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