It's hard to believe, but over the last six years, 18 pro-life laws have been enacted in the state of Ohio. In that same time, half of Ohio's abortion facilities have closed or curtailed their services, and abortions have plummeted 25 percent!
The Buckeye State has undoubtedly been blessed. With a pro-life legislature and Governor, we have put ourselves on the pro-life map, and the nation is watching.
In 2017, we still have so much more to do. Thankfully, Ohio's statewide pro-life community is at the ready to lobby their legislators for more pro-life laws.
Yesterday, pro-life advocates from across the state joined us in Columbus for Ohio Right to Life's annual Pro-life Legislative Day, a day devoted to advocating for pro-life laws at the Ohio Statehouse. Pregnancy center directors, staff, volunteers and clients (some with kids in tow!) made a strong showing, as did Ohio Right to Life affiliate leaders and members.
Our advocacy centered around two key pro-life laws that we are advancing this spring: The Pregnancy and Parenting Support Act and the Dismemberment Abortion Ban. Together, these laws represent two sides of the pro-life coin. The Pregnancy and Parenting Support Act provides $1 million in funding to life-affirming pregnancy centers that provide services and resources to moms and their babies, oftentimes for a couple of years after birth. This law presents a strong and sustainable alternative to abortion. It helps to cement a culture of life by supporting the community pillars that are lifting up women, men and children across our state.
While the Pregnancy and Parenting Support Program promotes an alternative, loving culture to that of abortion-on-demand, the Dismemberment Abortion Ban addresses the violence of abortion head-on. This law would prohibit dilation and evacuation abortion, a brutal procedure which literally dismembers a living human child during the second trimester of pregnancy.
One of these laws represents the kind of society we want to be; the other is a statement against the kind of society we don't want to be.
After a light breakfast and morning training session with Jessica Koehler, our director of Legislative Affairs, 20 teams of 2 to 8 people headed to the Statehouse and the Riffe Center for meetings with their State Senator or Representative. Once there, our advocates shared their stories and made their case for why we need pro-life policies. Pregnancy center clients gave their testimonies, sharing how their center helped them in a time of need. (Click here to read Ashleigh's story at pregnancyhelpnews.com.)
After meetings, dozens of state legislators and their staff joined us at the Renaissance for our annual Legislative Day Luncheon. We heard from Representative Scott Wiggam (former Ohio Right to Life Board Trustee) and Senate President Larry Obhof, two important pro-life leaders who have been and will continue to be instrumental in building a culture of life. Cindi Boston, Vice President of Heartbeat International, shared the work of pregnancy help centers, telling just a few of the many stories of how pregnancy help centers have helped mothers choose life.
Ohio Right to Life sends a hearty "thank you" to everyone who participated in yesterday's Pro-life Legislative Day--pregnancy centers, Ohio Right to Life affiliates, members, and legislators alike! Thank you for showing us what it truly means to be a voice for the voiceless.
Special thanks to the following pregnancy centers and Ohio Right to Life Affiliates:
Clark County Right to Life
Darke County Right to Life
Dayton Right to Life
Miami County Right to Life
Greater Lebanon Right to Life
Right to Life of Northeast Ohio
Ross County Right to Life
Scioto County Right to Life
Wayne Holmes Right to Life
Young Professionals for Life of Central Ohio
Pregnancy Decision Health Centers
Elizabeth's New Life Center
Oasis of Hope Pregnancy and Parenting Support Center
Pregnancy Resource Clinic of Clark County
Voice of Hope Pregnancy Center