Rep. Tisdel still refuses to explain or denounce his comments on abortion

Rochester Hills Republican is endorsed by extreme anti-choice group and thinks 1931 ban needs tougher criminal penalties

LANSING – It’s been three months since GOP state Rep. Mark Tisdel of Rochester Hills suggested that Michigan’s 91-year-old ban should carry a murder charge. He still refuses to denounce these outrageous comments.

Since the June 22 forum, Tisdel has not moved away from this dangerous position about the state’s ban on abortion that could make the law, which already prohibits the procedure without exceptions for rape or incest and criminalizes nurses and doctors who offer such reproductive care, even worse than it is. 

During a League of Women Voters candidate forum this summer, he said: “My biggest problem with the law is that it refers to abortion as manslaughter … the legal definition of manslaughter is killing a human being without malice aforethought. Now, if in fact the fetus is a human being, there’s certainly malice aforethought involved in that so I don’t think that manslaughter is the right felony to put on that. 

“So, there are several questions here: At what point does a fetus become a human being? If it is defined legally as a human being then terminating the life of a human being, except in self-defense, is murder. And if you want to go into murder, then you have to decide to what degree.”

Tisdel made his comments during a forum for candidates running for the 55th House District, which covers part of Oakland County. Patricia Bernard of Rochester Hills is the Democrat in that race on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Tisdel is endorsed by the radical anti-choice group Right to Life of Michigan, which requires its endorsed candidates to support a ban on all abortions without exception other than the life of the mother.

“We’re hearing from voters in Oakland County and they’re telling us that they are paying close attention to candidates’ positions on abortion because of the state’s precarious position on the issue since Roe v. Wade was struck down,” said Nancy Quarles, chair of the Oakland County Democratic Party. “Mark Tisdel may think his silence on the abortion issue in recent months will erase his bizarre, stream-of-consciousness ranting about criminal penalties for such a medical procedure in the minds of voters. He is wrong. When women in Michigan are facing a possible future with fewer personal freedoms they’re taking those insights into the voting booth with them on November 8.”


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