The current averages for first marriages in the United State are currently at age 26 for women and 28 for men and the government has showed signs of concerned. There is research that suggests that marriage benefits people's lives, giving them better health, greater wealth and more happiness for the couple, and improved well-being for children.
Interview of Chris Gast, an employee of Michigan Right to Life, conducted via email during the week of April 6- April 10, 2009. Initial contact made, questions devised, and sent out by Patrick Hoffman.
1. What first motivated you personally to become part of the Right to Life movement? What, in your experience, is the motivation of most of your coworkers and/or supporters?
Abortion is one of the most commonly debated issues in America today. We review the debates.
Morality and Family
Interview with Emily Dievendorf, Managing Director - Equality Michigan, Political Director - Equality Michigan PAC
Written by Ana Wolken
Wednesday, 08 May 2013 21:08
Interview conducted April 1, 2013 in East Lansing
Q: Tell me about your background and how you got involved with Equality Michigan.
A: I got into politics because I needed to do a James Madison College internship. It was suggested that I intern with the legislator from my hometown, Kalamazoo. At the time it was Alexander Lipsey. When I did the internship I came in at the time that the legislative aide was leaving for graduate school. I learned the job in order to fill in and kept it.
In January of 2012, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a mandate under the Affordable Care Act also known as "Obamacare." This mandate requires that all employer health plans provide contraceptives, abortion-inducing drugs, counseling regarding sexually transmitted diseases, screening for HIV, DNA co-testing for HPV, breastfeeding support and supplies, screening and counseling for domestic violence, and screening for gestational diabetes all for no cost and regardless of any moral or religious objections. These new requirements have been in effect since August 1, 2012 with the exception that religious institutions have until August 1, 2013 to decide whether or not to comply with the new mandate. If religious institutions choose not to comply with the mandate then they have to pay a substantial amount of fines starting in 2014 ($2000 per each company employee minus 30). Many religious companies still find that this exemption puts a substantial burden on their religious freedom in which case some companies try to fight the mandate.
Second parent adoption is defined as the adoption of a child by a second parent who is not married to the legal parent of the child. When a parent has legal rights over a child, he or she is able to make medical decisions for that child, as well as leave property and benefits. A legal parent also has the right to spend time with their child even if they are not still with the other legal parent, and they have the responsibility to provide financially for that child. Currently, second-parent adoption is not allowed in all states. In these states, gay couples are unable to legally adopt a child together. If a gay couple would like to adopt, only one of the people may legally obtain the parental rights. In states where second-parent adoption is legal, the second parent is able to adopt the child without the first parent losing any of his or her parental rights and each parent has the same rights as a biological parent would. While homosexual couples wishing to adopt have a difficult time, single parents also have a difficult time. Although the number of single-parent adoptions has risen from an estimated .5% to 4% of all completed adoptions in the 1970's to 8% to 34% in the 1980's, it still takes longer to be approved than it does for married couples. If this process did not take so long, then the number of children in foster care would not be so high. Nationally, there are 588,000 children in foster care and another 119,000 children waiting to be adopted.
State Public Funding of Abortion: Medicaid and the Hyde Amendment
Written by Rachel Hatt
Thursday, 04 October 2012 13:44
State public funding of abortion is affected by two things: Medicaid and the Hyde Amendment. In 1965, Medicaid was first authorized. Since then, it has provided low-income families with health care. After the case of Roe v. Wade, all state Medicaid programs covered abortions without any restrictions. The Hyde Amendment which was enacted in 1976 limited federal funding for abortion care. Under the Hyde Amendment, specifications have been made that designates what abortion services are covered under Medicaid. Presently, Medicaid only covers abortions unless in the case of rape, incest, or if the woman's life is endangered. Even if a state has laws that are more restrictive than the Hyde Amendment, abortions must be covered under these specifications. Since the Hyde Amendment, the majority of the states have adopted this policy as their own with the exception of four states. Hawaii, Washington, and New York fund provide funding voluntarily if the woman's life is in endangered. Maryland also funds abortions voluntarily in the case of fetal abnormality. Only 17 states publicly fund abortion for low-income women on the same or similar basis as other pregnancy or health related issues while 13 states have declared independent protection for reproductive choice and have non-discrimatory public funding for abortion. None of these states are located in the Midwest.
The Michigan Policy Network is a student-led public education and research program to report and organize news and information about the political process surrounding Michigan state policy issues. It is run out of the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University, with participation by students from the College of Social Science, the College of Communication, and James Madison College.
The thoughts, opinions, and positions represented herein are solely those of the participating students and in no way represent an official position or policy recommendation of Michigan State University.
Jocelyn Cutean serves as Morality and Family policy correspondent for the Michigan Policy Network. She is a first-year student at Michigan State, majoring in Theatre and English. Jocelyn has experience working on the executive board of the Waterford Chapter Coalition for Youth. She has also piloted a grant funded city wide public service announcement entitled, "It Just Wasn't Worth It" which exposes the repercussions of driving while intoxicated. Jocelyn enjoys art of all forms, from writing to performance.