Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines says he would help raise a baby if he was a member of the family, program involved in unplanned pregnancy

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Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh, who spoke at a pro-life fundraising event in Michigan last week, said last weekend that “we will raise this baby” if a family or program member was involved in an unplanned pregnancy.

“Let’s talk about it,” Harbaugh told ESPN’s Gene Wojciechowski in an extensive interview on Saturday in Muskegon, Michigan, during the team’s summer tour of the state, adding, “I said [them] the same thing I say to my children, to the boys, to the girls, the same thing that I say to our players, to the members of our staff. I encourage them if they have an unplanned pregnancy, to go through with it, go through with it. Let this unborn child be born, and if at that time you don’t feel capable of caring for it, you don’t have the means or the resources, then Sarah and I will take this baby.”

Harbaugh’s wife, Sarah, also spoke at last week’s Plymouth Right to Life event in Plymouth, Michigan.

Jim Harbaugh has taken a more public stance on social issues in recent years. He voiced his support for Colin Kaepernick, whom he coached with the San Francisco 49ers and named honorary captain in Michigan’s spring game earlier this year. And he spoke out after the 2020 murder of George Floyd, tweeting that justice must be “equal and fair for all” and attending a march against police brutality in Ann Arbor a week after the murder.

“I believe in having the courage to let the unborn child be born,” Harbaugh said at the event last week, according to Detroit Catholic, the news service for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit. “I love life. I believe in having loving care and respect for life and death. My faith and science is what drives these beliefs in me.”

Harbaugh is a practicing Catholic. His team toured Italy in 2017, which included a visit to the Vatican.

Asked by ESPN about his comments at the event, Harbaugh said: “Faith, family, football…those are my priorities. I just think…the issue of abortion is so important that it needs to be talk. It takes a serious conversation. What do you think? What do I think? What do other people think?

He added: “It’s a matter of life and death. And I believe and respect people’s opinions. But let’s listen to them. Let’s talk about it because there is passion on both sides of this issue. So when you combine that with respect, that’s where the best results come from. … [I’m] just contributing to that conversation and that communication, which I think is really important.”

The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that established the constitutional right to abortion, on June 24. At the time, Harbaugh’s patron, University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman, said, “and I will do everything in my power as president to make sure we continue to provide this crucially important care.”

Abortion is legal in Michigan, although a 1931 law prohibits abortions unless termination of pregnancy is considered necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman. The law was never repealed when Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer sued to stop the ban from being enforced.

Said Harbaugh: “Any player on our team, any female staff member or any staff member or anyone in our family or extended family… who doesn’t feel that after having a baby, he can take care of it, we have a big house, we will raise this baby.

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