RTLACO firmly supports the right to life of all human persons from conception to natural death. While this involves an array of issues that impact the rights and dignity of the human person, the most dangerous and inherently immoral is the so-called right to an elective abortion. Most of our member organizations were founded around the time of the tragic Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision in 1973 in which the federal government arrogantly proclaimed that a preborn infant in the womb could be arbitrarily murdered with the consent of the mother.
In Ohio, right-to-life organizations have engaged in a 50-plus year battle to defend the rights of the preborn with mixed results. While the Ohio legislature has enacted a number of pro-life laws, especially since 2016, those laws were designed to regulate abortion, not ban it outright. Further, most of those laws remain unenforced even today because of aggressive legal challenges.
While the abortion numbers in Ohio have dramatically decreased since 2001, they began to “flatline” around 2016 and remain at the tragic level of about 21,000 per year, or almost 60 preborn infants per day (see graph below).In June of 2022, RTLACO welcomed the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision which held that “the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives.” However, the result of Dobbs in Ohio, which was entirely predictable, has been to move the abortion battle from Washington, DC, to Columbus. Currently, while supposed pro-life officials dominate in all three branches of Ohio’s government, abortion continues at the same rate as before. The challenge for RTLACO and the prolife movement is to implement a total ban on abortion. Meanwhile, the expected strategy of the pro-abortion forces is to implement an amendment to Ohio’s constitution to create a “right” to abortion, which could overrule all the prolife work and legislation of recent years.
- Annual Ohio Abortion Reports
- Overview of Ohio’s Prolife Laws (Americans United for Life)
- Facts about Abortion in Ohio (Guttmacher Institute)
- Top 10 Myths about Abortion (Family Research Council/AAPLOG)
- Development of the Embryo (15 Facts at 15 Weeks)
- We Don’t Need Abortion (Human Life International)
- What is Abortion? (Operation Rescue)
- Biden Administration Extremism on Abortion
RTLACO supports adoption as a possible, positive solution for a woman bearing a child she is unable or reluctant to parent. We also support legislation designed to facilitate and promote the adoption process, thus making it easier to place children with eligible couples. More broadly, we encourage families to consider both adoption and foster care as means by which Ohio promotes the culture of life.
Currently in Ohio there are approximately 15,000 children that are living in out-of-home placement settings every day.. Adoption and foster care can provide a stable and secure home for these children who want so badly to be part of a loving family.
We consider it particularly important to introduce the option of adoption to women in so-called “crisis pregnancy” situations so that they would give their preborn children a chance at life rather than choose abortion.
- Ohio Foster, Adoption, and Kinship Care
- Ohio Adoption Information and Resources (American Adoptions)
- Ohio’s Interactive Children Services Dashboard
- 4 Ways Adoption is Better than Abortion (Human Life International video)
Contraception (or more loosely, “birth control”) is not as controversial as abortion in today’s culture, yet it has essentially the same effect – to prevent a new human person from developing in the wake of sexual activity. In fact, abortion has rightly been termed the “back-up” procedure when contraception fails, as it so often does. Further, within the pharmaceutical world there is considerable confusion between a contraceptive, which prevents conception, and an abortifacient, an agent which induces abortion of a living embryo. This confusion has been largely caused by pro-abortion forces which have deliberately blurred the line between the two products to make the use of abortifacients more palatable to a hesitant public.
Considerable evidence indicates that the use of contraceptives leads to an increase in promiscuity and therefore abortions. The health side effects of hormonal birth control on women’s health are well documented and wide ranging. For example, many so-called “birth control pills” are listed as carcinogens (causes of cancer) by their own manufacturers. Further, the spread of the various chemicals from birth control pills goes far beyond women’s bodies into the world around us. Studies in the U.S. and other countries have confirmed that excreted birth control pills act as an ecological pollutant, causing damage to the environment.
For all of these reasons, RTLACO opposes any drug, device, method, or procedure that is designed to prevent or terminate the new human life that may result from the marital act between husband and wife. Pregnancy is a natural outcome of conjugal relations within marriage according to God’s plan, and not a disease to be prevented. The marital act is and must always remain open to new life, therefore the union of spouses through conjugal love must never be deliberately closed to life or love. RTLACO supports natural family planning methods as ethical options for postponing pregnancy.
- Birth Control (Human Life International)
- Why Prolifers Must Oppose Contraception (Priests for Life)
- Letter to a Young Girl (Dr. Alice Von Hildebrand)
While most of our “life” issues pertain to the beginning of life, there are similar issues involving the end of life. They are euthanasia (in which a second party acts to kill a person to alleviate his suffering) and its companion procedure, assisted suicide (in which the second party, often a doctor, provides the means by which a person ends his own life). Fortunately, euthanasia and assisted suicide have never been legal in Ohio, nor is there significant popular support for them. In 2016, an Ohio law strengthened the ban against assisted suicide by making it a felony. However, there are currently nine other states (plus the District of Columbia) in which assisted suicide has recently been legalized.
Euthanasia and assisted suicide are among an array of “end of life” issues that are frequently addressed through ill-defined terms such as “quality of life” and “death with dignity.” For example, it is a fact of nature that at some point the human body will inevitably succumb to death, but it should never be deprived of nutrition and hydration, which are continually necessary for all persons. Such actions are frequently disguised as a form of compassion for a terminally ill (or even handicapped) person, when in reality they are arbitrary choices for the convenience of others.
RTLACO opposes the intentional killing of a dependent person for his or her alleged benefit, whether by active intervention or by omitting treatment. We approve the accepted medical practice of administering pain-relieving drugs with the dosage necessary to alleviate a terminally ill patient’s suffering as long as there is no intent to administer, overdose, or withhold treatment to cause or hasten death. We oppose the surrender of a patient’s right to life to an agent, committee, or court through measures such as the “right to die,” “a living will,” “medical aid in dying,” or “medical orders for life sustaining treatment” (MOLST, MOST, POLST) acts.
- Patients Rights Council
- Euthanasia Prevention Coalition USA
- Bobby Schindler (brother of Terri Schiavo)
- Terri Schiavo Life and Hope Network
- Endof Life Issues (Human Life International)
5. In Vitro Fertilization
Most of our “life” issues involve the death, or preventing the conception, of a living person. With the phenomenal advancement of medical science in recent years, it is now possible to, almost literally, do the opposite – create life. In 1978, the world learned of the first so-called “test tube baby” and the resulting fertility industry has been growing by leaps and bounds ever since. The industry develops and exploits a variety of “assisted reproductive technologies,” the most common of which is in vitro fertilization or IVF. In short, IVF is the process of fertilization by extracting eggs, retrieving a sperm sample, and then manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish (“in vitro”). The resulting embryo(frequently several embryos) is then implanted in the uterus of either the intended “mother” of the child, or a surrogate mother.
IVF has a profound impact on how we view the dignity and value of every human life, both in and outside the womb. The largely unregulated multi-billion-dollar fertility industry appears to satisfy a humanitarian need by providing the possibility of pregnancy for couples who have been unable to conceive. However, this comes at the price of treating all involved as mere commodities. Attractive young girls are now enticed to donate their eggs either to help an infertile couple or to promote “scientific research.”In return, they receive huge monetary payments but are rarely aware of the attendant risks to their own health and future fertility. Likewise, men willing to masturbate for profit are encouraged to become sperm donors.Both male and female donors are screened to satisfy a potential client’s desire for an “ideal” child, sometimes even referred to as a “designer baby.” The resulting products are essentially “marketed” at a steep mark-up to persons who are interested in conceiving. Finally, because of the steep failure rate in the entire IVF process, so-called “excess” and “defective” embryos are destroyed.
RTLACO empathizes with the many couples who turn to IVF as a treatment for infertility. However, we adamantly oppose IVF because IVF fundamentally treats human life as a marketable hi-tech product, not as a gift from God within the confines of marriage. It warps the creation of life from an act of love by a married couple to a bio-chemical procedure performed for profit. It entails the creation of multiple embryos which results in selective abortions after implantation. Furthermore, cryopreservation is incompatible with the respect owed to human embryos. IVF screens human embryos for genetic disorders, handicaps and even gender. The “undesirable” embryos are typically discarded and thus their dignity is reduced to that of a commodity, lacking the preservation of the dignity due to all human life. RTLACO supports adoption and other legitimate and morally ethical and life affirming technologies and procedures that do not violate the intrinsic nature of the marital act or treat human beings as commodities.
- In Vitro Fertilization (Students for Life of America)
- Assisted Reproduction (Human Life International)
- In vitro fertilization (IVF) (The Mayo Clinic)
- Eggsploitation (45-minute YouTube video)
6. Population Control
Wittingly or not, mankind has for centuries fulfilled God’s first commandment to Adam and Eve in Genesis (1:28), “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.” The first concern that the human population might grow too large was expressed by the English minister Thomas Malthus in 1798. Malthus maintained that the population growth will always tend to outrun the food supply and that mankind’s improvement would be impossible without strict limits on reproduction. No evidence ever surfaced to support his theory. However, Malthus became a strong influence on Charles Darwin and others who promoted the concept of survival of the fittest, implying that there was an ongoing social conflict among various human groups for limited resources. More than a century and a half later, the American Paul Ehrlich proposed a similar theory. In his celebrated (and dramatically wrong) 1968 book The Population Bomb, Ehrlich predicted worldwide famine due to overpopulation, as well as other major societal upheavals, and advocated immediate action to limit population growth.
Also by the 1960s, the impetus for population control had spread to the highest places in governments around the world. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) began its operations in 1969, focusing on developing countries and working to “reduce populations” by abortion, contraception, forced sterilization and whatever other methods would be tolerated by the local governments. The UNFPA was a key actor in Communist China’s draconian decision for a “one child” per family policy which lasted 35 years. Numerous other United Nations agencies work in concert with the UNFPA to promote population control.
By 1974, the U.S. Government was also formally in the population control business. In that year, the National Security Council approved a top-secret document (NSSM-200) to address what the NSC considered a major threat to American national security by the rapid population growth in less-developed countries.Also known as The Kissinger Report, this document has never been revoked and remains influential today. For example, American foreign aid grants and other favorable actions by the United States are often tied to the implementation of various population control programs in the receiving countries.
There is a strong element of racism and eugenics in the attitudes of the United Nations, the United States, and other “first-world” countries concerning population control. There is also a presumption that larger populations place a greater strain on the environment, which is not necessarily true. Finally, decades of emphasis on population control have dramatically slowed the world’s growth rate to the point where it is almost zero. In fact, some major countries such as Japan and Italy are now showing negative growth. Despiteour unprecedented population numbers, the world has not run out of food, and the planet can sustain the amount of people on it. Although we still see poverty—some dire—we do not have the widespread famine and food shortages that the population controllers have predicted. And often this poverty is a direct result of problems in infrastructure and distribution, rather than actual shortages.
RTLACO views human beings as producers and problem solvers rather than mere consumers and problems. We accept the conclusion of experts who find the earth’s resources and agricultural lands capable of supporting several times the earth’s present population. We reject population control programs that rely on the promotion of contraception, sterilization and abortion.
- What is the Myth of Overpopulation? (Population Research Institute)
- Population Control (Human Life International)
- The World Fact Book (CIA)(population growth rate by country)
7. Stem Cell Research
Another recent advance in the medical field has been the work with human stem cells, which are the body’s raw materials — cells which are able to divide indefinitely and eventually generate other specialized cells (such as bone cells, blood cells, or muscle cells). Researchers have become interested in stem cells because it helps them understand how diseases occur, but also because of their newly discovered role in regenerative medicine. Specifically, under the right conditions stem cells can generate other specific healthy cellstoreplace and regenerate tissue impacted by disease or injury. Researchers have found benefits from this regenerative medicine among persons with spinal cord injuries, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and other conditions.
The two principal types of stem cells utilized in regenerative medicine are:
(1) Adult (or somatic) stem cells, are found throughout the body, including in skin, bone marrow, heart, liver, etc. The donor is not harmed by the extraction of adult stem cells; in fact, those cells are frequently used to treat the donor himself, thus avoiding the possibility of rejection.
(2) Embryonic stem cells, on the other hand, are removed from a human embryo, typically generated through in vitro fertilization, within a few days after conception. This action necessarily entails the destruction of the embryo, i.e., and hence the death of a person in the earliest stages of development.
The destruction of the embryo to extract stem cells violates the first and long-standing principle of medicine which is to “first do no harm.” The destruction of one life for the benefit of another recalls the gruesome Nazi medical experiments on inmates in German concentration camps, supposedly to improve the survival of German troops. In addition to the ethical problem with the fetal stem cells, they have not proved beneficial despite massive investments in research. While adult stem cellshave cured thousands, no person has yet been cured by embryonic stem cells. Fortunately, scientists have recently learned how to stimulate a patient’s own cells to behave like embryonic stem cells, which is reducing the demand for human embryos.
RTLACO supports research and techniques, such as with adult stem cells, that can save or cure persons without causing harm to others. This is an ethical and legitimate use of science. On the other hand, we adamantly oppose the use or research of embryonic stem cells which results in the death of a preborn child, even if it is at the very beginning of life.
- The Ten Great Myths in the Debate Over Stem Cell Research (National Catholic Bioethics Center)
- Stem cells: What they are and what they do (The Mayo Clinic)
In The News
South Carolina House Passes Abortion Ban with Rape Exception. Babies Conceived in Rape Less Human? By a vote of 67- 35, the South Carolina House of Representatives passed a bill that purports to ban abortion. On Wednesday, the House voted down a more principled abortion ban that would have also protected the right to life
At the end of 2020, the Ohio Legislature passed two pro-life pieces of legislation that were ultimately signed into Law by Governor Dewine. Senate Bill 27, the bill to ensure the Humane and proper Disposition of the Remains of an Unborn Baby killed by abortion, SB27 was the culmination of 2+ years of work by
On Wednesday, Dec 22nd, Governor DeWine signed into law Senate Bill 157. This new law now requires medical care for babies that survive abortions. Essentially it prevents infanticide in statewide abortion facilities. Failure to do so, could result in felony charges for the abortionist/doctor. The law also requires the reporting of these born alive cases