Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The US Supreme Court and Planned Parenthood

There was news yesterday that the U.S. Supreme Court failed to take up two cases involving defunding Planned Parenthood. The cases are very complicated, dealing with Medicaid law and how someone can bring a lawsuit to decide whether or not an organization can be a “qualified” provider.

By refusing to take the cases, the different rulings in the various circuit courts are left to stand. Justice Clarence Thomas authored a public dissent criticizing the other justices for being afraid to take up the case. He wrote that they ought to be taken up because of the split decisions in the circuit courts.

Without getting too deep into the weeds of Medicaid law, what are prolifers to make of all this?

First, don’t panic. We don’t know why Chief Justice John Roberts and new Justice Brett Kavanaugh didn’t want to take the cases. Maybe they agree with what the lower courts decided regarding Medicaid law. Maybe they don’t, but thought it wasn’t the right time or the right cases to decide the issue. In his dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas suggested the politics of abortion made the justices afraid to take the case now.

None of us know the exact reasoning behind their choice to not hear the case. Even if Roberts and Kavanaugh agree with the circuit court rulings, it has no bearing on abortion laws or ultimately even on defunding Planned Parenthood. Medicaid law is written to make it difficult for states to determine who is or isn’t “qualified” to receive Medicaid funding. Right to Life of Michigan hasn’t passed legislation making Planned Parenthood ineligible as a Medicaid provider, because a reading of Medicaid law indicates it’s probably not something we can legally do. We continue to pursue other avenues with higher chances of success.

There is a downside to originalist judges: if the law is written in a way you don’t like, good originalist judges will rule against you. The good news for us is Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton are so legally indefensible that we don’t need justices to be prolife warriors; we just need fair justices. So far in their judicial careers, Roberts and Kavanaugh have sided with laws directly against abortion every time.

Here’s the real question we’re asking ourselves: why is defunding Planned Parenthood so frustratingly hard?

Planned Parenthood has taken a progressively larger role as both an abortion provider and as a leader within the abortion movement. As this has occurred, defunding them has become a progressively higher priority. Sadly, Planned Parenthood has spent more than a century embedding themselves in our public institutions. Their tentacles reach into a multitude of programs, as well as government and societal institutions. Dealing with each tentacle requires a different strategy at a different level.

On the state level, we’ve successfully defunded Planned Parenthood. We took away their ability to take taxpayer money directly for abortions with our Medicaid-funded abortion ban in 1988. Recent state budgets have zeroed out Planned Parenthood funding.

The real problems for defunding Planned Parenthood are the federal-state partnership programs like Medicaid and Title X and the morass of rules they have. Federal tax dollars flow through our state government to Planned Parenthood, and there’s not a lot we can do at the state level to block that because of how the federal laws are written. The Trump Administration has a unique plan to work within the law to limit Planned Parenthood’s Title X money, and we have a law to prioritize that funding for providers who don’t do abortions, but enforcement is always a challenge.

The simplest solution is to rewrite Medicaid and Title X laws. It’s not so easy, however, because of the Senate’s filibuster rules. In order to change those laws, we need a prolife majority in the U.S. House, 60 prolife votes in the U.S. Senate, and a prolife president. Or, we need to convince 10 pro-abortion U.S. Senators not to filibuster such legislation. Or, we change the U.S. Senate rules to scrap the filibuster (a double-edged sword that could be used against us).

Senate rules do allow spending bills to avoid a filibuster. In fact, the prolife majorities tried to use those rules to make Planned Parenthood ineligible as a Medicaid provider in the annual budget, but that effort was scrapped on July 28, 2017, by John McCain at the last minute, a 49-51 vote. He objected to specifics of the plan to repeal Obamacare that was also attached to the budget.

At that juncture, the U.S. Senate had to start back at square one. After that, the unthinkable happened in a special election to fill a Senate vacancy on December 12, 2017. Alabama voters had selected a profoundly flawed candidate in Roy Moore over the prolife candidate backed by President Trump, Luther Strange, in the earlier primary. Then in the general election Alabama voters chose the pro-abortion candidate Doug Jones over Roy Moore. We went from 50 prolife votes to only 49 votes in the U.S. Senate, and the golden opportunity was gone.

What are the lessons that prolife people should take away from all this?

Elections have consequences

Whatever you think of the Alabama special election, the practical effect of the vote doomed defunding Planned Parenthood. Alabama primary voters could have chosen a far more electable candidate, but they chose a firebrand with tons of personal baggage. Several prolife pundits made the case that voting for Roy Moore would hurt the prolife movement, but some of these same pundits complained about the Supreme Court’s decision yesterday and claimed the GOP didn’t have the guts to defund Planned Parenthood—these pundits opposed the 50th vote necessary for it to happen.

Sadly, we don’t live in a perfect world with perfect candidates. It felt good for many Alabama voters to buck the “establishment” and vote for the tougher guy. It felt good for other voters and pundits to oppose the same guy for his monumental character flaws. In the end, both groups are left bitter and disappointed. Prolife voters must always keep in mind the practical real-world consequences of their choices. Importantly, if you make a choice that results in a bad practical effect, you have to accept that consequence and move on.

We don’t have a critical mass of public support yet

Polls routinely show that people oppose being forced to pay for abortions. Planned Parenthood, however, has wormed its way into many institutions, including the media. They do a great job of gaslighting even their own supporters into believing that abortion is just a minor part of their operation. While public support for defunding Planned Parenthood has grown, it needs to be higher to achieve our goal permanently. Taking away their Medicaid funding for a year or two would be outstanding, but Planned Parenthood can still achieve small pro-abortion majorities who will give the money right back to them another year.

In order to defund Planned Parenthood totally, we need otherwise pro-abortion senators to fear how voters will react if they continue giving our tax dollars to the nation’s largest abortion provider. Right now, defunding is generally a 50-50 issue politically. It needs to be a 60-40 issue or better to create the best opportunities to enact prolife policy, like popular bans on direct taxpayer funding of abortion or partial-birth abortion bans.

The largest blame goes to the media

Immediately after the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to take up the case, the media joyfully began reporting that they ruled in favor of Planned Parenthood. While the decision largely helped Planned Parenthood’s effort to keep their funding in several states, the U.S. Supreme Court didn’t rule on the merits of the case pertaining to lawsuits involving Medicaid law. The articles in many major publications didn’t do a good job of explaining the issue.

When the undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood’s human organ harvesting schemes debuted, the media reflexively took Planned Parenthood’s side, some even denouncing their own tactic of undercover exposes as unreliable. When Planned Parenthood is revealed to be engaging in Medicaid fraud, or running a “meat market” abortion facility, or kills a patient out of negligence, they get cursory coverage by a few local sources at best.

The media fails to challenge Planned Parenthood on their false claims, and sometimes even helps spread them as the gospel truth.

When Planned Parenthood selects even a popular target for shaming, the media will shame away with glee.

Without a drastic change in how they conduct themselves, the major media institutions are never going to help the prolife movement build public support for defunding the leader of the abortion movement, much less provide neutral coverage.

If you are frustrated that Planned Parenthood is still taking your tax dollars and using it to further their abortion agenda, then it’s up to you. Do the job the media won’t. Talk about Planned Parenthood. Educate your friend and your neighbors. If you don’t want to create opportunities to do that, find the courage to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves. We have resources to help you do that.

Planned Parenthood may have a decades-long head start on us, influence amongst our elite institutions, Hollywood, big-money interests and foundations, and gobs of your own cash to use against you. However, they don’t have the truth; they can only succeed by convincing people they don’t support abortion as much as they do.

Keep working to spread the truth and let people know Planned Parenthood and abortion are inseparable.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Latest CDC Abortion Report Shows Further Decline

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released their latest annual report on abortion statistics last week, showing that abortion rates are lower than ever. Though it is unacceptable that any number of children should die because of abortion, it is encouraging to see that the number of lives lost decreases each year—slowly but surely.

Looking at the breakdown of abortion statistics can be helpful in discerning what category of women the prolife movement needs to reach the most, but it is also important to note that the accuracy of the CDC data is not perfect. For example, California, Maryland, and New Hampshire all fail to report annual data on abortions to the CDC.

The total number of abortions reported to the CDC in the U.S. decreased 2% from 652,639 in 2014 to 638,169 in 2015. This number has been steadily dropping; it has decreased a total of 24% since 2006, when the total number of reported abortions was 842,855. According to the Guttmacher Institute, which polls abortion facilities directly, the total national figure for all 50 states was 926,200 in 2014.

The CDC also breaks down the data into important categories such as the race and age of the woman, the gestational age of the baby, and the pregnancy and abortion history of the woman. Here's some important numbers worth keeping in mind and trends in the last decade.

Age of Woman
The age distribution of women having abortions have remained similar throughout the years, always with the highest rates of abortions had by women in their 20’s. In recent years, the average age of a woman having an abortion has been slowly increasing. The largest change in the age group of women having abortions are teens ages 15–19. From 2006 to 2015, the percentage of abortions accounted for by that age group decreased by 41%; their abortion rate decreased by 54%.
  • Ages under 15 = 0.3% of reported abortions
  • Ages 15–19 = 9.8%
  • Ages 20–24 = 31.1%
  • Ages 25–29 = 27.6%
  • Ages 30–34 = 17.7%
  • Ages 35–39 = 10.0%
  • Ages 40 and over = 3.5%

Race of Woman
According to the CDC, abortion ratio decreased from 2007 to 2015 for the three largest race/ethnicity groups. The ratio is the number of abortions compared to live births, meaning more women are choosing life. There are still large disparities between these groups, however.
  • Non-Hispanic white women: the abortion ratio decreased 27% (from 147 abortions per 1,000 live births in 2007 to 108 in 2015).
  • Non-Hispanic black women: decreased 22% (from 514 abortions per 1,000 live births in 2007 to 403 in 2015)
  • Hispanic women: decreased 26% (from 205 abortions per 1,000 live births in 2007 to 152 in 2015)

Gestational Age of Baby
Between the years 2006 and 2015, the percentage of abortions after 13 weeks has been below 10%, and there has been an increase of 11% in abortions before 16 weeks’ gestation. While 1.3% seems like a small number, using more complete figures on total national abortions gives us a figure of more than 12,000 late-term abortions every year in the U.S.
  • Less than 13 weeks = 91.1%
  • Between 14 and 20 weeks = 7.6%
  • More than 21 weeks = 1.3%

Pregnancy History
A majority of women having abortions already have a child, but most do not fit the stereotype of a large family that can't care for itself; only 14.2% of abortions are performed on women who have three or more previous births. These numbers indicate a significant challenge for reaching women who are already mothers who somehow believe that a second or third child is a direct threat to their future.
  • No previous live births = 40.7% of abortions
  • One or more previous live births = 59.3% of abortions

Abortion History
Like the pregnancy history numbers, the high repeat abortion rate is a tragic reminder that many women who have abortion are locked into an ugly cycle. 8.2% of abortions are done on women who have had three or more previous abortions.
  • No previous abortion = 56.3% of abortions
  • One or more previous induced abortions = 43.6% of abortions

Conclusion
The steady decrease in abortions is encouraging, meaning that our hard work to promote life-giving options has been effective. However, this report also indicates the extent of work left to be done, as there is still a gigantic loss of life due to abortions. Even without three states reporting their numbers, the CDC abortion total would qualify abortion as the largest cause of death in America.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Bill would make webcam abortion ban permanent

***12/13/18 UPDATE: The Michigan House voted 62 to 47 to pass the legislation. The last step before the governor's desk is a concurrence vote in the U.S. Senate to approve minor changes***

Yesterday the Michigan Senate voted 25-12 to pass legislation to make our state's ban on webcam abortions permanent before it expires at the end of the year. The legislation is now before the Michigan House for consideration.

What's a webcam abortion, you might ask. The FDA guidelines state that the abortion pill (RU-486) should be given to patients by the abortionist directly: "Mifeprex is to be dispensed to patients only in clinics, medical offices and hospitals by or under the supervision of a certified prescriber." The FDA reaffirmed their guidelines in 2016 after reviewing clinical data. Michigan originally passed legislation in 2012 to require the abortion industry to follow the spirit of these guidelines, but the law has a "sunset' provision that requires the law to be reaffirmed.

The law poses a burden on the abortion industry, particularly Planned Parenthood. They already utilize the abortion pill as a cost-saving measure over a surgical abortion. There are not many abortionists, due to the unattractive nature of the profession's involvement in taking human life. Many abortionists are "circuit-riders" who work at multiple abortion facilities, requiring these abortionists to drive long distances to see patients.

How much more money could the abortion industry save if the abortionist can be 500 miles away, dispensing abortion pills with the push of a button after a quick video conference?

While the abortion pill is sold by the abortion industry as safe and easy, it can be a heavier burden on the woman than a surgical abortion. Even hardened abortion advocates will tell you about their negative experiences with the abortion pill, often suffered alone at home. Besides serious side effects—particularly heavy bleeding—that occur for any medical abortion that "works," the abortion pill can be especially dangerous if the woman has an undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy. At least 22 women have died taking the abortion pill.

The abortion industry claims abortion should be legal because it's a medical procedure between the woman and "her doctor." The abortion industry already doesn't take that relationship seriously. When a woman suffers serious side-effects from an abortion, much of the abortion industry does a poor job with patient follow-up. How much worse will it be when the abortionist doesn't have to ever be in the same room as their "patient"?

Telemedicine may be fine when you have to call up your busy family practice doctor you've seen for years for a fever or skin condition, but abortion should be treated more seriously than that. Planned Parenthood ran a profit of nearly $100 million dollars according to their latest annual report, but their idea of increasing access to "healthcare" for women is cutting corners and making an even bigger mockery of the doctor-patient relationship for abortion procedures.

To defend webcam abortions, abortion industry figures cite a study saying webcam abortions are even safer than when doctors physically examine the patients. Imagine that! The study's lead author is Daniel Grossman, an abortionist who profits from abortions. He's on the faculty of the University of California, San Francisco, which has a center on campus devoted to abortion advocacy. Abortion facilities object to even being regularly inspected by health officials, let alone allowing independent researchers who don't financially benefit from abortions to gather unbiased data.

Planned Parenthood in Michigan opposes our state's webcam abortion ban and talks about the safety of abortion, but they have yet to be held accountable for the recent death of a woman following an abortion at their Kalamazoo facility. Are Planned Parenthood abortionists going to drive hundreds of miles to see a woman experiencing serious side effects from the abortion pill? Are they going to have her drive hundreds of miles to see "her doctor"?

The sunset provision on our webcam abortion ban means if this bill isn't passed before the end of the legislative session, Planned Parenthood can make good on their business plan to have abortion be just between a woman and a webcam.

We encourage you to contact your Michigan House Representative and encourage them to support S.B. 1198, to end the sunset on our webcam abortion ban.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Giving Life on #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday is an extension of Thanksgiving. Rather than focusing on deals for Christmas gifts, or arguing online, #GivingTuesday is a day dedicated to using the tools of social media to give life to our communities.

While many worthy causes will be honored on #GivingTuesday, we should all remember that everything we do and everything we give is enabled by the gift of life itself. Every day, more than 2,500 children across our nation will be tragically denied that all-important gift of life.

We're asking you to help us give the gift of life by supporting the Right to Life of Michigan Educational Fund. Your tax-deductible donation will be matched!

We made a short video to explain how your gift to the Ed Fund will be used. Your support translates to hundreds of thousands of people receiving our prolife message.

Just last week, the Centers for Disease Control released their latest abortion report, showing another decline in 2015. We are winning the battle for hearts and minds, but there is much, much more of the battle left to fight.

DONATE TODAY

Monday, November 19, 2018

The Price of Prolife Courage

Rep. Brian Elder
We teach our preschoolers to do what’s right even when others are doing wrong. We tell our middle schoolers to befriend the lonely classmate even if other classmates will think they’re weird. We desperately hope our teens won’t fall prey to peer pressure and make poor choices. But this desire to stray from what we know is right in the face of others who disagree is never something we outgrow.

In 2016, the Right to Life of Michigan Political Action Committee (RLM-PAC) endorsed Democratic candidate Brian Elder as a 100% prolife candidate. He filled out a questionnaire stating his prolife views, and he went through an interview with local PAC volunteers who found him to be genuine. His victory in the primary against a pro-abortion Democrat was a bright point in terms of teaching other prolife Democrats that their courage can win the day. Rep. Elder even met with us, earnestly hoping to recruit more prolife Democrats to help us see a day when both major parties respect the value of every life.

However, less than two years later, Rep. Elder refused the RLM-PAC endorsement for the midterms (in a very politically-calculated manner), claiming RLM has become too political. Although he assured dumbfounded people that he still personally held prolife views, he also made it clear that he had "absolutely no plans to do anything substantive on the issue."

After winning his unopposed primary, Rep. Elder introduced legislation which would have severely handicapped many prolife pregnancy help centers in a substantive way. His unconstitutional legislation would have forced these nonprofit help organizations to deface their own advertisements with disclaimers. In other words, any pregnancy center advertisements would have to be accompanied by more disclaimers than messaging.

On top of this shocking reversal, just this past October, Rep. Elder wrote a letter to Planned Parenthood stating he would vote with his 100% pro-abortion Democratic caucus members on abortion issues.

Rep. Elder went from being enthusiastically prolife, to criticizing RLM for engaging in politics and not doing enough to help pregnant women, to leading an unconstitutional attack on non-political nonprofits whose sole mission is helping pregnant women. This drastic flip was obviously aligned with Rep. Elder’s campaign to be the Speaker of the Michigan House, despite his denials. In his ambition to become speaker, Rep. Elder abandoned his beliefs.

The National Democrat Party sadly endorses abortion-on-demand throughout all nine months of pregnancy in their platform, so, as a Democrat, standing up for life takes great courage these days. However, lacking great courage is not an excuse to take the easy path to get what you desire.

Rep. Elder said he’s personally prolife. He knows that abortion ends a child’s life. But he also knows that, among Democrats, being prolife isn’t what many of his peers are doing on the state level. Doing what is right in front of peers who disagree is hard, but it is still right.

RLM-PAC endorsed 11 Democrats in the midterm elections this year. That’s 11 individuals who are swimming upstream for what is right; individuals who have the courage to fight for what they know is right, even in the face of opposition. Their courage is honorable.

Republicans maintained control of the Michigan House in the 2018 election, ending Rep. Elder’s hopes to be speaker. Despite asking for support from Planned Parenthood, Rep. Elder didn’t even get a minority leadership position in the House.

Was walking away from what he believed in worth the result?

Ultimately, elected offices and news headlines only last a little while—quickly replaced by the next candidate and the next story. Your courage and your word lives longer than your personal ambitions; they last forever in the impact you have on the world.

Let’s set an example for all to see and stand for life, especially when it takes great courage. Let’s continue to support those who show great courage.

Friday, November 16, 2018

November is National Adoption Month


November is National Adoption Month. This month we celebrate the beautiful families who are brought together through adoption, and the courage of the birth parents who chose life for their children. Whether through infant adoption, international adoption, or adoption from foster care, adoption gives children the opportunity to have a permanent home and loving family.

November is a month usually marking the start of the holiday season, and the month in which we celebrate Thanksgiving, a time often spent in gratitude for family and friends. This is a great time to celebrate the lives and families that are impacted by adoption.

Adoption is a loving and courageous, though often overlooked, alternative for those facing an unplanned pregnancy. There are an abundance of families who are on waiting lists, sometimes for many years, who wish to adopt a child into there home, but many women facing an unplanned pregnancy are told that they only have two choices: raising the child themselves, or ending his or her life in abortion. However, adoption is a third, life-giving option.

Right to Life of Michigan has a long list of adoption agencies as well as pregnancy centers around the state that are more than willing to discuss this option with mothers, and walk with them through the process. When mothers choose life and adoption for their child, it is blessing for all three parties involved: the birth mother, the child, and the adoptive family.

This month, we want to hear from you about how adoption has touched your life! We will be featuring individual adoption stories on our Instagram profile, @righttolifemi. Please send a direct message to our Instagram or e-mail us at info@rtl.org with your personal stories and pictures of how adoption has impacted your family, if you would like to participate.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Double for Human Life

Once again, we're offering an opportunity to double your life-saving impact. A generous offer means that all year-end online donations to the Right to Life of Michigan Educational Fund will be matched up to a total of $75,000.

Donations to the Ed Fund are tax-deductible!

We met last year's goal of $50,000, but decided to stretch to a much bigger goal this year. The need is obvious. It's clear not enough people in Michigan let abortion impact their lives, their decisions, and their efforts.

With the likelihood of Roe v. Wade being overturned increasing every day, the possibility of citizens once again being asked to engage directly on the issue of abortion also increases. Will the people of Michigan be ready?

Your support of the Educational Fund will translate into more information about our prolife issues in the hands, heads, and hearts of Michiganders.

Will you help us?

DONATE TODAY


https://donationsef.rtl.org/

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Trump Administration's Two New Rules are Prolife Victories

Dept. of Health and Human Services
Secretary Alex Azar
On November 7, the Trump Administration's Department of Health and Human Services announced a prolife victory: two new rules were established regarding abortion coverage in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

The first rule affects taxpayer funding of insurance plans that cover elective abortions.

Back when the Affordable Care Act was being debated in Congress in 2010, a long train of peculiar circumstances led to a small band of prolife Democrats in the U.S. House being the final legislative obstacle. These prolife Democrats objected to provisions in the bill that would essentially lead to taxpayers funding abortions.

In order to placate these prolife Democrats, President Obama promised to sign a (phony) executive order that said taxpayer dollars would be kept separate from insurance plans that cover elective abortions. The prolife Democrats caved, and the Affordable Care Act became law and a source of never-ending political heartburn in America.

When the Obama Administration released the rules for how it was going to keep taxpayers dollars separate from abortion, it became clear that the Obama Administration would not follow the law or their own phony executive order, and even took steps to withhold information about insurance plans that cover abortion from the public.

In Michigan, we dealt with this "abortion surcharge" by passing our Abortion Insurance Opt Out Act in 2013. Sadly, taxpayers in Michigan are still paying for abortions in other states with the federal government and insurance companies acting as the middleman. In some states, no plans are available on health care exchanges that don't fund elective abortions.

In 2014, the Government Accountability Office (GOA) confirmed that taxpayers are subsidizing the purchase of abortion-covering plans on a massive scale

On November 7, the Trump Administration proposed a rule to finally require real separation between your tax dollars and abortion coverage. People who purchase insurance coverage of abortion would have to separately pay for it themselves, not with taxpayer subsidies.

While amending or repealing the Affordable Care Act would be preferable, a lack of prolife majorities in the current U.S. Senate and incoming U.S. House leaves this rule as the best available option.

The second rule affects the HHS Mandate.

Back in 2011, the Obama Administration issued regulations to the Affordable Care Act that required health plans to provide all FDA-approved contraceptive methods. The regulations were called the "Dept. of Health and Human Services Contraceptive Mandate," or HHS Mandate for short.

Some of those methods (particularly emergency contraceptives) can potentially cause an early abortion. This led to cries of injustice against religious freedom from groups like Little Sisters of the Poor and Hobby Lobby, who would be coerced to buy services they were morally against. Failure to purchase potentially abortion-inducing drugs would have resulted in crippling fines meant to punish the groups for their views.

Both Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters of the Poor had to take their cases to the U.S. Supreme Court, where they won.

Last year, President Trump proposed rules that would protect religious freedom for all who do not want to pay for certain contraceptives or abortion through their health care plans. On Wednesday, November 7, these rules were finalized.

The first part provides an exemption from the HHS mandate to entities and individuals that object to in on the basis of sincerely held religious beliefs. The second part provides a similar exemption for nonprofit organizations, small businesses, and individuals that have non-religious moral opposition to the services.

In other words, whether you are religiously-opposed or morally-opposed to the HHS Mandate, these rules essentially make the HHS Mandate optional.

These two rules changes show the prolife commitment of the Trump Administration to stop policies from pro-abortion administrations that break the letter or spirit of laws on the books.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Election 2018: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Photo courtesy of MI Senate
Before we look at the results, thank you to the many prolife volunteers around the state who outdid themselves these last few weeks. Right to Life of Michigan and our many volunteers made more than 2,050,000 voter contacts in the general election campaign, and our election posts on social media collected more than 625,000 views. That’s a lot of people reached with RLM-PAC endorsement lists and prolife educational information. That doesn’t include many TV and radio ad spots. Though the top of the ticket was an “up-mountain” battle with the proposals on the ballot, these efforts made a critical difference down the ballot.

The Good 
Most importantly, we have a prolife majority in the U.S. Senate. This secures the ability of President Trump to nominate fair justices to the U.S. Supreme Court and numerous lower courts. With a better margin, even better judicial appointments can be approved by the Senate. We continue to remake a judiciary that has been enshrining abortion-on-demand as the law of the land for four decades; the end of Roe v. Wade remains in sight. It’s clear that the ugly attacks against Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his nomination fight made an impact on Election Day.

Michigan also defended prolife majorities in our State Senate and House. Even with a pro-abortion governor now, this means we don’t have to worry about pro-abortion legislation. Thanks to Michigan’s unique citizen-initiated legislative process, we have also preserved an avenue for passing prolife legislation by making Gretchen Whitmer irrelevant to the process.

The Bad 
We could have had a 100% prolife governor for the first time in 16 years, but sadly, Gretchen Whitmer defeated Bill Schuette. We lost an opportunity to easily make many life-saving advances in our state law. This also means the number of apathetic or hostile bureaucrats in state government will increase, further frustrating efforts to enforce our laws.

There is now a pro-abortion majority in the U.S. House. The national prolife legislative agenda will remain stalled outside of further enforcement or regulatory changes by President Trump. We have a precarious 4 to 3 prolife majority on the Michigan Supreme Court.

Justice Elizabeth Clement won, but Justice Kurtis Wilder narrowly lost. There’s no room for error when it comes to upholding our state’s prolife laws in the courts.

The Ugly 
We could have had a truly excellent Michigan attorney general in Tom Leonard. Instead, Michigan voters elected Dana Nessel by a slim margin. Nessel stumped on her campaign by saying she wants to shut down prolife pregnancy centers and not enforce prolife laws. Though her duty is to enforce the law, her words seem to indicate that she believes her duty is a crusade for her extreme beliefs.

Nessel is a volatile figure, and there’s no telling what she will do. Whatever happens, it’s our duty to do everything we can to make sure our prolife laws remain enforced and to stand 100-feet tall in defense of prolife citizens and organizations who may find themselves unjustly targeted by our state’s new top law enforcement officer.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Abortion? Shhh... We Don’t Talk About That

The election is only days away. The candidates are working overtime in hopes of coming out on top on November 6th.

Abortion is on the front of every voter, candidate and reporter’s mind, right? It's the leading cause of death in America and in Michigan—more than heart disease, cancer, or opioid abuse. A possible fifth vote in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade was added to the U.S. Supreme Court this fall. It's a big issue, right? Wrong, apparently.

If Roe v. Wade was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, Michigan’s law that bans abortion except to save the life of the mother could go back into effect. That is, if fair elected officials like the governor and the attorney general to uphold the law.

But even with the stakes this high, abortion has barely been discussed in the news surrounding the election since the primary.

We know that Gretchen Whitmer’s record on prolife issues—even on common-sense topics like letting women see their own ultrasounds and holding abortion clinics to the same safety standards as other medical clinics—is extremely bad. She has emphatically stated that she would promote abortion as governor, but often says it without actually saying the word "abortion":

"As Governor, I will work fiercely to defend the rights of every Michigan woman, including women’s access to all forms of reproductive care and contraception. I am going to fight like hell to pass state laws that will protect women's legal right to control their bodies and make their own decisions about whether and when to become a parent."

Whitmer’s campaign website lists her stance on Women’s Rights. After clicking the link to the page on this topic, there is another vague statement about reproductive health care inside a statement about equal rights and pay. Only after clicking another link to “"Read Gretchen’s Full Plan" is there a mention of Roe v. Wade and abortion.

For someone who promises to "fight like hell" to advance abortion, even up to and during the process of birth, she seems strangely hesitant to say it outright.

The media has never done a decent job of covering prolife issues, but this election season, it seems they don’t want to discuss abortion even from the "pro-choice" perspective. Pro-abortion candidates don't want to use the word "abortion" either.

The topic of abortion was not featured in either of the gubernatorial debates and has been discussed little elsewhere, even the euphemisms. Perhaps the pro-abortion candidates and media are so used to covering the topic in euphemisms, they hope that one day the debate will disappear completely. Perhaps discussing the topic at all makes it too difficult to convince themselves and others that abortion is something other than taking a human life.

For whatever reason, it seems that abortion is an "off-limits" topic in this election, when it should always be front and center.

We made this Whitmer Translate GIF as a helpful gimmick to help people understand Whitmer’s (and other elected officials) euphemisms when it comes to abortion. Perhaps what we need more is a search bar to find and expose her real extreme views on the topic.

Friday, October 19, 2018

It’s Raining Fetuses: Seeing a Culture of Death in Real Time

Seats at the Gosnell trial reserved for reporters

When a crime involves inappropriate treatment of dead bodies and suspicious, inhumane, and unethical behavior from the professionals involved, you would expect the story to be met with outrage and a flood of media coverage.

Sadly, there seems to be no shortage of stories like these. Though it is outrageous, it is not uncommon to hear of criminals storing or selling body parts and lying to family members, patients, and customers about what is really going on. Recently, there have been three notable cases with extreme examples of these situations.

Just last week, state investigators found remains of 11 infants hidden in the ceiling between the first and second floor of the former Cantrell Funeral Home in Detroit. The funeral home had been shut down in April due to other violations of state law. The building had new owners who had no idea how many corpses were stashed throughout the building, but an anonymous tip led investigators to the remains.

The authorities have not been able to discover the identity or families of all the bodies they found, and are hoping to discover more through investigating hospital records.

Another recent disturbing example was Arthur Rathburn, a man who ran a “body broker” business out of a warehouse in Detroit. Rathburn dismembered the corpses he received, stored them in undignified and unsanitary conditions, sold the parts of corpses with various diseases such as HIV to unknowing doctors, and lied to the family members, even giving them sand in place of ashes because he had sold every part of the body.

The bodies of four unborn babies were found in Rathburn’s warehouse. Their bodies were not mentioned in his criminal case, even though selling fetal tissue is illegal. Right to Life of Michigan is still working on trying to find the source of the bodies, but the trail is going cold with a famous New York museum being the last bizarre tip.

Finally, there was the case of convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell, perhaps one of the most underreported crimes in history. Not only did the Philadelphia abortionist collect feet as trophies of the babies he killed through abortions, he also killed hundreds of babies after birth, negligently killed one woman during a botched abortion, and had absolutely zero health or safety standards in his clinic. One clinic worker testified, “It would rain fetuses. Fetuses and blood all over the place.”

Gosnell’s clinic had been ignored for years by health and safety regulators, and even after the death of the adult patient there was no investigation. What finally brought investigators to his clinic was a report of illegal prescription drug use.

While many have tried to ignore Gosnell—despite his status as potentially America’s most prolific serial killer in history—the efforts of people who recognize that the story needs to be exposed have brought his crimes to the silver screen. The movie “Gosnell” is currently in theaters, giving the American people a front-row seat to the ways a culture of death can sow corruption.

In all three cases of Cantrell, Rathburn, and Gosnell, the criminals’ shocking abuse of human life is crystal clear. What is less apparent, but still telling, is the media or investigators’ tendency to too often look the other direction when it comes to the most vulnerable of lives. In a world that does not protect life in the womb, nor, in many cases, life right before death, how can we expect our culture to reflect anything other than death and the destroying of life?

"Look, in this advanced democracy, in the year 2000, is it our crowning achievement that we have learned to treat people as things? We are not debating policy options. This is a debate about our understanding of human dignity. Our moment in history is marked by a mortal conflict between a culture of life and a culture of death." - Henry Hyde

***Editor's Note**** The plot thickens... another Detroit funeral home is being investigated for mishandling the bodies of babies.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Gretchen Whitmer, Where Are the Cures You Promised?

Cure Michigan Co-Chairs Joe Schwarz & Gretchen Whitmer

During the gubernatorial debate on Friday, October 12, Gretchen Whitmer brought up her role of leading "Cure Michigan" in the effort to pass Proposal 2 in 2008. Proposal 2 amended the Michigan Constitution to specifically allow destroying human life for medical research.

The debate moderator asked a question about recreational marijuana use, and Whitmer specifically mentioned her role with Cure Michigan as proof of her commitment to helping the sick and disabled.

She said, "I was the co-chair of the embryonic stem cell initiative as well, because I took care of my mom at the end of her life and I know what the promise of cures or the promise of relief during treatment would mean."

In a later rebuttal on the same topic, she said Michigan needs a governor "who knows how to get things done."

In reality, Proposal 2 didn't get anything done; Cure Michigan delivered zero cures. It's another prime example of how Whitmer's words don't match reality.

This issue should matter a lot. Whitmer is right in that the promise of cures or relief mean a lot to ailing patients. Sadly, Whitmer and Cure Michigan sold false hope to ailing patients and their family members. Patients deserve real hope and results, not rhetoric.

Supporters of Proposal 2 touted a ready-made study showing all of the benefits that could occur if Michigan voters agreed to pass the proposal. The study said Proposal 2 could save 770,000 lives, save Michigan $80 million in health care costs, increase worked productivity by $27 million, and create a biotech revolution in Michigan.

Cure Michigan ran TV ads with patients suffering from debilitating conditions pleading for voters to help unlock cures in Michigan.

Now that 10 years has passed, what actually got done? Nothing.

Human embryonic stem cell research hasn't led to a single cure or treatment anywhere. No lives were saved in Michigan and no economic benefits have been realized. Human embryonic stem cell research has largely been passed by other promising ethical fields of research. Those facts were fairly obvious back in 2008 to those who weren't significantly invested in research on human embryos.

Why would Whitmer tout her work leading a proposal that promised cures and delivered nothing? Does she not think people will do their homework on the issue? Has she not done her homework on it? Did she have to tout it since it was one of the few things she has actually accomplished? You be the judge.

The end result of her effort is not up for debate, however. Like much of the rest of Whitmer's political career, there were a lot of words and not a lot of results.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Gretchen Whitmer's Record

Gretchen Whitmer has been a loud and vocal opponent of legal protection for the most vulnerable. Below are examples of how her voting record fails to live up the important standard that every human life has value. Click on each link to learn more about her record.

Partial-Birth Abortion - Whitmer opposed our efforts to ban the barbaric partial-birth abortion procedure. She supports abortion-on-demand through the process of birth.

Ultrasound - Whitmer believes abortionists should be able to hide ultrasounds from women seeking abortions. Every patient ought to be entitled to proper informed consent and their own medical records.

Coercive Abortions - Whitmer failed to support protecting women who are coerced into having abortions against their will. She's not "pro-choice," she's pro-abortion.

Women's Health - Despite her rhetoric, Whitmer looks the other way on numerous health and safety violations in the abortion industry. She has a financial incentive to do so, since she profits from their campaign donations and political support.

Abortion Insurance - Whitmer believes every person should be forced to pay for abortion with their insurance premiums. She opposed our legislation protecting the conscience rights of porlife individuals with with blatantly incorrect arguments.

Tax Funding of Abortion - If elected, Whitmer will lead every other Planned Parenthood-endorsed legislator to get rid of our 1987 ban on Medicaid-funded abortions. This law alone has saved more than 230,000 lives.

Gretchen Whitmer's Record on Abortion Funding

In 1987, a law was passed that saved more than 230,000 Michigan lives. Gretchen Whitmer will try to repeal this law if elected governor.

The 1987 law eliminated Medicaid abortion coverage on all abortions except those necessary to save the life of the mother (in 1993 this was amended to include cases of rape and incest because of the Clinton Administration).

This law went into effect in 1988 after facing the Michigan voters as Proposal A. 57% of Michigan voters supported the law. The very next year there was a 22% drop in Michigan abortions, saving 10,190 babies almost immediately.

Assuming a steady 22% fewer abortions per year, this law has saved about 230,000 lives in the past 30 years. It is likely that some of your acquaintances, friends, or even family are alive today because of this law. If you are under 30, consider the possibility that you may be alive today because of this law.

Planned Parenthood has long opposed our ban on Medicaid-funded abortions. Part of their endorsement requirements include supporting "access" to abortion for low-income women. Gretchen Whitmer proudly accepted Planned Parenthood's endorsement; they gave her a sole endorsement during the primary election, even though several of her opponents were also extremely pro-abortion.

Whitmer has made repealing our Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act a specific campaign promise, forcing you to pay for abortions through your health insurance premiums.

If Whitmer is elected governor and has pro-abortion majorities in the Michigan House and Senate, she will take every opportunity to advance abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy. Even if you are opposed to ending the lives of babies in the womb, you will be coerced into directly paying the abortion industry.

It is easy to see large number like 230,000 as just a number. But each number that adds up to the final total represents a unique human life saved. Gretchen Whitmer refuses to acknowledge the individual dreams, skills, and contributions that each of these lives offers us.

Gretchen Whitmer is not content to ignore the good that comes from these lives, but to also force you to help end the lives of thousands of others.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month


October is National Down Syndrome Awareness month.


This month, your social media feed may be filled with adorable photos and videos of Lucas Warren, the first Gerber baby with Down syndrome, and other beautiful witnesses of life with Down syndrome. Some videos may have facts about life with down syndrome; facts highlighting that their life is a life worth living and are not so different from any other life. There may be stories about individuals with Down syndrome, and reasons why they are wonderful daughters, sons, siblings, students, employees, coworkers, and even husbands and wives.

What the social media posts most likely will not highlight is the fact that for every three faces you see with Down syndrome in these pictures or in person, there are seven faces who never had a chance to live outside the womb because they were killed in an abortion. In the U.S., there is an estimated average abortion rate of 67% for babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb. Other countries like Iceland and Denmark boast of eliminating Down syndrome almost completely, with abortion rates of nearly 100%.

Children’s lives like the ones all over social media who smile, laugh, clap, and grow up tying their shoes, getting A’s in class, succeeding at sports and jobs, living independently, and being worthy of life every bit as much as everyone else who can do these things, are being targeted for termination through abortion.

Even though an overwhelming majority of children’s lives are ended because they were diagnosed with Down syndrome, the majority opinion in the U.S., according to a recent Gallup poll, is that Down syndrome abortions should not be legal. The poll shows that 51% of Americans believe it should not be legal to abort a baby with Down syndrome even in the first trimester, and 71% believe it should not be legal in the third trimester.

However, Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton make it legal to abort Down syndrome babies at any point for any reason, even though a majority of Americans find that morally abhorrent.

Would more children with Down syndrome be given a chance at life if doctors weren’t able to suggest an abortion after the diagnosis? What if instead they offered encouragement and support or other options such as adoption? Perhaps our social media and our daily lives would see more of these faces if 67% of them weren’t missing and more were given the opportunity to live their valuable lives.

TARGETED ABORTIONS FACTSHEET

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Gretchen Whitmer's Record on Abortion Insurance

Should people who disagree with abortion be forced to pay for them? This is a question that a majority of Americans consistently answer by saying, "no."

Gretchen Whitmer disagrees, believing every person should be forced to pay for abortions.

Following passage of the Affordable Care Act, prolife people faced an ugly choice. Because of the way the ACA radically changed the insurance market, we faced a situation where insurance coverage for elective abortions could become baked into every insurance plan. Instead of the government forcing you to pay for abortions with your tax dollars, the government could force you to pay for abortions with your insurance premiums. In several states, the only health insurance plans available on the exchanges had abortion coverage.

The ACA did have an escape valve in it; states could vote to opt-out of this abortion coverage. Michigan did exactly that by passing our Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act in 2013, partly via citizen petition drive. The law requires that those who want their health insurance to cover abortion must purchase a rider to their policy, ensuring that their money would be paying for abortions, not yours.

There are also secondary concerns regarding the coverage besides funding. We know of cases where children have had abortions using their parents' health insurance, and the parents were completely unaware of it at the time.

When this legislation came before the Michigan Legislature, Gretchen Whitmer led an enraged opposition to it. She called this effort to protect the conscience rights of prolife people "one of the most misogynistic proposals I have ever seen." Legislators opposing the bill called it "rape insurance," and even made ludicrous claims that women having miscarriages would have insurance coverage taken away from them.

Let's ignore the hyperventilating for the cameras and look at the facts.

The vast majority of abortions in Michigan have always been paid for with cash. That's because the average cost of a first trimester abortion (about $400-$500) is well below the average health insurance deductible. Because of the ACA, your average bronze plan deductible for a young person making little more than minimum wage is about $6,000, more than 10 times the cost of a first trimester abortion. Only late-term abortions are expensive enough to be a major consideration with health insurance.

In 2009, the year before the ACA was signed into law, there were only 222 abortions in Michigan paid for by health insurance, according to numbers from the State of Michigan. In 2012, the year before our Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act passed, there were 739 abortions paid for by health insurance. By 2017, there were 1,602 abortions paid for with health insurance.

Did you read those numbers? Our Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act didn't lower the number of women paying for abortions with health insurance at all. No woman has had her health coverage for a miscarriage taken away. It was a defensive measure to prevent abortion from being baked in to every health insurance policy in the state.

To this day, Whitmer puts opposition to our Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act at a high priority. If you look at the facts instead of her grandstanding, however, our law was preventative in nature. If elected, Whitmer would instead go on offense and force every insurance plan in the state to cover abortion.

Every time we pass prolife legislation, Whitmer and other pro-abortion legislators predict doom—this doom never happens. The bottom line in this case is that people who disagree with abortion should not be forced to pay for abortions.


Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Another abortion facility closes

Women's Center in Warren

In the long battle for the rights and lives of the unborn, prolifers have great reason to rejoice in the permanent closing of Women’s Center of Michigan in Warren, previously owned by Jacob Kalo. With his facilities in Warren and Lathrup Village now closed, Kalo is down from five abortion facilities to three.

This closing should stand as a moment of celebration as well as a rallying point for the continued fight for life. Since our Prolife Omnibus Act passed in 2012, 16 abortion facilities in the state have closed.

Not unlike so many other abortionists and their facilities, Jacob Kalo has a terrifying track record.

In 2014, Kalo’s Women’s Center at Southfield had its license suspended for health and safety violations. Kalo’s office completely failed to keep any medical record of the patient’s condition or medical record during the abortion, and also any record of recovery, post-operative care, and the follow-up visit itself.

Just as frightening, despite the desire of the abortion industry to portray abortions as quick, safe, and easy, there are multiple records of Kalo sending women to the emergency room from botched abortions.

Back in 1984, 18-year-old Juanessa B. underwent an abortion by Jacob Kalo and experienced pain and vaginal discharge for an extended period afterward. At a two-week follow-up visit, Kalo’s office sent Juanessa home apparently unworried. Eighty days (nearly three months) after her abortion, Juanessa finally went to the emergency room where doctors found a child without a heartbeat still inside her body! More real-life examples include Ms. Cummings, a 25-year-old, and Jessica D., 29, who also ended up being rushed to the ER after botched abortions by Kalo.

Also documented against Jacob Kalo are reports of biohazard waste found in dumpsters behind Kalo’s clinic. In addition to patient records and bloody abortion instruments, these dumpsters held the recognizable remains of 23 babies, intermingled with other garbage such as a McDonald’s bag.

Adding to the long list of horrors already stated, Kalo has been accused of multiple, specific instances of sexual misconduct, perhaps the most public of which occurred just this July! In the midst of all else happening in the lives of these patients, the vulnerable, trusting women are abused at the hands of Kalo.

When we fight for life, we are fighting not only for the life and rights of the baby, but also for the life and rights of the mother. On so many different levels, we see the horrors that abortion facilities like Kalo’s are inflicting on both women and infants. At the closing of Jacob Kalo’s Women’s Center of Michigan, prolifers unite to rejoice and to continue passionately in the fight for life!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Gretchen Whitmer's Record on Women's Health

Gretchen Whitmer, candidate for Michigan governor, talks about women's health and protecting women. What is her actual record on that?

No, we're not talking about her failure to prosecute serial rapist Larry Nassar. We are talking about similar situations, however, where the government officials charged with protecting people fail in their duties.

We've documented years and years of abuses within the abortion industry that put women's health at risk, everything from medieval clinic conditions to abortionists with criminal histories of violence and drug abuse.

In an effort to stop the worst abuses and the worst abortionists, we passed our Prolife Omnibus Act in 2012 that reformed how abortion facilities are regulated. By simply forcing abortion facilities to follow the same rules as other outpatient surgical facilities, we forced the worst of the worst out of business. Since 2012, 14 abortion facilities have closed in Michigan.

Even with these regulations in place, there are still abortionists operating in Michigan who you wouldn't trust to operate on your cat. In 2016, a young mother named Cree Erwin died following a botched abortion at the Planned Parenthood facility in Kalamazoo. To this date, the abortionist and the Planned Parenthood facility responsible for her death has not been held accountable. Preventing and prosecuting abuses in the abortion industry is an ongoing, difficult struggle, mostly because of apathetic or rabidly pro-abortion officials who look the other way.

Will Gretchen Whitmer stand up to protect these women? No. She voted against the Prolife Omnibus Act, and would prefer it if the abortion industry were free to regulate itself. These are just simple, common-sense health and safety regulations that other outpatient facilities routinely follow.

Gretchen Whitmer receives campaign contributions directly from the abortion industry, including Planned Parenthood. She financially benefits from abortion and will never hold the abortion industry accountable, nor will she appoint health regulators and bureaucrats who care when young women like Cree Erwin die from botched abortions at Planned Parenthood or other abortion facilities.


Thursday, September 20, 2018

Gretchen Whitmer's Record on Coercive Abortions

For the longest time, prolife sidewalk counselors have seen tragic situations where women are essentially dragged into abortion clinics against their will, whether it's a parent, the father, or someone else in their life. Much research backs up what prolife people have seen at Michigan abortion clinics and a large number of personal testimonies from around the country.

The abortion industry holds itself out as being "pro-choice," but in reality it profits from coercive abortions and hasn't addressed this glaring problem.

We wanted to address this problem by making coercion to abort a specific crime, to hold people accountable who force women to take the life of their own child. In 2012, the Michigan Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of two bills to make coercive abortions a crime. The votes on House Bills 4798 and 4799 where 29-8 and 29-9 in favor of the bill. These bills eventually became law.

Gretchen Whitmer voted "no" on both bills. Confronted with the issue of women being coerced into abortions against their will, Whitmer decided they didn't need additional legal protection.

Whitmer talks about "reproductive rights," "health" and "choice," but she actually means abortion. Women who are forced into having abortions deserve legal protection, not to have their stories ignored. They certainly don't deserve to be treated as collateral damage by those bent on protecting abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy at any cost.


Thursday, September 13, 2018

Gretchen Whitmer's Record on Partial-Birth Abortion

There's a lot of adjectives you should use to describe partial-birth abortion: brutal, barbaric, medieval, inhumane.

Pro-abortion Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy cast the deciding vote in the 2007 U.S. Supreme Court decision Gonzales v. Carhart to uphold a ban on the procedure, also called an "intact dilation and extraction" in the euphemistic language of abortionists. In his decision, Justice Kennedy wrote, "No one would dispute that, for many, D and E is a procedure itself laden with the power to devalue human life."

Gretchen Whitmer has repeatedly voted against efforts to ban partial-birth abortions in Michigan. In 2008, she voted against a ban in the Michigan Senate, stating that, "This is a bill that is emotional, that is often argued on the basis of emotions and not always from facts."

Well, let's talk about facts. This is how a partial-birth abortion works. The woman is dilated over the course of three days. On the third day, the intact child is "extracted" via a breach birth. Before the birth process is completed, the abortionist grabs the shoulders of the child before her head is out of the birth canal. The abortionist takes a sharp instrument, and stabs the baby in the back of the head. The abortionist then uses a suction catheter to suck out the brain of the child, killing her, just mere inches before her life is considered valued and protected.

Anyone who supports that should be disqualified from holding office as a matter of basic humanity.

Gretchen Whitmer will try emotional appeals to get you to ignore the facts about this gruesome procedure, claiming it's for saving women's lives. First of all, why use a three-day-long procedure in an emergency? Second, why not just allow the baby to be born? Third, let's examine the facts. One of the pioneers of the procedure, abortionist Martin Haskell, said about 20 percent of the partial-birth abortions he performed were because the child had a disability, and 80 percent where for social or economic reasons.

Gretchen Whitmer's abortion fanaticism leads her to defend stabbing viable babies in the head during the process of birth rather than simply allowing them to be born.

If elected, Gretchen Whitmer will take the first opportunity she has to expand abortion, including making partial-birth abortions legal once again.


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

New Abortion Poll With Dishonest Headline

"Republicans divided over abortion," the headline reads. The Hill teamed up with a sister company of the Harris Poll for a survey on the topic of abortion.

The major takeaway in their mind is that Republicans are divided on abortion: 20% of Republicans polled said abortion should be illegal in all circumstances, 51% said it should be legal in cases of rape, incest, and the mother's life is at risk, 20% said it should be legal in the first and second trimester, and 9% said abortion should be legal at any point for any reason.

Well, they are less divided than Democrats, even though the article said Democrats are merely "somewhat divided."

How can the article so blatantly contradict the data? The authors are pulling a bait and switch using Roe v. Wade, with it being the hot topic as Judge Brett Kavanaugh inches closer to a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.

The only category in the poll that lines up with Roe v. Wade is those who want abortion legal at any point for any reason, an opinion shared by only 9% of Republicans and 25% of Democrats.

Because of dishonest media narratives and downright legal and historical ignorance, a lot of people believe abortions are only legal before viability/third trimester because of Roe v. Wade. Using that metric, only 29% of Republicans and 56% of Democrats agree with Roe v. Wade. When you include everyone together, only 45% of Americans believe abortion should be legal in the first or second trimester.

That ought to be the headline, right there: "55% of Americans Would Ban Most Abortions."

Sadly, many Americans don't see clearly about the issue of abortion and rape yet, but those exceptions—along with the life of the mother—count for a tiny amount of abortions. Fewer than 1 percent of abortions are because the woman is pregnant from sexual assault. Well more than 90% of abortions are for purely social and economic reasons.

Through dishonesty or ignorance, the journalists reporting on this poll are deceiving Americans about what Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton did. Even 44% of Democrats believe abortion should be entirely illegal or would ban more than 90% of abortions.

Who again is more divided?

Prolife people should be encouraged, because a majority of Americans are on their side about Roe v. Wade, and the abortion industry can only hold on to the status quo by straight-up deceiving people. They know being honest about abortion is a losing proposition for them.

Here's some other groups in the poll who would ban more than 90% of abortions:
  • Women: 53%
  • Young adults ages 18-35: 56%
  • Hispanics: 59%
  • Asians: 71%
  • People without high school degrees: 60%
  • College graduates: 53%
  • Independents: 51%

The only demographic groups in the poll with a majority believing abortion should be generally legal in the 1st and 2nd trimester are:
  • The "Silent Generation" (born before WWII): 53%
  • People with post-graduate education: 57% 
  • Democrats: 55%

In other words, old college professors are abortion's key demographic, not young women.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Gretchen Whitmer's Record on Ultrasounds

Patients have a right to see their own medical records. That principle should be simple enough. Sadly, when it comes to abortion, principles and rights can suddenly no longer count.

Michigan passed legislation in 2006 to require abortionists to provide women with the option to see their ultrasound before an abortion. We know from eyewitnesses that some abortionists were dangerously not doing an ultrasound before the abortion, and that some were not letting the woman see an ultrasound if they asked.

As a legislator in the House, Gretchen Whitmer voted against this Ultrasound Viewing Option, H.B. 4446. She put abortion industry profits above a woman's right to see her own medical records, even above a woman's safety. Whitmer routinely sides with an unregulated, unaccountable abortion industry over basic common sense.

Even the very pro-abortion Governor Jennifer Granholm signed the ultrasound bill into law. There should be nothing controversial about allowing people to see the results of tests or scans. The only reason an abortionist has to hide the information is to ensure the woman stays in the dark, and Gretchen Whitmer is OK with that.


Thursday, August 23, 2018

Fact-checking Rep. Brian Elder

Rep. Brian Elder
Rep. Brian Elder has yet to withdraw his unconstitutional legislation attacking the free speech of prolife pregnancy centers. Rep. Elder is defending his bill, claiming it's different from California's attack on pregnancy centers, and therefore the recent decision in NIFLA v. Becerra doesn't apply.

Let's examine his claim.

First, it's important to note that many journalists often don’t read legislation before reporting on it, and even some legislators don't read legislation. At Right to Life of Michigan, however, we do read it.

In this case, we've read both the California law struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court, and Rep. Elder's legislation. The relevant sections closely mirror each other, even using identical phrases and terms, merely in a slightly different order; NIFLA v. Becerra definitely applies. Not only that, but Rep. Elder's bill is actually 10 times worse than California's law.

The only major difference is Rep. Elder’s legislation doesn’t require pregnancy centers to advertise free abortions. That’s because he can’t do that here. Michigan voters banned taxpayer-funded abortions in 1988. California forces taxpayers to pay for abortions. Given the above and Rep. Elder's switcheroo on abortion, an entrepreneurial journalist would ask Rep. Elder if he now believes taxpayers should be forced to pay for abortions.

Don't take our word on this, though. You can judge for yourself. Here's the relevant sections of California's law and Rep. Elder's bill:



CALIFORNIA LAW'S DEFINITIONS:
“Unlicensed covered facility” is a facility that is not licensed by the State of California and does not have a licensed medical provider on staff or under contract who provides or directly supervises the provision of all of the services, whose primary purpose is providing pregnancy-related services, and that satisfies two or more of the following:
  • The facility offers obstetric ultrasounds, obstetric sonograms, or prenatal care to pregnant women.
  • The facility offers pregnancy testing or pregnancy diagnosis.
  • The facility advertises or solicits patrons with offers to provide prenatal sonography, pregnancy tests, or pregnancy options counseling. 
  • The facility has staff or volunteers who collect health information from clients. 

REP. ELDER’S DEFINITIONS:
 "Unlicensed covered facility" means a facility that meets all of the following: (i) Is not a health facility or agency that is licensed under article 17 of the public health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.20101 to 333.22260, and is not directly conducted, maintained, or operated by the United States or a department, officer, or agency of the United States. (ii) Does not have a licensed medical provider on staff or under contract who provides or directly supervises the performance of the services described in subparagraph (iii). (iii) Its primary purpose is providing pregnancy-related services to the public. (iv) Two or more of the following apply to the facility:
  • It offers obstetric ultrasounds, obstetric sonograms, or prenatal care to pregnant women.
  • It offers pregnancy testing or pregnancy diagnosis.
  • It advertises or solicits clients with offers to provide prenatal sonography, pregnancy tests, or pregnancy options counseling.
  • It has staff or volunteers who collect health information from clients. 



CALIFORNIA LAW'S REQUIREMENTS:
An unlicensed covered facility shall disseminate to clients on site and in any print and digital advertising materials including Internet Web sites, the following notice in English and in the primary threshold languages for Medi-Cal beneficiaries as determined by the State Department of Health Care Services for the county in which the facility is located. (1) The notice shall state: “This facility is not licensed as a medical facility by the State of California and has no licensed medical provider who provides or directly supervises the provision of services.” (2) The onsite notice shall be a sign at least 8.5 inches by 11 inches and written in no less than 48-point type, and shall be posted conspicuously in the entrance of the facility and at least one additional area where clients wait to receive services. (3) The notice in the advertising material shall be clear and conspicuous. “Clear and conspicuous” means in larger point type than the surrounding text, or in contrasting type, font, or color to the surrounding text of the same size, or set off from the surrounding text of the same size by symbols or other marks that call attention to the language. REP.

REP. ELDER’S REQUIREMENTS: 
The notice must be included in all print or digital advertisements of the unlicensed covered facility, and on all of the facility's internet websites, in larger point type than the surrounding text, or in contrasting type, font, or color to the surrounding text of the same size, or set off from the surrounding text of the same size by symbols or other marks that call attention to the language. (b) The notice must be included in all broadcast advertising of the unlicensed covered facility. (c) The notice must be posted conspicuously at each public entrance to the unlicensed covered facility, in each room or area in which clients or potential clients wait to receive services, and in each room in which services are provided to a client or potential client, written in a bold font and in at least 24-point type on a sign that is at least 8.5 inches by 11 inches in size.



CALIFORNIA LAW'S DISCLAIMER:
“This facility is not licensed as a medical facility by the State of California and has no licensed medical provider who provides or directly supervises the provision of services.”

REP. ELDER’S DISCLAIMER: 
"This facility is not licensed as a health facility or agency by the State of Michigan and the services provided at this facility are not provided or directly supervised by a licensed medical provider."



CALIFORNIA LAW'S PENALTIES:
Covered facilities that fail to comply with the requirements of this article are liable for a civil penalty of five hundred dollars ($500) for a first offense and one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each subsequent offense.

REP. ELDER’S PENALTIES: 
An unlicensed covered facility that violates this act is responsible for a civil fine of not more than $5,000.00 for a first violation and not more than $10,000.00 for a second or subsequent violation.



How are they meaningfully different? Rep. Elder would only force pregnancy centers to post disclaimers in 24-point font, as opposed to 48-point in California. However, Rep. Elder would impose 10-times the fine California would for violations. The formerly prolife Rep. Elder wants to punish prolife pregnancy centers 10-times as bad as pro-abortion California legislators.

Is Rep. Elder’s proposed attack on pregnancy centers constitutional, because he left out the portion forcing them to advertise free abortions? No. Justice Clarence Thomas’ opinion in NIFLA v. Becerra from a few weeks ago clearly addresses this practically identical requirement notice for unlicensed centers:

"Even if California had presented a nonhypothetical justification for the unlicensed notice, the FACT Act unduly burdens protected speech. The unlicensed notice imposes a government-scripted, speaker-based disclosure requirement that is wholly disconnected from California’s informational interest. It requires covered facilities to post California’s precise notice, no matter what the facilities say on site or in their advertisements. And it covers a curiously narrow subset of speakers."

It's essentially the same disclaimer, imposed in the same ways, and targeted at prolife pregnancy centers in the same exact way California did. Simply changing the word order doesn't turn unconstitutional legislation into constitution legislation, any more than slightly changing the word order excuses plagiarism.

This legislation has no chance of surviving a court challenge. The only justification for this plainly unconstitutional legislation is making a political or policy statement. Rep. Elder chose nonprofits dedicated to helping women as the target for this statement. That's why we called him an "abortion radical," he's using legislation crafted by pro-abortion organizations, helping to advance their top priority of shutting down pregnancy help centers. His bill is neither original nor independent.

In defending himself, Rep. Elder points out that he is a lawyer, and is thus well qualified to understand legislative text. Rep. Elder either hasn't read California's law together with his own legislation (meaning someone shoved it in front of him and told him to sponsor it, or else), or he has read them and he's being dishonest.

Again, we encourage prolife constituents to contact Rep. Brian Elder and ask him to stop making excuses and withdraw this obviously unconstitutional legislation attacking pregnancy help centers. You call his office at (517) 373-0158, or e-mail him at BrianElder@house.mi.gov.