Letters: Other views on abortion, Wayne State

The Detroit News

Recently, 44 Democrats, including Michigan Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, blocked the advancement of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, introduced by Senator Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska.

Planned Parenthood tweeted that a “NO” vote was “a vote to protect…women’s rights to reproductive freedom.”

Despite this fearmongering, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act does not purport to restrict abortion access in any way. The bill would amend the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002 (which passed the Senate by unanimous consent) and accomplish three main goals.

First, it would guarantee legal personhood to babies born alive after an attempted abortion.

Secondly, it would direct doctors and health care providers to administer the same care they would to any other child of the same gestational age.

Finally, it would prohibit anyone from intentionally killing children born following an abortion attempt.

For years, abortion advocates and pro-choice politicians have told us that human rights begin at birth. When the now-disgraced Gov. Northam of Virginia seemed to express support for infanticide on air, the pro-choice movement was quick to say that he was misquoted and that no reasonable person supported infanticide.

The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act would merely reinforce this truth, but Debbie Stabenow, Gary Peters, and their allies voted against life

Jeremiah Ward


Proposed Wayne State-Henry Ford Health System Relationship Offers Great Benefits

The success of Wayne State University is crucial to the revitalization of Detroit and in restoring the State of Michigan to its historical place as a national leader in higher education.  

WSU, which just celebrated its 150th anniversary, is enjoying a string of  unprecedented successes under the able leadership of its president, Dr. M. Roy Wilson.

Last year saw the University enroll its largest freshman class ever, while achieving the greatest improvement nationally in six-year graduation rates. Completion of the greatest fundraising effort in the University’s history yielded more than $750 million in gifts from tens of thousands of  donors.

The largest contribution ever received by WSU--$40 million from the Ilitch family—has produced the magnificent new Mike Ilitch School of Business in the heart of downtown. Campus life is flourishing, with 800 new apartments just built.  And, at the School of Medicine more applications for admission were received than ever in its history.

To properly train those future doctors, Wayne State has been working for some years on expanding its relationship with its Midtown neighbor, the world- famous Henry Ford Health System. 

I can speak with first-hand knowledge about that effort. I served on the Board of Governors of WSU for twelve years, chaired it for two years, and was deeply involved, as a member of the Board’s Health Affairs Committee, in helping bring about a modern vision for the School of Medicine. That vision involved a continuation with the Detroit Medical Center, under its new for-profit ownership, while greatly transforming medical education, patient care, and research through joint programs with HFHS, to the benefit of medical students, researchers and the entire State of Michigan.

That’s why I was so very pleased when a letter of intent was signed last year by the two institutions that, when implemented, would yield such great benefits for all concerned. 

As often happens, transactions of this complexity often hit “bumps-in-the-road,” so it is hardly a surprise to see that here. But to characterize those negotiations as “faltering” or “dead in the water” seems to be a grossly distorted view of the situation, in light of the more thoughtful and fact-based comments of President Wilson, the leadership of the Medical School, and others knowledgeable about the matter.

Knowing how  much careful thought and effort has gone into these negotiations by a succession of Wayne State leaders makes me hopeful that the entire membership of the Board of Governors will, as such boards are tasked to do, work collaboratively with President Wilson and his able colleagues to move this once-in-a-generation opportunity forward. Retreating to 20th century solutions to solve 21st century needs is not an option for a great university.

Wayne State began in 1868  as a medical college. It has become much more, with 13 colleges and schools educating over  27,000 students. It has trained more doctors practicing in Michigan than any other medical school. The future delivery of medical services in this State will depend to a great extent on the strength of the WSU School of Medicine. I am confident that strength  will be greatly enhanced by building a stronger partnership with Henry Ford Health System.

Eugene Driker