This morning, I testified before the Oakland County Commissioners in Pontiac, MI on a resolution to make October 2013 “Respect Life” month. Two weeks ago, after I testified at a committee hearing, a female Democrat from Pontiac, MI asked to be added as a sponsor! It was unexpected and we were all pleased. However, the rest of the Democrats in the County Commission were very upset by this resolution and so, she was a no-show today so that she wouldn’t be in a position of having to vote against her caucus.
Upon my arrival, I was immediately told by the resolution’s sponsor — Republican Jim Runestad, that the five Democrats present had an amendment to propose — to affirm that a woman has a right to an abortion. The Commissioners Chair ruled that it was not germane the resolution at hand, which merely makes October 2013 Respect Life month and encourages “all citizens to celebrate the value of human life and those who protect it every day.” With a 13-5 vote, the Commissioners upheld the Chair’s ruling.
During public statements on the resolution, three of us gave statements in support of the resolution — me, Chris Zielinski — the field representative from Right to Life of Michigan, and Peter Riccardo — the Director of Mother & Unborn Baby Care in Southfield. I introduced myself and shared my story of having been conceived in rape and nearly aborted at two back-alley abortions, but spared because I was legally protected in Michigan at the time.
Unlike prior experiences I’ve had in testifying before legislatures — where hearts and minds were changed on the issue, in response, the pro-abort Democrats introduced a new amendment: “BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Oakland County Board of Commissioners believe that women who are raped or victims of incest should not be forced by their government to carry out a pregnancy.” Laughing amongst each other, this was an in-your-face resolution to issue the death penalty to me, and to those who are similarly-situated, but they were gloating that they introduced it in front of me.
Well, once again, the Chair ruled that the proposed Amendment was not germane to the Resolution and the Commissioners voted 13-5 in support of the Chair’s ruling on it. The final vote in support of the Resolution was 14-5. The five Democrats were McGillivray, Zack, Woodward, Quarles and Gershenson. Woodward gave a speech before the final vote, vowing to fight with all of his being should anyone ever try to take away his two young daughters’ “right” to an abortion, declaring, “I will meet you in the back alley!”
This resolution didn’t have any teeth to it — it was symbolic, to try to begin to create a culture of life in our County, but the cruel treatment of the abortion supporters was at a peak. They had a face to the issue — but they couldn’t wait to issue the death penalty. And that’s how they show how much they “care” about women like me.