Michigan football coach and former San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh has found himself in the center of a social media debate after doubling down on a controversial stance of his regarding abortion.
Harbaugh and his wife Sarah were the guest speakers at Plymouth Right to Life event on July 17 where the Wolverines coach explained to an audience that unborn children are “in God’s plan” and have “a future filled with potential, talent, dreams and love,” the Detroit Catholic reported.
On July 23, Harbaugh elaborated on his comments to ESPN’s Gene Wojciechowski.
“I’ve told [them] the same thing I tell my kids, boys, the girls, same thing I tell our players, our staff members,” Harbaugh said to ESPN. “I encourage them if they have a pregnancy that wasn’t planned, to go through with it, go through with it. Let that unborn child be born, and if at that time, you don’t feel like you can care for it, you don’t have the means or the wherewithal, then Sarah and I will take that baby.
“Faith, family, football … those are my priorities. I just think that … the abortion issue is one that’s so big that it needs to be talked about. It needs serious conversation. What do you think? What do I think? What do others think? “It’s a life-or-death type of issue. And I believe in, and I respect, people’s views. But let’s hear them. Let’s discuss them because there’s passion on both sides of this issue. So when you combine that with respect, that’s when the best results come. … [I’m] just contributing to that conversation and that communication, which I think is really important, in my opinion.”
Harbaugh’s remarks sparked a debate on social media as people had mixed reactions to the coach’s words.
“Yes, I’m sure that Jim Harbaugh would raise every single unplanned pregnancy of 100+ college football players every season for the last 8 years as well as the 13 years of his professional coaching career before that.” one person tweeted.
“Jim Harbaugh is entitled to his own opinions if you like them or not,” someone said.
“Yeah because every time I’m about to make a medical decision about my own damn body, I think ‘what would Jim Harbaugh do?'” another tweeted.
“Regardless of what team you cheer for, we should all be members of team life,” one person said.
One person brought up Harbaugh’s comments from 2020 when he was a guest on a podcast interview with Jay Nordlinger, a senior editor of the National Review, and said that COVID-19 was “a message from God” in response to abortions.
Here’s Harbaugh’s full comments regarding COVID-19:
“Even now, as we all go through what we’re going through with COVID-19, I see people more concerned about others. More prayerful. As I said, God has virtually stopped the world from spinning. I don’t think it’s coincidence — my personal feeling, living a faith-based life, this is a message or this is something that should be a time where we grow on our faith for reverence and respect for God. You see people taking more of a view of sanctity of life. And I hope that can continue. I hope that continues and not just in this time of crisis or pandemic.
“And lastly, abortion, we talk about sanctity of life, yet we live in a society that aborts babies. There can’t be anything more horrendous.”
On June 24, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that gave people the constitutional right to have an abortion. While several states have trigger bans in place that would cause individuals to face delays or rejection when it comes to reproductive care, Michigan isn’t one of such states.