Governor chooses politics over people with her vetoes

In the state’s recently approved bipartisan budget, the Legislature dedicated $21 million to assist pregnant mothers and young families with childcare expenses. The budget included $10 million to help promote adoption, $2 million to provide tax credits for people who adopt, and $3 million for a pilot program to support moms with prenatal and postnatal care, counseling for survivors of violence and services for families looking to have children. It also included $4 million to provide safe housing for mothers in need, $1.5 million for pregnancy resource centers and $700,000 for a pregnancy and parenting services program.

To be clear, this bipartisan budget would not have changed Michigan’s laws on abortion.

And yet, not missing an opportunity to politicize something that was not political, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer chose to selectively veto funding for these very specific programs, knowing full well they made no changes to existing abortion laws.

In doing so, the governor’s vetoes threaten the potential of some children to live in loving homes, which they absolutely deserve, and the opportunity for mothers in distress to get the care and housing they also need and deserve. Every parent knows the difficulty of bringing a child into this world. We know the importance of having help and receiving care that many do not have access to. We also know that a child getting a good start in life will be less likely to need government assistance as an adult.

I believe that every life is truly a gift from God almighty and should be treated with dignity and respect.

Michigan should be fostering a culture of life, and as a community of Michiganders, we should rally around our fellow residents and support one another in childbearing and rearing. That is why I steadfastly pursue and support funding and programs that provide help for new families.

Republicans and Democrats came together to approve this funding. First, because it was the right thing to do, but also because we recognize that to help them is to help us all. Yet, out of fear of radicals in her political base, or perhaps because of her own extreme beliefs, the governor chose politics over people with her vetoes, and denied young mothers and their children necessary additional care, housing, and services — and that is truly unfortunate.