The head football coach of the University of Michigan, Jim Harbaugh, declared his opposition to abortion at a fundraiser, making him one of the first well-known sports figures to do so since Roe v. Wade was reversed.
“I believe in having the courage to let the unborn be born,” Harbaugh said at the event, according to Detroit Catholic, a news service for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit. “I love life. I believe in having loving care and respect for life and death. My faith and my science are what drive these beliefs in me.”
According to the website of the group, Harbaugh and his wife, Sarah, spoke at a Plymouth Right to Life gathering in Plymouth, Michigan. Prior to the Harbaughs’ so-called “pro-life testimonial,” an archdiocesan priest gave a keynote presentation titled “We Were Made to Be Courageous.”
“In God’s plan, each unborn human truly has a future filled with potential, talent, dreams and love,” Harbaugh said, according to the Detroit Catholic, the news service of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit. “I have living proof in my family, my children, and the many thousands that I’ve coached that the unborn are amazing gifts from God to make this world a better place.”
Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe on June 24, Harbaugh is one of the first well-known coaches or athletes to publicly support the antiabortion movement. This decision prompted 13 states to start “trigger bans” that would go into effect after Roe was overturned and forbid abortions within 30 days of the decision. Michigan is one of many states with unenforced pre-Roe abortion laws that will likely be scrutinized in evaluating if access to abortion is still permitted.
The Washington Post was informed by David Ablauf, a spokesman for the Michigan football team, that Harbaugh was merely expressing his personal ideas and not those of the University of Michigan.
According to a statement from Ablauf, Jim Harbaugh “attended an event and expressed his personal opinions as any citizen has the constitutional right to do.” He wasn’t speaking on behalf of the university; rather, he was just giving his personal opinions.
Donors reportedly gave an estimated $100,000 in pledges to Plymouth Right to Life, according to the Detroit Catholic. Among those donations was a $2,300 pledge so a donor could catch a pass in the ballroom from Harbaugh.
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