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.