Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Who's That Senator? Episode 3

Flip-flopping on job responsibilities, tax-funded abortions, repealing parts of the First Amendment: what do these things all have in common?

Learn more about Senator Debbie Stabenow's record of putting human lives in jeopardy.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Double your life-saving gifts online!

The Right to Life of Michigan Educational Fund is a powerful tool for saving lives. Prolifers start at a natural disadvantage on the abortion issue, since we can't really see the unborn child in the womb with our own eyes. How do you fight an injustice committed against unseen victims who can't speak for themselves?

You can help us be there voice and find other avenues to open the eyes of people to the issue of abortion and the unborn child.

From now until the end of the 2017 your online donations to the Right to Life of Michigan Educational Fund will be matched. Generous support allows us to offer you this opportunity to make your gifts count double. Donations to our Educational Fund are tax-deductible.

Our goal again this year is $50,000. Will you help us reach it?

Will you help us share positive prolife stories online, through social media, and through the television? Will you help us equip prolife grassroot volunteers around the state with the resources to change hearts and minds in their local communities? Will you enable us to be a resource available 24/7 to help women facing crisis pregnancies find the resources they need?

Please help us defend the unborn with your generous life-saving gift today.


Stumping for secret court orders and secret DNR orders

At Right to Life of Michigan we've been flooded with a rash of calls and requests lately of a most disturbing nature. Patients and their families are finding themselves subject to Kafka-esque actions designed to take aware their autonomy and wishes—with deadly effect.

Jack Lessenberry, Michigan Radio’s senior political analyst, has written an article claiming legislation we're working on to fix these issues are some sort of fundamentalist religious plot to force patients to stay hooked up to machines forever. He wistfully recalls the days of Dr. Death, Jack Kevorkian, killing patients across Michigan.

In his article he quotes an ethicist from GVSU, Dr. Jeffrey Byrnes:

House Bills 5075 and 5076 and SB 597, are being sponsored and pushed by the religious right, primarily Right to Life of Michigan. They are billed as being written to stop abuses, to stop hospitals and doctors from forcing people to die without their consent. But that’s not what’s really happening. As Dr. Byrnes put it, "Such a bill would allow for a family member – even a family member who had no real concern for their relative’s wishes or well-being – to keep the patient alive for an indefinite period of time."

What is the real purpose of these bills? They address two distinct problems.

First is the practice of secret do-not-resuscitate orders being placed in patient's files. Secret DNR orders are just plainly wrong, and it's wrong for Lessenberry to frame his piece around patient autonomy when he seeks to defend the practice of patients being deceived about the care they expect.

The second problem is equally troubling. We've learned that some hospitals are going behind the backs of patients' families and legal patient advocates to obtain secret court orders to establish guardianship over patients. Family members are showing up at the hospital only to discover hospital staff have taken control over their loved one to end their life.

That is an indefensible abuse of our court system. Secret court proceedings resulting in life or death decisions belong in Soviet Russia, not an America with robust constitutional protections. Patients have a right to have someone defend their life.

The bills would require hospitals to notify family members that they intend to go to court. In addition, the bills would require the doctor or medical facility to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the patient advocate or family is not acting in the best interest of the family before a guardian can be appointed. They also create a standard that assumes it is in the patient's best interest to be alive, and the hospital has to prove otherwise before taking control of the patient.

There is a creeping assumption in our society that the sick and disabled are better off dead, and some courts are making that the controlling presumption. The default presumption should be that a special case should be required for hospitals to take over a patient's autonomy to end their life.

There really are situations where a patient's family is being unreasonable or a patient advocate is violating the patient's wishes, and hospitals have a duty in those cases to represent the patient's interest in court. Those situations must be handled in the light of day in a fair court process, however, not railroaded through a star chamber court in the dark.

Dr. Byrnes exposes his real concern, that patients will be in control of their own care, not him:

True, there may be some possibility of abuse today. But he said, "Medical cases in these situations are immensely complicated and can’t be addressed by the simplistic wording" in these bills. He told me they would “stop doctors and hospitals and clinical ethicists like myself from being able to stop treatment." 

How could you trivialize abuses like secret court proceedings and secret DNR orders? These are not trivial issues, nor are they complicated. The purpose of a guardianship hearing is to sort out care conflicts, not to rubber-stamp cost-cutting measures that sacrifice patients' lives.

One of our own staff members directly experienced this, when her conscious father who was asking to be treated discovered the hospital had given up on him and placed a DNR order in his file without his request. What about Bob's wishes and autonomy? Are death wishes the only ones that count? You can pick whatever treatment you like as long as it's no treatment at all?

The purpose of these bills is not to let family members keep patients alive indefinitely, as Mr. Lessenberry falsely claims here. Patients do have a right to refuse unwanted medical treatment, and that right should be equally as important as patients who want medical treatment. The purpose of these bills is to prevent hospitals from deception and unjust violations of due process designed to end a patient's life against their will.

Lessenberry writes, "Many of us want some element of control over our final destiny..." That's precisely our point!

As we've begun working on these bills and publicizing these cases, we've discovered a vast undercurrent. Many believe hospitals will abuse their power to mistreat patients in service of cost cutting concerns. Many of these cases and examples are egregious and have never been publicized. For whatever reason many people don't believe anyone will speak up for them on this issue, and that there's nothing they can do about it. That's about to change.

We'll see how the broader hospital establishment confronts these proposed change in the law, and if any changes are needed in the legislation as it moves forward, but we ask Mr. Lessenberry and Dr. Byrnes this: are secret DNR orders and secret court orders really the hill you want to die on? What sort of message will that send to an already cynical public?

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Successful RU-486 Reversal Shows the Power of Prolife Community

Alpha Family Center of Lowell

Great news out of Lowell, just a few miles outside Grand Rapids! They were able to save a life using the abortion pill reversal process. It's one of the first in Michigan, if not the first.
It isn't every day that life comes full circle. It also isn't every day that you are able to save a life. Recently Alpha Family Center in Lowell was able to experience both when a luncheon speech they heard more than a year ago proved to be the difference between life and death for one of their clients.
Quarterly Grand Rapids Right to Life hosts their Support Services Luncheon. The many prolife pregnancy help organizations in Grand Rapids come together at the luncheon to discuss different projects they are working on. The guest speaker at one of the 2016 luncheons was Dr. Kim Barrow, who talked about a process to reverse RU-486 abortions (also known as the abortion pill or mifepristone). Abortion pill reversal was a relatively new idea and many pregnancy centers were not aware of it.
Christa Wetzel, executive director of Alpha Family Center in Lowell, said, "After hearing about this, we knew this was something that they needed to know more about. This was a really monumental moment for us that God created. I truly believe he created this reversal so that we could help these women."
The success rate of abortion pill reversals is currently 55 percent according to abortionpillreversal.com, but a new study in the process of publishing has found the life-saving results may be as high as 60 to 70 percent of children. Unfortunately the success rate is not 100 percent, making for some tense moments.
Mandy referred Allison back to Alpha Family Center in Lowell for an ultrasound the following Wednesday. Everyone knew heading into the ultrasound room that there was a significant chance that Allison's baby wasn't going to make it, despite their best efforts.
In the beginning of the ultrasound appointment, there was no movement from the baby. After several long, tense, anxious moments, some movement finally appeared on the screen. Allison's baby decided to wave at everyone. This is a rare feat since the baby was just 10 weeks along.


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

What happens when Roe v. Wade is overturned?

Every judicial nomination in America revolves around this important question: would this justice vote to overturn Roe v. Wade? Unfortunately many supporters of legalized abortion are invested in spreading fear to the public about what would happen if Roe v. Wade were overturned.

It's important for the public to understand the reality of a world without Roe v. Wade, because ultimately the issue would be in their hands to again decide.

Why would the U.S. Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade?

Roe v. Wade is widely regarded as a poor legal decision. Even many legal scholars who support abortion recognize the case was not decided based on the law or the U.S. Constitution. Together with its companion case Doe v. Bolton, Roe v. Wade legalized abortion through all nine months of pregnancy in the United States, which is an extreme position that the American public generally rejects. Only five countries in the world have such an extreme abortion law (the U.S. and Canada join North Korea, China, and Vietnam).

What happens the day after Roe falls?

Nothing at first. The U.S. Supreme Court would recognize that abortion is not a constitutionally-protected right, and therefore the issue will be once again decided by voters and their elected officials in their respective states.

Currently the states themselves have a patchwork of laws. In some states like Michigan, laws exist protecting the unborn child, and those laws will have an opportunity to be restored. On the other end of the spectrum, other states have their own state-level court decisions or constitutional provisions protecting abortion.

Ultimately the states and voters are put back in the driver's seat regarding abortion policy. Any changes to the status quo of abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy depend on you. Where do you stand?

What happens in the short-term after Roe falls?

This depends entirely on the voters. Some states will likely ban abortion except to save the life of the mother, many will have bans featuring exceptions, and some will keep the status quo. Currently public opinion is divided on the issue, but a large majority of voters reject the status quo of abortion-on-demand throughout all nine months of pregnancy. Public opinion shows a broad consensus for banning most elective abortions, late-term abortions, tax-funded abortions, etc.

What would happen in Michigan?

Michigan has an important state Supreme Court precedent from 1973, shortly after Roe v. Wade was decided. Michigan law has banned abortion except to save the life of the mother since 1846. After Roe v. Wade was decided, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled in People v. Bricker that Roe v. Wade is only blocking enforcement of Michigan's law; Roe did not repeal Michigan's law. In November 1972, just a few weeks before Roe v. Wade, Michigan faced a ballot proposal to legalize abortion through 20 weeks of pregnancy. Sixty percent of voters rejected the proposal.

With Roe v. Wade gone, Michigan's law would have an opportunity to go back into effect. Michigan voters and their elected officials would ultimately have the final say.

What about women dying in illegal abortions?

In the states that do restrict abortion, there is highly unlikely to be a significant increase in maternal deaths.

Pro-abortion groups falsely inflated statistics prior to Roe v. Wade to convince voters and later the Supreme Court that thousands of women were dying because of laws protecting the lives of unborn children. Real statistics from the Centers for Disease Control verify those claims are false. In 1972, 39 women died to illegal abortions in the United States, and 24 died from legal abortions. In 1973, after Roe v. Wade was decided, 19 women died from illegal abortions, and 25 died from legal abortions.

Poland is an excellent case study. Abortion had been legal under Soviet rule in Poland for more than 40 years, just like the United States. Shortly after regaining independence, Poland heavily restricted abortion. Today pregnant women in Poland are less likely to die than pregnant women in the United States. There are 21 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in the United States, compared to only 5 in Poland. Poland is a world leader in addressing maternal mortality. According to abortion advocates, Poland's rate should be incredibly higher than the United States' rate, not incredibly better. Providing good health care to pregnant women is completely independent of abortion laws.

Decades of experience in America shows that the legality of abortion affects the demand for abortion. In states that ban abortion, abortions will decline, infant adoptions will increase, and prolife pregnancy help agencies will take on an even more important role as more women seek their services.

Given the difference in abortion laws between states, voters will quickly get an accurate picture of the truth when they can compare states that keep abortion legal through all nine months of pregnancy and states that don't.

What are we going to do with all the babies?

One of the most common arguments in discussions about the legality of abortion is that our society couldn't cope with an increased number of births. The basis of this argument is the fear that abortion is a necessary evil to maintain society's wealth.

It's not clear how many states would ban some or all abortions following Roe being overturned, but births would no doubt increase. Society will continue on largely as it has before, and will likely be in a better situation. The prosperity of women and society prior to 1973 did not depend on the legality of abortion, and the same is true today.

Abortions in Michigan have been nearly cut in half since 1987. Nationally abortions have declined by about a third in that same time-frame. Our country has not been negatively impacted by these individuals. The largest economic concerns facing us today are the result of too few children. An aging population is making entitlements like Social Security and Medicare insolvent. Health insurance rates continue to increase, partly because we have fewer young and healthy people paying premiums into the system to benefit the old and the sick.

What about the controversial nature of the abortion issue? 

A great source of the abortion controversy is because the U.S. Supreme Court and Roe v. Wade leave no outlet for people of conscience to affect change. Less than a third of Americans support the current regime of abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy, yet Roe v. Wade allows the views of this small minority to override a supermajority of Americans. Abortion will always be a controversial issue until society reaches a broad consensus that unborn children's rights deserve to be protected in law. Even in countries like China—where abortion is totally unrestricted—abortion generates significant controversy.

Ultimately controversy is a fact of life in a country with democratic values. If we had feared the controversy of the women's suffrage movement, women would still not have the right to vote. We're still dealing with the controversy of race issues in America today, but keeping slavery legal wouldn't have made the controversy go away.

Issues should be decided based on their merits, and voters should make those decisions, not unelected officials.

What will happen in the long-term?

The prolife movement's long-term goal is to convince a majority of voters and elected officials in all 50 states to respect the rights of every human life. The prolife movement's final goal is a Human Life Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that explicitly protects the inalienable human rights of unborn children. Such an amendment requires a broad consensus in society, which will likely take a long time to build.

Prolifers will remain committed to achieving these goals by persuading our fellow citizens, not through heavy-handed judicial decrees. We believe every human being deserves equal protection of their right to life, and that the broad recognition of our equal right to life is the only sound foundation for all of our human rights.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Facebook restored Wexford/Missaukee RTL's ad account

We're happy to report that Wexford/Missaukee Right to Life is able to use advertising on Facebook again! Yesterday reporters from Mlive and the Detroit News contacted Facebook about their unexplained ban, and Facebook reversed itself.

Mlive ran a story today on the issue.

The restoration was very similar to the ban of the Right to Life of Michigan ad account: Facebook told reporters that they contacted us about the mistake, but that never happened. While it's positive that Wexford/Missaukee RTL had their access restored, it's still troubling that Facebook refuses to explain how the mistake occurred, and if they took any steps to remedy the situation for future cases.

Our best guess is that a disgruntled pro-abortion Facebook user trolled a harmless advertisement of Wexford/Missaukee RTL and reported it as offensive. Facebook automatically banned the page, especially since it's a smaller community group unlikely to have access to media/someone to take their case up to fix the problem. Facebook's customer service responses were all automated form letters responses.

When reporters contacted Facebook, that's the point a human being actually reviewed the ban and saw it was indefensible.

That's our theory, anyway, in absence of some sort of human contact with a company that prides itself on "community." Nobody should have to rely on reporters to be third-party customer service agents. Facebook needs to resolve this if they want to build "trust" with groups concerned about censorship.

Facebook somewhat menacingly told Wexford/Missaukee RTL that there was "no further action you may take" to fix the ban. Well, pardon us, but Facebook doesn't dictate what we may or may not do, and Facebook was wrong here.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Does the U.S. Constitution protect rusty medical equipment? Apparently so

Imagine walking into a doctor’s office to get your ear looked at because you think you have an ear infection. Upon arriving you notice that the floors are stained and discolored. After waiting for a while staring at these seemingly dirty floors, you walk back into the exam room. After a while the doctor comes in and asks you some basic questions. Then when it comes time to examine you he uses a rusty instrument to look into your ear.

As a patient, this would be horrifying. If you were in this sort of situation you would probably walk out and not ever go to that doctor again. It is even harder to imagine a doctor’s office that would be allowed to operate for years in this sort of condition.

Now imagine this same sort of place, but you are going there to have surgery. Would you stay? Even after you saw rusty tools and stained floors? Would you be okay having a surgical procedure in a place where you wouldn’t even feel comfortable having someone look in your ears?

This scenario is not made up; it is the reality of Whole Woman’s Health, a chain of abortion clinics in Texas. Remember the name? It appears on a Supreme Court decision that was handed down a little over a year ago, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.

Many abortion supporter see the case as one of their biggest wins. While they hail it as a victory for women, in reality this ruling showed that the court was willing to cover for abortion-on-demand and ignore the actual safety of women.

Recently the Washington Free Beacon teamed up with former Planned Parenthood manager Abby Johnson to release documents showing the state of the abortion industry in Texas.

For years, the self-styled "pro-woman" Whole Woman's Health has prided themselves on fighting the negative stigma around abortion while risking the safety of women. New documents show WWH staff failed to disinfect and sterilize equipment. Their facilities were in disrepair, floors were stained, and the counters were so warped that they could no longer be disinfected. They are not new to breaking rules; for years they have piled up health code violations. Back in 2011 they didn’t have a single registered nurse on site.

This is the chain of clinics that five justices on the U.S. Supreme Court decided to give a free pass by declaring "unconstitutional" important health code regulations that apply to numerous other surgical facilities. Time and time again abortion clinics have a double standard and receive free passes when other citizens would find health inspectors coming down on them like a ton of bricks. This is the twisted logic of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton.

There is no reason that clinics like this should be allowed to operate, especially when they have a repeated track record of health violations. It's maddening that places like tanning salons are being held to a higher standard than abortion clinics.

If abortion advocates want to claim they fight for woman’s health, then why can't they ever seem to follow basic sanitary guidelines?

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A look back at 50 years: 1990

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

1990 was a huge year for the prolife movement for two big reasons.

There were a lot of minor teen abortions in Michigan. In 1990 there were 3,820 abortions performed on girls 17 and under in Michigan. In most cases the parents had no clue their child had surgery and their grandchild had died. The position that children need permission to be given aspirin in school but can undergo surgery in secret is not very popular, yet it carried the day for years in Michigan, largely thanks to just one man: Governor Jim Blanchard.

Michigan's Legislature passed a bill in 1990 requiring parental consent for minors before they can have abortions, but Governor Blanchard vetoed it. So, Right to Life of Michigan did what we do best, and that's take advantage of Michigan's constitutional provision that allows citizens to initiate legislation.

Right to Life of Michigan's grassroots army of unpaid volunteers pounded the pavement and obtained more than 333,000 signatures in under 100 days to initiate our parental consent legislation. Approximately 192,000 valid signatures of registered voters were needed. With the legislation initiated, it was passed by large margins in the Legislature on September 12, 1990. The House vote was 61 to 40, and the Senate vote was 28 to 9. Because of the initiative process, Governor Blanchard was cut out of the process, just like he was cut out of the 1988 ban on tax-funded abortions in Michigan. Our bill became law!

Minor teen abortions in Michigan dropped from 3,820 in 1990 to 791 in 2016. It's difficult to figure out how much of that decrease is solely due to our legislation, but that's definitely thousands of lives saved over the years thanks to something simple like allowing parents to be involved with their children. The abortion industry can no longer count on roping-in scared youth for hundreds of dollars in cash each. Our law protects the rights of parents, vulnerable youth, and unborn children.

While that was an important victory, Governor Blanchard was still a large roadblock to additional life-saving progress. His opponent in the 1990 gubernatorial election, John Engler, was prolife, but a lot of smart politicos and reporters were writing his campaign off as hopeless. The prolife movement did not write him off and we pounded the pavement again.

On the Sunday before election day, a Detroit News poll had Governor Blanchard running away with victory with a 14-point advantage over John Engler. The only poll that mattered was the one on Election Day, however, and Engler beat Blanchard by a razor-thin margin of 17,595 votes out of more than 2.5 million cast; that's less than a single percentage point. Engler's victory stunned state and national media.

Engler and his running mate, committed prolifer Connie Binsfeld, would finally welcome the prolife agenda to Lansing for the first time in our history. Once again, prolife grassroots provided the edge that made the difference, which is every bit as true today as it was in 1990.

Governor Blanchard once remarked that you can only tell the same group "no" so many times, referring to our grassroots organization. True.

Honoring 50 years of prolife advocacy in Michigan
1972: The Voice of the Unborn
1979: Michigan Citizens for Life
1981: First Media Campaign
1988: Medicaid-Funded Abortions Ban

Facebook shuts down Michigan prolifers again

Wexford/Missaukee Right to Life, an affiliate of Right to Life of Michigan, discovered on October 4 that their Facebook advertising account had been shut down without explanation.

This is the third time this year Michigan prolife organizations have had their Facebook advertising accounts summarily banned. Right to Life of Michigan's advertising account has been banned twice without cause in 2017, but was restored thanks to media scrutiny.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, "Facebook's self-described mission is to, 'give people the power to build community...' It's hard to do that when community organizations have tools taken away from them without an explanation. Unfortunately many local organizations don't have the resources we did to demand an explanation and receive a solution."

Wexford/Missaukee Right to Life has not been given any specific details about what caused the ban. They were not directly informed their account had been banned; they only discovered the ban when attempting to purchase additional advertising.

Similar to the ban of Right to Life of Michigan's advertising account, Facebook's support team refused to answer specific questions and instead sent a vague form response. On October 4 Wexford/Missaukee Right to Life was told by Facebook, "There's no further action you may take here. We don't support ads for your business model."

Wexford/Missaukee Right to Life has the exact same "business model" as Right to Life of Michigan and our other local affiliates who utilize Facebook advertising. Their "business model" was never in question for earlier advertising purchases.

Right to Life of Michigan in April was similarly told our ban was a final decision beyond appeal, but after a Detroit News reporter contacted Facebook for details in May, our advertising account was restored. Facebook told the Detroit News the ban was a mistake and that they had contacted Right to Life of Michigan to inform us of the resolution. Facebook has not contacted us to this day to explain how the mistake occurred.

Right to Life of Michigan's advertising account was again shut down a few days after our account was restored in May, but a support request including a link to the Detroit News article led to the account being quickly reinstated.

Listing said, "We achieved no results working through Facebook's customer service department and the Better Business Bureau. Facebook only appears to respond to media attention to fix what they claim is a simple mistake."

In 2016 Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with conservative leaders who expressed fear that they would be victims of censorship following an accusation that Facebook staff members were blocking legitimate political pages based on personal biases. After the meeting Zuckerberg said, "I wanted to hear their concerns personally and have an open conversation about how we can build trust."

Listing said, "Are these bans automated? Does a human being respond to questions from users? Does Facebook think they can get away with censoring smaller pages and users because they can't draw attention? These are questions Facebook must respond to if they truly want to build community trust."

Right to Life of Michigan is calling on Facebook to be more transparent. They must do a better job of communicating with users who make good-faith attempts to abide by their guidelines.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Abortion is not the most common medical procedure

As abortion supporters struggle to fight against rising prolife momentum nationwide, some have turned away from glossing over abortion with statements like “safe, legal and rare.” Instead some are beginning to make statements like “I love abortion.” They think being disingenuous about abortion is ceding the broader argument to prolifers, and so embracing abortion as a positive good will remove the “stigma” from it.

One tactic used to bolster their argument is to claim that abortion is one of the most common medical procedures. Some go so far to say it’s the most common medical procedure for women in America. It’s doubtful that claim will remove the stigma from abortion, because it’s hard to really have a person watch something like a late-term abortion and have them believe it’s perfectly acceptable, much less lovable.

While there are certainly a tragically large number of abortions in America, is their claim true? Is abortion the most common medical procedure in America?

First, some definitions. A surgical procedure is a medical procedure, but not all medical procedures are surgical procedures. It’s important to mention this for two reasons. On one hand, most people making this claim about abortion probably have surgery in mind. On the other hand, many abortion supporters frequently claim abortion is completely different from common outpatient surgeries. They do this because they don’t want clinics that provide outpatient surgical abortions to be regulated as outpatient facilities or ambulatory surgical centers.

Now, let’s get into some numbers. There are just under 1 million induced abortions every year in America, including surgical and medical abortions. Here’s a list of medical procedures in hospitals that were performed more than 1 million times each in 2010: blood transfusions, vaccinations, intubations/ventilations, episiotomy repairs, diagnostic cardiac catheterizations, c-sections, upper G-I endoscopies/biopsies, and circumcisions. That’s not even mentioning common things that are medical procedures, for example, intravenous fluid replacement.

Let’s get really specific here. What about outpatient surgical procedures for women? Is abortion the most common outpatient medical procedure for women? Here’s a list of outpatient procedures performed more than 1 million times each a year on just women: spinal canal injections, eyelid operations, cataract replacements, and lower G-I endoscopies. Again, this list doesn’t include common medical procedures for women provided in outpatient settings. For example, there are tens of millions of pap tests every year.

If we listed out every "medical procedure" more common than abortion, you’d stop reading. In 2010 there were 46 million in-patient surgeries and 53 million outpatient surgeries in the U.S. Surgical abortions are small subset of that large total.

Let’s just look at Planned Parenthood’s statistics. They do about 320,000 abortions every year, and they claim this is just three percent of their services (which it really isn’t). So, the leader of the abortion movement itself claims abortion is uncommon in their clinics, even though they are the country's largest abortion provider.

So, which is it abortion supporters? Abortion organizations will probably continue to fight over whether to say abortions are rare/tragic or common/lovable, and then no doubt they’ll decide which statistic is the one that will be repeated over and over in media coverage.

We do concede there are a lot of abortions. Abortion would be the number-one cause of death, if it counted. There have been more abortions committed in the Black community than every cause of death combined since 1973. Facts are important, but we all need to get them right.

Ultimately, every claim abortions supporters make has one common purpose: distract from the key truth that abortion takes the life of an innocent child. One thing they’ll never want to talk about—no matter how popular they try to make abortion—is what an abortion actually does to an unborn child.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Who's That Senator? Episode 2

Debbie Stabenow loves spending her time in Washington, D.C., sending your tax dollars to the abortion industry. What happens when you call her out on it?

Learn more about Senator Debbie Stabenow's record of putting human lives in jeopardy.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Even when we give out free healthcare, pro-abortion groups still attack us

Going on today, from October 23-27, abortion organizations are pushing a national campaign using the hashtag #ExposeFakeClinics. An article at The Federalist highlights their campaign. Their hope is to end the "deception" that surrounds pregnancy resource centers and discredit their efforts to help women in need.

This argument isn’t new. It is something that they have been pushing for a long time, but we know that these claims are completely false.

All over the state of Michigan there are pregnancy resource centers that work with expectant and new mothers. These centers work with these mothers who are often scared, alone and have nowhere else to go for support. Through local donations and support they are able to help provide these women with important resources like ultrasounds, counseling, and some of them will even help these mothers find housing.

Their services even go outside of that with many of them providing free pregnancy and STI testing as well. Their missions are to help preserve life through empowering women. After the baby is born these centers still work with the mothers. They help them find childcare, diapers, clothing and even things as simple as a car seat to take the baby home from the hospital. They are truly and tirelessly dedicated to helping women in need.

Even though they help provide women (and some men) with all of these services for free, abortion supporters still use strong and false rhetoric to the contrary. Abortion supporters want to paint these help centers as illegitimate, even though they are fulfilling a legitimately large public need.

You might expect that groups that claim to be "pro-woman" would want to support these clinics that are helping women. Instead pro-abortion groups want to lie to poor women in need, sending them a message that not only is abortion the right option for them, but pregnancy help centers are really not there to help them at all.

In the eyes of the pro-abortion movement, there is nothing that prolife people can do right. Even giving free ultrasounds, diapers and supplies to new and expecting mothers makes them angry. Last week they were upset that a prolife lawyer was defending a rape victim. This week it is fighting against organizations that help women.

In the end, these attacks are not about what we say or do, they are because we believe the unborn child is a human person who deserves care and protection.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Remembering Dr. Joe Kincaid

We are sad to announce that Dr. Joseph Kincaid passed away unexpectedly on Friday. Dr. Kincaid's life is our history. Dr. Kincaid devoted nearly half a century to working to defend the life of the unborn child.

Dr. Kincaid founded Kalamazoo Right to Life in 1970, the first large-scale prolife group in Michigan. Kalamazoo Right to Life and other local groups founded by committed advocates for the unborn coalesced together to successfully fight off an attempt to legalize abortion in 1972. Following the U.S. Supreme Court decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton a few weeks later, these local groups truly came together to create Right to Life of Michigan, then called Michigan Citizens for Life.

Dr. Kincaid served on the board of Right to Life of Michigan for decades as a founding member. At one point he served as the executive vice president of the board. He continued to serve on the board of Kalamazoo Right to Life until his death on Friday.

The last time many of us saw Dr. Kincaid was at our annual Conference in Kalamazoo a few weeks ago. Dr. Kincaid was such a committed volunteer that it was strange to not see him at a prolife event. He did not let anything be an obstacle to sacrificing his time to help restore legal protection to the unborn child. If you were out-of-state at a national prolife event like the National Right to Life Convention and ran into Joe, you weren't surprised he was there. He is an excellent example of how blessed the prolife movement is to have grassroots individuals willing to always be there for the unborn child.

He often used his medical expertise as a foundation for communicating about the value of all human life. He frequently wrote publicly about the issue of abortion in the pages of his hometown Kalamazoo Gazette. He helped defeat efforts to legalize doctor-prescribed suicide in Michigan in the 1990s.

Many Michiganders are alive today thanks to Dr. Kincaid's efforts over many years, yet likely none of those individuals are aware of the role he played in saving their lives.

Requiescat in pace.

Dr. Joe Kincaid's obituary

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Rewire slams prolifer for helping rape survivor

If you haven’t been following the news, a Sanilac County judge granted custody to a convicted rapist for a child he conceived following the 2008 abduction, torture, and rape of a young girl. Years later the mother was trying to get some federal aid for her son when her story turned into a legal battle against her attacker. Thankfully Tuesday the same judge who ruled for joint legal custody overturned his decision.

This is something that should have never been a problem to begin with, especially because in Michigan we already have a law on the books called the Rape Survivor Child Custody Act. This law was put into place in 2016 to allow rape survivors to terminate the parental rights of their attacker, even if the rapist was not convicted. A mother can go to court and terminate the rapists parental rights using a "clear and convincing evidence" standard, the same used for child abuse or neglect in custody hearings

Instead of focusing on the victory for this rape survivor and mother, the pro-abortion news website Rewire attacked the lawyer who took her case. Rewire writer Imani Gandy posted a story bashing her lawyer, Rebecca Kiessling, for also being a prolife speaker.

Rebecca herself was conceived in rape and offered to represent the mother pro bono. Raised in a loving adoptive household, Rebecca learned the truth about her biological parents and has since become an outspoken supporter of life. She has long stood up for the rights of children conceived in rape and rape survivors. She even created an organization dedicated to telling their stories and advocating for their rights called Save the 1.

Gandy tried to discredit Rebecca, arguing that Rebecca tried to make this case about something other than the mother's situation. She said that Rebecca’s defense of life is built on a straw man argument and that all mothers deserve to have the choice to abort their babies. Gandy doesn't even consider the effect that abortion might have on a woman who has already gone through something as traumatic as being sexually assaulted. Gandy even suggested that Rebecca pushes her beliefs on women using "junk science." In reality, many women pregnant following a sexual assault don't want abortions, and it's not "junk science."

Gandy gets the whole story wrong for one important reason, however. The mother in this case called us asking for help. She didn't call Rewire, which holds itself out as the champion for justice and women's health, and speaks of us as some den of crazed ideologues. When we got the call, the first person who came to mind was Rebecca. Rebecca was perfectly suited to know how to move forward to protect this mother and her son, because she's "been there, done that." Thankfully Rebecca decided to provide legal help herself and won the case. She did generate media coverage in this case, but it was sorely needed to let the prosecutor and judge know that there would be consequences if they continued to sleepwalk through this mother's case, delivering her son into the hands of a rapist.

Ultimately all Rebecca did was give this mother the opportunity to be heard—an opportunity she sought us out for. There's no need to "beware" of that, Rewire. Where's your nonjudgmental support for the choice of the woman in this case? Isn't that what Rewire stands for, affirming every choice a woman makes? We'll guess that Gandy won't want to hear what the mother chooses to say after this ordeal is finally over.

Rebecca has been a strong and tireless advocate for woman who have gone through the traumatic experience of rape. Her hard work has been able to bring together people from all over the world and helped get legislators around the country to face situation like this mother in Sanilac County experienced. Her selflessness to win a victory for a young woman and her son pro-bono should be commended, not dismissed.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Car trunk abortionist pleads no contest to three felonies

Yesterday long-time Michigan abortionist Michael Roth pleaded no contest to three felonies in Macomb County Circuit Court. The convictions stem from his suspected practice of illegal at-home abortions.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “These convictions should spell the end of his medical license. Unfortunately felonies haven’t always stopped abortionists from working in Michigan in the past.”

Roth’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for December 7. Roth is still facing other criminal charges including identity theft and possession with intent to deliver the schedule 2 narcotic Fentanyl.

In September 2015 Roth was involved in an accident in West Bloomfield, Mich., when his car struck a 31-year-old man with special needs. Police found medical equipment, controlled substances, and tissue from aborted babies in the trunk of his car. Police found additional evidence during a later search of his home.

Listing said, “Roth is the face of abortion in America. He is just one of many examples of felons, crooks and quacks who continue to work in the abortion industry today.”

Roth stole drugs and equipment from his former employer Angel Ojeda, an abortionist who runs the Eastland Women’s Center in Eastpointe, Michigan. Given Roth’s previous history of performing abortions in women’s homes in 1998 and 1999, it is reasonable to believe he was committing illegal at-home abortions.

The Michigan Board of Medicine suspended Roth’s license on September 13 for a year and fined him $25,000 for unlawful possession of a controlled substance.

Right to Life of Michigan released a report in 2012, Abortion Abuses and State Regulatory Agency Failure, including several of Roth’s violations. In addition to his at-home abortions, Roth was disciplined in 2002 for drug-related violations, including prescribing drugs without a license. He was disciplined in 2004 for violating patient consent laws and was accused of falsifying medical records by a former employee and performing illegal late-term abortions.

In 2012 Roth received six months of probation and was ordered to pay a $15,000 fine for Public Health Code violations involving botched abortions.

Listing said, “Planned Parenthood and government officials who support abortion provided the cover that allowed him to operate. Who in their right mind would allow this man to continue to practice for decades after so many violations? Where were those self-proclaimed advocates for women’s health on this?”

Roth’s most recent abortion business, the bizarrely-named Novi Laser and Aesthetic Center, was closed in 2014.

The Prolife Omnibus Act in 2012 significantly strengthened oversight of the abortion industry in Michigan. Since passage of the law 16 abortion businesses in the state have closed, many due to substandard practices.

Listing said, “The worst of the worst were quickly driven out of business in Michigan following passage of our Prolife Omnibus Act, but Roth is an example of how dangerous sub-standard abortionists are still out there and allowed to practice.”

Monday, October 9, 2017

Michigan’s Rape Survivor Child Custody Act put to the test

***UPDATE: On October 17 Judge Ross reversed his order and terminated the parental rights of the rapist***

A widely-reported case in Sanilac County has led to the first known court case involving Michigan's Rape Survivor Child Custody Act of 2016. The Act increased legal protection for rape survivors facing child custody cases.

Sanilac County Circuit Court Judge Gregory S. Ross granted joint legal custody of an eight-year-old child to a man convicted of attempted third degree criminal sexual conduct against the child's mother. The mother is challenging the ruling and a hearing is scheduled for October 25.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, "This case is exactly why we passed this law. When we became aware of this hole in Michigan law, the need to fill it became glaring."

Prior to passage of the Rape Survivor Child Custody Act, termination of parental rights in Michigan involving a child conceived in rape required a felony rape conviction. Felony rape convictions are often difficult to obtain, however.

The Rape Survivor Child Custody Act now allows rape survivors who become pregnant from assault to terminate the parental rights of their attacker under a "clear and convincing" evidence standard without the necessity of a criminal conviction. "Clear and convincing" is the same evidentiary standard used in custody cases involving suspected child abuse or neglect.

The sex offender in this case, Christopher Mirasolo, was convicted in 2008 of attempted rape in a plea deal. He served less than a year in jail. In the eyes of the law, the child was not conceived in rape because Mirasolo was only found guilty of an attempted rape.

Right to Life of Michigan was contacted about the case and the mother was immediately referred to Michigan attorney Rebecca Kiessling. Kiessling was conceived in rape and is an internationally-known prolife speaker. Her organization Save the 1 advocates for legal protection of children conceived in rape, incest, or who have special needs. Kiessling is representing the mother pro bono.

Listing said, "We often get calls asking for legal help in a variety of situations. For this call we had just the right law and the right assistance in place to help this mother facing this terrible legal situation."

The Rape Survivor Child Custody Act came about following Right to Life of Michigan's Compassion Project campaign in 2015 highlighting the issue of rape and abortion. One of the four women who participated in the Compassion Project, Shauna, faced a similar situation. Shauna became pregnant following an assault. Her attacker filed for custody of her daughter to induce Shauna to drop the charges against him. Shauna has worked in other states to change their laws to be more protective of rape survivors.

Kiessling helped connect Right to Life of Michigan with Shauna and other women involved in the Compassion Project. Their stories are also featured in the 30-minute documentary "Life Uninvited," which first aired in January 2016.

The Rape Survivor Child Custody Act was passed with overwhelming bipartisan majorities in 2016. The Michigan Senate passed it unanimously and the final Michigan House vote was 101 to 4.

Listing said, "It's unfortunate that politics surrounding rape and abortion often results in real women and children with serious issues being ignored. Without Shauna and Rebecca educating people about this issue, the mother in this case could be forced to live with her rapist having legally-protected access to her child."

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Mourning Chris MacDonald, a truly special lady

Monday morning Right to Life of Michigan staff received truly terrible news: a staff member had passed away Sunday evening.

Christine MacDonald had served as the manager for our Wayne County Resource Center for nearly 20 years. Chris didn’t really manage the resource center; she was the resource center. Chris passionately worked in her community with a servant’s heart. Her impact on lives will be felt for generations to come.

Chris’ family was very important to her. She was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was always there to serve the affiliates in her area, especially Upper Downriver Right to Life. She was always reaching out to people to share important prolife news and information with them. She was always a willing listener for those who would visit her center. She was active in her community and engaging everyone she met in the cause of honoring life.

Wyandotte is quite far from our Grand Rapids headquarters, yet most of our staff members were very familiar with Chris. Chris frequently sent messages to staff wishing them a happy birthday or to give them kind words before leaving on a vacation. It didn’t take long for people to realize what a genuine person she was.

Chris’ final day on Earth was in service to protecting the lives of innocent children. Sunday was Respect Life Sunday, which meant prolifers in her area were taking part in the annual Life Chain, reaching members of their community with prolife messages. Chris always held an open house at her resource center to welcome and serve the Life Chain participants. Of course the day she died was no exception, and Chris hosted her open house, one final time.

The last thing Chris did was serve her fellow prolifers. That is a perfect tribute explaining who Chris was and the hole she will leave in her community.

Please pray for comfort for Chris’ entire family, as they mourn her sudden passing.

Requiescat in pace, Chris.

Chris’ Obituary & Service Information

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Cosmo goes after Michigan prolifers

Pro-abortion writer Jill Filipovic wrote an article for Cosmopolitan yesterday taking prolifers in Michigan to task for not getting engaged in the Flint water crisis, because the crisis appears to have led to an increase in miscarriages.

While the Flint water crisis is a useful tool for framing her point, her main point is really just the common refrain that prolife people aren't really concerned about life; our main motivation in her mind is that we're freaked out by working women. That's ridiculous. Right to Life of Michigan has been run by full-time working women longer than Jill Filipovic has been alive.

Rather than just respond to her real argument—that deep down every prolife person is just prolife because they need to repress women—we'll be good sports and engage her on Flint first. Filipovic lives in Nairobi, Kenya, and so she doesn't have the benefit of knowing details about the situation on the ground.

The most important underlying issue in Flint is that several critical trends have left Flint with half of the current population they had in the 1960s. This economic disaster had led to many ongoing calamities. Right to Life of Michigan simply isn't equipped to confront trends like automation in manufacturing or globalization. Most of the groups involved in assisting Flint in the water crisis aren't directly engaged on those foundational causes either. Nor should they be; they should stay in their lanes of expertise.

The water crisis itself came about because Flint switched their water from Detroit's system to their own river in preparation for using a new, cheaper source. Flint's infrastructure in the city wasn't equipped to handle the change-over, causing lead to leech into the water. Following the crisis there's a raft of criminal accusations involving government officials botching their basic duties to their constituents.

Right to Life of Michigan is not involved in civil engineering, environmental quality, urban planning, or any of the many fields involved in the water crisis. We are not Attorney General Bill Schuette or the Environmental Protection Agency, who are charged with sorting out the mess. None of these important issues involve anything we have educational or legislative experience on.

Is Filipovic right, though? Should we be involved in civil engineering, environmental quality, and urban planning, because failures in those areas have led to a situation that has increased the number of miscarriages in Flint? Let's assume the answer is yes. Our question, then, is why is nobody else ever held to this standard Filipovic wants to apply to us?

If every human life has equal value, organizations involved in Flint ought be to devoting at least some of their time to abortion, using Filipovic's logic. In 2015, the MI Dept. of Health and Human Services reported 1,301 abortions in Genesee County, and 1,081 estimated miscarriages. Miscarriages in Flint are tragic, and there are people working to address them. Abortions are even more tragic because it's purposeful, direct taking of human life, so shouldn't more people focus on that? Why does nobody ever demand civil engineers, environmentalists and urban planners speak out about abortion?

Now, you might object, abortion has nothing to do with getting clean water to the people of Flint. That's basically our entire point, isn't it? But there is an indirect connection that goes the other way. Thousands of abortions have exacerbated the very problem that caused the Flint water crisis. The main reason Flint couldn't afford Detroit's water system is because thousands of taxpayers are missing. A shrinking population is robbing the city of future bond money and other economic growth opportunities, leaving a city government with few good options and human capital to solve so many problems.

Why does nobody ever ask other groups what they are doing about abortion? The Michigan Environmental Council currently lists 63 separate member organizations on their website. What are any of these groups doing about abortion? How many advocacy groups in Michigan are involved in ending abortion? The list is quite small.

Why does nobody ever demand soup kitchens get involved with the American Cancer Society? Diet plays a role in cancer. Why does nobody demand Mothers Against Drunk Driving get involved in heart disease? Heart disease is the leading cause of death of mothers. Why aren't gun control groups involved in Flint? Don't they believe the lives of Flint citizens matter? The American Cancer Society has nothing on Flint on their website. Don't they care that lead is a probable carcinogen?

This is silly. Each of those groups have identified a particular set of problems, and they develop expertise and engage people in those problems. A soup kitchen shouldn't be involved in dealing with manufacturing job losses; their job is to feed the hungry people, even if those people went hungry because they lost their manufacturing job. There's a million other people out there fighting over job creation, but none of them are there handing out soup on Main Street.

The fantastical notion that prolife groups need to become political parties and engage on every policy issue only exists because the issue involved is abortion. Filipovic doesn't want to talk about abortion or basic human rights, because that focuses on the uncomfortable reality that abortion kills human beings using brutal violence. She says it herself in her column, "And so the focus on the fetus gets ratcheted up, and the debate turns on the right to life rather than a woman’s right to her physical self." Abortion is basically indefensible, so the best way to make the case for abortion is to point at someone or something else and hope nobody notices what goes on inside abortion clinics.

Abortion is the number one cause of death in America, if it counted. Abortion has helped to devastate Flint's heavily minority population. In Michigan, Black women have a majority of abortions, 50.5%, even though the state is only 14% Black. More Black lives have been lost to abortions since 1973 than every other cause of death combined. That's appalling. What's Filipovic doing about that? Is she bothered by this racial disparity?

What motivates prolifers? It's no mystery. It's as simple as this: stop killing babies!

Ultimately, nothing we say or do will appease Filipovic or make her write nice things about us, because ultimately we believe every human life has value. Prolifers will never be taken seriously by people who believe unborn children have zero human rights. It's easier for them to picture us as heartless villains than focus on the hearts they stop every day in their own clinics.

Do you remember when prolife presidential candidate Ted Cruz came to Flint to supply the prolife pregnancy centers in town with water to hand out to residents? Pro-abortion groups and media folk savaged Cruz for it. Prolifers are not even allowed to help the very women they claim we want to oppress.

Contrary to the news reported out there in Kenya, Michigan has been absolutely consumed and is still very engaged with the Flint water crisis. That's OK. It's a legitimate public health crisis. Public health groups in Michigan have a duty to be engaged on something that impacts their issues. We'll let more knowledgeable organizations work on their own issues, without demanding they drop their important work on focus on us. As long as abortion remains the number one killer in America, however, can't you agree it deserves at least one group focused on it?

Ultimately this is not about Flint for Filipovic. This is about Filipovic's own mistaken beliefs on what motivates prolife people. If your real argument is that a movement largely run by women really hates women, maybe you are better off talking about something real, like people suffering in Flint because the many organizations and agencies responsible for handling the issue utterly dropped the ball.

Maybe Filipovic should follow Senator Ted Cruz's example and hop on a plane from Kenya, skip New York, and at least do as much for Flint as he did before maligning all prolifers everywhere.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Do You Know Debbie Stabenow?

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow's record puts innocent lives in jeopardy. Below are examples of how her voting record fails to live up the important standard that every human life has value and deserves legal protection. Click on each link to learn more about her record.

PARENTAL CONSENT - Stabenow voted against legislation requiring minor children to receive parental consent before having abortions. She has voted to allow children to be smuggled over state lines to avoid parental consent laws.

PLANNED PARENTHOOD - Stabenow voted against efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, and even voted to give them $1 billion in additional taxpayer funds simply because they perform abortions.

FREE SPEECH - Stabenow voted to rescind portions of the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment, potentially criminalizing educational posts just like this.

ABORTION ON DEMAND - Stabenow voted in favor of partial-birth abortions and believes abortion should be legal throughout pregnancy, even during the process of birth.

DOCTOR-PRESCRIBED SUICIDE - Stabenow voted to allow doctor-prescribed suicide in Michigan as Jack Kevorkian was traveling around the state euthanizing people with the eventual goal of performing live experiments on dying patients.

CONSCIENCE RIGHTS - Stabenow voted to force the Little Sisters of the Poor to pay for abortion-inducing drugs against their will, and voted to force people to purchase insurance plans that cover abortions.

TAX-FUNDED ABORTIONS - Stabenow voted to force prolife people to fund elective abortions with their tax dollars.

FUNDING ABORTION OVERSEAS - Stabenow voted to fund organizations that provide and promote abortions overseas, inclduing organizations engaged in coercive population control programs.


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Down syndrome and the abortion debate

A topic that frequently gets overlooked was brought to the attention of many thanks to 60 Minutes. In August they aired a special on how Iceland has almost completely eliminated Down syndrome in their country. In the special they implied this as a huge medical accomplishment and an even bigger advancement for science. What they didn’t tell you was that Down syndrome hadn’t been eliminated: babies with Down syndrome were being killed off through abortion.

Discrimination against people with Down syndrome isn’t new. For years many women have been encouraged by their physicians to have testing while they are pregnant to check for an array birth defects. Often when birth defects are diagnosed the women are pressured to have abortions.

These innocent human beings are being killed without their consent simply because their lives are thought by some to be not worth living. A 1998 study from Wayne State University found that 87% of unborn children diagnosed with Down syndrome were aborted.

Down syndrome babies aren’t the only ones being targeted. From 2002 to 2010 in the United Kingdom twenty-six children diagnosed with cleft lips or palates—conditions that are correctable by surgery—were aborted because of their disabilities. Those children would have had the opportunity to live out a completely normal life, but instead they were aborted.

While the majority of abortions are done for purely social or economic reasons, the fact that there are high numbers of abortions being done on babies with birth defects raises troubling questions about how we as a society are caring for the most sick and vulnerable.

Disabled individuals, no matter what age or status, are human beings worthy of protection. To say a disabled person is less of a human being diminishes the respect for every human life. The value of life does not depend on looks or abilities. There is innate dignity in every human life.


Monday, September 25, 2017

A look back at 50 years: 1988

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

There's only so many times you can say "no." That's a lesson former Michigan Governor Jim Blanchard had to learn the hard way, though not without a tragic cost of human lives.

Michigan's ban on Medicaid-funded abortions is perhaps the most important piece of prolife legislation Right to Life of Michigan has ever initiated. It was also perhaps the most difficult legislation to pass.

In 1977 the U.S. Supreme Court handed down decisions in Maher v. Roe and Beal v. Doe upholding state laws restricting Medicaid-funded abortions. With this new avenue open, Right to Life of Michigan began pushing to end tax-funded abortions in Michigan. It took nearly a decade for us to succeed.

Two large roadblocks were pro-abortion Michigan governors Bill Milliken and Jim Blanchard. They issued a combined 17 vetoes of legislation to end tax-funded abortions. Thankfully the Michigan Constitution has a way for the people to override a governor's veto using citizen-initiated legislation. Citizens can collect enough petition signatures to initiate veto-proof legislation in the Legislature.

In February 1987, Right to Life of Michigan launched the petition drive to end tax-funded abortions. Approximately 192,000 signatures needed to be collected within 180 days in order to initiate the legislation. Our grassroots collected about 460,000 signatures in 83 days. Both the Michigan House and Senate approved the law in June 1987 (Public Act 59), cutting Governor Jim Blanchard out of the picture entirely.

Michigan's law does come with a caveat. Opponents of citizen-initiated legislation can collect their own signatures and force a public vote over the new law. Abortion supports in Michigan collected about 220,000 signatures, putting our new ban on Medicaid-funded abortions on the ballot in 1988. On November 8, 1988, the people of Michigan voted 57% to 43% to retain the ban. The margin of victory was enough to send a loud message to abortion supporters than Michiganders would not tolerate being forced to pay for elective abortions.

The effects of the law are simply awe-inspiring. In 1988 there were 46,747 reported abortions in Michigan. In 1989, with the Medicaid abortion funding ban in place, reported abortions dropped to 36,557. That's more than 10,000 lives saved in a single year! The ban has been in place for more than 28 years now. How many more lives have been saved since then? As many as 280,000? More? The human cost of abortion is so high that simple things like respecting the conscience rights of citizens can also save lives on a gargantuan scale.

Michigan grassroots prolifers should be confident that their actions have saved lives and continue to save lives on a daily basis. If we had given up 50 years ago, then hundreds of thousands of our family members, friends and neighbors would not be with us today. Those missing people would have been killed at taxpayer expense, and nearly all of them are blissfully unaware that Michigan prolifers are the reason they are alive today.

How many more people would be alive today had governors Milliken and Blanchard not stood in the way of the Medicaid-funded abortion ban for nearly a decade? 100,000? That should be a humbling reminder that elections have extremely dire consequences.

In 1989 our ban was challenged in court. Abortion supporters know they can often rely on biased judges to overturn the will of voters. In 1991 a three-judge panel of the Michigan Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to block the ban as unconstitutional. The two judges invented a right to tax-funded abortions in the Michigan Constitution, something even the pro-abortion majority on the U.S. Supreme Court wasn't willing to invent in the U.S. Constitution. The court challenge was ended by the Michigan Supreme Court in 1992 by a 5-2 vote, ensuring the law, the voters, and the lives of hundreds of thousands of Michiganders prevailed over the personal whims of two abortion supporters wearing black robes.

Visit our blog in October for our next notable moment in Michigan history in 1990, when Governor Jim Blanchard learned his lesson.

Honoring 50 years of prolife advocacy in Michigan
1972: The Voice of the Unborn
1979: Michigan Citizens for Life
1981: First Media Campaign

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.


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.