Right To Life

Surrogacy Contracts Victimize Women and Children

submitted by Chris Gast, Director of Communication/Education, Right to Life of Michigan

Michigan’s surrogacy laws have become a subject of a few media stories in recent months. On the surface, helping couples who are having trouble conceiving by allowing surrogacy may sound good, but in practice surrogacy creates entirely new groups of victims.

In 1988, Michigan banned surrogacy contracts to get ahead of feared abuses down the road. Despite accusations that our state’s law is “archaic” or “outdated,” those fears proved accurate. As other states and countries experience these abuses, our law appears to actually be way ahead of its time.

Surrogacy involves introducing a third party into the process of childbirth. Either the parents use in vitro fertilization (IVF) to create a child, and then a different woman gestates the child—the most frequent method—or the surrogate is inseminated or donates her own eggs to create the child through IVF.

To be clear, Michigan law doesn’t ban “altruistic” voluntary surrogacy, but specifically bans the practice of creating a binding surrogacy contract. These contracts create two major problems.

First, they turn the child into a marketable commodity. Human beings aren’t things to be bought or sold. Besides the many problems with IVF involving eugenics, potential health effects on the child, and “leftover” children, these contracts can come with “abortion clauses.” If the “product” doesn’t meet quality assurance standards for health or sex, the “product” is killed according to the contract. Even abortion supporters should see the obvious problem with making abortion a tool to enforce obedience to a business contract.

Michigan’s law has saved lives. Disabled baby Seraphina Harrell’s life was spared in 2012 when her surrogate mother moved here to avoid being pressured into abortion. If our law didn’t exist, Seraphina might have never lived, and her mother scarred for life.

Second, surrogacy contracts reduce motherhood to a business relationship—one that often preys upon poor women. Often, a woman’s decision to enter into a surrogacy contract is based on financial hardship. While the agreement may relieve temporary financial stress, a breach in contract could result in devastating legal and financial consequences for the surrogate.

In addition, this commercialization of creating a child seldom considers the short-term and long-term impact on the surrogate mother, who is legally forced to give up the child she spent 9 months caring for.

There are many other ways to help infertile couples that don’t treat women and children as objects to buy and sell.

Women’s Right to Know Act Introduced in Michigan

Lansing, MI — The Women’s Right to Know Act was introduced in the Michigan House on June 22nd.

Sponsored by Rep. Sue Allor, HB 5086 addresses three areas of informed consent for women seeking abortions: abortion pill reversal, heartbeat/miscarriage awareness, and prenatal diagnosis of a disability.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “Abortion businesses try hard to keep women in the dark. They don’t want women to understand the reality of abortion and its effects on them and their children. This legislation would address several areas where women are not being given proper informed consent before abortions.”

The abortion pill reversal provision requires the abortionist to let women taking the abortion pill know there is a treatment which may reverse the effects of the first pill of the two-drug regimen. Even though that treatment, progesterone, is commonly prescribed to prevent miscarriages, abortion supporters have claimed the treatment is “unproven,” “dangerous,” and wrongly suggest the child might be disabled if they survive the abortion pill’s effects.

Listing said, “These concerns are based on talking points, not reality and research. Practicing doctors have studied and used this common treatment to increase the chances of saving the child’s life. What bothers abortion businesses the most is that a woman might change her mind and choose life.”

The heartbeat/miscarriage awareness provision requires the abortionist to check for a fetal heartbeat and allow the woman the opportunity to hear or see the heartbeat. If no heartbeat is detected, the abortionist must give the woman the opportunity to return later if the gestational age is too young to detect a heartbeat, tell her of the likelihood of a miscarriage based on the absence of a fetal heartbeat, or offer to use a different technology to detect the heartbeat. The abortionist must also let her know that treatment for a missed miscarriage is not considered an abortion for insurance purposes.

Listing said, “From what we know of miscarriage rates, abortion businesses over the years have undoubtedly sold many abortions to women who no longer had viable pregnancies. How many women have anguished over their abortion decision even though their child’s life ended before they walked through the abortion facility’s doors? How many abortionists have profited from this unnecessary medical intervention?”

The prenatal disability provision requires the doctor making a diagnosis of a serious prenatal condition to give the woman a referral for more information. The state will be required to create a website with medically accurate information about prenatal conditions, support group information, and perinatal hospice programs.

Listing said, “Sadly, so many women who received a troubling prenatal diagnosis had it immediately followed with suggestions or even pressure to have an abortion. Women have a right to medically-accurate information about their developing child, access to support groups, and a medical profession which walks alongside her instead of pushing for eugenic abortions.”

The Supreme Court Reexamines Roe

by Chris Gast, Right to Life of Michigan, Director of Communication/Education

On May 17, the U.S. Supreme Court took up the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

The case involves Mississippi’s ban on abortion past 15 weeks of pregnancy. The central question of the case is whether a state can ban abortions before the point of viability, which is the ever-shifting point at which a child can survive outside the womb.

Some fear the Supreme Court may uphold Roe v. Wade; a sacrifice to satisfy President Biden and his threats to pack the Supreme Court with political activists. Others say it is likely they will uphold Mississippi’s law, but leave Roe hanging by a thread. The right thing to do—legally and morally—is overturning Roe, and it’s what they should do.

In 1973, the Supreme Court ripped away the issue of abortion from voters, and since then the lives of 60 million unborn children have been taken, their little bodies ripped out of their mother’s wombs in cruel fashion.

Roe v. Wade created a right to abortion out of thin air. The Supreme Court invented a trimester framework in their decision, where states could only regulate abortion in the 2nd trimester, and states could ban abortions in the 3rd trimester—if the bans contained a health exception.

The definition of a health exception was settled the same day as Roe v. Wade in Doe v. Bolton. Health was defined to include “all factors … relevant to the well-being of the patient.” Thus, states could in theory ban abortions in the third trimester, but only if they allowed every reason to count as an exception.

In 1992, the Supreme Court got rid of the trimester framework in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, instead applying an “undue burden” test: any abortion law could not create an “undue burden” on a woman seeking an abortion. The point at which states could ban abortions—while keeping an infinite health exception—was arbitrarily moved to viability.

The Constitution doesn’t mention viability, or trimesters, or anything about abortion. When judges cook up their own laws, they delegitimatize their courts and usurp our democratic process.

Michigan voters had their say in 1972, just weeks before Roe v. Wade. A supermajority of voters decided to keep our state’s abortion ban. Roe v. Wade overturned our election and stole the human rights from an entire class of human beings.

It’s well past time for this judicial tyranny to end.

Abortion Meets a Fork in the Road

submitted by Chris Gast, Director of Communication/Education, Right to Life of Michigan

As America’s major political parties have polarized, the issue of abortion has become more polarized. It shouldn’t surprise, because of the broader worldview assumptions underlying each position—though there are plenty of dissenters still to be found on both sides.

This polarization exists alongside the current reality that most Americans are in the “mushy middle” when it comes their abortion views. About a quarter of us believe in absolute unlimited abortion, a quarter believes in the absolute right to life of every child, and those in between are uncomfortable with abortion to varying degrees; they can’t bring themselves to totally end it or embrace it.

Pro-abortion states have recently moved aggressively to shore up their abortion laws in case Roe v. Wade is overturned—and states and voters once again can decide on abortion. They not only endorse abortion, but celebrate it. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo lit up the One World Trade Center pink to celebrate passage of their unlimited abortion bill in 2018. The symbolism is undeniable: a beacon built on the resting place of nearly 3,000 lives lost on one day in 2001 transformed into celebrating the ongoing deaths of nearly 3,000 lives every day in America’s abortion facilities.

America experiences abortion whiplash with every new federal administration. President Biden’s Food & Drug Administration is using the pandemic as an excuse to remove safety regulations on the abortion pill, allowing death to be distributed through the mail. Even though Britain’s recent experience with abortion-by-mail showed dire consequences for women’s health, nothing must stop abortions. Contrast that with President Trump’s policies, including nominating rule of law judges.

Prolife states continue to legislate against abortion at a fast pace. President Trump’s judicial nominees on the 6th U.S. Circuit just sealed a victory for Ohio, allowing them to ban abortion targeted at children with Down syndrome. Other states—including Michigan—are working on expanded versions that ban abortions targeted by race, sex, or any disability.

What will the Supreme Court do? Roe v. Wade means there is no escape valve for this pressure; one side cheated to allow 25% of the country to manufacture absolute legal dominance over the abortion issue. Sadly, the issue is seldom framed this way, because media and academia tend to side with unlimited abortion.

How long can Roe v. Wade continue to survive—after half a century of failing to manufacture the expected pro-abortion consensus?

Targeted Abortions Ban Introduced in Michigan House

Lansing, MI — A ban on targeted abortions was introduced on Thursday, April 29, 2021, in the Michigan House.

House Bills 4737 & 4738 would ban abortions targeted at babies not just diagnosed with Down syndrome, but any disability, as well as babies targeted for reasons of sex or racial discrimination.

The bills, sponsored by Rep. Julie Calley and Rep. Andrew Fink, would make it a felony punishable by up to two years in prison for the person who knowingly performs a targeted abortion. The bills define disability as any physical or mental disability, and specifically lists several common disabilities for inclusion.

On April 12, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals allowed Ohio’s ban on targeted abortions of children with Down syndrome to be enforced while court challenges continue. Michigan is also under the jurisdiction of the Sixth Circuit.

The following statement is from Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing:

“With the legal situation in the Sixth Circuit, this is our highest priority, since a targeted abortion ban would be enforceable now. Because the neighboring Fifth Circuit struck down a similar Indiana law, this is an opportunity for the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in.

Abortion is used as a tool of discrimination on a horrifying scale. We have heard of situations where parents of women in interracial relationships have attempted to convince or coerce their daughters into getting race-selection abortions. More than 160 million women around the globe are missing because of sex-selection abortions. Abortion is wrong, period, but even people who consider themselves pro-choice should have a problem with taking the life of a child because they are a girl or aren’t a desired race.

Some countries boast of all but eliminating certain disabilities by targeting disabled children in the womb. Most people would be horrified of taking the life of a disabled child a day after birth, and they should be equally horrified by the idea of taking that child’s life a day before birth.

Gallup asked a polling question on this in 2018. Only 29% of Americans thought it should be legal to take the life of a child with Down syndrome in the third trimester, and only a minority, 49%, thought it should be legal in the first trimester. Majorities thought abortion should be illegal in the third trimester for mental disabilities or conditions that threaten the life of the child. It’s clear Roe v. Wade and the current state of abortion law is nowhere close to lining up with the views of the American public.

With continuing advances in care for the disabled and new programs like perinatal hospice, there are better options for society to invest in than causing the death of these little ones. A modern society that prides itself on creating equity can’t be a society that allows violently taking the life of a child deemed unworthy of human care because of a physical or mental characteristic.”

Background information:
HB 4737
HB 4738
Targeted abortion facts
6th Circuit Ohio ruling
2018 Gallup Poll

MDHHS Begins Implementing Coronavirus Vaccine Fetal Tissue Informed Consent

In a surprise victory—a partial victory so far—the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has begun implementing a coronavirus vaccine informed consent provision. The provision requires that patients be given informed consent if the coronavirus vaccine they will take was developed using cell lines taken from aborted babies.

The provision is in a pandemic supplemental spending bill signed into law by Governor Gretchen Whitmer on March 9. That Governor Whitmer signed it with no fanfare or opposition is a surprise; she didn’t release a statement claiming the provision was unenforceable. This success shows why it’s important for prolife legislators to keep working in even hostile legislative environments.

The MDHHS frequently asked questions document regarding COVID-19 vaccines now has a section explaining the use of fetal cell lines. It’s unclear what else the MDHHS is doing yet to enforce the provision, or if they will do anything else.

The Johnson & Johnson/Janssen coronavirus vaccine utilizes a cell line created from the retina of a healthy baby aborted at 18 weeks in 1985. The vaccine requires use of the cell line to produce doses, and thus this new provision requires people be informed.

Moderna and Pfizer do not use cell lines taken from aborted babies to produce their vaccines’ doses. However, they did use cells lines taken from aborted babies to test their vaccines in the research stage.

In news coverage by the Detroit Free Press, one State Senator described this provision as “putting politics into the process to scare people.”

It’s morally repugnant to hide information from people who would otherwise ethically object to taking the vaccine if they knew these facts. It’s the health officials who are unwisely playing politics by hiding information from people to trick them—and it’s only hurting their efforts in the long run because people eventually will find out and wonder why such information was hidden.

If you are receiving the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine and you were not given proper informed consent involving the use of fetal tissue in vaccine development—either verbally or in written documentation—please e-mail us at info@rtl.org and let us know! Please also contact the MDHHS’s Division of Immunization at (517) 335-8159.

For more information about this topic and a list of all coronavirus vaccines that used fetal cell lines in either research or production, please visit the Right to Life of Michigan website: RTL.org/covid-19-vaccine-abortion/.

MDHHS Begins Implementing Coronavirus Vaccine Fetal Tissue Informed Consent

Submitted by Right to Life of Michigan

March 25, 2021, Lansing, MI — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has begun implementing a provision requiring informed consent for coronavirus vaccines developed using cell lines taken from aborted babies.

The provision is in a pandemic relief supplemental bill signed into law by Governor Gretchen Whitmer on March 9, HB 4047.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “We are pleasantly surprised Governor Whitmer didn’t issue a non-enforceability statement. Now we hope the provision will be properly enforced so that people are given real informed consent. Research involving aborted babies is an ongoing ethical concern, so people have a right to know if a medicine they are taking involved purposefully taking human life.”

The MDHHS frequently asked questions document regarding COVID-19 vaccines now has a section explaining the use of fetal cell lines. It’s unclear what else the MDHHS is doing yet to enforce the provision, and if the Emergency Use Authorization Fact Sheet for Recipients will be updated.

The language in the bill states vaccine recipients “shall be provided with information or informed if and in what manner the development of the vaccine utilized aborted fetal tissue or human embryonic stem cell derivation lines.”

The Johnson & Johnson/Janssen coronavirus vaccine utilizes cell lines taken from an aborted baby in production. Moderna and Pfizer do not use cell lines taken from aborted babies to produce doses, but used cells lines to test their vaccines. Some other vaccines being researched utilize these cell lines, and others do not.

Right to Life of Michigan is asking people receiving the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine to inform us if they were not given proper informed consent involving the use fetal tissue in vaccine development—either verbally or in written documentation—as well as contact the MDHHS’s Division of Immunization at (517) 335-8159.

The two cell lines from aborted babies being used in coronavirus vaccine research are HEK-293, taken from the kidney of a healthy baby aborted sometime around 1972, and PER.C6, taken from the retina of a healthy baby aborted at 18 weeks in 1985.

Prolife people disagree about the ethics of using vaccines developed from these cell lines. Some point to these cell lines being decades old, and others point out that using them may encourage additional abortions to develop new cell lines. Right to Life of Michigan believes everyone has a right to know to make their own ethical determinations.

COVID Relief for Abortion?

submitted by Chris Gast, Director of Communication/Education | RTL.org

On March 10, Congress approved a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill. One thing conspicuously missing from the bill is the Hyde Amendment.

The Hyde Amendment prevents taxpayer dollars from directly funding abortions. It’s not a law, but a clause added to the annual budget and other spending bills. Even though a majority of U.S. Senators voted to add it, arcane budget rules meant the vote failed, and the handful of Democrats who supported the Hyde Amendment weren’t willing to vote against the final bill.

It should surprise nobody that the relief bill is written in such a way that Planned Parenthood can easily steal your money.

If you think “steal” is a strong word, remember that even though previous COVID-19 relief exempted Planned Parenthood from receiving money, some of their affiliates still knowingly applied and received your tax dollars. With President Biden running the show, instead of legal accountability, Planned Parenthood is lavishly rewarded for breaking the law.

When’s the last time you were rewarded by the government for breaking the law?

Planned Parenthood isn’t close to being in danger of closing like other life-sustaining businesses. In the last five years they have made a combined profit of more than $600 MILLION DOLLARS. They made their most recent $69.7 million annual profit in spite of President Trump’s Protect Life Rule—which President Biden will soon delete. Every year their services decline, their abortions increase, and you pay more of their bills—indirect funding of abortion.

This relief bill sets a dangerous precedent and Planned Parenthood is already demanding the Hyde Amendment never appear again in any budget. They will never have enough of your money. Will the three Democrats who voted for the Hyde Amendment in the relief bill have the courage to “shutdown” the government in the next budget fight if the Hyde Amendment is missing?

Planned Parenthood never had to close during the pandemic like local businesses or even real medical clinics. Governor Whitmer called their abortion work “life-sustaining.” Your favorite restaurant can’t call up Warren Buffet and ask for a few million dollars like Planned Parenthood does. The Abortion Industry doesn’t need pandemic relief, and pandemic relief should be about preserving life, not taking it.

If America suffered the Apocalypse, it seems the only thing pro-abortion legislators would have the government keep running is the Abortion Industry—to take care of any pesky survivors in the womb.

Right to Life of Michigan Calls on Governor Whitmer to Close Abortion Facilities

March 25, 2020, Lansing, Mich. — In light of her order requiring all outpatient facilities to postpone non-essential procedures, Right to Life of Michigan is calling on Governor Gretchen Whitmer to clarify that elective abortions are a non-essential procedure.

Abortion procedures require the use of personal protective equipment like other now-forbidden medical procedures. Medical personnel handling coronavirus patients will not be able to use those scarce resources.

Botched abortions can require follow-up surgical procedures or emergency room visits. Use of the abortion pill often results in complications such as excessive bleeding requiring visits to a doctor’s office. Patients and staff inside abortion facilities increases the likelihood of coronavirus spreading from close contact.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “Today, abortion facilities are using up surgical masks in order to take the lives of innocent babies. Tomorrow, how many doctors and nurses will go without proper protection while trying to save the lives of coronavirus patients? How many of those medical personnel will contract the virus?”

Listing said, “We’re seeing a pattern of pro-abortion elected officials putting ideology first, and people at risk of the coronavirus second. Federal coronavirus relief was held up in part because of demands for small business assistance for Planned Parenthood, which has an annual budget of more than a billion dollars. Right to Life of Michigan is abiding by Governor Whitmer’s order. It’s time for Governor Whitmer to prove she can put public health above her ideology, because Planned Parenthood is incapable of being responsible, even during a global pandemic.”

Governor Whitmer’s order defines an essential procedure as one that is “necessary to address a medical emergency or to preserve the health and safety of a patient.” According to a study from the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, 96% of women having abortions cited reasons other than their physical health as their most important reason for seeking an abortion.

Listing said, “The vast majority of abortions are performed for economic or social reasons. Right now, people with legitimate medical needs are suffering in pain. We’re postponing hip replacements or fixing cracked teeth to ensure our front-line doctors and nurses are equipped. These procedures in many cases will be more burdensome and expensive for people in need because they had to wait. Why aren’t we treating them fairly? Why should abortion facilities get to be above the law?”

Those wishing to call Governor Whitmer to urge her to treat abortion facilities like other outpatient surgical facilities can call her Lansing office at (517) 373-3400.

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Background Information:
Guttmacher Institute study on abortion reasons

Bill Introduced to Allow Abortion Pill Reversal Information

On January 22, 2020, the 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, House Bill 5374 was introduced in the Michigan Legislature. This bill will ensure women who are prescribed the abortion pill are given information about the abortion pill reversal protocol. The bill’s lead sponsor is Representative Beth Griffin.

The abortion pill reversal protocol has been successful in saving the lives of more than 900 unborn children whose mothers regret beginning the abortion pill process. A recent study from the doctors pioneering the process showed it is effective up to 68 percent of the time.

The abortion pill regimen first uses RU-486 (mifepristone) to break down the connection between the baby and mother’s womb. 24 to 48 hours later, a second pill, misoprostol (cytotec), is given to induce contractions and expel the baby. The abortion pill reversal protocol uses the hormone progesterone to reverse the effects of RU-486, which is a progesterone blocker.

Progesterone is a common medical treatment used to prevent miscarriage and is effective in reversing abortion process after the first pill has been taken. Even without the progesterone, there is a small chance the baby would survive if the woman does not take the second pill. Once the second pill has been taken, however, the progesterone treatment would not be effective in reversing the abortion.

An unethical study led by abortion supporters was initiated in 2019 to criticize the abortion pill reversal process. The study was suspended because the participants had negative reactions to the abortion pill itself, but they implied the suspension was because of the effects of the progesterone treatment.

Despite the dangers of the abortion pill, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded the official range for using it up to 10 weeks of gestation. The need for available information about the abortion pill reversal protocol is even greater, because with the continuing increase in women using the abortion pill there will also be an increase in women regretting their decision.

This bill is entirely about informed consent—giving women information the abortion pill reversal protocol. Informed consent should be something that abortion supporters agree with in theory, since they claim to support every woman’s choice. However, in practice, the abortion industry opposes this bill because one of their motives is protecting the money they make from abortions. To protect their own bottom line, they refuse to admit that abortion regret is even a possibility.

Chris Gast
Director of Communication/Education
(616) 532-2300 | RTL.org

Michigan Prolifers Taking 20 Buses to March for Life

Grand Rapids, Mich. — January 22 was the 47th memorial of the U.S. Supreme Court decisions Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, which legalized abortion through all nine months of pregnancy for any reason. Since these decisions in 1973, abortion has taken the lives of more than 59 million children in the United States.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “Each year that the violence of abortion remains legal is a new tragedy with hundreds of thousands of lives being lost. We will continue our efforts to ensure that every human life is protected under law.”

As prolife people remember the millions of lives lost through abortion, they continue to hope for a time when this injustice is in the past.

Last year there were several steps made towards the goal of protecting life.

The Trump Administration updated Title X family planning funding rules, redirecting $60 million of taxpayer funding away from Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the country.

In Michigan, 379,419 signatures were submitted to initiate legislation to end the violent late-term dismemberment abortion procedure. Once the Michigan Bureau of Elections has reviewed the signatures, the legislation can be passed through the Michigan Legislature and become law without the need for a governor’s signature.

The upcoming year holds many reasons for hope as well. In March 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case June Medical Services LLC v. Gee, a case involving a Louisiana law requiring abortionists to obtain admitting privileges at local hospitals. This will be the first case involving a prolife law that the court has heard since Justice Brett Kavanaugh was nominated in October 2018. Right to Life of Michigan has filed an amicus curiae brief asking the court to revisit Roe v. Wade.

Listing said, “After 47 years of legal killing in the U.S., revisiting the court cases that made it legal is long overdue.”

Hundreds of thousands of prolife individuals took part in the annual March for Life on the streets of Washington, D.C. on January 24. Right to Life of Michigan affiliates took 20 buses and more than 1,000 people to attend the March. Many Right to Life of Michigan affiliates have hosted local events to remember the 59 million lives lost and honor Sanctity of Human Life Sunday on January 19.

Bill Introduced to Allow Abortion Pill Reversal Information

January 23, 2020, Lansing, Mich. — A bill to ensure women who are prescribed the abortion pill are given information about the abortion pill reversal protocol was introduced yesterday in the Michigan Legislature. House Bill 5374 was introduced on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

House Bill 5374’s lead sponsor is Rep. Beth Griffin (R-Mattawan).

The abortion pill regimen first uses RU-486 (mifepristone) to break down the connection between the baby and mother’s womb. Then 24 to 48 hours later, a different pill, misoprostol (Cytotec), is given to induce contractions and expel the baby. The abortion pill reversal protocol uses the hormone progesterone to reverse the effects of RU-486, which is a progesterone blocker. Progesterone is a common treatment used to prevent miscarriage.

Research shows the progesterone treatment is effective 64 to 68 percent of the time. Without the treatment, the abortion may not be successful in women who only take the RU-486 pill. The treatment is not effective in women who take the second misoprostol pill.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “Offering information to women about their options should be something abortion businesses have no issue with, as they claim to support all women’s choices. The abortion pill reversal protocol is another choice for women who experience regret after taking the first abortion pill.”

Michigan abortion data show that pill abortions have risen to 35 percent of all abortions. The percentage of pill abortions will continue to grow following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanding the official range for using the abortion pill from 7 weeks gestation to 10 weeks.

Listing said, “With the increasing use of the potentially dangerous abortion pill, there will also be an increase in women who instantly regret their decision. Abortion pill reversal has helped hundreds of women reverse a decision they regret, and welcome their child into life. There’s no good ethical argument for keeping women in the dark about this common treatment as an option.”

The Biggest Abortion Myth

by Catherine Kinsey, Education and Events Coordinator, Right to Life of Michigan

The genesis of every other myth circulated by the abortion industry is the myth that an unborn child isn’t a person. If everyone were willing to admit unborn babies are human persons, the various other arguments surrounding the topic wouldn’t matter. The abortion issue would simply come down to whether you believed it is acceptable to take an innocent human life or not.

This myth was easier to spread before modern technology allowed us to see unborn babies through ultrasound with such clarity and learn how much growth and development happens even in the earliest days. A new, unique person is created at fertilization with unique DNA, separate from her mother and father. Her heart begins beating around 21 days after fertilization; her brain begins forming around 4 weeks. At 12 weeks, all major body parts and organs are present. With modern medical advances, babies can survive outside the womb as early as 19 weeks after fertilization.

If you deny human life begins at fertilization, there must be another point at which it begins. How do you choose that point?

The most extreme abortion supporters would say life begins after birth. However, no physical changes happen to the baby from the few minutes before birth to the minutes after it has passed through the birth canal. It is illogical to claim the physical location of the baby determines whether it is a human person or not.

Some believe the unborn baby is a person once it has the ability to survive outside the womb. But does this mean the humanity of the unborn changes with every medical advancement? It certainly wasn’t always possible for babies at 21 weeks of pregnancy to survive outside the womb—were they formerly sub-human?

We cannot know where medical technology will take us. In the future, babies may someday survive before 20 weeks, or before 15 weeks. It is impossible to rationally choose a certain point of development where the unborn suddenly becomes a human being. Their development is a continual process, with the clear starting point when a new life begins at fertilization.

Unfortunately, even with technology allowing us to see the unborn in the womb, it is all too easy for abortion supporters to convince people to ignore the humanity of the unseen child. The truth of abortion gets covered in euphemisms and inessential arguments to distract from the taking of human life.

Muskegon Pregnancy Services is in Need of a New Ultrasound Machine

Mission Statement
We are committed to providing clinical, life-saving services and empowering life-changing decisions.

Muskegon Pregnancy Services (MPS) is a non-profit, pregnancy service ministry. We have been faithfully impacting the community since 1985 through intervention, prevention, and education extending the gift of HOPE while sharing the love of Christ.

All of our services are FREE to our clients because of the partnerships of individuals, churches, and businesses in our community, as well as a few fundraiser events throughout the year.

MPS is the ONLY free ultrasound scan service in our community and our current ultrasound machine is not functioning for what is required for the best quality service to our clients.

The heartbeat of a baby begins to beat between 18 to 28 days. An ultrasound machine can capture the heartbeat with an ultrasound scan at about 4-6 weeks. Depending on technology, the capability is sooner and sooner. Statistics show women who see their baby on the ultrasound are 80% more likely to carry and men who see their baby are 90% more supportive to the mother to carry to term!

Our services include Health Services and Intervention, as well as Education and Prevention:
• Pregnancy Testing: and complete pregnancy option information.
• Limited Ultrasound Scan: (the majority of women choose life if they see the heartbeat of their baby).
• STD Testing & Treatment: for women and men. (Muskegon ranks 3rd in the state) Allows for prevention education.
• Rise Up: “Earn While You Learn” – program for resources such as crib, car seat, pack-n-play, clothing, & baby items.
• Mentoring Advocates and Classes: to educate and equip mothers & fathers for parenthood.
• Post-Abortion Healing: & Making LIFE-Disciples mentorship.
• Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA): – “Willing To Wait” curriculum: prevention education for youth groups and schools.

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Your help and support can empower STRONG choices for LIFE!

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1775 Wells Ave Muskegon, MI 49442 * www.muskegonpregnancyservices.org/donor

CDC 2016 Abortion Report Shows Lives Saved

The Centers for Disease Control has released their latest report on abortion data, covering the year 2016.

States are not required to report abortion data to the CDC, so abortion numbers for some states—including California—are not included in their report. However, with 48 consistent reporting areas, the CDC report is a good indicator of long-term trends of abortion. Importantly, the trends show lives saved!

The overall number of abortions has been steadily declining since the 1980s. The total number reported in 2016 was 623,471 induced abortions in the United States, which was a 2% decrease from the previous year. Abortions have decreased a total of 24% since 2007.

The abortion rate also decreased 2%, to 11.6 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15-44. The teen abortion rate has decreased a total of 56% since 2007, down to 6.2 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15-19.

While more lives being saved and more women choosing life is good news, many abortions continue to occur. Abortion was the second highest cause of death in the United States in 2016 according to CDC statistics. When you add in the states that didn’t report like California, abortion remains the leading cause of death in America.

Most abortions are done in the very early weeks of pregnancy. 65.5% of abortions were performed at or before 8 weeks gestation. 1.2% of abortions were performed during or after 21 weeks. While that seems like a small percentage, 1.2% of 623,471 is more than 7,400, which is a large number of abortions on children who can survive outside the womb or who are close to that point.

Many abortions were also repeat abortions: the 2016 report showed 43.1% of abortions were performed on women who had already had at least one previous abortion.

The trends apparent in the CDC report help us to understand where our efforts to decrease abortion are succeeding the most and where more work is needed. Abortion is trending older as young women have fewer abortions. The abortion industry works to make abortions as easy as possible to retain their declining “customer” base, and many women remain trapped in a cycle of multiple abortions.

The prolife movement has come a long way in shifting the popularity of abortion since the 1980s. There is still much work to be done in creating a culture where unborn children are protected in law and abortion is unthinkable.

Right to Life of Michigan Files Brief Asking for Reversal of Roe v. Wade

Lansing, MI — Right to Life of Michigan filed an amicus curiae brief on January 2 asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the June Medical Services LLC v. Gee case on March 4.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “Michigan voters overwhelmingly chose to keep our state’s abortion ban in November 1972. Just weeks later, the U.S. Supreme Court blatantly overstepped its bounds by inventing a right to abortion through all nine months of pregnancy in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton.”

June Medical Services LLC v. Gee involves a Louisiana law requiring abortionists to obtain admitting privileges at local hospitals.

Abortionists often have no relationship with local hospitals and women experiencing life-threatening complications from botched abortions have been dumped at emergency rooms or forced to seek care themselves because of a lack of follow-up care. Risks to the woman’s life and health are increased if the medical staff caring for a woman after a botched abortion cannot obtain even basic details from the abortionist.

The brief argues that the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision went beyond the scope of their power, violated the process for amending the U.S. Constitution, and has undermined the legitimacy of our nation’s judicial system. The Supreme Court has recognized that the government has an interest in protecting the life of unborn children, and the brief asks the Supreme Court to live up to their own standards.

If the Supreme Court is unwilling to revisit Roe v. Wade yet, the brief argues that Louisiana’s law should be allowed to stand. Louisiana’s law is constitutional even under the faulty standards of Roe v. Wade and the 2016 case involving a similar Texas law, Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt.

Listing said, “Since Roe v. Wade was decided, an estimated 60 million unborn children have had their lives unjustly taken from them. No voter or elected official consented to strip away their right to life. It’s time for this stain on democracy to be overturned to allow the people to once again have a voice about our most fundamental human right.”

The brief was prepared by lead counsel Professor William Wagner and the Great Lakes Justice Center.

379,418 Signatures Submitted to End Dismemberment Abortions

prolifeDecember 23, 2019, Lansing, MI — The Michigan Values Life coalition submitted 379,418 signatures believed to be valid to the Michigan Bureau of Elections today to initiate legislation to ban dismemberment abortions in Michigan.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “This is a wonderful Christmas present to the unborn. Michigan values life, and it’s time for an end to these violent late-term dismemberment abortions.”

The legal signature requirement for citizen-initiated legislation in Michigan is 340,047, based on the total votes for governor in the previous election.

Listing said, “Our committed all-volunteer force persevered through significant obstacles that kept being put in their path this year. We’ve received more than 400,000 signatures, but after thorough checking, we’ve whittled it down to our final total of valid signatures.”

A change in the petition law in 2018 required a change in Right to Life of Michigan’s time-tested validation process. Each petition received has been checked at least four times.

Listing said, “We set a state record for the highest signature validity rate with our 2004 petition drive to ban partial-birth abortions. We hope our dismemberment ban meets or exceeds that validity rate of 97 percent.”

The Bureau of Elections will take several weeks to determine the validity of the submitted signatures, and once enough signatures are confirmed the legislation will be sent to the Michigan Legislature. The Legislature will have 40 days to consider the dismemberment ban, which after successful majority votes will become law without Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s signature. Initiated legislation that isn’t passed into law is placed on the general election ballot for a public vote.

Listing said, “The 379,418 people who signed their names on this life-saving dismemberment ban should be confident that our prolife majorities in the Michigan Legislature will pass the bill again, just like they did back in May.”

The dismemberment abortion procedure is the most frequently used late-term abortion procedure. The procedure works exactly like it sounds; an unborn child is dismembered and removed from her mother’s womb, one limb at a time. In 2018, there were 1,908 dismemberment abortions in Michigan reported to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The dismemberment ban bills include an exception if the mother’s life is in danger. However, in published research on reasons women have abortions, the pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute has stated that most late-term abortions are done for economic or social reasons.

Whitmer Calls for Unlimited Abortions Like New York

submitted by Genevieve Marnon

October 29, 2019, Lansing, MI — Today, Governor Whitmer and pro-abortion allies held a press conference to unveil what they call the Reproductive Health Act. The New York-style act would allow unlimited abortions in the state of Michigan up to the point of birth.

The act has not been introduced yet in the Legislature.

The legislation would repeal Michigan’s complete ban on abortions, which is only partially enforceable because of the U.S. Supreme Court. Michigan’s complete ban was backed by 60% of Michigan voters in 1972, but the vote was overturned by the Supreme Court’s decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton which legalized abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy.

The Reproductive Health Act would codify the Supreme Court’s decisions in state law, but it would also undo many widely supported prolife laws.

According to talking points provided by Planned Parenthood, the legislation would:
Allow minor teens to have secret abortions without their parents’ consent—or even knowledge.
Allow abortion facilities to ignore health and safety regulations that other medical clinics follow.
Allow abortion facilities to refuse to provide informed consent to women.
Allow walk-in abortions with no waiting period.

Based on the provided talking points and similar legislation in other states, the Reproductive Health Act may do the following:
Repeal Michigan’s ban on tax-funded abortions that has saved an estimated 236,935 lives since 1989.
Allow nurses and physician assistants to perform surgical abortions.

During her press conference remarks, Governor Whitmer also criticized Right to Life of Michigan’s petition drive to ban dismemberment abortions.

Governor Whitmer said, “They’ve already passed a bill to ban a safe procedure that has saved women’s lives. And as they know, I’m going to veto those bills if they ever have the backbone to send them to my desk.”

The following statement is from Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing:

It’s no surprise that Governor Gretchen Whitmer wants to follow New York’s lead and allow unlimited abortion-on-demand in Michigan. We know most Michiganders do not support secret teen abortions, unregulated medical facilities, or abortions up to the point of birth.

Governor Whitmer claims our petition drive to end dismemberment abortions is banning a ‘safe’ procedure. There’s nothing safe for a child during the later stages of pregnancy when her arms and legs are torn off by forceps, and her body and skull crushed and removed. The bill to end dismemberment abortions has a life of the mother exception, so her rhetoric is as empty as her compassion for viable children who can survive outside the womb.

Prolife people have plenty of backbone, which is why we continue to collect 400,000 signatures on a bill to end the dismemberment abortion procedure that rips backbones out of viable children. Most Americans do not support late-term abortions, and it’s time for Governor Whitmer to respect that Michigan values life.

RTL.org | info@rtl.org

Governor Whitmer’s Reproductive Health Act Explained

submitted by Right to Life of Michigan

November 4, 2019, Lansing, MI — The bills making up Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Reproductive Health Act (RHA) were introduced into the Legislature on October 31, and Right to Life of Michigan staff have analyzed the changes to Michigan law.

The main bills are identical, SB 622 and HB 5179, and the other bills in the RHA remove sentencing or references to laws it would repeal.

The following are major changes to state law, and scenarios the bills would allow that are based on real events.

Major changes:
Repeals Michigan’s complete abortion ban and codifies an unlimited health exception in state law.
Creates an unlimited right to abortion, which could have broad implications. Allows women to sue for damages if she believes that right is being restricted in any way.
Repeals the partial-birth abortion ban.
Nullifies the current petition drive to enact a ban on dismemberment abortions (which amends the partial-birth abortion ban).
Allows abortion facilities to be unregulated and never be inspected.
Removes parental consent requirements.
Removes waiting periods and requirements that abortionists provide women with informed consent and an opportunity to see her ultrasound.
Removes mandated screening for abortion coercion.
Opens the door for any medical professional to perform a surgical abortion.
Stops local governments and schools from regulating abortion in any way, including through zoning laws.

Scenarios:
A woman who is 30-weeks pregnant decides to have an abortion after her boyfriend abandons her. Her relationship situation qualifies as a “health” exception. Rather than completing the birth to allow the viable child a chance to survive, the child is stabbed in the head during the process of birth and her brains are suctioned out.
A fire marshal is called after receiving an anonymous report about the poor conditions of an uninspected surgical abortion facility. The facility has water damage, rusty surgical equipment, blood spatters on walls, and garbage lying around. The fire marshal decides to let it remain open because he exposes himself to a lawsuit if he tries to close it.
A 16-year old pregnant girl walks to the abortion facility located across the street from her school. She is given no informed consent materials, forbidden from seeing the ultrasound of her baby when she asks for it, and her surgical abortion is completed during the school day. Her parents never find out. The school can’t discipline her for skipping school because of her unlimited right to abortion.
A sex trafficker takes his pregnant 13-year old victim to an abortion facility, no questions are asked, no medical professional is present, and the victim is sent home with her sex trafficker and abortion pills prescribed by a nurse via Skype.
A college athlete becomes pregnant. Her coach demands she have an abortion, threatening to pull her scholarship. The athlete doesn’t want an abortion, but she knows she has no legal recourse to address her coach’s coercion. The abortion facility staff rushes to get her into the procedure room before she changes her mind.

Other changes worth noting:
Doesn’t repeal the ban on Medicaid-funded abortions (as we speculated in our October 29 press release). However, creating an unlimited right to abortion in state law could potentially impact it.
An unlimited right to abortion and allowing women to sue for damages could broadly impact conscience protections for healthcare workers.
Repeals the Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act, allowing for insurance plans to have abortion coverage as a required benefit.
Redefines fetal viability from the point a child can survive outside the womb to when a child can survive without “extraordinary” care. “Extraordinary” is undefined and could include common situations like a child sent to a neonatal intensive care unit. This ominous change could have implications for how disabled children and children who survive botched abortions are treated.
Defines pregnancy in law at the point when the child implants in the womb, not when the child is conceived.

RTL.org | info@rtl.org

Another Long Prolife Journey

You may have heard the news that the U.S. Supreme Court refused to take up Alabama’s ban on dismemberment abortions. While frustrating for prolife people working on our petition drive to end dismemberment abortions in Michigan, it’s not a cause for alarm.

Right to Life of Michigan’s effort to end dismemberment amends our state’s partial-birth abortion ban; expect a process similar to the long effort to ban partial-birth abortions. That took four laws, three court cases and a petition drive. At one point the U.S. Supreme Court even ruled against a partial-birth abortion ban!

It took patience and hard work, but we achieved that goal. Now we face the next step.

The Supreme Court has the first conservative majority since 1937, but they seem hesitant to advance the prolife legal frontier in 2019. They’ve also declined to take up Indiana’s ban on abortions targeted at disabled children, and federal judges have blocked heartbeat bans and other bans in other states.

It’s tempting to give in to frustration, especially for those new to the prolife movement who have mistakenly believed prolife bans in states like Alabama and Georgia were going into immediate effect. Because of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, our judges control abortion law instead of people and their elected representatives. So far, our top judges aren’t ready to budge. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has commented on his colleagues’ lack of courage and wrote they can’t continue ignoring abortion.

Contrary to wish-casting from pro-abortion talking heads in the media, the prolife movement’s activity on the state level has not created a backlash. The latest Gallup poll even shows gains in prolife sentiment.

Prolife people can’t control Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts’ courage level, but we can control our effort. We must continue to press on and educate people about abortion. President Trump continues to appoint excellent judges to change the legal landscape. It’s up to us to continue prolife momentum on the ground. The way to do that in Michigan is by completing our dismemberment ban petition drive.

We’re confident someday Roe v. Wade will go, and Michigan will restore our legal protection for every unborn child. The day that happens is beyond our direct control, but prolife people will continue to clear the path forward to it.

If you’d like to walk this path with us, visit michiganvalueslife.org and help end dismemberment abortions in Michigan.

Chris Gast
Director of Communication/Education
RTL.org

Planned Parenthood Plans Violence at Michigan Life Chain?

September 19, 2019 – The following commentary on a Planned Parenthood organizing e-mail was posted on our website this afternoon. For some background, we don’t know what “District 9” is, since Arenac County is not in a 9th district for Congress or the Michigan Legislative. The county is very small with fewer than 20,000 people, and this Life Chain will be held in Standish, a small town with fewer than 2,000 people. Their Life Chain is being held early, so perhaps this is a trial run for wider disruptions in October.

This week a somewhat disturbing e-mail from a Planned Parenthood e-mail group was forwarded to us. Planned Parenthood sent the following message from District9@plannedparenthood.org on Tuesday, September 17, at 4:33 p.m.:

Hello,

Wanted to give you a heads up that we are organizing a stomp the bans march on Sept 29, 2019

The goal is to directly disrupt The Arenac County Right to Life, “life” chain.

Bring a lunch!!

“Stop the Bans” is Planned Parenthood’s marketing slogan for opposing recent prolife legislative efforts on the state level.

So, what does “stomp the bans” mean, then? Was it a typo? Was it a Planned Parenthood staff member taking artistic license for humorous effect? Probably.

However, there has been a recent rise in violent or criminal acts perpetrated against prolife people. “Stomp” is certainly a violent metaphor in an already divisive issue that has sadly seen violence, including abortion facility workers and prolife individuals being victimized. This has happened in Michigan, with the murder of prolife activist James Pouillon in Owosso in 2009.

As we’ve seen too many times recently, it doesn’t take much to set off a mentally unstable person. Consider some incidents in the last year, none of which are funny:

Right to Life of Michigan’s office vandalized
Abortion supporter round-house kicks prolife protestor in Toronto
Pennsylvania State Rep. puts bounty on doxxing prolife teens
85-year-old prolife volunteer assaulted outside Planned Parenthood in San Francisco
Prolife protester sent to hospital after assault outside Florida Planned Parenthood

While people have a right to assemble and even peacefully counter-protest, directly disrupting events of others is totally beneath civilized discourse, and violent rhetoric has no place in the abortion debate.

Are Late-term Abortions Rare?

“Well, late-term abortions are rare!” How often have you heard that line? Usually its context is to dismiss arguments for banning late-term abortions.

Is it true, though?

Well, if late-term abortions are rare, so are many other common causes of death.

Rare is a subjective term. The best way to determine if something is rare is to compare it to related things people would say are common.

For abortion supporters, they seek to compare late-term abortions to early abortions. A familiar line you might hear is that late-term abortions are only 1% of all abortions. Because there are a massive number of abortions occurring in the United States, that 1% number is quite high.

According to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, there were an estimated 926,200 abortions in the United States in 2014, the most recent estimate. The Centers for Disease Control publishes an annual report with detailed abortion statistics from most states. They routinely find that about 1.3% of abortions take place after 20 weeks of pregnancy. If you do the math, that’s 12,000 abortions after 20 weeks every year.

Are 12,000 deaths rare? In 2014, there were 11,008 homicides using a gun in the U.S. Would you describe gun violence as rare?

Often people supporting abortion make an argument like this: if prolife people cared, then they would support gun control. Right to Life of Michigan is completely neutral on issues unrelated to our mission. Gun control groups are similarly neutral on abortion. Late-term abortions are more common than gun homicides, so gun control groups should ignore their mission and help us ban late-term abortions: who would take this suggestion seriously?

Let’s look at some Michigan numbers. The most common late-term abortion procedure in our state is the dismemberment abortion procedure (D&E), used most often between 12 and 24 weeks of pregnancy. In 2017, there were 1,777 dismemberment abortions in Michigan.

In 2017 in Michigan, there were more dismemberment abortions than these all-too-common causes of death: breast cancer, car accidents, colon cancer, homicide, pancreatic cancer, Parkinson’s disease, pneumonia, and suicide.

Would you tell someone who has breast cancer that their disease is rare?

Would you say suicide is so rare that it shouldn’t be addressed as a public policy issue?

If you can’t say those things, then you can’t claim late-term abortions are rare as an excuse to ignore them—or to make a twisted moral justification for them.

Chris Gast
Director of Communication/Education
(616) 532-2300 | RTL.org

Whitmer Vetoes Support for Pregnant and Parenting Students

On October 1, 2019, Lansing, MI, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced she vetoed a state budget allocation for a program she voted for as a state legislator.

All of the $150,000 allocated for the Pregnant and Parenting Student Services Act in the 2020 state budget was vetoed by Governor Whitmer. The Act created a fund for higher education institutions to establish offices to assist students who are pregnant or parenting children.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “Governor Whitmer is now an abortion ideologue. If this program included funding for students to have abortions instead of helping them parent through school, she would have never touched it.”

The Pregnant and Parenting Student Services Act was signed into law by Governor Jennifer Granholm in 2004. It passed the Michigan House by a unanimous vote, including support from then State Representative Gretchen Whitmer.

Because of the state’s economic downturn, the program never received state funding to get off the ground. The 2020 state budget was the first to include funding.

Listing said, “Services for parenting and pregnant students on campuses are rarely even mentioned, let alone prioritized. The message our culture sends today is too often that women must choose between education and the life of their child. We can do more for mothers on campus, and at one time Governor Whitmer seemed to understand that.”

Included in Governor Whitmer’s budget line-item vetoes was the Real Alternatives program, which provides funding for organizations that help women of any age experiencing crisis pregnancies. Governor Whitmer cut all $700,000 of the funding allocated by the Legislature.

Listing said, “Governor Whitmer views even small pregnancy help programs as competition to the abortion industry that must be run out of business. Governor Whitmer will always put Planned Parenthood’s bottom line as a higher priority than women who choose life in difficult circumstances.”

Despite Governor Whitmer’s funding cuts, prolife pregnancy help and adoption organizations will continue to serve women and men in need across the state at more than 150 locations. Prolife students will continue to advocate for their colleges to do more to help pregnant college students remain in school.

Listing said, “Abortion advocates claim prolife people don’t care about women facing crisis pregnancies. But when prolife people try to help, these same abortion advocates do everything they can to shut us down.”

Protect Life Rule Saves Lives

By Kaylee Tegethoff

On August 19, 2019, Planned Parenthood doubled down on their commitment to abortion by withdrawing from the federally-funded Title X family planning program. Planned Parenthood gave up about $60 million of your tax dollars instead of accepting the new Title X requirements implemented by the Trump Administration.

The new requirements, termed the “Protect Life Rule,” require all federal funds provided through the program be sent to organizations that do not perform or refer for abortions. These requirements uphold the intent of the original law creating the Title X program.

The estimated $60 million Planned Parenthood receives each year in Title X funds accounts for about a tenth of the total taxpayer funding the abortion giant receives. Although the Protect Life Rule eliminates just a small portion of their funding, it is still an important and influential first step in defunding Planned Parenthood.

The Protect Life Rule also demonstrates President Trump’s commitment to protecting the unborn and conscience rights. Instead of that $60 million enriching abortion providers, those funds will be redirected to non-abortion health clinics.

Even without your tax dollars, Planned Parenthood continues to profit from abortions, including late-term abortions through primarily the dismemberment procedure. Right to Life of Michigan and grassroots volunteers across the state are hard at work collecting signatures to ban the dismemberment abortion procedure in Michigan. You can learn more and join the effort at michiganvalueslife.org.

Banning dismemberment abortions in Michigan will cut the profits of abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood and save the lives of vulnerable unborn children. Just as the Protect Life Rule proved Planned Parenthood’s top priority is their abortion services, the petition drive to end dismemberment abortions exposes the abortion industry and their radical commitment to ending lives through barbaric abortion procedures.

Prolife efforts are winning at the national, state and local level. We can see the progress being made on the federal level with the Trump Administration’s implementation of the Protect Life Rule. On the state level, the ongoing petition drive to end dismemberment abortions continues to receive thousands of signatures every day.

Locally, we’ve seen several recent successes. In April, Muskegon County ended Planned Parenthood’s sweetheart deal allowing them access to the county health building. The most recent numbers show their county health department is serving even more patients as a result.

Diverting taxpayer funds and banning barbaric abortion procedures are two areas of life-saving prolife progress worth celebrating.

RLM-PAC Endorses President Trump, John James

On August 28, 2019, Grand Rapids, MI, the Right to Life of Michigan Political Action Committee announced 2020 election endorsements for President Donald Trump and John James.

Early endorsements by Right to Life of Michigan Political Action Committee (RLM-PAC) are rare. John James is the only major prolife candidate who has filed to run against U.S. Senator Gary Peters.

John James was the only U.S. Senate candidate in 2018 endorsed by the RLM-PAC.

RLM-PAC Chairman Paul Miller said, “John James is a wonderful man who will protect unborn children. He has cleared the field. He ran a strong 2018 campaign against Senator Debbie Stabenow. It was unfortunate that he had to use resources on a primary challenge from a candidate who wasn’t 100-percent prolife.”

The U.S. Senate currently has a thin prolife majority. There are 53 current senators with 100% prolife voting records, though two of those senators are not reliable prolife votes.

Miller said, “Having a prolife Senate is vital, and it may come down to John James. After the Kavanaugh nomination, it should be clear that a Senate with a pro-abortion majority will not just block nominees who don’t agree with them, but personally destroy them.”

On July 4, 2019, the National Right to Life Committee endorsed President Trump. The RLM-PAC affirmed the endorsement for his re-election campaign in Michigan.

Miller said, “Donald Trump was the first prolife presidential candidate to carry Michigan since 1988. President Trump invested in Michigan and that commitment paid off.”

President Trump’s prolife victories include nominations of two fair U.S. Supreme Court justices and numerous other judges. His administration has enforced and expanded several important regulations, making him the first president to successfully defund Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider.

Miller said, “For decades, the abortion industry has relied on cheating the system, whether it’s through biased judges or ignoring laws and regulations. President Trump has made holding the abortion industry accountable an important objective.”

End Dismemberment Petition Drive Halfway at the Halfway Point

September 30, 2019, Grand Rapids, MI — More than 200,000 signatures to end dismemberment abortions have been received at the Right to Life of Michigan office.

Last week marked the halfway point of the Michigan Values Life petition drive, and the signatures received represent half of the 400,000 goal. 340,047 valid signatures are necessary to initiate legislation to ban the late-term dismemberment abortion procedure.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barb Listing said, “We are thankful for all the dedicated volunteers circulating petitions, and we are confident our incredible volunteers will collect the required number of signatures.”

The signature count does not include signatures thought to be invalid. The count only includes petitions received at the Right to Life of Michigan state office—not the total number of signatures gathered by volunteers. Petitions with signatures dated in July continue to be received daily.

Listing said, “We know people are holding completed petitions. Because of the time it takes to check all the signatures, we strongly encourage everyone to send in petitions as they are completed so we can count them.”

31,721 petitions have been received and counted as of Friday, September 27. More received petitions remain to be counted and more than 300,000 petitions are currently circulating in the field. Each petition has spaces for 8 signatures.

The first signatures were collected on June 26, 2019. The 180-day window to collect signatures ends on December 23, 2019.

Listing said, “Now that we are into the fall season, petitions are coming in more rapidly. We are hopeful after a strong push the signature gathering will be wrapped up before the holiday season.”

Right to Life of Michigan will give volunteers 14 days’ notice before a deadline to send in all collected signatures. Volunteers will continue collecting signatures at least through October and likely into mid-November.

More information about the petition can be found on the petition drive website, www.michiganvalueslife.org.

Michigan Women Have Fewer Abortions; Dismemberment Abortions Increase

Grand Rapids, MI — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services released the 2018 Michigan abortion report earlier this year. Michigan residents receiving abortions declined by 203, from 25,757 in 2017 to 25,554 in 2018.

Abortions performed in Michigan increased in 2018, with an additional 325 women from other states traveling to Michigan to have abortions (1,162 total).

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “It’s always good when fewer Michigan women have abortions. However, it’s tragic there are still so many children whose lives and futures are being taken from them.”

The number of dismemberment abortions (D&E) increased in Michigan by 7 percent. There were 1,908 dismemberment abortions in 2018, compared to 1,777 in 2017.

Listing said, “Our petition drive to ban the dismemberment abortion procedure is needed to help save lives. It’s wrong that a child in the womb can have their arms and legs ripped off. Such a barbaric act tarnishes the practice of medicine.”

A majority of the decline in Michigan resident abortions occurred in the city of Detroit. There were 6,061 abortions on Detroit residents in 2018, compared to 6,181 in 2017. In recent years, Right to Life of Michigan has given grants to pregnancy centers in Detroit and created a website listing pregnancy and childcare-related help organizations in Detroit: HelpintheD.org.

Listing said, “We hope our efforts have helped save those 120 lives, and we will continue to support our prolife pregnancy centers in the area as they offer women life-giving options.”

Despite the Detroit decrease, abortions performed on Black women remain tragically high. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 14.1 percent of Michigan’s population is Black, yet a majority of abortions in Michigan were performed on Black women in 2018 (50.1 percent).

Listing said, “Many people are shocked to learn that abortion has taken more Black lives than every other cause of death combined since 1973. As long as the abortion industry continues to target Black women with messages that their children are obstacles to their lives or our society, we’ll continue to offer them alternatives and hope.”

There have been 1,247,737 reported induced abortions in Michigan since 1980, when reporting first began. Abortions in Michigan have declined 45.6 percent from their high in 1987.

Right to Life of Michigan used a petition drive in 1987 to initiate our ban on Medicaid tax-funded abortions in the state. The law went into effect on December 12, 1988. Abortions decreased by 22 percent in 1989. Using that figure, our ban on Medicaid-funded abortions has saved 236,965 lives and counting since 1989.

Listing said, “Prolife laws save lives. We’re going to continue efforts to protect every unborn child’s basic human right to life. We mourn every life lost to abortion, but we celebrate every person alive today thanks to the efforts of prolife volunteers around the state and the mothers who chose life.”

Where Does America Stand on Abortion?

Abortion is all over the news lately. Sadly, many of these stories give people an incomplete picture of abortion. Before we discuss what Americans believe, we should reflect on what they don’t know.

We must start with Roe v. Wade, which keeps abortion legal in America by blocking enforcement of any significant ban on abortion. Many people falsely believe the abortion bans recently passed in several states have gone into immediate effect. What is needed is a basic civics refresher on how our judicial system works. Roe v. Wade continues to block every significant abortion ban until the U.S. Supreme Court overturns it.

Doe v. Bolton was an abortion case decided by the Supreme Court on the same day as Roe v. Wade. The “health” exception for abortion mentioned so frequently was defined in Doe v. Bolton to include essentially everything. Thus, Roe and Doe together keep abortion legal for every reason throughout all nine months of pregnancy by blocking enforcement of abortion bans.

Few have heard of Doe, and thus most have no idea what Roe really does. Asking people what they think about Roe is about as effective as asking them what they think about admiralty law and the 2008 court case United States v. Approximately 64,695 Pounds of Shark Fins (the shark fins won, by the way).

We continue to see a pattern of a woefully misinformed public. Most people think late-term abortions are performed for actual health reasons, but most are actually for economic or social reasons. Most people think millions of women died before Roe v. Wade from illegal abortions, even though the Washington Post called out Planned Parenthood recently for that data-free claim.

Truthfully, most Americans want to avoid abortion. They don’t understand it.  Most seem uncomfortable with entirely banning it, yet recoil in horror when abortion truths manage to reach them.

A clear picture emerges when polling companies like Gallup break down abortion questions by reasons and pregnancy trimesters. A majority of Americans would ban abortions for social or economic reasons, meaning more than 90% of abortions that occur today would be illegal if the views of the American people controlled our laws. An even larger majority of Americans would ban late-term abortions.

Our petition drive to ban the late-term dismemberment abortion procedure in Michigan will enjoy broad support; the procedure is so horrific that to merely describe it is to oppose it.

Chris Gast
Director of Communication/Education
(616) 532-2300 | RTL.org

Dismemberment Ban Petition Approved

Lansing, MI — On June 19, 2019, the Michigan Board of State Canvassers approved the summary and form of the Michigan Values Life petition to ban dismemberment abortions (D&E) in Michigan.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “Our affiliates and volunteers around the state are excited we’re able to begin collecting signatures to end this barbaric procedure in Michigan.”

Michigan Values Life is the name of the committee Right to Life of Michigan organized to collect signatures to initiate the legislation into the Michigan Legislature. The legislation can be passed into law by majority votes in the Legislature with no input from Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who has promised to veto the legislation.

The dismemberment ban itself is the same as the bills passed by the Michigan House and Senate in May. A section has been added allowing the Michigan Legislature to intervene in lawsuits in case Attorney General Dana Nessel refuses to defend the law in court.

It will take a few weeks for the petitions to be printed and distributed to volunteers who have already expressed interest. State law requires signatures to be collected within 180 days. A petition order form, circulating instructions, and other materials are available on the Michigan Values Life website: michiganvalueslife.org.

Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy used the term “dismemberment” to describe dilation and evacuation abortions (D&E).

In his opinion in Stenberg v. Carhart, Justice Kennedy wrote, “The fetus, in many cases, dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn limb from limb. The fetus can be alive at the beginning of the dismemberment process and can survive for a time while its limbs are being torn off.”

The dismemberment abortion procedure is the most frequently used late-term abortion procedure. In 2018, there were 1,908 dismemberment abortions in Michigan reported to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The dismemberment ban bills include an exception if the mother’s life is in danger. However, in published research on reasons women have abortions, the pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute has stated that most late-term abortions are done for elective reasons.

Dismembering Human Beings is Wrong

Since New York endorsed abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy, prolifers have been on the move. Many people who considered themselves prolife but didn’t commit themselves to regular efforts to end abortion have suddenly been awakened and activated.

Many of those people have seen prolife legislation in other states and wonder what Michigan will do. In Michigan, our focus will be a ban on dismemberment abortions (also called a D&E abortion).

Sadly, in Michigan, this prolife crescendo came at a bad time. Michigan went from having an indifferent governor in Rick Snyder to now having an actively pro-abortion governor in Gretchen Whitmer. The silver lining is Michigan voters returned prolife majorities to the Legislature.

Thankfully, Michigan’s Constitution has a provision that allows citizens to initiate legislation directly to the Legislature by collecting a large number of signatures. If the Michigan House and Senate approve the legislation, it becomes law without the governor.

Right to Life of Michigan and local affiliates have been very successful in the past using these petition drives, most recently in 2013. Such an effort requires a laser-like focus, and for the next two years our focus is on banning dismemberment abortion.

Several other states have advanced different prolife laws: bans on abortion after 20 weeks, heartbeat bans, bans on targeted abortions for reasons of sex-selection or disability, etc. Most of these laws require Roe v. Wade to be overturned to be effective.

Michigan is unique. Michigan currently has a law on the books banning abortion except to save the life of the mother. After Roe was decided in 1973, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that our law remains in legal effect, but not fully enforceable. The day Roe v. Wade is overturned, our law has an opportunity to be restored to full effect. So, Michigan law already bans abortions after 20 weeks, or after a heartbeat is detected, or abortions targeted at specific demographics; we’ve got that covered.

A ban on dismemberment abortion is different. It’s the next prolife law likely to be upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court if they aren’t willing to fully overturn Roe v. Wade yet. Crucially, it allows us to educate people about abortion itself. A dismemberment abortion involves tearing the arms and legs off a child in the later stages of pregnancy.

Dismembering a human being goes against our Michigan values and it’s time for us to stop it.

Chris Gast
Director of Communication/Education

Dismemberment Abortion Ban Introduced in Michigan

March 12, 2019, Lansing, Mich. -– Legislation to ban dismemberment abortions in Michigan was introduced today in the Michigan House.

House Bills 4320 and 4321 would amend Michigan’s 2011 ban on partial-birth abortions by including the dismemberment abortion procedure, also known as a dilation and evacuation abortion (D&E).

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “These bills are Michigan’s response to New York’s abortion law and other states seeking to explicitly allow abortions through all nine months of pregnancy for any reason.”

Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy accurately described dismemberment/D&E abortions in his opinions in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions on partial-birth abortion in Gonzales v. Carhart (2007) and Stenberg v. Carhart (2000).

In Gonzales, Justice Kennedy wrote, “The doctor, often guided by ultrasound, inserts grasping forceps through the woman’s cervix and into the uterus to grab the fetus. The doctor grips a fetal part with the forceps and pulls it back through the cervix and vagina, continuing to pull even after meeting resistance from the cervix. The friction causes the fetus to tear apart. For example, a leg might be ripped off the fetus as it is pulled through the cervix and out of the woman.”

In Stenberg, Justice Kennedy wrote, “The fetus, in many cases, dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn from limb from limb. The fetus can be alive at the beginning of the dismemberment process and can survive for a time while its limbs are being torn off.”

Listing said, “In his opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy rightly said that dismemberment abortions are ‘laden with the power to devalue human life.’ Tearing the arms and legs off children in the later stages of pregnancy is not a good reflection of our Michigan values.”

The dismemberment abortion procedure is the most frequently-used late-term abortion procedure in America and Michigan. In 2017, there were 1,777 dismemberment abortions in Michigan reported to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Of those, 98 percent occurred in the second trimester, between 13 and 24 weeks of pregnancy.

In published research on reasons women have abortions, the pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute has stated that most late-term abortions are done for elective reasons.

In a 2013 study the Guttmacher Institute published, the authors admitted, “But data suggest that most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment.”

Listing said, “Opinion polls routinely show a majority of Americans believe late-term abortions should be illegal. Dismemberment abortions are obvious violence and that’s not how we should be treating our own children.”

New Honesty From Abortion Supporters

On January 22, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a horrific bill into law. On the 46th memorial of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, Governor Cuomo made several changes to state abortion law, including formally legalizing abortion through all nine months of pregnancy for any reason.

This new law has prolife people everywhere heartbroken. On the very same day of mourning for the 59 million lives lost over tragic U.S. Supreme Court decisions 46 years ago, New York embraced abortion-on-demand with open arms. Days later, a similar bill failed to pass in Virginia. In defense of the bill’s sponsor, embattled Virginia Governor Ralph Northam made a statement condoning infanticide, saying that disabled babies can be born alive and left to die.

Other states with pro-abortion majorities are following suit. Governor Gretchen Whitmer promised to do the same in Michigan, but our prolife majorities in the Legislature prevent that—for now.

These opinions are nothing new. Abortion through all nine months of pregnancy—until the day of birth—is what Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton originally legalized. Roe v. Wade stated that abortions in the third trimester could be banned as long as an exception existed if the woman’s health was in danger, but Doe v. Bolton defined “health” to mean whatever reasons the woman or abortionist wanted: “physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age—relevant to the well-being of the patient.”

Put simply, the Supreme Court legalized abortion at any time and for any reason; states can ban late-term abortions as long as they allow them for any reason.

The purpose of the New York’s new law was simply to ensure that unlimited abortions will continue to be legal in New York when Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton are finally overturned. These laws are simply a defense of the barbaric status quo.

Poor media coverage, elected officials in both parties unwilling to broadly engage the abortion debate, and the refusal of most pro-abortion advocates to plainly state their radical beliefs have blinded many Americans to the gravity of the abortion issue and the extent of its grip on our culture.

How will abortion’s grip be loosened? Only when people look clearly at this life and death issue. Perhaps the silver lining in the recent events in Virginia, New York, and elsewhere is that abortion supporters now must be somewhat more honest than usual.

Missing Women’s History

Women’s history month was instituted to celebrate the important role women have had in building history. This month celebrates women who have made famous impacts in fighting for justice and equality like Susan B. Anthony and Harriet Tubman, as well as the many unrecognized efforts of women throughout history whose names are unknown.

During this month, we cannot forget the group of women who have been by far the most unrecognized and undervalued in all of history: the nearly 30 million women in America whose lives were taken from them in the womb since 1973.

Many speak about abortion as if it liberates women. In truth, abortion is a tool for discriminating against women. According to one estimate, more than 160 million women around the globe were denied the chance to impact the world because of sex-selection abortions and infanticides in recent decades. Women’s organizations should be outraged; it’s alarmingly unjust that tens of millions of women’s lives ended simply because they were female instead of male.

Sadly, this is not new. For many years before abortion became widely available, baby girls would often be tragically left to die by many parents who decided they wanted a boy instead. This still occurs in some countries today with alarming regularity. The problem has become so stark it’s a crime in some nations to use an ultrasound to learn the sex of your unborn child.

Some may see infanticide as more horrifying than having an abortion, but both options end the child’s life.

In recent weeks, many U.S. politicians including 44 U.S. Senators have sent the message that they see no difference between ending a child’s life in the womb or after birth. If the child is unwanted by the birth parents and targeted for abortion—as is the case for many millions of baby girls around the world—they would ignore infanticide through neglect if the abortion fails and results in a live birth instead.

So many politicians, celebrities—and of course, Planned Parenthood—widely praise abortion as the foundation of women’s rights, but by doing so they ignore the stories of hundreds of millions of women who were denied the most basic right to life. Abortion is a tool used over and over for discrimination and targeting of vulnerable lives deemed “unwanted.” So much more women’s history would be made if we simply valued the life of every little girl.

Trending Towards Life

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released their annual report on abortion statistics, showing that abortion rates are lower than ever. Though it is unacceptable that abortion should claim the lives of any number of children, it is encouraging to see this improving trend.

Looking at the CDC report is helpful for understanding the dynamics driving the abortion issue. However, it is important to note that the accuracy of the CDC data is not perfect. For example, California, Maryland, and New Hampshire all fail to report annual abortion data to the CDC.

The total number of abortions reported to the CDC in the U.S. decreased 2% from 652,639 in 2014 to 638,169 in 2015. According to the Guttmacher Institute—which polls abortion facilities directly—the total national figure for all 50 states was an estimated 926,200 in 2014. Both sources agree abortion is in decline.

Women in their 20s remain the largest demographic of those who have abortions. However, the average age of a woman having an abortion has been slowly increasing. Teen abortions continue to plummet, with their abortion rate decreasing by 54% since 2006.

The abortion ratio decreased from 2007 to 2015 for the three largest race/ethnicity groups. The ratio is the number of abortions compared to live births, meaning more women are choosing life. There are still large disparities between these groups. The ratio for non-Hispanic white women is 108 abortions per 1,000 live births, 152 for Hispanic women, and 403 for non-Hispanic black women.

A majority of women having abortions already have a child. The repeat abortion rate is high, with 43.6% of abortions being performed on women who have already had at least one prior abortion.

The steady decrease in abortions is encouraging; the hard work of the prolife movement is paying off and more women are choosing life. However, the numbers paint a tragic picture of many 20-something urban minorities who already have one child and believe abortion is their only viable option. Perhaps they are at the abortion facility for the second or third time.

While the prolife movement continues to enhance legal protection for unborn children, we will continue to reach women in desperate situations or trapped in a downward spiral. In order to see a day in which abortion is both illegal and unthinkable, we must educate more people about our supreme value that every human life is valuable.

Chris Gast
Director of Communication/Education
cgast@rtl.org

Right to Life of Michigan Calls on Peters, Stabenow to Protect Born Alive Infants

February 5, 2019, Grand Rapids, Mich. -– Right to Life of Michigan is calling on U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow to support S.130, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.

Last night, an effort to give S.130 unanimous consent in the U.S. Senate was blocked by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA).

The legislation would require that a child born alive after a botched abortion be treated with the same level of care as a premature infant born at the same stage of pregnancy, and that the child be transported to a hospital for proper care.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “It should be easy for everyone to agree that once a child is born, they deserve the same treatment as any other child. Why would anyone disagree? This isn’t about abortion, but about treating newborns with the care they deserve.”

S.130 would add protections to the existing federal Born Alive Infant Protection Act of 2002. The 2002 law defines a child born alive following a botched abortion as a person under existing federal laws. The 2002 law passed the U.S. Senate with unanimous consent.

Listing said, “Senator Debbie Stabenow was in the U.S. Senate in 2002, so we hope she won’t object to making sure the law is being properly enforced today.”

The legislation was introduced by Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) in the wake of a new abortion law in New York and legislation in Virginia. The New York law recently signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo repealed legal protection in the state for children born alive following botched abortions.

Similar legislation in Virginia was defeated after the bill sponsor publicly admitted the legislation would allow abortions through all nine months of pregnancy, even during the process of labor.

Embattled Virginia Governor Ralph Northam defended the legislation and third trimester abortions in a radio show where he said, “The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”

Listing said, “There are examples of children just left to die following a late-term abortion. It’s clear our country’s laws need to be improved to ensure infanticide or passive euthanasia of children is not occurring. This shouldn’t be a controversial issue and we expect our Michigan Senators to stand for basic, humane treatment.”

January 22 Marked 46 Years of Abortion, 59 Million Lives Lost

Grand Rapids, Mich. -– Tuesday, January 22 marked the 46th year of legalized abortion after the U.S. Supreme Court decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. The decisions allow abortion through all nine months of pregnancy for any reason.

In the past 46 years, legalized abortion has ended the lives of an estimated 59 million children in the womb.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “This is an unthinkable number of deaths that continues to grow each year. We must stand firm in our opposition to this tragedy.”

Prolife people mourn the loss of life, but remain optimistic about the future. Last year saw several significant prolife victories.

President Donald Trump made another Supreme Court nomination after Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement. Justice Brett Kavanaugh is potentially the fifth vote on the Court needed to overturn or significantly weaken Roe v. Wade.

In May 2018, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of prolife pregnancy centers in the case NIFLA v. Becerra , protecting their right to free speech.

The Centers for Disease Control released their annual report on the number of abortions in the U.S., showing the lowest recorded number of abortions since 1973. Abortions in the U.S. decreased 24 percent since 2006 and have been declining since 1990.

Listing said, “Now is a time to be encouraged by all the prolife movement has accomplished and to renew our determination to see an end to the millions of deaths brought about by abortion.”

On January 18, 2019, hundreds of thousands of prolife individuals traveled to the nation’s capital to show their support for the lives of unborn child in the annual March for Life. Right to Life of Michigan affiliates took 18 buses with more than 900 people to the March for Life, and hosted many local events to mark the 46th memorial of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton.

Background information:
Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton
Abortions Since Roe
NIFLA v. Becerra
CDC Abortion Report

You Win Some, You Lose Some, But You Never Give Up!

From the prolife perspective in Michigan, the election results aren’t great. Gretchen Whitmer won the race for governor. She is strongly in favor of abortion, ready to pour support into Planned Parenthood, halt prolife legislation, and to fight for forcing all insurance plans to pay for abortions. If possible, she would repeal the 1987 law stopping Medicaid-funded abortions, which has saved more than 230,000 Michigan lives.

Still, we cannot give up the fight. Voters returned prolife majorities to our State Legislature. Michigan has a unique citizen-initiated legislative process, which allows Michigan citizens to directly impact our state’s laws. If a legislative proposal receives enough valid signatures, the proposal is presented to the Michigan Legislature to adopt or reject without the governor’s signature. We the people still have an opportunity to advance legal protection for unborn children.

There’s a major hurdle to passing more prolife laws, however. Dana Nessel was elected to be our next attorney general. During her campaign, she said she would refuse to enforce prolife laws. As the top law enforcement office of the state, Nessel’s job is supposed to be enforcing the laws, which are legitimately passed by our elected officials or voted on directly by the voters. Instead, she seems to view her job as a crusade against those who disagree with her politically.

She also claimed she wants to shut down prolife pregnancy care centers. Attacking these nonprofit centers for the apparent crime of providing free help and resources to women and men in need is beyond the pale.

By a small margin, prolife veteran John James lost to Senator Debbie Stabenow. Among a long list of pro-abortion votes, Stabenow voted to keep partial-birth abortion legal, voted to force taxpayers to fund abortion, and voted against a ban against smuggling minor teens out-of-state for abortions behind their parents’ backs.

While prolife people may be discouraged by results at the top of the ticket in Michigan, we can’t give up. There’s a larger prolife majority in the U.S. Senate, which means President Trump can continue to nominate fair justices to the U.S. Supreme Court and lower courts. Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton are in even greater danger, meaning voters may once again soon see their role in deciding abortion policy restored to them.

We continue working towards a day when the right to life of every human being is once again respected and protected.

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

Making Sense of 59 Million

On the 46th anniversary of the court cases Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton that legalized abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, we remember the 59 million lives lost to induced abortion since January 22, 1973.

Large numbers like 59 million can be difficult to wrap your brain around, because there aren’t many tangible examples of numbers that large. Let’s give it a try, though. Here’s a few examples of what the number 59 million could compare to.

If each person lost to abortion was represented by 1 second of silence, this would take 683 days— nearly two years—of silence.

If each person lost to abortion was represented by one square mile, the space needed would be 2 million square miles more than the land area of the globe.

Though 59 million people can’t realistically be in one physical place, millions can come together through the World Wide Web. Millions of people can be united in one interest or follow the same celebrity on social media. President Trump, for example, has around 57 million followers on Twitter. The missing 59 million people could double his Twitter account.

One physical space that does give a comparable example of millions of people together is large cities. On the crowded streets of a city like New York, you can barely stretch out your arm without it hitting someone else. Even then, it is impossible to visualize how many people are really in the entire city. But imagine for a moment the busy streets, packed coffee shops and restaurants, and sky-high office, hotel, and apartment buildings in some of the world’s most popular cities: Beijing, Tokyo, London, Paris, Los Angeles, and New York. Now realize: the entire population of these six famous cities combined comes to roughly 3 million people less than the missing 59 million.

If the people in these cities all disappeared from one cause, would the world pay attention? Because they had faces that were visible, and they could make sounds you might hear? Or would there still be some who made excuses, saying that the world was overpopulated anyway, or that so many of those people probably lived in poverty or with disabilities, and led worthless lives anyway?

Let us be the first to pay attention and stand up for the 59 million lives lost and be the first to recognize the sanctity of every human life.

Chris Gast
Director of Communication/Education

www.RTL.org

Prolifers Aren’t “Zombies”; Roe v. Wade Is

The pro-abortion news website Rewire recently published an article about the Democratic primary race for Michigan governor: “Michigan Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates Take Aim at ‘Zombie’ Law Banning Abortion.”

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

Abortion supporters call this a “zombie law” because they somehow believe it’s already dead. Except that’s not true at all.

In January of 1973, Roe v. Wade and its companion case Doe v. Bolton overturned the laws of all 50 states, forcing abortion through all nine months of pregnancy for any reason on them. Several weeks prior, in November of 1972, Michigan voters had a chance to vote on our “zombie law.” Abortion supporters tried to repeal it through Proposal B of 1972, but 60 percent of Michiganders voted to keep our law.

Can you call a law that got a supermajority of support from voters “dead”? Can you call a law that’s still legally enforceable in some cases “dead”? We don’t think so.

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

Abortion supporters’ use of the term “zombie” is laden with tragic irony. Roe v. Wade has the outer husk of an actual judicial decision, but it is dead inside; even pro-abortion lawyers can’t justify it on legal grounds. It’s abortion that consumes the lives of innocent human beings in apocalyptic numbers, not laws that protect them.

Once you get past the verbal smokescreen of terms like “zombie law,” you can see where Gretchen Whitmer actually wants to take Michigan if elected governor. It goes well beyond just Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, but to forcing people to pay for abortions, even bringing back partial-birth abortions.

If there is any idea in America that should be buried, yet still manages to stalk the countryside harming innocent lives, it’s the idea that we can declare a class of human beings subhuman and refuse to honor their unalienable right to life.

Chris Gast
Director of Communication/Education
cgast@rtl.org

Rep. Brian Elder Attacks Prolife Pregnancy Centers

Lansing, Mich. — On Wednesday, State Rep. Brian Elder (D-Bay City) introduced HB 6281, an unconstitutional bill attacking the freedom of speech of prolife pregnancy help centers.

Rep. Elder’s bill closely mirrors a law in California that was struck down on June 26 by the U.S. Supreme Court in NIFLA v. Becerra.

Amy Srebinski is executive director of Beacon of Hope Pregnancy Care Center, the prolife pregnancy help center in Rep. Elder’s district. Srebinski was confused about why Rep. Elder would want to pursue unconstitutional legislation.

Srebinski said, “This doesn’t make sense. Why would he introduce a bill already struck down by the Supreme Court?”

The legislation would require prolife pregnancy help centers to display a notice in advertising larger than the text of their own message. The notice would state that they are an unlicensed facility. The purpose of the legislation is to effectively prevent prolife pregnancy centers from advertising, in order to give abortion businesses a competitive advantage.

Srebinski said, “We gain nothing financially from what we do. Nothing about what we do is deceptive. This tells me he has no idea what pregnancy centers really do.”

Organizations that support abortion frequently describe prolife pregnancy help centers as “fake clinics.” In Michigan, there are more than 150 pregnancy and adoption help centers that offer a variety of services, including pregnancy counseling, pregnancy tests, free ultrasounds, maternity and children’s clothing, formula, diapers, and other services.

Srebinski said, “We give away tens of thousands of dollars in services that help women. We see approximately 100 clients a month and give away about 72,000 diapers a year.”

The legislation represents a stunning reversal for Rep. Elder, who declared himself to be 100 percent prolife and was endorsed by the Right to Life of Michigan Political Action Committee (RLM-PAC) in the 2016 election.

In an April 26 article published by Gongwer, Rep. Elder announced he would not be seeking the RLM-PAC endorsement but said his views about abortion haven’t changed. He said he had “absolutely no plans to do anything substantive on the issue.”

Now four months later, Rep. Elder has introduced unconstitutional legislation targeting prolife nonprofit pregnancy help centers.

Srebinski said, “It’s very unfortunate that he’s taking this stance.”

Right to Life of Michigan is calling on Rep. Elder to withdraw his unconstitutional bill attacking prolife pregnancy centers.

Srebinski said, “I’d like to make an open invitation to Mr. Elder to visit our center and learn more about us.”

Background Information:
Rep. Elder’s Betrayal
HB 6281
NIFLA v. Becerra
April 26, 2018 Gongwer Article
Pregnancy and Adoption Help Agencies in Michigan