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.

March for Life 2017 details almost finalized!

It may seem early, but we’re already making plans for next January. St. Clair County Right to Life will be sponsoring a bus to go from the Blue Water Area to Washington, D.C. for the March for Life on January 27th, 2017. We have a bus lined up and hotel rooms reserved. Full details can be found on our event page here, and though it might seem a bit early, we’re taking registrations for any who want to secure their spot.

If you want to publicize the trip, here is a link to a flyer you can download and print.

Get on the bus for Washington, D.C.!

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

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

Legislator Interview – Rep. Paul Muxlow

Rep. Paul Muxlow represents the 83rd district, covering the northern townships of St. Clair County.

[Editor’s note: this is the corrected version of the interview. Our print newsletter had a transcription error in the final sentence of the interview. This version contains the correct quote from Rep. Muxlow.]

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

Rep. Muxlow: Every time the topic comes up on our side of the aisle, we’re 100% pro-life. There’s been some conversation, and there may be a piece of something in legislation.

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

Rep. Muxlow: I know about four years ago, a woman came in who was the product of rape to speak to us. [Ed. Note: this was Rebecca Kiessling, pro-life speaker and advocate] There’s been some conversation, which is always good.

SCCRTL: What hopes do you have for whoever follows you in the 83rd District?

Rep. Muxlow: My hope is that my son Matt follows me. We have other candidates, but my son has just declared his candidacy. He’s got a law degree, and he’d be a good pro-life candidate.

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

Rep. Muxlow: I continue to be pro-life, and I’ll continue to participate and will support people who do. I won’t be supporting anyone who isn’t pro-life.

Rep Muxlow can be reached at (517) 373-0835 or

Legislator Interview – Rep Andrea LaFontaine

Andrea.origRecently St. Clair County Right to Life went to Lansing to interview area legislators about pro-life topics. One of our visits was with Rep. Andrea LaFontaine, who represents the 32nd district, covering the middle and southern townships of St. Clair County.

SCCRTL: Have you seen much pro-life activity in the Legislature this past year? What are the most important pro-life bills the House has considered?
Rep. LaFontaine: Not much in this recent term. There have been a few things that have started through the committee process, but haven’t come up for a floor vote yet. I think the ones involving coercion are the ones most recently talked about.
SCCRTL: This year has seen a surge of interest and attention toward the “hard cases” – children conceived by rape, or mothers whose children were the result of rape. Do you think this attention has helped increase sensitivity to the human factor in these often-hypothetical cases?
LaFontaine: I have heard of this, and followed this on social media, just to pick up on people’s commentary. I think people are being made more aware of them, but I don’t know if it’s necessarily helping our cause. But seeing the human side of it is something we could definitely improve on, and get people to understand that life is life.
SCCRTL: Over all your years in the Legislature, what do you see as the biggest obstacle to the passage and implementation of state-level pro-life laws?
LaFontaine: I would say the optics and the messaging. The opposition is a lot louder, but I think that’s of their nature. But I think we Republicans do a lousy job of messaging. We take votes, but then we don’t continue to message to get people to understand why we voted that way. It’s definitely something that we can work on.
SCCRTL: This is your final term in the legislature, isn’t it? What hopes do you have for whoever follows you in the 32nd District?
LaFontaine: I have high hopes. I’m optimistic that they will be as pro-life as I was. I hope they’re accessible, and continue to stay involved, and understand the importance of this issue in the district and continue to represent that.
SCCRTL: Do you have anything to say to your pro-life constituents?
LaFontaine: Thanks for your support. It’s been an honor to represent them while up here.
Rep. LaFontaine’s office can be reached at (866) 347-8032, or

Legislative Day

Legislative Day for Right to Life of Michigan is Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at the Radisson Hotel, 2nd floor ballroom 111 N. Grand Avenue, Lansing MI 48933. Registration begins 8:45am. The first session will start at 9:30am. The special guest speaker is Sue Thayer,  longtime Iowa Planned Parenthood Center Manager, involved in the beginning of webcam abortion. Now passionate pro-life speaker & founder of Cornerstone For Life. Dedicated to saving babies and speaking the truth about the abortion industry.

The cost for this day is $46.00 for adults and $20.00 for students. visit to register securely online.

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.


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.


Office phone: (517) 373-7708

Click here to e-mail Sen. Pavlov

No Meeting in March

St. Clair County Right to Life will not be holding a meeting in March. The next meeting will be on Tuesday, April 5, 2016, 7:00pm in the Gilbert-Wilcox room on the second floor of the St. Clair County Main Branch on McMorran Blvd in Port Huron. We hope you come and join us.