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How to Reduce Abortions in Michigan

“Why would they shut down the one thing that actually reduces abortions?”

You may have heard this line in the last few days as people react to the Protect Life Rule going into effect. Planned Parenthood is losing about $60 million in annual funding through the Title X program.

Planned Parenthood’s profits far exceed $60 million, and that $60 million will still be available to other family planning programs. Despite these facts, many abortion supporters believe that women will be harmed. Those abortion supporters believe Planned Parenthood and their promotion of contraception and sex ed is the sole key to  significantly reducing abortions.

There’s many, many, many examples showing that’s not the case. It’s also very odd to believe; if abortions are a bad thing that should be reduced, why are they legal? If abortion is just a choice with no real negative impact for women, why should it be reduced?

Well, what does reduce abortions? Better yet, what will actually end abortion—the taking of an innocent human life? The answer is restrictions on abortions, education, and real support for pregnant women.

Let’s use Michigan as a great example. Since 1987, abortions in Michigan have declined 45.6%! That’s in spite of our state’s uniquely difficult economy.

Restrictions

From 1973 until 1987, abortions were increasing in Michigan. What changed? In 1987, we banned tax-funded Medicaid abortions. The law went into effect on December 12, 1988. Abortions in Michigan dropped from 46,747 in 1988 to 36,557 in 1989. Just one law saved 10,000 lives in a single year! Since then, our Medicaid abortion ban has saved an estimated 236,965 lives.

Many of our other state laws have also helped decrease abortions.

In 1990, we passed a law requiring minor teens to have parental consent for abortions. Since then, minor teen abortions have declined 81.4%.

We revisited our state’s regulation of abortion facilities in 2012 with the Prolife Omnibus Act. Since then, 12 abortion facilities closed, many of which were the worst of the worst. That means less advertising and reach for these businesses bent on selling as many abortions as possible.

In 2013, we ran a petition drive to stop abortion from becoming part of everyone’s health insurance plan through Obamacare. As we saw with our Medicaid abortion ban in 1989, spending money on abortion drastically increases abortions.

Planned Parenthood fought all of these laws. They do not believe abortion should be limited in any way, right down to secret teen abortions and forcing taxpayers to pay for every abortion. How can you reduce abortions when you want it to be a free for all?

Education

We know that education is critical to saving lives, both in teaching people about fetal development and showing women and men that an unplanned pregnancy is not the end of life as they know it.

We passed a law in 1993 requiring abortion facilities to provide women with informed consent about their abortion procedures. It took six years of fighting the abortion industry in court before the law took effect in 1999.

In 2006, we passed a law requiring abortionists to give women an opportunity to see their ultrasound. Not being able to see an unborn child is a major reason it’s so easy to devalue their humanity.

For years, the Right to Life of Michigan Educational Fund has run statewide major advertising. These ads have addressed all angles of the abortion issue: protecting life, valuing life, abortion in the Black community, promoting adoption, women and men who’ve had abortions in their past, the controversial issue of rape and abortion, and a man’s role in abortion.

Michigan was the first state to pass a ban on partial-birth abortions. Yes, this bill deserves to be considered for its educational impact. For the first time, Americans found themselves face to face with the brutality of abortion. In the early 1990s, opinion polling showed prolife people at a major disadvantage. The debate over partial-birth abortion completely flipped the script and convinced many people to become prolife. When people value the lives of unborn children, abortions decrease.

Planned Parenthood fights to keep women totally in the dark about the science of embryology and fetal development. Their business model relies on ignorance and apathy. When they address the issue of abortion it’s to sell them. They speak about parenthood not as a virtue and blessing, but a horrible burden many women can’t handle.

Real Support for Pregnant Women

It’s not enough to simply ban abortions and teach people about the value of life; the prolife movement does a lot to care for women (and men) facing the consequences of unplanned pregnancies.

In Michigan, there are more than 150 prolife pregnancy centers and adoption agencies that provide care and support. Most of these services are free and include tangible help from diapers to car seats. We keep a constant vigil in Lansing to stop pro-abortion politicians from harming or destroying these vital, life-saving organizations.

To address the high abortion rates in Detroit, we’ve created a special website that gives women options to find help for everything from housing to healthcare: helpinthed.org.

In 2000, we passed a state adoption tax credit. Adoption is a positive, life-giving alternative to abortion.

In 2006, we passed a law to allow parents of a stillborn child to receive a tax credit to help defray funeral costs and medical expenses. A child who dies a week before birth is as important and valued as a child who dies a week after birth. When many tax credits were repealed in 2011, we revived the stillborn child tax credit as a one-year tax deduction, which takes effect this year.

If you walk into a Planned Parenthood looking for help on planning to actually be a parent, you’ll get blank stares. For an organization supposedly key to reducing abortions, they sure do hate it when prolife organizations try to help women choose life and support them along the way.

Looking forward

We’ve managed to decrease abortions in Michigan despite a strong abortion industry, a tough political scene, and our ongoing economic struggles. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood has moved aggressively to open more abortion facilities while closing their other offices that don’t provide abortions.

Since Roe v. Wade in 1973, our state has had just one prolife governor (John Engler). We haven’t treated that as an excuse! Look at this list to see how successful committed grassroots prolifers can be on abortion and other important issues.

Some of our other governors have been better than others, but each has fought life-saving legislation in our state. With our current petition drive to ban dismemberment abortions, we’ve had to go around the last four Michigan governors who didn’t highly value protecting the unborn. We’ve worked hard to have prolife majorities in the Legislature to pass those citizen-initiated bills in every case. In 1988, we had to go toe-to-toe with the abortion industry at the ballot box to enact our Medicaid-funded abortion ban. They challenged that petition drive because they did not want the 236,965 lives saved by that ban to be allowed to continue.

Imagine how many more lives we could save if we achieved a second prolife governor in 2022?

At the moment, we’re focusing on 2020. Michigan already has a law on our books to protect every unborn child. To fully enforce that law, we need Roe v. Wade to be overturned, which requires fair judges. After years of struggles, the U.S. Supreme Court has the first slim “conservative” majority since 1937, thanks solely to President Trump winning in 2016. He won Michigan, the first time we’ve carried the state for a prolife president since 1988.

How many more lives will we save once Roe v. Wade is overturned? Will we defend our complete abortion ban against Planned Parenthood once that happens? Hopefully we find out very soon.

Maybe you’re not convinced. Maybe you still believe that despite fighting every single one of these efforts, sending your tax dollars to Planned Parenthood will meaningfully reduce abortions. According to their own industry research, 51% of women who had abortions were using a method of contraception in the month they got pregnant. Reducing abortions has never been their goal, and never will be.

If you want to save lives in Michigan, support our prolife laws, pass more of them, convince your neighbors of the value of every human life, and go actually help women facing a crisis pregnancy.

Simply saying, “prolifers don’t care about the baby after it is born” is an excuse to look the other way on abortion, not an argument.

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