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Anti-Choice Infighting in Ohio Gets Uglier

Robin Marty

As "Right to Life" groups splinter and reform, the battle over how to get Roe V. Wade challenged the fastest is pitting anti against anti.

Ohio Right to Life and Faith2Action have long been fighting each other over the right bill to ban abortion and invoke a Supreme Court challenge that could potentially overturn Roe V. Wade.  But as one group spearheads a national effort to have every women be forced to listen to the fetal heartbeat before an abortion, and the other tries to ban abortion from the moment a heartbeat can be detected, the bad blood between the two is starting to spill further into the public eye.

Julie Busby, a current Ohio Right to Life Board member who is not seeking reelection, has filed a complaint with the attorney general, claiming the Ohio Right to Life board and its chair, Mike Gonidakis, are not releasing records she has requested.  The accusation highlights the escalating issues that anti-choice activists have been having with a group they say is too timid in its approach to attempting to ban abortion, leaving them no choice but to seek more aggressive strategies like the ones Faith2Action is offering.

Via The Republic:

At its heart, it’s a tactical disagreement over how best to limit abortions fastest. Right to Life is viewed as entrenched and too cautious by some within the movement. The tactics of Faith2Action — such as staging public ultrasounds and inviting an “aborted fetus” named Melissa to testify at a legislative committee — alarm those with the goal of bringing the movement into the mainstream.

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[Former Right to Life board memember Jack] Willke was initially close-mouthed about his decision to leave Ohio Right to Life, a group he helped found and where [Faith2Action founder Janet] Porter once served as legislative director. Gonidakis said Willke cited failing health in his resignation letter.

Earlier this month, though, Faith2Action released a statement by Willke indicating he would be joining their new political arm, Ohio ProLife Action.

“A major reason why I’m doing this is because the Ohio Right to Life board no longer represents the pro-life people in Ohio,” the statement said. Faith2Action did not respond to an Associated Press request to interview Willke on the issue.

As the splintering groups fight, will the anti-choice movement in the state become to weak to push for more onerous regulations? 

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