One of America’s most prominent college football coaches spoke at a pro-life event over the weekend in the wake of Roe’s demise and urged attendees to have the "courage" to stand up for the unborn.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, who led his team last season to the College Football Playoff, spoke at the Plymouth (Mich.) Right to Life dinner and auction at a sold-out event. Detroit Catholic, the news service of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit, covered Harbaugh’s speech. The theme of the dinner was "We Were Made to be Courageous."
Harbaugh is Catholic.
"I believe in having the courage to let the unborn be born," Harbaugh said. "I love life. I believe in having a loving care and respect for life and death. My faith and my science are what drive these beliefs in me. Quoting from Jeremiah, 'Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart. I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.'"
The Wolverine coach acknowledged that there are other perspectives on abortion, especially after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
"Passions can make the process messy, but when combined with respect, it ultimately produces the best outcomes," Harbaugh said, according to DetroitCatholic.com. "This process has been passionate and messy, but I have faith in the American people to ultimately develop the right policies and laws for all lives involved. I recognize one’s personal thinking regarding morality of a particular action may differ from their thinking on whether government should make that action illegal. There are many things one may hold to be immoral, but the government appropriately allows because of some greater good or personal or constitutional right."
"Ultimately, I don’t believe that is the case with abortion," Harbaugh added. "Yes, there are conflicts between the legitimate rights of the mother and the rights of the unborn child. One resolution might involve incredible hardship for the mother, family and society. Another results in the death of an unborn person."
In the end, the life of the unborn must win out, he said, according to the Catholic news service.
Harbaugh also encouraged pro-lifers to support programs for pregnant mothers.
"In God’s plan, each unborn human truly has a future filled with potential, talent, dreams and love," Harbaugh said. "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. To me, the right choice is to have the courage to let the unborn be born."
His wife, Sarah, acknowledged that some have suggested his pro-life stance could harm recruiting.
"During halftime of a game, talking with the players, I say they are here because they have chosen to be here," Sarah Harbaugh said. "If someone believes in what they stand for, they are choosing to stand for that position, and what kind of person are you if you don’t fight tooth and nail for what you stand for? You get to change hearts by fighting for what you stand for."
Harbaugh is entering his eighth season at Michigan.
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Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Justin Casterline/Stringer
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.