Volume 51, Number 2
It is with deep sadness that we share the news that our dear friend and former President of Cincinnati Right to Life, Mr. J. Patrick Conroy, passed away surrounded by his family on Saturday, May 8, 2021. He was preceded in death by his wife, Margaret Mary Conroy.
Pat was born in Norwich, New York, the fourth of seven children. He was a U.S. Army veteran who served our country in the European Theatre in World War II. While Pat and his wife were both actively involved in their parish, Pat was equally committed to the pro-life cause. He served as President of Cincinnati Right to Life from 1999 to 2005. He was a hands-on president who, although technically a volunteer, kept daily hours in the office. Before he retired Pat helped to revitalize the board and bylaws to prepare us for significant future endeavors. Many current board members and other active pro-lifers can point to Pat as their recruiter.
For years he participated in the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants’ Saturday prayer vigils at the Cincinnati Planned Parenthood, as well as the Women’s Med Center in Sharonville before it closed. Pat was committed to the Right to Life print newsletter and worked to increase its distribution and modernize mailing practices. Thanks to his efforts, our newsletter currently reaches over 12,000 people. According to our former Executive Director Paula Westwood, the advice Pat once gave for coming generations was to “get involved or stop complaining.” Even up until his last days, Pat was up to date on pro-life news and often called the office to offer advice and assistance on the issue.
Current Cincinnati Right to Life President Jack Hart remembers Pat as “a man of faith and grace, always with a splash of his trademark dry humor.” Jack stated, “He was committed to protecting the lives of the unborn and the health of their mothers - and to the well-being of them both throughout their lives through his dedication to the St. Vincent de Paul Society and other charitable organizations. Pat remains an inspiration to those of us who trace their beginnings in our cause to his persuasive leadership.”
Pat was a man of the Greatest Generation, as well as a warrior for the precious unborn. We are confident that Pat’s soul will be accompanied by the voices of many babies who, once silenced by death, will speak on his behalf before the Almighty.
Pat (center) was the 2014 Life Award recipient. Shown here with current RTL
President, Jack Hart (L) and former Executive Director Paula Westwood (R).
Different But Not Less
Please join us on October 21st for our annual Evening for Life! This year’s event will be in person and feature George Dennehy. Because he was born without arms, George sings and plays music from his heart using his feet. He has a very powerful message to share. He has overcome incredible challenges in his life, but believes that every individual life has purpose and value. Join us to hear about George’s life story, including his brush with death in a Romanian orphanage and his adoption by his U.S. family
at a very young age. George started his musical journey by learning to play the cello at the age of eight, and went on to teach himself guitar, electric bass, and basic piano. Purchase a ticket to hear George’s powerful story of life and purpose. Visit www.cincinnatirighttolife.org to learn more!
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
United States Declaration of Independence
We are pleased to announce the addition of three individuals to our Board of Directors. We thank them for their generosity in serving the pro-life movement in this capacity. Read below to learn more about each of them.
Mrs. Rachel Citak
Rachel Citak is a Cincinnati-based attorney born and raised in the Queen City. A Xavier University alumna as well as a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Law, she and her husband Rob are law school sweetheartswho own and operate Rachel R. Citak, Attorney at Law LLC, servicing Ohio and Kentucky clients. In joining our board, she brings extensive experience from the state capital, having formerly served as in-house counsel and lobbyist for the Center for Christian Virtue. Rachel has testified and successfully engaged in discussions in Statehouse and Senate committee hearings on a variety of pro-life bills, including the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Act, Telemedicine Abortion Ban, Abortion Pill Rescue, and other conservative policies. Since being invited to the Cincinnati Enquirer Board of Contributors, her op-eds have brought unique legal and cultural perspective to conservative issues, such as the black pro-life movement and identity politics.
Mrs. Beth Eichhold
Beth, a lifelong Cincinnatian, has been involved in the pro-life movement since childhood through the annual Rosary march downtown, and in adulthood as a member of the Greater Cincinnati Young Adults for Life. Her particular passion is for grassroots change, engaging friends and family in even the smallest steps of participation to collectively bring about big change. To this end, she founded the now-annual Mini March for Life as a way to link local pro-lifers in prayer and witness with the National March for Life each year. She is a devoted Catholic, an inpatient nurse at a local hospital, and, recently, a new wife! Beth welcomed the invitation to join the board, excited to offer her talents to the pro-life movement in a new and engaging way.
Mr. Nick Stockhauser
Nick grew up in Cincinnati where he attended LaSalle High School and then Xavier University. After college, he started his career by providing digital marketing services for a variety of businesses, and continues to do so today. Currently, Nick and his wife Elizabeth live in Amelia with their new daughter Zelie. Nick has been active in the Cincinnati pro-life community for several years, and has previously worked directly with Cincinnati Right to Life on a digital marketing project. Nick has expressed his excitement in joining the Cincinnati Right to Life board, and is enthusiastic to use his professional marketing skills and experience to promote the culture of life in our community.
We truly appreciate all who participated in this year’s Mother’s Day Flower Sale. Because of your generosity we made a profit of over $4,000. May the beautiful flowers remind you of God’s most precious gift of Life throughout the summer!
The 40 Days for Life spring campaign came to a close on Palm Sunday and, in spite of a fierce wind which blew almost continuously, approximately 65 to 70 people met at the Holy Name Church parking lot. They processed down the street to Planned Parenthood while praying the Way of the Cross for the Victims of Abortion. Fr. Tom Wray led the prayer and shared brief remarks of encouragement. This year, three new parishes joined the movement, bringing the total to 61 participating organizations. Please join Mary Clark and the 40 Days participants for monthly group prayer hours on the last Friday of the months of May through August. The fall campaign will run from September 22 through October 31, 2021.
Due to ongoing concerns regarding the pandemic, Cross the Bridge for Life was cancelled this year, but plans to be back in 2022. They are still encouraging people to prayerfully consider donating to local crisis pregnancy centers and pro-life partners, who are experiencing greater need and often fewer resources during this time. Visit
CrosstheBridgeforLife.com for updates.
Despite fierce wind and driving rain, nearly 50 people gathered on the Friday of Mother’s Day weekend to hold a vigil for post-abortive mothers. The world has created commemorative days for mothers, birthmothers, adoptive mothers, and grieving mothers. Post-abortive mothers do not have any such thing. However, millions of women suffer because of their abortions, and Mother’s Day can often be a harsh reminder of their actions and their losses. We are grateful to our motivating event speakers. State Representative Jennifer Gross shared her personal abortion story for the first time in a public setting. We applaud her courage, and hope this event brought her healing. We were also blessed to hear from Laura Strietmann and Morgan Whaley. Laura, who is now with Ruah Woods, shared personal stories and encounters she had with post-abortive women while working at Pregnancy Center East. And, Morgan Whaley, Executive Director of Outreach at Emmanuel Temple Apostolic Church, talked about her own walk with a friend who had an abortion at the very Planned Parenthood where we stood that night. We hope and pray that all post-abortive mothers can find forgiveness, healing, mercy, and hope in God and those in the pro-life movement.
The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has announced that they will be hearing a major abortion case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. This is the first abortion case that will come before the court since the appointment and confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett. SCOTUS will consider just one of three questions requested: “Whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.” The bill in play is Mississippi House Bill 1510. It was passed in 2018 to limit abortion when “the probable gestational age of the unborn human being” is “greater than” 15 weeks, “except in a medical emergency or in the case of a severe fetal abnormality….” As many have often pointed out, the United States is one of only seven countries in the world in which abortion is legal through all nine months of pregnancy. In the wake of this announcement, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki took the time to remind the American people that President Biden is “committed to codifying” Roe v. Wade. While this case may not mean the complete overturning of Roe v. Wade, we are hopeful that it signals the beginning of the end of abortion in our country. We have spent nearly 50 years in this country killing tens of millions of unborn children. There are nine people who can stop this genocide. We must pray, fast, and sacrifice for our Justices, that they have the courage and conviction to rule morally and constitutionally for life.
On February 25th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act by a vote of 224-206. However, the Equality Act is unfairly named, as it discriminates against people of faith and especially the unborn. Indeed, it is not about “equality” at all. The act changes the definition of “sex” to include “pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition”. Under the terms of the bill, abortion is considered a “treatment” for pregnancy. In effect, this means that individuals and organizations refusing to perform or refer for abortions could be penalized for “pregnancy discrimination”. The bill also overrides religious freedom protections, forcing employers to pay for abortions through health insurance programs regardless of religious objections. Furthermore, it forces state taxpayers to fund abortions through their Medicaid programs. The bill’s passage is unknown in the U.S. Senate. Visit CincinnatiRighttoLife.org to learn more about what you can do to speak out against this outrageous discriminatory bill.
Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio (PPSWO) has recently announced that they will offer gender hormone therapy to adults at their surgical center in Cincinnati, as well as all satellite locations in Dayton, Hamilton, and Springfield. Although the message is disguised as one of help and healing, a quick look at the PPSWO website reveals their true intentions. They will bring patients in for hormone therapy and then provide them with “sexual and reproductive health care services.” Furthermore, by their own admission, Planned Parenthood will not require any kind of psychological evaluation or treatment prior to administering unnatural hormones to men and women when research indicates serious and even life-threatening conditions associated with testosterone and estrogen treatments. According to local news, trans adults “age out” of trans services from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital at age 25. This is now where PPSWO will step in. Protecting every individual’s human dignity is at the very core of the pro-life movement. Attempts to change people’s genders by administering sterilizing puberty blockers is a direct attack on this dignity. Planned Parenthood has always been about birth control, abortion, and sterilization. Their objective is to destroy the true understanding of human sexuality and the purpose of the God-given gift of procreation. With the recent news of nearly 16% of Generation Z identifying as LGBT, it is no surprise that Planned Parenthood is going to capitalize on this. It is critical that we assist the vulnerable who suffer from gender confusion, but Planned Parenthood is hardly the place to start. As if killing the unborn isn’t enough, now they will inflict irreparable mental damage on unstable people, sterilizing women and men for the sole purpose of financial gain.
On May 25th, after almost four hours of testimony, Lebanon City Council voted unanimously (6-0) to pass an ordinance declaring Lebanon a Sanctuary City for the Unborn. While similar ordinances have been passed in Nebraska and Texas, Lebanon is the first city in Ohio to take this step. The ordinance states that it is unlawful for anyone to procure or perform an abortion or aid or abet someone in doing so inside the city limits. Furthermore, it prohibits the possession or distribution of abortion drugs. The ordinance defines abortion as “the act of using or prescribing an instrument, a drug, a medicine, or any other substance, device or means with the intent to cause the death of an unborn child of a woman known to be pregnant.” In the year 2019, the Ohio Health Department of Health reported that there were 20,102 abortions committed in our state. Over 6,000 of those were committed in Cincinnati and Dayton combined. There are no abortion facilities within the city of Lebanon, but this ordinance creates a safe haven for the unborn in between these two very dangerous cities. Thank you to Mayor Brewer and the city council members for your courageous leadership for life. We hope and pray that many other cities in our state follow the example of Lebanon.
With the recent news of the Ohio vaccine lottery and more pressure from individuals and organizations to get vaccinated, it is more important now than ever to speak up for ethical vaccines. Unfortunately, some vaccines that exist today make use of abortion derived cell lines. This includes the COVID-19 vaccines, none of which are completely free from ethical concerns. It is unacceptable and shameful that pharmaceutical companies continue to produce any vaccines that utilize abortion derived cell lines in the production, development, or testing phases. This perpetuates the commoditization of innocent babies’ bodies. As prolifers, we have an obligation to speak up! Please visit our website to learn how to take action in defense of our precious unborn.
Senate Bill 157, the Born Alive Infant Protection Act was introduced in the Ohio Senate on April 13th. It is sponsored by Dr. Terry Johnson and Dr. Stephen Huffman, both Ohio Senators. This bill seeks to protect infants from neglect if they survive attempted abortions. It requires that an abortionist inform the Ohio Department of Health if a baby survives an abortion, and says that doctors must perform life-saving treatment if a baby is born alive after a botched abortion. It is impossible to know how many people have survived attempted abortions due to a lack of reporting requirements. However, it is likely there are thousands.
In mid-February, the Cincinnati Enquirer published a story saying that some women in the state think that abortion is illegal. According to the study, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, one in ten Ohio women think abortion is illegal in the state. The study was an eight-month review of the Ohio Survey of Women led by an Ohio State University professor. It found that in the state 26.2% of women weren’t sure if abortion was legal and 9.8% believed all abortions were illegal in the state. Between October 2018 and June 2019, they found that confusion about the legality of abortion in Ohio increased significantly. This would have been around the time hearings were being held at the Statehouse for the Heartbeat Bill. The study found that those who thought abortion was illegal were younger, of lower socioeconomic status, unmarried or black. While we do not seek to confuse women, this data illustrates that the law is indeed a teacher and can have an effect on the culture.
In early February, Toledo Right to Life got word that their city council was going to introduce an ordinance making it illegal for sidewalk counselors to minister and offer alternatives to those entering local abortion facilities. The legislation, presented under the guise of protecting women from harassment, would have set up an eight foot “buffer zone” around each individual seeking “reproductive services”. Furthermore, the ordinance would have restricted prayer vigils to days and hours when abortion facilities are not open. Toledo Right to Life constituents contacted city council members and 22 local union leaders signed a letter of opposition to the ordinance. Since that time, the Toledo City Council has dropped all consideration of such an ordinance.
Our neighbors in Kentucky were not as fortunate, however. Metro Louisville City Council voted to pass an ordinance on May 20th, which establishes a 10-foot buffer zone to mark how close sidewalk counselors can stand to any healthcare facility. While the ordinance is technically for all healthcare facilities, clearly it is targeted at abortion facilities, since that is the only place where people protest, pray, and minister to people outside. In response to the vote, Addia Wuchner, Executive Director of Kentucky Right to Life, said, “This vote denies women the compassionate walk-beside-you help that is needed at the critical moment. Many women do not realize that there is help available for them and their babies. The sidewalk counselors are there to exercise their First Amendment Right to free speech, but more importantly they assure the woman that she is not alone and compassionately extend information on alternatives and support resources as they try to save the life of her unborn child.”
March 31st marked 16 years since the death of Terri Schiavo. Bobby Schindler, Terri’s brother and founder of the Terri Schiavo Life and Hope Network shared this statement on the anniversary of her death: “After nearly two weeks without food or water, Terri Schiavo was finally at peace after suffering a slow, needless and inhumane death by starvation and dehydration. Terri’s feeding tube was removed on March 18, 2005 by order of Judge George W. Greer after Terri’s estranged husband, Michael Schiavo successfully petitioned the court for permission to starve and dehydrate his wife. The Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network marked Terri’s final, horrific days not only to remember Terri, but also to keep in mind the countless people who, as we speak, are suffering slow, agonizing deaths in hospices, nursing homes, and hospitals in America and around the world.”
The latest COVID-19 relief bill, known as the American Rescue Plan, passed Congress and was signed into law by President Biden on March 11th. It provides $1.9 trillion in supposed relief for Americans. However, the irony is not lost on pro-lifers. This bill is intended to save lives, yet it will fund the deaths of unborn babies all over the country and the world. One of the most egregious offenses in the bill is the elimination of the Hyde Amendment, which was included in the past five COVID relief bills. The Hyde Amendment forbids most taxpayer dollars from funding abortions. The bill also gives Planned Parenthood and the like further opportunities for funding. According to the analysis of the Family Research Council, over $459 billion spent through this bill can fund abortions through direct channels, subsidies for facilities/lobbying/health plans, and bailouts. We thank our Cincinnati Right to Life endorsed Congressmen Chabot, Davidson, and Wenstrup for voting ‘no’ on this bill.
On March 30th, the Kentucky House and Senate passed a constitutional amendment on abortion that will put the issue in the hands of Kentucky citizens on the ballot in November 2022. The amendment reads: “To protect human life, nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.” If it passes the ballot in November 2022, the state constitution would then pre-empt any court ruling that could legalize abortion in the state, should the Supreme Court reverse Roe v. Wade. The measure was sponsored by State Representative Joseph Fischer from Ft. Thomas. In reference to his bill, he said that it “…simply assures that no Kentucky court will ever be able to fashion an implicit right to abortion from the language of our state Constitution.” This is critical since abortion advocates in nearly a dozen other states have been able to get state court systems to say their constitutions give that implicit right to abortion. We are very pleased to see this measure in our neighboring state of Kentucky. Let us pray that Kentuckians vote for life in November 2022.
We recently experienced a victory in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, when they ruled 9-7 that Ohio’s law banning abortions after a fetal diagnosis of Down syndrome does not “create a substantial obstacle to a woman’s ability to choose or obtain an abortion.” The original law was signed by Gov. John Kasich in 2017, making it a fourth degree felony for a doctor to perform an abortion if he or she is aware that a Down syndrome diagnosis, or the possibility of a diagnosis, is the reason for seeking the abortion. Even though Preterm-Cleveland, Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio, Women’s Med, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio and Roslyn Kade (who commits abortions in Cincinnati and Dayton) sued the state, we have ultimately been successful in the Sixth Circuit. Provided Planned Parenthood and their counterparts do not sue again, this law will now go into effect, making discriminatory abortions illegal.
Pro-lifers in our state have recently engaged in two other court battles related to laws passed under Governor DeWine at the end of 2020. While these cases could have been filed anywhere in Ohio, they were both filed in the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas. The first law challenged was the Humane Disposition of Fetal Remains law which requires the humane burial or cremation of the remains of infants killed by abortion. In addition to requiring the aborted babies be treated humanely, it prevents abortion providers from selling baby body parts, and improves abortion reporting and statistics by requiring abortionists to issue death certificates. A similar law in Indiana was upheld by the Supreme Court. As such, we knew the abortion lobby could not sue on the components of the law. They did sue, nonetheless, ultimately filing a case against the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) on the basis that ODH has not provided the appropriate standards for disposal in a timely manner. Governor DeWine has stepped in and issued an executive order declaring an emergency exists. This order allows ODH to bypass cumbersome bureaucratic channels to publish the disposal rules very soon. Once the rules are published, the abortion lobby will essentially have no case. However, it remains to be seen if they will sue on other grounds. The second recent court battle regards the law that effectively banned telemedicine abortions in the state. This law requires that a physician be physically present when the first of two chemical abortion drugs is administered. However, Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Alison Hatheway has issued a preliminary injunction against this law until it is decided upon in court. Given the lack of support from the FDA and their disregard for the dangers of the abortion pill, we may have a challenging court battle ahead. At this point, there is no further court date scheduled.
Congratulations to the winners of this year’s Pro-Life Poster Contest! We hit a record this year with over 700 posters submitted from 46 different schools and homeschools. The winning posters and several Honorable Mentions were on disply at the Holy Spirit Center for two weeks and many have now been returned to their creators. Cash prizes have been awarded to three students in each of the three age categories. We are proud of the students and their ability to astutely capture the theme “Every Life is Worth Defending.” Visit our website to see the winning posters. If you wish to pick up your child’s or student’s poster, call us 513-728-7870.
First place K-2nd
St. Margaret of York School
First place 3rd-5th
Immaculate Conception Academy
For many years, Cincinnati Right to Life has been blessed by an annual Respect Life Fund Grant from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. This grant is used to support our annual billboard campaigns which encourage those who support human life protections, but also reach the indifferent or uninformed with a pro-life message we could not convey otherwise. We target local areas where abortion numbers are high. We believe that by placing pro-life, thought-provoking messages in public places, we can help shift the attitude of society towards a culture of life. We have further been blessed this year by an individual donation to put up more billboards as part of our campaign. Furthermore, we are also providing artwork to Clermont County Right to Life who received funds from the Archdiocese as well. Boards that have already been placed or will go up this summer are displayed below. We are grateful for the generosity of so many and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati for funding such a critical message campaign.
In Memory Of:
“My mother who gave Life to me”
Donald R. Adick
Marie Erna Angner
Gwynedd & Frank Armstrong
Andrew “Andy” Backs
James P. “Jim” Belmont
Andriana Blessing, stillborn
Jack & Stella Brannen
Louis H. Brewer
Mary Lou Brockman
Mr. & Mrs. James Brown
Kathleen “Cookie” Brune
Tom & Bess Bruns
George W. Burks
Jerold C. Chapman
Hobart L. Chase
Brother Joseph Choquette
J. Patrick Conroy
Dickinson & family
Mr. & Mrs. William L. Diss
Rita Ann Doerflein
Hugh & Mildred Duffy
Edward “Ed” Dwelly, Jr.
Sr. Marie Clement Edrich, SFP
Charles L. & Helen Geraci
Mick & Anita Girardot
Douglas & Florence Hallett
Sarah A. Hotek
Hubert & Jeanne Jacob
George & Jane Kasselmann
Elizabeth “Betty” Kij
Richard T. Kramer
Joann Rita Kroth
Kathleen C. Laake
Albert “Al” Littner
Rose E. Lorenz
Gordon B. Lowell
James “Jim” Merk
Howard “Bud” E. Mullen, II
Mark W. Murray
Dr. Albert C. Niedhamer
Daniel R. Noe
Steven J. Rasso
Jewell D. Ridley
Mr. & Mrs. William Sanders
Donald C. Schmitt
John & Mary Schroeder
Mary Dolores Smith
Phyllis Smith (nee Crusie)
Mary Ann Stevenson
Erin Danielle Vierling
Laura Michele Vierling
Alice & Edgar Willig
Vernon & Dorothy Winner
In Honor of:
Jade & Baby & Boyfriend
Victoria R. Angner
Cincinnati Right to Life
Carole Johansen & Family
John C. “Chuck” Krall
Mariam Schlereth Frank
Bette Karches - 90th
Steven J. Rasso
Amanda M. Surber
Joe & Patty Noser
62nd - Roger & Irma Sand
25th - Joseph & Renee Listermann
Happy Mother's Day:
Pro-life activist Stephanie Gray Connors, who has been advocating for life since she was a child, has recently published a new book called Start with What: 10 Principles for Thinking about Assisted Suicide. This book tackles the growing problem of assisted suicide in our culture. With the general rise in suicide rates and the fact that ten states now legally permit ‘physician assisted suicide’, it is critical that pro-lifers have the tools to combat arguments that favor this deadly action. Visit Stephanie’s website to learn more: LoveUnleashesLife.com
Do you have a recent change of address?
We would love to hear from you! It helps keep our costs down. Call, email, or mail your name with your old and your new address. We will update your record promptly. If you include your current email, we will send out alerts and other important information. Call 513-728-7870, email email@example.com, or mail to 1802 W. Galbraith Rd., Cincinnati, Ohio 45239. Thank you!