Sunday, April 27, 2008

Democrats break promise to Right to Life

The leadership of the Democrat majority in the House failed to keep a commitment to Right-to-Life of Michigan last week. They broke their promise...

Is the Right-to-Life Endorsed Speaker of the House Really Pro-Life?

On January 22, 2008, the Michigan Senate passed SB776, a bill that effectively outlaws the heinous practice of partial-birth abortion. (If you are unfamiliar with this procedure, you can learn about it here.) Since then, House Republicans have been pushing to get that bill up for a vote in the Democrat controlled House.  While the House has a 58 seat Democrat majority, there are 69 Right-to-Life endorsed representatives currently serving.

On April 23, Right-to-Life of Michigan (RLM) held their annual legislative day. Over 350 pro-life volunteers and RLM members came to Lansing to discuss pro-life issues and see the House move SB776.  They had been all but promised by the Democrat Speaker that this bill would pass on the 23rd. They went home disappointed.

Democrats refused to allow the bill to come to the floor for a vote. Speaker Dillon was in a very difficult spot. He is endorsed by RLM-PAC as a pro-life legislator. But, he is leader of a 58-member caucus that has only 17 pro-life members. On the one hand, he is obligated to RLM to do the right thing and move this legislation. On the other hand, he risks being removed from his leadership post as Speaker of the House if he lets this vote move forward. What should he do?  Leadership requires making tough decisions. It takes real courage to be the leader.

RLM has been working in good faith with Democrat leadership to get this bill up for a vote.  Time and time again, they have been rebuffed or promised a vote only to be disappointed. April 23 was the climactic day in a months-long struggle to get this bill to the Governor's desk. Hundreds of pro-lifers were in the gallery waiting to see if the Speaker had the courage to do the right thing and keep his commitment.

He didn't. In the ultimate act of "courage" the Democrats ran into the caucus room after convening session for the day and stayed there over two hours, until almost all the pro-lifers had given up and gone home. The first vote of the day did not take place until after 4:30 and SB776 never came up.
Perhaps it is time for citizens who value human life to put the pressure on Democrat leadership and ask them to give this bill an up or down vote on the House floor. You can find your legislator here.

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