Be Encouraged: Letters from Indiana’s U.S. Senators

December 6, 2018

Be encouraged. Indiana has strong, pro-life representation in the U.S. Senate. Senator Todd Young and Senator-elect Mike Braun recognize the unborn have a right to life and will stand with us in the fight to defend that right. Recently Senator Young and Senator-elect Braun sent letters to our Christmas Gala. We invite you to read these letters and be encouraged by their pro-life stand.







Letter from Senator Todd Young:

Fellow Hoosiers:

I want to start by giving my heartfelt thanks to you for leading the fight to protect the unborn. The pro-life movement has been, and always will be strong due to dedicated grassroots champions like yourselves. In a time when local officials are trying to dictate where crisis pregnancy centers can and cannot open, we need you now more than ever. In Washington, every day is a battle to protect the sanctity of life.

The Senate has partnered with President Trump to fill our federal courts with judges and justices who strictly interpret the Constitution. The confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch was a monumental victory, but it was just a start. We’ve since confirmed Notre Dame’s Amy Coney Barrett to Indiana’s 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, and dozens more. Finally, I have personally worked hard to promote the gifts of foster parenting and adoption. We’ve successfully intervened when international adoptions have fallen apart. I’ve introduced legislation to modernize foster placement. And, I’m proud to say the adoption tax credit stayed in place in our tax reform bill. There is much more to do, so I hope you continue to passionately advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves. Thank you for all you do in contributing to the success of this state. I look forward to speaking with you in person soon. It is an honor to represent you in the US Senate.

Your friend in service,

Todd Young

United States Senator

Letter from Senator-elect Mike Braun:


I write today to send my regrets that I could not join you for your celebration of life this Christmas season.

As a father and grandfather, defending the sanctity of life has always been a solemn responsibility to me, and throughout my journey to serve our state in the U.S. Senate the Indiana Right to Life has been a steadfast ally, and I am lucky enough to count many of you in attendance tonight as dear friends.

Indiana Right to Life’s support made a tremendous difference in that endeavor, and your support and encouragement along the way has been a constant, humbling source of inspiration and pride for me. Your activism and passion for life makes a real difference for Hoosiers, and I am proud to be a small part of it.

I’d like to wish everyone in attendance tonight and your loved ones a merry and safe Christmas season, and I hope to hear from all of you how I can better serve you and your family as your next Senator.

Thank you all again, sincerely, for everything you do to protect and defend the rights of our most vulnerable.

Take care,

Mike Braun

Senator-elect from Indiana

A Special Message about Tuesday

November 1, 2018

A special message from Mike Fichter, President and CEO, Indiana Right to Life:

Chances are you’ve never heard the fascinating story of Indiana’s Barton Mitchell. Originally from Huntington County, Mitchell’s final resting place is in Hartsville, just south of Columbus. He’s all but forgotten to just about everyone except followers of history, but Barton Mitchell, through a series of unexpected circumstances, found himself at the center of one of the most fascinating stories of the American Civil War.

In September 1862, Robert E Lee made a critical decision to move Confederate forces North to give battle to the Union forces somewhere on the outskirts of Washington DC.. Lee’s strategy was to take the war to the north to relieve pressure from the Confederate capital of Richmond, and to place the Union in a defensive mode around Washington. As part of his overall strategy, Lee gambled by separating his forces. To ensure subordinates understood the overall strategy, Lee dictated Special Order 191, outlining, in detail, his entire plan.

Lee delineated the plan to surprise Union forces, including the top secret routes and roads to be taken and the timing for the invasion of Harpers Ferry. Staff officers distributed copies of the order to various Confederate generals. Then, about noon on September 13, Barton Mitchell, of the 27th Indiana Volunteers, discovered an envelope with three cigars wrapped in a piece of paper at a campground Confederates had just vacated. It was Special Order 191.

Mitchell’s discovery soon landed in the hands of Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, the commander of the Army of the Potomac, who was overcome with glee at learning planned Confederate troop movements. He reportedly exclaimed, “Here is a paper with which, if I cannot whip Bobby Lee, I will be willing to go home.”

Barton Mitchell from Indiana had presented General McClellan with the entire Confederate game plan for the movement that ultimately resulted in the Battle of Antietam, known to most as the bloodiest day of American military history.

In much the same way, abortion supporters have a game plan unfolding in Indiana and across the nation, and their intent is as clear as if we were holding their own brand of Special Order 191 in our hands today. While I will detail some of their plans in upcoming columns, there is one you must know about today.

Abortion supporters are banking on frustration, anger, division and apathy to keep you home November 6. They want us to believe the system is broken, our votes really don’t matter, and their pre-election polling proves we are a lost cause in the eyes of most Americans.

Don’t believe it for one minute.

On November 6, your vote, and the votes of your friends and family, represents what abortion supporters fear the most-the real voice of real people.

Barton Mitchell fought at Antietam as part of a war to define who, and what, we would be as a nation. This November 6, we’ll all be going to the polls to make the same kind of statement.

Please exercise your power and freedom to vote.

Planned Parenthood Fundraiser for Abortion Doctors Falls Flat. This Is the Most Perfect Pro-Life Response.

May 4, 2018

Introducing the first “Indiana Pregnancy Resource Center Staff Appreciation Day”

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky recently sought donations for National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers. Their fundraiser fell flat. Like, really flat. Despite emotional videos and flashy graphics, they only got three donations. Yes, three donations, for a measly grand total of $58.65.

It could be that people don’t really want to send their hard-earned money to those that dismember and discard the bodies of unborn children. Or maybe they figure that abortion providers already make enough money, considering they charge women hundreds of dollars per abortion.

This wildly unpopular fundraiser for abortion providers made us wonder, do we do enough to say “thank you” to the incredible staffs at pregnancy resource centers who save lives?

Pregnancy resource center staff are unsung heroes of the pro-life movement. They are on the frontlines every day, working tirelessly to save women and their unborn babies from abortion. They don’t only help a woman during her 9 months of pregnancy, but they offer loving support as she learns to parent. Pregnancy resource centers offer material support like diapers and baby clothes to help new families on their new parenting journey. Pregnancy resource center staff know that love saves lives, and they live that love every day.

We’re designating this Mother’s Day as “Indiana’s Pregnancy Resource Center Staff Appreciation Day.” And we’re putting together a fundraiser for a Coffee and Donuts Thank You Party to say “thank you” to pregnancy resource center staff members. Chip in a $5 or more donation to show your appreciation to all these incredible workers.

For every $25 donated, we’ll pull one name out of the diaper bag to receive a check for a Coffee and Donuts Thank You Party. We’d love to send a check to all 62 centers that are members of the Indiana Association of Pregnancy Centers. Help us meet our goal of $1,550 to do that.

Donate here. Then spread the word. Forward this page via email. Share the fundraiser on Facebook or Twitter using #appreciatePRCs.

Is there anyone in the pro-life movement more deserving of our appreciation than the loving pregnancy resource center staff that save lives every single day? There’s no telling how many babies and mothers have been spared from abortion because of the love of these individuals. Say “thank you” today with a donation.



A Roundup of Responses to Mayor Buttigieg’s Decision Against Women’s Care Center

May 1, 2018

On Friday, the South Bend Mayor, Pete Buttigieg, vetoed the South Bend Common Council’s measure to permit rezoning and construction of a Women’s Care Center facility near the proposed abortion facility. The abortion facility, to be operated by Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, was denied an abortion license, but they appealed the denial decision to the courts.


St. Joseph County Right to Life:

“Mayor Pete recently vetoed the rezoning of the new property owned by Women’s Care Center, a crisis pregnancy center that has several locations that greatly benefit the women of our area. This article hits on most sides of the issue. As a pro-life organization and one that is proud to support the women and families in St. Joseph County, we are deeply disappointed that this center’s rezoning was denied. Additionally, we are very displeased that several statements in support of the veto were misdirections and lies from an out-of-state abortion provider, Whole Woman’s Health, which has not even received approval for a license to operate because the group failed to prove they were of a reputable, responsible character and concealed or omitted information. Why should they have an opinion on what happens in OUR community?”


University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.:

“The Women’s Care Center, on whose board I serve, gives women in crisis the support they need for themselves and their babies before and after birth. It doesn’t engage in political advocacy, but provides compassionate, non-judgmental loving care to women most in need. I am saddened by Mayor Buttigieg’s decision to veto a bill that would have allowed the Women’s Care Center to build a facility near one that seeks to provide abortions. The mayor’s decision excludes an important presence from that neighborhood and thwarts plans that had met the criteria for rezoning and had been approved by the Common Council. Far from enhancing the harmony of the neighborhood, it divides our community and diminishes opportunities for vulnerable women to have a real choice. The mayor is a talented and dedicated public servant with whom I have worked closely to serve our community, but I am deeply disappointed by his decision.”


Most Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades, Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend:

“I am deeply disappointed in yesterday’s decision by Mayor Pete Buttigieg to veto the rezoning request of the Women’s Care Center which was approved by the South Bend Common Council this past Monday.

“Women who experience a crisis pregnancy often say that they feel they have no other option than abortion, and the Women’s Care Center exists precisely to offer these vulnerable women a real choice.

“What started as a small outreach to women in crisis in downtown South Bend over three decades ago, has grown to become the largest, most successful pregnancy resource center in America, serving 26,000 women annually from 29 centers in 10 states. How unfortunate that the Women’s Care Center has been denied in its own hometown the opportunity to expand their compassionate services to a location where it could best reach the women who could benefit most.

“I share the mayor’s concern about the neighborhood, but for a different reason: a group from outside our community and state may open that not only discards innocent human life, but purports to give women a choice, when in fact it has vigorously opposed the Women’s Care Center that provides loving support for women and the choice to say yes to life.”


Taking our responsibility to save lives and educate voters seriously

April 25, 2018

A special message from IRTL President and CEO Mike Fichter

Recently I was surprised to learn of the sharp criticism of Indiana Right to Life’s political activities from the leader of another organization in Indiana. While I fully respect the rights of others to share their opinions, I do feel such public criticism requires a public response.

The author criticized Indiana Right to Life for being single issue. We are unapologetically single issue, and that issue is life. We make no pretense to be anything else but single issue. It is the hallmark of whom we are. It is this focused approach that has made us highly respected by both friends and foe alike at the Statehouse, as well as in the public square. Other organizations have full ability to choose which battles they will fight; Indiana Right to Life will remain focused on protecting life.

We were also criticized for endorsing 100% pro-life incumbents over challengers. Indiana Right to Life has a long-standing endorsement policy of endorsing pro-life incumbents in recognition of the fact that they have consistently voted for pro-life legislation. Legislators know, understand and respect our pro-life incumbent endorsement policy. More than a few legislators now serving at the Statehouse were subject to this policy when running as challengers; now they receive our endorsement as incumbents.

Exceptions to our pro-life incumbent endorsement policy include situations such as incumbents declining to complete surveys or when extenuating circumstances apply. There are several pro-life incumbents in this year’s primary, for example, who did not receive endorsements in contested races because they did not complete the pro-life surveys mailed to them.

The most notable example of an extenuating circumstance resulting in the denial of an endorsement is Rep. Curt Nisly (Indiana House District 22), who misleadingly replied on his survey that he would oppose legislation that would eliminate current abortion regulations in Indiana.  This is exactly what his House Bill 1097 does, as interested voters can see for themselves by reading the bill here. Providing a liberal judge with a bill that proactively strikes all Indiana abortion regulations passed since 1973 would be detrimental to our focused mission of protecting life.

Indiana Right to Life is consistent in its pro-life incumbent endorsement policy, even when it comes to challengers with previous relationships with our organization. On more than one occasion I have informed large donors choosing to run for public office of our pro-life incumbent policy, only to see their financial giving to Indiana Right to Life cease as a result. This year is no exception.

We are likewise criticized for not making more multiple endorsements such as the three-way endorsement of Mike Braun, Luke Messer and Todd Rokita, for U.S. Senate. This criticism is particularly puzzling due to the multiple endorsements made by the Indiana Right Life PAC in Congressional Districts 4 and 6, as well as in multiple state legislative races. In every race in which more than one candidate is endorsed, there is no pro-life incumbent, for the seat being sought in the race. Endorsements in such races are made based on a wider array of factors including the strength of completed surveys, previous voting records in other offices, proven track records of involvement on life issues, and more.

Finally, I must address the assertion that Indiana Right to Life failed to endorse pro-life challengers in contested primaries against pro-abortion incumbents.  I have asked the author of this criticism to identify the races in question, yet as of this writing, I have received no response. The most likely reason for a non-endorsement in such cases is a candidate’s failure to return a completed survey, or a candidate returning a survey so weak on the pro-life position that it does not rise to the level of receiving an endorsement.

Indiana Right to Life takes its responsibility to educate voters seriously.  This is why, in addition to making PAC endorsements, we produce an extensive voter guide providing voters with candidate replies to 16 questions covering a broad range of pro-life topics. This is in great contrast to voter guides based on subjective grading systems, or surveys consisting of two questions. We encourage every voter to exercise the right to vote and to choose for themselves which candidates to support.

Indiana Right to Life’s political endorsement process may not be perfect, but I am not aware of any organization whose process is. We do the best that we can, surveying over three hundred candidates, compiling results, taking into account pro-life voting records and incumbency, and informing pro-life voters in a consistent and civil manner.

Is our process successful? The number of children killed by abortion in Indiana has dropped for eight straight years, with 3,642 fewer children aborted in 2016 alone versus 2008. Four abortion facilities have shut their doors. We credit much of this success to the pro-life policy advances we’ve made at the Statehouse through the hard work, and the votes, of candidates we’ve endorsed. We’re not concerned with criticism. Our concern is on saving lives. And there are children alive today in Indiana because of the work we are doing. That’s where our focus will remain. Because unborn children have a right to life.












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