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 abortionpillreversal.com. 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.