Do you remember just last October when we delivered more than 315,000 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office to prevent tax dollars from being used to fund abortions through the Affordable Care Act (often called Obamacare)?

Do you remember the rush to pass the Affordable Care Act back in 2009? Do you remember the push to pass the bill despite the fact that only a handful of legislators had even read the 2,700-page proposal? Do you remember House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s ridiculous statement that we would have to pass the bill to see what was in it?

At the time, the prolife movement was up in arms—shouting from the rooftops, “Beware America! This version of ‘Health Care Reform’ represents the greatest expansion of abortion rights since Roe v. Wade of 1973.” It wouldn't matter, private insurance or government-run, every single abortion in America could be considered a “basic benefit.”

Prolife people were ridiculed and mocked for our concern. We were labeled wide-eyed fanatics and accused of misleading the general public. Our concerns were totally dismissed.

After all, President Obama had made an ironclad promise to lawmakers and to the American public that “ . . . Under our plan, no Federal dollars will be used to fund abortion.” The President even went so far as to issue an executive order to that effect.

But the tactics of the Obama White House and backers of health care reform were absolutely outlandish. Instead of slowing down and actually listening to what the American people had to say, they resorted to name calling and Chicago-style push and shove politics.

There are many more important details, but here’s a brief review of the time line:

• The Affordable Care Act was passed in the Senate on Dec. 24, 2009 and in the House on March 21, 2010.

• On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the bill into law.

• After a flurry of lawsuits, the U.S. Supreme Court announced on November 14, 2011, that it would review Obamacare by hearing “National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius.”

• On June 28, 2012, by a five to four margin, the High Court upheld the vast majority of the provisions found in Obamacare.

Once Obamacare became the law of the land, the prolife movement regrouped and once more went on the offensive. We knew that there was an “opt out” provision in Obamacare that allowed states to avoid mandatory abortion coverage. Very simply put, individual states could stipulate that if you wanted an abortion, and if you wanted it paid for with your health care dollars, you would have to purchase a separate rider to pay for that abortion.

In order to “opt out,” we collected over 315,000 signatures from registered voters to make sure that Michigan citizens would not be forced to use their tax dollars or insurance premiums to pay for abortion-on-demand.

Our opposition renewed their public attacks on our integrity. Again, they claimed that we were misleading the general public; that our petition drive was a cloaked effort to collect names and to raise funds.

Nonetheless, we persevered! On Dec. 11, 2013, our opt out legislation was enacted into law. In doing so, the good citizens of Michigan were protected from a deadly misuse of tax dollars and insurance premiums. As of this date, 27 states have also “opted out.”

We knew it was only a matter of time, but we’ve been vindicated!

On September 16, 2014, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which is a non-partisan government agency, released a report confirming the fact that Obamacare does indeed fund abortion. As a matter of fact, it has now been confirmed that 1,036 Obamacare plans pay for abortion-on-demand!

Here are some of the states that were hardest hit:

• All plans fund abortion in New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Hawaii.
• In New York – 405 out of 426 Obamacare plans pay for abortion-on-demand.
• In California – 86 of 90.
• In Massachusetts – 109 of 111.
• In Oregon – 92 of 102.
• In Washington, D.C. – 23 of 34.

But not here in Michigan!

We filled 24 boxes to the brim with the signatures of concerned citizens who collectively said, “No! Not here!”

The signatures were certified by the State Board of Canvassers on Dec. 2, 2013, placing the initiative before the legislature (referred to as Initiated Legislation 1). The Michigan House and Senate simultaneously took up the initatiated legislation on Dec. 11, 2013. The House approved the measure by a vote of 62-47; the Senate vote was 27-11 in favor. As the measure did not require the Governor's signature, it became law upon approval by the legislature and is now known as Public Act 182 of 2013.

This stroll down memory lane should remind us that:

1. First and foremost—we must always be on red alert! We must always read the fine print. We must be vigilant, because every trick in the book will be used to keep abortion legal. And in this case—to even force taxpayers to pay for it.

2. Secondly, we should be proud of and celebrate our great victory which successfully kept taxpayers from subsidizing the abortion industry in Michigan.

3. Finally, to remind us that without the men and women who are Right to Life of Michigan working together our voice speaking for those without one in the public square would disappear virtually overnight.

A stroll down memory lane is fine. But it’s the road just ahead we need to keep our eye on. With that thought in mind, will you make a contribution to help keep us on the cutting edge?

With your steadfast support, we’ll continue to look down the road. Please make a gift today!

© RIGHT TO LIFE OF MICHIGAN, 2340 PORTER ST SW, PO BOX 901, GRAND RAPIDS, MI 49509-0901, (616) 532-2300