Friday, April 28, 2017

Choose Life license plate passes out of Michigan Senate

The Michigan Senate voted 25 -11 to approve SB 163 on Thursday to create a Choose Life license plate in the state of Michigan. The bill now heads to the House of Representatives.

Sponsored by Senator Patrick Colbeck, the plate would act as a fundraiser to support women in crisis pregnancies and encourage adoption throughout the state. 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.

Abortion supporters predictably complained, saying we shouldn't let citizens purchase plates for "political" organizations. Purchasing this plate would be completely voluntary, unlike the $500+ millions of taxpayer dollars Planned Parenthood coerces everyone to give them annually. There are currently 29 states that have a Choose Life license plate.

You can contact your state representative and ask them to vote "yes" on SB 163!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Michigan abortions decreased 2.8 percent in 2016

Statistics published by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services show induced abortions in Michigan declined by 2.8 percent from 2015 to 2016.

A total of 26,395 abortions were reported to the state in 2016, compared to 27,151 in 2015. The abortion ratio also declined 1.8 percent and the abortion rate declined 2.8 percent. The numbers show more women chose life for their unborn children.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “This report brings us both joy and sadness. There are 756 more children alive today because their mothers chose life, yet there are still so many more lives lost.”

Abortions in the state are down 46.2 percent from their high of 49,098 in 1987.

Repeat abortions declined slightly but remain shockingly high. In 2016 48.9 of women having an abortion were having their second abortion or more; 23 percent were having their third abortion or more.

One abortion death was recorded in the state report. It’s likely the one reported death was Cree Erwin, who died following a botched abortion at the Planned Parenthood facility in Kalamazoo. In the past Michigan women who were publicly known to have died from abortions were not included in the state report.

Listing said, “The abortion industry has done a deplorable job reporting health complications to the state. It’s up to citizens and journalists to hold them accountable for dangerous practices.”

The number of Black women having abortions declined in 2016, but not as much as women of other races and ethnicities. Because of those other declines Black women once again have a majority of abortions in Michigan, 50.5 percent of the total.

Listing said, “Our society is failing to address this disparity. We must continue to draw attention to the negative impact abortion has on the Black community.”

Medical abortions using the abortion drug RU-486 continue to increase. Nearly a third of all reported abortions in Michigan are medical abortions.

Listing said, “The abortion pill saves the abortion industry money while leaving women to deal with the aftermath of the abortion in their own homes.”

Abortions paid for by health insurance increased slightly, largely unaffected by our state’s Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act in 2013. Abortion supporters made many dubious claims in their testimony regarding the law, including claiming it would prevent women from receiving insurance coverage for miscarriage treatment.

Listing said, “The gap between what groups like Planned Parenthood claim will happen and what actually happens when we pass prolife legislation continues to grow.”

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

DNC Chair tries to make abortion a partisan issue

New Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez is willing to make abortion a partisan issue, threatening to run prolife Democrats out of the party. His comments come after several high-profile Democrats were willing to include a local candidate with some prolife votes in his past in a party event. This past weekend Perez said, "Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health. That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state."

Not so fast, my friend.

It's important to point out what he really means here: every Democrat must support taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy, even partial-birth abortion.

A recent General Social Survey study in 2016 showed that just 54.4% of those who say they are "strong Democrats" and 51.9% of those that call themselves "Democrats" thought that abortion should be legal for any reason. That tells us that if the Democrats were really willing to act on Perez's demands, they would be running half of their base out of the party. In a time when the Democratic Party is doing a "Unity Tour," Perez's demand just furthers the partisan divide over abortion.

Right to Life of Michigan is a nonpartisan organization. Our mission is to restore legal protection to the unborn, to educate people on identified prolife issues, to motivate them to action, to encourage community programs that foster respect for human life and to support prolife candidates. The Right to Life of Michigan Political Action Committee endorses candidates who are prolife and will be the most effective voice for the unborn, regardless of their party affiliation. Other issues are beyond the scope of our mission. We often get criticized for this, but we do it because your opinion of the value of the unborn child can be independent of your views on tax policy, trade policy, foreign policy, etc. We seek to unite as many people together to solve an issue that takes far more lives than any other issue.

Historically the RLM-PAC has endorsed many candidates of both parties. While the Republican Party as a whole has grown in the prolife direction over the last half century, the Democratic Party has grown in the opposite direction. Many prolife Democrats feel disenfranchised, forced to choose between their views on other issues and the life of vulnerable unborn children. Our model is to persuade voters of both parties and change their party platforms as much as possible. The model of the abortion industry is to hijack an entire political party and purge those who disagree through the party apparatus. It's easier to pursue that model when the government sends you more than $500 million in tax dollars every year. Money talks in politics.

In spite of pressure from national leadership, there are still prolife Democrats committed to ending abortion. State Representative Brian Elder, the first term Democrat from Bay City, is one current example. Their willingness to take a stance on an issue that is not always popular as party meetings shows a great amount of initiative and courage. Even House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi recognizes the horrible implications of Perez' comments, despite her fervent support for abortion-on-demand.

If you are a prolife Democrat, then we urge you to tell Tom Perez to not forget about his voters. It is important that he recognizes that you can be prolife in any political party. Being prolife is not a partisan issue, it is a life or death issue.

Please contact the DNC and let them politely know what you think! Their phone number is (202)863-8000 and their address is:

Democratic National Committee
430 South Capitol St Southeast
Washington, DC 20003.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Cree Erwin update: Planned Parenthood botched abortion details

Prolife activists were joined by members of Cree Erwin’s family for a press conference on April 13, leading to the release of additional details about Erwin’s death following her abortion at Planned Parenthood in Kalamazoo.

It’s only through her death certificate that we could confirm that the abortion caused Erwin’s death on July 4, 2016. The heavily-redacted autopsy report hid any mention of how she died from a blood clot and perforated uterus following her abortion. The Kalamazoo Gazette filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and this time Calhoun County’s FOIA coordinator released the autopsy report with the relevant details included.

Erwin’s blood clot was caused by a 4-centimeter tear in her uterus following her abortion and IUD placement. The tear went entirely through the uterus. The medical examiner also found 250 cubic centimeters of blood near her uterus, indicating that Erwin was bleeding internally.

An important addition to this evidence are the hospital records released by Erwin’s family. Bronson Battle Creek Hospital found that the abortion was incomplete, meaning parts of her baby or the placenta was still in her womb (the medical examiner made no specific mention of this in the autopsy report). The hospital did not find the perforated uterus, and also did not find a clot. Erwin was sent home with prescriptions for pain killers and told to follow-up with Planned Parenthood or a doctor in three days following the Fourth of July weekend. Erwin didn’t make it, dying about 24 hours after leaving the hospital.

Here it’s worth remembering that abortion is plainly not between a woman and her doctor. In most cases no lasting relationship is formed between an abortionist and the woman. Often the first meeting is when the abortionist walks into the operating room. What sort of meaningful follow-up really exists when the patient is typically just a faceless name on a piece of paper?

To recap, we now know that Planned Parenthood in Kalamazoo botched the abortion, leaving Irwin with a 4-centimeter perforation and remains of her child inside of her. Her serious complications were not apparent or detected two days later at a hospital, and she died from blood clots in her lungs. 

It's always important to remember that left in the wake of this abortion are Erwin's family, including her very young son.

How will Planned Parenthood be held accountable for their actions? There’s more of this story to come.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

President Trump takes back Obama's gift to Planned Parenthood

Individual states can again opt out of sending their Title X funding to Planned Parenthood. President Trump made it official today by signing legislation passed by Congress. States will now be able to choose where to send the federal dollars for family planning services. This law will allow for women’s health clinics that don’t provide abortions to have more access to federal grants and money so that they can better serve their patients.

This rule comes as a reverse to President Obama’s parting gift to the abortion industry. At in the final weeks of his presidency, Obama implemented a last-minute rule change that prevented states from defunding Planned Parenthood by requiring state and local governments to distribute the federal Title X money to family planning services regardless of whether they performed abortion.

Instead of allowing states and voters to decide, Obama's rule forced taxpayer money into the hands of Planned Parenthood, who performs more than one third of abortions in the United States annually.

Congress was able to roll back this rule using a process called the Congressional Review Act. This bill signing is the second win for the prolife movement nationally this week, with the swearing in of Justice Gorsuch on Monday being the first.

Grand Rapids abortionist has license suspended, fined $10,000

Grand Rapids abortionist Thomas Gordon’s criminal record has finally caught up with him. Effective April 26 the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) will fine Gordon $10,000 and suspend his medical license pending successful completion of a rehabilitation program.

Right to Life of Michigan Barbara Listing said, “It’s about time. For decades Thomas Gordon has plied his deadly trade in downtown Grand Rapids, taking thousands and thousands of lives. It’s good when the abortion industry is finally held accountable.”

The complaint from LARA stems from Gordon’s failure to inform health regulators of his many criminal convictions.

Gordon has an arrest record in Michigan dating back to 1991, when he was convicted of aggravated assault. After an incident in November of 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. 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.

Listing said, “Gordon was either never fit to practice medicine in the first place, or he should recognize that the heavy personal toll from taking thousands of lives in the womb has led him to commit violence against women outside of the womb as well.”

LARA has ordered Gordon to complete the Health Professional Recovery Program within six months, or face having to reapply for reinstatement of his medical license. If he can pay his fine and complete rehabilitation to have his license restored, Gordon faces two years of probation.

Gordon's abortion business is the only current surgical abortion facility in Grand Rapids. Another Grand Rapids abortion business closed several years ago. Planned Parenthood is now the sole abortion business in all of western and northern Michigan.

It’s unclear if Gordon will find a replacement abortionist to keep his business running. Abortionists traveling to other clinics or working a circuit of clinics is a common practice in the abortion industry. Local prolife sidewalk counselors, however, are unaware of Gordon ever using substitute abortionists in the past.

As of today the National Abortion Federation’s website refers women to Gordon’s business. The National Abortion Federation received criticism in the past for failing to take action against Kermit Gosnell’s charnel house abortion clinic in Philadelphia. Gosnell was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder in 2013, among numerous other crimes.

Listing said, “Gordon is not the exception in the abortion industry, but rather the rule. How could any woman ever feel safe in his operating room knowing he has put a gun to a woman’s head and has three convictions for violent crimes? How many women have been informed of his record in the past?”

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Latest doctor-prescribed suicide bill has no chance to pass

Last week State Representative Tom Cochran introduced a bill that would legalize doctor-prescribed suicide in Michigan. Rep. Cochran cites years as a professional medic and what he believes are the realities of the terminally ill as reasons for introducing his bill.

RLM's Legislative Director Ed Rivet was asked by FOX 17 to comment on Rep. Cochran's bill.

It is important to note that this bill will not go anywhere. With prolife majorities in Michigan's Legislature and our state's unique history there is no hope for this bill to get a hearing, let alone advance for a floor vote. Often representatives who are in the minority party will introduce controversial bills to create media attention or conversation on a given topic.

Rep. Cochran’s bill isn’t the first time something like this has been introduced. The people of Michigan decided the issue of doctor-prescribed suicide in 1998 when a ballot initiative (Proposal B) that would have legalized it in Michigan was overwhelmingly defeated by 71 percent of voters. Once people saw the many troubling questions doctor-prescribed suicide creates, the initiative was easily defeated. Proposal B was the conclusion of Jack Kevorkian's efforts to turn Michigan into a haven for euthanasia. Kevorkian eventually went to jail for second-degree murder after killing his final patient, Thomas Youk.

Rep. Cochran's bill shares many of the same problems of earlier efforts in Michigan and current efforts in other states. "Safeguards" wouldn't include tracking the deadly drugs after prescription and the bill would make it illegal to use the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to detect any abuses. Hospitals and the insurance industry would face the choice of paying for patient's costly medical care or instead offering them cheap lethal drugs. Patients could face pressure from caregivers or family members.

Since Proposal B failed in 1998, Michigan has made (and continues to make) advances in both palliative and hospice care. With these advances, cases of unmitigated suffering are extremely rare. Pain management and hospice care provide appropriate and sufficient means to meet patients' needs for quality end of life care.

The greatest challenge we face as a nation for end-of-life medical care comes not from pain and suffering, but from medical staff not educating patients on these advances in pain management techniques. Looking at statistics from Oregon, an overwhelming 90 percent of patients requesting the lethal drugs cite fears of loss of autonomy or abilities, compared to only about 25 percent who cite improper pain control or (more specifically) concerns about pain control in the future.

There was been a recent nationwide push to embrace suicide. There are now six states that allow doctors to give patients lethal doses of drugs. Even with these states making this practice legal, major medical associations (including the AMA) and disabilities rights groups continue to reject doctor-prescribed suicide as an acceptable medical practice.

Rep. Cochran's bill provides us with an opportunity to educate people about the grave concerns these laws create. The ballot proposal in 1998 was defeated because the public became adequately informed on the issue, and we will continue to inform them as time passes.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Gorsuch and the alleged super-precedent of Roe v. Wade

Neil Gorsuch is just settling in as the newest U.S. Supreme Court justice, yet questions are already swirling about his future coworkers.

With judicial filibusters no longer U.S. Senate procedure and many incumbent Democratic Senators up for reelection in 2018, President Donald Trump will likely be pushing on an open door for court nominations. Three current justices are 78 or older, and all three are the critical fifth vote in favor of Roe v. Wade.

It’s with several of those facts in mind that U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein grilled Justice Gorsuch during his hearings about his views on what she called the “super-precedent” status of Roe v. Wade. There’s no such thing as a “super-precedent,” and even if there was it certainly doesn’t apply to the most controversial Supreme Court case in history. Roe v. Wade is so controversial it has changed the judicial nomination process and is the direct source of our current rancor, from the “borking” of Robert Bork to the unprecedented filibuster of Neil Gorsuch.

The controversy over Roe v. Wade has overshadowed the case itself, leaving most Americans in the dark about it and its companion case, Doe v. Bolton. Most Americans have a vague understanding that Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in the first trimester. Few understand that the two cases legalized abortion for any reason through all nine months of pregnancy, superseding the laws and voters in all 50 states.

Fewer still understand that even Roe v. Wade’s supporters believe the case is pure legal mumbo jumbo. The well-known pro-abortion law professor Laurence Tribe put it more eloquently, "One of the most curious things about Roe is that, behind its own verbal smokescreen, the substantive judgment on which it rests is nowhere to be found."

A majority of Americans tell pollsters they are afraid to overturn Roe v. Wade. At the same time they say they oppose late-term abortions and oppose abortions done for economic or social reasons (which account for more than 90 percent of abortions performed). That’s a great disconnect. Americans are afraid to overturn a decision they don’t understand whose results they fundamentally reject.

Americans are in dire need of clarity about Roe and Doe given the likelihood of the cases being revisited very soon. What Americans don’t need is more disinformation. Roe and Doe are not “super-precedents” but cases that have disenfranchised voters from their beliefs and our democratic process.