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New Political Action Committee Will Address Heartbill Bill Opponents

For months now, many anti-abortion activists have been trying to pressure leaders in the Ohio Senate to bring the controversial heartbeat bill up for a vote. The abortion foes have held rallies, prayer vigils and now they are hoping to prod senators to support the plan to ban abortions in Ohio at the point when a fetus’s heartbeat can be heard. The new group calls itself Ohio ProLife Action. It’s a 501C 4 group that will work to outlaw abortion in Ohio. Janet Folger Porter is the head of Faith to Action, one of the groups that is backing the new pac. And she says the first order of business is the heartbeat bill.

"I don’t think there’s a bill in America with more support than the heartbeat bill. And I don’t believe there is more support in the state of Ohio for any legislation than the heartbeat bill. And how encouraging it is to know that there is a new statewide organization that actually stands for babies with beating hearts but brings with it such authority, such influence, such impact."

Folger Porter says that influence and impact comes from supporters of the heartbeat bill, from pro-family groups to elected leaders to more than 30 local right to life chapters in Ohio. One name that’s conspicuously missing from that list -- Ohio Right to Life. The statewide organization is not supporting the heartbeat bill, but it’s not opposing it either. Director Mike Gonadakis says his group welcomes another group into the fight against abortion. He says this group is not a threat to Ohio Right to Life. And Gonadakis sees this as no different than what’s happened nationally with various groups.

"We have groups like our group, National Right to Life, but we also have great groups like Americans United for Life, Susan B Anthony list, obviously the Catholic Bishops -- what have you and the more, the merrier."

Gonadakis says his group is supporting a national bill that would require abortion providers to make the heartbeat of an unborn child visible and audible to its mother as part of her informed consent. As far as the Ohio heartbeat bill is concerned, Gonadakis says his organization has legal questions about it.

"We agree with the intent. We think all babies, from the moment of conception, should be protected and the intent of the heartbeat bill is absolutely supported across state lines. It’s just the tactics as it relates to the legal problems we have that we need to continue to work to make it the best bill possible."

[Ingles- Do you think the Supreme Court could somehow make it worse for your cause?]

[Gonadakis – Uh, based on every national legal expert we have spoken to and worked with from the beginning, that is a valid concern.]

But backers of the heartbeat bill insist their plan is legal.

Kelly Copeland with the National Abortion Rights Action League of Ohio says this new group is more of the same in her mind.

"They all want to take away a woman’s ability to make personal private decisions by outlawing abortions. They can change their names, they can come up with a new one, but it doesn’t change the fact that they are out of touch with Ohio’s value and priorities."

Copeland says this fight over abortion is not what Ohioans want.

"They are clamoring for jobs. They are saying to politicians they elected last November, “You said you would fix the economy. Let’s get busy”. They are not wanting them to spend all of their time on this war on women that they launched back in January."

But the new ant-abortion political action group says this is the right time to take up this fight. After all, they note, Republicans control all of state government. So this new group promises to turn up the heat on lawmakers to put the heartbeat bill up for a vote. The group will first begin airing a television spot in the Dayton area. And if politicians don’t put the bill up for a vote, this group promises to campaign against them when they come up for a vote for re-election.