Thursday, May 16, 2019

It's the End of the Blog As We Know It...

For more than 12 years, the Right to Life of Michigan Blog has been faithfully informing you about prolife issues. In that time, our blog has been viewed more than 591,000 times.

Alas, all good things must come to an end (sort of). Today the new has debuted. The new version is mobile-friendly, cleaner, and better-organized to help you find the same prolife information you have come to rely upon.

With the big change, we'll be doing blog posts directly on the new website. The move will help to increase our website's traffic and educational reach.

You can visit the new blog here:

In this space, we've complained about Senator Debbie Stabenow, debunked horrifically poor reporting on the field of stem cell research, and followed along with heart-wrenching stories like Alfie Evans' fight for life. We've celebrated victories and provided counsel after defeats. Hopefully along the way we've changed some hearts—and most importantly, saved lives.

All of that old content will remain available here, untouched, until Blogger/Google shuts it down. We'll continue referring back to old posts with educational information that is still relevant today.

On the new, you can rely on the same informative, factual, and timely perspective on news and prolife issues that you expect here. Join us over there!

Thanks for reading what we've had to say here and using it in your own conversations on our critical prolife issues.

Clicking "publish" one last time...

Right to Life of Michigan's communications team

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Right to Life of Michigan Files Petition Drive Paperwork

Grand Rapids, MI -- Right to Life of Michigan has filed paperwork today to begin a petition drive to bypass Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s promised veto of legislation to ban dismemberment abortions.

On May 14, the Michigan House and Senate voted in favor of identical bills to ban dismemberment abortions (D&E abortions), the most common late-term abortion procedure. Another procedural vote is needed for the bills to be sent to Governor Whitmer’s desk.

In a statement yesterday, Governor Whitmer reiterated her opposition to any limit on abortion and promised to veto a dismemberment ban.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “Governor Whitmer still has the chance to change her mind and do the right thing. If she won’t sign these bills to stop babies from having their arms and legs torn off, we’ll find 400,000 Michigan citizens who will sign it.”

Right to Life of Michigan will be using Michigan’s citizen-initiated legislation process to send the bills directly to the Michigan Legislature for passage, entirely bypassing the governor. The name of the initiative is "Michigan Values Life: End Dismemberment Abortions."

The initiative’s goal is to collect 400,000 signatures. The required number of signatures for initiated legislation is 340,047; 8 percent of the 2018 total votes cast in the governor’s race.

There are several legal and logistical steps to complete in order to begin collecting signatures, including having the petition form be approved by the Board of State Canvassers. There is also some uncertainty if the 2018 law revising the petition drive process will be challenged in court.

Listing said, “We’ve already received a large outpouring of requests to get involved. We’re asking people to be patient while we work through the initial process. We’re confident that once we begin gathering signatures that we’ll meet our goal of 400,000, no matter which set of rules we’re operating under.”

Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy used the term “dismemberment” to describe dilation and evacuation abortions (D&E) in his U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions on partial-birth abortion.

In Stenberg v. Carhart, Justice Kennedy wrote, “The fetus, in many cases, dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn from limb from limb. The fetus can be alive at the beginning of the dismemberment process and can survive for a time while its limbs are being torn off.”

The dismemberment abortion procedure is the most frequently used late-term abortion procedure. In 2017, there were 1,777 dismemberment abortions in Michigan reported to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The dismemberment ban bills include an exception if the mother's life is in danger. However, in published research on reasons women have abortions, the pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute has stated that most late-term abortions are done for elective reasons.

In a 2013 Guttmacher Institute study, the authors admitted, “data suggest that most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment.”

For more information: Right to Life of Michigan Director of Communication/Education Chris Gast, (616) 532-2300,

Background Information: 

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Watch our Short Films on TBN

In the coming weeks the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) will be airing two Right to Life of Michigan Educational Fund documentaries nationally.

Life Uninvited is a 30-minute documentary exploring the journey of four women facing their life challenges surrounding rape, abortion and societal attitudes. The documentary is also available for purchase from our online store.

Still on That Journey features prolife advocate Christina Marie Bennett, herself almost a victim of abortion. She shares her story while exploring the issues of feminism, Black history, and the barriers that often exist between the mainstream prolife movement and the African American community. Still on That Journey features footage from our short film series that is available on our YouTube channel.

Program schedule: 

Life Uninvited
Monday, May 13th, 1:00am ET
Thursday, May 16th, 9:30pm ET
Saturday, May 18th, 4:30am ET
Monday, June 3rd, 1:00am ET
Thursday, June 6th, 9:30pm ET
Saturday, June 8th, 4:30am ET

Still on That Journey
Monday, May 20th, 1:00am ET
Thursday, May 23rd, 9:30pm ET
Saturday, May 25th, 4:30am ET
Monday, June 10th, 1:00am ET
Thursday, June 13th, 9:30pm ET
Saturday, June 15th, 4:30am ET

Dismemberment Ban on Michigan House and Senate Floors

May 9, 2019, Lansing, Mich.—Today the Michigan Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee voted 5 to 2 to send our dismemberment abortion ban to the full Michigan Senate.

Senate Bills 229 & 230 would amend Michigan’s 2011 ban on partial-birth abortions by including the dismemberment abortion procedure, also known as a dilation and evacuation abortion (D&E).

Identical bills are pending on the floor of the Michigan House. House bills 4320 & 4321 were recommended favorably by the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “Both the Michigan Senate and House have these bills before them. It’s time to act and put an end to the practice of tearing arms and legs off of children in the womb.”

Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy used the term “dismemberment” to describe dilation and evacuation abortions (D&E) in his U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions on partial-birth abortion.

In Stenberg v. Carhart, Justice Kennedy wrote, “The fetus, in many cases, dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn from limb from limb. The fetus can be alive at the beginning of the dismemberment process and can survive for a time while its limbs are being torn off.”

Listing said, “This is not proper medical care for any human being. There is nothing humane about tearing the arms and legs off a child, before or after birth.”

The dismemberment abortion procedure is the most frequently-used late-term abortion procedure. In 2017, there were 1,777 dismemberment abortions in Michigan reported to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The dismemberment ban bills include an exception if the mother's life is in danger. However, in published research on reasons women have abortions, the pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute has stated that most late-term abortions are done for elective reasons.

In a 2013 Guttmacher Institute study, the authors admitted, “But data suggest that most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment.”

Background Information: 

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Michigan House to Consider Banning Dismemberment Abortions

Legislation to ban dismemberment abortions in Michigan is now on the Michigan House floor.

House Bills 4320 and 4321 would amend Michigan’s 2011 ban on partial-birth abortions by including the dismemberment abortion procedure, also known as a dilation and evacuation abortion (D&E).

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “Dismemberment abortion involves tearing the arms and legs off of human beings. We must end this barbaric procedure in Michigan.”

Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy accurately described dismemberment abortions in his opinions in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions on partial-birth abortion in Gonzales v. Carhart (2007) and Stenberg v. Carhart (2000).

In Gonzales, Justice Kennedy wrote, “The doctor grips a fetal part with the forceps and pulls it back through the cervix and vagina, continuing to pull even after meeting resistance from the cervix. The friction causes the fetus to tear apart. For example, a leg might be ripped off the fetus as it is pulled through the cervix and out of the woman.”

In Stenberg, Justice Kennedy wrote, “The fetus, in many cases, dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn from limb from limb. The fetus can be alive at the beginning of the dismemberment process and can survive for a time while its limbs are being torn off.”

Listing said, “Abortion supporters are uncomfortable with accurately describing this procedure, because the inhumanity of it is obvious to everyone.”

The bills were reported favorably today by the Michigan House Judiciary Committee with a 7 to 5 vote. The bills were reported favorably by the House Families, Children, and Seniors Committee with a 5 to 4 vote on May 1. Identical bills are being considered by the Michigan Senate Judiciary Committee.

The dismemberment abortion procedure is the most frequently-used late-term abortion procedure. In 2017, there were 1,777 dismemberment abortions in Michigan reported to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Of those, 98 percent occurred in the second trimester, between 13 and 24 weeks of pregnancy.

The dismemberment ban bills include an exception if the mother's life is in danger. However, in published research on reasons women have abortions, the pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute has stated that most late-term abortions are done for elective reasons.

In a 2013 Guttmacher Institute study, the authors admitted, “But data suggest that most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment.”

Background Information

Monday, May 6, 2019

2019 Oratory Contest Results

The 30th annual Right to Life of Michigan Educational Fund High School Oratory Contest was held on Saturday, April 27th, in Holt, Michigan. There were 15 finalists who gave powerful speeches in defense of life.

The first-place winner was Calvin Cheney from Saginaw Right to Life. The second-place winner was Noel Vanderbilt from Holland Area Right to Life, and the third-place winner was Emma De Nooy from Grand Rapids Right to Life. The first place winner, Calvin, will compete in the National Right to Life Oratory Contest on July 6th in Charleston, South Carolina.

The High School Oratory Contest features students giving a 5-to-7-minute speech on one of several prolife topics. Right to Life of Michigan affiliates sponsor local contests, and the local winners compete in the state contest.

From Calvin’s speech: “The legalization of euthanasia will lead us down a terribly dangerous slippery slope. It will call into question the morality of killing another human being. If we deem the act of killing to be acceptable, in certain circumstances, than who or what will determine what those acceptable circumstances are? There will be no set rules to stop us from falling further down this path. Simply put, the acceptance of Euthanasia will lead to a degradation of the value of human life. It will lead to the devaluation of those who seem lesser than you. If we believe that it is okay to kill people who are terminally ill, which may seem acceptable to some, than what will stop us from believing it is okay to kill other people? People who have mental disabilities? People who are cripples? People who are born with birth defects like autism and down syndrome? All of these people, human beings, what will become of them? To question whether people with physical ailments still have the same rights as another human being is to question what even makes a human life valuable. A human life has intrinsic value from the point of conception to natural death. Nothing, not age, health, gender, race, religion, will ever change that.”

From Noel’s speech: “Many Pro-choice advocates would be reluctant to admit that the purpose of the child’s life has the right to “interfere” with the purpose of the mother’s life. “What about women’s rights?” They argue. “The mother should have the right to choose.” Historically speaking, feminists were strongly pro-life… That the current feminist movement advocates for abortion is absurd. According to Randy Alcorn, author of Why Pro-Life? Abortion has become the primary means of eliminating unwanted females around the globe. Sex-selection abortion is a major contributing factor to the unequal ratio of males to females throughout the world. Equal rights for women will never be achieved until unborn females are given the most basic rights—the right to life!”

From Emma’s speech: “My unknown parents in their heroic act also stood—lovingly, for my life, likely under more tragic circumstances than I could ever imagine. Their stand under harsh repression granted me a stand in freedom, albeit in a country that fails to uphold the primary inalienable right endowed by our Creator. As I take my stand, praying outside the local abortion clinic for a few hours every month, I honor the life-affirming choice my Chinese parents made. I plead not only for the repentance of my adopted homeland, but also for the little ones who deserve to be cradled in loving arms. Loving arms which reflect the love of my heavenly Father who will never leave me or forsake me.”

Emma De Nooy, Noel Vanderbilt, Calvin Cheney

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Why a Dismemberment Abortion Ban?

Since New York’s Legislature cheered legislation endorsing abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy, the prolife movement has been on the move. Many people who considered themselves prolife but didn’t commit themselves to regular efforts to end abortion have suddenly been awakened, angered, and activated.

In recent years, the prolife movement has been very successful pursuing prolife legislation on the state level. In just the last few months, that activity has become even more energized. Not only are more people getting involved, but with the replacement of pro-abortion U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, Roe v. Wade faces its first real danger in a generation.

Many people new to the movement have seen prolife legislation being passed in other states and are wondering what Michigan will do as a response to New York and other states supporting abortion-on-demand. In Michigan, our focus will be a ban on the dismemberment abortion procedure (also called a D&E abortion).

Sadly, in Michigan, this prolife crescendo came at a bad time. Michigan went from having an indifferent governor in Rick Snyder to now having an actively pro-abortion governor in Gretchen Whitmer. The silver lining is Michigan voters returned prolife majorities to the state legislature.

Right to Life of Michigan will work to advance all legislation possible, but in light of this split in Michigan government, there’s only a few prolife bills likely to be supported by both the Legislature and Governor Whitmer. These bills probably won’t deal directly with abortion, unless Governor Whitmer has a miraculous change of heart.

However, Michigan’s Constitution has a provision that doesn’t require miracles for prolife bills to become laws in this situation—all it requires is hard work, and tons of it. Citizens can initiate legislation directly to the Legislature by collecting a large number of signatures. If the Michigan House and Senate approve the legislation, it becomes law without any input from the governor.

Right to Life of Michigan and our dozens of local affiliates have been very successful in the past using these petition drives, most recently in 2013. We’ve used it to pass legislation to require parental consent for minor teens seeking abortions, ban partial birth abortion, and prevent insurance from becoming part of every health insurance plan. Our 1987 petition drive to end Medicaid-funded abortions in Michigan has saved an estimated 228,917 lives so far!

We still want to provide Governor Whitmer with opportunities to do the right thing and send her prolife bills. However, the most likely scenario is that any big, impactful prolife bills in the next two years will require prolifers to engage in a gigantic grassroot effort to collect hundreds of thousands of signatures in the span of several weeks. Such an effort requires a laser-like focus, and for the next two years the focus of Right to Life of Michigan and our affiliates is on a bill to ban dismemberment abortion.

Why a dismemberment ban? Several other states have advanced different pieces of big, impactful prolife legislation: bans on abortion after 20 weeks, heartbeat bans, bans on sex-selection abortion, banning abortions targeting children with disabilities, and some have passed dismemberment bans. Some have passed a combination of two or more of these bills.

Michigan is unique. Michigan has an important Michigan Supreme Court precedent from 1973, shortly after Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton were decided. Michigan law has banned abortion except to save the life of the mother since 1846. After Roe was decided in 1973, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled in People v. Bricker that Roe and Doe are only blocking enforcement of Michigan's law; Michigan's law was not repealed. Our abortion ban is in legal effect, but only partially-enforceable at the moment.

Our situation is truly unique. The day Roe v. Wade is overturned, our law has an opportunity to go back into effect. So, Michigan law already bans abortions after 20 weeks, or after a heartbeat is detected, or abortion targeted at a specific demographic. For any of those laws to go into effect, Roe likely needs to be completely overturned; when Roe is overturned, any of those laws would become legally pointless in Michigan since our ban covers them anyway. Other states are not so lucky; very few will have the opportunity to immediately end abortion after Roe goes.

A ban on dismemberment abortion is different from those other laws in two important ways. It too would be legally pointless if Roe v. Wade is overturned and our ban is restored to full effect, but what if Roe is not overturned completely? Some speculate that the current conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court will dismantle Roe v. Wade piece by piece over the course of years rather than consigning it directly to the ash heap of history in which it belongs.

In his opinion upholding a ban on partial-birth abortion, pro-abortion Justice Anthony Kennedy specifically mentioned dismemberment abortion as a similarly violent procedure. His opinion laid a clear legal path forward, meaning a dismemberment abortion ban is the most likely piece of big prolife legislation to be upheld. It’s the most likely next step of the U.S. Supreme Court. Of course, the U.S. Supreme Court can also use a dismemberment ban to completely overturn Roe v. Wade if they wish.

We’re happy that other states with prolife governors and state legislatures are pursuing those other bills if they can’t yet pass a 100% prolife ban like Michigan has. However, we only have the opportunity to get one big, impactful bill done before 2020, so Michigan should focus our time on a bill that has the most chance of actually being legally enforceable and thus actually saving lives.

Those bills in other states do have important educational messages that focus people on the humanity of the child in the womb. Our dismemberment abortion ban also has a vital educational message, one that focuses people on the violent nature of abortion. It’s easier for the prolife movement to inform people about fetal development facts, but extremely more difficult to effectively educate people about the inherent violence of abortion procedures. By pursuing a dismemberment ban, we’re forcing the media and our opponents to confront the issue. It gives us the opportunity to use excellent resources to help people understand how abortion works.

The greatest gain in prolife opinion in recent decades was because of partial-birth abortion bans. Our dismemberment abortion ban mirrors legislation to ban partial-birth abortions (in fact, we’re just amending our state’s partial-birth ban by adding dismemberment abortions to it). It also will mirror the educational effort to help people understand that abortion takes the life of a unique human being in horrifically barbaric fashion. It will hopefully mirror the large prolife shift in public opinion.

For the foreseeable future, we are focused on working through the legislative process on our dismemberment abortion ban to give Governor Whitmer a chance to enact it. Whether or not we have to collect several hundred thousand signatures to help pass the ban, you have a wonderful grassroots opportunity here. Please use this opportunity to focus your efforts on informing your family, friends, neighbors, coworkers and others about the violence of dismemberment abortion.

For details as we work through this process and for news and resources to help you in your personal educational grassroots campaign, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, our bi-weekly podcast, or sign-up for our weekly e-mail on Now is the time to inform your fellow citizens so that Michigan never becomes New York.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Top 10 Abortion Myths: #9

So much of the abortion debate is based on myths, bad assumptions, bad logic, or outright gaslighting through deception. For the rest of 2019 we will highlight one common abortion myth every month. 

#9: Abortion is a small part of Planned Parenthood’s services 

The Bottom Line: Planned Parenthood is the number three cause of death in America—if abortions were counted that way.

This myth is always relevant because of Planned Parenthood’s situation as the de facto leader of the abortion movement and the recipient of more than half a billion taxpayer dollars annually.

This myth is so common that you probably don’t need an example of its use. Media outlets will frequently fall back on Planned Parenthood’s self-proclaimed statistic that abortion is only three percent of their services. This myth is used so often that some people have developed an unshakable belief that Planned Parenthood doesn’t do abortions at all.

Let’s peel back this myth layer by layer.

First of all, Planned Parenthood disagrees with their own talking point. Their president, Leana Wen, frankly admits, “Our core mission is providing, protecting and expanding access to abortion and reproductive health care.”

There you have it. Their mission is not just providing abortion, but expanding abortion. Every Planned Parenthood affiliate operates at least one abortion facility, and every Planned Parenthood facility does abortion referrals. This should be case closed, but let’s dig deeper.

Wen’s statement agrees with their own publicly-published annual reports. In 1998, Planned Parenthood saw 2.4 million clients, and did 167,928 abortions. They hit an all-time high of clients in 2005; they saw 3.1 million clients and did 264,943 abortions. In their most recent 2017-2018 annual report, they saw 2.4 million clients and reported 332,757 abortions. The trend is unmistakably an expansion of abortion.

Take a look at their other services in that timeframe. In 1998, they gave contraceptive services to 1,848,106 women. By 2017-2018, that number was 1,870,664; practically no change. In 1998, they did 1,122,175 manual breast exams (not mammograms!). By 2017-2018, their “breast care” services had plummeted to 296,310. Those numbers make it clear their priority has been expanding abortion, even as abortion numbers decline nationally. It’s worth noting that in their 1998-1999 fiscal year, they received $176.5 million in tax funding. By 2017-2018, that number has exploded to $563.8 million.

They receive triple the tax dollars and provide double the amount of abortions while serving no more clients overall than they did 20 years ago. Those numbers speak for themselves.

Let’s dig a little deeper though. If Planned Parenthood keeps doing more and more abortions while serving fewer and fewer clients, how does abortion perpetually remain “three percent” of their services? In short, clever accounting.

Planned Parenthood doesn’t count their “services” as a clinic visit, but a “discreet clinical interaction.” What is a discreet clinical interaction? Let’s use an example.

If you went to your doctor for a well-woman exam, you’d probably say you received one service from your doctor. However, at a Planned Parenthood, that visit is at least 4 “discreet clinical interactions,” if not more. In their latest annual report, Planned Parenthood lists the well woman exam itself, the “breast care,” pap test, and STI test all as separate services. If they gave you a free condom on the way out, it’s 5 services. Do you get the picture? That’s how 2.4 million clients can receive 9.7 million services during 4 million visits, according to Planned Parenthood’s report.

So, a Planned Parenthood “service” is whatever they want it to be. What if your oil change shop counted services that way? Each tire pressure and fluid check could be a “discreet automotive interaction,” leaving the oil change only a small part of their automotive services.

Every year as Planned Parenthood’s clients and actual services decline, they invent new service categories in their annual report or duplicate them to always keep the number of abortions at three percent of their “services.” It’s very clever accounting, though utterly dishonest and misleading to people who won’t take an hour to read through a few years of their annual reports, especially members of the media.

The simplest and clearest method to figure out how much of Planned Parenthood’s services are abortions is dividing their number of abortions by their number of clients. According to their 2017-2018 annual report, 14% of the clients were abortion patients.

Another way to measure their abortion mission is through the pregnancy tests they provide. How many people go to Planned Parenthood to confirm a pregnancy if they aren’t considering an abortion? Probably very few. Considering they provided 1,074,952 pregnancy tests in 2017-2018 and had 2.4 million clients, then as many as 45% of their clients are abortion-minded.

Yet another way to measure it is by looking at what their organization does as a whole, including their budget. Planned Parenthood isn’t just a medical clinic, but a highly political organization that involves itself in elections, lobbying, and various educational and public relations projects to advance abortion. Sadly, Planned Parenthood’s annual report doesn’t explain what is and isn’t an abortion expense. Some things are easy to figure out, like the $45 million spent on “public policy” in their 2017-2018 report. Unless Planned Parenthood chooses to be open and transparent about that, we’ll never know.

Finally, let’s look at the overall impact of Planned Parenthood’s abortions. It’s all well and good to argue about annual reporting methods, but we’re talking about taking the lives of innocent human beings through an act of very real violence. Abortions at Planned Parenthood are the number three cause of death in America. This is the important bottom line that prolife people shouldn’t be distracted from.

Planned Parenthood’s 321,384 abortions in 2016 would rank third in the Centers for Disease Control’s 2016 mortality statistics, behind heart disease (635,260 deaths) and cancer (598,038). Their abortions rank them ahead of the next two causes of death combined: unintentional injuries (161,374) and chronic lower respiratory diseases (154,596). Think of every cause of death conceivable, and only heart disease and cancer take more human life than Planned Parenthood.

Above, we compared Planned Parenthood’s client statistics from 1998 to 2017. In those 20 years, that “three percent of services” amounted to the deaths of a total of 5.63 million children in the womb. It’s immoral and unjust to describe such a massive loss of life as a small issue that should be ignored—or even celebrated.

As the leader of the abortion movement—culturally and legislatively—Planned Parenthood shares great responsibility for every abortion in America. The Guttmacher Institute estimated 926,200 abortions occurred in the United States in 2014, making abortion the number one cause of death in America.

Planned Parenthood’s core mission is abortion, and their mission intentionally takes more human life than anything else in this country.

Myth Series:
#10: Late-term abortions are only for health problems 

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

2019 Youth Award Winners

2019 Winner: Leah Streifel, Gaylord Right to Life

Leah is a passionate voice for the unborn in the prolife movement. She has been a part of the Gaylord Teens for Life group for many years, and has served as their treasurer, vice president, and is now the president of the group. Leah is also very involved with Gaylord Right to Life events. For the past three years she has coordinated the “Baby of the Year Contest,” a fundraiser teens host at the Gaylord Right to Life banquet. She has assisted in several other prolife fundraisers including car washes, pop-can drives, chili cook-offs, and raised hundreds of dollars of sponsorships in Gaylord Right to Life’s Ride for Life event. In Spring 2018, Leah worked with Gaylord Teens for Life to place a prolife billboard on I-75 that read “Choice or Child? There are alternatives to abortion.” Additionally, Leah has actively supported her local prolife pregnancy center, New Life Pregnancy Resource Center. She has helped organize a “Diaper Raid” for the center. As a committed prolife student, Leah has participated in many other prolife events including the National March for Life, Right to Life of Michigan’s Legislative Day and State Conference and Protect Life Michigan’s Conference. She won first place in the 2019 Gaylord Right to Life Oratory Contest and will participate in the State Contest on April 27th. She plans to continue her prolife work through Right to Life of Michigan and Protect Life Michigan after she graduates high school and will always be an advocate for the unborn.

Leah's Essay:

I believe that in order for this generation to portray and advance a positive pro-life message, we need to first remember what abortion and other pro-life issues mean to us. We need to first make sure that the passion burning inside of our own hearts is still ablaze. How can we affectively reach others if we are not in the right place ourselves? How can we expect a change in others if we are not truly changed ourselves? We must stay eager and true to what we believe in order to reach our peers and others around us.

Secondly, if we as a generation want to portray a positive pro-life message, we have to show that we care. We have to show the world that we care about the unborn, the euthanized, the bullied, the mistreated, the single mothers, the un-adopted children. We have to be a generation that shows the world the love that we have towards other people. If we are pro-life, then we will also be pro-love. If I did not love what the pro-life cause stands for, I would not be zealous about it. Some say that actions speak louder than words, but I think they have to go together to be affective. If I say I am pro-life, I need to show it, and one of the best ways that I know how to do that is through love. In order for this generation to be effective at representing a pro-life message, we have to have love for other people, because after all, we live today because of the love that our Heavenly Father showed us.

The last thing that I believe we as a generation need to do in order to show the world just how pro-life we are is that we need to be willing to stand against the crowd. We cannot sit back while millions of babies are being aborted. We cannot sit and watch while medical professionals are assisting people commit suicide. In a world that turns their head the other way, this is our time to stand up and say what we believe. Wear the shirt that speaks out against abortion. Ask the girl why she is pro-choice. Be bold in action; and with God on our side, we will win. If we refuse to back down, we will be able to show the world how precious life truly is.

Runner-Up: Haili Gusa, Huron County Right to Life

Haili is a passionate prolife advocate. She has been involved with Huron County Right to Life as a Youth Advocate since 2013. She has helped with several of Huron County Right to Life’s events, including the Baby Bottle Boomerang Fundraiser, the memorial service, youth rally, fair booths, and their annual spring dinner. She has also organized a prolife apologetics training event, protested at Planned Parenthood, and contacted legislators about prolife issues.

From Haili’s essay: “Members of the prolife movement, regardless of age, need to respect and care for all life they meet. Genuinely loving all life, including your own, promotes a positive message and understanding of our movement…If my generation stays true to the message of the prolife movement in our words, actions, and posts, then we will have success in promoting the positivity of the prolife movement.”

Honorable Mention: Marie Krueger , Grand Traverse Area Right to Life

Since 2014, Marie has been involved with the prolife group at her school, St. Francis Teens for Life. In 2017, she became the Vice President of the group, and has been the president since the start of the 2018 academic year. She has supported her local prolife pregnancy center by participating and helping with their Deck the Dresser Supply Drive and has made it a priority to visit Planned Parenthood weekly to pray for the unborn. She has participated in many prolife events such as the National March for life, the local Life Chain Sunday event, and Right to Life of Michigan’s Legislative Day. Additionally, she has helped with Grand Traverse Area Right to Life’s Focus on Life dinner for many years, and in 2018 she was featured as a speaker to talk about the St. Francis Teens for Life group.

From Marie’s essay: “We are learning more and more about the child in utero. With new technological advances every day, we are reaffirmed that life does indeed begin at the moment of conception… Our prayer is that our country reverses Roe v. Wade, and begins to truly acknowledge and value the sanctity of human life.”

Honorable Mention: Anna Henke, Grand Rapids Right to Life

Anna is a strong advocate for the prolife movement in her community. In 2017, she began a prolife student group at her high school: Protect Life at Plymouth Christian. Through this group, she has helped host apologetics trainings, speakers, a school prolife-week, and coordinate service projects. She also helped begin the Pre-Born Justice Coalition, a community group in Grand Rapids. Their goal is to generate conversation about the injustice of abortion with the general public. She has been involved with Protect Life Michigan as a part of their Heroes Leadership Academy and has worked with Grand Rapids Right to Life on several occasions, including raising funds through their coin drive.

From Anna’s essay: “Abortion is the greatest human injustice of our time and it must be stopped and made utterly unthinkable. No one may remain silent on this issue as thousands of babies worldwide are slaughtered every day under the guise of ‘reproductive rights.’ Young people today have a duty to stand up and fight effectively against abortion through education and action, in opposition to those who believe abortion is acceptable.”

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Valuable Life in Every Circumstance

Everyone can agree, finding a cure for a disability or illness is a reason to celebrate. When Lauren Schaidt saw a headline announcing the elimination of Down syndrome in Denmark, she thought it would be a celebratory article.

“I thought great, they must have found a way to prevent it,” Lauren said.

However, a terrifying trend in society today is eliminating the disabled instead of the disability. As she read the full article, Lauren had a very different reaction.

“I read that it was because they had been aborting the babies who were diagnosed in the womb—I was horrified,” she said.

Abortion rates for babies with Down syndrome in Denmark have reached nearly 100%, eliminating nearly every child with Down syndrome in that country. The problem is not just contained to Denmark. A 2012 University of South Carolina study looked at 25 separate studies about the number of Down syndrome abortions and found an average of 67 percent of children diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb are aborted.

Even though there are endless examples of people living joyful and fulfilling lives with Down syndrome, it is still difficult for today’s culture to see a human person as more than just their disability.

Lauren has her own experience of being seen only for her disability. She was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) as a baby. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is a type of arthritis usually appearing in children under 16 and has varying degrees of severity. It’s also referred to as juvenile idiopathic arthritis. In Lauren’s case, she had to use a wheelchair or crutches throughout most of her childhood and teenage years.

Lauren is now a Spanish teacher at Lutheran High School North in Macomb, Michigan. Several surgeries eventually helped Lauren to walk without assistance. Though she is still affected by arthritis, she can do so many more things than she could have imagined as a child.

Throughout her childhood, Lauren said many people would only focus on the things she could not do, not all the things she can do. People would give her pitying looks or comments as they walked by her. Once she was asked to be a part of a television ad to support research for her condition. She was only five years old, but she remembers how she felt about the experience.

“I had to sit there as someone talked about all the things I was unable to do,” she said. “The intention was good: to support research for this cause. But I didn’t like the way they were portraying my life. I thought, this is not me.”

Lauren remembers telling her mom how she felt about it, and her mom made sure they didn’t run an ad with her in it.

 “Disability itself is a negative, but I didn’t equate that with my life,” Lauren said. “I didn’t want that to be my story. There are so many good parts about my life, too.”

Lauren enjoys telling her story of hope to encourage other people with disabilities and their parents, showing there is more to the story than the disability itself.

“Discovering a disability can be a scary thing, but I want people to know that it can be okay, your child can be okay,” she said. “The big question people ask is: what quality of life do disabled people have? Well, I have a great quality of life. Some people can’t imagine that, but I want to show it to them.”

Suffering, Lauren explained, is poorly understood by our culture that seems to believe the lives of the disabled aren’t worth living, including children with Down syndrome.

“People don’t realize the joy you can experience through pain and suffering,” Lauren said. “Yes, you hope to make it through, but there are also so many blessings along the way.”

Lauren attributed her faith in God as a huge factor in helping her deal with suffering. She said the Bible verse Romans 8:28 is a powerful inspiration for her, because it says that God will bring good out of every circumstance.

Lauren hopes that the many people who are faced with life and death decisions relating to children with Down syndrome or other disabilities can come to realize the important truth: their life always has value.

“Life is always a gift from God,” she said. “In every circumstance or stage.”

Monday, March 25, 2019

Top 10 Abortion Myths: #10

So much of the abortion debate is based on myths, bad assumptions, bad logic, or outright gaslighting through deception. For the rest of 2019 we will highlight one common abortion myth every month. 

#10: Late-term abortions are only for health problems 

The Bottom Line: The Abortion Industry’s own researchers are forced to admit most late-term abortions are for elective reasons.

This myth is highly relevant given current debates over late-term abortion bans and legislation to protect children who survive botched abortions.

Here’s an example of this myth, from the online publication Quartz: “Abortions that happen after the 20th week are typically a medical necessity, research shows, and in most cases, third-trimester abortions are due to severe health danger for the mother, or the fetus.”

The article’s writer, Annalisa Merelli, provides one true citation for her claim, a 1999 study that looks at results of late-term abortions in France. There’s one glaring problem with this citation if you look at who was included in the study: “A consecutive series of 956 terminations of pregnancy performed for fetal anomalies in singleton pregnancies.”

The study only looked at late-term abortions involving children with disabilities; it did not look at all late-term abortions. That’s like claiming 100% of athletes are football players based on watching one football game. Did the journalist even read the brief summary of the study she referred to? Probably not. Also, why does she imply that abortion of children with disabilities is a “medical necessity”?

Where does this laziness originate from? Probably because when late-term abortions are discussed in the media, typically members of the abortion industry are called on and they only talk about children diagnosed with disabilities or extreme medical problems. People who personally profit from abortion are not unbiased, and journalists and others shouldn’t treat their citation-free claims as the gospel truth.

Here’s a prime example of this, from a Planned Parenthood tweet: “Abortion later in pregnancy is rare and often happens under complex circumstances—the kind of situations where a patient and doctor need every medical option available”

Notice the careful use of subjective language: "often." Often they might use the word "many." What do those words mean? There are more than 10,000 abortions every year in the United States after 20 weeks of pregnancy, is 10,000 "rare"? If 10,000 a year is "rare," can you say the smaller proportion of those due to disability can be called "many"? If only a small percentage of those late-term abortions are because of disability, can you describe that reason as "often"? The abortion industry doesn’t cite real statistics to back up their words.

You also won’t see the truly informed members of the abortion industry using the term “most.” That’s because their own research shows most abortions after 20 weeks are done for elective reasons.

The Alan Guttmacher Institute is the abortion industry’s gold standard researcher. Despite their abortion industry ties and former open affiliation with Planned Parenthood, they are often cited in the media as dispassionate, unbiased researchers. They’ve done a recent study on the topic: “Who Seeks Abortions at or After 20 Weeks?”

The study authors admit the topic of late-term abortion hasn’t been studied very well and that most commentary on it involves exceptional cases: “We do not know how accurately these narratives characterize the circumstances of women who seek later abortions for reasons other than fetal anomaly or life endangerment. But data suggest that most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment.”

Their study looks at that group of “most women” who have late-term abortions to determine their reasons, and their study found they fit one of five profiles:
  • Women raising children alone
  • Women who are depressed or using drugs
  • Women in conflict with a male partner or experiencing domestic violence
  • Women who had trouble deciding
  • Young women with several children 

While we can sympathize with the very real conflicts these women might be facing, the compassionate response is not to take the life of a child who can either survive outside of the womb or who is a week or two away from it. Those five reasons would never justify the infanticide of a preemie at the same age as a child in the womb facing abortion.

A comprehensive study on the reasons women have late-term abortions may never be forthcoming. Only the abortion industry has reliable access to these women, and putting direct numbers to the issue that can be cited in legislatures and the media will harm their mission of supporting abortion. It’s not in their interest to share a personal story about a young woman who already has two children who decided to have a late-term abortion.

Those purposefully spreading this myth are highly cynical, because they won’t condemn late-term abortions for elective reasons. If you proposed to Planned Parenthood that we should ban any late-term abortions that don’t involve a child with a disability, they will not agree. They support abortion for any reason and use people with disabilities as an excuse to distract people from their real intent.

There's one remaining problem for the abortion industry with this myth. Let's accept it at face value. Let's also ignore the fact that a diagnosis of disability may be mistaken or a health problem may not be as profound as doctors predict. Polling shows a majority of Americans do not think abortion should be legal in the third trimester if the child has a mental disability or even a life-threatening medical condition.

Let the voice of the people be heard!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Senator Stabenow: Stop Misleading Your Constituents!

Gaslighting is ugly. Gaslighting is when a person uses manipulative techniques to get another person to question their perception of the truth.

On February 25, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow voted to filibuster the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. The bill she voted against does exactly what the bill title suggests, and many of her upset constituents contacted her about her vote.

Senator Stabenow’s lackluster constituent responses have become a Michigan legend. Her prolife constituents are used to having their opinion be ignored or glossed over in her response. However, this time Senator Stabenow’s response crossed a line. She gets the legislation so wrong that people are now questioning their own basic understanding of the facts.

Many people have contacted us because of her response, asking if they understand the Born-Alive Act correctly. They do. Does Senator Stabenow?

Here’s Senator Stabenow’s description of the Born-Alive Act: “S. 311, which was recently before the Senate, addressed much more narrow circumstances when there is a medical tragedy late in a woman’s pregnancy. These are circumstances where a woman wants her baby and faces a heart-wrenching medical decision because something went wrong late in her pregnancy—not because of a ‘botched abortion.’ In these rare incidences, I believe a woman, her family, and her doctor are the appropriate people to make critical medical decisions, not politicians in Washington.”


The bill addresses any circumstance where an attempted abortion results in the birth of a live infant, regardless of the infant’s health status.

Is Senator Stabenow suggesting that every late-term abortion involves a “wanted” baby who is diagnosed with a disability or fatal medical disorder? Even pro-abortion researchers are forced to admit that most abortions after 20 weeks don’t involve the infant having a disability or medical condition.

The critical section of the Born-Alive Act is short enough for anyone to read: “Any health care practitioner present at the time the child is born alive shall exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care practitioner would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age; and following the exercise of skill, care, and diligence required under subparagraph (A), ensure that the child born alive is immediately transported and admitted to a hospital.”

That’s simple. A child born-alive after an abortion at, say, 24 weeks deserves the same treatment as a preemie born at 24 weeks. Who could disagree with that?

Well, the abortionist could. The abortionist is paid to make the baby dead, not end the pregnancy with a live birth. The prolife movement is aware of situations where the abortionist just lets an infant die, whether it’s denying life-saving care or even basic humane comfort care to the now-dying infant. Under the federal Born Alive Infant Protection Act of 2002, the abortionist can simply say it was decided that the child wasn’t worth saving, and that’s that. It’s difficult to hold the abortionist legally accountable for his unequal treatment of a child marked for death by abortion.

Senator Stabenow didn’t object to the 2002 version. When her response says the abortionist and the woman should decide the fate of the child, she means there should be no real penalty if the abortionist ignores his medical training to opt to let the child die of neglect. When an older infant—disabled or healthy—is left to die of neglect, society takes that seriously and calls it out for what it is: infanticide.

Senator Stabenow’s response is so bad that people are becoming less informed by reading it.

The Born-Alive Act doesn’t force dying infants to be put on ventilators, as some claimed during debate on the bill. All the bill does is require an abortion survivor to be treated with the same dignity and care as other preemies would. If a preemie would receive a treatment in a certain case, so should the infant who survived the botched abortion. The bill says the infants must be transferred to a facility equipped to provide proper medical care, which a Planned Parenthood abortion facility generally isn’t equipped to provide.

If the pro-abortion senators thought the legislation was sloppily-worded, they could have proposed a clarifying amendment. When confronted with the real problem of infants who might survive the abortion attempt being left to die, pro-abortion senators like Debbie Stabenow choose to ignore it, lest any abortionist be held accountable.

Is Senator Stabenow purposefully gaslighting her constituents, cynically hoping they won’t do something simple like look up the text of the bill online, or look up real statistics on reasons women have late-term abortions? Maybe. Our best guess is she is clumsily repeating talking points handed to her by Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry. Has she even taken the time to read the bill?

So often, the response from the abortion industry to important issues involves lies and deception, to the point that their own supporters—as well as members of the media and elected officials—believe the talking points rather than facts and reality. These aren’t honest mistakes, but a concerted effort to turn otherwise intelligent people into incompetent people dependent on the abortion industry for their views, even on cut and dry issues like saying infanticide is bad or believing babies deserve equal medical treatment.

This leads us to ask one more important question: who does Senator Stabenow really believe she answers to? The people of Michigan, or the abortion industry? If she can’t agree with most of her constituents on an issue like protecting actually born infants, the least she can do is stop misleading them.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Dismemberment Abortion Ban Introduced in Michigan

***Editor's Note: The bills were introduced in the Michigan Senate on March 19—SB 229 & SB 230***

Legislation to ban dismemberment abortions in Michigan was introduced today in the Michigan House.

House Bills 4320 and 4321 would amend Michigan’s 2011 ban on partial-birth abortions by including the dismemberment abortion procedure, also known as a dilation and evacuation abortion (D&E).

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “These bills are Michigan’s response to New York’s abortion law and other states seeking to explicitly allow abortions through all nine months of pregnancy for any reason.”

Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy accurately described dismemberment/D&E abortions in his opinions in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions on partial-birth abortion in Gonzales v. Carhart (2007) and Stenberg v. Carhart (2000).

In Gonzales, Justice Kennedy wrote, “The doctor, often guided by ultrasound, inserts grasping forceps through the woman’s cervix and into the uterus to grab the fetus. The doctor grips a fetal part with the forceps and pulls it back through the cervix and vagina, continuing to pull even after meeting resistance from the cervix. The friction causes the fetus to tear apart. For example, a leg might be ripped off the fetus as it is pulled through the cervix and out of the woman.”

In Stenberg, Justice Kennedy wrote, “The fetus, in many cases, dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn from limb from limb. The fetus can be alive at the beginning of the dismemberment process and can survive for a time while its limbs are being torn off.”

Listing said, “In his opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy rightly said that dismemberment abortions are ‘laden with the power to devalue human life.’ Tearing the arms and legs off children in the later stages of pregnancy is not a good reflection of our Michigan values.”

The dismemberment abortion procedure is the most frequently-used late-term abortion procedure in America and Michigan. In 2017, there were 1,777 dismemberment abortions in Michigan reported to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Of those, 98 percent occurred in the second trimester, between 13 and 24 weeks of pregnancy.

In published research on reasons women have abortions, the pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute has stated that most late-term abortions are done for elective reasons.

In a 2013 study, the authors admitted, “But data suggest that most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment.”

Listing said, “Opinion polls routinely show a majority of Americans believe late-term abortions should be illegal. Dismemberment abortions are obvious violence and that’s not how we should be treating our own children.”

Background Information

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Missing Women's History

Susan B. Anthony, prolife lady
(photo courtesy of
Women’s history month was instituted to celebrate the important role women have had in building history. This month celebrates women who have made famous impacts in fighting for justice and equality like Susan B. Anthony and Harriet Tubman, as well as the many unrecognized efforts of women throughout history whose names are unknown.

During this month, we cannot forget the group of women who have been by far the most unrecognized and undervalued in all of history: the nearly 30 million women in America whose lives were taken from them in the womb since 1973.

Many speak about abortion as if it liberates women. In reality, abortion is a tool for discriminating against women. According to one estimate, more than 160 million women around the globe were denied the chance to impact the world because of sex-selection abortions and infanticides in recent decades. Women's organizations should be outraged; it's alarmingly unjust that tens of millions of women’s lives ended simply because they were female instead of male.

Several cultures have strong social or economic forces that lead to a preference for having sons rather than daughters. Some of these cultures have strict population control policies that encourage or even coerce parents to limit the number of children they have (for example, China’s two-child policy). This leads to birth rates in many countries being higher for boys than for girls as families strive to make sure that first or second child is a boy. China’s 2005 census data showed a sex-ratio at birth of 1.18 boys.

India’s 2011 census showed a ratio of 1.09 boys for every 1 girl aged 0-6. The problem has become so stark it's a crime in India to use an ultrasound to learn the sex of your unborn child.

Abortion makes it easy for parents to pick and choose which lives are worth keeping; in many millions of cases the lives of females are not the ones chosen to keep alive.

Sadly this is not a new issue, and for many years before abortion became widely available, baby girls would often be tragically left to die by many parents who felt they needed a boy instead. This still occurs in some countries today with alarming regularity. Some may see that as more horrifying than having an abortion, but both options end the child’s life.

In recent weeks, many U.S. politicians including 44 U.S. Senators have sent the message that they too see no difference in ending a child’s life before or after birth. If the child is unwanted by the birth parents and targeted for abortion—as is the case for many millions of baby girls around the world— they see no problem with infanticide through neglect if the abortion happens to fail and results in a live birth.

So many politicians, celebrities, and of course, Planned Parenthood, widely praise abortion as the foundation of women’s rights, but by doing so they ignore the stories of hundreds of millions of women who were denied the most basic right to life. Abortion is a tool used over and over for discrimination and targeting of vulnerable lives deemed "unwanted." So much more women's history would be made if we simply valued the life of every little girl.


Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Infanticide: Between a Woman and Her Doctor?

Sen. Ben Sasse, the bill's primary sponsor
During the 1996 partial-birth abortion debate, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer said babies don't receive human rights until they come home from the hospital. Last night, 44 U.S. Senators affirmed that as their position on when life begins.

That list includes our two Michigan senators, Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow.

The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (S. 311) would require that a baby born alive after a botched abortion must be afforded “the same degree” of care that would apply “to any other child born alive at the same gestational age,” including transportation to a hospital.

The 2002 federal Born Alive Infant Protection Act lacks specific legal protections for children who survive botched abortions. That bill passed the U.S. Senate unanimously.

Before the vote, several senators criticized the bill by saying medical decisions should be between a woman and her doctor. They focused their arguments on sick or disabled children.

Prolife people see no difference between taking the life of a child an hour before birth or an hour after birth; both are wrong. Many abortion supporters will admit abortion kills a human being, but say it's justified because a woman has complete control over her body. Last night's vote about treating children outside the womb exposes that argument as an excuse. Those 44 senators agree that there is no difference between taking the life of a child an hour before birth or an hour after birth; they are for it. They are frankly admitting that abortion is not about women's rights; it's a right to a dead baby.

The logic of abortion demands we dehumanize our own children by suggesting that some lives are unworthy of life. It's foolish to believe that logic doesn't ultimately extend to infanticide, and eventually to an embrace of euthanasia for adults.

Three Democratic senators and one pro-abortion Republican opposed the filibuster. Every senator filibustering the bill is a Democrat. Not too long ago, many elected Democrats were prolife. Today, the abortion industry has captured the party's leadership, purging almost everyone who doesn't agree with abortion up to and even after the moment of birth.

A significant portion of Democratic voters believe late-term abortions should be banned. However, the party's national leadership goes way beyond 20 weeks; they are committed to seeing no evil about infanticides in abortion facilities.

Infants who survive botched abortions deserve equal treatment, not the death they were originally marked for.

Let your U.S. Senators know what you think about them looking the other way on infanticide. Senator Gary Peters can be reached at (202) 224-6221. Senator Debbie Stabenow can be reached at (202) 224-4822.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Black History Month 2019

February is Black History Month. This celebration originally lasted one week in February, always around the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln (February 12th) and Frederick Douglass (February 14th). These men were both important influences in the Black community. Douglass dedicated his life and Lincoln sacrificed his fighting for the proposition that every member of the human race was created equal.

American history is sadly tainted with numerous injustices towards the Black community. These injustices involved Black people being treated as less than human and being denied even the basic dignity and rights they deserved as human beings. Many injustices still face the Black community today, but none are so distorted and ignored as the fact that 900 Black lives are lost daily to abortion.

Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry advertises abortion as a woman's right, and something that all women must have equal access to. However, it seems that Black women have extremely disproportionate “access” to ending their child’s life though abortion. In 2015, 36% of lives ended in abortion facilities in the U.S. were Black ones, but only about 13.3% of the population is Black. In Michigan, abortions are even more disproportionately preformed on Black women. Though Black women make up only about 14% of Michigan’s female population, they had 50.6% of all reported abortions in 2017.

How can someone claim to stand for justice and equality but in the same breath promote abortion? Abortion horrifically treats the unborn as less than human by taking their lives without question, and disproportionately ends the lives of Black members of our human family.

Here's a fact that should be heard everywhere, but gets entirely ignored: abortion has taken more Black lives in America than every other cause of death combined since 1973. Every cause. Combined.

For every Black person’s life ended by crime, accidents, cancer heart disease, or any other reason since 1973, more lives have been lost to abortion. Can anyone really claim that this is justice?

More than 19 million Black lives have been aborted since 1973. Just think for a moment how much Black history has been wiped out by abortion, how many lives were denied the right to see the light of day and the opportunity to make a difference in this world.

As we celebrate Black History Month, let us stand in opposition to the injustice of abortion and firmly hope that one day this will be a distant memory of another fight against injustice in American history that we worked to overcome.

Right to Life of Michigan has a produced a video series, Still on That Journey, that takes a closer look at this issue. Watch the first video:


Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Right to Life of Michigan Calls on Peters, Stabenow to Protect Born Alive Infants

Senator Debbie Stabenow
Right to Life of Michigan is calling on U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow to the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.

Last night, an effort to give the bill unanimous consent in the U.S. Senate was blocked by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA).

The legislation would require that a child born alive after a botched abortion be treated with the same level of care as a premature infant born at the same stage of pregnancy, and that the child be transported to a hospital for proper care.

 Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “It should be easy for everyone to agree that once a child is born, they deserve the same treatment as any other child. Why would anyone disagree? This isn’t about abortion, but about treating newborns with the care they deserve.”

The bill would add protections to the existing federal Born Alive Infant Protection Act of 2002. The 2002 law defines a child born alive following a botched abortion as a person under existing federal laws. The 2002 law passed the U.S. Senate with unanimous consent.

Listing said, “Senator Debbie Stabenow was in the U.S. Senate in 2002, so we hope she won’t object to making sure the law is being properly enforced today.”

The legislation was introduced by Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) in the wake of a new abortion law in New York and legislation in Virginia. The New York law recently signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo repealed legal protection in the state for children born alive following botched abortions.

Similar legislation in Virginia was defeated after the bill sponsor publicly admitted the legislation would allow abortions through all nine months of pregnancy, even during the process of labor.

Embattled Virginia Governor Ralph Northam defended the legislation and third trimester abortions in a radio show where he said, “The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”

Listing said, “There are examples of children just left to die following a late-term abortion. It’s clear our country’s laws need to be improved to ensure infanticide or passive euthanasia of children is not occurring. This shouldn’t be a controversial issue and we expect our Michigan Senators to stand for basic, humane treatment.”

Michigan residents: Call your senators today and ask them to protect infants born alive following botched abortions. Ask them to vote yes on S.311, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. Senator Gary Peters can be reached at (202) 224-6221. Senator Debbie Stabenow can be reached at (202) 224-4822.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Virginia, New York, and New Honesty from Abortion Supporters

VA Governor Ralph Northam, photo courtesy of Steve Helber/AP
On January 22, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a horrific bill into law. On the 46th memorial of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, Governor Cuomo made several changes to state abortion law, including formally legalizing abortion through all nine months of pregnancy for any reason.

This new law has prolife people everywhere heartbroken and horrified. On the very same day of mourning for the 59 million lives lost over the tragic U.S. Supreme Court decisions 46 years ago, we received news that might make it seem like there is no end in sight. Days later, a similar bill failed to pass through Virginia’s legislature. In defense of the bill's sponsor, embattled Virginia Governor Ralph Northam made a statement condoning infanticide, saying that disabled babies can be born alive and left to die.

Other states with pro-abortion majorities are following suit. Governor Gretchen Whitmer has promised to do the same in Michigan, but our prolife majorities in the Legislature prevent that—for now.

Taking a deeper look into these events, the tragic truth is clear: these opinions are nothing new. In fact, abortion through all nine months of pregnancy—until the day of birth—is what Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton originally legalized. Roe v. Wade stated that abortions in the third trimester could be banned as long as an exception existed if the woman’s health was in danger, but Doe v. Bolton expanded this idea of "health" to mean whatever the woman or abortionist wanted. The Court Opinion defines health as any factor, "physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age—relevant to the well-being of the patient."

Put simply, the Supreme Court legalized abortion at any time and for any reason.

States can ban late-term abortions as long as they allow them for any reason.

The purpose of the New York's new law was simply to ensure that abortions at any time and for any reason will continue be legal in New York when Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton are finally overturned by the Supreme Court. These laws are simply a defense of the barbaric status quo.

Condoning infanticide and devaluing the life of humans even after birth has also sadly been done before. One example was during the 1996 debate on legislation to end the partial-birth abortion procedure. In her support for the procedure, then U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer stated that the baby does not have rights until it leaves the hospital: "I think when you bring your baby home, when your baby is born--and there is no such thing as partial birth--the baby belongs to your family and has all the rights." President Barack Obama helped lead efforts to fight legislation in the Illinois Legislature to protect infants born alive after botched abortions.

Poor media coverage, an unwillingness to discuss this topic on all sides, and the refusal of most pro-abortion advocates to plainly state their radical beliefs have blinded a majority of people to the gravity of the abortion issue and the extent which it already has its grip on this culture.

How can we expect abortion's grip to loosen? Only when people will stop looking away from this issue of life and death. Perhaps the silver lining in the recent events in Virginia and New York is that people are taking notice. The extreme opinions that have always been around are finally getting the attention they demand.

We must work harder to expose abortion for what it is, and call people to act against it.

If you'd like to get involved in your local community to build a culture that defends our innocent unborn and newborn children, click here to get connected to your local Right to Life of Michigan affiliate.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Media Crosses a Line in March for Life Coverage

The Daily Beast's photo choice

Today marks 46 years since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy. Every year, prolife people gather in Washington, D.C., to protest the Court’s decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. The national March for Life also brings attention to the lives lost to abortion. Since 1973 there have been an estimated 59 million abortions.

Prolife people are used to scant or slanted media coverage of the March for Life. However, this year the media and our national discourse crossed a bright red line.

Very few Michigan media publications covered the March for Life in-depth. That all changed with a short online video appearing to show a student at Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky, Nicholas Sandmann, staring down an older Native American man from Michigan playing a drum, Nathan Phillips. That story got a lot of attention.

The Washington Post led with a story reading like an editorial, not actual news coverage. The story characterized the children as a mob surrounding and hounding Phillips, who said they chanted “build the wall” at him in a demeaning manner. It said the teen facing Phillips “relentlessly” smirked at him. It said Phillips was just trying to escape the whole situation and that the students made an “aggressive display of physicality.”

Additional video evidence has shown that the story and Phillips’s account don’t align with the facts.

The students were waiting for their bus to pick them up, not seeking out the Native Americans to harass them. Several adults were heckling the students with racist and anti-gay slurs before Phillips arrived. The students showed restraint, eventually trying to sing school fight songs to drown out the hate directed at them. Phillips was not surrounded by a mob, he purposefully approached the group of students. When Phillip’s group approached with their drums, the students began dancing to their beats, not mocking them. Zero videos of the event have captured anyone chanting, “build the wall.” Phillips did not come to de-escalate the situation, he stared down Sandmann—banging a drum directly in his face—while at least one member of Phillips’ group antagonized the kids. Video has captured Sandmann moving to de-escalate an argument between one of his fellow students and a member of Phillips’ group.

Almost everything that everyone read about the March for Life and this situation was at best gravely wrong, at worst a cynical lie to hold up a teen as a scapegoat. The media has enabled those false statements.

The episode should remind everyone of how the Planned Parenthood organ trafficking videos were handled. Even though full footage and transcripts were released alongside the featured undercover videos, many media outlets uncritically repeated Planned Parenthood talking points that the videos were deceptively edited. In the case of the Covington kids, the media mostly all ran with deceptively-edited videos without waiting for any background information.

The rush to judgement on the part of the media was a violation of their basic professional ethics. Sandmann is arguably a private figure and a minor. The media ran with an account containing false information without giving Sandmann or anyone a chance to tell their side of the story. Reporters began trying to track down his personal information to expose him to the online mob. The online mob found a person who wasn’t Sandmann, and that person began receiving death threats. A CNN contributor and other members of the media expressed fantasies of committing violence against Sandmann, a minor.

Sandmann has since released a statement that lines up with the video evidence available, which contradicts several key points of Phillip’s account.

Something has to change. People must be held accountable, especially those wishing to commit violence against a teen like former CNN contributor Reza Aslan, who continued reporting about an entirely unproven charge of “build the wall” chants.

Why was a story riddled with false information the only thing most people heard about the March for Life? Why did a non-violent confrontation that happens in similar ways numerous times at political events in America make national news?

Because it fit the prejudices of most media outlets.

Sandmann was wearing a Make America Great Again baseball hat. The “deceptively edited” video captured by Phillips’ group was a perfect vehicle to confirm every prior bad assumption many have about prolife people or Trump supporters in general. In their lust to score web traffic or political points, many media outlets set about destroying the life of a minor they’ve never met and didn’t care to hear from.

President Donald Trump routinely antagonizes the press as spreading “fake news,” and has even called the press the “enemy of the people.” While certainly hyperbolic, imagine it from the perspective of prolife individuals.

For years, legalized abortion has been protected by the media. Roe v. Wade is often characterized as a limited decision, and Doe v. Bolton is never mentioned. Most Americans don’t know the basic facts of the abortion issue. The March for Life is routinely slighted in what can only be described as a purposeful manner. Crowds of hundreds of thousands are labeled mere “thousands.” Misleading pictures of people gathered at the side of the March for Life—pictures that no skilled photographer would be proud of—are used instead of shots of the impressive crowd.

Prolife people have seen this for 46 years. When President Trump calls the media the “enemy of the people,” many prolife people nod their heads. Their cynicism is confirmed on a routine basis. This ongoing hit-job on a teen whose only crime is standing while an adult bangs a drum in his face is yet another example making it hard for us to reassure prolife people that the media isn’t their enemy.

Many prolife people send their children to the March for Life. Next year, parents will have to decide if sending their child is worth the danger of having reporters threaten violence against their child as they work to systematically spread false information to destroy their child’s future. It doesn’t matter how much they prepare their children for dealing with protestors, something as simple as awkwardly standing in place is enough to incite a mob.

A media claiming the mantle of the First Amendment is chilling the very ability of young people to gather peacefully and express their free speech rights without fear of reckless and irresponsible retaliation. Something must change.

On Monday, Right to Life of Michigan contacted several Michigan media sources that ran with the false story and asked for explanations, apologies, follow-up stories—anything to restore at least some modicum of respect for journalism as a profession. The few that have responded so far have blamed the national media for getting the story wrong, even though they ran those flawed stories attacking children. Those that responded expressed zero sympathy for the death threats these kids have received. None showed any awareness of how far over the line they’ve crossed.

There are some outlets that put in real effort to cover the March for Life. They are to be commended for following their journalistic ethics and desiring to be fair. However, they are the exception.

Prolife people in the future must change as well. Even people who’ve been to the March for Life itself and understand the incredibly peaceful nature of the event joined in the crowd to denounce Sandmann and the Covington kids before the facts of the story were known.

Moving forward, prolife people should adopt a 24-hour rule. Please wait a day for genuine reporting to occur before believing what you read. Mainstream media outlets can not be trusted to follow their own professional ethical rules, including treatment of private figures, collecting full details from sources, or giving the subjects of their hit pieces a real opportunity to respond.

The Covington kids are the latest in a long train of outrageous incidents. Mistakes happen and people get stories wrong, but why are the mistakes always slanted in favor of abortion? Why does Planned Parenthood always get favorable coverage of their false talking points? Why was America’s most prolific serial killer, Kermit Gosnell, dismissed as a local crime story unworthy of mention? Why do instances of prolife people being verbally abused, harassed, or mocked never turn into the outrage of the day on social media?

For many prolife people, this was the last straw. We have heard their messages to us and understand their frustration. Right to Life of Michigan will always work to apply standards that journalists fail to apply to themselves, though of course we will stand for our beliefs. We will honestly try to give the full details about stories. We would not single out pro-abortion teens at events as avatars of our rage and seek to destroy their lives.

If prolife people misbehave, Right to Life of Michigan will call it out. Our policy is always to follow the law. We’ve gone as far as running TV ads in the past to call for peace and respect for civil discourse.

When journalists choose to ignore their own professional ethics, we will call it out as well. We will continue to do their job for them, giving you in-depth information and background details for free.

If our civil discourse has any chance to recover, the media needs to adopt changes that show they are serious about treating the abortion issue fairly. This goes beyond half-hearted corrections to get out in front of potential libel lawsuits. Half the country is prolife and they are not going to subscribe or provide advertising revenue to publications treating them as an enemy to be destroyed.

Most prolife people believe that if the media was 50/50 fair with news coverage of abortion, we would have made many more significant gains. In spite of biased coverage and major political and cultural institutions set against us, we continue to change hearts and minds, increase legal protections, and abortion rates continue declining.

How many more lives would have been saved if the American people were given a free choice to look at the issue and decide for themselves?

Since 1973, 59 million human beings have had their lives erased by abortion. Each life lost is a tragedy. The catastrophe of abortion—the leading cause of death in America if counted—should be treated as better than a side issue.

Every year, we’ll continue to highlight the March for Life, the egregious abuses of power in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, and the real human lives lost. We’ll keep doing it—even if we’re the only ones doing it—until one year we don’t have to anymore.