Cleveland, Ohio, August 5th 2013
In an unprecedented move on July 17th, the National Right to Life Committee (NRTL) chose to support Senator Rob Portman’s newly expressed support of gay marriage and to withdraw support from one of the most effective prolife organizations in the country, Cleveland Right to Life (CRTL).
In a letter dated July 17th, 2013, the president of National Right to Life, Carol Tobias, informed CRTL President, Molly Smith, that because of their recent addition of support for traditional marriage and the family to its Mission Statement, AND because of CRTL criticism of Senator Portman, that CRTL would no longer be considered an Affiliate of NRTL. “This letter, which was received well after the date on the letter, came without even a phone call or email from the NRTL organization”, noted Molly Smith. “In fact, we have become aware that copies of the letter were forwarded to Ohio prolife organizations from Senator Portman’s office before I had the opportunity to read it myself”, added Smith. CRTL can only surmise from these facts that there was significant coordination between NRTL and Senator Portman’s office on this and that the Senator asked for NRTL to take this action against one of the most active and effective local prolife organizations in the country.
“This entire salvo was the result of CRTL adding the marriage/family issue to its Mission Statement recently because the traditional family with a mother and a father is an inherent right of every child”, notes Jerry C. Cirino, CRTL Board member. “We know it is not only important to protect the rights of a child to be born…we should also care about the child after they are born”, continued Cirino. “This is about supporting the family in America and any politician, including Portman, who supports the break-up of the American family and supports the denial of a mother and father for children has forfeited the right of support and endorsement of the prolife movement, concluded Cirino.
CRTL has noted that since their recent announcement they have received tremendous grassroots support and new financial contributions for their efforts. “We have had expressions of support from politicians around Ohio, many of whom have shown an interest in running against Republicans who do not steadfastly support the family and traditional marriage”, noted Smith. She also encouraged other local, state and national groups to contact them for information about the improved prolife mission statement. Other Right to Life, organizations in Ohio are also considering joining CRTL and Lake County Right to Life in modifying their Mission Statements. CRTL has also noted that the organization has never had a direct affiliation with NRTL, only a tiered relationship that is maintained through the state organization, Ohio Right to Life (ORTL) and as CRTL remains an Affiliate in good standing of Ohio Right to Life the national organization’s action is puzzling to say the least. CRTL has not changed its focus and will continue the fight for legal protection for all human life especially for the unborn, the family, the elderly and the infirm.
Cleveland Right to Life is an autonomous organization that cooperates with local, state and national organizations to protect and defend all human life from conception till natural death and to work with other Right to Life affiliates around the state to spread the Gospel of Life.