Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Sen. Stabenow's record on funding overseas abortion

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow has a long record of supporting efforts to export abortions.

Stabenow has voted numerous times against the Mexico City Policy. The policy prevents tax dollars from going to organizations that provide or promote abortions in foreign countries. The policy was first enacted in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan, and has been repealed and reinstated by pro-abortion or prolife presidents since then. Stabenow's most recent vote against the Mexico City Policy was January 28, 2009. President Obama had rescinded the Mexico City Policy and an effort by Congress to restore it failed.

As we pointed out in a earlier post, Stabenow voted against the Kemp-Kasten Amendment in 2007. The law prevents the United States from funding coercive population control organizations overseas that include forced abortions or forced sterilization.

In 2009 the U.S. House voted to exempt the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) from the Kemp-Kasten Amendment. In effect, the language would say it's OK in the case of the UNFPA for taxpayer dollars to go to an organization that has participated in coercive population control in China. In the U.S. Senate an attempt was made to remove the language, but it failed 39-55. Senator Stabenow voted to send tax dollars to the UNFPA.

The UNFPA has been involved in Chinese population control for decades, including publicly praising their efforts. China's one-child policy (now two-child policy) has resulted in numerous gross human rights abuses. For decades Chinese women who became pregnant with a second child were subjected to forced abortions, violence, or heavy fines. The abuses in China continue today. Shortly after taking office President Trump restricted funding to the UNFPA once again.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Car trunk abortionist suspended today

Photo courtesy of MI Attorney General's Office
Today 75-year-old Michael Arthur Roth, M.D. had his medical license suspended for one year and had a fine of $25,000 imposed by the Michigan Board of Medicine disciplinary subcommittee due to unlawful possession of a controlled substance. A suspension of more than 6 months and one day requires that the physician retest prior to petitioning to have his license reinstated.

The sanctions follow an incident that occurred two years ago and for which Roth is still facing criminal charges. In September of 2015, Roth was involved in a traffic accident where he hit a special-needs man. Due to the nature of the accident, Roth’s car was impounded by police, and they discovered the bodies of 14 unborn children in containers in Roth’s trunk as well as Fentanyl—a controlled substance. The discovery led to a search of Roth’s home which uncovered still more unlawfully obtained controlled substances.

It is suspected that Roth was performing abortions on patients in at-home settings.

Roth was formally charged by the Attorney General’s office in July of 2016 with possession with intent to deliver schedule 2 narcotic Fentanyl, and six counts of identity theft, and three counts of larceny in a building. Roth’s criminal hearing is scheduled for November 27, 2017.

Roth is no stranger to sanctions and investigations. In 2004 he was disciplined by the Michigan Department of Community Health and given a 6 month probation for violation of duty/negligence. The list of violations—including previous at-home abortions—stretches back to 1997, included failing to keep accurate charts on patients, not requiring blood work before procedures and issuing prescriptions without listing the rationale.

In 2012 Roth was once again under scrutiny. He received another 6 month probation and ordered to pay a $15,000 fine for violating the state Public Health Code.

PRESS RELEASE

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Sen. Stabenow's record on tax-funded abortions

In polls majorities of Americans consistently object to being forced to pay for abortions with their tax dollars.

Besides many votes in favor of tax-funding of Planned Parenthood, the nation's number one abortion provider and promoter, Senator Debbie Stabenow has supported direct taxpayer funding of abortions for a long time.

Debbie Stabenow voted as a member of the Michigan Legislature in 1987 to continue to force taxpayers to fund elective abortions through our state's Medicaid program. The ban on Medicaid abortions passed—over her objection—and was affirmed by 57 percent of Michigan voters in 1988. Abortions in Michigan dropped by 10,190 from 1988 to 1989. The Medicaid abortion ban in Michigan has saved many tens of thousands of lives since 1988, people who would not be alive today if Stabenow had succeeded.

Federally the Hyde Amendment is an annual budget rider that prevents federal taxpayer dollars from paying for most abortions. It's been enacted every year since 1976. Senator Debbie Stabenow has often voted against including the amendment in various forms in numerous pieces of legislation. She voted against including it in Obamacare, forcing taxpayers to pay for elective abortions through health insurance plans in several states.

Senator Stabenow has many other votes involving funding of abortion in different ways and programs:

  • She voted to directly fund abortions in our nation's capital, the District of Columbia, in 1998.
  • She voted to let abortions be performed inside federal prisons in 1999.
  • She voted to cover abortions for federal employees through their health insurance in 2000.
  • She voted to let abortions be performed inside our nation's military hospitals several times, most recently in 2003.
  • She voted to fund abortions through the Indian Health Service in 2008

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Abortion comes first, then come the arguments

Have you ever noticed how simple the prolife message is? Unborn children are human beings, and killing innocent human beings is wrong. Have you ever noticed how convoluted arguments for abortion are? What do violinists and artificial wombs have to do with abortion?

Vox recently published an article about the recent advances in creating an artificial womb. It isn’t used yet on humans, but new experiments are being done on lambs and seeing some success.

The author, Harvard Professor I. Glenn Cohen, considers this scientific development and how it might effect arguments for abortion. He poses the question: “Could anti-abortion laws require pregnant women whose fetuses are not yet viable to transfer the fetus to a nurturing site outside the body, possibly by way of minimally invasive surgery?” Could artificial wombs end the justification for abortion?

According to Cohen, there are three types of parents: gestational parents, legal parents, and genetic parents. He believes a woman can't be forced to be a gestational parent and has the right to stop gestating (carrying) the fetus to term. He also believes laws can’t force legal parenthood on a woman. Artificial wombs counter these two arguments, meaning women don't have to continue gestating children, and the children could be adopted.

Abortion supporters shouldn't worry about artificial wombs, however, because Cohen invents a new right to an abortion: the right to not be a genetic parent. Apparently you have a right to not have people related to you. Who knew? This new right means artificial wombs and the current legal justification of abortion based on viability don't matter. How convenient, right?

The author also brings up the old abortion argument of the violinist. This is a popular argument to support the legalization of abortion, despite being fatally flawed. If you don’t know, this violinist argument is a farfetched scenario where you must imagine waking up being attached to a bunch of machines against your will, and these machines are also attached to a world champion violinist, keeping him alive. Why would a sinister band of concert enthusiasts kidnap you to keep their favorite maestro playing?

The purpose of the argument is to have you think about being in this situation yourself, if you would pull the plug. Pro-abortion people argue that this situation is just like pregnancy in that you are being forced to keep someone alive against your will.

This analogy is irrelevant to reality for several important reasons, most of all that creating your own child through a voluntary act is not like a kidnapped violinist being hooked up to you. This argument creates another distraction—an interesting one at least—from what is really going on: children are being killed in the most brutal fashion.

The supposed right to abortion does not spring out of autonomy, or liberty, or the nature of the child. Do abortion supporters honestly sit down and think up how to deal with the abortion issue first and then apply those principles? Every abortion supporter starts from the place that they don’t want a baby, or someone else shouldn't be burdened with a baby. Then they think up ways to justify the unjustifiable, the same way a child rationalizes stealing a cookie from the cookie jar.

Abortion is about dead babies; the arguments are just window-dressing to make the horrendous palatable for our seemingly civilized times.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

A look back at 50 years: 1981

This is the third entry in a monthly series we’ll be running throughout 2017 looking back at historically significant profile moments in our state’s history.



Our early leaders had a vision of major media advertising to help bring the prolife message into every home in Michigan. These wouldn’t just be ads for the sake of advertising, but truly memorable and impactful messages. In 1981 our first ads debuted on statewide television. Since then we’ve had many memorable ads.

The favorite of many people is our "Seed" ad. Produced in 1994, the ad contrasts the fullness of life with the emptiness of abortion. We filmed an updated version of "Seed" in 2015.

The most unique ads we’ve produced were a series in the 1990s featuring Mother Teresa. Mother Teresa didn’t just do any old TV ad on request, but she did several for us on the issue of partial-birth abortion that aired in 1997. She did that just a few years after her famous 1994 speech at the National Prayer Breakfast where she delivered a bold defense of the unborn child as a valuable member of our human family.

We recently produced our first 30-minute documentary, "Life Uninvited." The documentary grew out of our Compassion Project ads, which featured four women sharing their personal perspective and experiences with the issue of rape and abortion. Rape and abortion is a difficult issue to discuss, but these four women cut through the political noise to shine a light on their own experiences and the value of every child, no matter their circumstances.

Our ads have been critical in educating voters about important issues during election seasons. Two notable examples shine. The first are the series of ads produced in 1997 to oppose the effort to legalize doctor-prescribed suicide in our state. In July of 1998 that legalization effort was beating us in the polls, 46 percent to 42 percent. After weeks of bringing our message to the people of Michigan, the final vote was 71 percent against the suicide measure, and only 29 percent for. Our message decisively moved hundreds of thousands of Michigan voters.

The 2016 election also ended in a surprise result. We aired two TV ads, "Birthdays" and "Start with Life," addressing the issue of abortion and the importance of voting your values no prolife issues. Also accompanying the TV ads was an impactful radio ad, War on the Unborn, taken from the popular YouTube video by Peter Heck. Michigan had not voted for a prolife presidential candidate in a generation, but the state did in 2016, in dramatic fashion.

When presented clearly and compellingly, the prolife message that every human life has value can touch hearts and change minds. Ads that can do that don’t spring out of nothing. Creating them is a team effort, from identifying the need, to crafting a truly compelling message, to sometimes finding the right messenger for the message, to filming, to placing the ads strategically for maximum impact, and to raising the money to accomplish all of these necessary steps.

We have also made the effort over the years to allow our colleagues in other states to use our ads. We believe we’ve inspired many others to produce their own ads to bring the prolife message to their corner of the country.

Visit our YouTube channel to see our most recent ads, as well as some of our classics.

Visit our blog in September for our next notable moment in Michigan history in 1988.

Honoring 50 years of prolife advocacy in Michigan
1972: The Voice of the Unborn
1979: Michigan Citizens for Life

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

First pregnancy help grants address abortions in Detroit

Yesterday Right to Life of Michigan visited three pregnancy centers located in Detroit to award them a total of $8,970 in grants. The grants represent a step towards increasing the prolife movement’s focus on addressing the high abortion rate in the city of Detroit.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, "This is a small, but very important step. Abortions continue to decline around the state, but Detroit’s abortion rate remains high. It’s a problem not being addressed, much less talked about."

VIEW PRESS RELEASE

RLM President Barbara Listing with the staff of Care Net Pregnancy Center Detroit


The grants will address several needs the centers indicated: helping with clients’ transportation costs, improving facility safety, Spanish educational materials, website development, a phone application and advertising. Grantees include Pregnancy Aid, Care Net Pregnancy Center and two of Image of God Crisis Pregnancy Center’s three locations in Detroit.

FACILITY TOUR PICTURES

In 2016 Michigan residents had 25,348 reported abortions; 6,106 of those were Detroit residents. Despite only holding seven percent of the state’s population, Detroit accounts for 24 percent of the state’s abortions. Abortions in Wayne Country are 40 percent of the state’s total. Abortion has a disparate impact on minorities, particularly the Black community. Michigan’s population is 14 percent Black, but Black women had 50.5 percent of the reported abortions in Michigan in 2016.

ABORTION STATISTICS IN MICHIGAN

There are more than 150 locations in Michigan where prolife pregnancy and adoption help agencies provide services, but only a handful are located in the city of Detroit. Many agencies around the state benefit from local Right to Life of Michigan affiliates who continue to provide volunteers to them or help with their material or advertising needs. Currently the city of Detroit has no Right to Life of Michigan affiliate within the city limits. Right to Life of Michigan will continue to develop new plans and additional actions to address abortions in Detroit and educate people about this ongoing problem.

PREGNANCY HELP SERVICES IN MICHIGAN

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Announcing a new initiative addressing abortions in Detroit

Mark your calendar to join Right to Life of Michigan for a teleseminar announcing a new initiative to address abortions in the city of Detroit! The teleseminar is Wednesday, August 30, at 10:30 a.m.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing and Administrative Associate for Multicultural Outreach Tina Teifer will introduce the new initiative and provide you with details. This new initiative is the first step to increase our focus on the persistently high abortion rates in Detroit; 40 percent of reported abortions on Michigan residents happen in just Wayne County.

Listen in to be the first to hear this announcement!

RLM Conference Director Natalie Collins will also join us to give a brief preview of our 44th Annual Conference on September 21 in Kalamazoo.

The teleseminar will last about 30 minutes and is open to all prolife people, so please feel free to share this information.

There are two ways for you to listen in:

Use your phone and call (425) 440-5010; PIN Code: 662744#
 Or, listen via the Internet: https://iTeleseminar.com/100930818

We are looking forward to speaking with you Wednesday, August 30, at 10:30 a.m.!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Sen. Stabenow's record on conscience rights

Conscience rights and religious liberty are a founding principle of the United States. They have long been protected, whether it's the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment or the tradition of exempting conscientious objectors from military service. Where does Debbie Stabenow stand on conscience rights that involve prolife issues?

Forcing the Little Sisters of the Poor to fund abortions

On March 22, 2013, U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE) offered an amendment to a budget resolution that would have stopped the Obama Administration's HHS Mandate. The mandate requires employers and individuals to pay for drugs and procedures that may cause abortions by listing those methods as "preventative health services." Debbie Stabenow voted against this amendment and the Fischer Amendment failed by a vote of 44 to 55.

This vote forced the Little Sisters of the Poor—a Catholic religious order of women dedicated to caring for the elderly poor—to seek a court order to prevent themselves from being forced to spend precious resources on purchasing abortion-inducing drugs. Numerous other organizations and individuals also filed in court to protect their conscience rights from the HHS Mandate.

In 2014 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores that the HHS Mandate violated federal law involving closely held-corporations. The Little Sisters of the Poor are not a closely-held corporation, however, and their court case continued until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in 2016 in Zubik v. Burwell to require the Obama Administration to fix the HHS Mandate to protect the conscience rights of the Little Sisters and other nonprofit groups. Following the 2016 election the Trump Administration has promised to restore the conscience rights of the Little Sisters of the Poor and others.

Forcing everyone to purchase health care plans that include free abortions?

When the ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores was handed down, Debbie Stabenow and other senators sought to change federal law to force the Little Sisters of the Poor and others to purchase health insurance plans that cover drugs that may cause abortions. On July 16, 2014, the U.S. Senate took up S. 2578, which would have given the Obama Administration authority to supersede every federal law and conscience protection to force people to purchase any "preventative health service" they mandate. The bill would include superseding the Hyde Amendment, which protects taxpayers from being forced to directly pay for abortions, meaning the bill would have allowed the Obama Administration to force every insurance plan in the country to cover abortions for "free"—even late-term abortions—or doctor-prescribed suicide. Stabenow voted for S. 2578, but the bill failed to reach the 60-votes necessary to end debate.


Supporting coercive population control organizations

Since 1985 the Kemp-Kasten Amendment has prevented the United States from funding coercive population control organizations overseas that include forced abortions or forced sterilizations. For example, George W. Bush's administration restricted taxpayer funding to the United Nations Population Fund when it was revealed they were complicit in cooperating with China's One-Child Policy that involves forced abortions and sterilizations. In 2007 an attempt was made to weaken the Kemp-Kasten language in a Senate appropriations bill. On September 6, 2007, an amendment was approved to restore the Kemp-Kasten protections by a vote of 48 to 45. Debbie Stabenow opposed this effort to protect the human rights of individuals overseas and American taxpayers from being forced to help engage in coercive population control programs.


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Michigan’s Safe Delivery law continues to save babies’ lives

On Monday the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced that the 200th infant has been surrendered under Michigan’s Safe Delivery of Newborns Act since 2001.

Michigan’s Safe Delivery law allows mothers to legally and confidentially surrender unharmed newborns to emergency service providers up to 72 hours after birth. An emergency service provider is defined as an on-duty employee of a fire department, hospital or police station.

The law was passed in response to a disturbing trend of young mothers abandoning their newborn babies in a number of dangerous places, leading to their tragic death.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “Some of these 200 infants would have ended up facing tragic fates. This prolife law has given them a chance at life along with the beautiful opportunity to be adopted into loving families.”

The Act was originally championed by State Representative Patty Birkholz and passed the Michigan Legislature by unanimous votes. It was signed into law in 2000 by Governor John Engler. In 2006 the act was updated to include responding emergency medical technicians and paramedics as emergency service providers.

Listing said, “Continuing to publicly talk about this law is critical to make sure the abandonment trend doesn’t happen again. We need to help our young women and teens be better informed about this law.”

Additional educational and promotional materials about the Safe Delivery law can be found on the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services website.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Jamerian Bennett passed away

We're very heartbroken to update you that Jamerian Bennett passed away on August 12 following a sudden brain hemorrhage. Thank you if you took the time to assist his case in any way.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Praying for Jamerian Bennett

UPDATE: Jamerian passed away on August 12. Please remember his family in your prayers.


Jamerian Bennett is a tough 9-year-old child fighting for his life at University of Michigan's Mott Children's Hospital. His mother, Brandee, is asking for prayer in their effort to find the care he needs.

We first became aware of Jamerian's case after WXYZ in Detroit published a story comparing Jamerian to Charlie Gard. Charlie died recently after the British hospital declared his life "futile" and refused to allow his parents to take him to another hospital willing to treat him. At the time it seemed a similar situation may be happening with Jamerian.

Jamerian's lungs have failed following pneumonia and a bad reaction to medication, leaving him on a lung bypass machine so his body can have oxygen. He is currently conscious but unable to speak; his condition is serious and he may need a lung transplant.

Jamerian's mother Brandee is as much as a fighter as he is, and when his situation was unsure, she went to bat for his care. After WXYZ began reporting on his case, a lawyer offered free pro-bono help to the Bennett family. Currently they are working on getting a transfer in place to an out-of-state facility that specializes in pediatric lung conditions.

Would you please consider taking a moment to pray for him and others in his situation? The family and the hospital need to work out details for a transfer and then Jamerian must make the arduous trip. If he needs a lung transplant he may have to wait for some time.

His case should be a lesson for us all. The most important thing for every person is to have a committed patient advocate like Brandee who will fight for you. After praying take a moment to consider setting up a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare to make sure your wishes will be fought for.

We will continue to monitor Jamerian's case and offer updates, hopefully positive and soon! If you'd like updates on him you can follow his care group on Facebook.

Friday, August 4, 2017

It will be safe, they said. It will be legal, they said. It will be rare, they said...

It has been nearly nine months since prolife President Donald Trump won the election. Since taking office he has fulfilled several important promises to the prolife movement. He appointed an outstanding justice to the Supreme Court, Justice Neil Gorsuch. His strong prolife stand combined with sustained progress in a large number of states has confounded pro-abortion Democrats, making them worry about their future prospects.

A few months ago Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez said that they would not be supporting prolife Democratic candidates in 2018. This came after Senator Bernie Sanders supported a Omaha mayoral candidate, Heath Mello, who voted for some prolife bills in the past. After being attacked by his own party and forced to promote his abortion bona fides, Mello lost his race. That's where the national party stands.

Just a few days ago Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Ben Ray Lujan says that prolife Democrats in conservative districts will get funding from them in the next election cycle. He said they need to broaden their base. That's where the campaign arm of the Democrats in the U.S. House stands.

The indecision on how to handle prolife candidates in the Democratic Party is starting to cause a major divide. A recent opinion piece in the New York Times by feminist author Lindy West addresses the controversy by calling for abortion to be a litmus test for every Democratic candidate.

She wrote, "But to be anti-choice on a policy level is absolutely indefensible from an economic justice, racial justice, gender justice and human rights standpoint. And if the Democratic Party does not stand for any of those things, then what on earth is it?"

For ma long time the Democratic Party has prided itself as standing up for the little guy. There is no littler guy or gal than the innocent unborn child in the womb, though. Human rights has no standpoint if some humans have rights and others don't.

West wasn't finished. In the past West promoted the "Shout Your Abortion" social media campaign, which involves women bragging about past abortions. In her article she wrote, "abortion is normal. Abortion is common, necessary and happening every day."

This is quite different from the original explanation for how Democrats should view abortion: "safe, legal and rare."

There is nothing normal about abortion. There is nothing normal about taking forceps and yanking all four limbs off of a child. There's nothing normal about then using the forceps to crush her body, and then finally crush her skull. While it's typical for an abortionist to know they have succeeded when they see the baby's brain matter leaking out of the womb, there's nothing close to normal about that. Dismemberment abortions may be performed every day in America, but they are abhorrently abnormal.

This is why we work so hard every day to further educate people on what abortion really is, and have them see for themselves that abortion is not normal.

West backed up her claim by saying that 75% of Democrats believe that abortion should be legal in all cases. Here's the truth. Gallup did a poll in May that found that 68% of Americans want abortion to be illegal or legal only under certain circumstances. A tiny minority of Americans support the status quo of abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnant.

People really don’t think that abortion is normal or necessary in all circumstances. Unborn babies are discriminated against every day because of their size, or if they have a birth defect. Women in urban areas like Detroit are being targeted by abortion mills. The numbers are appalling.

West also states that "abortion is liberty." Abortion is not liberty. Abortion is not freedom. Without a right to life, your inalienable rights to liberty or the pursuit of happiness are empty.

While it's sad to see on a personal level, the prolife movement should look forward to abortion supporters be frank about their views for the first time in the debate. We know abortion endures because of the euphemisms abortion supporters use. The American people only tolerate legalized abortion because they can pretend it happens somewhere else in the shadows.

Abortion is directly impacting all of our lives, just as it is now impacting party politics. It is important that all political parties support all candidates who are willing to stand up for the right to life: our future depends on it.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Sen. Stabenow's record on doctor-prescribed suicide

Sen. Debbie Stabenow has long been a supporter of doctor-prescribed suicide. Doctor-prescribed suicide involves doctors being legally allowed to dispense lethal doses of drugs to patients so that they can commit suicide.

While a member of the U.S. House of Representatives Stabenow voted against the Pain Relief Promotion Act of 1999. The bipartisan bill would have done two important things to clarify a federal drug law, the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The bill would have clarified that the CSA allows adequate use of pain control medications in patients, and that the CSA does not allow federally-controlled substances to be prescribed in lethal dosages with the intent of killing a patient.

In her time in the Michigan State Legislature Stabenow voted against banning doctor-prescribed suicide. Michigan's 1998 law prohibiting the practice has a truly unique history that must be remembered for context.

From 1990 to 1998 Jack Kevorkian participated in a string of killings involving a claimed 130 patients, the vast majority of whom were not terminally ill. Some of his victims had no diagnosed disease at all. In 1998 Kevorkian euthanized 52-year old Thomas Youk and filmed the killing for CBS's 60 Minutes. Kevorkian was later convicted of second-degree murder in the death.

Kevorkian's goal was to allow the practice of human vivisection in order to serve his macabre fascination with the point of death. Vivisection (nicknamed "obitiatry" by Kevorkian) is medical experimentation on a living being. Kevorkian hoped he would be able to experiment on suicidal people and convicts. In his book, "Prescription Medicine," Kevorkian described his eventual goal:

"But knowledge about the essence of human death will of necessity require insight into the nature of the unique awareness of or consciousness that characterizes cognitive human life. That is possible only through obitiatric research on living human bodies, and most likely centering on the nervous system…on anesthetized subjects [to] pinpoint the exact onset of extinction of an unknown cognitive mechanism that energizes life."

It was in these years of intense controversy that repeated efforts to ban his work were undertaken, including the eventual ban on doctor-prescribed suicide enacted in 1998. Stabenow opposed this effort to stop Kevorkian's killings. The Michigan voters had the final say when they turned back a referendum later in 1998 to legalized doctor-prescribed suicide by a vote of 71 to 29 percent.


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

New resources on end of life care

How do I protect my wishes? What is a living will? What about declining unwanted treatment? These and other questions frequently make end of life care a difficult topic.

People don't like to dwell on their own mortality. It's critical we face these questions for two reasons, however:

1) Most of us or our loved ones will face these situations ourselves.
 2) Euthanasia and suicide promotion are making these public issues.

In the past, the Right to Life of Michigan Educational Fund had several brochures for sale dealing with these issues. Now we have two brochures that cover these questions and they are available for free for download.

"End of Life Care: Advanced Directives" looks in-detail at various advanced directives and which are best for protecting patients' rights and wishes. "End of Life Care: Positive Care or Euthanasia Pitfall?" discusses three important aspects frequently involving end of life care: hospice, pain management, and medically-assisted feeding of food and water.

ADVANCED DIRECTIVES BROCHURE (PDF)
POSITIVE CARE BROCHURE (PDF)
ALL FLYERS/BROCHURES

Monday, July 31, 2017

2017 Youth Infographic Contest winners

Right to Life of Michigan would like to congratulate all of our participants in the 2017 Youth Infographic Contest!

The 2017 winner is Lucy Bratton. Her graphic on prolife feminism is at the bottom of the post. Congratulations Lucy! Our runners-up were Emma Klein, whose graphic compared adoption to abortion, and Emilee TenElshof, whose graphic was on post-abortion issues.

This year featured three great finalists. From July 17 to July 30 we shared their graphics on Facebook, and encouraged people to like and share them to help boost their scores. This year they were able to reach a combined 77,640 people! That is a huge audience utilizing a simple thing like an infographic.

An infographic is a visual representation of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly. In the age of social media, infographics are a very useful tool to display information in an aesthetically pleasing way. Our three finalists proved this year how effective a single one can be.

Please consider entering or promoting our 2018 contest next summer! This contest is a great way for youth to get involved in the prolife movement and make a difference with their message. The contest is open to all Michigan prolife youth ages 13 to 22.


Thursday, July 27, 2017

A look back at 50 years: 1979

This is the second entry in a monthly series we'll be running throughout 2017 looking back at historically significant prolife moments in our state's history.


1979 was a big year for our organization.

Just as Right to Life of Michigan was born of grassroots groups and individuals coming together around the country, so too was the coalition of states that came together under the banner of the National Right to Life Committee. Many state right to life groups didn't have the term "right to life" in their names at first. Many groups used the "citizens for life" moniker, including Michigan. Some groups still use their original names today, for example, Massachusetts Citizens for Life or Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life.

As anyone who has worked in the prolife movement for some time will tell you, many in the general public just call every prolife group "right to life." In keeping with our broader identity as a movement, the leaders of Michigan Citizens for Life changed our name to Right to Life of Michigan. It's under that name that we've build decades of credibility as a nationally-recognized force in our areas of activity: education, legislation, and political action.

1979 was also pivotal in building the credibility we have today. We were involved in state legislation as Michigan Citizens for Life before 1979, but it was creating a dedicated legislative office in Lansing that allowed us to truly harness our grassroots efforts.

Back then our legislative office had little influence. If you look at our list of prolife laws in the state, you'll notice very few victories in the early 1980s. Building credibility is a difficult thing to do, but we've done it through those three legs of our prolife stool: education, legislation, and political action. Each activity mutually complements the other two

It's through education that we are able to move many in the public from apathy to advocacy for the unborn. It creates citizens lobbyists who will call the legislature when a critical issue is up for a vote. They keep the voting record of legislators in mind when it's time to head to the polling booth.

Our legislative office today is staffed by three people, including two lobbyists. Our Lansing team closely monitors legislative situations and are able to educate and engage the grassroots in action when needed. They routinely meet with legislators of both parties and differing views on abortion, educating them when opportunities arise. They host an annual Legislative Day that brings prolife legislators and the grassroots together.

The power of many lobbyists in Lansing or Washington, D.C. depends heavily on money or connections. The power of our advocacy in the halls of government depends entirely on the expertise of our lobbyists, who are backed by our grassroots members. Our organization is unparalleled in Michigan today. For example, Right to Life of Michigan is the only organization in the state that can consistently put issues on the ballot through petition drives without having to hire people to collect signatures.

After many years the legislative victories began materializing, and abortions began dropping. From their high of nearly 50,000 in 1987, abortions in Michigan are down 46.2 percent overall. Prolife laws save lives!

Visit our blog in August for our next notable prolife moment in Michigan history in 1981.

Honoring 50 years of prolife advocacy in Michigan
1972: The Voice of the Unborn

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Remember when Renee Chelian tried to turn abortion into a standup comedy routine?

Back in 2014 the longtime owner of Northland Family Planning (a chain of abortion clinics in Southeast Michigan), Renee Chelian, was caught saying that she has five months’ worth of dead babies in rented freezers. Her abortion industry colleagues laughed when she said, "I was so consumed with fetal tissue that I was ready to drive to Upper Michigan to have a bonfire."

These abortion providers are so hardened that the thought of a truckload of dead babies makes them laugh. Sick!

SEE THE VIDEOS HERE

Chelian even took it one step further, saying, "We were really tempted to give the fetus back." She is heard saying in the audio, "Um, we thought, we’ll give it to everybody in a gift bag – they can take it home, figure out what to do with it. It’s their pregnancy, and why is this our problem?"

These remarks are beyond disturbing, especially since she tries to claim that she serves and cares for women.

The abortion industry is ultimately interested in abortion, not the patients' well-being. These woman need help and support from their community. They most certainly do not deserve negligent doctors.

All of this came about because Chelian was complaining about a 2012 law in Michigan that requires abortion providers to be in compliance with basic medical waste disposal regulations. The abortion industry is poorly run, so having to follow a basic safety procedure can often end in a closed abortion facility.

Eventually Chelian hired someone from another abortion clinic to take the dead babies off her hands to dispose of them. What comes out of the back of an abortion clinic isn't medical waste, but literally dead babies.

Northland Family Planning does approximately one quarter of the 25,000 or so annual abortions in Michigan. They do abortions until 24 weeks, past the earliest point of viability. Chelian's business is one of the top abortion providers in the state.

These practices are alarming and help us fully comprehend just what the abortion industry is. These children do not deserve to be frozen in a freezer, burned in a bonfire, or the butt end of cruel mockery—they deserve their chance at life.

The Cost of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton

The next vacancy to the U.S. Supreme Court could happen at any moment. This vacancy could potentially change the course of millions of lives.

It's thought that there is currently a 5 to 4 split on the Court in favor of upholding Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. Given the ages of the justices it's possible the next vacancy could spell the end of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. A reversal would end abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy and allow states and voters to participate in the democratic process once again on the issue of abortion.

Prolife people are well aware of the poor legal reasoning the Court used in 1973 to dictate a radical abortion policy to all 50 states. It's important that the American people understand that too, but we must never lose sight of the human cost of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton.

Since those two cases were dictated by the Court in 1973 our best estimate is 56 million abortions have taken place since then. 56 million.

How can we quantify such an extreme loss of life?

  • It's equivalent to erasing 25 states. 
  • Observing a 15-second moment of silence for each child killed by abortion since Roe and Doe would last 26 years. 
  • Arlington National Cemetery is 624 acres and contains about 400,000 graves; to bury the unborn lost to abortion would require a cemetery that takes up 136 square miles, more than twice the size of Washington, D.C.
  • We lose more children to abortion in a single year than we've lost American soldiers to combat from 1775-2017.
  • Abortion takes more lives every year than cancer or heart disease.
  • For the Black community abortion has taken more lives than EVERY single cause of death combined since 1973.
  • We've erased $3 trillion in annual productivity from our economy.

Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton aren't just legal injustices. They are more than the grave personal injustices to the unborn children whose lives have been taken so brutally. They are an ongoing national disaster of incomparable proportions.


For prolife people, the next U.S. Supreme Court nomination is not just a fight to restore basic fairness to the court and our democratic process. It's a choice between an opportunity to save a countless number of lives or allowing another generation or two to be decimated.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Sen. Stabenow's record on abortion-on-demand

Senator Debbie Stabenow's position on abortion is that it should be legal up to and including the process of birth, and that women should be able to have abortions for any reason.

Stabenow supports partial-birth abortion. Partial-birth process is an illegal abortion method where the child is birthed until only the head remains in the birth canal. The abortionist then stabs the baby in the head and suctions out the baby's brains rather than completing the birth.

Throughout her years in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, Debbie Stabenow voted at least 6 times against a ban on partial-birth abortion and voted a number of times to either strip a bill banning partial-birth abortion of its effectiveness or delay it from becoming law. As recently as 2015 Stabenow voted against the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, instead opting for late-term abortions to be performed on children in utero that can feel pain.

In 2003 Stabenow voted in favor of an amendment to the partial-birth abortion ban explicitly endorsing Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned abortion laws in all 50 states. Together with the "health" exception established in Doe v. Bolton (decided on the same day), Roe v. Wade created abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy. Only five nations in the world allow abortions for any reason at any time: the United States, Canada, North Korea, Vietnam, and China.

Stabenow's views on the lack of value of unborn children extends into other issues. She voted against the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, also known as "Laci and Conner's Law," in the U.S. Senate. This law allows federal and military prosecutors to bring charges on behalf of a "child in utero" as a second victim when he or she is injured or killed during commission of a violent federal or military crime. Stabenow has also voted twice against amendments to include unborn children as part of the State Children's Health Insurance Program which helps provide children in low-income families with health care.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

"For sale" sign a reminder of progress on closing abortion clinics

One of Michigan's most notorious abortion clinics has gone up for sale, as reported by long-time sidewalk counselor Dr. Monica Miller in LifeNews.com.

Photo courtesy of LifeNews.com/Citizens for a Pro-Life Society


Womancare of Southfield has not been performing abortions for several months. The latest owner, abortionist Jacob Kalo, has now officially run up the white flag and admitted defeat by posting the property for sale.

The clinic itself has a long and terrible history accompanying the thousands upon thousands of lives ended in the most brutal fashion imaginable there. It was formerly owned by notorious abortionist Alberto Hodari, and at least three women have died following abortions under his care: Chivon Williams, Regina Johnson, and Tamiia Russell. It was behind this clinic that Dr. Monica Miller discovered the bodies of babies being dumped in the trash along with abortion patient records for more than 200 women. Hodari escaped truly serious consequences for anything that went on there.

Details on that and other abortion clinic abuses can be found in our landmark report on the abortion industry published in 2011.

The clinic's future changed in 2012 with passage of the Prolife Omnibus Act, forcing abortion clinics to undergo basic health and safety inspections. Hodari retired and sold the clinic to Kalo. The clinic has had numerous problems recently adhering to the health code. Now Kalo has surrendered, acknowledging the notorious clinic is incapable of being run safely or competently. Good riddance!

The final closure is a reminder of how horrible the abortion industry is and how incapable they are of following even basic rules that real medical clinics are required to follow.

Today Michigan is down to 16 facilities that advertise they perform induced surgical and medical abortions (using the abortion pill), plus five Planned Parenthood clinics that only perform medical abortions. That's a total of 21 dedicated abortion facilities in the state.

In 2010 Michigan had 34 facilities that performed surgical and medical abortions. Now we have 16. We’ve closed more than just half of the large-scale facilities in six years; many closed because our Prolife Omnibus Act forced them to adhere to basic standards. The worst of the worst have been driven out.

Despite these closures Planned Parenthood has been making an aggressive move to corner the abortion market in Michigan. For them, dealing in death is a big business. In 2007 Planned Parenthood operated 34 offices in Michigan, three of which performed abortions. Today they operate 19 offices in Michigan, yet eight perform abortions. Planned Parenthood provides more than a third of the nearly 1 million abortions done annually in the United States, and their abortion numbers have been growing even as abortions have been decreasing. In Michigan they now operate eight of the 21 total facilities, matching their "market share" nationally.

The next priority of the prolife movement is defunding them. Planned Parenthood can leverage more than half a billion dollars in taxpayer funding every year to expand their abortion services (while cutting women's health services) and muscle out the smaller competition. It's time to put a stop to millions of prolife taxpayers being forced to help advance Planned Parenthood's mission of abortion at any cost.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Charlie Gard case is not that unique

The ongoing Charlie Gard case in Britain has garnered great attention and even drawn President Donald Trump and Pope Francis into the fray. Charlie’s parents are currently in court fighting to take their son to America for a last-ditch experimental treatment.

Despite this attention the issue at the center of Charlie’s case—futile care theory—has not been sufficiently explored.

There are legitimate end-of-life situations when medical care is truly futile and could actually harm a patient. Futile care theory goes beyond medical judgements, however. It subverts the definition of “futile” by using “quality of life” as the important standard. It doesn’t just mean a patient’s personal desires, but allows others to determine a patient’s quality of life for them. A medical treatment can be wanted and working yet deemed “futile” if doctors or insurance companies decide the patient isn’t worth their effort.

Let’s explore futile care theory in action through the example of one of our own staff members.

Genevieve Marnon works in our Lansing office on legislative issues. Genevieve’s father, Bob Tank, suffered from a terminal chronic condition. Bob wasn’t ready to die and was enjoying the twilight of his life with his family.

One day severe pains brought him to the hospital with a dangerous blood clot. Genevieve said once the hospital staff learned of his chronic condition their zeal to treat him disappeared. Bob was conscious and expressing a will to live while in the hospital, but that didn’t prevent a secret do-not-resuscitate order being placed in his file and other serious problems.

The only thing Bob wanted was treatment for his acute condition so he could go home and prepare for his death at some point in the future. The hospital decided for him that his life was “futile” and not worth it.

Genevieve and her family fought for simple care for her father, but they lost. The hospital threatened to take them to court, forcing them to surrender to the hospital’s wishes so they could at least be present when Bob passed.

Bob’s story is not that unique to Michigan. We’ve heard many similar stories.

People have a right to refuse unwanted treatments, but futile care theory has created the idea of unwanted people who can be refused wanted medical care. The follow-up to futile care theory is doctor-prescribed suicide, which offers a cheaper and more immediate solution to patients whose lives are deemed futile.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Sen. Stabenow's record on free speech

In 2014 Senator Debbie Stabenow was a co-sponsor of U.S. Senate Joint Resolution 19, a resolution to amend the U.S. Constitution to overturn the freedom of speech portion of the First Amendment.

Stabenow's constitutional amendment was filibustered when the U.S. Senate failed to obtain the 60 votes necessary to end debate. The vote was 54 to 42 on September 11, 2014.

The amendment would abridge the freedom of speech specifically regarding elections, allowing Congress to pass laws forbidding groups like Right to Life of Michigan from educating voters. Stabenow's amendment would give Congress specific authority to criminalize all election communications from any groups or organizations. The amendment expressly mentions not abridging the freedom of the press, however, presumably allowing news corporations to be the only groups allowed to influence elections. The amendment is unclear as to what constitutes the "press," potentially requiring news corporations to seek licenses from the government to print election articles or candidate endorsements.

The First Amendment reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Right to Life of Michigan is an organization made up of many people who peacefully organize together to petition government and educate the public about our grievances regarding issues like abortion, euthanasia, etc., both inside and outside of election season.

The context of Sen. Stabenow's resolution is the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. F.E.C. The federal government was attempting to ban a film critical of Hillary Clinton from being shown on television. In the majority opinion Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote, "If the First Amendment has any force, it prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for simply engaging in political speech."


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Right to Life of Michigan is disappointed Governor Snyder vetoed the Choose Life plate bill

Right to Life of Michigan is disappointed that Governor Rick Snyder vetoed legislation to create a Choose Life specialty license plate in Michigan.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, "We hoped he would recognize this wonderful opportunity to provide care to pregnant women in need and help suicide prevention efforts."

Right to Life of Michigan remains committed to creating the license plate.

Listing said, "The support for the Choose Life plate is still there and it will happen in Michigan, it's just a matter of time. We look forward to taking the issue up with our next governor."

A record number of prolife bills have been introduced in Lansing this term addressing everything from defunding Planned Parenthood to protecting vulnerable patients from medical discrimination. Right to Life of Michigan applauds the commitment of prolife members in the Legislature who are making prolife issues a priority in Lansing.

Listing said, "We're working on several important bills that advance protection for human life, including some bills we expect to receive bipartisan support. We'll continue working with legislators to give Governor Snyder more opportunities to sign good bills."

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Throwing false narratives against the wall, hoping they stick

What do credit cards have to do with abortion and Roe v. Wade? Nothing, really.

Today marks the one year anniversary of the Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt decision. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a law in Texas that would have required abortion clinics to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers. Many abortion supporters have seen this as one of their biggest wins in a sea of defeats over decades. While abortion supporters hail this as a victory for women, in reality this ruling showed that the court was willing to abuse good judgement to further push for abortion-on-demand at the expense of women. Their judgment came at the cost of actual safety of women.

There are countless complications that can arise during or after abortions. Some of them can be life threatening or other serious complications like hemorrhaging, severe pain, seizures or a perforated uterus. Many abortion clinics are not well equipped to handle emergency situations, many can’t even fit a gurney through their hallways if an ambulance arrived to handle an emergency. The abortion industry is notorious for allowing clinics to operate for years under filthy and squalid conditions.

To celebrate the anniversary Refinery 29—a well-known progressive blog site that caters to millenials—posted a long article titled, "This is How Abortion Ends in America." This article outwardly attacks the prolife movement because we are slowly chiseling away at the abortion-on-demand standard that was created by Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. They mention the recent executive orders that end funding to international population control organizations, taking away funding from Planned Parenthood, and putting more regulations on abortion clinics as a few of the advances that the prolife movement has made.

The article even calls out Roe v. Wade for not going far enough. The author claims that Roe was only created to make sure that abortions were rare and safe. But when nearly a million abortions are done a year, is that something that is really rare? People might say they want abortions to be rare, however that's not the case. Already the United States stands with just China, North Korea, Vietnam, and Canada as having the most extreme pro-abortion laws on the planet. How much farther can we go? After-birth abortions?

None of these arguments are new, but it does show that our recent successes and prolife elected officials (including President Donald Trump) are putting the pro-abortion supporters on the hot seat. With the momentum in our favor many pro-abortion groups are throwing anything they can against the wall, hopeful that something will stick—even if that means creating a false narrative. One of the article's ridiculous claims was that Roe helped push a long a more progressive agenda to allow women to apply for their own credit cards without their husbands approval. If you go actually go back and look at the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974, it passed the U.S. House by a vote of 355-1 and the U.S. Senate on a voice vote (they didn't even bother to take a roll call). That doesn't look very contentious to us.

According to the Guttmacher Institute 338 new abortion restrictions have been passed in the last six years, more than ever before. Though abortion supporters claim that this is the prolifers way of attacking the rights of women, it is simply the fact that legislators are listening their constituents. Recently Gallup put out a poll that showed that 54% of Americans want all or most abortions to be illegal. The poll found the abortion views of women and men don't really differ. Are half of women attacking themselves? Most prolife organizations are led and staffed by women. The idea that a bunch of women are running anti-women organizations is another false narrative to distract from the central question: what are the unborn?

Articles like this show us that our hard work is paying off. Abortion advocates are squirming because they are beginning to believe they will ultimately lose the argument over whether or not the unborn child deserves recognition and protection. We have been fighting for 50 years to protect the unborn. They said back then prolifers would quickly melt away and abortion would become acceptable. The opposite has happened. Even though our hard work pay off, that does not mean it is time to slow down.

The U.S. Supreme Court could be in play for the first time in decades. With several big cases coming up, it could take just one more justice to tip the balance in favor of the rule of law. The rule of law benefits prolifers because abortion just plainly isn't in the U.S. Constitution. With two justices over 80 and another at 78, this issue is on everybody’s radar. In Michigan, we have even more at stake if Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton were to be over turned. We are one of just eight states that could recover our laws protecting the unborn once Roe is overturned.

Reading ridiculous articles like this reminds us that we must keep our eyes on the prize and keep pushing forward. Together we will end abortion.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sen. Stabenow's record on Planned Parenthood

Senator Debbie Stabenow has a long record supporting taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest provider and promoter of abortions. A simple look at Planned Parenthood's annual reports shows how they leverage increasing taxpayer funding to expand their abortion services and cut other health services. Planned Parenthood currently receives more than $500 million annual taxpayer dollars, nearly half of their billion-dollar-plus budget.

One day in particular, December 3, 2015, provides a clear summary of Senator Debbie Stabenow's position on Planned Parenthood and taxpayer funding of abortion. She voted three separate times to give the nation's largest abortion clinic chain millions in taxpayer dollars.

On that day the U.S. Senate passed a budget reconciliation bill that would have repealed taxpayer subsidies of insurance plans that cover abortion through Obamacare and included a provision to block most of Planned Parenthood's federal tax funding. The bill passed by a vote of 52 to 47, with Senator Debbie Stabenow voting against it. The bill was later affirmed by the House but vetoed by President Barack Obama.

An earlier vote that day was on an amendment offered by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine). The Collins Amendment would have removed the language to defund Planned Parenthood from the budget reconciliation bill. The Collins Amendment failed by a bipartisan vote of 48 to 52, with Senator Debbie Stabenow again voting in favor of Planned Parenthood.

Senator Debbie Stabenow's other vote that day went beyond just stopping efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) offered an amendment to the budget reconciliation bill to authorize $1 billion in new funding that only organizations that provide elective abortions would be eligible for. Since Planned Parenthood is the only large-scale organization in the country that provides abortions they would have received the extra billion dollars. Planned Parenthood often argues the taxpayer dollars they receive only involve reimbursements for health services, but here Senator Debbie Stabenow was clearly voting in favor of using tax dollars to expand abortion by nearly doubling Planned Parenthood's budget. The amendment failed by a bipartisan vote of 46 to 54, with Senator Debbie Stabenow for the third time in one day voting to send tax dollars to support abortion at Planned Parenthood.