitutional rights — outlined in the First and Fourteenth amendments.
The First amendment reads as such: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The Fourteenth: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The judge recognized these rights and sided with the plaintiffs, ordering the city to allow the Zastrows to continue on with their peaceful protests undeterred. And that’s not all. The city is also required to pay $7,500 in attorneys’ fees and costs to the AFLC.
This victory affects pro-lifers right here in the capital city as it further empowers us to continually protest in peaceful manners near abortion clinics within our own community. Let’s continue to fight the good fight!
A copy of the decision can be read here.
no Party Divide Here
To the stunning surprise and relief of many, Democrats and Republicans in the Ohio Senate recently came together in support of babies who survive abortion attempts. This show of unity comes in dramatic contrast to their federal counterparts.
State senators unanimously passed Senate Resolution 41, which urges Congress to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. This happened in the same hearing where the Heartbeat Bill was passed.
Democratic Senator Nickie Antonio said she does not take her vote on the issue lightly and described the issue as “troubling” because laws are already on the books that protect newborn babies.
But this issue must be clearly understood. The Born-Alive Protection Act of 2002 was signed at the time by President George W. Bush. However, the current legislation in Congress is significantly different. One of the biggest changes is the earlier bill did not include penalties for medical professionals who allow babies who survive abortions to die from lack of medical care. The 2019 bill does and closes loopholes that allow abortion providers to put a screaming, crying, unwanted infant in a room alone to slowly pass away. The WONDER database from the Centers for Disease Control reveals that from 1999-2017, at least 592 babies perished after surviving abortions.
Antonio acknowledged that “the minute that baby takes a breath, they are a citizen of the United States.”
She eventually grew visibly emotional as she continued to speak.
“When a baby is born, a baby is born. And we should do everything we can,” she said through tears.
Senate Resolution 41 was brought forward by Senate President Obhof and Republican Senator Matt Huffman. Democrats asked to caucus (meaning to meet privately) and then voted unanimously in support along with all Republicans.
We pray those in Congress see the unity within Ohio on this extremely important issue.
To encourage Ohio's members of the US Senate to support the Infant Born Alive Act, you can contact Ohio's Senators at:
Senator Rob Portman (has voted to support the Act)
Senator Sherrod Brown (has voted against the Act)
Note: Existing Ohio law (2919.17) generally requires that abortions performed or induced after the point of viability are done in a facility that has appropriate neonatal facilities to care for a premature infant and that any abortion or induction be done in a way that gives the child the best opportunity to survive. Failure to abide by this provision is a 4th degree felony in Ohio and grounds for loss of a medical license.
They Really Want Us to Quit This Work
A few weeks ago, Greater Columbus Right to Life was the first to share the shocking news that Ohio’s first abortion provider had permanently relinquished his medical license. The reasons behind the relinquishment were not clear beyond some vaguely worded content in the action from the Ohio Medical Board document, indicating that he had surrendered his license in lieu of additional investigation into irregularly providing certain drugs to male patients. Subsequent public records requests to the Ohio Medical Board gained no additional clarity beyond the agenda for a quickly-called meeting and the outcome of a vote.
The next day, we were able to share that subsequent to the relinquishment of Mr. Blank’s license, the clinic he co-founded, which has been mired in scandal for years, closed in June of 2018, and reopened in November, had surrendered its license to perform surgical abortions. The clinic is currently open 4-5 days per week providing the abortion pill, and seems to be referring women who are later than ten weeks in pregnancy to clinics in Cleveland or Dayton for surgical procedures.
We’ve continued to pursue the truth of what is going on at this and other clinics as part of our community education program and we regularly maintain information on this and other clinics, but a few days after we exposed Ohio’s first abortion clinic, we learned that someone (or a group of people) really wants us to quit this work.
For the last month, someone has been using the name (or a version of the name), the email, and the phone number of our ED to apply for large numbers of “contact requests” from career and technical schools, multi-level marketing sales opportunities, jobs, “adult novelty” catalogs, non-mainstream religions, and more. It resulted in a large number of phone calls, emails, and texts in an effort to disrupt our office activities. It appears that these folks really, really, really want us to be doing something different – anything different. It lead us to ask why it is that the response of abortion supporters, when confronted by the bad actions and bad actors of their industry, is to result to this kind of behavior rather than denounce the bad behavior of their cohort. While it was a minor inconvenience to us, it was also a disrespectful waste of the time of the people who reached out to us in response to their false request – some of whom worked on commission or with pay based on success/fail rates – people who were just trying to do their jobs. Not surprising, more than a few of them were happy to share with us the information (like ISP address from the original contact) gathered when the form was submitted, information that we could provide to law enforcement.
If anything, this activity has more firmly cemented our resolve to continue advocating for the unborn, the weak, and the infirm. We need to continue steadily proclaiming the dignity of the unborn while also peeling back the veil that enshrouds abortion as being good and necessary for the advancement of women.
So our resolution is that in 2019 we are not going to stop pressing forward in defense of human life, and we are going to continue from every angle we can.
But, we need a little help from you. Can you make a donation that is postmarked today or completed online tonight by midnight to help us end 2018 in a strong position? Or, can you make a donation in early 2019 to jump-start our efforts? Can you resolve to volunteer to pray outside a clinic with us for just one shift a month, or help us to lead the 40 Days for Life efforts at your church? Would you like to bring the Memorial of the Unborn display to your church or school? Can you pray for our leaders and volunteers? Because we can only be “all in” if you are!
Happy New Year, and may 2019 be blessed beyond measure.
* Invariably, when we make a statement like this, someone in the pro-life movement will be quick to critique that we should not find dirty conditions or dangerous complications or an abortion provider possessing child pornography to be more revolting than the act of dismembering an unborn child. Obviously we think abortion is always and unequivocally bad and not made better or worse by clean facilities or killing babies without also butchering their mothers.
If you would like to financially support the work of Greater Columbus Right to Life, you can do so here.
2018 will be remembered for many things, but one of them will undoubtedly be the #MeToo movement. At its best, the movement has brought wrongdoings, especially against women and the vulnerable, into the light in a spirit that (unintentionally) echoes the Gospel, "So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known."
Have there been false or overblown accusations and reactions? Absolutely, but as noted by Augustine, "The truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself."
While the impacts of the movement have been visible at almost every level: from the halls of government, in our churches and schools, up and down the corporate ladder, and to the red carpets of Hollywood, there is one place that has been immune to accountability: the abortion industry. Aside from a few narrowly read publications tailored to the faith or pro-life movement and subscribers to watchdog groups like GCRTL, there is virtually no coverage of the bad actions and bad actors within the abortion industry. More tellingly, there has been no refutation of illegal actions and horrifically bad actors by the abortion industry itself. Rather, it has been radio silence. The hypocrisy is stunning.
Let me be clear: there are bad actors and bad actions in every field. But when a lone actor who is unaffiliated with any pro-life organization does something illegal (like this), every pro-life leader denounces the actions, reminds the community and volunteers of our standards, and shares our commitment to peaceful pro-life action. Nonetheless, the story is told far and wide in various media often with a narrative that blames the action on unrelated groups for creating cultural polarization. To be perfectly clear: the pro-life community should hold itself to the highest of standards because what we are standing for is the dignity of every human life.
But what is astonishing is the silence of abortion industry leaders in the face of horrific actions. Their silence says everything. Anyone who truly cares about women's health should be the first to speak up against illegal actions and especially horrific actors in their business. Let's look at a handful of especially egregious or recent situations here in Ohio.
The list could go on and on and on with examples. If pro-abortion organizations and individuals want to position themselves as champions of women and the underserved, they could start by having the courage to speak out against these kind of incidents. That they do not supports something pro-life advocates have been saying for years: these types of illegal and unethical behaviors are the industry norm in abortion, not isolated incidents. In the rare occasion that such grisly conditions are revealed (ahem, like in the Gosnell case), the public narrative is that it is actually the fault of pro-life organizations that Gosnell happened, because they advocate for regulations of the industry. It is crazy.
So, if the industry is not going to clean itself up, and if the mainstream media is not going to hold them accountable, and if state agencies either lack the political will or are immobilized by state regulations and laws that tie actions up in red tape and litigation, who is holding the abortion industry accountable?
You might wonder why Greater Columbus Right to Life would send out a piece like this just a few days before Christmas. We are doing it, as we do everything - because someone has to do it. However, if we are to continue to succeed, we need your help. We are currently working very hard on a campaign to recruit volunteers who can join our ministry. We are also - like many other groups - trying to make our year-end fundraising needs so that we can focus on our next project (and it is going to be a big one). If everyone who reads our emails regularly were to donate just $50, we would meet our year-end needs in a day and if everyone in central Ohio who plans to attend the March for Life or the Roe Remembrance were to pray with us just once a month, we would line the sidewalks of every abortion clinic in Columbus and change lives forever.
Ohio’s Medical Board Revokes License of Ohio’s First Abortion Provider
On November 14th, the Ohio Medical Board finalized the revocation/permanent surrender of Dr. Harley Blank’s license to practice medicine. He signed a consent decree for the permanent revocation of his medical license on October 25, 2018.
We do not yet have confirmation of why Mr. Blank’s medical license was revoked, but there is no doubt that a large part of the reason has been the extensive work done by Greater Columbus Right to Life staff and volunteers for the past five years to uncover the true conditions of the clinic, refer injured patients to legal counsel and state regulators. We have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to make this a reality, and it is paying off.
We have known for a considerable amount of time that Founder’s is not a safe place for women or their unborn children, and we have observed increasingly erratic behavior on the part of Dr. Blank, who joins another Founder’s abortion provider – who is currently serving time in federal prison for child pornography – as having his medical license permanently revoked.
We have requested supporting documentation for this situation from applicable entities, and we have reason to believe that this is just the tip of the iceberg.
You can read a copy of the Medical Board revocation here. You can check for updated information and documents on this page, as we locate them. You can support our work here.
Please consider donating today in support of the work that we do. We operate on a very small budget, and last Friday announced a year-end campaign to raise $30,000 to continue our work. So far, we are about ten percent of the way to that goal. Your donation of any size will help us to make that a reality.
Finally, please consider remembering Mr. Blank and all abortion providers in your prayers. Decades of work in the abortion industry carries a heavy burden to their souls, and our greatest wish is not just that their deeds are uncovered and they face civil justice for what they have done, but that they experience a true conversion of heart and choose life and life eternal.