SDRTL News

09
Feb
life begin5

45 Years of Failure, A New Year of Hope

January 18, 2018, Grand Rapids, Mich. — Monday, January 22, 2018 will mark 45 years since the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, legalizing abortion in all 50 states through all nine months of pregnancy. Since those decisions, more than 58 million innocent lives have been lost to abortion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information: Right to Life of Michigan Director of Communication/Education Chris Gast, 616-532-2300, info@rtl.org.

09
Feb
Facebook

Facebook Shuts Down Michigan Prolifers Again

October 31, 2017, Grand Rapids, Mich. — Wexford/Missaukee Right to Life, an affiliate of Right to Life of Michigan, discovered on October 4 that their Facebook advertising account had been shut down without explanation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information: Right to Life of Michigan Director of Communication/Education Chris Gast, 616-532-2300, info@rtl.org.

09
Feb

Lie Spreads about late-term Abortions

Lyin’ about late-term abortions

“Lie” and “gaslighting” are strong words, but they are necessary to use in this case.

Yesterday a majority of the U.S. Senate voted to ban most abortions past 20 weeks based on evidence that the unborn child can feel pain. The bill was blocked by a filibuster of 44 Democrats and 2 Republicans.

The most frequent argument against the bill that we saw was that most women who have abortions past 20 weeks have some health issue, or the child has a fatal condition or disability. Here’s an example, from Planned Parenthood:

Abortion later in pregnancy is rare and often happens under complex circumstances — the kind of situations where a patient and doctor need every medical option available: http://p.ppfa.org/2nkJnSc 

‘I Had An Abortion When I Was 21 Weeks Pregnant’

When my husband and I found out we were pregnant with our first baby, we were ecstatic.

womenshealthmag.com

It’s a bad argument for three reasons:

A) Killing someone is not an appropriate response to suffering.
B) Having a disability doesn’t diminish your human rights.
C) It isn’t true. It’s a lie.

It’s not like this is a mistake, or an assumption, or wishful thinking. Planned Parenthood’s own favorite research institution has studied the issue. They found most women who have late-term abortions past 20 weeks fit one of these five profiles:

1) Single mothers with other children.
2) Depression or substance abuse.
3) Relationship issues or domestic violence.
4) Trouble deciding earlier in the pregnancy.
5) Young and without children.

These are reasons for many early abortions as well. Conspicuously absent is any mention of a child with a disability or health issues.

It’s also a disingenuous argument. Planned Parenthood doesn’t oppose a ban on late-term abortions because of health issues, they oppose them because they believe no unborn child has a right to life at any point in pregnancy. If such an exception were included in a late-term ban, Planned Parenthood would move on to a completely different and equally-deceptive argument to oppose it. Planned Parenthood knows that late-term abortion bans usually poll in the 60 percent range, and that even many self-identified pro-choice Democrats support such bans, so they have to skirt the issue.

Planned Parenthood gaslights the public, they gaslight the media, and they gaslight their own supporters. Gaslighting is a term for emotional/mental abuse that involves repeatedly lying and deceiving someone, with the goal of having them question their own perceptions and instead rely on the deceptive person for their view of reality.

Practically every common argument or talking point from the abortion industry involves deception of some kind: only 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s work involves abortions, “heavily edited” undercover videos involving fetal tissue trafficking, Planned Parenthood’s fictitious mammogram machines, or the lie that launched the movement into the mainstream itself: back alley abortions. We could go on and on.

Why do Planned Parenthood and others do this? Because the second you acknowledge even a sliver of the truth or the humanity of the unborn child, the entire abortion house of cards comes tumbling down. Abortion rests on the idea that a child has zero moral worth before the moment of birth, or as former Sen. Barbara Boxer put it, a baby doesn’t have value until you take her home from the hospital.

Just yesterday in discussing with someone the reasons women have abortions past 20 weeks, the person was unable to accept that the study discussed above from the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute was legitimate. The person claimed the study was about abortion after 14 weeks, even though the title of the study is, “Who Seeks Abortions at or After 20 Weeks?”. She was unable to accept the truth, and confabulated a reason to ignore the evidence.

That’s why you can show someone a video of Planned Parenthood talking in their own words about selling the organs of aborted babies, and the person will likely find an excuse to assume what they’ve just seen isn’t real or must be a deception itself. They are incapable of believing Planned Parenthood is in the wrong.

That’s why it’s important to keep your cool when debating people who support abortion. Most abortion supporters aren’t dismissing your claims to purposefully lie or deceive. Their support of abortion rests on denying the reality of the unborn child, and they have been conditioned to accept claims from Planned Parenthood uncritically and doubt everything the profile movement says. Getting angry at them only drives them further away from your point.

That doesn’t mean the prolife movement should abandon debunking pro-abortion claims. You can still sow seeds of doubt in abortion supporters, and sometimes they do see the truth when they are ready to emotionally accept it. So be patient, and continue keeping your arguments grounded in the facts and on point.

You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.

09
Feb
Debbie Stabenow

How Well Do You Know Debbie Stabenow?

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow’s record puts innocent lives in jeopardy. Below are examples of how her voting record fails to live up the important standard that every human life has value and deserves legal protection. Click on each link to learn more about her record.

PARENTAL CONSENT – Stabenow voted against legislation requiring minor children to receive parental consent before having abortions. She has voted to allow children to be smuggled over state lines to avoid parental consent laws.

PLANNED PARENTHOOD – Stabenow voted against efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, and even voted to give them $1 billion in additional taxpayer funds simply because they perform abortions.

FREE SPEECH – Stabenow voted to rescind portions of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, potentially criminalizing educational posts just like this.

ABORTION ON DEMAND – Stabenow voted in favor of partial-birth abortions and believes abortion should be legal throughout pregnancy, even during the process of birth.

DOCTOR-PRESCRIBED SUICIDE – Stabenow voted to allow doctor-prescribed suicide in Michigan as Jack Kevorkian was traveling around the state euthanizing people with the eventual goal of performing live experiments on dying patients.

CONSCIENCE RIGHTS – Stabenow voted to force the Little Sisters of the Poor to pay for abortion-inducing drugs against their will, and voted to force people to purchase insurance plans that cover abortions.

TAX-FUNDED ABORTIONS – Stabenow voted to force prolife people to fund elective abortions with their tax dollars.

FUNDING ABORTION OVERSEAS – Stabenow voted to fund organizations that provide and promote abortions overseas, inclduing organizations engaged in coercive population control programs.

02
Feb

March for Life 2018

120 students & 25 adults made Southern Downriver Right to Life’s “Red eye” overnight  trip on three luxury bus coaches to the 2018 March for Life in Washington D.C.  which was help on January 19.  The students were able to listen to many Pro-Life Speakers including President Donald Trump, Vice-President Mike Pence, and Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan on picture perfect 50 degree day in the nation’ capital.  The annual  March for Life  is considered the largest human rights demonstration the world. Southern Downriver Right to Life, the local affiliate of Right to Life of Michigan in southern Wayne County, picks up ½  of the $110  cost of the trip for each student through an annual  golf outing. This year’s Golf Outing will be held on September 10 at Grosse Ile Golf & Country Club.  Call Joe Connors at 800-295-4277 for information about Southern Downriver Right to Life or the Golf Outing. 2018 March for Life #2, 1-18-19 2018 March for Life #3, 1-18-19 2018 March for Life #4, 1-19-18 2018 March for Life #5, 1-19-18

23
Dec

An end to US aid for abortions overseas?

Did you know that the United States currently sends money overseas to promote abortions and abortion-related services?

President Ronald Reagan wanted to prevent US tax dollars to be given to other countries for promoting abortion. In 1984 he created the Mexico City Policy, which required all foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that receive federal funding to refrain from performing or promoting abortion services as a method of family planning internationally. After it passed, several international groups changed their policies so that they could still receive funding. Some groups, like the International Planned Parenthood Federation, did not.

This policy was in place until it was rescinded by Democratic President Bill Clinton in January 1993. It was re-instituted in January 2001 when President George W. Bush took office, and rescinded again in 2009 after President Barack Obama took office.

Since being rescinded in 2009, US tax dollars have been used to not only promote abortions, but to help perform abortions. The Helms amendment is a permanent law created in 1973 after Roe v. Wade to forbid foreign aid from directly paying for abortions. Without the Mexico City Policy, however, a loop hole is provided allowing abortion organizations to receive funding. In the same way Planned Parenthood expands abortion when they receive tax dollars at home, they and other abortion organizations can provide more abortions overseas with access to our tax dollars. Once in their budget, one dollar is as good as the next despite whatever accounting gimmicks they are required to abide by.

With thousands of service points in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe, hundreds of thousands of abortion-related services have taken place in the absence of the Mexico City Policy. There is no denying that this aid to other countries  drives up their abortion numbers, only hurting them. Many of these countries where abortion is being introduced have strict social and religious mandates against killing the unborn. Aid to abortion organizations takes away money that could be given to other legitimate healthcare organizations that work to provide family planning and other health services.

We need policies that help people internationally, not cause further harm by promoting an abortion-on-demand agenda. President-elect Trump will have an opportunity to revisit the Mexico City Policy next month.

23
Dec

Dispelling the myth: abortion side effects and the new JAMA study

Abortion is procedure that can cause some major side effects, substantially contributing to women’s mental health problems (and physical health problems as well). But unfortunately the media tries to divert the truth and push stories that neglect to talk about women’s health and safety.

Over the years there have been conflicting studies brought forth on whether or not there is mental health implications that come after having an abortion. JAMA Psychiatry recently released a study from the pro-abortion University of California-San Fransisco stating that women who had an abortion are not any more likely to have psychological damage than those who couldn’t have one.

UCSF researchers looked at 956 women for five years who were either post-abortive or women who tried to get an abortion and were denied. This data comes from their “Turnaway Study,” which was widely reported. Their new study went on the claim that through the information that they collected, they could decide that abortion really had no long-term effect on mental health.

It takes a lot to jump to a conclusion about everyone who has ever had an abortion from just one study, especially one whose data has some very glaring problems.

Most women in the original “Turnaway Study” turned away from participating in it. Only a small selection of women asked to participate volunteered. Were those that actively chose to participate more likely to think about their abortions positively?

The UCSF researchers did not note what types of abortions these were. First trimester abortions can still be traumatizing, but late-term abortions are widely-recognized to have a larger affect. Were these not more traumatizing second trimester abortions? Where are those details?

There are several other problems with the basic data they used.

Back in 2011 an extensive study review was published in the British Journal of Psychiatry (BJP) on the psychological effects of abortion. The BJP sample consisted of 22 studies and over 800,000 participants. The results showed that women who aborted experienced an 81% increased risk for mental health problems. This study offers the largest estimate of mental health risks associated with abortion currently available.

Abortion supporters often fail to look at the countless testimonies of women who have experienced the real psychological side effects of abortion like depression, anxiety, stress, and even suicidal thoughts. Many of these women wish they had access to more information when they had an abortion.

Some states, like Michigan, have laws in place to educate women on abortion before the procedure can take place. In 1993 Michigan passed our Informed Consent Law, which creates a 24-hour waiting period before a women can receive an abortion. Information pertaining to abortions must be made available to women who are abortion-mined at least 24 hours prior to their abortion being performed. This includes a summary of the procedure, gestation age of the baby, prenatal care information and parenting information.

Making sure that women are educated and know the potential mental health risks related to abortion is important for safety. When taking something as routine as an antibiotic, you are made aware of potential side effects; abortion should be no different.

Every few years a study comes out—usually funded by the same pro-abortion sources—and it gets widely hyped in the media. The study and media coverage utterly delegitimizes any women who don’t believe their abortion was a positive good. We know the goal here is to normalize abortion rather than educate women about the psychological harm abortion can do to them.

23
Dec

Abortions down 5% nationally in latest CDC report

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

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

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

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

Abortion is aging 
Trends continue to show that more abortions are being performed on older women. Teens had 17.4% of abortions in 2004, compared to 11.7% in 2013. Women in the post-college age bracket of 25-34 had 37.9% of the abortions in 2004, but had 42.7% in 2013. The abortion ratios declined in all age groups, however, so both younger and older women are more likely to choose life in 2013 than in 2004. Older women also have much lower abortion ratios than younger women. A dramatic decline in teen abortions is part of the reason for the aging of abortion, but there’s a lot more to the story.

Just 1% are late-term abortions? That’s a lot of late-term abortions!
How many times have you seen politicians or abortion supporters dismiss late-term abortions as “rare” or not worth even discussing?

In the 2013 CDC report there are 40 reporting areas that collected information on how old the child is at the time he or she is aborted. The report showed 5,770 late-term abortions after 20 weeks, or 1.3% of all abortions. A good estimate for the entire nation is about 10,000 abortions every year given the roughly 1 million total abortions. Let’s just look at that reported figure though. How many is 5,770 late-term abortions? It’s 5,770 too many, especially when a large majority of Americans oppose late-term abortions. Compare that to other causes of death nationally, however. The latest CDC numbers showed 4,605 deaths from influenza in 2014. Are deaths from the flu so rare they are not worth addressing?

Just that “small” amount of late-term abortions should highlight the gut-wrenching numbers when looking at overall abortions. Why can’t our public health system devote as much attention to abortion as it does the seasonal flu? The dreaded Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 is estimated to have killed 50-100 million people globally in three years. In the three years from 2010-2013 there have been an estimated 168 million abortions globally. Abortion is not a once-in-a-century pandemic; it takes life on the scale of a permanent pandemic.

Don’t let someone dismiss abortion or late-term abortions as a side-issue; help them learn the facts.

Abortion has a disparate impact on the Black Community 
The good news is abortion ratios dropped in every racial and ethnic category in 2013. The bad news is the ratio is much higher in the Black community and it’s not dropping as quickly as other groups. The 2013 abortion ratio per 1,000 live births for non-Hispanic White women was 121, it was 178 for Hispanic women of any race and 420 for non-Hispanic Black women. The drops in abortion ratios from 2007 to 2013 were 23% for non-Hispanic Whites, 17% for non-Hispanic Blacks, and 13% for Hispanics.

Abortion is a cyclical problem that’s not being addressed 
Contrary to popular thought, abortion is not a one-time occurrence for most women. Nearly half of abortions are repeat abortions. Of women who had abortions in 2013, 55% were having their first abortion, and 45% were having their second abortion or more. Serial abortion is a serious problem, because 20% of women having abortions in 2013 were having their third abortion or more, and 9% were having their fourth abortion or more. If there are 1 million abortions in the U.S., then 90,000 women every year are having at least the fourth abortion in their lifetime.

Another tragic number is that of women who had abortions in 2013, 60% had already given birth to a child. These are women who probably already sat through an ultrasound with their first child as part of the birth process.

Conclusion? Celebrate more lives saved, but much more effort is still needed!

23
Dec

Michigan Legislature passes bills to ban fetal tissue trafficking

On December 14, the Michigan House passed SB 546 and 565 with a vote of 69-37 and 68-39. These bills received support from several members of the Democratic House Caucus who usually are solid pro-abortion votes. These bills are now headed to the desk of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, where he is expected to sign them.

SB 564 will prohibit the exchange of any form of compensation for fetal tissue or organs. SB 565 establishes the legal penalties for engaging in fetal tissue trafficking.

State Senator Phil Pavlov introduced this bill after the Center for Medical Progress had released a series of videos showing senior members of Planned Parenthood engaging in fetal organ and tissue trafficking. The videos further show abortion providers haggling over the prices for certain fetal parts, and being willing to change abortion procedures to get them.

While it is currently legal to receive a procurement fee for removing and delivering fetal organs and tissue, the videos show a picture of profiteering and greed. Because there are no guidelines within the law for fees that can be collected, this legislation will simply prohibit any exchange of money in Michigan, but will allow the practice of fetal tissue and organ donations.

Fetal tissue research is nothing new. Since at least the 1920s, scientists have used fetal tissue for various medical reasons. However it wasn’t until elective abortions became legal that the ethics of fetal tissue experimentation became hotly debated. Last year alone the National Institutes of Health spent $76 million of projects involving fetal tissue. Any existing or potential funds from the federal government for research projects in Michigan will not be affected by these bills, but the exchange of money to abortion providers who are selling fetal tissue for profit will end once these bills are signed into law.

26
May

Supreme Court decision a win for the Little Sisters of the Poor, Right to Life of Michigan

On May 16 the U.S. Supreme Court reached an 8-0 decision in Zubik v. Burwell. Several organizations are suing the Obama Administration over the Department of Health and Human Service’s contraceptive mandate. The most notable organization represented inZubik was the Catholic religious order Little Sisters of the Poor.

The decision was described in many media reports as a “punt,” since the Supreme Court sent the case back to the lower courts for the parties to reach a final accommodation. The decision is a temporary victory, however, because it forbids the Obama Administration from enforcing crippling fines against organizations who don’t comply with the HHS Mandate.

The mandate was a dictate by the Obama Administration requiring employers to cover contraceptives and sterilizations as “preventative health services.” The Obamacare law requires all preventative services to be covered by health insurance plans for free. A few of the contraception options required to be covered can potentially cause abortions, including common forms of emergency contraception. The HHS Mandate was not part of the law itself as passed by lawmakers in Congress.

Right to Life of Michigan filed a separate suit in federal court against the Obama Administration over the HHS Mandate, but the case was dismissed by a federal judge after several delays. Right to Life of Michigan takes no position on true contraceptives, but it’s wrong to force an organization dedicated to ending abortion to purchase insurance plans that include drugs that can cause abortions.

As the many cases worked their way through the system, the Obama Administration continued to assert that there was no acceptable way for them to accommodate the deeply held beliefs of the Little Sisters of the Poor or other organizations. The Supreme Court disagreed, however, and even the Obama Administration belatedly admitted that other options were available.

A similar case, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., involved closely-held for-profit companies that objected to the HHS Mandate. Nonprofits organizations like the Little Sisters of the Poor and Right to Life of Michigan were not included in that decision. By a 5-4 decision in Hobby Lobby the Supreme Court ruled that the Obama Administration violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in attempting to force Hobby Lobby to purchase contraceptives. Hobby Lobby’s owners objected to only potentially abortifacient forms of contraceptives and offered other forms of birth control coverage to employees.

The Supreme Court’s decision in Zubik asserted that the Court did not reach a decision on whether or not the HHS Mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act for nonprofits. Following the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia the fate of nonprofit organizations was in serious doubt. A potential 4-4 ruling would have left a patchwork of decisions in place depending on which circuit court district an organization was incorporated in.