Abortion is not the same as childbirth. To most, that may seem obvious.
If you want to understand the state of public discourse in Michigan regarding abortion, however, the above statement given by Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) in legislative testimony and press statements is a pretty good indication.
The MCC has been advocating against Senate Bill 147, which would have the effect of putting abortion on equal footing with childbirth when it comes to employer benefits. It sets up situations where employers would have to provide similar benefits — paid leave, for example — for an employee's abortion if they also provide paid leave for childbirth. Otherwise, there may be legal consequences.
As stated previously on this matter, "Despite abortion rights supporters frequently mentioning ‘choice’ and how abortion is ‘no one’s business,’ this bill takes away the choice to decline support for abortions and makes it the business of employers and fellow employees to pay for others’ abortions."
Only a few months after voters approved a wide-ranging and expansive constitutional "right" to terminate unborn human life, the pro-abortion rights majority in the Legislature has insisted on taking the state well beyond what voters spoke to regarding abortion.
At the outset of this legislative session, the MCC spoke against bills that were depicted as merely removing Michigan's prohibition on abortion; but it also got rid of other provisions, such as removing from state law criminal penalties for administering an abortion that results in the death of the woman, and repealing a law that bars the advertising or sale of unsafe, unregulated abortion pills, powders or drugs.
It seems even less necessary than ever for lawmakers to pursue such legislation to expand abortion as the practice is now established as a "right" in the constitution. What is sad about these bills is they do nothing to address any root issues that lead women to abortion.
The Catholic Church’s advocacy efforts here in Michigan continues to present an alternative to abortion-on-demand where all parties and persuasions should be able to agree: funding sources and policies should be approved to support women with material and other needs when an unexpected or unwanted pregnancy happens.
Legislative efforts should create a system of support to meet the needs of a mother in need so she can feel confident in the choices she faces. And if parenthood is not the choice she wants to make, adoption should be front and center, promoted and encouraged, as a lifesaving and even a courageous option.
What should not be seen as a "solution" to the problems a pregnancy may present is the intentional killing of an unborn child. It is time to stop seeing the baby as the problem. Instead, it is time to examine the problems that lead the mother to seek abortion as a solution.
It may seem easier to pass a bill to put abortion on the same terms as childbirth, and to keep offering abortion as an "easy" solution. But a "solution" that results in human death is never truly a solution. Mothers and unborn children — created in the image and likeness of God — deserve so much more.
Unfortunately, legislative efforts to promote abortion will likely continue as some elected officials are eager to revoke consent and notification rights for parents. Never mind that advocates for Proposal 3 routinely stated their only intent was to "restore Roe." It was a lie then, and it is a lie now.
Make no mistake, the pro-abortion trojan horse has arrived in Lansing.
The Word from Lansing is a regular column for Catholic news outlets provided by Michigan Catholic Conference, the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.