Friday, February 27, 2015

U of M joins hospitals performing in-utero surgery to correct spina bifida of unborn children in the womb

The Detroit Free Press has a wonderful story about how the University of Michigan Hospital System has become one of 13 in the country to perform surgery to partially correct spina bifida while unborn children are still in the womb.  Over the summer, surgeons operated on Kasey Hilton and her son Carter.
Kasey Hilton said the decision was easy.

On July 29, doctors wheeled her into an operating room at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital at U-M at 9:30 a.m.

Surgeons first opened her abdomen and uterus. With Hilton's vitals still steady, doctors then began the surgery on the 23 1/2-week fetus inside her.

Now separately anesthetized, the single-pound fetus was gently turned and held into place by gloved surgical hands. Its tiny spine was exposed to a pediatric neurosurgeon, who separated some of the abnormal tissue, then closed the skin over the exposed portion of the spine while making sure not to disturb the underlying nerve tissue in the spinal cord.

A specialist monitored the ultrasound for signs of fetal distress.

One anesthesiologist monitored mom; a second anesthesiologist — working with a pediatric cardiologist and maternal fetal medicine doctor — was responsible for the fetus.  

Kasey Hilton also has a blog in which she chronicles the surgery, her pregnancy and Carter’s journey. 


Monday, February 23, 2015

National Prolife Leader was No Stranger to Michigan

Dr. John C. Willke, who is known to many as the father of the prolife movement, passed away Friday, February 20, 2015, at the age 89. Dr. Willke and his late wife, Barbara, co-authored a dozen books providing an educational foundation for the prolife movement. The Willkes were more than prolific writers; they extensively traveled around the United States and abroad to share the truth that each and every person has the right to life. For a decade, Dr. Willke served as president of National Right to Life from 1980-1983 and 1984-1991.

Dr. Willke was visiting and educating people in Michigan regarding the dangers of abortion prior to Roe v. Wade. He spoke against Proposal B of 1972 a ballot proposal which would have allowed abortions during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. The people voted on the ballot proposal on November 7, 1972, and it failed.

Dr. Willke's prolife legacy lives on. Dr. Willke's selfless dedication and contributions to the prolife movement will not be forgotten.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Indiana moves to revoke license of South Bend abortion clinic

An abortion clinic near the Michigan border in South Bend, Indiana may soon close as Indiana's State Department of Health has filed paperwork to revoke the license of the clinic. The paperwork was filed after inspections found numerous violations and the clinic may no effort to resolve them. 

The clinic's abortionist, Ulrich Klopfer, has had a variety of run-ins with the law including his failure to report statutory rape after performing abortions on 13-year-old girls. 
Indiana’s complaint cites recent and recurring violations from inspections as evidence the clinic isn’t following state laws and “is detrimental to the welfare of clinic patients.”

An October inspection cited 27 regulations the clinic did not meet, including proof of staff certification, clinic procedures and disposal of expired medication. The report also details clinic shortcomings, including that 15 out of 30 patient files showed patients were not monitored by qualified personnel other than the doctor while under conscious sedation during an abortion procedure.

Indiana’s complaint states that in December the clinic’s administrators were contacted via mail, given their first notice of noncompliance, and asked to submit a plan of correction. By Jan. 5, they had not submitted an acceptable plan, and were sent a second notice of noncompliance, it indicates.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Be Truthful When Changing Positions on Abortion

In response to a recent editorial by State Representative Brandon Dillon discussing his position change on abortion, Right to Life of Michigan's Genevieve Marnon sent the following editorial to

State Representative Brandon Dillon has made a very public statement about his “evolution” from defending the right to life of babies preparing to be born to being an advocate of the legal “right” to kill babies through abortion.

While I commend Dillon for being attuned to the social conditions affecting abortion, he never explained why he stopped believing it was a violation of basic human rights and civility to kill an innocent unborn human being. For him, abortion is now only about the woman's perspective and the circumstances of her life. The moral status of the most defenseless members of the human family is no longer relevant to him.

He claims that life is precious, but in his new opinion, human life before birth is no longer worthy of being protected from violent death.  Dillon says that conversations with women helped change his mind. What about the millions of prolife women in Michigan, like me, who desire protecting the unborn and helping women?  And, shouldn’t the rights of the 13,000 female babies killed through abortion each year in Michigan matter, too?

As justification for abandoning his prolife position, Dillon cites life-affirming laws -- yet blatantly mis-characterizes those laws. For example, he stated that a 2012 law requiring the licensing and inspection of abortion clinics was “nothing more than an attempt to harm women.” For 40 years abortion businesses were allowed to operate unchecked by the state which resulted in horrific conditions at some. In truth, that law shut down the unsafe abortion businesses and brought health standards to those businesses remaining.

Dillon also claims a 2013 law which removed elective abortion coverage from standard insurance plans was so “extreme” it would deny coverage of treatment for a woman who has a miscarriage. The law's text clearly indicates the treatment of miscarriages isn't included in the definition of elective abortion.

It is a sad day when someone who once believed it was his job to make laws protecting all human beings abandons that belief. It is Rep. Dillon's prerogative to change his views; however, he is not entitled to put forward falsehoods to justify himself. Switch sides if you will, but please have the decency not to offer deceptive information as cover for your decision.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Meet Mary via Teleseminar on Friday at 10:30 a.m.

On Friday you will have a unique opportunity to be inspired in your prolife work! Mary, who is featured in the Right to Life of Michigan state-wide television ad, will be joining us for an informative Teleseminar.

On Friday, February 6, at 10:30 a.m. you will have an opportunity to meet Mary and receive an update on the compassion project You will not want to miss this opportunity to hear from Mary and how her life is impacting people across Michigan. Mary will share more of her story and what brought her to the compassion project.

It has been an exciting start to 2015. Because of your support, prolife television ads are reaching people with a message of life and hope.

Plan now to take your Friday morning break with Right to Life of Michigan and meet Mary!

This prolife teleseminar is open to the public. Feel free to share this message with your friends and family members.

Right to Life of Michigan Teleseminar: the compassion project / Meet Mary

Date & Time: Friday, February 6th at 10:30 a.m. (Eastern)

Attend the teleseminar by calling:
(425) 440-5100  [Pin Code: 662744#]

Or, join the teleseminar by visiting this web site

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Michigan’s Safe Haven law featured in recent cable access channel story

After three recent cases of newborn children being abandoned in Michigan, HOMTV intern and Central Michigan student Erica Francis produced the below video to help educate the public on Michigan’s Safe Haven law.  The video includes an interview with Right to Life of Michigan’s Genevieve Marnon. 

Michigan's Safe Haven Law went into effect January of 2001 and has since saved the lives of some 120 babies, including 12 in 2014.

Under the state law, you can leave your baby with a staff member at any hospital, fire station, police station or any emergency service provider that's on duty as long as your baby is not more than 72-hours-old.


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Women of the compassion project featured in March for Life video

The Media Research Center has posted the below video featuring interviews with women at the March for Life 2015, including women of the compassion project.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Right to Life of Michigan Educational Fund launches Compassion Project

Right to Life of Michigan Educational Fund is launching a state-wide educational campaign this week which includes TV spots and short films featuring women who share why they are prolife. These women bring a quiet voice to a noisy debate.  Their life experiences convey a fresh perspective to an ongoing discussion: Is abortion justified in certain circumstances?

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “Those in favor of abortion have pointed to survivors of rape to justify legalized abortion. There is a preconception that women who become pregnant from rape want to abort their children. This is a false stereotype not supported by fact. To counter this misconception, Right to Life of Michigan launched the compassion project. The women featured in the compassion project share why they believe rape should not be used as a reason to justify abortion.”

The compassion project was originally created to impart the truth that every life has immeasurable value. These women had the strength to publicly tell their stories in the hopes of bringing a renewed awareness to the sanctity of every human life. Their compassion cannot be dismissed or ignored – no matter the circumstances of their conception.

Listing said, “We are proud to stand alongside these courageous women and reaffirm their dignity as persons equal to every other person.”

Below are the 30 second spots.  You can view the full stories of Travon and Mary online here.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Huge crowds at March for Life 2015

The below video by the Media Research Center attempts to provide a visual of the huge crowds at the March for Life 2015.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

U.S. House passes No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act

By a vote of 242-179, the U.S. House passed the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2015 (H.R. 7) today. 

Currently, there is a patchwork of different federal laws that restrict federal funding of abortion. Many of these restrictions (such as the well-known Hyde Amendment, which applies to the federal Medicaid program) expire every year and must be renewed through appropriations bills. H.R. 7 would replace this patchwork with a permanent, government-wide prohibition on federal funding of abortion and federal subsidies for health plans that cover abortion.

This bill would also require the full disclosure of whether or not  abortion is covered in the various Obamacare plans so individuals could make informed decisions regarding their healthcare plans.

Learn more about this legislation here.



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

After 42 years, love remains

by Pam Sherstad, Director of Public Information/Education, Right to Life of Michigan

Thursday, January 22nd is the 42nd memorial of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, the two U.S. Supreme Court decisions which together legalized abortion-on-demand throughout all nine months of pregnancy in the United States. Those two decisions come at the cost of more than 55 million innocent lives ended by abortion.

After 42 years people concerned about the most vulnerable members of the human family not only remain, but are growing in a passion to protect defenseless babies preparing to be born. Since 1973 each January 22 is a time for mourning, but also joy and celebration. While many lives have ended in the tragedy of abortion, others have been saved. The day when abortion is unthinkable is closer now than it has been for decades.

Abortion rates are down. Abortions are at the lowest number in the United States since 1975. Fewer abortions are good because abortion also hurts women. For some the pain is physical after an abortion, for others the agony is psychological, social or spiritual.

Prolife legal protections continue to advance, nationally and especially on the state level. According to the abortion-advocate Guttmacher Institute, there were 13 states in 2000 considered “hostile” to abortion. That number has expanded to 27 in 2014 and includes Michigan.

I am glad to live in Michigan which is hostile to abortion; rejecting abortion results in a culture which protects and supports life. Prolife people remain giving support to mothers and families facing an untimely pregnancy, prolife people remain working to pass life-saving laws in Michigan, and prolife people remain to make abortion unthinkable. After 42 years, prolife people and love remain as a witness that all life deserves protection.

In January hundreds of thousands of prolife people will gathered from across the country to march in Washington, D.C., while others will gather in their own communities for local marches, prayer vigils or special events. Over the years the crowd has grown larger. Like the prolife movement as a whole, people from all walks of life, men and women, young and old, are coming together to promote one common goal: The protection of human life.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Reflections of Cowardice: UN honors abortionist, never says “abortion”

Abortionist Willie Parker via Esquire
The Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights at the United Nations has honored abortionist Willie Parker by featuring him in a video entitled “Reflections of Courage: Defending Human Rights for Women.”

What’s missing from the video and the web page is the word abortion. Parker never uses the word abortion despite being an abortionist and being featured in a video talking about what he does.  Euphemisms like “reproductive health care,” “reproductive rights” and “the type of services I provide” are used instead. If committing abortions is such a great service to human rights, then why don’t the United Nations and Parker ever say “abortion” in the video? 

For years, human rights have been a complete joke at the United Nations as serial human rights violators have been members of the United Nations Human Right Council.  Currently, China, Cuba and Saudi Arabia are current members of the United Nations Human Rights Council despite having awful records on human rights.      

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Conversation about abortion with Lecrae, John Piper and John Ensor

Below is a video produced by Passion Life Ministries which features a discussion between hip-hop artist Lecrae, Pastor John Piper and John Ensor where Lecrae tells the story behind his song “Good, Bad, Ugly” and his remorse over abortion.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Proud to fail on NARAL’s report card again

The state of Michigan has once again received an “F” on the report card of the pro-abortion group NARAL.  At Right to Life of Michigan, we're proud of our "F" because it means our prolife laws are helping to save lives.

NARAL’s 2015 edition of “Who Decides” ranks Michigan 44th on their report card. This means they feel only 6 other states have more prolife laws than Michigan.  These laws (including a ban on tax-funded abortions, regulations on abortion providers, as well as parental and informed consent laws) have helped dramatically decrease the number of abortions performed in Michigan

Congratulations to the other 24 states who also received failing grades from NARAL. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Roe vs. Wade didn't end abortion argument

Micaiah Bilger, education director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, discusses why the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Roe vs. Wade didn't end the argument over abortion.

Abortion advocates claim that Roe is settled case law, but after more than four decades, abortion remains one of the most contentious issues in our society.

Why? If abortion is simply a medical procedure to remove a blob of tissue, it should not be controversial. If abortion is just a medical procedure, why do many people characterize it as a difficult decision, a necessary evil?

Most Americans are troubled by abortion because they recognize that abortion is something much more than a medical procedure. Abortion destroys a human life.


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

What if Mario Cuomo had stood up for the little guy?

At Public Discourse, Robert George discusses the recently deceased Mario Cuomo, his pro-abortion position and what could have been if he had defended the right to life.

In truth, Cuomo abandoned his Church’s teaching by abandoning abortion’s unborn victims and doing his best to shuffle them off stage. What the Church actually teaches is that abortion is a justice issue—the child in the womb has a right to life and to the law’s protection. As a human being—a living individual of the human family, albeit at an early stage of development—his or her rights are equal to those of all other human beings. As a matter of justice, the law must protect him or her, as it must everyone else, from deliberate assault and lethal violence......

But think what might have been had Cuomo, when he was the man of the hour, said, “No, all men are created equal. I will not abandon an entire class of human beings to the injustice of abortion. I will stand in the tradition of pro-life liberals and Democrats such as Hubert H. Humphrey, Thomas Eagleton, and Sargent Shriver.”


Monday, January 5, 2015

Planned Parenthood’s latest annual report shows more abortions, more profits

Planned Parenthood Federation of America recently released their 2013-2014 annual report. The report covers information about services provided by Planned Parenthood affiliates from October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2013 and financial information for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014. 

During the year covered, Planned Parenthood affiliates provided 327,653 abortions while doing only 1,880 adoption referrals. That’s 174 abortions for every one adoption referral. Planned Parenthood now provides around 1/3 of all abortions in the United States. 

The financial information they provided shows Planned Parenthood received $528.4 million dollars in government funding for the year. Their total revenue for the year was $1.3 billion dollars. They made $127.1 million in revenue over expenses and now have net assets of $1.4 billion dollars.  


Friday, December 19, 2014

Speaker Bolger Blocks Coercive Abortion Bill, Bill Dies During All Night Session

For reasons never directly explained to RLM, House Speaker Jase Bolger refused to take a vote on S.B. 1156 & 1157 over the final days of the legislative session. While more than 100 bills were addressed during a marathon 20-hour session spanning all day Thursday and until nearly sunrise today, the two coercive abortion protection bills were left to die and will have to be reintroduced in the new session starting in January. Bolger is term-limited and will not be returning to the legislature in 2015.

Kudos to Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville and lead bill sponsor, Senator Judy Emmons, who went the extra mile trying to get this legislation through in the waning days of this session. They demonstrated true commitment and leadership to the prolife cause.

It is a disappointing finish to an otherwise historic 4-year legacy of passing prolife legislation under the current House and Senate leadership. Under Speaker Bolger and Majority Leader Randy Richardville, RLM was able to promote more significant prolife legislation than at any other time in our history. Both Bolger and Richardville are term-limited and will not return to the legislature in 2015. Right to Life of Michigan will be working with new leadership.

In 2011, after 15 years of effort, a ban on partial birth abortion was finally secured in Michigan law. In 2012, we passed the unprecedented Prolife Omnibus bill, putting four separate bills together into one. In 2013, the House and Senate approved our citizen petition legislation to remove abortion coverage from Obamacare plans and all health insurance in Michigan. Passage of the Coercive Abortion Protection Act would have been a crowning piece to this remarkable run of prolife legislation.

Some adversity only serves to strengthen resolve. Right to Life of Michigan will be back in 2015 to complete the mission of protecting women and girls from coerced abortions.

With appreciation for all the incredible prolife work you do, may you be blessed this Christmas season as we celebrate the birth of a baby. Isn't that what we are about? Knowing there is hope and joy with the coming of each and every baby!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Great fetal surgery story

The Daily Signal has a video on Elijah Leffingwell and his surgery while he was still in the womb.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Death is not a treatment for disease

In the Lansing State Journal, Right to Life of Michigan’s Legislative Director Ed Rivet has a piece reflecting on Brittany Maynard’s death and on Michigan’s decision to choose true compassion over assisted suicide.

The conversation about her very public campaign promoting physician-assisted suicide should cause Michiganders to recall the debate we had in the 1990s as a result of Dr. Jack Kevorkian’s lethal activities. At that time, Michigan was the epicenter of the assisted-suicide debate and as a state we gave it a very thorough examination. Let us reflect on what we learned.

We chose not to legalize assisted suicide via a 1998 statewide ballot question, rejecting Proposal B by a 71 percent to 29 percent margin. We recognized that we failed if our solution to suffering was to kill those who suffer. Better alternatives were available. We approved new laws and administrative rules to increase access to hospice care, gave doctors more discretion to aggressively use pain medications, and improved training for palliative care and pain management in the health professions.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Michigan House takes up bill to protect religious liberty

With barely two weeks remaining in the current legislative session and a raft of issues on the docket, Michigan House leaders have moved the protection of religious liberties to center stage. House Speaker Jase Bolger introduced House Bill 5958 - the Michigan Religious Freedom Restoration Act (MRFRA) - immediately after the November election. Typically, the Speaker does not introduce bills as leader of the chamber. HB 5958 is the only bill Speaker Bolger has personally sponsored in this two-year session. Today the House Judiciary Committee heard testimony on the bill and reported it to the House floor by a vote of 7-4.

This proposed state law directly parallels the federal RFRA which was at the center of the Hobby Lobby religious liberty case against the HHS Mandate under the federal health care law. The federal RFRA was enacted in 1993, signed by President Bill Clinton, to mitigate a U.S. Supreme Court ruling which lowered the protection of religious beliefs from government actions. Though Congress attempted to apply RFRA to the states, the Supreme Court later ruled states must pass their own RFRA to maintain the highest level of legal protection at the state and local levels.

Right to Life of Michigan offered its support to HB 5958 today as we are currently engaged in our own lawsuit against the HHS Mandate. Recent government actions at both the federal and local levels have demonstrated fundamental religious liberties are vulnerable. While things are always very unpredictable in a "lame duck" session, including what response the Michigan Senate will have to HB 5958, a matter of this importance will keep everyone's attention in Lansing.

RLM will be closely monitoring developments on this legislation and will be advocating for its passage.

Comedian Steven Crowder discusses the value of every human life

In a new video, comedian Steven Crowder shares his experience volunteering with his wife at a ministry for individuals with special needs.  He discusses how every life has value.

Short prolife film MITOSIS on YouTube

Check out the wonderful, short 14-minute prolife film MITOSIS below. When we take the life of an unborn child, we also kill their future dreams, creativity and knowledge.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Double your gift by donating online

This month, Right to Life of Michigan supporters have the opportunity to double their donations to the Right to Life of Michigan Educational Fund. Generous donors are doubling the donations of individuals up to $50,000 for donations given online. Our goal is to raise 50,000 in online donations by December 31.       

Double your donation by donating online to Right to Life of Michigan Educational Fund.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Infographic contest challenges prolife youth to boldly stand for life

Are you a student, creative, prolife and looking for a way to showcase your talent? Right to Life of Michigan Educational Fund is sponsoring the 2015 Sanctity of Human Life Youth Infographic Contest for high school and college-aged Michigan youth.    

Contenders who create and submit an original prolife infographic by Friday, January 2, 2015, can participate in the contest. Contestants compete in two divisions based on age, 13 to 17 and 18 to 22. The winner of the 13 to 17 division will win $300, and the winner of the 18 to 22 division will win $500.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, "I want to encourage prolife youth to use their creative talent to promote the sanctity of human life. This contest is an incentive for Michigan students to boldly take a stand for life. At the same time, the infographic submissions will be used to educate others on the precious gift of human life."  
An infographic is a graphic or visual representation of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly. All submissions for this contest must feature a theme which reflects "the reality of 42 years of legalized abortion."

Learn more about the 2015 Sanctity of Human Life Youth Infographic Contest.