Head of Ohio Right-to-Life Group Undermines Pro-Life Bill

[Family Policy Network] – The head of a million-dollar-a-year Ohio pro-life group exploited an interview with the daily newspaper in the state’s capital city to publicly undermine a proposed abortion ban, just days after it was introduced in the state legislature.

In an article that appeared in the July 12, 2007 Columbus Dispatch, Ohio Right to Life Executive Director Denise Mackura effectively undercut a legislative proposal offered by Representative Tom Brinkman (R-Cincinnati) that would ban all abortions except those designed to save the life of the mother, saying she doesn’t believe the proposal will pass with Democrat Governor Ted Strickland in office.

Mackura’s comments seem to indicate she prefers avoiding a principled defeat, unlike the abortion ban bill’s sponsor, who recognizes the value of forcing legislators to prove or disprove their pro-life credentials before the voters back home. The Dispatch quoted Mackura as saying, “With the governor that we have, I don’t think there is any possibility of getting a ban [on abortion] passed. While we do have a majority of pro-life legislators in the House and Senate, I don’t know that we have a veto-proof majority.”

Publicly airing doubts about Brinkman’s pro-life proposal constituted a betrayal of pro-life leaders working toward the bill’s passage. Center for Bioethical Reform Midwest Executive Director Mark Harrington responded to Mackura’s public statement by arguing the likelihood of passing a ban should not be a condition for support by pro-life groups. He said, “It’s always the proper time to do right. You continue to bring [abortion bans] out until it’s finally done.” He added, “Persist on the goal, which is to ban abortion. That has always been the goal of the pro-life movement.”

When asked by a reporter from to clarify her comments, Mackura said her group “wholeheartedly” supports Brinkman’s proposal. However, she again undermined efforts by pro-lifers to pass the bill by saying, “Supporting legislation and being realistic about its chances are two very different issues.”

Family Policy Network President Joe Glover believes courage is a requirement for pro-life leaders. He said, “If Denise Mackura wants to fight for unborn children, she should lead, follow, or get out the way.” He added, “Pro-life activism isn’t for the faint of heart. If she won’t charge a hill to defend human lives, she should hand the flag to someone else who will.”

Ohio HB 284 was introduced on July 10, 2007. Its current status can be seen by clicking here.


Rep. Brinkman’s Pro-Life Legislation:

Ohio Abortion Ban Bill Reintroduced, No Clear Support from State “Pro-Life” Group

Ohio Abortion Ban Bill Reintroduced, No Clear Support from State “Pro-Life” Group

Pro-Life Ohio Legislator Introduces Abortion Ban…

Ohio Right to Life Clarifies Position: “Wholeheartedly” Supports Abortion Ban

Ohio Bill to Ban Abortion Gets Mixed Support from Pro-Life Groups