Friday, December 27, 2013

Double your prolife donation!

There is still time to donate for the year-end matching gift to the Right to Life of Michigan Educational Fund. The gifts are tax-deductible and will be matched if we reach $40,000. Help educational efforts to uphold the sanctity of all human life!


Monday, December 23, 2013

Baby goes home after being born at 23 weeks

Meghan Pacnya shortly after see was born (via WGNTV)
WGNTV shares the incredible story of a baby who is going home after being born prematurely at 23 weeks.   

Meghan’s mother 39-year-old Rene Pacyna ‘s water broke on July 9th and she learned she was delivering at just 23 weeks pregnant. She was at her own baby shower when she was rushed to Advocate Good Samaritan hospital.

Two days later, Meghan arrived at 15.3 ounces and 8 inches long. Doctors had no idea if she would live days or even hours. With only a 10% chance of surviving, each day was a gift.

The Pacynas had been trying for years to have a baby. They say they prayed a lot and took things one day at a time.

“You have to believe miracles happen,” Rene said.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Michigan Planned Parenthood web site plagiarizes NARAL, leaves out some details

In an effort to oppose Michigan’s recently passed legislation opting the state out of abortion insurance coverage, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan have created a web site entitled “Enough is Enough!”

The web site has a variety of talking points against the legislation, information about contacting legislators, a place to sign up to get involved and a section where women from Michigan can supposedly share their stories. 

The “Stories” section presently includes four written stories along with videos of legislators testifying against the opt-out legislation. 

The four written stories are plagiarized nearly word for word from two separate NARAL Pro-Choice America web sites.  The first three stories are lifted from NARAL’s "Abortion Bans Without Exceptions Endanger Women’s Health" web site while the 4th story is taken from NARAL’s "Abortion Coverage for Women Enrolled in Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. "

Since the stories are copied and pasted nearly word for word and no citation is given, it is notably that in two of the stories Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan decided to make some edits.  They specifically edited out how far along the women were in their pregnancies.

NARAL's web site says that Vikki Stella was in her 32nd week pregnancy when she discovered her child's had fetal abnormalities.  Planned Parenthood changes this to say Stella was “months into her pregnancy.”  A New York Times article from November 8, 1995, mentions that Stella had her abortion at 36 weeks. 

NARAL’s web site also notes that “Gilda Restelli was nearly 30 weeks pregnant” while Planned Parenthood changes this to say Restelli was “well into her pregnancy.”    

In their desperate attempts to attack this prolife legislation, abortion advocates have made false statements about whether the treatment of miscarriages would be covered and how the signatures which initiated this legislation were collected.  

As they try to drum up sympathetic stories, they are now plagiarizing the work of another pro-abortion organization and deceptively editing those stories because they recognize most people are not in favor of their tax dollars and insurance premiums paying for 3rd trimester abortions. 

Abortion rate continues to decline

Michael New, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Michigan–Dearborn, looked at the national statistics on abortion and found some positive signs.

Last month, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released abortion figures for the year 2010. The data indicates that the national abortion rate continues its 20 year decline. The number of abortions performed declined by 3 percent between 2009 and 2010. This decline is fairly consistent across the country. The number of abortions went down in 36 of the 44 states that reported data to the CDC.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Abortionist Kermit Gosnell convicted of federal drug charges

Convicted murderer and former abortionist Kermit Gosnell is back in the news. His trial for federal drug charges is now over and he had an additional 30 years added to his multiple life sentences. Gosnell originally was convicted in the death of a patient and several infanticides, and was allowed to operate for years because Pennsylvania officials refused to enforce health regulations properly on abortion clinics.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Correcting Misinformation on the Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act

During the recent debate over the Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act, opponents of the legislation made a number of false claims about the legislation.

False Claim #1 - Treatment of miscarriages won’t be covered

In her speech on the floor of the Michigan House, Representative Collene Lamonte told a personal story about having a miscarriage at 12 weeks and being treated in the emergency room. She then went on to make the following claim regarding what would have happened had the Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act been in place at the time of her miscarriage:

“I would have either been denied this lifesaving procedure that protected my ability to have children and my daughter Grace may have been without a mother today. Or my family would have been burdened with an expensive medical bill that very well may have bankrupted us.”

The Truth
The text of the Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act defines elective abortion and clearly says that lifesaving treatment and treatment of a miscarriage is not an elective abortion. Here is the definition of elective abortion in the text of the legislation:

Sec. 11. (a) ... Elective abortion does not include any of the following:

(i) The use or prescription of a drug or device intended as a contraceptive.

(ii) The intentional use of an instrument, drug, or other substance or device by a physician to terminate a woman's pregnancy if the woman's physical condition, in the physician's reasonable medical judgment, necessitates the termination of the woman's pregnancy to avert her death.

(iii) Treatment upon a pregnant woman who is experiencing a miscarriage or has been diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy.

False Claim #2 - Signatures gatherers were paid

In an online video, Senator Gretchen Whitmer claimed that “(s)pecial interest groups paid to gather 300,000 votes to get this before the Michigan legislature.”

The Truth
Thousands of Michigan residents voluntarily gathered more than 315,000 signatures and many donated the funds which paid for the printing and mailing of the petitions. Signatures were collected from all 83 of Michigan's counties. No outside firm was hired and no one was paid for the signatures they collected. In her effort to attack this legislation, Whitmer slandered the earnest efforts of thousands of Michigan citizens taking part in the democratic process.

False Claim #3 - Right to Life of Michigan said the goal was to put this legislation on ballot

During her speech on the Senate floor, Senator Gretchen Whitmer claimed that Right to Life of Michigan misled people about whether the legislation would go to the ballot.

“Right to Life told the public their goal was to put this issue on the ballot for all of us to vote on, every one in the state. Again, evidenced by what you’re going here today, a complete lie.”

The Truth
From the beginning of the petition drive, Right to Life of Michigan has openly said the goal was to have this legislation pass with majority support from the Michigan legislature so the legislation wouldn’t go to the ballot.

For example, the question and answer section of the Michigan’s Voice web site says the following:

Q: Will this be on the ballot?

A: It's unlikely. This petition drive is to initiate legislation that was passed in December 2012 by large majorities in the House and Senate but vetoed by the governor. With enough registered voters' signatures, it will become law with a simple majority vote in the state legislature. The governor has no role in approving or vetoing this type of legislation. Prolife people have been successful in the past with citizen initiated petition drives.
Furthermore, an online training seminar specifically notes that the legislation won’t be on the ballot if it receives a majority vote in the Michigan legislature.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Planned Parenthood releases annual report, performs more than 300,000 abortions a year

Planned Parenthood Federation of America recently released their 2012-2013 annual report.  The report notes that once again, Planned Parenthood is America’s biggest abortion provider.  They provided 327,166 abortions in 2012.  This means they’ve aborted nearly 1 million children in the last three years combined. 

While killing nearly 1,000 unborn children every day, Planned Parenthood was raking in government funds to the tune of $540.6 million.   



Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Victory for Michigan

 Elective abortion removed as standard 'benefit' from health plans

The question of who pays for abortion insurance was answered today in Michigan. The Michigan House (62-47) and Senate (27-11) approved the citizen-initiated Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act. The Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act is about who desires abortion coverage and who will pay for it, not whether abortion is legal or if insurance is available.

Today's vote in the Michigan House and Senate in a victory for Michigan and concludes a narrative of effort by a cast of hundreds of thousands of volunteers and key leaders. Because of the dedication of many, Michigan joins 23 other states in opting-out of abortion coverage in their health insurance exchanges through the Affordable Care Act.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, "Abortion is not true health care and people who object will not have to contribute their own tax dollars or insurance premiums for elective abortions. This law is instrumental in preserving our long tradition of protecting the conscience rights of Michigan citizens before the Affordable Care Act takes full effect in 2014."

The NO Taxes for Abortion Insurance petition drive was democracy in action. Michigan's Constitution allows the people to initiate legislation through a petition. In 120 days, volunteer Michigan citizens from every county gathered more than 315,000 signatures to support this legislation.

Listing said, "We are thankful for the hundreds of thousands of dedicated volunteers and prolife citizens who made this law possible. We applaud the Michigan legislators who stood firm in their resolve and voted to ensure no person is forced to fund the deliberate taking of an innocent human life in the name of health care."

Michigan legislature passes Abortion Insurance Opt-Out

Great news! The Michigan Senate and the Michigan House just passed the Abortion Insurance Opt-Out.  The vote in the Michigan Senate was 27-11 and the vote in the Michigan House was 62-47.


MLive covers on #ScheduleIt tweetfest has an article on the #ScheduleIt tweetfest yesterday and the prolife movement's efforts to convince legislators to vote on the Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act. 

Right to Life ramped up its public campaign on Tuesday with a "tweetfest," flooding the social media network with a message for leadership: #ScheduleIt.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Message Received Loud & Clear in Lansing

Thanks to a great swell of grassroots lobbying effort, our message about voting on the Abortion Insurance Opt Out Act has been heard loud and clear in Lansing. Support for the measure is stronger than ever. There is no doubt in anyone's mind at the Capitol that our initiated legislation has the votes to become law!

House and Senate leaders will meet later today to hammer out the details on exactly when the vote will take place. The end of the year legislative session is always intense and unpredictable.  At this time, there is no need for calls to legislators.

Thank you for the tremendous response to this call to action! We look forward to the day coming soon when the prospect of tax dollars subsidizing abortion insurance is on the scrap heap of history!

#ScheduleIt tweetfest starting at noon today

Starting at noon today, please use the hashtag #ScheduleIt on Twitter and Facebook to encourage the Michigan House of Representatives to schedule a vote this week on the Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act.

The Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act is currently awaiting a vote from Michigan's senators and representatives. Pressure must be placed on House Speaker Jase Bolger to schedule a vote THIS week, before the Christmas recess.  Delaying the vote until January will delay full implementation of the Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act until 2016. There is no basis for delaying the law. A vote must be taken this week!



Monday, December 9, 2013

Lobby Alert: Keep up the calls

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing has an important message for you about the Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act. 

Currently, the Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act is in the hands of Michigan senators and representatives. Please call your prolife House members today. Pressure must be placed on the Michigan House to schedule a vote this week. We need more calls going into state representative offices. The Michigan Senate is ready to vote. 



Friday, December 6, 2013

Detroit News editorial against Abortion Insurance Opt-Out fails miserably

The Detroit News has published an embarrassing, error-plagued editorial against the Abortion Inusrance Opt-Out Act.  The editorial begins by claiming that prolife legislators are being “bullied” into voting for prolife legislation. 

Right to Life of Michigan is flexing its muscle in presenting the state Legislature with a do-or-die choice to limit insurance coverage of abortion. Lawmakers should not let themselves be bullied.

How can prolife legislators who voted in favor of this legislation last year and the majority of whom signed a petition to initiate this legislation be bullied into voting for something they favor? 

Lawmakers should reject this bill and let the entire Michigan electorate decide whether or not it’s appropriate. Polls suggest only one-third of state voters support the measure.

Lawmakers are elected to vote on legislation.  The editorial seems to believe that citizen-initiated legislation doesn’t deserve a vote from lawmakers but provides no reasoning for why lawmakers shouldn’t vote on this type of legislation. 

One has to wonder why the editorial lists "one-third" of voters as being supportive when the latest polls on the legislation covered by the Detroit News cite 41% and 42% as the number of voters in favor of the legislation with large numbers of undecided voters. 

Right to Life’s motives in this push are suspect. The group is attacking a problem that barely exists. In Michigan, just 3.3 percent of 22,700 abortions in 2012 were paid for by insurance, according to the state Department of Community Health.

Apparently, the News believes that the lives of 739 unborn children a year in Michigan are not a problem.  This also fails to address the reality that Obamacare’s subsidies for plans which cover abortion could increase the number of women seeking to use insurance to pay for abortion.

Obamacare does not mandate abortion be included in insurance policies. In fact, thanks to an amendment authored by former Michigan Congressman Bart Stupak, there are so many hoops to jump through that most policies in the Obamacare exchanges don’t cover abortions.

There is no evidence that most policies in the Obamacare exchanges don’t cover abortions.  It was recently reported that over 90% of plans offered in the Washington, D.C. market to Congress and their staffers include abortion coverage. 

It’s a bully tactic aimed at forcing women to make the decision about where they stand on abortion well before the issue becomes personal. It also forces lawmakers to publicly declare themselves on abortion in advance of the 2014 elections.

Why is it a bully tactic to say abortion isn’t health care and our tax dollars and health care premiums shouldn’t paying for someone else’s abortion?  The real "bully tactic" is making the public pay for the abortion of someone else. 

Lawmakers publicly declare themselves on abortion before every election.  That how elections work.  People looking to be elected share their views with people who they want to vote for them.  For a news organization to oppose politicians declaring themselves publicly on an issue is bizarre. 

This was a needless battle to engage in. Lawmakers should reject the ploy and make Right to Life decide how much it’s willing to spend to promote a ballot measure that would have a very slim chance of passing and would not change the abortion reality in Michigan even if it did.

If this legislation would not change the abortion reality in Michigan then why is this editorial arguing against it?  If the battle is so needless then why is the Detroit News engaging itself in it?

Right to Life of Michigan will continue to work to save the lives of unborn children.  We’ll continue to work to make sure that abortion is not a standard part of health care and that our tax dollars and health care premiums aren’t used to subsidize abortion coverage.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

States which pushed to spend tax dollars on embryonic stem cells are now spending that money on ethical stem cells

About a decade ago, there was a large push from proponents of killing human embryos for research to have states fund embryonic stem cell research.  Various states passed legislation granting public funds for research into stem cell studies.  The Washington Times reports on research by one prolife organization shows that money originally intended for embryonic stem cell research is now being spent on more successful research involving adult stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells.

“Money talks,” said Gene Tarne, author of papers for the Charlotte Lozier Institute that find that the bulk of stem cell funding grants in California and Maryland are moving toward “ethical” research that doesn’t use human embryos.

The shift looks like a sea change from when state funding strongly favored research from embryonic stem cells over “adult” stem cells, which are taken from the placenta, umbilical cord and some mature tissues and do not kill human embryos.


Are abortion restrictions really unreasonable and misogynistic?

Supporters of abortion often claim that abortion clinic health regulations unreasonably restrict access to abortions. At the Life Training Institute Blog, Michigan's Dr. Rich Poupard explains how the same "unreasonable" health regulations impact the service he provides, removing wisdom teeth.

First, every specialist who performs this procedure in Mid-Michigan has admitting privileges at local hospitals.  The medical board that covers these so-called "professionals" actually insist on this, under the reasoning that doctors should be able to handle emergency problems from their surgery patients themselves! This is clearly ridiculous!  Also, offices in which this procedure are routinely performed are expected to adhere to standards similar to outpatient surgery centers, and are accredited every 5 years.  The fact that these procedures cannot be done anywhere by anyone greatly restricts access to medical care for this safe surgery!


If you haven't figured it out, I'm not talking about abortion access.  I'm talking about access to routine third molar surgery.  These "restrictions" that I mention are dealt with every single day by my own patients, in the office where I practice.  Yet the same type of standards, when applied to those adolescents seeking abortion care, are seen as some horrific barrier to care.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

MLive covers Save the 1 press conference

Jonathan Oosting/
MLive covered the press conference today featuring survivors of rape and individuals conceived as a result of rape from the prolife organization Save the 1.  They expressed support for the Abortion Insurance Opt-Out legislation to make sure their own tax dollars and insurance premiums are not paying for elective abortions.

"No child deserves to be punished for the crimes of their father," said Rebecca Kiessling, a Rochester Hills resident who heads Save the 1, a national group that advocates for anti-abortion policies without exceptions.

Kiessling told reporters that she was conceived when her birth mother was abducted at gunpoint by a serial rapist. Her biological mother considered a "back alley" abortion, she said, but backed out because it was illegal at the time.

"I was protected by Michigan legislators who recognized that mine was a life worth saving," said Kiessling. "I owe my life to those laws."


Monday, December 2, 2013

Sexual Assault Victims, Individuals Conceived in Rape Speak Out about Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Legislation

On Tuesday, December 3, at 9:30 a.m., in the Senate Appropriations Room, Room 320 in the State Capitol Building, a public advocacy organization, Save the 1, will hold a press conference hosted by Right to Life of Michigan.

The press conference will exclusively feature women who have conceived children after sexual assault and individuals who were conceived in rape. Save the 1 members advocate on behalf of themselves and others like them who have experienced the social biases and stigma that promote abortion as an appropriate, even desirable response to pregnancy resulting from rape.

These individuals will share their perspective on the intersection of their life stories with public policies regarding abortion, including the recent discussions about the Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act, which is before the Legislature now that the petition signatures submitted by Right to Life of Michigan have been certified by the Board of Canvassers.

Signatures Verified in Statewide Petition Drive

Today, the Michigan Board of Canvassers unanimously approved the signatures from the NO Taxes for Abortion Insurance petition drive. The Election Division of the Secretary of State concluded its review of the more than 316,000 signatures and found the validity rate to be nearly 95 percent. Registered voters from every county in Michigan signed petitions to initiate the Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act; this legislation will keep tax dollars and health insurance premiums from paying for abortion as part of standard health insurance offered in Michigan.

The Michigan Constitution allows the people to initiate legislation through a petition. With the Michigan Board of Canvassers verifying the signatures, the Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act will now be in the hands of Michigan representatives and Michigan senators. Because the legislation was initiated by the citizens, it does not need a signature from the governor to become law; only a simple majority vote is required in the Michigan House and Senate. Right to Life of Michigan is advocating for a vote to be taken as early as possible.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, "We are thankful for the people of Michigan who participated in the NO Taxes for Abortion Insurance petition drive to allow our elected officials the opportunity to vote on the Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act again."

Support for this policy is clear in Lansing. It is the same legislation which passed the House and Senate less than a year ago, but was vetoed by Governor Rick Snyder.

Listing said, "Michigan citizens do not want to pay for someone else's abortion with their tax dollars or health insurance premiums. Abortion is not health care; abortion kills a living, developing human being."