In an interview last weekend, Michigan Head Coach Jim Harbaugh said that he would personally raise the babies of anyone in his program if they were unable to care for them. His comments came in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which has led to abortion bans in eight states and restrictions in many more.

Speaking with ESPN’s Gene Wojciechowski on Saturday, Harbaugh went on to say that his response to unplanned pregnancies came from his Catholic faith. As supporters of the right to life movement, he and his wife, Sarah, have strongly advocated for seeing pregnancies to term, regardless of their nature. In cases close to Harbaugh where the parents were unable to provide for the child, the coach said that he would do everything in his power to help.

“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.”

While Harbaugh did not directly comment on people’s legal right to abortion access, his stance is staunchly in favor of protecting life after conception. At an event in Plymouth, Michigan, last week, Harbaugh made that clear in a more general sense.


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“I believe in having the courage to let the unborn be born,” Harbaugh said.

This is not the first time Harbaugh has weighed in on social and political issues. The former 49ers coach has publicly supported quarterback Colin Kaepernick on multiple occasions in relation to his job search in the NFL and the Black Lives Matter movement. He also attended a march in Ann Arbor following George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police in May 2020.

As has been the case previously, Harbaugh’s comments following the Supreme Court’s decision represent one argument in a complex and polarizing issue in the United States. As states rush to pass legislation protecting and restricting access to abortions, Harbaugh’s call for discussion and collaboration within the Michigan program comes amid a growing divide across the nation.

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