University of Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh said he has told his players and staff members to go through with any unplanned pregnancies and that he and his wife “will take that baby” if they are unable to care for the child.
In the wake of the Roe v. Wade ruling being overturned by the Supreme Court last month, Harbaugh, 58, spoke with ESPN about what he has communicated to his players and staff regarding his stance on abortion.
“I’ve told (them) the same thing I tell my kids, boys, the girls, same thing I tell our players, our staff members. I encourage them if they have a pregnancy that wasn’t planned, to go through with it, go through with it,” Harbaugh said. “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.
“Any player on our team, any female staff member or any staff member or anybody in our family or our extended family … that doesn’t feel like after they have a baby they can take care of it, we got a big house,” he added later in the interview. “We’ll raise that baby.”
Harbaugh has seven children from two marriages. He has four children with his second wife, Sarah, who joined him in speaking at an anti-abortion event in Michigan last week.
“I believe in having the courage to let the unborn be born,” Harbaugh said at the event, according to Detroit Catholic, the news service for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit. “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.”
Harbaugh was also asked about abortion at a press conference during the Big Ten’s media day on Tuesday and called it “the most horrendous thing I could possibly conceive.”
The Harbaughs are practicing Catholics, and Harbaugh has previously taken his team on a tour of the Vatican.
He told ESPN that the abortion issue is “so big that it needs to be talked about.”
“It’s a life-or-death type of issue,” he continued. “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.”
The landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case established a constitutional right to access legal abortion for nearly 50 years before being overturned in June.
Abortion is still legal many states, but individual states are now free to make abortion illegal. Thirteen states enacted trigger laws banning abortion to go into effect after Roe v. Wade was overturned, although multiple ones are now being challenged by lawsuits. Abortion remains legal in Harbaugh’s home state of Michigan.
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