Michigan Pro-Life Group Holds Legislative Day in State Capital
by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
May 14, 2004
Lansing, MI (LifeNews.com) — Right to Life of Michigan held its 26th annual Legislative Day Wednesday, gathering pro-life advocates in the Lansing Center to update them on pending legislation and teach tips on how best to communicate with lawmakers.
"Encouraging lawmakers who value human life is a priceless gift to the unborn child," said Barbara Listing, Right to Life of Michigan’s President.
After learning about lobbying and pro-life legislation, attendees lunched with their lawmakers. Scott Klusendorf, nationally-known trainer of pro-life advocates addressed the participants at the luncheon.
There has been much for pro-life Michiganders to communicate to their lawmakers.
After Governor Jennifer Granholm (D) vetoed the Legal Birth Definition Act last year, a measure that would have outlawed partial-birth abortion in Michigan, Right to Life of Michigan coordinated the collection of over 400,000 signatures to bring the bill back to the legislature. Now, if the legislature approves the bill again, it cannot be vetoed.
In April, the state House voted 69-35 to approve a package of bills that would guarantee that medical personnel and institutions would not be penalized for objecting to acts that they object to for moral reasons, such as abortion, euthanasia, and embryonic stem cell research.
Unfortunately the legislature was unable for the second time to override Granholm’s veto of a bill that would have strengthened the state’s parental consent law by preventing "Judge shopping," or the repetitive application for a minor to get a judicial waiver from judges in different counties until one granted permission for the abortion without parental consent.
"According to the State Court Administrative Office, up to 800 bypasses are applied for each year and approximately 90% of those judicial bypass waivers are granted. In many instances, the judicial bypass system has become a rubber-stamp process," Kristen Hemker of the Michigan Catholic Conference told LifeNews.com previously.
Rep. Jack Hoogendyk has proposed a bill to aid non-profit organizations in obtaining ultrasound equipment, which pro-life advocates have found useful in counseling women not to have abortions. According to Rep. Hoogendyk, so have abortion businesses.
"Planned parenthood prohibits patrons from viewing the ultrasound photos of their unborn child," said Hoogendyk. "Seeing toes, fingers, and movement brings a truthful impact to the young mother. This is the power that these pictures can have in saving lives."
In order to make ultrasounds and their images to as many mothers as possible, Hoogendyk’s bill, HB 5637, would set up a grant-matching program for non-profits, provided the organization made the images available to the mother, did not use the equipment during an abortion, and inform the patient of their right to view the ultrasound. In addition, the organization would be required to provide the ultrasound services for free to low-income women.