AG candidate Weinzapfel backed by Indiana’s largest abortion business

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Right to Life today is alerting voters that Indiana’s largest abortion business, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, has endorsed Jonathan Weinzapfel, the Democratic candidate for attorney general.  Planned Parenthood currently operates abortion clinics in Merrillville, Lafayette, Indianapolis, and Bloomington.

“It is remarkable that a business suing the state of Indiana over multiple pro-life laws is endorsing Weinzapfel to be the top attorney representing Indiana in the courts,” states Mike Fichter, president and CEO of Indiana Right to Life.  “We can only conclude that Weinzapfel would not defend Indiana’s pro-life laws in the courts, nor would he recognize the rights of unborn children in any way.”

“Planned Parenthood makes millions every year from killing unborn children in our state, and now they want Weinzapfel as attorney general to ensure that its business continues,” says Fichter.  “The attorney general’s job is to defend Indiana law, not to do the bidding of the multimillion dollar abortion industry.”

Weinzapfel is challenging Republican Todd Rokita who has been endorsed by the Indiana Right to Life PAC.


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Please vote and pray

By Mike Fichter

Not too many years ago, just after purchasing a new home, my wife and I engaged in the typical pre move-in ritual of cleaning the empty home before moving all of our stuff in.  Much to my surprise, in a dim nook beneath the basement stairs, I found a small jar of sand with a screw-on lid and tiny little label authenticating it as sand taken from Omaha Beach.

For those who know history, Omaha Beach was one of the landing areas of the Normandy Invasion in World War II.  American troops suffered a reported 4,700 casualties at Omaha Beach.  Company A of the 116th Regiment, U.S. 29th Infantry Division, suffered a heartbreaking 96% casualty rate. The men at Omaha Beach knew the stakes were high, and many knew they would never live to see the result of their efforts.  But they did their duty for their loved ones, their flag, and for generations yet to be born.  It was the beginning of the end for Nazi Germany.

And here I was in a dark under-the-stairs storage room holding a jar of that sacred spot in my hands.  It all gets me to thinking how much has been sacrificed for America to remain America, and just how easy it is to forget.

On November 3, we’re not just voting for who fills what seat at the Statehouse or in Congress.

We’re not voting as a signal to which attack ads are the most effective.

We’re not voting for what’s cool, or trending, or popular.

We’re not voting to appease the parties or the Hollywood elite.

God forbid that we vote for how much money we get out of the deal.

No, we’re voting for who we are as a people.

We’re voting to decide whether we still care about the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

We’re voting to decide if the same socialism we’ve fought wars to defeat will now become our ruling philosophy.

We’re voting to decide if history, sacrifice and honor are merely forgotten bywords of a time now passed.

We’re voting for the soul of America.

And we’re voting for those who never made it back from Omaha Beach.

Please vote—and pray — on November 3.

Indiana Right to Life launches #PledgeToVote campaign

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Right to Life today launched its #PledgeToVote campaign urging supporters to contact at least five pro-life family members and friends and urge them to vote.

The centerpiece of the campaign is an online pledge where supporters can add their names and show their readiness to take action.

“We are urging our supporters to go the extra mile in helping to turn out a huge pro-life vote this year,” states Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life. “It’s easy to just sit back and watch Fox News and CNN, or to listen to the political pundits. But none of that will have the impact of friends and family making personal connections.  Our goal is to produce a pro-life landslide in Indiana.”

Fichter notes that the pro-life community is energized and that he is confident the #PledgeToVote campaign will give Hoosiers a meaningful and motivating form of engagement all the way through the November 3 elections.

“Unborn children have no voice,” says Fichter.  “Our votes must be a voice for them.”


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Indiana Right to Life PAC Announces Endorsements In 2020 General Elections

Indianapolis –Indiana Right to Life PAC today announced its endorsement of these candidates in the 2020 general elections:

Download the list here

Donald Trump President
Eric Holcomb Governor
Todd Rokita Attorney General
Jackie Walorski U.S. Rep. Second District
Jim Banks U.S. Rep. Third District
Jim Baird U.S. Rep. Fourth District
Victoria Spartz U.S. Rep., Fifth District
Greg Pence U.S. Rep. Sixth District
Larry D. Bucshon U.S. Rep. Eighth District
Trey Hollingsworth U.S. Rep., Ninth District
Ed Soliday State Representative, District 004
Dale DeVon State Representative, District 005
Jake Teshka State Representative, District 007
Tom Wichlinski State Representative, District 012
Hal Slager State Representative, District 015
Jack Jordan State Representative, District 017
Craig Snow State Representative, District 018
Julie Olthoff State Representative, District 019
Jim Pressel State Representative, District 020
Timothy Wesco State Representative, District 021
Ethan Manning State Representative, District 023
Donna Schaibley State Representative, District 024
Donald J. Lehe State Representative, District 025
Jeffrey Thompson State Representative, District 028
Chuck Goodrich State Representative, District 029
Mike Karickhoff State Representative, District 030
Tony Cook State Representative, District 032
J.D. Prescott State Representative, District 033
Elizabeth Rowray State Representative, District 35
Kyle Pierce State Representative, District 036
Todd Huston State Representative, District 037
Heath VanNatter State Representative, District 038
Jerry Torr State Representative, District 039
Greg Steuerwald State Representative, District 040
Beau Baird State Representative, District 044
Bruce Borders State Representative, District 045
Bob Heaton State Representative, District 046
Doug Miller State Representative, District 048
Christy Stutzman State Representative, District 049
Dan Leonard State Representative, District 050
Dennis J. Zent State Representative, District 051
Ben Smaltz State Representative, District 052
Brad Barrett State Representative, District 056
Michelle Davis State Representative, District 058
Ryan Lauer State Representative, District 059
Peggy Mayfield State Representative, District 060
Jeff Ellington State Representative, District 062
Shane M. Lindauer State Representative, District 063
Matt Hostettler State Representative, District 064
Chris May State Representative, District 065
Zach Payne State Representative, District 066
Randy Frye State Representative, District 067
Jim Lucas State Representative, District 069
Karen Engleman State Representative, District 070
Steve Davisson State Representative, District 073
Stephen R. Bartels State Representative, District 074
Cindy Ledbetter State Representative, District 075
Wendy McNamara State Representative, District 076
Greg Peete State Representative, District 077
Matthew Lehman State Representative, District 079
Martin Carbaugh State Representative, District 081
David H. Abbott State Representative, District 082
Dave Heine State Representative, District 085
Chris Jeter State Representative, District 088
Cynthia Kirchhofer State Representative, District 089
Mike Speedy State Representative, District 090
Robert Behning State Representative, District 091
Felipe Jesus Rios State Representative, District 094
Ed Charbonneau State Senator, District 05
Brian W. Buchanan State Senator, District 07
Ryan Mishler State Senator, District 09
Blake Doriot, State Senator, District 12
C. Susan Glick State Senator, District 13
Justin Busch State Senator, District 16
Stacey A Donato State Senator, District 18
Scott A. Baldwin State Senator, District 20
John Crane State Senator, District 24
Michael R. Crider State Senator, District 28
John Ruckelshaus State Senator, District 30
Aaron Freeman State Senator, District 32
R. Michael Young State Senator, District 35
Jack E. Sandlin State Senator, District 36
Rodric D. Bray State Senator, District 37
Jean Leising State Senator, District 42
Eric A. Koch State Senator, District 44

All candidates, including incumbents, are required to complete a candidate survey to be eligible for endorsement consideration.

Paid for by Indiana Right to Life PAC.  Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.



Amy Coney Barrett Believes Life Begins at Conception. And So Does Every Scientific Textbook in the World.

By Katie Franklin

Amy Coney Barrett believes life begins at conception.

That is not a controversial notion. Virtually every scientific textbook in the world reflects this biological fact.

Yet last week, after the media went to work digging up “dirt” on Barrett, they discovered her noncontroversial viewpoint and decided to sound the alarms.

“Revealed: Amy Coney Barrett supported group that said life begins at fertilization,” reported The Guardian, a publication that openly supports abortion.

The story went on to describe how Barrett and her husband signed onto a newspaper ad created by Saint Joseph County Right to Life in 2006. The group, an affiliate of Indiana Right to Life which is now called Right to Life Michiana, had generated the ad as a pro-life educational piece surrounding the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion-on-demand.

The ad appeared in the South Bend Tribune, stating: “We, the following citizens of Michiana, oppose abortion on demand and defend the right to life from fertilization to natural death. Please continue to pray to end abortion.”

The story isn’t so much a revelation as it is a confirmation of what we already knew: Barrett is Catholic and—unlike several pro-choice Catholic politicians—she takes her faith seriously. She was a member of the Notre Dame Faculty for Life group, and in 2013, she delivered a presentation around the 40th anniversary of Roe, sharing her legal and historical analysis of the decision, as well as “her own conviction that life begins at conception.” During her time as a judge for the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, she has voted favorably for life.

Yet the media is still lingering on where she stands on the question of when life begins.

“Does Amy Coney Barrett Believe Life Begins at Fertilization?” asked Vogue (perhaps the last place anyone should be seeking political news, aside from Buzzfeed.)

But shouldn’t everyone? It’s not so much a “belief” as it is a scientifically proven fact.

The controversy, of course, revolves around Roe v. Wade and how Barrett would rule should an abortion case come before the Supreme Court.

Barrett is an avowed originalist. She believes a judge is bound by the law and the original meaning of the Constitution rather than her personal biases.

But what is “biased” about the understanding that life begins at conception? It is a verifiable fact.

What is biased, however, is the unscientific belief that an unborn baby is a human life….well….whenever a woman wants it to be.

If human life doesn’t begin at conception, where would The Guardian or Vogue say it begins?

A couple centuries ago, people believed it began at “quickening,” the moment a mother first feels her unborn child move—something that is inconsistent from woman to woman and pregnancy to pregnancy. Now, for nearly half a century, the Supreme Court has operated under the equally inconsistent and inadequate standard that says human life may be protected when it is considered “viable.”

Yet over the years, viability has changed. Tiny, premature babies are surviving delivery earlier and earlier, before the 24-week mark that has typically been used to determine “viability.” The reality is that “viability” changes depending on what time period we are in and what country we live in—a premature baby in the first world has better access to proper medical care than one in the third world. But don’t both lives have value?

The viability standard has become increasingly unworkable and archaic, yet it continues to determine public policy.

Abortion advocates have no better scientific standard to offer, so instead they ridicule the truth.

Local abortion advocates told The Guardian that Right to Life Michiana is an “extreme” group because of its adherence to basic science and morality, and The Guardian ran with that label in its subheading.

The day before her nomination, Bill Maher disparaged Barrett as a “f—ing nut” because of her Catholic faith. But when she is shown to understand a rather elementary scientific concept, she is also written off as a zealot.

As disturbing as these lies and inconsistencies clearly are, pro-lifers should take heart. Barrett is not married to a fantasy about the beginnings of human life, meaning she is already better qualified for the Supreme Court than the many men who decided Roe and the subsequent justices who preserved it.





Indiana Right to Life PAC Endorses Todd Rokita For Attorney General

Indianapolis –Indiana Right to Life PAC today announced its endorsement of Todd Rokita for Attorney General.  Rokita is a long-time advocate for the unborn, compiling a 100% pro-life voting record as a member of Congress.  In addition, Rokita was endorsed by IRTL-PAC during his two terms as Secretary of State.

Rokita’s voting record in Congress includes:

  • Voting for the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act to establish a permanent, government-wide policy against funding for abortions.
  • Voting for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to generally prohibit abortion after 20 weeks fetal age and to provide substantial new protections for infants born alive during abortions.
  • Voting for the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act to enact an explicit requirement that a baby born alive during an abortion must be afforded the same degree of care that would be afforded to any other child born alive.
  • Voting for passage of the Defund Planned Parenthood Act to prohibit federal funds from going to America’s largest abortion business, Planned Parenthood.
  • Voting to amend federal law to clarify that states may, at their option, exclude abortion providers from the federal-state Medicaid program.

“Todd Rokita is the pro-life choice for attorney general,” states Indiana Right to Life PAC chairman Mike Fichter.  “We have absolute certainty that he will strongly defend Indiana’s pro-life laws in the courts, including future laws as well as those laws already being challenged in the federal courts.”


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Ginsburg’s Legacy and the Future of Roe v. Wade

By Katie Franklin

The loss of a sitting Supreme Court Justice is great, and in the political climate we are currently living, that loss is all the greater.

Many are remembering Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a “champion of gender equality” and a “leading litigator for women’s rights,” all in line with the “Notorious RBG” canonization people have bestowed on her for years.

But unfortunately, her legacy also includes the defense of one of the most dehumanizing practices women and children have ever suffered in United States history.

That practice is, of course, abortion.

In her 27 years on the Court, Ginsburg went so far as to defend partial-birth abortion twice, once in Stenberg v. Carhart (2000) and again in Gonzales v. Carhart (2007). Years later in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt (2015) and June Medical Services LLC v. Russo (2020), she sided with the abortion industry, knocking down Texas and Louisiana laws which aimed to hold abortionists accountable to basic health and safety standards.

While many commentators and news outlets are lauding her for her fight against pregnancy discrimination, in 2018, Ginsburg sided against America’s pregnancy help centers—life-affirming outposts which aim to help women through the many hurdles of an unexpected pregnancy and new motherhood (NIFLA v. Becerra).

And yet—despite her consistent defense and advocacy for legal abortion, Ginsburg held a nuanced opinion on Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion all across the U.S. in 1973.

That decision, she argued, was far too sweeping.

By knocking down abortion restrictions in all 50 states, legalizing the practice through all nine months of pregnancy, and orienting the decision around the practice of abortion rather than equality, the Court, she said, had created a “target” for pro-lifers.

“That was my concern, that the court had given opponents of access to abortion a target to aim at relentlessly,” she told a crowd of students at the University of Chicago Law School in 2013. “… My criticism of Roe is that it seemed to have stopped the momentum that was on the side of change.”

Indeed, since it was decided in 1973, Roe has remained one of the most controversial decisions in Supreme Court history.

In the following decades, more than 60 million abortions have occurred in the U.S. Yet many states have made advances in protecting unborn babies, challenging Roe and forcing the Supreme Court to consider limits to the culture of “abortion-on-demand.”

Abortionists like Philadelphia’s Kermit Gosnell and Indiana’s Ulrich Klopfer have revealed the grisly reality of abortion. Thousands, if not millions of women, have come to regret their abortions. And abortion survivors themselves are speaking out.

Additionally, more than 2,750 pregnancy help centers have risen up to meet the needs of women, men, and children all across the country, posing a loving alternative to the heartbreak of abortion.

Ginsburg was a studied, hard-working, and accomplished woman, and her colleagues—regardless of their Constitutional interpretation—clearly respected her as a person and legal mind.

As Planned Parenthood and NARAL dig in their heels and prepare to smear the yet-unnamed Supreme Court nominee, we must remember the truth: Roe v. Wade was an extreme decision that ushered in the deaths of millions of innocent babies. And not even Ruth Bader Ginsburg—an avowed defender of legal abortion—believed it was good law.

Indiana Right to Life PAC Endorses Governor Eric Holcomb

Indianapolis – Indiana Right to Life PAC today announced its endorsement of Governor Eric Holcomb for reelection. Governor Holcomb’s pro-life track record during his first term includes the signing of eight pro-life bills, record-setting adoption levels for children in foster care, lowered infant mortality rates, and strong support for Indiana’s Real Alternatives program providing free, compassionate assistance to needy women and their babies, from pregnancy through the babies’ first birthdays.

“Governor Holcomb has signed every single pro-life bill that has come across his desk, including historic legislation to ban late-term abortions and to expand Safe Haven Baby Boxes in Indiana,” states Indiana Right to Life PAC chairman Mike Fichter. “We know that compassion for children, born and unborn, is deeply important to him, and we look forward to working with him to advance the cause of life to much higher levels over the next four years.”

Governor Holcomb’s extensive pro-life record includes:

• 2017 – Gov. Holcomb signed SEA 404 into law enhancing parental rights to be notified when a minor seeks a judicial bypass to get an abortion while allowing civil recourse for parents if an adult falsely claims to have parental rights for the minor. The law also tightens reporting requirements for abortions on girls under 16 years of age.

• 2018 – Gov. Holcomb signed into law SEA 203 that allows murder or manslaughter charges to be brought against any criminal who kills an unborn child during the committing a felony.

• 2018 – Gov. Holcomb signed into law SEA 65 giving parents greater control over whether children are exposed to Planned Parenthood-style sex ed courses in the schools.

• 2018 – Gov. Holcomb signed into law SEA 340 that pave the way for Safe Haven Baby Boxes, toughens abortion clinic licensing requirements in Indiana, and requires reporting of abortion complications.

• 2019 – Gov. Holcomb signed into law HEA 1211 to ban late-term D&E abortions in Indiana.

• 2019 – Gov. Holcomb signed into law SEA 201 to strengthen conscience protections for pro-life health care workers.

• 2019 – Gov. Holcomb signed into law HEA 1007 creating better prenatal health care for at-risk pregnant moms.

• 2020 – Gov. Holcomb signed into law SEA 299 to strengthen humane final disposition laws for aborted babies.

• Indiana’s Real Alternatives Program – From 2017 through 2020, Gov. Holcomb has authorized Indiana’s Real Alternatives program helping participating pro-life pregnancy resources centers throughout the state to meet the needs of tens of thousands of pregnant women and their babies all the way through baby’s first birthday, at no cost to the mothers.

Fichter also notes that under Governor Holcomb, the number of abortions dropped by 400 babies from 2018 to 2019, part of the reason Indiana is now ranked as the sixth most pro-life state in the nation by Americans United for Life.

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Meet our 2020 Thomas Marzen Memorial Scholarship Recipients

AnnMarie Hemmerling of Crown Point has been announced as the top recipient of our annual Thomas Marzen Memorial Scholarship for young Indiana leaders attending college this fall. Hemmerling’s pro-life involvement began as a high school sophomore attending the National March for Life in Washington, D.C.. She has also been involved with the Diocesan Youth Council of Gary, Indiana, and has participated in numerous events through the Respect Life Ministry in her Diocese. She is also an active participant in Boilermakers for Life at Purdue. “The life issue is so important to me because of the message it sends,” wrote Hemmerling. “It speaks of love and proclaims God’s word on the importance of each life”.

Also receiving a scholarship is Rosa Elizabeth Trippel of Mishawaka. Rosa was actively involved with pro-life activities through her four years at Marian High School. She has been an avid member of the Knights for Life club, has attended the March for Life four times, was voted Vice-President of her Right to Life club, and helped organize a volunteer team for the Christ Child Society benefit auction.

A third recipient in 2020 is Amelia Turnbull of Fort Wayne. Amelia won Indiana Right to Life’s 2020 state oratory contest and has attended the National March for Life and the Northeast Indiana March for Life. In addition, she organized Carolers for Christ to minister to nursing home residents, has participated in the Pro-Life Club, and has volunteered extensively to help elect pro-life candidates to office.

We applaud all of this year’s applicants. We’re also thankful for our financial supporters who help make this scholarship program possible. You are appreciated!

Indiana’s 18-Hour Ultrasound Law To Go Back Into Effect After State’s Largest Abortion Business Drops Suit

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana’s 18-hour ultrasound law will go back into effect on January 1, 2021, as a result of Indiana’s largest abortion chain, Planned Parenthood, conceding it will not win its suit which has blocked the law since 2017. The ultrasound law, part of the 2016 Dignity for the Unborn Act signed by then-Gov. Mike Pence, requires that women considering abortion be provided the opportunity to view a fetal ultrasound at least 18 hours prior to an abortion.

A significant decline in abortions is expected in Indiana as a result of the ultrasound law going back into effect. From July through December 2016, while the ultrasound law was in effect, there were 496 fewer abortions in Indiana compared to the period of July through December 2017, when the ultrasound provision was blocked and abortions spiked to a 13 percent increase.

The concession underscores that Planned Parenthood and the ACLU did not feel they could win the suit in the Seventh Circuit in the wake of this summer’s June Medical Services vs. Russo decision by the Supreme Court. Two days after the June Medical Services ruling, the Court vacated a previous Seventh Circuit ruling blocking the ultrasound law and remanded the case back to the Seventh Circuit for reconsideration.

On August 7, the impact of the June Medical Services ruling was felt as Planned Parenthood and the ACLU were dealt a blow by the Eighth Circuit when it lifted injunctions against multiple pro-life laws in Arkansas.

“Indiana’s ultrasound law will save lives,” states Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter. “Women deserve the opportunity to see an ultrasound image of their unborn baby at least 18-hours before an abortion in order to have ample opportunity to reconsider an abortion. In the brief time this law was in effect in 2016, abortions dropped sharply in Indiana, only to rise quickly as soon as the law was blocked. Now we hope to see abortions drop once again, this time for the long term. We regret, however, that this life-saving law will not go back into effect until January.”

In a release earlier today, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill stated, ““For women considering abortions, ultrasounds are an important part of informed-consent counseling. Anyone interested in protecting women’s health, including their mental health, should support giving them as much information as possible to aid their decision-making. Empowering women with knowledge is fully consistent with the U.S. Constitution.”

Fichter is skeptical of Planned Parenthood’s claim that new ultrasound equipment at its office in Fort Wayne drove its decision to drop the suit. “Planned Parenthood is dropping this suit because it fears it won’t win now that the new standard of June Medical Services is being applied by the courts,” Fichter notes. “This move is to cut legal costs in what it knows will be a losing battle. The courts have clearly abandoned the Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt framework from 2016, and that’s great news for pro-life laws moving forward.”

Fichter also raised deep concern that the move is just another step in the direction of Planned Parenthood attempting to operate an abortion business in Fort Wayne, stating, “With Planned Parenthood, connecting the dots means it always comes back to the business of abortion. Always.”

When asked by the Seattle Times in 2019 if Planned Parenthood intends to do abortions in Fort Wayne, its CEO Chris Charbonneau replied, “Absolutely”.

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