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.


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:

“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. 

 "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. 

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.

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.

“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.”

"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."

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.

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

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Brian Elder: Profile in Cowardice

Rep. Brian Elder
Flashback: August 2, 2016. It was a great night for the Right to Life of Michigan Political Action Committee (RLM-PAC). It was primary election night, and RLM-PAC endorsed candidates won in 91.7 percent of their races.

The greatest victory of the night was the lone head-to-head matchup between the RLM-PAC and Planned Parenthood. In the Democratic primary race for the 96th state house district, Planned Parenthood endorsed Don Tilley, who received 40 percent of the vote. The RLM-PAC endorsed Brian Elder, who won with 47 percent of the vote.

As the national Democratic Party largely endorses abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy, it warms the heart of prolife people to see courageous prolife Democrats buck the party line. It’s sadly becoming rarer to see Democrats win elections while acknowledging the human value of unborn children, but there are still a few of them, and their courage is to be admired.

State Rep. Brian Elder was once such a man.

Fast forward to April 24, 2018. Just minutes after the filing deadline for the primary election, Rep. Elder told us he was not seeking the RLM-PAC endorsement.

Two days later, we received an e-mail from a reporter at the capitol. She said Rep. Elder was announcing he would not seek our endorsement, saying Right to Life of Michigan had become too political. The reporter wanted our comments.

Rep. Elder criticized us for an endorsement of an Alabama senator candidate we didn’t make, and for ignoring his opinion on legislation. He said his views on abortion haven’t changed, but said he had "absolutely no plans to do anything substantive on the issue."

We could generously say the timing of all this was curious, but it’s very plain what happened. Rep. Brian Elder was receiving interest in the leadership race for the House Democrats. Rep. Elder denied in the article that his campaign for House leadership had anything to do with his sudden announcement, but only a fool would believe that. He waited until moments after the filing deadline for the primary election to inform us, cynically taking no risk of being challenged by a real prolife Democrat in the primary election.

Because of his curious choice in only telling his story via a subscription capitol news service, Gongwer, we didn’t say anything publicly. Perhaps he was only being forced to denounce Right to Life of Michigan to be allowed to run for leadership. Perhaps he would continue to vote for some prolife legislation in the future.

Our field representative for Rep. Elder’s area set up a meeting to talk with him directly about the situation. Rep. Elder told her that despite his disagreement with us, he still considers himself prolife and would consider voting for prolife legislation. While the apparent political calculation and pressure from his fellow caucus members seemed clear to us, we were content to move forward, hopeful we could still work with Rep. Elder in the future.

Fast forward to August 15, 2018. After less than four months, the formerly 100% prolife Rep. Elder has introduced legislation attacking prolife pregnancy centers. Yes: not Right to Life of Michigan, not our legislation, but nonprofits dedicated to helping women, the same thing he accused us of not caring about in his blindside attack.

Well, news flash Rep. Elder, we care.

Rep. Brian Elder’s bill is a close copy of California legislation that the U.S. Supreme Court recently struck down in NIFLA v. Becerra. It would effectively end the ability of any prolife pregnancy center to advertise their free help services to women. Rep. Elder would compel them to deface their own advertisements with a disclaimer that’s larger than the message they seek to include in their advertising. A billboard that simply said “choose life” would have to be accompanied by a paragraph disclaimer in a larger font.

It’s one thing to suffer the dishonor of having to renounce former friends to advance your career, but to attack innocent third parties in such a blatantly hypocritical way is something else entirely.

In his blindside attack, Rep. Elder said he had no substantive plans on addressing the abortion issue. He apparently wasted no time, however, working on plans to undermine the First Amendment, ignore a fresh U.S. Supreme Court precedent, and go after non-political prolife volunteers trying to help women. Today, Rep. Elder is an abortion radical, using legislation that has zero chance of passing and being upheld in court simply to send a political message.

If Right to Life of Michigan was being too political, he could have simply denounced us without changing his views on the fundamental value of human life. If he wanted to focus on helping women, he could have continued promoting the good work of prolife pregnancy centers around our state. If he was forced to act legislatively to appease Planned Parenthood, he could have simply stopped voting for prolife legislation.

Instead, Rep. Elder has chosen to attack nonprofit help organizations that aren’t involved in politics, only so he can be a slightly more powerful politician. Who is being nakedly “political” here?

People can and do switch sides on issues all the time. Sadly, many politicians do that simply for their own personal ends. But to go from 100% prolife candidate to attempting to shut down the free speech of people trying to help women? In less than four months?

For shame, Rep. Elder. For shame.

If you are a prolife constituent, please contact Rep. Brian Elder and ask him to withdraw his pointless unconstitutional attack on prolife pregnancy centers. You call his office at (517) 373-0158, or e-mail him at

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Does Destroying the Unborn Make Us Richer?

At a pro-Roe v. Wade rally, Chelsea Clinton made the following claim: "It is not a disconnected fact—to address this t-shirt of 1973—that American women entering the labor force from 1973 to 2009 added three and a half trillion dollars to our economy. Right? The net, new entrance of women—that is not disconnected from the fact that Roe became the law of the land in January of 1973."

So, does abortion make us richer? No, in fact, it does the opposite.

Chelsea Clinton may have a doctorate from Oxford, but she fails to grasp basic economics with her claim.

Before we discuss that, however, we should examine the moral claim here: taking the life of unborn children is good because it makes us more prosperous. How is that any different than ancient cultures engaging in human sacrifice to appease the gods for a better harvest? Or, more recently, chattel slavery: we dehumanized an entire group of human beings for our own economic benefit.

There is no real economic benefit to dehumanizing unborn children, however.

Clinton claims that abortion enabled many women to enter the workforce between 1973-2009. To be incredibly generous to her claim, let's assume it's true that every woman who has had an abortion since 1973 has been able to enter to the labor force only because of abortion.

We know the repeat abortion rate has been consistently around 50 percent, so for the nearly 1 million abortions happening in a year, there are 500,000 women having their first abortion; the other 500,000 have already had one or more. There have been about 60 million abortions because of Roe v. Wade in 1973, so when you add it up using our rough estimate, that's about 30 million women who've had abortions.

If all 30 million post-abortive women entered the labor force, that indeed has boosted American productivity. However, there are always trade-offs in economics. What's the trade-off here?

If we didn't have Roe v. Wade, we'd have 60 million more people in the country, roughly 30 million men and 30 million women. Let's be generous to Clinton, and assume zero of those women killed by abortion would ever have had a meaningful job if they lived. That means 30 million women entered the workforce, and 30 million men never joined it because they died in abortion facilities. That's an addition of 0 net workers.

Where did Clinton go wrong? She believes the unborn child has zero moral worth, so she also pretends they never existed. She committed a cardinal sin of economics: never thinking about the trade-off—the "opportunity cost."

If you look at our gross domestic product per capita, 60 million abortions has destroyed about $3.5 trillion in potential productivity, the same amount Clinton claims was created by legalizing the death of 60 million productive citizens.

Clinton, like far too many, also misses a critical element of how abortion harms our economy. Abortion destroys future productive workers: the key word there is "future." Our society is aging, and this demographic imbalance is starting to be keenly felt. As older citizens lose productivity, we are not creating enough young citizens to take up the loss. Not only that, but it takes additional effort to care for the old and infirm. That duty falls on an ever-shrinking pool of younger citizens.

Social Security and Medicare have long been on a trajectory of unsustainability, and we're practically there. Their respective trust funds are predicted to run out in 2034 and 2028. We desperately need more young people to pay in to those programs, or we must face inevitable cuts or sharp tax increases.

It's not just the entitlement programs where we feel abortion's squeeze on our wallets. Health care costs continue to rise. About half of those costs come in people's retirement years. Who is paying the bulk of health insurance premiums? Younger, more healthy workers. Who is receiving the majority of health insurance payments? Older people in generally poorer health. While the problem is not as stark as the insolvency of Medicare, the same economic dynamic is at work.

It's more than a pity that the only way Clinton can see for women to join the workforce is through the death of the next generation: it's a tragedy. Can we place a price tag on children's lives? Clinton not only says yes, she says we should take it to the bank with a smile.

Has abortion made us richer? No. It's destroying our future at the cost of our moral authority.

Check out our factsheet detailing these points, Destroying our Future.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

2018 Primary Election Overview

With the dust settling from the primary election on August 7th, we are reviewing its results, celebrating the victories, and preparing for the general election in November.

The most notable victory for life was John James’ win in the U.S. Senate primary. John James is a 100%, passionately prolife candidate. With John James’ win in the primary, he will be running against incumbent Senator Debbie Stabenow in the November general election. If John James wins the Senate race, Michigan will have a prolife voice representing our state, especially when it comes to judicial appointments.

Another avid defender of life who emerged from the Michigan primary is Bill Schuette, winner of the primary election for Michigan governor. Bill Schuette, our current Attorney General, will be facing Democrat Gretchen Whitmer in the November general election. The race for governor offers voters a clear choice between an active, pro-abortion governor who would attack prolife legislation, or one that would defend life at every opportunity.

In the entire election, RLM-PAC endorsed candidates had a total win percentage of 93.05%. RLM-PAC-endorsed candidates won in 201 out of 216 races, with 267 total endorsements overall.

In the 31st State Senate race for the Bay City Senate seat, both the Republican and Democratic prolife candidates won.

RLM-PAC-endorsed candidates lost in six state house races; the endorsed candidates in three of those races lost by a small margin of 40 votes or less.  Every vote matters!

In preparing for the November general election, it is important to keep in mind the weight of this race for the prolife movement. With the beginning of the end of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton in sight, it is crucial to have elected officials that will stand for the rights of the unborn when the question of abortion finally returns to the states and the voters.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

New Grants to 6 Metro Detroit Pregnancy Centers

It is an important time to be a pregnancy help center in the Detroit area. With more than 40% of abortions in the state of Michigan happening in the Detroit area, crisis pregnancy centers are doing crucial work on the front lines to give women support in choosing life over abortion.

Right to Life of Michigan has been reaching out to these pregnancy centers in Detroit, including giving grant money to support the work they do for mothers and babies in 2017.

There were six pregnancy centers who received grant money in 2018: Image of God Crisis Pregnancy Center of SW Detroit, Image of God Crisis Pregnancy Center of SE Detroit, Care Net Pregnancy Center Detroit, Pregnancy Aid Inc., ICU Birth Choice, Lincoln Crisis Pregnancy Center, and Detroit Pregnancy Test and Help Center.

On July 25, we visited the three new grantees to award them the grant money and hear their stories of the people they impact and lives they save.

First, we arrived at Lincoln Park Crisis Pregnancy Center, located on the southern side of Detroit. We received a tour of their center and learned that all their items come from community donations and the center is run solely by volunteers. They still manage to be open five days a week! The grant money they received will help them set up a safe system to receive online donations.

The second center we visited was the Detroit Pregnancy Test and Help Center. This center is located only two doors away from Summit Medical Center, the largest abortion provider in Detroit. Walking into the pregnancy center, it was easy to imagine how many lives had been saved from the abortion clinic down the road. Executive Director Denise Chandler said that when they first arrived at this location in November, 2017, they received huge pushback from Summit Medical Center both on social media and from them telling women who came to their clinic that the pregnancy center was dangerous. Despite the pushback, Denise had many success stories of sidewalk counselors bringing women to her center and choosing life for their baby, and she is determined to keep fighting to save more lives.

Our last visit was to ICU Birth Choice. This center is unique because it is a mobile center located in an RV. With a mobile location that has space for counseling and support—as well as an ultrasound machine—the center can serve multiple areas where they are most needed. Executive Director Bev Dixon explained that the center’s location schedule rotates, but their locations are almost always right outside of abortion clinics in hopes that women will see an alternative to abortion. Bev told us multiple stories about women receiving an ultrasound from ICU Birth Choice who said that they never knew the truth about what an unborn baby looks like inside the womb. Bev even said that many women who had previously had an ultrasound at an abortion clinic told her that they were never shown the true image of their baby, and would have never known otherwise if it weren’t for the pregnancy center.

Pregnancy help centers like these do amazing work for mothers and babies every day. To see our full list of pregnancy and adoption help agencies available in Michigan, click here.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

"Zombie Law"? You Must Mean Roe v. Wade

Selling baby body parts
Zombies are frightening. Even though they are dead inside, they keep shambling around the landscape, devouring the brains of unsuspecting victims, consuming the lives of millions in an apocalypse of Hollywood proportions.

Forget for a moment that it's the abortion industry that wants to suck the brains out of children or sell them for science experiments.

The pro-abortion news website Rewire recently published an article about how the Democratic candidates for Michigan governor are committing to do everything in their power to make sure abortion remains totally legal and unregulated. The candidates promise they will repeal Michigan's pre-Roe v. Wade "zombie law" that protects unborn children, if elected.

What is this "zombie law"? Since 1846, Michigan has legally protected the lives of unborn children. The most recent update of our law is from 1931. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, this law may have an opportunity to go back into effect.

Abortion supporters like the three Democratic candidates running for Michigan governor call this a "zombie law" because they somehow believe it's already dead. Except that's not true at all.

Just a few weeks before Roe v. Wade and its companion case Doe v. Bolton overturned the laws of all 50 states and forced abortion through all nine months of pregnancy for any reason on America—and the lives of nearly 60 million innocent human beings—Michigan voters had a chance to vote on the "zombie law." Abortion supporters tried to repeal it through Proposal B of 1972, but 60% of Michiganders voted to keep our law.

Can you really call a law that got a supermajority of support last time it faced the voters "dead"? Can you call a law that's actually still in legal effect "dead"? We don't think so.

Roe v. Wade, however, is definitely a case befitting the walking dead. Only 13% of Americans believe abortion should be generally legal in the third trimester, but that's law of the land because of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. That's 87% of Americans who oppose its effects.

Roe v. Wade is legally indefensible. Even Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg can't give you a legally-compelling reason to believe Roe v. Wade was decided correctly based on the law. Laurence Tribe, a well-known lawyer and abortion supporter, is forced to admit, "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."

Roe v. Wade has the outer husk of an actual judicial decision, but it is dead inside and dangerous to innocent lives. That's much different than our state law, which is based on facts like the humanity of unborn children, and has received large public support.

Once you get past the verbal smokescreen of terms like "zombie law," you can see where Abdul El-Sayed, Shri Thanedar, and Gretchen Whitmer actually want to take Michigan if elected governor. None of these extreme abortion positions featured in the Rewire article have broad popular support:
  • Forcing all hospitals to do abortions.
  • Removing waiting periods before abortions.
  • Forcing people to pay for abortions through their insurance plans.
  • "Prohibit government interference with physician-patient treatment programs or laws that place a burden on access to abortion," i.e., repealing every prolife law on the books, from abortion clinic regulations to our state's partial-birth abortion ban.

Think about that. These three candidates are demanding that women in the third trimester can walk straight into an abortion clinic and begin a partial-birth abortion that day. The child is birthed until only their head remains in the birth canal. The abortionist then stabs the child's head, and sucks their brains out. You will be forced to pay for this real act of zombie-esque violence. If you work in the medical field, you will be forced to participate. If something goes horribly wrong during the procedure, nothing will happen because the state won't be regulating abortion clinics anymore.

Is that "women's healthcare"? It's not enough for these candidate to affirm Roe v. Wade and abortion through all nine months of pregnancy for any reason, they demand every popular, common-sense abortion regulation that's been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court since 1973 be repealed.

Like a zombie, the abortion extremism of these three candidates refuses to stop. Their positions resemble something closer to Resident Evil than the opinions of most Michigan voters, and we eagerly await the opportunity to educate Michigan citizens about these on-the-record promises in the coming months.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Why John James?

In the 2018 Primary Election for U.S. Senate, only one candidate received the Right to Life of Michigan Political Action Committee Endorsement. Why?

From his service to the nation as an army captain, to his enthusiasm for Michigan, to being the only 100% pro-life candidate in the 2018 U.S. Senate election, there are many reasons for everyone to love John James. If James won the election, this would mean that there would finally be a prolife voice representing Michigan in the U.S. Senate.

James served in Operation Iraqi Freedom after graduating from West Point in 2004. He served for eight years, flew Apache helicopters, led two platoons, and received several awards including a Combat Action Badge and two Air Medals.

James’ educational background includes a Bachelor of Science from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, a Master of Supply Chain Management and Information Systems from Penn State University, and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Michigan.

When he returned to Michigan after his service, he was inspired to continue serving by working in his local community: “I am called to a life of service. I want to serve my country and my community and my state. When I would come back from Iraq on leave during the great recession, the economic and societal devastation I saw here in my own state floored me.”

From his work in his family business, James Group International, he and has created 100 jobs in Michigan since 2012.

James describes himself as unapologetically prolife. He said, “We must commit ourselves to protecting the sanctity of life, born and unborn. I am 100 percent prolife.”

He currently lives in Farmington Hills, Michigan with his wife Elizabeth and two young sons.

James’ opponent in the Republican primary, Sandy Pensler, has claimed to be prolife, but has also has openly admitted to believing that abortion is permissible in some cases, and he ran for congress in 1992 as a pro-choice Republican. John James’ firm position with the prolife movement makes him the 100% prolife candidate in the Senate election.

Who will you choose to challenge pro-abortion U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow in the November election? Who will you choose to be responsible for judicial nominees, who will be deciding life and death issues like the fate of Roe v. Wade?

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Overturning Roe is Pro-Choice

On July 9, President Trump announced he would nominate Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the vacant U.S. Supreme Court seat following the retirement of Anthony Kennedy.

Judge Kavanaugh is undeniably qualified to serve on the Supreme Court. Yet before his nomination was even announced, criticism began. The Women’s March embarrassed itself by sending out a press release naming the nominee as “XX.” They forgot to paste in the name of the nominee before predicting a “death sentence for thousands of women.”

The potential that Kennedy’s replacement may create a majority in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade is the cause of these unhinged reactions. What would actually happen if Roe was overturned?

It’s important to note that thousands of women across the fruited plain will not die in childbirth, or however else the Women’s March expects them to brutally die at the hands of the nefarious Justice XX.

What would actually happen is the U.S. Supreme Court would correctly recognize that the U.S. Constitution is silent on abortion. Abortion laws would once again be in the hands of the voters to choose.

Letting voters choose abortion laws poses a serious problem for pro-abortion organizations. A vast majority of Americans reject the effects of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, which together legalized abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy.

Gallup routinely does polling on abortion. In May, they released a detailed poll about the legality of first or third trimester abortions in specific cases. Only 29% polled believe third trimester abortions should be legal for children diagnosed with Down syndrome. An Indiana law banning abortions targeted at children with Down syndrome was recently overturned because of Roe v. Wade.

More than 90% of abortions are done purely for social or economic reasons. According to the Gallup poll, only 45% of Americans believe first trimester abortions for those reasons should be legal. Roe v. Wade takes away any opportunity to address that in any significant way.

If we want to uphold our core democratic values, we must not reject fair judges simply to disenfranchise a majority of American voters. Groups calling themselves “pro-choice” should welcome the opportunity to give voters a chance to debate abortion in the public square.

Would Judge Brett Kavanaugh potentially be the fifth vote to overturn Roe v. Wade? We won’t know until we get there. If we do, we have nothing to fear but democracy itself.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Supreme Court Supports Free Speech in NIFLA v. Becerra

In a 5-4 decision written by Justice Clarence Thomas, the Supreme Court struck down a controversial 2015 California law that would have forced the more than 200 prolife crisis pregnancy centers in the state to promote abortions.

The case, NIFLA v. Becerra, challenged the law's requirement that those centers to go against their personal convictions on the issue of abortion. The law also went further, specifically targeting just the prolife crisis pregnancy centers who opposed abortion rather than any health center or charity.

In the majority opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court said the law violated the First Amendment: you can't force people to speak against their beliefs. During the oral arguments there was uneasy feelings and lack of support from several of the pro-abortion justices. The final vote by the pro-abortion justices is also very telling: when it came down to it, none of them were willing to cross over and vote against the abortion industry.

This is a huge win for prolife advocates all over the United States. If this case would have gone the other way, prolife pregnancy centers in any state with a pro-abortion majority could find themselves unable to even advertise their services without being forced to promote the taking of human life.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Lorraine Giorgio: One of Countless Unsung Heroes

Lorraine Giorgio, prolife volunteer extraordinaire, passed away on June 6, 2018 at the age of 93.

Many of you have never heard of Lorraine or her contributions to the prolife movement. Sadly, that's true of so many individuals involved in this grassroots movement. Lorraine was a shining example of the type of person that keeps this movement running and saving lives. Her commitment was so strong that you noticed her most when she wasn't there.

Lorraine had been a member of Right to Life of Michigan and her local affiliates for many, many years. Her daily commitment to saving the unborn was through praying in front of the abortion clinic on 8 Mile in Metro Detroit.

For 20 years, Lorraine was part of a local group of prolifers who prayed at abortion facilities, Helpers of God’s Precious Infants. For 19 of those years, Lorraine was on the sidewalk, praying for an end to abortion and everyone involved in abortions that day: the children, the mothers, and the clinic staff. She was at the abortion facility 4 days a week, up to 7 hours each day.

On the rare day Lorraine wasn't there, regular drivers on 8 Mile would pull over and ask if she was alright.

When Lorraine first joined the group, this elderly lady walked a mile from her home to the abortion facility, and back again when the day was done. Finally one of her group members caught on and they began giving her rides.

The weather never deterred Loraine. Cold, hot, raining, snowing, sleeting or raining, Lorraine was out there.

A few years ago, for health reasons, Lorraine was forced to cut back to "only" 2 days a week praying outside the abortion facility. For the last year she was forced to stay home, but that didn't stop her. She organized literature for the sidewalk counselors.

Like so many people involved in the prolife movement, it was easy to automatically count on Lorraine's help, without having to think about it.

Lorraine never wanted recognition or attention for herself. Well, too bad Lorraine, you deserve it!

In 2007, Right to Life of Michigan affiliates in Macomb wanted to give Lorraine the “Rose of Life” award at their joint Focus on Life Dinner. The award is given to a volunteer who gives their time and effort year after year in the cause of Life, never asking or expecting recognition for it.

Lorraine actually tried to refuse the award. After much begging and pleading, Lorraine finally surrendered, and she accepted it. Lorraine’s acceptance speech was simple: “Thank you very much." She then quickly returned to her seat.

Like so many others in this movement's past and present, Lorraine labored for many, many hours, with no motivation to ever to become famous for it, beloved, make money, or get her name in the paper. She did it because it was the right thing to do.

Lorraine will truly be missed, especially by her fellow prolife volunteers in Macomb County. To those like Lorraine who continue this fight every day to protect human lives, simply, thank you.

Lorraine (fifth from left, front row) with her group

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

New Targeted Abortions Flyer

What is a targeted abortion?

A targeted abortion is one in which the child in the womb is targeted for some particular characteristic, rather than being unwanted (there is no such thing as an "unwanted" child!).

Typically a targeted abortion involves a diagnosed disability or illness of some kind, or the sex of the child.

We have a new flyer available in a one-page booklet format:Targeted Abortions. It's available for free download and printing from our website.

The new flyer combines and replaces two of our older flyers, Abortion & Disabilities and Sex Selection Abortions.


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Mercy Killing? Oppose it

This is the final in a five-part series contrasting the ways our society could handle end-of-life care moving forward.

What is a doctor? What role do they occupy in society?

While these questions may seem clear, in recent decades the fundamental role of physicians has become increasingly unclear. As advocates for doctor-prescribed suicide continue to try to convince states to change their laws, two paths forward present themselves.

The first path affirms the traditional role of doctors as healers. Though technology changes, bringing new opportunities for treatment and new challenges to face, the basic ethics of the doctor-patient relationship have remained unchanged for millennia. The value of, "first, do no harm," is a core part of the Hippocratic Oath: "I will follow that system of regimen which, according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of my patients, and abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous."

The second path is one that hasn't been traveled much, and when it has, the worst forms of abuses have emerged. If we embrace doctor-prescribed suicide and euthanasia, we give doctors the power over life and death itself. We would reject the essence of medical ethics as expressed by the Hippocratic Oath, and give doctors the power to kill.

Is "mercy killing" compatible with the role of physicians?

Accorded to Merriam-Webster, the most relevant definition of "mercy" is, "compassionate treatment of those in distress." Certainly we all agree that sick patients deserve compassionate treatment from their doctors. But is killing compassionate? Is it the best response to disease medical professional can take?

Doctors can't heal everything. For everyone an inevitable time will come when medical intervention can no longer work. Certainly we can all agree the role of healer at that point changes from curing to comfort.

There are other times when medical intervention may work to stave off death, but the person believes their time is at an end, or the tolls of healing may be too high. If the patient decides to let death take its natural course, we can agree the role of healer shifts away from curing to comfort.

But for those weary of life, offering them lethal doses of drugs or giving them lethal injections completely shifts the role of doctors. We can see evidence of it in countries that have embraced euthanasia fully. Power corrupts, and the power to help end a life prematurely or to take it quickly results in doctors sacrificing part of their healing role.

By embracing mercy killing, the doctor-patient relationship changes. Can patients trust that their doctor's medical advice is in their best interest, especially if situations of "involuntary euthanasia" become widespread and ignored by the public, as they are in Belgium and the Netherlands? Will patients be getting the best effort from their doctors, when death remains the cheapest and easiest solution for any health issue?

What's the merciful thing for doctors to do for suicidal patients? Those patients deserve proper care, not lethal drugs. If the doctor can't provide healing themselves through their relationship with a patient, they should refer patients caught in the grip of despair to those who can try healing through counseling and mental health.

Most doctors remain firmly committed to their role as healers. How long until they are forced from their practice because the law forces them to accept mercy killing as part of their role? Canadian courts mandated doctor-prescribed suicide, and the slippery slope manifested abruptly with efforts to force every doctor there to be complicit.

Though the Hippocratic Oath has been forgotten by many, many doctors' associations still recognize the grave danger of compromising the role of doctors as healers. Doctors themselves worry about being placed is situations. In their Code of Medical Ethics, the American Medical Association says, "Physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks. Instead of engaging in assisted suicide, physicians must aggressively respond to the needs of patients at the end of life."

The hands of healing and mercy cannot be the same hands that engage in death. Patients deserve doctors who will make it their mission to first, do no harm.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

New Gallup Poll Shows Massive Opposition to Roe v. Wade

Every year Gallup does polling on the issue of abortion. They are one of the better polling outfits, because they will ask more specific questions than most others.

For the first time since 2012, Gallup asked respondents if abortion should be legal or illegal in each trimester. The results show a massive majority of adults oppose Roe v. Wade.

There's one big caveat, sadly: a massive majority of adults have no clue about what Roe v. Wade does. That includes Gallup itself, an otherwise credible organization!

In their analysis of their poll, Gallup gets it utterly wrong: "The wording of Roe v. Wade aligns almost perfectly with where Americans stand on late-term abortions—keep them legal to save the life of the mother and in cases of rape and incest, but not for other reasons."

What did Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton do? Those two Supreme Court cases legalized abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, for any reason. If you find an abortionist who will do one, and will say it's for a "health" reason, no legal authority or court in America can stop it.

While Gallup does admit many Americans depart from Roe v. Wade about 1st trimester abortions, the above quote gets it wrong, both on what Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton did legally, but also when you consider the reasons women have abortions.

Let's break down their poll further based on the reasons women have abortions, according to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute. Here's the percentage of abortions performed for each of these reasons:

Women's Life in Danger: 4% - Michigan law has never made it illegal to end a pregnancy in the rare case where it's a choice between mother or child (both have an equal right to life). In the Guttmacher study, the response is, "physical problems with my health." That could range from concerns of age or past c-sections to true threats against a mother's life. So, the 4% number is extremely generous.

Rape or Incest: less than 0.5%

Child with life-threatening illness/disabled/Down syndrome: 3% - The Guttmacher study response is, "physical problems affecting the health of the fetus." This could range from true life-threatening conditions, to Down syndrome, to a cleft palate easily correctable by surgery.

Woman doesn't want child for any reason: more than 92%

So, even an extremely generous reading of reasons shows more than 92% of abortions are simply because the woman doesn't want the child. In the Gallup Poll, only 45% of U.S. adults believe first trimester abortions should be legal for social reasons.

Even though the Gallup poll found 60% of Americans saying abortion should be generally legal in the 1st trimester, 55% of Americans would ban more than 92% of abortions if given the opportunity.

Roe v. Wade says late-term abortions can be banned, but any ban has to have a "health" exception. Doe v. Bolton defined "health" as any reason, even economic reasons. You can have a late-term abortion in America for any reason, because any reason has a "health" exception according to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Gallup poll found only 13% of Americans believe abortion should be generally legal in the 3rd trimester. When they broke it down, only 20% of Americans said abortion should be legal for social reasons in the 3rd trimester. (Who are the 7% of Americans who want to ban 3rd trimester abortions but allow them for any reason?).

Planned Parenthood opposes laws that ban abortions on children diagnosed with Down syndrome, even though a minority of Americans believe they should be legal. Planned Parenthood often uses children with disabilities to justify keeping third-trimester abortions legal for any reason. They say these disabilities aren't diagnosed until later in pregnancy, and somehow that means a woman should be able to get an abortion for any reason up to the moment of birth. Only 29% of Americans think abortion should be legal for Down syndrome in the third trimester.

While the abortion industry is happy to lie in media stories about the reasons women have late-term abortions, most are for purely elective reasons according to their own published research.

So, why do these 29% get to prevail over 71% of Americans? Why does their small minority mean children with Down syndrome at 39 weeks of pregnancy can be legally killed? Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton.

As many as 87% of Americans oppose the practical outcome of Roe v. Wade! Only 13% support legal abortions in the 3rd trimester. How can Gallup claim Roe v. Wade aligns almost perfectly with American's views on abortion? Well, even Gallup doesn't understand Roe v. Wade. Have they heard of Doe v. Bolton?

If two-thirds is a super-majority, a massive majority of Americans oppose Roe v. Wade. It's time for educators and journalists to stop running interference for the abortion industry and confusing even their own colleagues about the status of abortion law in America.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Informing people about abortion and vaccines

Last week legislation was introduced in the Michigan Senate to require informed consent about vaccines and abortions. As far as we're aware, it's first of its kind in the nation.

This is necessary legislation. One of the most popular pages on the Right to Life of Michigan website is our page on vaccines and abortion. We have an excellent LifeNotes edition that calmly and logically explains how the connection works, which vaccines were produced using tissue from aborted babies, which alternatives exist, and gives people an ethical framework to make decisions about using these vaccines. We're biased, but we think it's the clearest discussion of the issue on the web.

Many people have read our information and asked their doctor or nurse about it. Sadly, many have contacted us, asking if we've made some sort of mistake. They've been told by medical professionals that abortions have nothing to do with vaccines. This has happened to Right to Life of Michigan staff. Our information is accurate, but it must sound too outlandish for some medical professionals, who then dismiss it out of ignorance.

It's routinely required for doctors and nurses to give proper informed consent. They have a duty to give patients accurate information, and the state has a duty to make sure these ethical obligations for informed consent are being fulfilled. When it comes to abortion and vaccines, what we often see is misinformed consent. This is a serious problem.

So far, the first critic of our legislation reached out to us on Twitter to engage his concerns. Dr. David Gorski is a Wayne State University professor and oncologist who runs a medical news blog.

Let's address some of the objections Dr. Gorski brings up, and ones others might have.

Right to Life of Michigan is anti-vax now!

No. We don't even take a position on the ethics of using a vaccines produced using tissue from an aborted baby. We will however ensure that those people who ethically object to using such vaccines will have their conscience rights protected. This bill in particular is merely informed consent, all it does is make sure patients have accurate information.

Dr. Gorski accuses Right to Life of Michigan of being puppets of anti-vax groups (or sinisterly using them ourselves). Nope. We will not engage in any vaccine issue outside of the issue of our mission on abortion. We will, however, protect the conscience rights of every person who ethically object to procedures that involve abortion in some way.

This bill has inaccurate information in it!

Dr. Gorski takes issue with our use of the words "fetal tissue." But those are not "our" words. Here are the words of the researchers who created the MRC-5 cell line used in the production of several FDA-approved vaccines:

“We have developed another strain of cells, also derived from foetal lung tissue, taken from a 14-week male foetus removed for psychiatric reasons from a 27 year old woman with a genetically normal family history and no sign of neoplastic disease both at abortion and for at least three years afterward.”

When the bill says people should be informed that the vaccine was "derived from aborted fetal tissue," that's exactly how the cell lines were created. Now, keep in mind, this is legal language to create a law; doctors will not have to literally read the bill text out-loud to every patient. The bill does not mandate that doctors or nurses have to give some inflammatory statement; the bill doesn't even mandate how patients are told, simply that they must be informed.

These abortions used to create these vaccines happened in the 1960s!

That's true, and it does play a role in debating the ethics of using these vaccines. However, we shouldn't pretend that fetal tissue is not used in ongoing medical research. Newer cell lines taken from aborted babies are used in current vaccine research. Giving tacit approval to the use of these lines without acknowledging how they are created will encourage future abuses.

Because even so many doctors are unaware of how these vaccines are produced, many patients are in the dark and unable to express their objections. This lack of informed consent is leading pharmaceutical companies to believe society in general has approved involving elective abortion in the medical research process. Society in general doesn't even know it's going on.

You want patients to die! This is a plot to get fewer people to use vaccines!

No. Though Dr. Gorski won't put it this way, he believes that this knowledge is too dangerous for patients to know. His concern is that people will hear this and be horrified and not use vaccines. The unspoken assumption he is making is that withholding information from patients—even information that might lead them to strongly object to a procedure—is an acceptable means to maintain trust in the medical system.

Think about that for a minute. The current vaccine controversy is due in-part to a gaping lack of trust in medical institutions. The concept that some information is too dangerous for patients to know will only lead to eroding that trust further. One could make the argument that people will die because they've lost even more faith in their doctors' and nurses' recommendations.

Why would people be horrified, as Dr. Gorski fears? Because they had no idea several vaccines were created using elective abortions. Doesn't that imply people should have been told that to begin with? Many will conclude this information has been withheld from them, and in some ways it has. Dr. Gorski would prefer they never learn about these facts.

Dr. Gorski also believes people may link this to other vaccine issues, like thimerosal, animal cell lines, etc. That may happen, but that's why people should be given accurate information from doctors and nurses, which this bill does. Dr. Gorski can't claim to want to give people accurate information about vaccines on one hand, and hide it with the other. Would Dr. Gorski rather patients hear about this issue from their doctors, or from the first website they find on a search engine?

Most of the vaccines produced using aborted fetal tissue have alternatives. Some do not. There is no medical need for abortion for vaccine research, however. The MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella) is a perfect example: there used to be an ethical alternative. It's no longer on the market, but it's time for it to return.

This bill is simply informing people of medical facts. They have a right to know. If Dr. Gorski wants to argue patients don't have a right to know, he should just say that rather than trying to confuse people with conspiracy theories about prolife people.

The short-term goals of this bill are to fix the misinformation being spread by medical professionals today and educate people.

Our long-term hope is that people will speak with vaccine manufacturers and ask them to stop utilizing abortion as means for research and development. It's unnecessary, as proven by the current ethical alternatives.

If the fight over this bill is about trust in the medical system, treating people as incapable of making their own ethical decisions will further erode that already tenuous trust.