Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh discussed “the abortion issue” in an interview with ESPN over the weekend, and said “we’ll raise that baby” should someone in his family or program be involved with an unplanned pregnancy.
“Let’s discuss it,” said Harbaugh, a practicing Catholic, at the team’s summer tour of the state. “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. 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 [wife] Sarah and I will take that baby.”
The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade — the 1973 ruling that established the constitutional right to abortion — on June 24, meaning there is no longer a federal constitutional right to an abortion. Abortion rights will now be determined by states.
“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. We’ll raise that baby,” Harbaugh said.
Last week, Harbaugh and his wife Sarah spoke at last week’s Plymouth Right to Life event in Plymouth, Michigan, where abortion is legal.
“I believe in having the courage to let the unborn 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 a loving care and respect for life and death. My faith and my science are what drive these beliefs in me.”
Harbaugh said he considers abortion to be “the most horrendous thing I could possibly conceive” when asked about his comments last week by ESPN at Big Ten media days on Tuesday.
“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 has previously been vocal about other social issues outside football. The coach attended an anti-police brutality march in Ann Arbor a week after the killing of George Floyd in 2020.
More recently, Harbaugh named Colin Kaepernick, whom he coached with the San Francisco 49ers from 2011-2014, an honorary captain at Michigan’s spring game in March. Kaepernick, now 34, hasn’t played in the NFL since 2016, when he knelt during the national anthem that season to protest racial injustice and police brutality.