We have a unique opportunity in Michigan to take a stand for Life by signing and distributing the Petition for the Dismemberment Abortion Ban. This is a particularly barbaric and gruesome procedure that ends the life of a baby in the womb. If the necessary signatures are gathered, this bill has a good likelihood of being upheld and withstanding a court challenge. We are encouraging all people who value the dignity and sanctity of human life to sign this. There is some confusion, however, with another petition going around that does not have the backing of Right To Life of Michigan. This is the Heartbeat Bill. We share with those involved in this petition our common love and respect for a baby’s life; however, this bill would not likely be enacted as long as the Roe V. Wade Supreme Court Decision stands. Even more importantly, if Roe is reversed, as we pray that it will be, this bill is not necessary in Michigan and may even weaken protection for the unborn, since it only prohibits abortions once the heartbeat is detected. Michigan already has a superior law on the books that prohibits all abortions from the moment of conception. If Roe falls, this statute would immediately be in effect. Hopefully, the following article written by Rev. Dennis Matyas further helps you to understand why Right To Life of Michigan and other groups are mainly pursuing the Dismemberment Abortion Ban Petition. —Pastor Paul Clark, President, Lutherans For Life of Michigan and Michigan District Life Coordinator
Trigger warning: this article contains graphic imagery regarding a particular type of abortion called Dilation and Evacuation Abortion (D & E).
Right To Life of Michigan is in the midst of a petition drive to end Dismemberment abortions in Michigan. You may remember the ban on partial birth abortion that Gov. Snyder signed in 2011. You may know that the Michigan Heartbeat Coalition is organizing a petition drive to ban all abortions after a heartbeat is detected, similar to what has been signed in Georgia and Alabama. What you may not know, however, is that Michigan already has a law that bans all abortions (unless to preserve the life of the mother). It is MCL 750.14, signed in 1846 when the state itself was less than a decade old, and remained a firm precedent several times afterwards. Essentially, MCL 750.14 makes it a felony for any doctor to willfully use whatever means to produce a miscarriage, and if the woman dies as a result it becomes manslaughter.
Then came Roe v. Wade in 1973, which superseded the state law. Now here’s the tricky part: if the Heartbeat bill is successful and goes into law in Michigan, it will be immediately enjoined (a legal term meaning “basically useless”). If Roe is overturned with the heartbeat bill in effect, the heartbeat bill may supersede the 1846 ban and make pre-heartbeat abortions legal in Michigan. Current estimates by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHS) place 50–78% of abortions occurring before 9 weeks, and that does not even include abortifacients like the morning-after pill and birth control pills, which cannot be accurately tracked.
Let me say that again, because this blew my mind: If and when Roe v. Wade is overturned (because it’s a garbage law based tenuously on the fourteenth amendment), all abortions would be illegal in Michigan automatically. If, however, there were said heartbeat bill, then if and when Roe v. Wade were overturned, 50–78% of abortions performed would still be legal in Michigan (if, as I said, the heartbeat law superseded the 1846 ban).
Pick your jaw up. What an interesting time we live in, when an anti-abortion petition could actually shoot the cause for life in its own foot.
Right To Life’s Petition
Enter Right To Life of Michigan, which is an extremely well organized and successful pro-life organization. It has put together a different petition, one that would not supersede the original ban should Roe be overturned, and one that would go into effect immediately without being enjoined and without the ability for the governor to veto it (and she has pledged to veto all pro-life bills).
The petition bans the procedure of dismemberment. (You can access a detailed description here, and a quick-sheet here.) Basically, in a D & E procedure, the cervix is manually dilated over the course of a couple days. The abortionist then reaches into the womb with a long, toothed clamp and grabs onto the baby. The baby’s body parts are then ripped off piece by piece and the uterus scraped. The body parts are reassembled like a puzzle on the table to make sure there are no parts left over to rot and infect the mother. The body parts are then either thrown in the trash or (at least until September of 2018 when the Department of Health and Human Services terminated its contract with Advanced Bioscience Resources) sold for scientific testing.
Around 1,770 Dismemberment abortions are performed in Michigan each year (see statistics here), assisting abortion’s boastful claim as the number one cause of death in the Great Lakes State. That’s 4-5 babies per day having their limbs ripped off while our countrymen celebrate a woman’s “right to choose”.
Are you a registered voter in Michigan? Do you believe that dismembering a baby piece-by-piece as he bleeds to death in his mother’s womb should be illegal?
Sign the petition. Request a Dismemberment Abortion Petition at Michigan Values Life or track one down by contacting Right to Life of Michigan affiliates in your area and find out where and when you can sign the petition.
What can we do as the church? Here’s another quick-sheet with some legalities.
I am blessed to be a pastor of God-fearing people who love the Word of God. So here’s what I’m doing in that role: I have two volunteers that set up tables at both church entrances. I have been quite vocal about our vocation as Christians to protect those who cannot protect themselves. That petition will be in our church until either the requisite signatures are met or the legal petition time allotted is expired.
You can do the same.
If every Lutheran church in the Michigan District made the petition available, the drive would be over in a week.
May the God of life, who formed us all in the womb, guard and protect us in Jesus Christ. Amen.
Photo (c) jchizhe/iStock
Rev. Matyas has produced an 8-minute video to share.
Updated Detroit News article: Group to submit signatures to ban abortion procedure before Christmas
If your ministry or church is setting up a date/time to collect signatures, please contact Debby Fall to add to a list of locations across Michigan.
Petition Signing Locations
Lamb of God, Flint (sign the petition and pick up copies)