Wednesday, July 19, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

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

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

Photo courtesy of for a Pro-Life Society

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Charlie Gard case is not that unique

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Sen. Stabenow's record on free speech

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Throwing false narratives against the wall, hoping they stick

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sen. Stabenow's record on Planned Parenthood

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A look back at 50 years: 1972

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

The effort to legalize abortion in America began in earnest in 1959, when the influential legal group ALI (the American Law Institute) recommended legalizing abortion in the first draft of their model penal code. ALI makes recommendations for clarifying various laws, but in this case they sought to change the law.

Colorado was the first state to legalize abortion in 1967. A similar effort in Michigan in 1967 was defeated, but several other states fell to concerted efforts by abortion advocates over the next few years.

The first prolife advocates in many states were caught flat-footed by these attacks against the humanity of unborn children. To oppose this momentum the prolife movement began in earnest to organize themselves. In Michigan Kalamazoo Right to Life became the first local group to organize in 1970. Other independent groups around Michigan began to organize as well.

The momentum in favor of abortion came to a screeching halt in 1971. Had the U.S. Supreme Court never waded into the issue of abortion, 1971 could likely have been the high water mark for abortion in the United States. Following successful defensive efforts in 1971, the prolife movement began moving to roll back legalized abortion in several states. They were aided by a shocked populace who didn't expect to see so many abortions, particularly in New York. There was a dawning appreciation that abortion was a Pandora's Box that ought not to have been opened.

New York legalized abortion-on-demand up to 24 weeks of pregnancy in 1970, but prolifers were successful in passing legislation to repeal the law through New York's state legislature by 1972. The only thing standing in their way was a veto from the hardened Republican New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller. Rockefeller was a high-profile politician who attempted several runs at the presidency and ultimately served as President Gerald Ford's vice president. The Rockefeller family has long been a driving force behind abortion and population control programs globally. Their family's Population Council organization is responsible for bringing the RU-486 abortion pill to the United States.

With the stunning reversal in New York abortion supporters needed some positive momentum. They next looked to Michigan as a large target to breathe new life into their movement. By 1972 several abortion legalization proposals had failed in the Michigan legislature. Abortion supporters decided they needed to take their case to the public through a ballot referendum. The only other public vote on abortion had been in Washington state in 1970, where they succeeded in legalizing abortion.

Proposal B of 1972 would have repealed Michigan's prolife law protecting the unborn to allow abortions during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. The people voted on the ballot proposal on November 7, 1972, and it failed with 1,270,416 "yes" votes and 1,938,265 "no" votes. Instead of putting the abortion movement back on offense a super-majority of Michigan voters issued them a strong rebuke.

What made the difference? Local grassroots prolife volunteers.

Many groups that would later become affiliates of our state organization banded together under a common banner, the Voice of the Unborn. These local grassroots volunteers outworked a very nationally-minded abortion movement with a simple message about the value of all human life.

The thousands of individuals involved in the Voice of the Unborn didn't know that their victory was predestined for defeat as seven members of the U.S. Supreme Court were in the process of writing their decisions in Roe v. Wade in Doe v. Bolton. With the abortion movement flailing for help, unelected pro-abortion judges took it upon themselves to do what their allies could not through the democratic process.

The Voice of the Unborn's victory was not in vain, however. The Voice of the Unborn would eventually become Right to Life of Michigan and we have continued using the same locally-focused model to achieve victories to advance legal protections for unborn children. It's the same organizational model that will allow local volunteers from places most Americans have never heard of to overcome the many influential institutions with cushy metropolitan offices that continue to stand in the way of restoring legal protection to all innocent unborn children.

Visit our blog in July for our next notable prolife moment in Michigan history in 1979.

Honoring 50 years of prolife advocacy in Michigan

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Life and death decisions are being made behind closed doors

The Tank Family

You have to check out Bob Tank's story on our website. Bob's daughter, Genevieve Marnon, is part of the Right to Life of Michigan legislative team in Lansing. His story and similar stories we've heard recently are setting off alarm bells about how our hospitals are handling end-of-life decisions. Bob's story could be your story some day. Here's an excerpt:

Bob’s experience in the emergency room was common to anyone who has faced a life-threatening blood clot. The emergency room staff focused on stabilizing Bob and succeeded in their mission. He was then transferred to the intensive care unit, where he would recover as they worked to dissolve the clot in his lungs.

Genevieve said her father was only 76 years old and in decent health given his chronic condition. He was enjoying the twilight of his life with his family. He had lived more than year after his previous doctor said he could “go” at any time. Bob had not left yet, and Genevieve said her father was not quite ready to go.

Instead of being allowed to heal—to spend his remaining days at home with family—the very coherent and aware Bob became the nearly helpless subject of efforts to hasten his death. The wishes of the hospital quickly diverged from those of the patient.

“It wasn’t until they learned of his end-stage emphysema that they changed,” Genevieve said.

Genevieve said sometime in the night after his admission Bob suffered what the hospital vaguely told them was an “episode.” Things quickly began to go wrong from there.

Bob’s family noticed he was exhibiting signs of dehydration. They noticed his IV line was hooked up, but not actually providing him with fluids. When questioned about this, the doctor matter-of-factly told Genevieve giving Bob fluids would “only prolong the inevitable.”


Bob's story highlights two growing problems that you need to be aware of. We intend to address these issues in the near future with two pieces of legislation.

The first bill, Simon's Law, is inspired by a story and legislation out of Kansas. It would stop the heinous practice of secret DNR orders that override the wishes of patients or their parents.

The second bill would deal with nearly unbelievable situations that we're hearing more and more of lately; doctors and hospitals have being going to court in secret to strip patients of their caregivers to withhold medical care. Families have shown up at the hospital to learn the hospital is suddenly now in charge of their loved one by court order. The second bill would prevent secret courts from overriding patient's wishes and restore a basic legal presumption that it is a patient's best interest to be alive.

There are real situations where patient advocates can't let go and are no longer making decisions in the best interest of the patient. Those legal disputes must be approached fairly in court in the light of day—not in secret and in service to medical cost-cutting.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

What would Michigan look like if Planned Parenthood were in charge?

The abortion industry in Michigan has a biennial custom of hosting a press conference promoting legislation that will never see the light of day. Yesterday this custom took place again, with another package of unpopular bills being introduced that have zero chance of passing.

We don’t think the bills themselves deserve a lot of media attention because of their unpopularity and futile future. They do however offer an insight into how the abortion industry would like Michigan to operate if pro-abortion legislators held majorities in the Legislature. Let’s briefly touch on each bill they introduced.

HB 4760 would eliminate the 24-hour waiting period before abortions. Waiting periods are broadly supported by the public.

HB 4761 would repeal our Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act, forcing Michigan taxpayers to fund abortions. The public broadly opposes tax-funded abortions.

HB 4762 is extremely vague and mostly seems directed against our state’s law requiring informed consent before an abortion. The legislation in-part says that the state may not prohibit “a medical service that is evidence-based and appropriate for a patient.” Partial-birth abortions are cruel and barbaric—involving stabbing a baby in the head during the birth process—but the abortion industry argues it is effective and medically appropriate. Informed consent is broadly supported and partial-birth abortions are strongly opposed by most Americans.

HB 4763 would formally legalize abortion past the point of viability in Michigan, up to the moment of birth. The bill would also allow Gosnell-style abortion clinics, striking down any state regulation that would force an abortion clinic to close, essentially banning health officials from any oversight. Late-term abortions are opposed by most Americans, and allowing the abortion industry to operate free of any medical oversight is dangerous.

HB 4765 would force hospitals to perform abortions in Michigan. Recently pro-abortion groups have been trying to force Catholic medical facilities to provide abortions through the courts. Americans broadly reject forcing doctors and nurses to perform abortions.

If Planned Parenthood ran the state of Michigan, abortions would be taxpayer-funded and legal right up to and including the process of birth. Women would be kept in the dark when it comes to informed consent about abortion. Abortion clinics would be uniquely exempt from any state health regulations. The many Catholic or other health care services and ministries in the state that object to taking innocent human life would be forced to close or participate directly in abortion.

Michigan would become the wild west of the culture of death if these bills ever passed. The Kermit Gosnell case showed what happens when state officials look the other way as the abortion industry is left to regulate itself.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Top 10 reasons to defund Planned Parenthood

Contrary to their public relations spin, Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest provider and promoter of abortion. To read most reporting on Planned Parenthood, it is easy to believe the spin instead of facts. This was on full display when the media distracted people from the undercover videos showing them buying and selling babies’ body parts. Here's the facts that show why prolife people should not be forced to fund Planned Parenthood.


Gallup's latest poll says 54% of Americans want to restrict abortion

Every year Gallup does a national poll on the issue of abortion, and this result is the same every year: a majority of Americans want all or most abortions to be illegal.

Gallup's latest poll was released on June 9. Their annual polls haven't shown much change in recent years, but there are still a few patterns worth mentioning. This year Gallup reported that 54% of Americans want all or most abortions to be illegal. The stand-out number was just 29% of people thought that abortion should be legal in all circumstances. In 1973 abortion was legalized in all circumstances in the United States when unelected justices on the U.S. Supreme Court handed down Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. Only 29% of Americans agree with Roe v. Wade, allowing abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy.

The flip-side of this is 68% of people are on a spectrum of either wanting abortion to be illegal in all cases or legal only under certain circumstances. Let's focus on that again: 68% of Americans say they want to alter our current abortion law. Confusingly Gallup polls show most Americans don't want to revisit Roe v. Wade, confirming what we've known for decades: most Americans don't understand Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. The media and our education system fails time and again in their responsibility of accurately explaining these two landmark cases.

An increasing number of Americans say abortion is morally wrong, trending up to 49% from 45% in 2015. Those who think that abortion is morally acceptable is 43%, down from 45% in 2015. This trend is an encouraging indication that we are moving in the right direction with prolife messaging, especially considering the release of the videos highlighting Planned Parenthood's organ harvesting schemes. With continued education we can continue to win over the hearts and minds of people, keeping the current trend going.

The Gallup poll also highlighted once again that there are few differences between how men and women view abortion. Slightly more men said they were prolife (48%) than women (43%). An interesting result is that 49% of women view abortion as morally wrong (48% of men agree), which doesn’t line up with 43% of women saying they are prolife. It's a long-standing problem that many people who believe that abortion is morally wrong and who would vote to ban most abortions often think of themselves as "pro-choice."

While partisan elected officials have become increasingly divided over abortion, the actual voters in each party continue to show some variance. In the poll 61% of Republicans, 48% of Independents, and 26% of Democrats considered themselves "prolife." Those numbers should be highlighted more often, especially with the current Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez threatening to ban prolife Democrats from their own party.

Contrary to predictions shortly after Roe v. Wade that Americans would come to know and love abortion, long-term trends show the prolife movement is gaining traction in public opinion. The last few years have showed little change, however, though the prolife movement has moved confidently to enact prolife policies at the state and national level. Even though prolife legislation often creates controversy, this controversy is not driving people away from the message than unborn children deserve to be valued as members of our human family.

American’s ambivalence and confusion on abortion shows that we have more work to do as we further educate people on the realities of abortion. We know that the more people know about our issue, the more prolife they will become. Ambivalence and confusion sown by the abortion industry greatly helps their efforts.

With 68% of American’s wanting to move away from the status quo of Roe v. Wade and 54% wanting to effectively ban most abortions, it is obvious that we have public opinion in our corner. Even after decades of repeated indoctrination from our media, culture and education system, the abortion industry can not convince most Americans to believe abortion is a positive good.

No law in the U.S. Congress would ever be able to pass with just 29% of congressman voting for it. There is no reason that we should have a law that only 29% of people agree with; a law that voters or their representatives never enacted. Roe v. Wade is undeniably anti-democratic.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Sen. Stabenow's record on parental consent

Parental consent before an abortion is an important issue. Without parental consent laws young girls can go to an abortion clinic to have a life-changing procedure without a parent ever finding out.

An overwhelming majority of voters support laws preventing minor teens from having secret abortions. The most recent Gallup poll on the issue found that 71 percent of people favored parental consent laws.

While a member of the Michigan Legislature Debbie Stabenow voted against Michigan’s 1990 law requiring minors to have parental consent before abortion. Since 1990 minor children having abortions in Michigan dropped 79 percent.

In 2013 in the U.S. Senate Debbie Stabenow voted against the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA). CIANA prevents people from smuggling children across state lines to circumvent a state's parental consent laws.

You can't give an aspirin to a child at school without parental consent. A child can't get a tattoo without parental consent. Why would Senator Debbie Stabenow let children have secret abortions or let other adults take someone's child to another state to have a abortion?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Here's your chance to get a Choose Life license plate!

A bill to create a Choose Life license plate in Michigan is on the desk of Governor Rick Snyder. It's unclear if he will sign it or not.

We hope Governor Snyder will realize the wonderful opportunity this plate offers to support pregnant women in need. That's where you come in!

Starting on Thursday, June 8, 9:00 a.m., get everyone you can to call Gov. Snyder’s office in Lansing at 517-373-3400 with this message: “Governor Snyder we are praying for you and ask for your support of the women and children who will be helped by the Choose Life license plate.”

Legislation to create the Choose Life plate passed in a bipartisan 65 to 43 vote in the Michigan House on May 25. It first passed the Senate on April 28 by a 25 to 11 vote and received a final procedural vote on June 6. A Choose Life license plate would cost $35, with $10 paying for the cost of manufacturing the plate. The extra $25 in fees would go to a Choose Life Michigan fund. Grants from the fund will be given to specific projects to promote adoption and other alternatives to abortion, provide practical help to pregnant women, and suicide prevention programs.

Michigan would become the 32nd state to offer a Choose Life license plate as an option to their citizens. Michigan would have the only Choose Life plate in the nation that also funds suicide prevention efforts.

It’s time for Michigan to join every other state on the I-75 corridor down to Florida. Many Michiganders see Choose Life plates while driving in other states and they want the same opportunity for us to increase support for pregnant women in need.

Choose Life plates would first be available in 2018 if signed into law. The Secretary of State must approve the design of the new plate and then work through the manufacturing and distribution process, which takes approximately nine months. The plate design has not been finalized yet.

Michigan law requires fundraising license plates to sell a minimum of 2,000 plates the first year, and 500 new plates each year for 5 additional years in order to continue offering the design.

This is your opportunity to upgrade those bumper stickers to an official license plate that helps support women and men in need!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Planned Parenthood claims to be original fake news target

Last week when being interviewed by Recode media, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards was asked about the impact social media has had on Planned Parenthood. She responded saying, "I think we were one of the original fake news targets."

Woah. What?

She continued by adding, "there’s a lot of bad information out there and efforts should be made to promote sources and information that are actually good."

When asked to name an example of this "fake news" targeting, Richards declined, citing that she wanted to stay positive. Maybe this is because she knows that Planned Parenthood is really the one who relies on fake news as their public relations strategy. A good example is how they claim to provide mammograms when they really don't.

You have been often warned about trusting the validity of particular statistics and Planned Parenthood is the perfect example of why. Most recently in their annual report, Planned Parenthood was able to keep their claim that abortions are just 3 percent of the services they offer. What they didn’t tell you was that they created additional "services" like "Other STI Prevention and Treatments" or "Other Contraceptive Services" to cook the books and cover up their increasing abortion numbers.

We also must never forget the horribly gruesome undercover videos by the Center for Medical Progress. The most recent one featured an abortion doctor who was laughing about ripping out the eyes of unborn babies. We wish that was all fake news. Though Planned Parenthood has claimed time and again that these videos are "fake news," independent reviews of these videos have been done, there has been no evidence that has been found to discredit them. Even Planned Parenthood's phony self-review of the videos admitted they were genuine. Full footage of all of them is available online freely, but Planned Parenthood knows their supporters won't comb through hours of footage or transcripts like we have.

So who is the real fake news here? Planned Parenthood has repeatedly shown that they are willing to lie about the services they provide so that they can continue to take our tax dollars. They claiming time and time again that they are working for women, when in reality they are cutting clients and health services in favor of abortion promotion.

They frequently get away with this. When we post a story from a credited news agency about misdeeds in the abortion industry, we're the ones fighting off social media censors.

Fake news and finding accurate sources of information is a real problem we all face. We have to truly stand up for all women and teach everyone the truth using good information, and not let Planned Parenthood distract them from their agenda of abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Planned Parenthood releases most recent annual report, cooks the books

Planned Parenthood finally released their 2015-2016 annual report. Many in the prolife movement thought the release was being delayed because increasing abortion numbers would get in the way of their media narrative about their commitment to women's health.

Over the years Planned Parenthood's tax-funding has increased dramatically, along with the number of abortions they do. Their other client base continues to decline. Planned Parenthood knows most Americans don't support tax-funded abortions, and so they work hard to spread their talking point that "only 3 percent of our services are abortion."

As we've pointed out many times, that talking point is purposefully misleading, even to Planned Parenthood's own supporters and their media allies. Looking at their recent annual report, they reported serving 2.4 million clients and did 328,348 abortions. That's 14 percent. They did 1,079,836 pregnancy tests, meaning roughly 45 percent of their clients were abortion-minded.

Planned Parenthood continues to cut clients, cut most health services, and increase abortions. How do they manage to keep their "3 percent" talking point intact?

Planned Parenthood counts certain parts of a procedure or visit as a service. This enables them to count or not count whatever they want. Looking at their annual reports over the years, frequently new categories of services get added to the report out of thin air. Lets use their most recent annual report as an example.

Many of their largest services one again saw cuts in 2015-2016. They had 100,000 fewer clients.They provided 72,947 fewer women with contraception, which is supposed to be their core mission. Their manual breast exams dropped 42,103, which they frequently deceive people into believing are mammograms. Their prenatal services declined by 8,000, nearly half. Several other services experienced declines.

Did anything increase? They did provide 25,553 more STI tests, though they don't explain what those entail; were those blood tests or merely a visual check before their tens of thousands of surgical abortions? They did provide 22,260 more pap tests. Those increases don't begin to make up the difference for their dropping services to keep their "3 percent" statistics alive. Every year their public relations department must go to work with some clever accounting.

In this new report we suddenly see Planned Parenthood provided 226,254 well women exams. They didn't report those the previous year. What makes up a well-woman exam? A breast exam and a pap test, among other things. So, Planned Parenthood is counting the exam itself, the breast exam and the pap test as three services, tripling their numbers.

Planned Parenthood also invented the category of "Other STI Prevention and Treatments," providing 26,042 services. We have no idea what these are or why they weren't worth mentioning the previous year. Also new are 100,673 "Other Contraceptive Services." Even these mystical services don't paper over the annual decline in Planned Parenthood's contraceptive services. "Other Diagnostic Procedures" rounds out the mysterious new categories with 7,184 services.

None of these new services made the text of the annual report as bragging points. There were no announcements of new services available at Planned Parenthood. No media station ran a public campaign touting Planned Parenthood's new advances in patient care.

When Planned Parenthood adds all of the numbers up, they get 9,494,977 services, an increase over the previous year despite a drop of 100,000 clients. Those services are just enough to keep abortion at 3.46 percent of their "services," awfully close to that magic 3.5 threshold of having to say "4 percent" instead. Had David Daleiden not come along with his video camera, Planned Parenthood may have had to start counting "Tissue Donations and Other" as a service to keep their "3 percent" myth going.

The only reason they don't triple count enough services to drop abortions to "2 percent" is they probably don't want the marketing costs with having do redo all of their existing materials.

As Mark Twain wrote, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."

The reality—according to their own statistics—is that Planned Parenthood is not fundamental to protecting women's health in America. Their dropping client base of 2.4 million is a tiny part of the 164 million women living in America. Thousands of other locations exist to provide the real health services Planned Parenthood cuts every year.

The only thing Planned Parenthood is fundamental to is protecting abortion-on-demand at any cost.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Choose Life license plate bill passes Michigan House

On Thursday afternoon, the Michigan House of Representatives votes 65 to 43 to pass the "Choose Life" license plate bill.

This bill is now headed back to the Senate for a concurrence vote, since a small amendment was added to the House version.

The plates would cost $35 with $25 going to a Choose Life Fund that would be set up, and $10 to the state for the cost of producing the plate. These funds generated by the sale of the plates will be directed to the Choose Life Michigan fund. The board of this nonprofit prolife committee, Choose Life Michigan, will then disperse the money to organizations that submit grant proposals for pregnancy help initiatives.

Questions and answers about Choose Life license plates

New Center for Medical Progress video: laughing about ripping out eyes

The Center for Medical Progress released a new video today showing a montage of abortionists callously talking about abortion.

"Released" isn't the right word because it was an unlisted YouTube link simply titled "preview." Someone, somehow got wind of it and posted the link to it today. The clips include some old video but it appears to be mostly new footage at National Abortion Federation (NAF) events. The Center for Medical Progress has yet to share it themselves outside of their unlisted YouTube link.

NAF is currently in court to block the release of additional undercover footage taken at their events. A quick view of the video and you can see why. Who jokes about ripping eyeballs out of babies' heads and having them fall on you?

The prolife group Susan B. Anthony List created a quick video montage comparing the media's reaction to Donald Trump's comments on abortion during his debate with Hillary Clinton to how abortionists talk about abortion behind closed doors. The media criticized him roundly for it, publishing misleading reactions to him like this one from the Washington Post titled, "'Rip the baby out of the womb': What Donald Trump got wrong about abortion in America."

Yes, abortion does involve ripping the baby from the womb, and don't let anyone try to pretend otherwise.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Abortion Pill Reversal: is it safe?

Lately there has been a push by the media to discredit the treatment known as abortion pill reversal. We are supporting legislation in Michigan to let women know about this critical option. It is important we understand the background and the process behind the abortion pill reversal.

What is the abortion pill?

In the United States many first trimester abortions are done via a chemical abortion pill, RU-486. A chemical abortion is actually administered by two separate pills that together are intended to take the life of the child.

The first pill that you are given is called mifepristone (Mifeprix), the actual RU-486 as the chemical was originally called. This chemical binds to a woman’s progesterone receptors to block progesterone, which is a natural hormone that is necessary to nurture and sustain a pregnancy. A progesterone deficiency causes the uterine lining to break down. This effectively starves the unborn baby, and causes her to die.

Before the woman leaves the clinic, they are given a second pill called misoprostol. They are instructed to take this pill in the next 24 to 48 hours. It causes uterine contractions, which are meant to expel their now deceased baby.

Some women will instantly regret their abortion after taking the first pill. In 2007, Dr. Matthew Harrison in North Carolina was approached by one such woman who regretted her decision and wanted to be able to save her baby. Dr. Harrison came up with a last-ditch attempt to reverse the effects of RU-486 and save the life of the woman's child: a progesterone treatment. Progesterone treatments are commonly used to help prevent miscarriages.

Around the same time Dr. George Delgado in California was able to make the same conclusion in his research. Together, they realized that by giving women natural progesterone they could counteract the progesterone-starving effects of RU-486. Previously the only hope women had was the small chance the RU-486 wouldn't be effective and to not take the second drug to expel their child.

What are the health risks to stopping a chemical abortion?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in a March 2014 bulletin stated, “No evidence exists to date of a teratogenic effect of Mifepristone.” The good news is current research suggests that the abortion pill does not appear to cause birth defects when it fails to kill the child. That matters little anyway, however, to a woman desperate for a significantly better chance to save the life of her child. What sort of sick society would deny women a common treatment to save their child's life simply because the child may have a disability or health condition?

As for progesterone treatments, they are routinely used to help women with fertility, or for women who have a history of miscarriage. Progesterone treatments for pregnancies are approved by the FDA, having passed their safety protocol for effects to the woman and her child. Progesterone treatments have decades of research and development behind their various forms.

How well does it work?

Because the treatments are already FDA-approved, the question is this: how successful are these off-label uses in saving the life of a child compared to women not taking the second chemical abortion drug and hoping for the best?

Dr. Delgado has published a peer-reviewed article on his early techniques and has said a new article detailing his latest study is expected to be published very soon. He said his latest study involves more than 300 patients and a success rate of stopping the abortion in 60 to 70 percent of cases. Visit the website of their network at The website includes stories of real women who took the abortion pill, realized they made a mistake, and then were able to reverse the effects of RU-486.

With the use of these drugs for chemical abortions on the rise, it is important that we make sure that women know all of the choices that are in front of them because it may not be too late for them to get the help that they need. It would be wrong for groups and medical organizations who support abortion to criticize doctors offering a choice to women seeking to use a common treatment to save the life of their clearly wanted child.

What if myself or someone I know wants to reverse a RU-486 abortions?

Visit their website or call their network at 877-558-0333 today to be connected to a medical professional.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Grand Rapids abortionist Thomas Gordon completes rehab in 16 days

Effective April 29, 2017, Grand Rapids’ only surgical abortion clinic was closed when its owner, Thomas Gordon, was suspended by the state. Unfortunately he’s already back in business, breezing through a rehabilitation program in only 16 days.

Sixteen days, not weeks.

Effective May 11, 2017, Gordon was cleared from his suspension and is now on probation for two years. He also had to pay a $10,000 fine. Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs originally gave him six months to complete rehab or face having to reapply for his medical license.

What caused this suspension? Gordon failed to report his criminal history to the state. Let’s recap his alcohol-fueled violent record:

  • In 1991 Gordon was convicted of aggravated assault.
  • In 2010 Gordon’s wife filed a personal protection order against him, alleging he beat her several times and put a gun to her head while she was sleeping.
  • After an incident in 2011, Gordon was originally charged with felony assault with a dangerous weapon. He later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence and possessing a weapon while under the influence.
  • In 2015 Gordon was convicted of disorderly conduct for fighting/jostling and operating under the influence.

Is a man accused of once putting a gun to wife’s head while she was asleep fit to be around women under anesthesia? Is a man with a record of violence against women what Planned Parenthood might call a champion for women?

The sidewalk counselors who work to convince women to spare the life of their children and seek help at a life-affirming pregnancy center will now have to go back to work too. So too will those who pray for Gordon and his staff to quit.

Some prolifers had hoped this suspension would give the doctor a chance to re-examine his life, or perhaps the prospects of months of rehab would inspire retirement. Instead, his suspension amounted to a two-week vacation, and his grisly trade of tearing the limbs off of unborn children all day resumes.

It is clear Gordon has had severe personal issues for three decades and we’re skeptical 16 days is enough to address those. We can’t see inside his mind, but seeing the broken bodies of more than 2,000 children ever year—and year after year—may be helping fuel his violent outbursts.

Why go back? Is it the politics? The apathy? The lucrative business model of abortion? Has he done so many there’s no turning back?

The late Dr. Bernard Nathanson said he was personally responsible for 75,000 abortions, an unimaginable loss of life. One day, he decided he just couldn’t do it anymore, and dedicated the rest of his life to saving lives, the role originally intended for doctors. Today is not that day for Gordon.

Thousands of unborn children and women in west Michigan are poorer for it.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

President Trump expands Mexico City Policy

Yesterday the Trump Administration followed through on an executive order by creating the “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance” policy. This policy further expands the scope of the Mexico City Policy which bans U.S. dollars from going overseas to fund abortions.

The purpose of this was to block an even broader range of foreign aid to non-governmental organizations that promote or support abortion in other countries. The Mexico City Policy in the past has only applied to about $600 million through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). It will now impact approximately $8.8 billion of foreign aid. This will directly impact funds that are appropriated to the Department of State and the Department of Defense in addition to USAID.

 Once again the current administration has proved they are dedicated to saving more lives than ever before by ending the export of abortion. It shows that they are truly realizing the scope and threat of abortion-on-demand and how abortion organizations find new ways to insert themselves into taxpayer funding streams.

Choose Life plate bill advances to House Floor

Today the Michigan House Transportation Committee voted 9 to 4 to advance our legislation to create a Choose Life license plate to the floor of the Michigan House.

The bill already passed the Michigan Senate, making the House the last stop before being sent to the governor's desk.

Funds generated by the sale of “Choose Life” plates in Michigan will be directed to the Choose Life Michigan fund. The board of the nonprofit prolife committee, Choose Life Michigan, will then disperse the money to organizations that submit grant proposals for pregnancy help initiatives.

Facebook reactivated our ad account

This morning someone messaged our Facebook page, asking if our ad account had been reactivated yet. It turns out it had been reactivated, though Facebook gave us no notice.

Later this morning the Detroit News called, saying they talked with Facebook last night, and Facebook told the reporter the ban was automated, and it was a mistake. Apparently it had to do with the image on a recent post we advertised.

While it's nice that this mistake was fixed, it would have been nice had Facebook actually told us that, rather than a reporter relaying the news. It would have been nicer still if a human being would have actually done a "careful review" of our account a month ago as their automated e-mail claimed. It also would have been nice to know the image was the problem, and not that our account was posting "misleading" information. Or maybe Facebook's original response was accurate—they purposefully censored our news story—and what they told the reporter later was an excuse. Again, we're left guessing in the absence of any human response.

We want to thank everyone who posted or shared on Facebook about this mistaken ban. You fixed this problem for us! We are still troubled however that other people could find themselves on the wrong end of a social media ban, and they don't have reporters or a massive group of supporters to rely on to make noise on their behalf.

Facebook still needs to address this glaring issue of trust and transparency.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Facebook shut down our ad account, claiming prolife news is fake news

In recent months Facebook has declared a crackdown on what it deems “fake news.” Right to Life of Michigan may be the latest legitimate organization swept up in this crackdown. On April 18, Right to Life of Michigan staff discovered that our advertising account had been shut down without notice for “policy violations.”

We asked Facebook to provide more details on the suspension. The next day, Facebook staff sent what appeared to be an automated response stating on April 19, “your account was disabled for running misleading ads that resulted in high negative feedback from people on Facebook.” The response continued, stating that, “For this reason, if any of your ads have been removed or your ad account has been disabled, we will be unable to reactivate either. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.”

A follow-up e-mail asking for specific details on which ads were misleading received a response 12 minutes later stating, “After careful review, I’ve determined that we’re unable to take further action regarding this matter.” Was there really a “careful review” of our ads that were deemed misleading? Was this even a response typed out by an actual human being?

A complaint filed with the Better Business Bureau on April 19 received a response on April 27, with Facebook stating that we had an open ticket and to please respond through it. That would be the ticket they closed after 12 or so minutes of “careful review” a week prior. Another follow-up through the BBB asking to speak with a real human being was met with another form response suggesting we should find help in their help center: a help center where you get further automated form responses.

Have Right to Life of Michigan advertisements been receiving high negative feedback? Facebook won't tell us what qualifies, so you be the judge. In the last 12 months Right to Life of Michigan has run 10 advertisements, with Facebook reporting the ads as reaching 233,602 people. Only 103 people selected an option to hide our posts, and only one person filed a spam report. This is a negative feedback rate of only 0.04 percent.

Compare that to Facebook’s 2016 customer satisfaction scores according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index. Facebook has a negative feedback rate of 32 percent, 800 times that of our ads. Perhaps it’s because of the irony that the flagship for “social” media is unable to generate human responses to even paying customers.

In the absence of a real human response, Right to Life of Michigan is forced to conclude that it was our most recent ad—run a week before we noticed our ad account suspension—that drew the ire of Facebook. The post was breaking news about the suspension of abortionist Thomas Gordon in Grand Rapids. The ad reached 18,090 people, and 35 people clicked the option to hide the post, a negative feedback rate of 0.19 percent, less than one person out of 500. The ad was not misleading, clearly explaining that it was breaking news. The facts in the story have been covered by well-respected local news outlets. The ad was approved by Facebook and completed its run with no objection. The post was not removed by Facebook.

Past Right to Life of Michigan ads that have been rejected by Facebook all involved issues where the image attached contained more than 20 percent text. Facebook has never rejected our ads as misleading or for having what Facebook considers “high negative feedback.”

Our most reasonable guess is that a Facebook staff person hostile to prolife views decided to block our ad account based on a personal animus or snap judgment regarding the facts of a true news story. Someone must have reported this true news story as "misleading," causing a review. Another guess is that Facebook is shutting down legitimate accounts with an automated system and refuses to have a human being review this process or respond to the organization they have harmed. We don’t know, because Facebook refuses to communicate with us in a human way.

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 their 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.”

Facebook’s most glaring trust issue is that their atrocious customer service refuses to socialize with their customers. It’s an ominous future where persons or organizations that clash with the personal values of Facebook’s leadership are forced to resort to public campaigns to even gain a hearing, let alone fair treatment in their Kafkaesque community management practices.

Facebook’s status as a gatekeeper of information is already a troubling concern given their practice of filtering content to only certain viewers in users’ news feeds. This news feed algorithm—utterly lacking in transparency—leaves social media users in the dark about their content and Facebook’s rules. It leaves Facebook with an alarming means to restrict or exclude content it disagrees with politically. The mere thought of calling Facebook out for censorship leads to the fear that Facebook could retaliate by blocking future content of those who criticize them, and do so without their customers having any way of knowing it.

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.

Adding insult to injury is the constant bombardments Right to Life of Michigan staff continued to receive from Facebook asking us to spend advertising money. If only, Facebook, if only.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Defending life and defending pregnancy centers from crazy talk

Yesterday was all about prolife legislation in Michigan.

Our annual Legislative Day brought together 350 prolife leaders, volunteers, and legislators. With 14 prolife bills currently being worked on in Lansing, the day was full with detailed briefings and questions.

The keynote speaker was Dr. Donna Harrison, executive director of American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. She addressed two of the key pieces of legislation, specifically discussing the medical procedure and science behind them.

Our Heartbeat/Miscarriage Awareness Act would require abortionists to confirm a viable pregnancy through a fetal heartbeat, offer the woman a chance to listen, and offer the women information about miscarriages if no heartbeat can be found. The bill is designed to address several issues, including sloppy medical practices, improving informed consent, and the fact that thousands of women in Michigan have abortions every year when their child has already died or is highly likely to miscarry in the next few days or weeks. Out of ignorance or greed, the abortion industry is giving many women a lifetime of potential physical or psychological risks for nothing.

Our informed consent legislation on abortion pill reversal would require abortionists to inform women that an RU-486 pill abortion can be reversed (if the woman has not taken the second of the two-pill regimen). Research and practice show that 50 to 70 percent of children can be saved by giving women who have taken the first pill treatment with natural progesterone. The treatment is generally safe and is a standard fertility treatment. Research shows the surviving children suffer no significant ill effects (a common pro-abortion talking point that assumes disabled individuals have less value as human beings). Many women instantly regret having an abortion after taking the abortion pill, but are unaware that their choice may not be final. Will an industry that proclaims the supreme value of choice object to women being informed of another choice?

While the Right to Life of Michigan legislative team was providing briefings on prolife bills, our Choose Life license plate bill was undergoing a committee hearing across the street in the Michigan House. Christen Pollo from Students for Life of Michigan filled-in to give the prolife testimony for the bill, speaking about her experiences with the importance of pregnancy help, especially with young people on campus.

Christen Pollo testifying for Choose Life plates

Just as in the Michigan Senate testimony on this legislation a few weeks ago, the American Association of University Women (Michigan Chapter) repeated bizarre accusations about pregnancy help centers.

The AAUW representative repeated the claim that pregnancy centers are purposefully located near college campuses in White communities. She said that her primary concern is that the funding from the Choose Life plates would go to crisis pregnancy centers which are only interested in providing misinformation to women or encouraging White women to place their children for adoption into other white families.

That's crazy, for three reasons that even most abortion supporters would acknowledge as true.

1. Prolife pregnancy centers purposefully try to locate near abortion clinics. A map of Michigan pregnancy help agencies show they are located all over the state, with the highest concentrations and largest centers located in urban areas.
2. Black women have a majority of abortions in the state (which should be a stunning indictment of the abortion industry).
3. Usually prolife pregnancy centers are accused by the abortion industry of harassing or manipulating minority women, not white women.

According to abortion supporters these centers are simultaneously "baby-finding centers" looking to recruit white babies for racial eugenics and manipulating minority women into not having abortions by focusing on them heavily. OK.

Or—and we're just spitballing here—maybe they genuinely just want to save every unborn baby and do it by helping mom, regardless of her status. You never know with those pregnancy center folks, with their free formula, diapers, maternity and baby clothes, counseling, referrals, parenting classes, etc. Sinister stuff, indeed. Imagine the horror of them giving out more onesies to women of all races if they get a few additional donations from people who want Choose Life plates!

One can only imagine the media circus if our legislative team made a similarly bizarre comment in testimony before our legislature.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

A big day of first steps on tax funding of abortions

Today two critical priorities of the prolife movement were advanced closer to victory in Washington, D.C.

First, in the morning, President Donald Trump signed an executive order on religious liberty. Part of the order includes directing his administration to finally help those whose conscience rights were harmed by the Obama Administration's Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) contraceptives mandate. The mandate included forcing prolife organizations like Right to Life of Michigan to purchase drugs and devices which can cause abortions. The charity Little Sisters of the Poor was the face of those impacted by this onerous regulation. President Trump recognized the Little Sisters at the signing ceremony, promising them their ordeal would be over soon.

The Supreme Court last year in May voted unanimously to suspend enforcement of the HHS Mandate in Zubik v. Burwell and ordered the Obama Administration to fix their policy. The Obama Administration unsurprisingly didn't care to do that before leaving office. The Little Sisters of the Poor were parties in the case.

There was some concern a few weeks ago that HHS lawyers on the case had yet to be reassigned and the Trump Administration asked for more time to resolve the case. Today's order makes clear that President Trump intends to reverse Obama's purposeful attack on prolife citizens.

It's now incumbent on his administrative agencies to finally resolve this infringement of conscience rights once and for all.

Second, in the afternoon, the U.S. House voted 217-213 on the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which has been touted to repeal and replace Obamacare. As far as the provisions affecting our prolife issues, the AHCA has two important parts: it defunds almost all of Planned Parenthood and repeals Obamacare's abortion funding through insurance plans. It now goes to the U.S. Senate for consideration. It can't be filibustered there, as it is a budget reconciliation bill.

The reconciliation procedures has led many people to be confused about the process. Reconciliation bills only require a majority vote in the U.S. Senate. They can only be used once a year on several issues dealing with the budget and spending. The recent continuing resolution to fund the government through the rest of the fiscal year led many people to believe Congress was abandoning their effort to defund Planned Parenthood. Use of reconciliation will allow Congress to defund Planned Parenthood without the pro-abortion minority in the Senate blocking it.

Defunding Planned Parenthood through budget reconciliation has a few unique drawbacks. First, the defunding would be for only one year, similar to how the Hyde Amendment is added to the budget every year to prevent tax dollars from directly paying for abortions. Second, the AHCA defunds most but not all of Planned Parenthood's federal funding. Planned Parenthood would still receive Title X family planning funding until the law governing Title X is amended (subject to a filibuster), but a few weeks ago President Trump signed an executive order allowing states to send the Title X money that passes through them to other organizations if they choose.

Every other source of federal Planned Parenthood would be redirected to other agencies, however. Just in Medicaid alone Planned Parenthood would lose nearly $400 million to other organizations that provide health care, not abort babies. Pro-abortion state and local governments would still be able to send Planned Parenthood tax dollars.

Besides advancing conscience protections for prolifers, the practical effect of the AHCA on Planned Parenthood would be losing nearly a third of their budget and the vast majority of their taxpayer funding. An organization that proclaims itself a champion of choice will no longer rely on coercing half of America into helping them expand their abortion services and abortion politics.

Right to Life of Michigan directly addressed health insurance coverage of abortion through Obamacare in 2013. Our opt-out law doesn't address the states that failed to opt-out of Obamacare abortion coverage, meaning Michiganders' tax dollars have been paying for abortions through health insurance subsidies in other states. The AHCA repeals this violating of conscience rights.

But before those become reality, the AHCA has to be passed by the U.S. Senate and signed by President Trump.

We look forward to finishing these jobs and adding them to the list of prolife promises kept by President Trump.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Nancy Pelosi: Abortion cost Democrats in 2016

We agree with Nancy Pelosi 100 percent:

You know what? That’s why Donald Trump is president of the United States — the evangelicals and the Catholics, anti-marriage equality, anti-choice. That’s how he got to be president,” she said. “Everything was trumped, literally and figuratively by that.

We also think Rep. Pelosi should look in the mirror, however:

Sure, Pelosi sounds inclusive now, but it should not be forgotten that she played a key role in driving pro-life candidates and voters from her party. Pro-life Democrats were largely wiped out of Congress after she forced the 2010 vote on Obamacare, which allowed federal subsidies for insurance plans that cover elective abortions. That vote was a clear-cut case of political murder-suicide if there ever was one.

Then in 2013, when Republicans introduced a ban on abortion after the fifth month of pregnancy following the trial of Kermit Gosnell, an abortion doctor who delivered babies alive before killing them, Pelosi denounced the legislation as "reprehensible."

What does Planned Parenthood, Donald Trump, the FBI, Russian spies, David Daleiden and fake news all have in common?

Fusion GPS. Let us explain.

Since we've been around for 50 years now in one form or another, we have a long memory here at Right to Life of Michigan. This gives us the opportunity to revisit stories, and especially predictions from abortion supporters made long ago. Unfortunately our 24-hour news cycle means outlandish claims and falsehoods of abortion supporters are quickly forgotten with nobody but us to correct, often way after most people stopped paying attention. Sometimes you ask yourself, why bother?

This story was just too good and way too bizarre not to mention again.

Out of today's news regarding FBI Director James Comey's testimony to the U.S. Senate it came to greater attention that the group Fusion GPS is facing accusations of working with Russian intelligence. Specifically, they are accused of helping promote an intelligence dossier widely cited in the press making lurid claims about President Donald Trump. You can read more about that story (mostly unrelated to us) in a letter Senator Chuck Grassley sent to Director Comey, and this article from the Daily Caller about Fusion GPS's Russian ties.

This revelation matters to us because the very same Fusion GPS is the group that Planned Parenthood used to analyze the videos created by the Center for Medical Progress and David Daleiden showing Planned Parenthood's schemes to sell the body parts of aborted babies.

The media widely reported that the report debunked the Planned Parenthood undercover videos. There are several extremely troubling problems with that, however:

  1. If you read the actual report, there is nothing in there about doctored or fake footage. The report didn't say anything of substance.
  2. Many reporters therefore didn't read the report, or didn't care, working under deadline pressure and/or being friendly to Planned Parenthood.
  3. Nobody really asked who wrote the report. Who is Fusion GPS? It was never explained who they were or what their qualifications were. Just look at their website, does this look like a legitimate organization? Now we know they may have worked with hostile intelligence services. The media utterly failed to do basic reporting here on their credibility.
  4. Planned Parenthood paid for the report themselves, of course it would say what they wanted it to say.
  5. Millions of people uncritically read the news, accepting it on faith that the videos were fake, when they are very much real and full footage is available for all of the videos.
  6. The purpose of pushing this report was for Planned Parenthood to deceive their own supporters and give them an excuse not to watch. Planned Parenthood's public relations model is to leave their supporters in the dark about their activities.
Time and time again, the media can be counted on to fail to do due diligence when it comes to the abortion industry. The 2016 election and salacious rumors about Russian involvement generated this whole meme of "fake news." Planned Parenthood and their effort with Fusion GPS to hide their human organ trafficking is the very definition of fake news.

Did we mention how bizarre this all is?

Planned Parenthood gets away with this all the time. Live Action just released a video showing the stark contrast between what Planned Parenthood's supporters say about their clients and what Planned Parenthood actually says to them.

The unfortunate reality of all this is the next time Planned Parenthood comes out with an outlandish claim, most of the media is just going to run with it anyway, even if it's fake news conjured up by Russian intelligence assets.

For abortion in our society, it's not about the truth or reality, but the convenient stories we tell ourselves to ignore the fact we're taking the lives of our own children on an industrial scale. We even spin stories to distract from the fact we're selling their body parts to grease the skids of this monstrous machinery of death.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

After 50 years, a path opens to an abortion-free Michigan

This year Right to Life of Michigan is honoring 50 years of prolife advocacy in Michigan. While we honor the past, our eyes are set on an audacious path forward to an abortion-free Michigan in the next few years.

Since 1846 Michigan law has recognized the value of unborn children and protected their lives. Michigan has been a leader in our nation for protecting the value of human life. In the time of great controversies, Michigan had led the way.

Michigan was the first English-speaking government to ban capital punishment, also in 1846 (we take no position either way, it being settled in Michigan). Abolitionists met in Jackson in 1854 at the Under the Oaks Convention to establish the Republican Party, an action which would set the nation on a course of ending slavery. Some scoffed when Henry Ford promised he could build a B-24 Liberator bomber every hour to help win World War II, but millions of lives were saved from the axis powers by the Arsenal of Democracy through victory forged in Detroit’s assembly lines.

In March of 1967, State Senator John McCauley introduced a bill to legalize abortion in Michigan, brutally disregarding this history. Rather than being a state that took every measure to value human life, McCauley wanted a state that looked the other way. His bill was part of a nationwide effort to legalize abortion in all 50 states.

Rising to testify against his bill were representatives of Catholic and Lutheran churches, Rabbi Joshua Sperka of Detroit and attorney Arthur Barkey. Sen. McCauley’s bill was defeated in committee, as were several other bills in the next few years.

Elsewhere in the nation a few other states were unable to stop efforts to remove legal protection for unborn children. It was clear that abortion supporters in Michigan were not going to give up, and so the prolife movement in Michigan began organizing in local communities.

Kalamazoo Right to Life and its founder Dr. Joseph Kincaid became the first large-scale group in the state in 1970. For decades Dr. Kincaid would serve on the board of Right to Life of Michigan and is still an active prolife volunteer today.

Two young women in Lansing, Barbara Radigan and Mary Randall, established the Michigan Right to Life Committee. Faculty from Calvin College, Aquinas College, and other doctors and professionals formed a study group in Grand Rapids, which would eventually become Grand Rapids Right to Life. Gloria Klein would lead People Taking Action Against Abortion in Detroit, which would become Right to Life-Lifespan. Numerous other local Right to Life groups formed as well.

Recognizing their failure to overturn Michigan’s long tradition of protecting the unborn through our state legislature, abortion supporters took their case to the ballot box. To defend our laws the many groups around the state came together officially as the Voice of the Unborn. Dr. Richard Jaynes, an obstetrician and gynecologist from Garden City, served as the president. The abortion legalization proposal in 1972 met a stunning rebuke at the hand of Michigan voters, failing by a vote of 61 percent to 39 percent.

Working with the groups for many years were organizations like the Michigan Catholic Conference, doctors, lawyers, local church groups and ministers, and many others. The victorious team spanned a wide spectrum of people, from prominent individuals like Michigan Speaker of the House William Ryan to thousands of individuals who did the hard work of voter contact and education. Some of these individuals are still with us today, serving in capacities large and small, all sacrificially. They had many different views, but they were all united in believing that protecting life was the first priority of good government.

Little did these advocates know that while they were winning at the ballot box the U.S. Supreme Court was already working on writing their opinion in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, cases that would go beyond the wildest dreams of abortion supporters and legalize abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy in all 50 states. The strong voice of Michigan voters and the lives of more than a million Michigan unborn children since 1973 would be silenced by seven unelected officials using fake legal arguments.

The Voice of the Unborn was already discussing a more long-term commitment when news of the decision in Roe v. Wade left them in complete shock. How could the personal views of a handful of unelected men count for more than the effort of thousands of individuals, the views of two million Michigan voters and the U.S. Constitution itself?

The shock did not last long and grassroots leaders around the state officially created Michigan Citizens for Life in 1973, later renamed Right to Life of Michigan. Judge James Ryan was elected as our first official president. In recognition of their efforts, the newly independent and incorporated National Right to Life Committee held their first convention in Detroit in June 1973.

A few months later in October Michigan Citizens for Life held our first conference, also in Detroit. Jane Muldoon, the leader of Grand Rapids Right to Life, became our second president, serving as president until the end of 1980 and leaving a legacy that continues to this day.

Later this year Right to Life of Michigan will return to our roots in Kalamazoo for our 44th Annual Conference, as we faithfully honor the same mission set by prolife activists 50 years ago. Right to Life of Michigan is not content to be lost in nostalgia, however. Given the circumstances of the current Supreme Court and the unique status of Michigan law, the next few years present an opportunity to fulfill that mission.

Michigan once again led the way in 2016, voting for a prolife presidential candidate for the first time in decades. Instead of pro-abortion President Hillary Clinton cementing the Supreme Court around a radical pro-abortion view for the next generation, President Donald Trump has already nominated one justice who respects our democratic process, and could nominate several more very soon.

Over the next two years, Right to Life of Michigan will begin to prepare for a possible reversal of Roe v. Wade and the opportunity to restore legal protections for unborn children. A plan is in place for Michigan to once again lead the way:

Abortion supporters predicted the prolife movement would melt away after Roe v. Wade. Today RLM and our affiliates in Michigan are joined by thousands of local prolife volunteers who operate pregnancy centers, adoption organizations and counsel women in front of abortion clinics. Our efforts are supported by allied organizations, international organizations, advocacy groups in local churches and majorities in the Michigan Legislature. Fifty years later, we’re still here, and much stronger.

The best way to honor the many brave women and men who founded our movement in Michigan is to join their cause and finish their work. You can play a part in helping us lead the way once again to a culture that values and protects every human life.

Build a better future with grassroots prolifers in your area today.

Special thanks to Kalamazoo Right to Life President Rob Karrer for his efforts to chronicle Michigan’s early prolife history. For more information about our founding, please read his article, “The Formation of Michigan’s Anti-Abortion Movement 1967-1974,” from the Michigan Historical Review Spring 1996 issue, available at Central Michigan University’s Clarke Historical Library.