Right To Life

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
www.RTL.org
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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.
www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/united-states.html
www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html

Contact your representatives at:
Senate:
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
Republican
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
www.RTL.org

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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

READ MORE:
http://www.rtl.org/legislation/prolifelaws.html
http://www.rtl.org/legislation/PendingLegislation/CAPA.html
http://www.rtl.org/legislation/PendingLegislation/RapeSurvivorChildCustody.html

http://www.mlive.com/lansing-news/index.ssf/2015/09/abortion_coercion_bill_advance.html

http://www.lifenews.com/2016/06/02/aclu-wants-michigan-governor-to-veto-bill-against-coercing-women-into-having-an-abortion/

http://www.lifenews.com/2016/05/04/new-law-stops-rapists-from-getting-custody-of-child-when-a-raped-woman-rejects-abortion/

https://thinkprogress.org/lawmakers-propose-bill-to-prevent-rapists-from-claiming-child-custody-94c607be11ad#.kc9379438

https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/2772/all-info

https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/1257/all-info

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.

Abortion Advocates Block Funding to Combat Zika Virus

The Zika virus has been all over the news lately as Olympic athletes in Brazil discuss how they plan to prevent contracting it. Some athletes decided not to compete in the Olympics based on the risks. Recently 15 people in a Miami neighborhood have been infected by Zika, while others in the U.S. have contracted the disease after traveling in South America.

The Zika virus often causes only mild symptoms: rash, fever, red eyes, and joint pain among others. Unfortunately, unborn children whose mothers are infected with Zika can develop birth defects, most notably microcephaly. Zika is transmitted mainly by mosquito bites but can also be sexually transmitted.

For the past couple of months Congress has been debating an effort to prevent the spread of Zika and speed up vaccine development. Senate Democrats have filibustered the bill, preventing it from getting the 60 votes it needs to pass.

Why would Senate Democrats work to stop a bill which funds research into a disease that can cause birth defects? The bill doesn’t single out Planned Parenthood—America’s largest abortion provider—for more funding. The legislation doesn’t touch the half a billion dollars Planned Parenthood already gets in government grants every year.

In a press conference led by the leadership of the Senate Democrats, Planned Parenthood Vice President Dawn Laguens condemned the bill because it didn’t provide her organization with more money. Planned Parenthood even sent a letter to U.S. Senators claiming that “a vote against this bill will be seen as a vote for women’s health care.”

In Planned Parenthood’s bizarre world, “women’s health care” really only means Planned Parenthood providing more condoms and more abortions, not vaccine development or a public health campaign to stop the virus’ primary vector, the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

Planned Parenthood doesn’t just perform more than 300,000 abortions a year, they are actively fighting against legislation which could help prevent birth defects and the spread of a disease simply because they don’t get another seat on the federal gravy train.

In addition, Planned Parenthood’s position on late-term abortions for children with disabilities is quite clear. The unfortunate response from many to children in the womb diagnosed with disabilities is not providing the child, her mother and family with the love and support they deserve, but taking the child’s life away from her.

Learn more about Planned Parenthood’s abortion agenda at www.RTL.org.

Michigan Abortionist in Trouble for Not Disclosing Numerous Convictions

Grand Rapids-based abortionist Thomas Gordon runs Heritage Clinic for Women, the main abortion clinic in Grand Rapids, and has performed tens of thousands of abortions over the last 30 years. In January of 2016, he was arrested for being a disorderly person and fighting/jostling and he spent four days in jail. Local sidewalk counselors (who attempt to help women with unplanned pregnancies) noticed Gordon’s absence and eventually discovered the arrest.

This arrest led Right to Life of Michigan and others to look into Gordon’s publicly available legal history. It was soon discovered that Gordon has had numerous run-ins with the law dating back to the 1990s with arrests and charges for drunk driving, aggravated assault, domestic violence, and possessing a firearm under the influence.

Gordon is now facing possible sanctions from the state of Michigan for failing to disclose his criminal record as required by state law. In Michigan, physicians are required to disclose criminal convictions to Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

The local Grand Rapids television station WZZM did further research and unearthed paperwork including a personal protection order filed by his wife in 2010 in which she describes how Gordon beat her “several times in the past 3 years, he has even put his 45 mm pistol to my head when I was sleeping.”

According to WZZM, Gordon had until early June to respond to the complaint against him.  If he failed to respond, he could be disciplined with having his license suspended, probation and/or a fine.

While abortion advocates portray themselves as protectors of women, neither Planned Parenthood of Michigan (which has referred women seeking abortions to Gordon for decades) nor NARAL (which lists Gordon’s abortion clinic on their web site) have spoken out against a clearly unstable man whose history includes gun violence against women.

Gordon is just the latest in a long line of abortion industry abuses in Michigan. In March of 2012, Right to Life of Michigan released a comprehensive report which chronicled how numerous abortionists in Michigan had been breaking the law and Michigan’s regulatory agencies had often failed to punish them.

Prolife legislation has led to increased scrutiny of some of these abortion providers, as well as several abortion clinic closures in the last few years.

Learn more about attempts to end the illegal and unethical practices of abortion clinics at www.RTL.org.

FDA Relaxes Chemical Abortion Rules to Match Desires of Abortion Providers

On March 30, 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) altered its guidelines for using the drug Mifeprex (also known as mifepristone or RU-486) for an abortion. Mifeprex was first approved for abortions in 2000 and now approximately a quarter of abortions in the United States are done using Mifeprex.

The FDA’s previous guidelines called for the drug to be used in the first 49 days of pregnancy and for women to take three trips to the abortionist. The new guidelines extend the time the drug can be used to the first 70 days of pregnancy, reduce the number of visits to the abortionist to two and reduce the dosage.

The FDA’s previous web page on Mifeprex also mentioned how several women had died from sepsis caused by the bacteria Clostridium sordellii after undergoing chemical abortions. The updated web page no longer has this important information on it.

The new guidelines also allow for non-physicians (such as physician assistants, nurse practitioners and midwives) to provide chemical abortions, dropping the physician requirement.

For years, abortion providers have been ignoring the FDA guidelines because giving women pills and sending them off to abort at home is less time-consuming and more profitable for the abortionist. In response to the actions of these abortionists, some states have passed legislation requiring abortionists to follow the FDA guidelines. Now the FDA has altered their guidelines to match how those abortionists have been using Mifeprex.

According to the FDA’s 2011 adverse events report, at least 14 women have died after taking the chemical abortion drugs between 2000 and 2011. There are also 2,207 reported cases of an adverse event after using the chemical abortion drugs, including 612 women being hospitalized, 58 ectopic pregnancies, 339 women experiencing so much blood loss they required transfusions, and 256 infections.

The number of physicians willing to perform surgical abortions is dwindling, and in Michigan many of the current abortionists are reaching the age of retirement. The abortion industry is being forced to come up with new ways to increase the number of abortion providers and the ease with which abortions can be performed. How many more women and unborn children will lose their lives so that abortion becomes easier and more profitable for the abortionists?

Learn more about chemical abortions by visiting www.RTL.org.

Planned Parenthood’s Agenda

Barbara Listing – March 2016

Dear Lifesaver,

It’s crystal clear, today’s Planned Parenthood receives more federal funding, provides less services, but performs more abortions than ever!

Yet you must dig deeper than just an annual report to understand the true nature of Planned Parenthood. Daily, they will drive a wedge between children and their parents.

They’ve been caught red-handed promoting sex-selection abortions, racially-motivated abortions, covering up sex trafficking and routinely concealing sexual abuse and statutory rape.

More recently, Planned Parenthood has been caught engaging in a sinister side business of harvesting and then selling fetal body parts for a profit.

Yet every day, out to the pig pen we go with another bucket full of taxpayer dollars.

Please go to our website at www.RTL.org. There you will learn a great deal more about Planned Parenthood and its agenda for America. We will keep you up to date on our efforts to restrict Planned Parenthood’s influence in our schools and in our communities. You will also find resources that can be downloaded, printed and distributed freely.

Supreme Court Hears Important Case on Prolife Law

On March 2 the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments in the case of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. Whole Woman’s Health is an abortion business chain located mainly in Texas. The chain doesn’t want to comply with a Texas law that requires abortion clinics to meet ambulatory surgical facility safety standards and requires abortionists to have admitting privileges at a local hospital.

Whole Woman’s Health argued the Texas law puts an “undue burden” on women seeking an abortion because many abortion clinics do not meet the safety requirements of ambulatory surgical facilities and abortionists often struggle to get admitting privileges.

The Texas law and similar laws in other states like Michigan were passed following the murder conviction of abortionist Kermit Gosnell. Gosnell’s clinic in Philadelphia went uninspected for decades, resulting in the deaths of countless born-alive children and at least two women. Many legislators realized abortion clinics could no longer be held to lower standards or be trusted to operate free of oversight.

Abortion businesses are now demanding a special constitutional privilege to ignore state health regulations. A facility that provides ambulatory (also called outpatient) surgery ought to be treated the same as other ambulatory surgical facilities. Whole Women’s Health claims these safety standards will cause their clinics to close, even though other abortion clinics have decided the meet the standard in order to remain open.

While abortion groups challenged the safety regulations, they did not challenge a late-term abortion ban in the same law. Abortion advocates seem concerned about losing such a challenge, which would encourage other states to pass bans on abortion after 20 weeks.

As usual it appears that Justice Anthony Kennedy will be the deciding vote on the court. Justice Kennedy has a mixed history; he voted to uphold the federal ban on partial-birth abortion in 2007, but also explicitly supported Roe v. Wade with the Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision in 1992.

The recent death of Justice Antonin Scalia means eight justices will decide the case instead of the usual nine. If the vote is tied at 4-4, the lower court’s ruling upholding the Texas law will be left standing. A decision on this case is expected to be announced sometime in June 2016.

To learn more about other Supreme Court cases relating to abortion, visit www.RTL.org.

How Planned Parenthood is Spending Your Tax Dollars

Recently Planned Parenthood released their 2014-2015 Annual Report. The report gives statistics on several Planned Parenthood programs. Comparing their latest report with the previous year’s report poses an important question:

Why is Planned Parenthood getting more tax funding while serving fewer clients and providing fewer health services?

Planned Parenthood had 2.5 million clients in 2014, a 7 percent decrease from 2013.  Their family practice services declined 49 percent. Their sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and treatments declined 6 percent.

Planned Parenthood most often defends itself as a committed provider of birth control and breast cancer prevention services, even to the point of spreading misinformation about providing mammograms. Their birth control services declined 18 percent and breast exams were down 25 percent according to their own report.

What didn’t decline? The number of abortions they did was largely the same. They did 323,999 abortions, down from 327,653 the previous year (a 1 percent decrease). Their tax funding did increase 5 percent, to $553.7 million, which is 43 percent of their total budget.

The 2014-2015 report also shows Planned Parenthood continues to be a profitable non-profit as their income over expenses was $58.8 million.

Why are prolife citizens forced to give their money to Planned Parenthood to provide less of everything except for abortions?

For a better perspective let’s compare their recent 2014-2015 Annual Report to their 2004-2005 Annual Report.  Over the last 10 years, Planned Parenthood’s total clients are down 14 percent. The number of clients receiving contraception is down 14 percent as well. Breast exams are down 61 percent.

Can you guess what increased?

If you guessed abortion and tax funding, you’re right!  Abortions are up 27 percent, from 255,015 to 323,999. Tax funding has more than doubled, increasing 103 percent.

Reasonable people would assume that when an organization repeatedly receives increases in government grants, they are improving or expanding their services offered to people in need, not losing clients.

STI tests, pregnancy tests, contraceptives and breast exams are not unique services. Those are simple things that can be provided without controversy at one of the more than 9,000 community health center locations in America that serve 23 million people. Some of them can be purchased at your pharmacy or grocery store.

What is the one specialty and unique “service” that Planned Parenthood provides? Abortion.

Learn more about Planned Parenthood’s abortion agenda at www.RTL.org.

After 43 Years Americans Should Have the Right to Decide on Life

Friday, January 22, 1973, will mark 43 years since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. Since that day, abortion has ended the lives of more than 56 million children in the womb.

Following the decisions many expected the prolife movement would eventually disappear and abortion on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy would become the new normal. Instead, the opposite has happened.

Right to Life of Michigan Barbara Listing said, “The prolife movement continues to face many challenges. But for decades, we have boldly stood for the right to life of every person, and our voice continues to grow stronger.”

Recently some major milestones have been reached by the prolife movement.

The Centers for Disease Control released their 2012 abortion report, showing the fewest number of national abortions since 1973.

For the first time ever Congress passed legislation to end most taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood. Undercover journalists exposed to the public Planned Parenthood’s practice of selling the organs and tissues of unborn children. Planned Parenthood’s current annual report confirmed their pattern of receiving more tax funding despite their non-abortion services and clients declining.

In Michigan Life Uninvited, a groundbreaking new television documentary on the issue of rape and abortion, will debut the weekend of January 23. The documentary builds on a year of television advertisements and short films featuring the stories of four women and how their lives have been personally affected by the issue. The channels and schedule for Life Uninvited can be found at www.RTL.org.

Listing said, “The response to our ads in 2015 was very positive. There’s never been anything like Life Uninvited before, so I invite people to tune in and learn how women can overcome even the most difficult situations.”

On January 22, tens of thousands of prolife citizens will gather once again for the March for Life in Washington, D.C. The size and scope of the march has continued to expand in recent years, including new regional marches across the country.

The message tomorrow of the growing voice of prolife advocates is that it’s time for an end to Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. It’s time for the American people to once again have a say on our most fundamental right, the unalienable right to life.

Population Control in China

China’s two-child policy as evil as their one-child policy

Recently, the Communist Party of China announced they will now allow all couples to have two children. For decades, China used forced abortions, forced sterilizations, extreme fines and other violence against individuals to ruthlessly enforce a policy which limited couples to only having one child. This evil policy has directly led to millions of sex-selection abortions in a country where many families favor boys over girls.

It should be made clear that China is not changing from a one-child policy to a two-child policy because their conscience was awakened after decades of gross violations of human rights. Rather, China changed their policy because they could no longer ignore the future demographic and economic nightmare they are facing. The percentage of elderly members of their population is dramatically rising and the number of workers is shrinking.

Writer Joel Kotkin, whose work focuses on demographics, detailed this crisis:

“Perhaps the most troubling impact will be on the workforce. In 2050, the number of children in China under 15 is expected to be 60 million lower than today, approximately the size of Italy’s population. It will gain nearly 190 million people 65 and over, approximately the population of Pakistan, which is the world’s sixth most populous country.”

China’s population control scheme not only hurt their society’s future, but they had to hurt their own citizens to carry it out.

The atrocities of the one-child policy made worldwide headlines in 2012 when Chen Guangcheng, the blind lawyer, arrived at the American embassy in China. He had been imprisoned in his own home and beaten for exposing how China subjected hundreds of thousands of women in his Shandong region to forced abortions and forced sterilizations. Chen made a daring escape—totally blind and with a broken foot—and eventually made it to the American embassy with the help of friends. Chen and his family were eventually allowed to leave China with the help of the U.S. government.

Responding to China’s announced change, Chen noted that women and their families in China will still face harsh penalties if they do not abide by China’s two-child policy:

“At a time when the law in China specifically forbade violent or coercive practices in enforcing population control, I found that officials were regularly breaking into people’s homes, destroying and confiscating property, and dragging away pregnant women to undergo abortions against their will.

“It is clear, though, that simply changing the number of ‘allowed’ children will never result in real changes on the ground. Now, the emphasis will be simply on eliminating a third child, as they used to do with the second child, and collecting as many fines as possible along the way.”

China’s policy change is likely too late to stave off their demographic crisis, and certainly cannot make up for a missing generation of girls and the horrible injustices their parents were forced to endure.