Blue Water March for Life January 2018

The annual Blue Water Area March for Life will be held on Sunday, January 21, 2018 from 1:00-2:00 pm. It will take place at the usual location, along the east side of Pine Grove Avenue in Port Huron, between Sanborn Street and the shopping center. Dress for the weather. Meet at the parking lot behind Arby’s on the north end of Port Huron. Grab a sign and walk along Pine Grove Ave to show your support for Life. Following the March, there will be an Ecumenical Prayer Service at St. Mary’s Church on Ballentine St. It will begin at 2:30. Refreshments will be served immediately afterward.

U.S. House passes Pain-Capable abortion ban

On Tuesday, Oct 3rd, the U.S. House of Representatives passed HR36, Micah’s Law, also called the Pain Capable Abortion Ban. This law would ban abortions after 20 weeks, the threshold at which medical science agrees that pain can be felt by the unborn victim of abortion.

The Blue Water Area’s own Rep. Paul Mitchell not only voted in favor of passage, but co-sponsored the Bill and spoke on the House floor in support of HR36. A video of Rep. Mitchell’s statement can be viewed below. We thank Rep. Mitchell for not only keeping his word and voting pro-life, but for taking an active part in bringing this bill to passage. On the campaign trail he said he’d be a pro-life leader, and he has proven as good as his word.

“It is said that nations are judged by how we care for our weakest members.” Rep. Paul Mitchell on the U.S. House floor

This is the first major pro-life bill passed by either house of Congress since the Bush presidency. Though it is only a partial step toward restoring the rights of all unborn, it is an important one. President Trump has promised to sign this bill if it reaches his desk.

Unfortunately, the bill has one more hurdle: the U.S. Senate. Though held by a supposedly pro-life Republican majority, the Senate leadership has proven largely ineffective in passing pro-life legislation this session. Michigan is represented in the Senate by pro-abortion Debbie Stabenow and pro-abortion Gary Peters, both of whom will certainly oppose the bill, but there is hope it will rally enough support from senators of other states for passage. Of course, the pro-abortion Democratic Party may try to filibuster the bill, in order to protect their cherished goal of unrestricted abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy. We hope the Republican leadership of the Senate has the fortitude to stick to their principles and get this bill passed.

Despite all that, the achievement by the House in passing this bill is a pro-life victory, and we thank the House Leadership and Rep. Mitchell for their actions.

Here is Rep. Mitchell’s statement on the House floor in support of HR36:

March for Life Washington D.C. 2018 bus trip

St. Clair County Right to Life will again be sponsoring a bus trip to the National March for Life in Washington, D.C. in January 2018. The March takes place on Friday, January 19th.

A bus will be leaving from the Blue Water Area on Thursday, January 18 and travelling to the metro D.C. area. There will be an overnight stay, then on Friday participation in the March. After another overnight stay, the bus will leave early on Saturday, January 20 to return to the Blue Water area on the evening of that day.

Download the  Registration Form, complete it, and return it with payment to our office.

Rep. Paul Mitchell co-sponsors pro-life bill

Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-MI 10th District)

We are pleased to hear that newly elected Rep. Paul Mitchell, elected to the Congressional seat from which Rep. Candice Miller retired, has co-sponsored the first major pro-life bill of the new legislative session: House Resolution 7. The details of the bill are below. We are proud of Rep. Mitchell for his pro-life stand and his faithfulness to his campaign resolutions to represent the pro-life views of his constituents.

Rep. Mitchell made a statement on the House floor in support of the bill, which can be viewed on his Facebook page.

H.R. 7 (Rep. Chris Smith) codifies the Hyde amendment and requires that “No funds authorized or appropriated by Federal law, and none of the funds in any trust fund to which funds are authorized or appropriated by Federal law, shall be expended for any abortion.” The funding limitations do not apply to an abortion related to rape, incest, or preserving the life of the mother.

The bill prohibits premium tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies under the Affordable Care Act from being used to purchase health plans that cover abortion, except in case of rape, incest, or preserving the life of the mother. The bill does not prohibit any individual from purchasing separate coverage for abortions or restrict “any non-Federal health insurance issuer offering a health plan from offering separate coverage for abortions so long as premiums…are not paid for with any amount attributable to the [premium tax] credit.” This provision applies to taxable years beginning after December 31st, 2017.

H.R. 7 also disallows the small business health tax credit to be used for any plan that covers abortion services, except in the case of rape, incest, or preserving the life of the mother.

Additionally, the measure requires qualified health plans to disclose to enrollees at the time of enrollment in the plan the extent of abortion coverage and abortion premium surcharges. This provision takes effect 30 days after enactment of the legislation.

Rep. Mitchell can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/reppaulmitchell, and his official website at https://mitchell.house.gov/.

Why We Do What We Do

This video shows in 3 minutes the reason Right to Life exists and will continue to fight for the sanctity of human life. Take time to watch yourself as you developed from a fertilized egg into the magnificent human you are today. Click on the link then scroll down the page for the video.

An example for the nation

For years, a terrible scandal about children conceived in rape was that parental rights laws did not consider situations when the conception was not consensual. That meant the rapist could request, and receive, full parental rights if the child was brought to term. At times this was used by rapists and their lawyers to pressure women bringing charges to abort their children, by threatening to file for parental rights, thus keeping the rapist in the woman’s life through the child.

This injustice was rectified by the Michigan Legislature recently. House Bill 4481 and Senate Bill 629 were passed and reconciled, and sent to Governor Snyder to be signed into law on May 3rd, 2016. Under this law, women can have the parental rights of rapists terminated using much more reasonable criteria. This will remove this lever that has been used to pressure women, and enable them to escape further difficulties in an already difficult situation.

Further details about the bill can be found on Right to Life of Michigan’s website here.

Area legislators Rep Andrea LaFontaine, Rep Dan Lauwers, and Sen Phil Pavlov voted for the bill. Rep Muxlow supported the bill but was unable to vote for it being disabled by a serious accident at the time the vote was taken in the House. We thank all our area legislators for their staunch pro-life support. It is our hope that Michigan’s new law will prove an example for other states to implement.

Legislator Interview – Sen. Phil Pavlov

State Sen. Phil Pavlov at his July 29 town hall meeting. (Photo by JIM BLOCH)
State Sen. Phil Pavlov at his July 29 town hall meeting. (Photo by JIM BLOCH)

We interviewed Sen. Phil Pavlov from the 25th Senate district, which covers all of St. Clair County.

SCCRTL: Have you seen much pro-life activity in the Senate this past year?

Sen. Pavlov: Two very important bills that I sponsored are bills that banned the sale of fetal tissue and fetal body parts. We’ve had our first committee hearing on those, they were voted out and await full consideration on the Senate floor. We’re pushing for a hearing date before Easter break.

SCCRTL: When the Center for Medical Progress released their undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s practice of selling fetal body parts for profit, you were swift to speak out against the practice. Why was that?

Pavlov: Because I thought it was the most disturbing thing I’ve ever seen on film. We had suspected this had been going on for a number of years, but now we were seeing it for the first time. So not only did we move to ban the sale of any kind of tissue through legislation, we also pressed the department of licensing and regulation to do a complete accounting of these Planned Parenthood clinics to make sure this isn’t happening in Michigan. We got back some information, but we’re not done, and we’re going to continue to press on this.

SCCRTL: Speaking from your years of experience in the House and Senate, what would you say is the biggest obstacle to the passage and implementation of pro-life laws at the state level?

Pavlov: Sometimes politics gets involved. When I was back in the House, we had a pro-life majority that consisted of both Republicans and Democrats, and we worked together on things like the partial birth abortion ban. Looking forward, this governor has not been dialed in on some of these social issues, which has been a little disappointing. But the politics changes. Right now in the Senate, the issue is split down party lines. This issue has divided our country, and we need to engage the grass roots to move support to more a pro-life stand.

SCCRTL: What are your plans for the future?

Pavlov: I’m in the middle of a very competitive run for Congress to replace Rep. Candice Miller, who is retiring. We’re gaining a lot of momentum throughout the district, and my hope is that we can take this fight for the unborn to Washington.

SCCRTL: Do you have anything to say to your pro-life constituents?

Pavlov: Stay engaged. One of the things that helps us is the tailwind, knowing that pro-life voters are engaged. I’ve seen a big swell in the youth, which is good. I just did an event up in Bad Axe, and there were maybe 40 youth there. We need to get these young people voting.

It is critical to have people contacting our office to express support. Hearing from home and knowing that we have that support strengthens our vote here in Lansing. Everybody has a cell phone, everyone has a social media account – engage your friends in this, and let’s move that support.

Sen. Pavlov’s office can be reached at (517) 373-7708, or e-mail at http://www.senatorphilpavlov.com

Legislator Interview – Rep. Dan Lauwers

Dan Lauwers, the state representative from the 81st District, which includes Marysville, St. Clair, Marine City and Algonac, voted for Senate Bill 288, which made wolves a game animal in Michigan. (Photo courtesy of District 81 State Rep. Office)
We were happy to speak with Rep. Dan Lauwers, who represents the 81st House District, townships in the west of St. Clair County as well as along the St. Clair River.

SCCRTL: Have you seen much pro-life activity in the Legislature this past year?

Rep. Lauwers: Yes and no. We have several bills that have been introduced, a few of which have been passed. Rep. Cox’s bill on dismemberment abortions and Rep. Amanda Price’s bill on coercion, and Rep. Hooker’s bill prohibiting state funds for abortions. There was a package that dealt with life issues, including one that eliminated the parental rights of an aggressor in a sexual assault cases. But though we’ve seen some activity, I don’t think we’ve done a lot.

One thing which was more a matter of legislative oversight was that we heard the governor’s office was intending to divert some funding to Planned Parenthood, against the legislature’s intentions. We raised a stink about that and put an end to it. That wasn’t so much a matter of passing a bill as exerting pressure between the branches of government.

SCCRTL: This year has seen a surge of interest and attention toward the “hard cases”. Do you think this has helped increase sensitivity to the human factor in these cases?

Rep. Lauwers: I think so. Putting a human face on the issue helps destroy the myth that there are very few people that are ever born from this. Nothing drives it home like having a person stand in front of you and share their story about how they may have been conceived in a violent manner, but does that make them any less a person deserving of life? I think the more of that we can do, the better.

SCCRTL: What do you see as the biggest obstacle to the passage and implementation of pro-life laws?

Rep. Lauwers: I think the problem is not so much the legislature as it is the population. Our population has grown further and further from God. That creates apathy, that lack of acknowledgment of where all this prosperity comes from. I see fair support in the legislature for getting these things done, but if people took more of an active role in supporting pro-life initiatives, more would happen.

SCCRTL: Will you be running for re-election this autumn?

Rep. Lauwers: Yes. This would be my last term in the 81st district.

SCCRTL: Do you have anything to say to your pro-life constituents?

Rep. Lauwers: Be the example. If we live the example of people who put relationships above all else, and acknowledge God for His role in providing for us, just in the way we live our lives, I think we can win more people over by living and raising our children to be the example than by anything else.

Rep. Lauwers can be reached at (517) 373-1790, or danlauwers@house.mi.gov

Elections Have Consequences

On  Tuesday, March 8th, Michigan voters will have an opportunity to voice their opinion on candidates for president. Voters may choose only one party to vote in. Currently each party has more than one candidate with a chance to win, so your vote is desperately needed.

The stakes for prolife issues in this presidential election are enormous. Many have speculated that the next president may have the opportunity to appoint as many as 3 or 4 justices to the nine-member U.S. Supreme Court. A lot is on the line. We can’t afford to let this opportunity pass.  Please find the place where you vote then get out and vote this Tuesday, March 8th.

SENATE COMMITTEE MOVES FETAL TISSUE PAYMENT BAN

On February 11, the Michigan Senate Oversight Committee took up Senate Bills 564 & 565, and after a brief round of testimony for and against the bills, reported them to the Senate floor by votes of 4-1. See details below about thanking those 4 senators. Together the bills will eliminate any payment to abortion clinics for a donation of organs or tissue from an aborted baby.

When videos were released in July 2015 by the Center for Medical Progress showing Planned Parenthood staff haggling over “reimbursement fees” or “procurement costs” for fetal organs, it was clear that laws that prohibit the “sale” of organs, but allow the “recovery of reasonable costs” have a loophole big enough to drive a profit-motivated organ trafficking industry through it.

SB 564-565 will eliminate any payment to an abortion clinic. Here’s an excerpt of RLM Legislative Director Ed Rivet’s testimony before the committee, “The abortion industry should not get a cent of money …. Abortion is unjustifiable homicide. No one should be in the business of medical cannibalization of human beings. No child should die this way, and no one should hand money to those who kill them.”

Meanwhile, the president of MichBio, the trade association of biotech companies and researchers, testified against the bill, saying it would stunt valuable research, hinder job growth in the biotech industry, and be senseless because, “the tissue would just go to waste anyway.” He had virtually no concern for the wasted lives of the children killed by abortion.

The bills are now pending on the Senate floor where a vote is anticipated in the near future. It is time for contacting our state senators in Lansing. See the list below for details about your senator.

Our own local senator, Phil Pavlov, was the sponsor of this bill. Please contact him to thank him for his unwavering pro-life support.

Contact

Office phone: (517) 373-7708

Click here to e-mail Sen. Pavlov