Right To Life

The Impact of Alfie Evans

The story of Alfie Evans in Britain shocked and captivated an international audience. His death on April 28 was tragic, leaving his parents and countless people across the globe heartbroken, including his devoted online advocates in “Alfie’s Army.”

Many things happened during his case. The medical details are complex, with Alfie perhaps suffering from a unique disease. While the details may be hard to follow, the controversy in Alfie’s care was very simple: Alfie’s medical care was forcibly removed from him because of his supposed quality of life.

Patients must always have the right to refuse unwanted burdensome medical treatment, but in Alfie’s case, he was unable to express his wishes. Normally his parents would speak for him, as they are in the best position to guard Alfie’s best interest. Instead, British courts usurped patient autonomy and parental rights to take away Alfie’s care to cause his death.

How a patient views their health is important, but it’s a subjective view. Sadly, many doctors, hospitals, academics, and government officials have come to believe that many forms of disability are so insufferable that a person is objectively better off dead. “I wouldn’t want to be hooked up to those machines” is quickly turning into, “You shouldn’t be hooked up to those machines.”

Theoretically there could have been good reasons for courts to take away Alfie from his parents. Alfie could have been older and communicated his wishes. Alfie’s parents could have been abusive or been keeping him alive for financial reasons. Alfie’s medical care could have been futile. Alfie could have been suffering. The reality is none of that occurred in this case. No evidence was presented before the courts that Alfie was physically suffering. Alfie was not brain dead.

The courts simply decided they knew better about what Alfie needed than his parents, and they decided he needed to die. This precedent should concern everyone: we may be next.

The sinister nature of a “quality of life” ethic is that those who believe people are better off dead feel morally justified in causing people to die. Removing care or giving people lethal doses of drugs is cheap, whereas caring for the sick and disabled can be very difficult. People have a habit of taking the easy route, sometimes even if it obviously harms other people. Now the easy route has a worldview that justifies forcing people to die as compassionate.

Chris Gast
Director of Communication/Education
cgast@rtl.org | 616-532-2300


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Right to Life of Michigan PAC Releases Primary Endorsement List

June 8, 2018 – Today the full list of Right to Life of Michigan Political Action Committee (RLM-PAC) endorsements has been posted on the Right to Life of Michigan website. The full list is available here.

A Personalized Prolife Ballot generator is available here for voters to find the endorsed candidates that will appear on their precinct’s primary ballot.

RLM-PAC exclusively endorsed John James in the U.S. Senate race to replace current pro-abortion Senator Debbie Stabenow. John James is the only 100-percent prolife candidate in the race.

In the gubernatorial race the RLM-PAC endorsed all four Republican candidates: Lt. Governor Brian Calley, State Senator Patrick Colbeck, Dr. Jim Hines, and Attorney General Bill Schuette.

RLM-PAC Director Casey Kreiner said, “We are thrilled to announce 267 endorsements for the August 7th primary election. The RLM-PAC endorsement process is rigorous, and we have a strong slate of prolife candidates for the primary. As we move forward we would like to encourage all Michigan voters to support these candidates. These candidates are willing and able to stand for the most vulnerable among us.”

RLM-PAC Endorses John James for U.S. Senate, Four in Governor’s Race

Grand Rapids, Mich. — The Right to Life of Michigan Political Action Committee (RLM-PAC) has made early endorsements in the primary races for Michigan Governor and the United States Senate.

RLM-PAC exclusively endorsed John James in the U.S. Senate race to replace current pro-abortion Senator Debbie Stabenow. John James is the only candidate in the race who meets RLM-PAC criteria.

RLM-PAC Director Casey Kreiner said, “For more than 40 years Debbie Stabenow has been in office–from the State Legislature to the United States Senate–voting against protections for the most vulnerable among us and the value of life at all stages. John James is an excellent candidate capable of winning a tough race, and he has committed prolife positions ensuring the protection of life through all stages.”

In the gubernatorial race the RLM-PAC endorsed all four Republican candidates: Lt. Governor Brian Calley, State Senator Patrick Colbeck, Dr. Jim Hines, and Attorney General Bill Schuette.

Kreiner said, “Each of these four candidates has demonstrated a strong commitment to protection of all human life. Ensuring Michigan elects a governor who will protect and build upon our state’s culture of life is a top priority. Each of these candidates has demonstrated the strength and willingness to do just that.”

RLM-PAC endorsements in other primary races will be made at a later date as the endorsement process continues.

Background information:
RLM-PAC Criteria

Right to Life of Michigan | www.RTL.org

Hawaii Ignores Abuses in Drive to Legalize Doctor-Prescribed Suicide

On Thursday, April 5, 2018, Hawaii Governor David Ige signed a bill legalizing doctor-prescribed suicide (DPS) in the state in 2019. Hawaii has joined four other states in passing legislation to allow doctors to give lethal drugs to patients.

Personal autonomy is quickly becoming the sole lodestar of society. Euthanasia and suicide advocates sell these legal efforts as the ultimate in personal autonomy: controlling your own death. Despite this seemingly natural fit of idea to ideology, DPS activists continue to face an uphill climb. Past legalization efforts in Hawaii failed, year after year, and current efforts continue to fail in other states, including Michigan.

This resistance is because even people who might otherwise support DPS understand that there are grave dangers to handing out poison to people. Many doctors and medical institutions who might otherwise embrace suicide as another step in consumer medicine share these grave concerns.

DPS advocates go to great pains to stress that “safeguards” exist to prevent potential abuses. Too often these “safeguards” are taken at face value, or aren’t thoroughly explained. Coverage of Hawaii’s bill in The Hill provides an excellent example. In an article Friday, reporter Reid Wilson puts it this way: “There are several provisions built into the law as safeguards to mollify those who worried that the system could be abused.”

What abuses? Who are the people who will be mollified by the law? We aren’t provided with those details.

The article describes these several provisions, implying all those concerned will be mollified by them. One safeguard is described this way: “Two doctors must confirm that the patient is terminally ill with less than six months to live.”

What goes unmentioned is that an easily treatable condition like diabetes qualifies as a terminal disease, under these laws, because patients who go without insulin for six months may die within six months.

Before passage several amendments were added to Hawaii’s law based on other concerns, but significant abuses remain unaddressed. Here’s a big one: when health insurance companies are faced with choosing between covering a patient’s expensive medical treatment and paying for a dose of relatively cheap barbiturates, what will they offer the patient? That isn’t just a potential concern; it has happened in Oregon, the pioneer of doctor-prescribed suicide.

Examples of unavoidable abuses involved with doctor-prescribed suicide are legion, both in America and especially overseas. These concerns go unheeded, however, when they are downplayed or ignored.

Missing History During Black History Month

submitted by Chris Gast

Black History Month has a long and venerable tradition. It began with a press release in 1926 celebrating a week to showcase the advancement of the Black community from bondage to freedom. It was set in February to coincide with the birthdays of two great men: Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. These men sacrificed much for the principle that every member of the human race enjoys the same inalienable rights.

While the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution have done much to protect the inalienable rights of every American, abortion is a gaping hole in the foundation of our inalienable right to life. Millions of lives have disappeared into this hole, and no community has been more affected by abortion than the Black community.

Since 1973 there have been more than an estimated 19 million abortions in the Black community. Today in America there are 43 million Americans who are Black. A third of Black History Month is missing because a third of the people whose stories make up that history are gone.

There are many problems facing the Black community today, but abortion is frequently overlooked. Since 1973 abortion has taken more Black lives than every other cause of death combined. Let’s repeat it, and reflect on this: if you add up every death for every reason for every member of the Black community since 1973, it doesn’t equal the amount of Black abortions.

That’s the bad news. The good news is abortion rates in minority communities are declining, though very slowly. In Michigan additional effort by the prolife movement is being focused on reaching out to communities with high abortion rates, particularly Detroit. Though they don’t get much media attention, many prolife people serve in organizations whose mission is to help women and men in crisis pregnancies.

What more can be done? This is a complex issue. Women have abortions for many reasons, including diverse issues like economics, relationships, and futures. There are many complicated reasons for high Black abortion rates, and these reasons can’t be addressed overnight.

The most important roadblock to addressing this problem is not its complicated nature; it’s the failure of many to even identify there’s a huge problem here.

Facing complex problems is difficult, especially one touching issues that already generate controversy. Yet Black History Month remains a living testament that America has the resolve to face down difficult challenges.


45 Years of Failure, a New Year of Hope

Grand Rapids, Mich. — Monday, January 22, 2018 marked 45 years since the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, legalizing abortion in all 50 states through all nine months of pregnancy. Since those decisions, more than 58 million innocent lives have been lost to abortion.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “Abortion is failing women, it’s failing children, and it’s failing America. Abortions continue to decline slowly, but we have hope 2018 will be a pivotal year for restoring legal protection for unborn children.”

Right to Life of Michigan is beginning 2018 with a new advertising campaign featuring adoption. Two advertisements are running on statewide television throughout January.

Listing said, “The positive impact adoption can have on people is something always worth highlighting. Adoption is one important solution as we move forward to a country where abortion is both illegal and unthinkable.”

On January 19, hundreds of thousands of prolifers headed to Washington, D.C., to participate in the annual March for Life. President Donald Trump addressed the crowd via a live video stream. Right to Life of Michigan affiliates are also hosting local events to mark the memorial.

Listing said, “As we prepare to reflect back on these years and the loss of so many lives, it is important to remember the momentum the prolife movement has been able to build this past year.”

In his first year in office, President Donald Trump has fulfilled his campaign promises of protecting the unborn. One of his first acts was reinstituting the Mexico City Policy, cutting off funding for promoting abortion overseas. His most notable promise involved appointing new U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.

Listing said, “With another fair justice like Neil Gorsuch on the court, we could be as close as one vacancy from Roe v. Wade being overturned.”

Abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy remains highly unpopular in America. The annual Marist-Knights of Columbus abortion poll was released on January 17 and found only 12 percent of Americans believe abortion should be legal throughout pregnancy.

Listing said, “The more we can educate people about the tragedy of abortion, the more successful we’ll be. Most Americans do not know that abortion is legal throughout all nine months of pregnancy.”

More information has been revealed involving tissue trafficking. In December, it was announced that the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating Planned Parenthood for their involvement in tissue trafficking of aborted babies. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating similar concerns in New Mexico. Two companies in California were convicted based on evidence collected by undercover journalist David Dalieden.

Listing said, “It remains to be seen if Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry will be held accountable for selling baby body parts, but at least we know this issue is finally being taken seriously.”

The Body Broker Iceberg

The oft-repeated narrative regarding the undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s trafficking in the tissue of aborted babies is that the issue is entirely made-up—“fake news” via “heavily-edited videos.”

This narrative was aided when investigations in several states turned up no legal charges. These were states where Planned Parenthood wasn’t involved in organ harvesting or pro-abortion officials were the investigators.

Recent events have undermined this narrative, however, showing we’ve barely scratched the surface of this macabre trade in human corpses.

On December 7, news broke that the Department of Justice is investigating Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Given the evidence Congress compiled over many months—and the plain statements from Planned Parenthood leaders caught on camera—we believe there is not just smoke there, but true fire.

Another story broke two days later out of California, where officials are forcing two connected biotechnology companies to shut down for breaking laws banning fetal organ harvesting. The evidence used in the conviction came directly from David Daleiden and his Center for Medical Progress’ undercover investigation. Those videos are more properly called “evidence” than “heavily edited.”

Two days after that, yet another story broke, this time in New Mexico. It was announced that the FBI is investigating the University of New Mexico and an infamous late-term abortion clinic in Albuquerque for their fetal organ harvesting. Now we have learned that one of the researchers at the center of this trafficking case was sending body parts to a man in Michigan.

Then at the end of December, Reuters released an exclusive story regarding a 2013 raid on a “body broker” Detroit, Arthur Rathburn. Rathburn’s business was buying corpses, chopping them up with chainsaws, and selling them to medical conferences. During the raid four unborn babies were discovered by the FBI in his warehouse.

There is no evidence yet showing where Rathburn obtained these babies, or if they were aborted or stillborn.

Rathburn’s trial is now underway; he stands accused of 10 federal counts. Reuters has been pursuing Rathburn’s case as one of several in a seven-part series on the body broker industry. The parallels between the body broker industry (Rathburn’s case in particular) and the abortion industry are eerie, especially when it comes to a lack of regulatory oversight.

Where will these stories lead? We’re not sure, but they deserve more public scrutiny than they’ve received so far. Much, much more.

Car Trunk Abortionist Gets Slap on the Wrist for Three Felonies

Lansing, Mich. — On Thursday, December 7, Michigan abortionist Michael Roth received a $798 fine and 18 months of probation for three felony convictions in Macomb County Circuit Court. The convictions stem from his suspected practice of illegal at-home abortions.

Roth pled no contest on October 16 to three counts of larceny in a building. Roth had a person steal drugs and medical equipment from his former employer Angel Ojeda, an abortionist who runs the Eastland Women’s Center in Eastpointe, Michigan.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “It’s outrageous that a man with a long record of violations can get off with so little for three felony convictions.”

In September 2015 Roth was involved in an accident when his car struck a 31-year-old man with special needs. Police found several stolen items along with tissue from aborted babies in the trunk of his car. Given Roth’s previous history of performing abortions in women’s homes in 1998 and 1999, it’s likely he was committing illegal at-home abortions.

Roth was facing other criminal charges, including identity theft and possession with intent to deliver the schedule 2 narcotic Fentanyl, but those charges were dismissed in June. The Michigan Board of Medicine suspended Roth’s license on September 13 for a year and fined him $25,000 for unlawful possession of a controlled substance.

Listing said, “We hope Roth’s license to practice medicine will be permanently revoked. He should never practice medicine again, anywhere.”

Lynn Mills is a citizen journalist who attended Roth’s sentencing hearings. Mills has followed the case from the beginning, and said she was frustrated that no media outlets have sent reporters to the hearings to cover this story since Roth’s initial arrest.

Mills said, “In court this man looked oblivious. There were no real consequences, and he will not stop doing it. Where have the reporters been? I guess this story hasn’t been sensational enough.”

Listing said, “Just like the Kermit Gosnell case in Philadelphia, abortionists with long records don’t receive needed public scrutiny. It allows these abortionists to continue to get away with things others couldn’t. Roth is not an outlier, but the face of the abortion industry in Michigan and nationally.”

Right to Life of Michigan released a report in 2012, Abortion Abuses and State Regulatory Agency Failure, including details on several of Roth’s violations. In addition to his at-home abortions, Roth was disciplined in 2002 for drug-related violations, including prescribing drugs without a license. He was disciplined in 2004 for violating patient consent laws and was accused of falsifying medical records by a former employee and performing illegal late-term abortions.

In 2012 Roth received six months of probation and was ordered to pay a $15,000 fine for Public Health Code violations involving botched abortions. Roth’s most recent abortion business, the bizarrely-named Novi Laser and Aesthetic Center, was closed in 2014.

Background information:
Abortion Abuses and State Regulatory Agency Failure report
Criminal charges and case background
Other charges dismissed

Abortion Pill Reversal Comes to Michigan

In October we learned of an amazing story in Lowell, a small town outside of Grand Rapids. The small pregnancy center there, Alpha Family Center, successfully saved a life by reversing an RU-486 medical abortion.

It’s the first time we are aware of this relatively new procedure being used in Michigan. Abortion pill reversal is being pioneered by two doctors, Dr. George Delgado of California, and Dr. Matthew Harrison of North Carolina.

Both doctors independently had the same idea. RU-486 abortions work by starving a pregnant woman of progesterone. Natural progesterone is commonly used as a treatment for high-risk pregnancies. Both doctors theorized that they could offset the progesterone loss with a common treatment used for other pregnancies, thus saving the life of the child.

The doctors formed an organization called Abortion Pill Reversal, and together have been studying this off-label use of an FDA-approved treatment. So far they claim to have a success rate of more than 50 percent in saving the child’s life, as long the woman hasn’t taken the second pill of the two-pill medical abortion regimen. They are currently conducting a formal study, and hope to report a success rate between 60 and 70 percent.

Abortion supporters are intensely dismissive of research into abortion pill reversal; its existence threatens their narratives about the nature of abortion. Those who claim the mantle of choice and women’s autonomy should not try to deny women information about this new procedure. Many women find themselves in situations where they instantly regret taking the abortion pill.

The young mother in this story is a perfect example. She said when she expressed reservations about the abortion to the abortion clinic staff, they told her there were no refunds for her appointment, and instead of giving her counseling quickly ushered her into the exam room.

The abortion clinic used the appointment fee as a tool to pressure this woman, and rushed in order to shut down her thought process. Prolife groups have heard many stories from women who were cajoled into taking the abortion pill despite reservations. For abortion clinics, women who leave represent lost revenue.

Today this mother’s child is still in the womb, alive and kicking. Mom and the staff at Alpha Family Center that sprang into action are eagerly waiting to meet the child face to face.

For more information about abortion pill reversals, visit the website www.abortionpillreversal.com.

Abortion Clinics Don’t Deserve a Double Standard

Imagine walking into a doctor’s office to get your ear looked at because you think you have an ear infection. Upon arriving, you notice stained and discolored floors. After staring at these dirty floors in the waiting room, you walk back into the exam room. After a while, the doctor comes in and asks you some basic questions. When it comes time to examine you, he uses a rusty instrument to look into your ear.

As a patient, this would be horrifying. If you were in this sort of situation, you would probably walk out and never return. It is even harder to imagine a doctor’s office with those conditions operating for years.

Picture this same situation, but now you are going there to have surgery. Would you stay after seeing rusty tools and stained floors? Would you be comfortable having a surgical procedure in a place where you wouldn’t feel comfortable having someone check your ears?

This scenario is the reality of Whole Woman’s Health, a chain of abortion clinics in Texas. Remember the name? It belongs to a 2016 Supreme Court decision, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which struck down enforcement of several health and safety regulations for abortion clinics.

Abortion supporters hail the decision as a victory for women. In reality this ruling showed justices were willing to cover for abortion-on-demand and ignore the actual safety of women.

Recently the Washington Free Beacon teamed up with former Planned Parenthood manager Abby Johnson to release documents showing the state of the abortion industry in Texas.

The documents show that Whole Woman’s Health staff failed to disinfect and sterilize equipment. Their facilities were in disrepair, floors were stained, and the counters were so warped that they could no longer be disinfected. During one visit they didn’t have a single registered nurse on site. For years they have piled up health code violation after health code violation, along with other abortion clinics in Texas.

Time and time again, abortion businesses enjoy a double standard and receive free passes when other businesses would find health inspectors coming down on them like a ton of bricks. It’s maddening that places like tanning salons and tattoo shops are held to higher standards than abortion clinics that provide surgical procedures.

Constitutional protection for rusty medical equipment is ridiculous, but that’s the twisted logic Roe v. Wade leaves us with.

More Than 800 Michigan Prolifers Prepare for March for Life Trip

This week Right to Life of Michigan affiliates across the state will take 16 buses to the national March for Life, one of the largest annual events in America. Many other groups, churches, and individuals from Michigan will also be traveling to join hundreds of thousands from across the country to protest the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton.

Since the decisions more than 58 million abortions have happened in the United States.

Other Right to Life of Michigan affiliates are planning local events to mark the 45th memorial of the decisions, as well as Sanctity of Human Life Sunday on January 21.

What: National March for Life.

Where: National Mall, Washington, D.C.

When: Friday, January 19, 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Who: Rally keynote speakers announced so far include Pam Tebow, Tim Tebow’s mother; former NFL all-pro and Super Bowl winner Matt Birk, and his wife Adrianna; U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI), U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ).

What Happens to the Bodies of Aborted Babies?

In a letter to supporters of Michigan Right to Life, president Barbara Listing introduces Renee Chelian, who owns the Northland Family Planning chain of abortion clinics. Listing says that Chelian, who is responsible for 25% of all abortions performed annually in Michigan, openly offers abortion up to and including 24 weeks of gestation, according to her marketing materials.

From a recent undercover video, “you would think she was a stand-up comic,” Listing said. In the video, “Chelian was caught ‘entertaining’ an audience at a National Abortion Federation conference. The audience, mostly abortion providers, laughed while Chelian described her dilemma. According to Chelian, Northland Family Planning had five months’ worth of fetal remains in rented freezers—imagine a freezer packed full of dead children. She spoke lightheartedly about how getting rid of these aborted children was all she thought about.”

According to Listing, the crowd “laughed out loud when Chelian proclaimed, ‘Nobody wants to talk about dead bodies.’ But they really cracked up when she said, ‘I was so consumed with fetal tissue that I was ready to drive to Upper Michigan to have a bonfire.’ ”

“Chelian talked about taking fetal remains in a U-Haul to a pet crematory in Illinois. She thought it was a ‘great idea’ to burn the remains of aborted children for energy. She also joked about presenting women who abort with the remains of their children.” Listing continued, “Chelian eventually hired someone from another abortion clinic to take the dead babies off her hands and put them through that clinic’s garbage disposal.”

Barbara Listing is astonished that things like this, that shock us to our core, can be treated by these people as a laughing matter. “Their hearts are so hardened that the thought of dismembered children makes them laugh!”

The really sad part in this story is that Renee Chelian is not an exception…according to Listing, she’s the rule. Listing tells RTL supporters that “we are severely constrained as long as Roe v. Wade is the law of the land. We can only do so much to restrict people like Renee Chelian.” Right to Life has apparently made efforts to regulate abortion clinics in their method of disposing of the bodies of aborted children.

The bigger picture in this matter, however, is that “No one has the right to kill these children in the first place. They shouldn’t burn them. They shouldn’t put them through a garbage disposal. They shouldn’t sell their body parts.” Listing is clear, “These children belong in the womb, not in the city dump!

“I don’t want to regulate Renee Chelian…I want to put her out of business!”

Barbara Listing would like others to join in the effort to outlaw abortion in Michigan. She asks that, if you will join RTL with your generous contribution, you would “please put your gift in the mail right away. I’m hoping and praying that many concerned citizens holding this letter right now will grab their checkbook, or their credit card, and make an immediate contribution of $10, $15, $20, $25, $50 or even $100.”

“Maybe someday Renee Chelian will quit her ‘day job’ and become a full-time stand-up comic. What do you say we give her a hand?”

Listing closes her letter expressing her deepest appreciation, and encourages supporters to visit the RTL website, www.RTL.org. “While there, you can see several short clips of Renee Chelian and her stand-up comedy act. It will break your heart and reinforce your commitment to these innocent children.”

Abortion-Vaccine Connection is Real; Parents’ Conscience Rights Must be Honored

Lansing, Mich. — In response to an Oakland County court case involving a mother who has chosen not to immunize her children with vaccines cultured using aborted fetal tissue, Michigan’s largest prolife organization issued a statement verifying the mother’s claim and supporting her right of conscience in refraining from using those vaccines.

Right to Life of Michigan Legislative Director Ed Rivet said, “There is absolutely no question that a significant number of common vaccines are directly cultured using cells from aborted unborn children. That is how the vaccines are produced. We have long supported the right of parents to refrain from using them or to request alternative versions cultured in untainted cell lines.”

Rivet said, “These cells came from healthy babies who were electively aborted, not from miscarried babies. The unfortunate part is that all of these vaccines can be produced without the use of aborted fetal cells. The pharmaceutical industry can eliminate this entire controversy by using other cell lines to produce vaccines.”

Right to Life of Michigan has long made information available about the connection between abortion and vaccines and has previously testified before the Michigan Legislature in support of parents’ right of conscience in refusing to use these vaccines.

All of the common childhood immunizations have versions cultured using aborted fetal cells, for example MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) and DTPP (Diptheria, Tentanus, Pertussis, Polio). Some few versions are not grown using fetal cells. No abortion-free alternatives exist for Chickenpox, Hepatitis A, and MMR.

Rivet said, “Right to Life of Michigan will continue to expose the truth about these vaccines, continue to support parents who refrain from using them, and continue to urge the creation of ethically-produced vaccines.”

Background information:
LifeNotes: Vaccines list and background

Michigan’s Safe Delivery Law Continues to Save Babies’ Lives

On Monday the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced that the 200th infant has been surrendered under Michigan’s Safe Delivery of Newborns Act since 2001.

Michigan’s Safe Delivery law allows mothers to legally and confidentially surrender unharmed newborns to emergency service providers up to 72 hours after birth. An emergency service provider is defined as an on-duty employee of a fire department, hospital or police station.

The law was passed in response to a disturbing trend of young mothers abandoning their newborn babies in a number of dangerous places, leading to their tragic death.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “Some of these 200 infants would have ended up facing tragic fates. This prolife law has given them a chance at life along with the beautiful opportunity to be adopted into loving families.”

The Act was originally championed by State Representative Patty Birkholz and passed the Michigan Legislature by unanimous votes. It was signed into law in 2000 by Governor John Engler. In 2006 the act was updated to include responding emergency medical technicians and paramedics as emergency service providers.

Listing said, “Continuing to publicly talk about this law is critical to make sure the abandonment trend doesn’t happen again. We need to help our young women and teens be better informed about this law.”

Additional educational and promotional materials about the Safe Delivery law can be found on the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services website.

The Human Cost of Roe and Doe

We often talk about just how bad Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton are as judicial decisions. Even many people who support abortion won’t pretend that Roe and Doe made any coherent judicial sense.

What sometimes gets lost in discussions about these U.S. Supreme Court cases is the actual human cost of them. Abortion is not just an abstract debate; abortion results in the death of real individuals at an unimaginable rate.

Our best guess is more than 56 million people have died since 1973 because of Roe and Doe overturning the abortion laws of all 50 states. How can we make sense of such an extreme loss of life?

56 million lives lost is the equivalent of erasing the people living in 25 states. Another way to imagine it is our entire Midwest disappearing overnight instead of disappearing daily in non-descript clinics down the street in our towns.

If we observed a 15-second moment of silence for each child killed by abortion since Roe and Doe, our silence would last 26 years. That doesn’t include the nearly one million abortions a year that continue to happen.

Though the annual abortion numbers have been declining for many years now, the loss of nearly one million lives a year is beyond tragic. Abortion takes more lives every year than cancer or heart disease, making it the number one cause of death—if it counted.

There are more American lives taken by abortion in a single year than American lives we’ve lost in combat in all of our wars combined from 1775 to 2017.

There are no words strong enough to describe the utter devastation abortion has wrought in Black community. Since 1973 abortion has ended more Black lives than every single other cause of death combined. Did you know that?

For those unmoved by the human cost of abortion, what about the practical costs? Those 56 million children lost to abortion would be alive today and contributing an additional $3 trillion in annual productivity to our economy. They would be generally young and healthy, shoring up our looming aging crisis when it comes to health insurance costs, Medicare and Social Security.

Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton aren’t just legal injustices. They are more than the grave personal injustices to the unborn children whose lives have been taken so brutally. They are an ongoing national disaster of incomparable proportions.

Facebook Shuts Down Michigan Pro-lifers Again

Grand Rapids, Mich. — Wexford/Missaukee Right to Life, an affiliate of Right to Life of Michigan, discovered on October 4 that their Facebook advertising account had been shut down without explanation.

This is the third time this year Michigan prolife organizations have had their Facebook advertising accounts summarily banned. Right to Life of Michigan’s advertising account has been banned twice without cause in 2017, but was restored thanks to media scrutiny.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “Facebook’s self-described mission is to, ‘give people the power to build community…’ It’s hard to do that when community organizations have tools taken away from them without an explanation. Unfortunately many local organizations don’t have the resources we did to demand an explanation and receive a solution.”

Wexford/Missaukee Right to Life has not been given any specific details about what caused the ban. They were not directly informed their account had been banned; they only discovered the ban when attempting to purchase additional advertising.

Similar to the ban of Right to Life of Michigan’s advertising account, Facebook’s support team refused to answer specific questions and instead sent a vague form response. On October 4 Wexford/Missaukee Right to Life was told by Facebook, “There’s no further action you may take here. We don’t support ads for your business model.”

Wexford/Missaukee Right to Life has the exact same “business model” as Right to Life of Michigan and our other local affiliates who utilize Facebook advertising. Their “business model” was never in question for earlier advertising purchases.

Right to Life of Michigan in April was similarly told our ban was a final decision beyond appeal, but after a Detroit News reporter contacted Facebook for details in May, our advertising account was restored. Facebook told the Detroit News the ban was a mistake and that they had contacted Right to Life of Michigan to inform us of the resolution. Facebook has not contacted us to this day to explain how the mistake occurred.

Right to Life of Michigan’s advertising account was again shut down a few days after our account was restored in May, but a support request including a link to the Detroit News article led to the account being quickly reinstated.

Listing said, “We achieved no results working through Facebook’s customer service department and the Better Business Bureau. Facebook only appears to respond to media attention to fix what they claim is a simple mistake.”

In 2016 Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with conservative leaders who expressed fear that they would be victims of censorship following an accusation that Facebook staff members were blocking legitimate political pages based on personal biases. After the meeting Zuckerberg said, “I wanted to hear their concerns personally and have an open conversation about how we can build trust.”

Listing said, “Are these bans automated? Does a human being respond to questions from users? Does Facebook think they can get away with censoring smaller pages and users because they can’t draw attention? These are questions Facebook must respond to if they truly want to build community trust.”

Right to Life of Michigan is calling on Facebook to be more transparent. They must do a better job of communicating with users who make good-faith attempts to abide by their guidelines.

Background information:
Facebook response to Wexford/Missaukee RTL
May Detroit News article
Original ban of Right to Life of Michigan

Right to Life of Michigan | 616-532-2300 |  info@rtl.org | www.RTL.org
2340 Porter St SW | Grand Rapids, MI 49509

The Charlie Gard Case is Not That Unique

The ongoing Charlie Gard case in Britain has garnered great attention and even drawn President Donald Trump and Pope Francis into the fray. Charlie’s parents are currently in court fighting to take their son to America for a last-ditch experimental treatment.

Despite this attention the issue at the center of Charlie’s case—futile care theory—has not been sufficiently explored.

There are legitimate end-of-life situations when medical care is truly futile and could actually harm a patient. Futile care theory goes beyond medical judgements, however. It subverts the definition of “futile” by using “quality of life” as the important standard. It doesn’t just mean a patient’s personal desires, but allows others to determine a patient’s quality of life for them. A medical treatment can be wanted and working yet deemed “futile” if doctors or insurance companies decide the patient isn’t worth their effort.

Let’s explore futile care theory in action through the example of one of our own staff members.

Genevieve Marnon works in our Lansing office on legislative issues. Genevieve’s father, Bob Tank, suffered from a terminal chronic condition. Bob wasn’t ready to die and was enjoying the twilight of his life with his family.

One day severe pains brought him to the hospital with a dangerous blood clot. Genevieve said once the hospital staff learned of his chronic condition their zeal to treat him disappeared. Bob was conscious and expressing a will to live while in the hospital, but that didn’t prevent a secret do-not-resuscitate order being placed in his file and other serious problems.

The only thing Bob wanted was treatment for his acute condition so he could go home and prepare for his death at some point in the future. The hospital decided for him that his life was “futile” and not worth it.
Genevieve and her family fought for simple care for her father, but they lost. The hospital threatened to take them to court, forcing them to surrender to the hospital’s wishes so they could at least be present when Bob passed.

Bob’s story is not that unique to Michigan. We’ve heard many similar stories.

People have a right to refuse unwanted treatments, but futile care theory has created the idea of unwanted people who can be refused wanted medical care. The follow-up to futile care theory is doctor-prescribed suicide, which offers a cheaper and more immediate solution to patients whose lives are deemed futile.

Planned Parenthood Cooks the Books to Deceive Media; Public

Planned Parenthood recently released their 2015-2016 annual report. Their own numbers show their increasing focus on abortion is coming at the cost of both health services and U.S. taxpayers. They also show how Planned Parenthood manipulates their own data to create talking points to distract from their abortion mission.

Planned Parenthood’s tax-funding has increased dramatically in the last 10 years, up 82 percent. Abortions have increased 24 percent. Despite receiving much more tax funding, their overall client base declined 23 percent, their contraceptive clients decreased 20 percent, and their breast exams decreased 62 percent.

Planned Parenthood knows most Americans don’t support tax-funded abortions, so they frequently employ their talking point that “only 3 percent of our services are abortion.” The point itself is misleading. Looking at their recent annual report, they reported serving 2.4 million clients and did 328,348 abortions. That’s 14 percent.

Thankfully some media outlets have pointed out the deception. Few have reported that Planned Parenthood doesn’t just conveniently use the “3 percent” statistic; they purposefully manufacture it by massaging the client data in their annual report.

If you look at their annual reports over the years, you’ll see that new categories of services get added to the report out of thin air. These “new” services never get touted as actual new services they offer. Consider their most recent annual report as an example.

Many of their largest services saw cuts. They had 100,000 fewer clients. They provided 72,947 fewer women with contraception. Their manual breast exams dropped by 42,103. Several other services experienced declines.

Did anything increase? They provided 25,553 more STI tests and 22,260 more pap tests. Those small increases don’t make up the difference between their decreasing services and increasing abortions to keep their “3 percent” statistic alive. They are forced to use some clever accounting.

In their latest report we suddenly see Planned Parenthood provided 226,254 well women exams; they already count them as breast exams and pap tests separately. They invented the category of “Other Contraceptive Services,” providing 100,673 services. Also new are “Other STI Prevention and Treatments,” totaling 26,042 services.

When Planned Parenthood adds it all up they get 9,494,977 services and 328,348 abortions, just enough to keep abortion at 3.46 percent of their “services”—how convenient.

Even Planned Parenthood’s clever accounting can’t distract from the reality that they use taxpayer dollars to expand their abortion infrastructure at the cost of patients and health services.

Right to Life of Michigan Encourages Governor Snyder to Sign Choose Life Plate Bill

Right to Life of Michigan is encouraging Governor Rick Snyder to sign legislation to create a Choose Life license plate in Michigan.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “We hope Governor Snyder will realize the wonderful opportunity this plate offers to support pregnant women in need.”

A Choose Life license plate would cost $35, with $10 paying for the cost of manufacturing the plate. The extra $25 in fees would go to a Choose Life Michigan fund. Grants from the fund will be given to specific projects to promote adoption and other alternatives to abortion, provide practical help to pregnant women, and suicide prevention programs.

Michigan would become the 32nd state to offer a Choose Life license plate as an option to their citizens. Michigan would have the only Choose Life plate in the nation that also funds suicide prevention efforts.

Listing said, “It’s time for Michigan to join every other state on the I-75 corridor down to Florida. Many Michiganders see Choose Life plates while driving in other states and they want the same opportunity for us to increase support for pregnant women in need.”

Legislation to create the Choose Life plate passed in a bipartisan 65 to 43 vote in the Michigan House on May 25. It first passed the Senate on April 28 by a 25 to 11 vote and received a final procedural vote on June 6.

Choose Life plates would first be available in 2018 if signed into law. The Secretary of State must approve the design of the new plate and then work through the manufacturing and distribution process, which takes approximately nine months.

Michigan law requires fundraising license plates to sell a minimum of 2,000 plates the first year, and 500 new plates each year for 5 additional years in order to continue offering the design.


Right to Life of Michigan | 616-532-2300
info@rtl.org | www.RTL.org
2340 Porter St SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49509

Grand Rapid Abortionist has License Suspended, Fined $10,000

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

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

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

Gordon has an arrest record in Michigan dating back to 1991, when he was convicted of aggravated assault. After an incident in November of 2011, Gordon was originally charged with felony assault with a dangerous weapon. He later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence and possessing a weapon while under the influence. In 2015 Gordon was convicted of disorderly conduct for fighting/jostling and operating under the influence. In 2010 Gordon’s wife filed a personal protection order against him, alleging he beat her several times and put a gun to her head while she was sleeping.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Abortion Confirmed as Cause of Death of Cree Erwin

Cree Erwin’s autopsy report from the Calhoun County Medical Examiner has been obtained by prolife citizen journalists. The heavily-redacted report confirms that Cree Erwin’s death on July 4, 2016, was caused by an abortion several days prior.

Read the autopsy report, courtesy of Lynn Mills and Operation Rescue.

Based on additional research it was discovered that Erwin had her abortion at the Kalamazoo Planned Parenthood facility on June 30, 2016. According to the police report she was taken to Bronson Battle Creek Hospital the evening of July 2 after complaining of abdominal pain and was discharged after midnight. She was discovered unresponsive in bed at her mother’s home in the early morning hours of July 4, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “Abortion is always dangerous for the unborn child, but can also be for the woman. Cree Erwin’s death leaves behind her one-year-old son and an intensely grieving family. We long suspected that abortion contributed to her death, and now we can finally confirm it.”

The Calhoun County medical examiner found that Erwin died of a blood clot in her uterus that traveled to her lung. The immediate cause of the blood clot was a perforated uterus following a vacuum aspiration abortion and IUD placement. Uterine perforations are a potential complication of both abortions and IUD insertions.

Erwin’s death certificate now officially lists the cause of death as: “complications of intrauterine pregnancy, including pulmonary emboli related to uterine vein thrombosis and uterine perforation status post early vacuum aspiration and intrauterine contraceptive device placement.”

The relevant autopsy report sections pertaining to the uterine perforation are heavily redacted. The autopsy describes the perforation happening “post” Erwin’s abortion, rather than simply during it. It also mentioned methadone use (an opioid painkiller) contributed to her death.

The redacted autopsy report still leaves many important unanswered questions, including whether the Planned Parenthood staff acted negligently. Our hope is additional details will be available soon.

Planned Parenthood of Michigan has yet to issue a statement on the matter.

Additional information:
Battle Creek Police report
911 call from Erwin’s mother
Medical description of a vacuum aspiration abortion

What Makes a Mission?

Recently President Donald Trump made an informal offer to Planned Parenthood: stop doing abortions and you can keep all of your federal funding. Planned Parenthood’s response was predictable, but not their honesty.

Taking to Twitter on March 6, Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards said, “Planned Parenthood is proud to provide abortion—a necessary service that’s as vital to our mission as birth control or cancer screenings.”

It’s unfortunate that many discussions about Planned Parenthood and abortion quickly devolve into arguing over Planned Parenthood’s misleading talking point that only 3 percent of their services involve abortion. As we’ve addressed routinely, dividing 330,000 annual abortions by 2.5 million clients doesn’t equal 3 percent. Neither does dividing by the more than 1 million pregnancy tests they do: we all understand what happens there after a positive test in most cases. Planned Parenthood performs 160 abortions for every adoption referral they make.

By Planned Parenthood’s own admission now, abortion is not just a small part of their services, but a vital part of their mission. Every year their abortion commitment grows, right alongside their taxpayer funding. Will Planned Parenthood be more honest about their work moving forward?

There has been a push lately among abortion advocates to stop downplaying and apologizing for abortion. One can search online to find articles titled, “Yes, I’m pro-abortion,” or, “I love abortion.” Planned Parenthood has notably been one of the organizations slower to move in the direction of being earnest about their abortion advocacy.

Don’t just take Cecile Richards’ words at face value, but look at their clinic figures. Ten years ago in Michigan Planned Parenthood operated 34 offices, 3 of which performed abortions. Today they operate 19, 8 of which perform abortions. Planned Parenthood even made a rule in 2010 requiring all of their affiliates to operate at least one abortion clinic.

They have chosen to make abortion an inseparable part of their mission. They choose to coerce donations to them from the half of the country that believes unborn children have inherent value.

There’s only one reasonable conclusion from this: their abortion mission and our tax-dollars are inseparable. No amount of accounting or public relations gimmicks can hide that fact.

There are many more community health centers in Michigan than Planned Parenthood, and their only mission is to help every person in need of care. They deserve our tax dollars, not Planned Parenthood’s abortion mission.

Gorsuch a great Supreme Court pick

Antonin Scalia’s death left a gaping hole in the U.S. Supreme Court. For decades Scalia was the public face of judicial originalism. His energetic, witty and clear style was evident both in oral arguments and legal opinions.

U.S. Circuit Court Judge Neil Gorsuch has been picked by President Trump to fill that hole. Prolife people are pleased with the pick and believe Gorsuch will be an outstanding justice.

During the presidential campaign, President Trump took an unusual step and offered a list of judges he may consider for filling Scalia’s vacancy. Gorsuch was included on that well-received list, and the pick represents a promise fulfilled by President Trump.

Though nobody may ever compare to Scalia’s verve, many legal scholars have compared Gorsuch’s writing style to Scalia. Gorsuch himself spoke very fondly of Scalia and during his introductory press conference indicated he shared Scalia’s deep belief in originalism.

Originalism shouldn’t have to be thought of as a philosophy. It simply means a judge will read a law as it was written. The law means what it says. If a law is to change, it’s through our democratic process; voters and legislators decide laws, not judges. The opposite is to suggest that unelected judges, not the people, control the government according to their own personal biases.

The prolife movement understands the consequences of letting judges manufacture laws. Abortion is nowhere mentioned or even implied in the U.S. Constitution. Even many noted pro-abortion legal scholars find Roe v. Wade to be indefensible as a legal ruling. America never voted to make abortion legal through all nine months of pregnancy, yet that is the law today. Voters have little choice.

Gorsuch has not ruled directly on an abortion case, but his writing and other rulings show that he understands that judges don’t manufacture laws. He’s ruled against the Obama Administration in attempts to force the Little Sisters of the Poor to purchase abortion-causing drugs.

Gorsuch is undeniably well-qualified. His circuit court nomination received unanimous approval from the U.S. Senate. He has degrees from Columbia, Harvard and Oxford. In his spare time he teaches anti-trust law and legal ethics at the University of Colorado.

It would be outrageous if a minority of U.S. Senators blocks Gorsuch’s nomination because he won’t manufacture laws they can’t get through the ballot box. Let Gorsuch have a fair hearing and the up-or-down vote he deserves.

Right to Life of Michigan Calls for Fair Hearing for Judge Neil Gorsuch

Right to Life of Michigan is calling on U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters to allow an up-or-down vote for Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch.

Judge Neil Gorsuch currently serves on the U.S. 10th Circuit Court. That appointment drew unanimous support from the U.S. Senate. Gorsuch has degrees from Columbia, Harvard, and Oxford. He teaches antitrust law and legal ethics at the University of Colorado. He is highly regarded by the legal community.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “Judge Neil Gorsuch has a sterling record, and is well qualified to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Like every other new addition to the Supreme Court before him, he deserves a fair hearing from the U.S. Senate, not a filibuster.”

President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to replace Antonin Scalia just before the 2016 election. The Republican majority in the U.S. Senate opted to let the voters decide the nomination through the election results. Voters kept Republican control of the Senate and elected President Donald Trump.

Listing said, “The voters have spoken regarding this nomination. Both Senator Debbie Stabenow, who will be facing re-election in 2018, and Senator Gary Peters should listen to the voice of their Michigan voters who helped elect President Trump in November.”

Judge Gorsuch has been compared favorably with Antonin Scalia by many, both in judicial philosophy and writing style. During his acceptance speech on January 31, Gorsuch mirrored Scalia in pointing out that judges should follow the rule of law. Voters and their representatives write the laws, not judges using their personal bias.

Listing said, “President Trump fulfilled one of his biggest campaign promises in nominating a judge in the mold of Antonin Scalia. We need more judges who will respect the will of voters and their representatives rather than making it up as they go.”

The time has come to defund Planned Parenthood

People shouldn’t be forced to help provide abortions through their tax dollars. Prolife people can easily agree with that statement, and Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and promoter of abortions.

Many supporters of Planned Parenthood are led to believe that abortion is a low priority for the organization, however, and therefore Planned Parenthood should be able to keep their tax funding to provide low-income women with more health services. Is this public image fed to supporters accurate? Is this current defunding debate about Medicaid reimbursements, as Planned Parenthood claims?

Bear with me for a moment. Let’s ignore the fact that Planned Parenthood stands accused of and has settled cases of Medicaid fraud.

Let’s ignore the fact that legislation to defund them doesn’t actually cut funding for anything. The legislation simply makes them ineligible for federal funding that can now be used by other health centers. There are 20 community health centers for every Planned Parenthood office in America, and most of these centers provide more comprehensive care.

Let’s ignore the fact that Planned Parenthood has lied to their own supporters about how women depend on them for mammograms. During a hearing in Congress, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards was forced to admit they provide zero mammograms.

Let’s ignore the fact that they spend tens of millions of dollars lobbying every year. They get money from taxpayers in one door and then money is sent out the other door to give to supporters in Congress.

Instead, let’s ask their supporters this important question: does giving Planned Parenthood money actually result in them helping more women? It’s actually the opposite; when Planned Parenthood gets additional taxpayer dollars, they cut clients and health services and increase their abortion services.

Look no further than their own annual reports. Comparing their 2014-2015 annual report to their same report in 2004-2005, we get a clear picture. In the last decade, their tax funding has more than doubled, increasing by 103 percent. Have they expanded health care access in that time frame? No, clients are down 14 percent. Given out birth control to more women? Nope, down 14 percent as well. What about the manual breast exams they so frequently tout? Cut 61 percent.

Abortions? Those are up by 27 percent. How did James Frick put it? Don’t tell me where your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money and I’ll tell you what they are.

Chris Gast
Director of Communication/Education
cgast@rtl.org | 616-532-2300

After 44 Years, the Tide Turns on Abortion

January 19, 2017 – Sunday, January 22, 2017, will mark 44 years of abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy in America. The U.S. Supreme Court decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton in 1973 overturned the abortion laws of all 50 states.

In those 44 years the lives of more than 57 million unborn children have been taken by abortion, according to estimates.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “We mourn this tragic loss of life. 57 million lives is a difficult number to comprehend. Imagine California and New York disappearing overnight, and the impact that would have on our nation and society.”

Despite the loss of life this year’s commemoration comes as the prolife movement rides a wave of momentum: abortions continue to decline, prolife elected officials hold majorities nationally and in many states, and an aging U.S. Supreme Court could see decisive changes.

Listing said, “It’s a great time to be prolife. With continued effort in the next few years we could see a major turn towards a culture that values every human life.”

On January 17 the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute released a report showing annual abortions in the U.S. declined to under 1 million a year, the lowest figure since 1974. The 2014 abortion rate was the lowest since Roe v. Wade in 1973. The long-term abortion decline began in 1991, coinciding with an increase in prolife views and prolife laws at the state level.

Many of those recent laws were made possible by the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992. Though the prolife movement was upset that Roe v. Wade was left standing by that decision, an aging U.S. Supreme Court provides an opportunity to revisit it. President-elect Trump will nominate a replacement for Antonin Scalia and could have opportunities to nominate as many as three more justices.

Listing said, “We’re counting on prolife elected officials to deliver on their promises for judicial picks who believe in the rule of law. It’s time for voters to once again be responsible for the issue of abortion, not the personal biases of unelected officials.”

Legislation to defund Planned Parenthood and redirect their funding to community health centers is currently being discussed in Congress as part of a repeal of Obamacare. President-elect Trump has promised to sign legislation to defund Planned Parenthood, which does more than 300,000 abortions annually.

Listing said, “For decades prolife people have been forced to help run the nation’s largest chain of abortion clinics, and it’s finally time for their conscience rights to be respected. There are far better alternatives that deserve that funding instead.”

Hundreds of thousands of prolife people will gather for the 44th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. on January 27. President-elect Trump’s advisor and campaign manager Kellyanne Conway will speak at the rally preceding the march and will be joined by other speakers and members of Congress.

Right to Life of Michigan applauds President Trump for reinstating Mexico City Policy

Right to Life of Michigan commends President Trump for reinstating a policy that ends taxpayer dollars going to groups that provide and promote abortion overseas.

Commonly called the Mexico City Policy, the rule was first instituted through executive order by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. The order has been rescinded and reinstated by pro-abortion and pro-life presidents since then.

Right to Life of Michigan Barbara Listing said, “We’re excited for President Trump to begin to fulfill his campaign promises to protect unborn children and our conscience rights. We’re looking forward to many more opportunities in the near future.”

The policy directs the United States Agency for International Development to withhold any funding from non-governmental organizations that perform abortions, promote abortion or lobby foreign governments to pass pro-abortion legislation.

Listing said, “Abortion shouldn’t be an American export.”

Right to Life of Michigan | 616-532-2300 |  info@rtl.org | www.RTL.org
2340 Porter St SW | Grand Rapids, MI 49509

Right to Life of Michigan Addresses Rape and Abortion with “Life Uninvited”

Right to Life of Michigan’s 30-minute television documentary, Life Uninvited, will be airing on January 9. The film presents four women telling their own stories of how they have been personally impacted by the issue of rape and abortion.

Life Uninvited will be airing in every major media market throughout Michigan. Replays will be during the weekend of January 15-16, and again on January 22.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “Far too many shy away from the controversy of rape and abortion without ever really learning about the issue. This memorable film invites people to hear the stories of women who have experienced the issue first-hand instead of a heated political controversy.”

Each of the four women shares a different personal experience. The stories include being conceived in rape, rape and incest survivors, abortion, and parenting a child conceived in rape.

Listing said, “These remarkable women provide perspectives that have been missing in the public square. The debate over rape and abortion is not an academic one, but one that involves real people with real lives at stake.”

The film was produced by Minus Red and lead filmmaker Jim Hanon. Hanon is the creative mind behind many Right to Life of Michigan advertisements. In the past, Jim Hanon has served as a vice president at a worldwide advertising agency and was the director of the 2005 movie End of the Spear.

The television schedule and channel listings for Life Uninvited can be found at the Right to Life of Michigan website at www.RTL.org/lifeuninvited.

Michigan Closes Loophole for Fetal Organ Trafficking

Today Michigan Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley signed into law the Fetal Organ Trafficking Ban. Right to Life of Michigan applauds Lt. Gov. Calley and the Michigan Legislature for taking action to prevent abortion clinics profiteering from the sale of babies’ body parts.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “The undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood haggling over the broken bodies of developed babies rightly disgusted our nation. Trafficking in human body parts has no place in the state of Michigan.”

Federal and Michigan law bans tissue trafficking, but a loophole allows tissue traffickers to compensate abortion clinics. Vague language together with federal officials friendly to abortion meant that abortion clinics could successfully evade the law.

The Center for Medical Progress first began releasing their undercover footage in July of 2015. Throughout the process Planned Parenthood has denied all accusations, despite incriminating statements caught on video. Their staff repeatedly engaged in sales discussions, discussed ways to disguise the profiteering, and indicated a willingness to change abortion procedures to procure fresher organs.

Michigan’s new ban is comprised of two bills. S.B. 564 prohibits the exchange of any form of compensation for fetal tissue or organs. S.B. 565 describes the legal penalties for engaging in the trade of fetal tissue or organs. The bills received bi-partisan support, including some legislators in the Michigan House who generally support abortion.

Listing said, “We welcome the opportunity to work with anyone who can agree with us on a particular issue. Most people broadly agree that buying and selling human body parts is beyond the pale.”

Michigan’s new ban will still allow organ and tissue donations to proceed, but no longer can abortion businesses abuse the spirit of the law by profiting from such donations.

Listing said, “For years Planned Parenthood successfully kept their organ trafficking behind closed doors, but now it’s coming to an end thanks to the public hearing them talk about it in their own words.”

The Fetal Organ Trafficking Ban ends another successful prolife legislative session in Michigan. Earlier in 2016 the Rape Survivor Child Custody Act and the Coercive Abortion Prevention Act were also signed into law. No pro-abortion legislation received any serious consideration in the Legislature in 2015-2016.

Listing said, “In January we’re looking forward to starting another successful legislative session for advancing the protection of all human life.”

Links to the Center for Medical Progress undercover video series are available on the Right to Life of Michigan website here.

Pictures are available.

Abortions Down 5% Nationally In Latest CDC Report

Encouraging news came the day after Thanksgiving: the Centers for Disease Control released their annual report on abortion numbers, showing a 5% decrease.

Before getting into the details, it’s important to note that three states refuse to collect and report abortion statistics: California, Maryland, and New Hampshire. While the overall abortion numbers are therefore much higher than reported by the CDC, we can see clearly the trends of the 47 states showing abortions continue to decline.

A total of 664,435 abortions were reported to the CDC in 2013. The reported abortion rate was 12.5 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years. The reported abortion ratio was 200 abortions per 1,000 live births. All three measures were 5% decreases from 2012, so there were fewer abortions and a higher percentage of women chose life for their children.

The latest national estimate by the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute was 1,085,800 abortions in 2011. Both the Guttmacher and CDC numbers continue to show a long-term decline in abortion.

In the report there are 40 reporting areas that collected information on how old the child is at the time he or she is aborted. The report showed 5,770 late-term abortions after 20 weeks, or 1.3% of all abortions. A good estimate for the entire nation is about 10,000 abortions every year given the roughly 1 million total abortions. While made out to be an irrelevant amount, 10,000 late-term abortions is a lot; it’s roughly the same amount of murders using firearms nationally.

Abortion ratios dropped in every racial and ethnic category in 2013, but the abortion ratio is much higher in the Black community and it’s not dropping as quickly as it is in other groups. The 2013 abortion ratio per 1,000 live births was 121 for non-Hispanic White women, 178 for Hispanic women of any race and 420 for non-Hispanic Black women.

Contrary to popular thought, abortion is not a one-time occurrence for most women. Of women who had abortions in 2013, 45% were having their second abortion or more. If there are 1 million abortions in the U.S., then the statistics from the report indicate that 90,000 women every year are having at least the fourth abortion in their lifetime.

What should our conclusion be about this news? We should celebrate that more lives were saved, but we must recognize that much more prolife effort is still needed!

Chris Gast
Director of Communication/Education
Twitter | Facebook | Blog | YouTube

Zika Spreads in USA; Planned Parenthood Stalls Vaccine Bill

The dangerous Zika virus strikes across the United States and her territories, but Planned Parenthood encourages a pro-abortion faction in the Senate to filibuster a bill providing $1.1 billion in emergency funding for vaccine development because they believe that the bill should provide money to Planned Parenthood as well.

The Zika virus is an infectious disease spread by mosquitoes as well as by sexual contact. Symptoms may last up to a week in a victim, or they may not be exhibited at all. But for an unborn child, the effects can be deformity and death. According to the CDC, as of October 19, 2016, findings indicate that 4,016 cases of Zika have been reported in the US and Washington DC, as well as over 27,000 cases throughout US Territories. These figures include nearly 2,000 pregnant women who have shown lab evidence of infection.

While Planned Parenthood has no experience in vaccine development, or in control of the disease’s mosquito vector, the organization still demands that funds be allocated for its services or it will continue to stall the bill’s progress. According to Barbara Listing, President of Right to Life of Michigan, in an October 2016 newsletter, accusations have been made that the vaccine bill would be used to defund Planned Parenthood. However, the bill will not take funds from Planned Parenthood in the least way. Also, pro-abortion Senator, Harry Reid, claims that Planned Parenthood must have a stake in the bill in order to “protect women and babies”, prompting some to ask, “Really?” The fact remains that Planned Parenthood currently receives $1.5 million in Federal funding per day, while asking that the proposed bill send additional taxpayer money to their organization, which provides more abortion services than any other organization on earth.

The spread of the Zika virus is a public health emergency, and has nothing to do with funding Planned Parenthood. Right to Life of Michigan believes exposing Planned Parenthood’s insidious agenda should be one of the top priorities of the pro-life movement. Americans can further the protection of life by retiring pro-abortion elected officials who want to use taxpayer dollars to fund abortion, and by supporting legislation to protect women and their unborn children. Taxpayers should not allow Planned Parenthood to continue to hold Congress hostage while the Zika virus emerges throughout the United States and her Territories.

Visit www.RTL.org to learn more about Planned Parenthood and its life-threatening game of blackmail against the American people. “Thank you and God bless you for your support and for your prayers,” says Listing, “Get ready to cast your vote for life on November 8.”

For more information, see the CDC’s website with information on the spread of the Zika virus.

Contact your representatives at:
Gary C. Peters – (D – MI)
724 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-6221
Contact: www.peters.senate.gov/contact/email-gary

Debbie Stabenow – (D – MI)
731 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-4822
Contact: www.stabenow.senate.gov/?p=contact

Congress, 2nd District:
Bill Huizenga
1217 Longworth HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4401

Other Representatives: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/MI

The Difference A Vote Makes This Election Season

This upcoming election will leave an impact lasting three decades or more. The late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s empty seat is casting a long shadow on the 2016 election. On Tuesday, November 8, voters will be deciding the fate of that seat and potentially three more, setting a course for our country for a generation.

More than one million unborn lives are taken each year through abortion; the future of as many as 30 million lives is at stake this election year.

Republican Donald Trump has released a list of judges as examples of who he would consider for the U.S. Supreme Court. The list has been praised by prolife groups and other organizations that believe that judges should follow the rule of law, not write laws. Trump has said his nominees may very well overturn Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion through all nine months of pregnancy.

Democrat Hillary Clinton has promised a litmus test requiring all of her judicial picks to support Roe v. Wade. Clinton supports overturning the Hyde Amendment, and if she succeeds taxpayers will be forced to pay for abortions. Clinton supported the legality of the barbaric partial-birth abortion during the process of birth.

The U.S. Supreme Court continues to have an oversized influence on national politics. For nine people who never face a vote of the public, they have supreme authority on fundamental issues of life and death.

Some legal thinkers and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg have openly suggested that Roe v. Wade didn’t go far enough in promoting abortion, arguing that issues such as requiring tax-funded abortions should be guarantees beyond the realm of voter choice. Other broadly supported laws voters and their representatives have approved—requiring parental consent for an abortion or requiring abortion clinics to offer informed consent to women—could also be wiped away with the pounding of a gavel.

Basic conscience rights of doctors, nurses, and health care facilities will also be endangered. Those who believe in the value of every life have little influence over unelected judges who have a personal animus against those deeply-held beliefs.

The decision voters will make on November 8 could mean the difference between Roe v. Wade being overturned or furthered entrenched for decades, at the cost of tens of millions of lives.

For more information about the presidential candidates and free educational tools you can use, visit www.RTL.org/election.

Chris Gast
Director of Communication/Education

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The Future of the Supreme Court and Abortion

On November 8, American voters will decide who will be the next president of the United States, which ma also determine who will be appointed to the Supreme Court over the next four years. Does this matter?

In the Fall 2016 Right to Life of Michigan News, the author examines the importance of how the next president may determine Supreme Court picks.

According to the article, Republican Donald Trump, who has been endorsed by the Right to Life of Michigan Political Action Committee, released a list of Judges as examples of who he would consider. His list has received praise by prolife groups, and other organizations that believe judges should follow the rule of law, and not write the laws. He said his nominees may even overturn Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion.

Democrat Hillary Clinton, the article says, is endorsed by Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the nation. She favors her judicial picks supporting Roe v. Wade.  It further says that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and others have suggested that Roe v. Wade doesn’t go far enough, and that tax-funded abortions should be guaranteed beyond the realm of voters and legislatures.

The U.S.  Supreme Court, the article suggests, has too much influence on our nation’s policies and politics. The next President may be able to appoint four Justices, who may take the court in a particular direction for 25 years or more. The decision of voters could could affect the future lives of millions of children in the U.S. and our abortion policies as Roe v. Wade is either overturned or supported.

The full article and useful information for voters is available here: https://rtl.org/pdf/Fall-2016-Right-to-Life-of-MI-News.pdf

You can also get more information about these presidential candidates and other free educational tools at www.RTL.org/election.

How Safe is Abortion?

Is abortion a “safe” procedure? Is it safer than childbirth, as abortion supporters often claim? We honestly don’t know.

Cree Erwin, a 24-year-old resident of Battle Creek, was found dead by her mother on July 4. She died several days after having an abortion. It was recently confirmed that Erwin had her abortion at the Planned Parenthood facility in Kalamazoo. Planned Parenthood has yet to release a statement.

Details from Erwin’s autopsy have yet to be revealed, but given her trip to the hospital a day before her death to address severe abdominal pain, all available evidence points to complications from the abortion being the cause of her death.

Abortion has not only claimed the life of Erwin and her child, but it has left her one-year-old son without a mother, and left a gaping hole in the Erwin family. Was Erwin properly informed of the risks an abortion can pose?

Michigan law does require abortion businesses to provide women with information about potential complications, but abortion supporters frequently cite the safety of abortion in media and popular culture. The numbers used to back those claims come from the Centers for Disease Control. Are those numbers accurate?

As far as numbers from Michigan, they aren’t accurate at all. Michigan’s annual abortion statistics have absurdly low complication rates, likely because the abortionist is the one responsible for reporting complications. Before we updated our abortion clinics regulations in 2012, we know of at least one abortionist who wasn’t even reporting the abortions he performed. Even if an abortionist wanted to report complications, they are not the women’s doctors or part of their care team. There is no long-term follow-up. Their “patients” are complete strangers to them, often not even talking with them before or after the abortion.

Tamia Russell was 15 years old in 2004 when she died from taking an abortion pill. The autopsy indicated “uterine infarction with sepsis due to status second trimester abortion.” If you look up Michigan’s abortion statistics from 2004, you’ll notice only 12 reported complications and zero patient deaths. Will the death of Cree Erwin make the state’s 2016 abortion report?

Before her death Planned Parenthood said they want to sue the state of Michigan to end most oversight and inspections of abortion clinics. They want to return to the days where women like Tamia Russell and Cree Erwin aren’t given the dignity of even being mentioned as statistics in a report.

Michigan’s New Laws regarding Abortion

In a newsletter from Right to Life of Michigan, President Barbara Listing explains one of the hurdles involved in promoting the truth of the abortion issue. “Those who provide, perform and/or promote  abortion-on-demand…spend all their time and energy ‘whitewashing’ the truth. I see it happen every single day. For 43 years now, we have been eyewitnesses to a massive cover-up deliberately designed to mislead our fellow citizens.”

She mentions “the role that compassion plays in the abortion debate,” and that “proponents of abortion are always talking about their love and concern for women. With their bucket of whitewash in hand, they paint the abortion issue with meaningless words and expressions of compassion. Words like ‘protection,’ ‘rights,’ ‘respect,’ ‘health care,’ and ‘choice.’ All whitewash!”

She sites a contemporary example, from right here in Michigan, that prove the point that these people have an ulterior motive: the recent “Coercive Abortion Prevention Act (CAPA).” Listing believes that this bill “should have the support of anyone who is concerned with the health and well being of women.”

According to the Right to Life of Michigan website, the law is described as follows:

Coercive Abortion Prevention Act (CAPA)
“Research confirms that a substantial number of women feel forced by boyfriends, spouses, parents and others to have an abortion against their will. Women are coerced through threats of physical violence, withdrawal of financial support, loss of housing and violation of employment contracts or other legal agreements. Furthermore, numerous studies have confirmed that women presenting for their second or more abortion are substantially more likely to be suffering domestic violence.” 

“H.B. 4787 adds to Michigan’s current anti-extortion/coercion provisions by including coercion to abort as a specific crime. It will be illegal to coerce a woman to abort by threatening or actually committing the following actions: physical assault, withdrawing financial support, or terminating or otherwise violating a legal contract, destroying or concealing a passport or other identification, and threats to deport or arrest.” 

“H.B. 4830 establishes penalties commensurate with the seriousness of the prohibited action. Physical assault and stalking carry more severe penalties, while withdrawal of financial support or violation of a legal contract will be punishable by stiff fines.”

According to Listing, this law faced opposition from people in the “pro-choice” community. She addressed their opposition in the newsletter:

“Who in the world would ever oppose a bill that would provide legal protection to a woman who is being forced to abort? Forced! Where are all the people who support ‘choice’? What choice does a woman have when she’s being threatened? What choice does a woman have when all her options are being stripped away? So where are all these ‘compassionate’ advocates for women? Are they co-sponsoring the bill? No, they’re too busy whitewashing to show up in Lansing in support of women at risk.”

Listing asserts that there are “dozens of well-funded pro-abortion organizations, federal and state agencies, health care organizations, academia and elected officials from both parties. There are even denominations, theologians and pastors who will whitewash to protect abortion-on-demand.” She believes, “that’s why you and I are so important. We are like turpentine to a whitewashed argument. Through prayer and hard work, we are able to cut through the lies and deceptions to expose the truth.”

Another recent law, the “Rape Survivor Child Custody Act”, seemed to receive much wider support in Michigan. This law is described on the Right to Life of Michigan website as:

Rape Survivor Child Custody Act
“This bill would allow a rape survivor who becomes pregnant from assault to petition the family court to terminate the parental custody and parenting time (aka ‘visitation’) of her assailant under a ‘clear and convincing’ evidence standard and without the necessity of a criminal conviction. Current law provides for the termination of parental rights of a man who impregnates a woman via sexual assault if he is convicted of felony rape. Unfortunately, felony rape convictions are difficult to obtain and require a legal standard of ‘beyond a reasonable doubt.’ This bill would make the standard for termination of custody and parenting time the same as for those who abuse or neglect their child.”

Nationally, there was legislation originally introduced in 2013 in the House of Representatives as H.R. 2772, reintroduced recently as H. R. 1257, to provide funding incentives “to States that have in place laws that terminate the parental rights of men who father children through rape.”

According to the website congress.gov, this “Rape Survivor Child Custody Act”:
“Directs the Attorney General to make grants to states that have in place a law that allows the mother of any child that was conceived through rape to seek court-ordered termination of the parental rights of her rapist with regard to that child, which the court shall grant upon clear and convincing evidence of rape.”

“Limits such a grant to: (1) an amount that is not greater than 10% of the average of the total funding of the three most recent awards a state received under the STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program and the Sexual Assault Services Program; and (2) a one-year term, subject to renewal for not more than three additional years.”

“Requires a state that receives such a grant to use: (1) 25% of grant funds for permissible uses under the STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program, and (2) 75% of funds for permissible uses under the Sexual Assault Services Program.”

You can find out more information about these Michigan laws, and download PDF versions of the documents through the Michigan Legislature website, www.legislature.mi.gov, and Right to Life of Michigan at: www.RTL.org








Who’s Life Matters?

Earlier this year, a tragic event occurred at the Cincinnati Zoo. A 3-year old boy somehow managed to wander into the gorilla exhibit, past the protective perimeter that separates visitors from the exhibit, as well as other protective measures. He fell 10 to 15 feet into the enclosure’s protective moat.

Of  the 3 gorillas in the exhibit, 2 responded to the calls of zoo officials and retreated, while the large male gorilla, “Harambe”, advanced toward the child, eventually grabbed him, and dragged him around the enclosure.

A special team at the zoo responded to the situation by shooting the gorilla and killing it. The little boy was rushed to the hospital and found to have only received a concussion and minor injuries.

The media response to this event seemed to focus more on the killing of the gorilla than the saving of this young boy’s life. In the July 2016 issue of the Right to Life of Michigan newsletter, President Barbara Listing discussed how the reaction to this tragic story troubles her, “One news account even insinuated that Harambe was “murdered.”  I may be old school, but I didn’t  know that you could “murder” an animal.  I thought that term was reserved for humans only.”

“In addition,” Listing states, “this story completely upstaged Memorial Day, a day of remembrance for the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep us safe. The story also overshadowed the fact that 69  people were shot in Chicago over the same weekend ending the deadliest  May in that city in 21 years!”

“There were candlelight vigils. No, not for veterans. No, not for the children shot in Chicago – for Harambe. There were memorial services. Flowers and cards left at a gorilla statue. Protests. Even an online petition that collected more than 400,000 signatures.  But it didn’t  stop there.”

“A surprising number of people actually thought it was worth risking the little boy’s life in order to save the gorilla.” Listing goes on to give some graphic examples of people’s responses on social media, then wraps up her reaction, summarizing, “Social media was on fire! Many people were very blunt, if not crude. This incident should have been settled by “survival of the fittest.” If the kid got torn apart limb from limb, so be it.”

Where are our priorities in 21st century America?

Listing believes that this story clearly illustrates why the work of Right to Life is so vitally important, “Every day we must remain steadfast as we promote the sanctity of human life. The value of the human person, young and old, is under relentless assault. We need to stand tall and hold the line no matter the circumstance.”

She concludes, “I’m sad that this gorilla had to be shot. But I’m even more thankful that the little boy is okay. I urge the Cincinnati Zoo to fix the inadequate fence. My heart goes out to this mother and her family. I am especially praying for this three-year-old little boy. God, please get a hold of his life. With this level of determination, he could be a real world changer!”

Above all else, She’s more committed than ever to “promote the value and the sanctity of every human life,” and is very thankful to have likeminded friends and supporters by her side!

Please visit www.RTL.org for more information.

Governor Snyder Signs Coercive Abortion Prevention Act

Right to Life of Michigan applauds Governor Snyder for signing CAPA

On June 8, Governor Rick Snyder signed into law HB 4787 and HB 4830, the Coercive Abortion Prevention Act (CAPA). The legislation will help stop coerced abortions from happening in Michigan.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “This wonderful news marks the end of a decade-long journey to stop coerced abortions, an everyday occurrence in Michigan.”

Research confirms that a substantial number of women feel forced by boyfriends, spouses, parents, and others to have an abortion against their will. Women are coerced through threats of physical violence, withdrawal of financial support, loss of housing and violation of employment contracts or other legal agreements.

In legislative debates, even elected officials who voted against CAPA acknowledged coerced abortions happen. Trying to downplay these acts of injustice, they suggested that only 3 percent of abortions are coerced. That would mean in 2015 there were 815 Michigan women forced to take the life of their own child against their will.

Listing said, “How can someone downplay coerced abortions while admitting that it happens to hundreds of women in Michigan every year?”

CAPA passed the Michigan Senate by a vote of 26-11 on May 25, and a House vote of 65-43 on March 24.

CAPA adds to Michigan’s current anti-extortion/coercion provisions by including coercion to abort as a specific crime and establishes penalties.

Parts of CAPA were passed into law in 2012 through the Prolife Omnibus Act. These provisions included a screening process at abortion clinics and requiring the clinics to post a notification that coercion to abort is illegal. These delayed provisions can now be put into place.

Listing said, “The abortion industry in Michigan has profited from thousands of women who never chose to have an abortion. It’s time for that to end.”

Right to Life of Michigan PAC Endorses Donald Trump for President

The Right to Life of Michigan Political Action Committee (RLM-PAC) has endorsed Donald Trump for president of the United States and his running mate Mike Pence for vice president.

Donald Trump has promised support for important prolife positions, especially judges that believe in the rule of law. Indiana Governor Mike Pence has a long track record of supporting prolife legislation, both in Indiana and in Congress.

RLM-PAC Chairman Paul Miller said, “The stakes in this election season could not be higher. Every year, more than one million lives are lost to abortion. We face a choice between allowing people to have a say on abortion laws or entrenching abortion-on-demand through court order for years.”

Trump said he came to his prolife views after watching a friend go through a crisis pregnancy and choose life. Trump released a list of potential U.S. Supreme Court justices that was widely praised by prolife organizations and other groups that believe judges shouldn’t rule by decree. Trump said he would defund the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, and sign a ban on late-term abortions into law.

Miller said, “Trump’s campaign theme has been about giving the people a voice again. When it comes to abortion, people don’t have a say because unelected and biased judges dictate what the law will be.”

The Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and her running mate Tim Kaine both support abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy. Clinton has said any judge she appoints must support abortion-on-demand. Clinton has been a long-time supporter of partial-birth abortion, a barbaric procedure now outlawed throughout the country. She has called for repealing the federal Hyde Amendment, which would result in forcing every taxpayer to pay for abortions.

Miller said, “Clinton’s positions on abortion are truly radical. They are shared by very few Americans, but unfortunately by many judges. She would appoint the kind of justices who believe partial-birth abortion–brutally killing a baby in the process of birth–is as fundamental a right as things like free speech and a free press.”

The future of the U.S. Supreme Court hangs in the balance following the death of Antonin Scalia. It’s believed there are currently three votes to overturn Roe v. Wade, and the next president could appoint as many as three justices to the Court.

Miller said, “Most Americans support bans on taxpayer funding of abortions, late-term abortion bans and parental consent requirements. A vote for Trump is a vote to protect these popular laws and potentially overturn Roe v. Wade. The people could finally have a voice and a vote on the issue of abortion again. A vote for Clinton is a vote for unelected judges who substitute their own personal opinions for those of the voters. Clinton will force people to pay for abortions and threaten basic conscience protections.”

Information on the positions of all four candidates is available on the Right to Life of Michigan website, www.RTL.org.

U.S. Supreme Court Hellerstedt Decision

U.S. Supreme Court enables future Gosnells in Hellerstedt decision

Today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-3 against abortion clinic health and safety regulations in Texas. Justice Stephen Breyer’s opinion in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt will continue to allow substandard and dangerous abortion clinics to operate throughout the country.

The majority opinion cited reasonable health regulations as an “undue burden” on women’s health because many Texas abortion clinics will close after failing to meet basic health and safety standards.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “Today’s decision is disappointing, but unsurprising. Abortion advocates routinely talk about women’s health, but repeated evidence shows how they will look the other way when it comes to dirty and dangerous abortion businesses.”

In question were two provisions of Texas state law. The first requires abortionists to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. The second regulates Texas abortion clinics as ambulatory surgical centers.

Hospital admitting privileges are necessary to provide a continuum of care for women who experience botched abortions. The abortion industry objects to the rule because some hospitals refuse to grant privileges to abortionists with a history of substandard and unprofessional care.

Ambulatory surgical centers are defined in Texas law as facilities that operate primarily to provide surgical services to patients who do not require overnight hospital care. Surgical abortion clinics plainly meet that definition and should not receive special treatment because of their political status.

Listing said, “These are simple rules, like having hallways wide enough to fit a stretcher through and making sure surgical rooms are properly sterilized.”

The practical effect of Justice Breyer’s opinion is that dangerous and unsanitary clinics must be allowed to continue operating if there are no other abortion clinics nearby.

Listing said, “If a fast food restaurant is the only one in town, should it get to stay open even if it gives people food poisoning?”

Numerous cases in recent memory show how a lack of regulatory oversight puts the health of women in danger. In the case of abortionist and convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell, Pennsylvania authorities allowed Gosnell to operate on women in filthy conditions for years. This negligent atmosphere directly led to the death of one of Gosnell’s patients, Karnamaya Mongar. Emergency medical technicians were unable to navigate her stretcher through Gosnell’s clinic following a botched abortion.

Many states have experienced similar problems, including Michigan. City of Muskegon officials closed Women’s Medical Services in 2012 after discovering unsterilized medical equipment, improper disposal of syringes, numerous leaks in the roof and widespread general filth.

Listing said, “If veterinary clinics were allowed to engage in abuses like abortion clinics do in many states, there would be public outrage. Why do abortion clinics get special treatment?”

Michigan’s Bureau of Health Systems (BHS) conducted only three onsite surveys of abortion clinics from 2007 to 2009. BHS cited all three for noncompliance with state surgical facility requirements regarding equipment sterilization, maintenance of a sterile environment, and sterile pre-op handwashing. All three continued operating despite unsafe conditions.

Justice Breyer’s decision relied heavily on statistics from abortion clinics to substitute his own judgement for that of state regulators. In Michigan, however, abortion clinics routinely fail to report patients’ complications, including even patient deaths.

Right to Life of Michigan compiled an in-depth report at the beginning of 2012 showing multiple abuses by the abortion industry in the state, as well as state regulatory failures. Michigan began reform efforts to address these serious problems on December 28, 2012 with passage of the Prolife Omnibus Act.

Listing said, “How many more women have to be subjected to unsafe and unsanitary conditions in abortion clinics before pro-abortion officials will do something about it?”

U.S. Supreme Court Enabled Future Gosnells

On June 27, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-3 against abortion clinic health and safety regulations in Texas.

Justice Stephen Breyer’s opinion in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt defined Texas’ ambulatory surgical center regulations as an “undue burden” on women’s health. It also struck down Texas’ requirement that abortionists having admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

Numerous cases in recent memory show how a lack of regulatory oversight puts women’s health in danger. In the case of abortionist and convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell, Pennsylvania authorities allowed Gosnell to operate on women in filthy conditions for years.

This negligent atmosphere directly led to the death of one of Gosnell’s patients, Karnamaya Mongar. Emergency medical technicians were unable to navigate Karnamaya’s stretcher through the clinic following a botched abortion. Having hallways wide enough to fit a stretcher through can make the difference between life and death, but this common-sense regulation is often cited as an attack on women’s health by abortion supporters.

Many states have experienced similar problems, including Michigan. The City of Muskegon—not state health officials—closed Women’s Medical Services in 2012 after discovering unsterilized equipment, numerous leaks in the roof and widespread general filth.

Right to Life of Michigan compiled an in-depth report at the beginning of 2012 showing multiple abuses by the abortion industry in the state, as well as state regulatory failures. Michigan began to address these serious problems on December 28, 2012 with passage of the Prolife Omnibus Act. The Act’s most important provision closed a loophole which had been allowing abortion clinics to dodge state health officials since regulations were updated in 1999.

Planned Parenthood recently announced they may take Michigan’s regulations to court. Michigan’s law is different from Texas in a couple of key ways, however.

Michigan requires abortionists to have transfer agreements with hospitals, not admitting privileges. Transfer agreements are easier to get, yet are another way to ensure a continuum of care for women who experience botched abortions.

Compared with Texas, Michigan’s regulation of abortion clinics has historically been bad. It wasn’t until the Prolife Omnibus Act that most Michigan abortion clinics were even licensed or inspected.

Requiring top-flight care at abortion clinics is now apparently unconstitutional. Despite that, the abortion industry in Michigan will have a difficult time explaining how abortion clinics shouldn’t even have to be licensed and inspected, a standard that places like fast food joints and tattoo shops manage to survive with.