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.