The ProLife Team Podcast 131 | Thomas Glessner, J.D.

Thomas Glessner’s speach in 2023.


The transcript was automatically generated and may contain errors.

Welcome to the Pro-Life Team Podcast. My name is Jacob Barr, and in this episode, we’re sharing footage captured for the Abortion Museum. Life after Roe vs. Wade, achieving an abortion-free America in the post-Dobbs era.

Life after Roe vs. Wade. I never in my lifetime, in my lifetime, really believed we would see the end of Roe vs. Wade. Got a lot of stories to tell. By the way, I’m Tom Glessner, president of NIFLA, founder of NIFLA.

30 years has happened very quickly. Excited for Thursday night. There’s a professional video on our history. We’re going to make sure that we get the audio visual right for that one, because that’s just too important for you not to see and enjoy. Then I shake my head, thinking, I can’t believe 30 years.

I blink my eyes. 30 years. It’s gone. And, you know, I’m only 42, so I mean. So, but I want us to review some history here. Everybody who knows me knows how much I love history. I love history just because it’s interesting.

But I love history because history is his story. And the old adage, the failure to learn from history is a guarantee you’re going to repeat history. We need to study history. We need to understand history. We need to know biblical history, the Old Testament. And we need to learn, because God speaks to it, to us through history, because it’s his story. So let’s do a little history here.

And I bet what I’m about to say is going to be a surprise to you. So in 1973, we know what happened. Roe versus Wade was rendered by the Supreme Court. And I’m probably the only person in this room, maybe there’s some, who remember exactly what he was doing when Roe versus Wade came down. You know what I was doing? Now, I can’t remember where I put my keys in the morning. Honey, where’s my keys?

I didn’t see my wallet. Oh, yeah, there it is in your hands. Okay. But I remember specifically this. And I think the only reason I do have a memory of this is because the Lord preserved it in my mind so he knew that one day I would be sharing it with groups like this.

January 22nd, 1973. I’m a junior at the University of Washington in Seattle. I was a child prodigy, eight years old, and, you know, walking across campus with my books under my arms. I lived in a fraternity house. And I was going back to the house for lunch. It was 12 noon, West Coast time. And a friend of mine’s yelling at me saying, Gloucester, Gloucester, hey, hey, wait up, wait up.

Did you hear what happened today in the news? And I said, no, what happened?

Well, Lyndon Johnson died. Wow. See, this was 1973. He hadn’t been president for five years. But I was a political science major and an economics major. And my goal in life was to go to law school, enter the world of politics, and get elected as a United States senator for my home state of Washington. So politics, you know, just, I wake up, I want to hear about this.

Now, whether you like Lyndon Johnson or not, he was a very controversial historical figure. A lot happened during his presidency. The Vietnam War, the civil rights struggles, a lot happened. So I ran back to my, I literally ran back to my fraternity house. Back then, they didn’t have 24-hour news. So I was trusting I’d get a midday report. And I get in, and there’s a television room.

I go downstairs and turn it on. And sure enough, there was a midday report on the life of President Lyndon Johnson. And they talked about what happened, his last moments before he died, and who was with him. And then they had highlights of his presidential administration. And then at the end of this report, the reporter says, and in other news, the United States Supreme Court rendered a decision that voids all the anti-abortion laws in all 50 states.

January 22nd, 1973. Now, I also remember hearing that. Why? The Lord’s preserved my memory. So I can tell you about it. I also remember when I heard about it, thinking, who cares? Big deal.

This decision isn’t going to impact my life whatsoever. If I keep talking, I’m going to get into another story, and we’ll be here for three hours, so I can’t. I got to stay focused here on my notes. But my attitude at that time was the typical evangelical attitude. That’s a Catholic issue. Well, you know, fine, I’m against abortion, but that’s the Catholics. I want to save souls.

I’m an evangelical. And that was the attitude. And so, which was planned, by the way, my friends that I’ve made over the years in the pro-life movement, this was planned by the abortion movement to trivialize the abortion issue and marginalize it by simply proclaiming that it’s a Catholic issue. It’s a bunch of white Catholic men led by the Pope who are trying to impose their morality on women. And that was working. And evangelical churches were buying into it. Well, yeah, we’re against abortion, you know, but that’s a Catholic thing.

That’s what the Pope says, so we’re not getting involved in that one. Okay, it wasn’t until 1979. See, I graduated from law school in 77. I did get into law school.

Married a beautiful woman. We’ve been married 46 years. You’ll see her Thursday night. And she was a speech therapist with a handicapped, and she had a great career dealing with autistic children and autistic adults as a speech therapist. And she was prodded into thinking deeply about this issue because of her work with the handicapped. And so one day, she says, you know, my professional literature talks about prenatal diagnosis so that we can abort these children before they come in and cause us a lot of resources. And he says, yeah, we’re pouring all this money into them for a quality of life now, but we want to kill them before they come. That’s crazy.

And that really pricked my conscience. I said, yeah, that’s crazy. That’s absolutely insane. And then there was a Protestant theologian named Francis Schaeffer who wrote a book, Whatever Happened to the Human Race, and a movie. And he toured the country with that book and movie. And with him at times was a woman who became a very dear friend of mine, Dr. Mildred Jefferson.

And Thursday night, we give out the Mildred Jefferson Courageous Servant Award. Dr. Jefferson, or I call her Mildred because she was my pal, was the first black woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School. They toured the country, and what was happening was young evangelicals were standing up. So it no longer became a Catholic issue, and my Catholic friends were so glad that they had friends now. And what was going on then was, well, I was in Seattle, and you just don’t become a pro-lifer with a lot of acclaim and people saying nice things about you out in Seattle. You’re crazy out there, even as much as it is today out there.

But I didn’t care at this point because God had pricked my conscience. And I came to the conclusion, and I want to say it here as passionately as I can, who can call themselves a Christian and before this? You know, we’re horrified at the tragedy in the Middle East. We are. Babies are being beheaded, being slaughtered, and I find it very interesting that a lot of the pundits on television are noticing that, and I’m not downplaying it at all, but I want to say to them, what do you think abortion is? Where’s your conscience? So in the early 80s, we knew the politics in the state of Washington was bad.

You know, we’re going to burn out if we put our efforts into that. So we formed, we, my wife and I, formed the very first crisis pregnancy center in the Northwest. I was a young lawyer.

I was in a small law firm. My law firm gave me the ability to do legal work pro bono. So I incorporated, got his tax exempt, I became chairman of the board, and we moved on. And what happened, of course, was immediately we were attacked with picketing and bricks thrown through the windows and nasty reports and everything. I look back on that time period and I said, it just kind of toughened me up for the real battle.

But Roe versus Wade. So what did it do? Let’s get some history here. Well, the first thing is, here’s some legal stuff for you. The first thing is, let’s break it down. I’m quoting the court here, and let’s think about this stupid language by these so-called intelligent people here who are guiding our nation. It says that the court decision said this, for the stage subsequent to viability, viability being the point where a baby can live outside the womb, albeit with artificial means, the state in promoting its interest in the potentiality of human life, how stupid is that one, may, if it chooses, regulate and even prescribe abortion except where it is necessary in the appropriate medical judgment for the preservation of the life or health of the mother.

Let’s break this down for a minute. Potentiality of human life. It’s not potential human life. It’s human life with potential. Got that wrong. Got that wrong. May, if it chooses, doesn’t say they have to, but if they choose, oh, you might be able to do something.

And what might you be able to do if you choose? Regulate and even prescribe abortion except where it is necessary in the appropriate medical judgment for the preservation of the life or health of the mother. All right. So what does health mean? I think we can figure out what life means. But in the companion case of Doe versus Bolton, the court tells us what health means. The medical judgment may be, and medical judgment, I’m quoting the court, and this is, it says medical judgment, it’s a medical judgment, but to have an abortion, may be exercised in the light of all factors, physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age, relevant to the well-being of the patient.

All these factors may relate to health. In other words, anything that depresses her is a justification for abortion, even into the third trimester of pregnancy. That’s what Roe versus Wade did. That’s what Roe versus Wade did. We were among seven nations that allow for late-term abortions. Oh, great company, Red China, North Korea, countries like that. That’s certainly something to be proud of, America.

And then the court says something else. I want to quote the court again. It draws the line at viability, and it appears that, if you read it and don’t read it carefully, it appears that, oh, they’re giving some restrictions. After viability, there’s some restrictions. Well, remember, you can’t, even if the health of the mother’s in danger, then even after viability, it doesn’t matter. And since the health of the mother means she just may be too depressed, or familial factors, I point that one out. What are familial factors? Family-related factors.

Boyfriend, father of the baby wants her to have an abortion. Is that a familial factor?

Of course it is. Father of the child. So any reason, but then they pretend that, oh, we’re giving some restrictions. So they say, they draw the line of liability. Why viability? Because that is where the court said that the unborn child or the potential human life, it says, has, quote, got this one? Capability of meaningful life outside the womb, end of quote.

Meaningful life is a standard under Roe versus Wade as to whether one lives or dies. Meaningful life. And of course, we always said, if the unborn child’s life is not meaningful, then what about the elderly, the infirm? What about the quadriplegic? What if any of us get in a car accident, God forbid, here, and we’re rendered quadriplegic, or we’re in a coma? Is our life no longer meaningful? We set the standard there, and it was warned.

We warned that you’re opening the door to euthanasia, to infanticide, you’re opening the door for the killing of the born. Every reason people gave to justify abortion can be used to kill somebody born under Roe versus Wade. Now, then there was this issue in Roe versus Wade that was pointed out. You know, you can’t allow for abortion on demand, the state of Texas said this, they were totally right, because the Constitution of the United States says you cannot take the life of a person without due process of law, 14th Amendment, United States, no state shall deny to any person life, liberty, property without due process of law. So the court was stuck here, and Justice Blackmun, yeah, he’s got a problem. Oh, easy to solve that one. You see, we just say the unborn child’s not a person.

Now, this is what was confusing. The court never said the unborn child’s not human. It said it’s not a person, and the law only protects persons. So they create a situation where, very weird situation in the law, where some non-human beings, i.e., corporations, non-human being, are persons, and they are persons under the law according to court precedent, and some human beings, i.e., unborn children or others deemed to have not have meaningful life, are not persons, and they can be killed. Now, here’s where the court was so far off. Liberals had to admit this was a stupid decision. Liberals had to admit it, but the court ignored history.

Let’s talk about history again. History is a great teacher if we only read it, assess it, and pray about it. The court ignored some very important history. In 1850, well, let’s even go back further. I have in my office these Blackstone commentaries on the common laws of England, and Sir William Blackstone would be considered the father of the English common law upon which our American law was based, upon which our Constitution is based, written in 1763, and it’s really beautiful. You open it up, the first chapter, and it talks about the rights of persons, and then guess what this man, this jurist, in 1863 says about personhood. It said, personhood begins in the womb. 1763. Now, start there.

Medical science hadn’t quite caught up to that yet because our technology wasn’t advanced, but as it advanced in 1857, the American Medical Association came out with a very stirring report because prior to that time, it wasn’t necessarily an absolute, but people said, you know, life begins at quickening. Life begins at quickening the moment the mother first feels a baby kick.

Now we know there’s life. Now, that wasn’t really a statement of medical fact. It was actually a legal evidentiary rule because how do you know there’s a baby there unless a baby kicks her stomach? If she doesn’t feel anything, then how do you know that it’s there? So that’s quickening. Well, the American Medical Association in 1857 said no. Now our state of medical science tells us that there’s life at the moment of conception when the sperm meets the egg.

There’s life at the moment of conception. Big report. Now, why is this report so important and why the knuckleheads on the United States Supreme Court ignored it? And I’d say they’re either so ignorant and so stupid or they’re liars. Sorry, I just talk like this sometimes. I guess I got a little Donald Trump in me or something. No political statement.

No, no, no. My guy’s Ron DeSantis, but never mind. So, life begins at conception, 1857. Now, the court in Roe said, there’s no reference, there’s nothing in our medical textbooks that would indicate this is a human life and we need not know, answer the question when human life begins. Really? Isn’t that the point? So, we have a civil war.

And in response to the civil war, beginning in 1867, states began to pass the 13th and 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution. 13th amendment ends slavery for good. The 14th amendment provides equal protection of the law to every American citizen. And particularly critical in the 14th amendment is that it denies a state’s right to deny life to a person without due process of law. That’s the 14th amendment. Now, this is made after the 1857 American Medical Association report. And states are adopting the 14th amendment. Now, question.

States are also adopting anti-abortion laws at that time in response to the American Medical Association. And all the anti-abortion laws that Roe throws out were the laws that were passed by the states in response to the American Medical Association. Does it make any sense that abortion isn’t included in the 14th amendment now? The same states that are adopting the 14th amendment are also passing pro-life laws to protect unborn children.

Does that make any sense? Of course not. And language in the debate of the 14th amendment is very strong in the debates. Read it. It says this protects every human being.

So that’s Roe versus Wade. Now, what’s been the result?

65 million abortions. 65 million abortions. We have an abortion industry in this country.

It’s getting crazier every day. The abortion pill. You know all this, but I got to spout off on this one. We’ve got to communicate to our friends and neighbors and our supporters the abortion pill is not like taking a Tylenol for a headache. I think y’all know the process. The mifepristone kills a baby. The misopristol creates contractions.

The mother delivers in her hands, in her bathroom, her child, among a sea of blood. And if that procedure is not stopped and we cannot stop it, what we’ve done, we’ve turned, I would say within 10 years the brick and mortar standing abortion clinic is a thing of the past. And the abortion clinic now becomes a mother’s bathroom. And the abortionist is off to the side. He just gave a prescription for some pills. The abortionist is the mother. And she’s going to be holding in her hands her baby and realize what did I do.

She’s going to be in a pool of blood. And we’re going to see so many mental health crises in the next decade because of this. And yet Christian Post reported this a few, about a year or so ago. They did a poll on abortion among evangelicals. 58% were opposed to banning the abortion pill. My friend, my pal Roland Warren here. Roland, I saw you walk in there.

Good to see you, buddy. You’ve been quoted this. I never heard you say it, but I’m going to quote you. And if you can, you speak after me. If you said, no, I didn’t say that, that’s fine. But it’s a great quote. So if you don’t want it, I’ll take it. Okay. Is that okay, Roland?

I was told that Roland said we might get rid of a Roe versus Wade in the law, but what are we going to do to get rid of Roe versus Wade in the hearts of the people? Roe versus Wade is alive and well, and it’s alive and well in the hearts of the people, and it’s alive and well in the hearts of Christians sitting in the pews on Sunday. That’s right.

What a tragedy. So we need to understand what Roe did. We need to understand the results of Roe. And then there was a Planned Parenthood versus Casey decision, 1992. I’m so excited at the banquet. We got to get this fixed. We’ll get this fixed because we have produced a professional video.

It’s called the Niffler story. Love them both. And they pulled up an old video. I’d never seen it before. An old video of me standing before the Supreme Court on June 28th, 1992, the day of the Casey decision. I got to tell you that that was the most heartbreaking day of my life. We thought we were going to reverse Roe. We didn’t.

We lost five to four. I was a mess. So I’m amazed at the video, and that’s all I’m going to say now because you see, oh, that guy looks pretty calm. I don’t know why I look calm, but because I wasn’t.

And we lost. I wrote a book in 1991, Achieving an Abortion-Free America, and that book was premised on the fact that George H. W. Bush was going to be reelected and get a couple more appointments to the court because you can’t have an abortion-free America until you have a post-Roe America. It comes in that order. Well, we didn’t get it. George Bush didn’t get elected.

Bill Clinton got two appointments to the court. The score is now seven to two on the court, and Tom Glessner is done. I am done. I gave five years of my life, and that’s five more years than most people do. I’m going to go back to Seattle and be a real person again and have a real job and do all those wonderful things that lawyers do, you know, defend drunk drivers and get people divorced and all those great things that you feel good about yourself when you practice law. Why I’m here 30 years later is a miracle. I don’t have time to get into it.

I won’t even have time to get into it Thursday night. It’s a miracle. Unbelievable. So… Dobbs. We didn’t think it happened. And let me say this about Dobbs.

First of all, Dobbs is not a pro-life decision. Okay? Let’s get that straight. A pro-life decision would say the unborn child is a person under the United States Constitution and therefore protected by the Constitution. Dobbs didn’t do that. Now Dobbs got rid of Roe, and before we can achieve that abortion-free America, we had to get rid of Roe. But what Dobbs did was basically place this decision on the legality of abortion to elected representatives.

Now it’s been misquoted. People say, well, it’s back to the states. No, it doesn’t say that. It’s to your elected representatives. Guess what? You have federal congressmen and senators too. So the federal government has a role to play to regulate this if they would.

I think we better get a speaker of the house first before we can do anything. All right.

So Dobbs comes in. And how many here were vandalized or attacked by Jane’s Revenge in that era? I know there’s some hands up here. Yeah. That war blew up. As much as I wanted to be prepared for it, I didn’t feel like I was. And I didn’t feel like anybody was totally prepared.

And so the church we were attending at that time, we moved to another place in Virginia, and we were checking out a church that seemed pretty good. And the pastor on one Sunday gave up, and he gave a, man, that was the longest prayer I’d ever heard. I mean, I would have been surprised if he’d prayed for the salvation of vampires in Transylvania. But one thing he didn’t pray for. He didn’t pray for the pranksters around the country and reports were coming in of violence. He didn’t pray for the attacks. And so I was a little disturbed, and I went up to him afterwards, and he listened to me for a while, and he said, You know what?

We don’t talk politics in this church. We preach the gospel. And I said, Well, thank you. This is our last Sunday here, and we’re attending another church. But we weren’t ready for it, and yet you brave people stood your ground. You stood your ground.

So we get Dobbs. What did Dobbs mean? Winston Churchill, I quote him a lot, I think was the greatest leader of the 20th century, the greatest leader of the 20th century. And Churchill said, it was after a victory in a very small, insignificant battle in North Africa, the Battle of Egypt. It was prior to the time America gets in the war, and England is getting pummeled by the Nazis. London’s being bombed. The Nazis had actually invaded some of the smaller islands around the Great British Isle, and it looked like the end of Britain.

It looked like very soon they’re all going to be speaking German. And England comes up with a victory, a small victory, but a victory in the Battle of Egypt in North Africa. It was against the Italians, and Churchill says this, one of the greatest quotes of all time. Listen to it, because it applies to us. This is not the end. This is not the beginning of the end. It is perhaps the end of the beginning.

Now later on America gets in the war, and we launch that great invasion of Normandy Beach, 1944. Horrendous battle. Blood was shed by thousands and thousands of young American soldiers and British soldiers. One of the bloodiest battles in the history of warfare. But we got on the beach. We got on the beach. We established a beachhead.

Dobbs put us on the beach. Now I like the beach. I like playing volleyball on the beach. Touch football is fun too. I like putting on a Beach Boy record, you know. If I surfed I’d wax up the surfboard and hit that, but I don’t do that. But we got on the beach.

Now since then we’ve been getting off the beach. But we got on the beach, we didn’t win the war, did we? In many respects the war intensified.

The war wasn’t over. We in World War II had to keep marching. Keep marching into France. Take over every city, town, county, country. Keep marching until we get into Berlin for unconditional surrender. That’s the challenge for us today. I don’t know about you, but I’m not giving up.

And you know why I’m not giving up? Because God is the one leading us. And things may be difficult, but I really want to give you some words of encouragement.

I don’t think you’re… I’ll start by telling you how bad things are. Then I’ll encourage you. I think the political situation is a mess. I am worried sick about the pro-life state of Ohio and what’s coming around the corner in the election. My friends in Ohio have talked about it. I am worried sick.

The media is constantly slamming us. The Republican Party is running away from us. They don’t want to touch us. You’re the ones blamed why they did so bad in the congressional elections, by the way. It’s because of you. Politically, I don’t see a lot of positives right now. Although, maybe I’m too negative here.

But let me tell you, and this is where I want to encourage you. And I mean this. We are winning the war in the courtrooms and protecting the work of pregnancy centers. We are winning the war. We had a significant victory about three months ago. Anne O’Connor, our general counsel, was involved working with Thomas Moore. A significant victory in Illinois where they passed this horrendous evil law that would have fined pregnancy centers up to $50,000 for false advertising.

And then it doesn’t really define what false advertising is. Oh, guess what? The attorney general will tell us what it is. Blatantly unconstitutional. We sued Illinois and we got a preliminary injunction from the federal district court. Now, the legal standard of preliminary injunction is you have to show there’s a substantial likelihood of you winning on the merits if this goes to trial. So if you win the motion for preliminary injunction, you basically have won the case unless something comes up that you weren’t aware of.

So we got a preliminary injunction. And the beautiful thing about that preliminary injunction was the language of the decision that the first two sentences is all you need. The federal judge in Rockford Federal District Court says, I’m quoting him, Justice Antonin Scalia once said every federal judge needs to have a stamp that says law is stupid but constitutional. Then his next sentence is, this law before me is not only stupid but very likely unconstitutional. He issued the preliminary injunction. Now, we had another case against Illinois. We filed this suit in 2016 where the state of Illinois passed a law that mandated every doctor must refer for abortion regardless of their feelings about it.

And we sued. It was right around the time of Niffle v. Becerra. And we sued the state of Illinois. We got a preliminary injunction on that. That thing’s been sitting for seven years now. Well, in September, we went to trial finally on it.

Ann was there. She’s going to be better at reporting about it than me, but I’ll try to do my best, Ann. We were really optimistic. And guess what? Guess who the judge is who heard that case? Same judge who gave us our preliminary injunction about three weeks earlier. We’re very, very confident now that we’re going to hear about this in November.

And if we don’t do well, guess what? We’re going to take it up a notch. That decision rendered was based on a case that came down in 2016 called Niffle v. Becerra. And since our victory at the Supreme Court in Niffle v. Becerra, that case has been cited over 200 times in federal cases protecting the rights of Christians and pro-life centers. So I’ll make a bold prediction.

We’re going to win both of these cases in Illinois eventually, but we’re going to have a good decision out of the trial court. If we don’t, we’ll appeal it, and we’re going to win because of Niffle v. Becerra. But it’s a one-two punch. It’s a punch to the head and a punch to the solar plexus, and Illinois is down for the ten count as far as their attempts to destroy pregnancy centers. And you know why that’s important? Illinois, I hate to tell my friends in Illinois, but your state’s almost as bad as California.

And the nation’s watching Illinois because if we knock out Illinois, the state’s… Oh, you’re going to get the rhetoric every year. You’re going to get the people slamming you. You’re going to get attempted legislation, but it’s not going to go anywhere because we’re winning in the federal courts. And California had to pay a million dollars in attorney fees, by the way, when we won Niffle v. Becerra. I wish Niffle didn’t.

It came to our great friends at ADF and great friends at Thomas More, who we’re working with in Minnesota, Illinois. That’s a Freudian slip because we’re about ready to go after the state of Minnesota very soon. Okay. They’re watching that, and so, for instance, in California this last year, they had some nasty bills about pregnancy centers, but guess what? They haven’t gone anywhere. So they get their rhetoric and they get their political jargon, but they know what we’re doing in the federal court system. Now, I’ve got another great announcement to make to you today.

I just saw it today on my cell phone. So in Colorado, they passed a horrible law on false advertising from you, but also labeling APR, abortion pill reversal, as essentially junk medicine and unprofessional conduct for any physician who’s involved in abortion pill reversal. Well, we know what that’s going to do. A doctor in their right mind would do that if their license is on the line now, and it’s right in the law. Guess what? If you haven’t heard, I’m going to make the announcement. Federal court yesterday enjoined the law on both the advertising and the APR. We’re winning.

We have another case against the state of Vermont. They’ve done the same thing on APR. We’re going to win there, too. We’re winning. And that’s why I’ll end with these thoughts. So I wrote a book in 1991, Achieving an Abortion-Free America, by 2001.

Now, the publisher put in the 2001. Said, oh, we’ve got ten years.

Sounds good, you know. All right, fine. Well, we clearly didn’t make 2001. But that book was premised on the fact that Roe v. Wade would be gone. Well, now Roe v. Wade is gone.

Now the abortion-free America is on the table again. And what do we mean by an abortion-free America? I think we need to be honest. We don’t mean an America where there are no more abortions. That’s never going to happen. Abortion is sin. It’s been ingrained in our culture.

Women are going to have abortions. But by abortion-free America, I would say we envision an America where very few women actually have an abortion because the forces of life and the culture of life is so strong, they’re just not going to do it. They have other alternatives. Because I believe virtually every mother who really feels like she has to have an abortion is dying and begging somewhere, give me an alternative. I don’t want to do this. Did anybody read the story of Brittany Sears lately? I was told about this and I went and looked it up.

I mean 20 years ago she had an abortion and the father was Justin Timberlake and he forced, according to her, forced her to have the abortion. And this is a story of regret and deep sorrow. I mean this is a woman. I think, you know, what’s wrong with that gal? Well, maybe we can understand a little more. She wanted an alternative. She wanted it out.

She says in the story, I love Justin and I wanted to have his baby. And, you know, it didn’t happen. So I believe virtually every woman who is considering abortion really, really wants a way out. That’s where you come in. So, abortion-free America, three elements. Number one, we’ve got to continue the fight in the political realm and the legal realm. Now, three elements, we get an abortion-free America only when all three are in place.

So tomorrow, if we ban abortion in all 50 states, we don’t have an abortion-free America. It’ll still go on because the two other elements are not in place. Second element is your work, a more dynamic, a more effective network of pro-life pregnancy centers. Now, you are dynamic. You’re effective.

I love you. But you’ve got to get better. Okay? You’ve just got to get better. Now, I did a conference about a year and a half ago in Las Vegas. And, you know, I’ll brag about Las Vegas. I think they’re wonderful.

They’ve got 11,000 square foot medical clinic. They’ve got three ultrasound rooms. They see 800 to 900 women a month. And you go, wow.

And they’re doing, you know, APR. They’re doing STI testing and treatment. But you know what? Vegas has seven abortion clinics open, 724. Wow. That wonderful center in Vegas is never, ever going to be able to compete totally with that. We need to get stronger.

So you’re all wonderful. But never be in a position of complacency and say, well, we’re doing pretty good. You know, there’s nothing we need to do to improve.

Never get that way. Never get that way. We’re going to get stronger because you have to, have to have those compelling services.

APR is so critical in this fight. APR, so critical. STI testing and treatment is so critical in this fight. Of course, the ultrasound, letting that mother see her baby is so critical in this fight. If you’re not medical here, my question is why not?

What took you so long? Okay. Now, NIFA, we have 1,700 members, 1,400 medical. So there’s a number of NIFA centers that still aren’t medical. And we love them and we’re doing our best for them. And some of them probably, it’s not feasible. Okay, I understand that.

So I don’t want to lay a guilt trip on anybody. But I do want to plant the seed. If you’ve got a board that’s resisting this, I want to plant the seed. You’ve got to move them over. Okay. And then the third thing is, and this is the most painful thing for me to say. It’s hard.

We fight the good fight in the political realm. We build and increase effectiveness of our pregnancy centers. We still don’t have an abortion-free America until we have a culture of life in America. Right now, I’m talking to the church. We don’t get involved in politics. We just preach the gospel here. You know, the gospel means nothing if you don’t answer this question.

For God so loved the world that he gave his only son. Whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. When that verse comes out, when it says, For God so loved the world. Does that mean, for God so loved the beautiful mountains and trees and forests and animal life that he created that he gave his only son. Well, he loves them. In the book of Genesis, he created and said it is good. Of course he loves that.

But I don’t think that’s what it means. A good paraphrase would be, for God so loved humanity made in his own image that he gave his only son. The foundation of the gospel is what we stand for when we stand for life. Jesus died for all of us because we are made in his image. And when you deny that fact, say some are not made in his image, some can be thrown away, you’ve denied the foundation of the gospel. The gospel means nothing. So we now confront the very tough question of abortion in the church.

One poll I saw, and you know, I’m not so big on polls anymore because you’ve got to ask, well, who’s the sampling audience and what’s the bias of the pollster and all that, but it’s still something to reference. A poll came out and said that 70% of all abortions are on women who claim some allegiance to the Christian faith or even a majority of them were attending church when they had their abortion. And I don’t really doubt those statistics much. But pastors, do you know you’re speaking to a wounded group of people, not just women, but men, and they can’t talk about it because you won’t talk about it. When I speak to pastors, I don’t say, I don’t want you to go out and picket and be crazy in the political arena or pound the pulpit and rant and rave every Sunday about it. No, no, but your churches have to be a place of healing. I tell this story and then I’ve got to quit here.

But years ago I was at the Christian Action Council and I was asked to speak at a church on Sanctity of Life Sunday in Baltimore. We lived in northern Virginia, so that’s about a three-hour drive. And I had to meet the pro-life committee at 7 in the morning at their church steps, so I had to be up awfully early to get out and do this. So I got there, the committee was on the church steps, and we met and had breakfast. They peppered me with a lot of questions. They were enthusiastic, and how can we be more effective? We just want to do something about this.

And we talked and then went to the church. There was a Sunday school class, it was a combined adult Sunday school class. There were a lot of people there. Whoa, they really did a good PR job here. And then I spoke in the Sunday morning service and a lot of people there, so they had really promoted this thing. And then the pastor and his wife took me out to lunch afterwards. The pro-life committee was there, and again, it was just a lot of enthusiasm.

And I’m amazed, and I’m thinking, if every church in America was like this, we’d have no abortions. Well, on the way back to my car, I was being walked by one of the committee members, and I said, well, what happened to this church? Why is it like that? I’ve never seen a church like this. The person says, about four years ago, the pastor’s wife got up and confessed to the congregation that she’d had four abortions before she met her husband. And I said, that was really brave. What was the response?

And he said, well, you see the response, but he said, the floodgates broke open. Women began to come forward and confess. They’d been involved and needed healing. Men came forward and confessed. They’d been involved and needed healing. And fire broke out in that spiritual life that you’ve never seen in a church. True revival happened in that church.

It wasn’t that they were just pro-life, they were doing everything. They had a prison ministry, and they were clothing the naked and feeding the hungry, and all those things Jesus said we needed to do as his disciples, they were doing it. Wow. All because one woman was brave enough. And you know, there’s a passage in Scripture that says, confess your sins one to another so that you may be healed. We don’t do that, do we?

And why don’t we do that? We know why we don’t do that. We don’t want to be on the gossip mill that is called the prayer chain. We know that. But when people are really serious about the commands of Christ, that won’t happen, and this church was a great response. So other things are going on here. Briefly, we’ve got Colorado, victory in Colorado.

New Jersey, New Jersey is on fire right now. And we’re working. Anne O’Connor is heading up a committee in New Jersey. They had a consumer alert warning people, don’t go to these places, they’re deceptive. Minnesota is ready to break.

We’ve got Illinois. Colorado, big victory today. Vermont. All these things are going on.

But you know what? The good news is, I want to give you good news, we’re going to win them all. We are going to win them all. And as you, let’s think about this. I think about it a lot. Steph, very tired of me saying it. But I went out to lunch not long ago with the founding board chairman of NIFLA.

And we’re just kind of reminiscing and 30 years, man, wow. I said to Jim, you’ll meet him on Thursday night dinner, I said, Jim, what did we do right? I mean, NIFLA starts in my basement in Manassas. Ten by ten foot basement. I got a computer and a desk and a telephone and a part-time assistant. Raised a little money. And I’m going, oh, my gosh, what did I get into?

Why don’t I just go back to Seattle and be a lawyer, be somebody normal? But we’ve grown. 1,700 members.

1,400 medical clinics. 10-court victory, victories in the federal court. Our medical division has trained more than 6,000 nurses and medical health care professionals since the late 90s. Our institute and limited obstetric ultrasound, we’ve expanded this year. We have our nurses’ practicum for four days of nothing but scanning.

So we’re pushing as hard as we can. But I said, Jim, what did we do right? I mean, we did something right. Despite me, because I wanted to leave a lot of times.

I really did. I just, it’s too much. Jim said this, and it’s blessed me. I want to pass it on to you. He said, because we remember the children. And I thought about that. Wow. Because we remember the children.

Matthew chapters 18 and 19. So Jesus has a lot to say about children. Do not despise these little ones for they’re angels, always behold the face of my Father in heaven. He says later in a very radical statement, anybody who would offend one of these little ones, better that a millstone be hung around their neck and tossed into the sea and they be drowned. He says that. Do you know what he just said? Those people are better off dead.

I don’t recall him saying that about the Pharisees. He was pretty tough on them. I don’t recall him saying that about Judas. I don’t recall him saying that about Herod.

He called Herod a fox. He says, you offend one of these little ones, you’re better off dead.

That’s what he said. And then in Matthew 19, it’s such a beautiful picture.

Such a beautiful picture. And I realize as I’m into my sermon, I need to click on something here. There we go.

There we go. Beautiful picture. The disciples are bringing their children, or the mothers are bringing their children to the feet of Jesus. And the disciples are saying, no, no, get away. He’s too important. You’re bothering him. He says, let the children come unto me.

And don’t forbid them, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. And then finally, we finished this study in the book of John at church in the last chapter. I never thought of this before. So you remember the story where Peter and Jesus, and Jesus says, Peter, do you love me? And he does it three times. First time, Peter says yes. And you know what Jesus says?

Feed my lambs. Peter, do you love me? Yes, Lord, I love you. Feed my sheep. Peter, do you love me? Feed my sheep.

He said lambs first. What is a lamb?

A baby sheep. And I read a commentary on it. He was clearly referencing children. Remember the children. You know, the beauty of a child. And we are all to be childlike, but unfortunately, we’re usually childish. Right? I am.

We’re all to be childlike. What’s the beauty of a child? I have a memory of my wife.

My daughter is now 36. She was like two years old. And we’re taking a walk in the neighborhood. And she goes, look, mommy, mommy, mommy, pretty flower, pretty flower. And she goes over and there’s this dandelion in the midst of a bunch of weeds and stickers. And she digs her hands in the dirt and pulls out the beautiful dandelion and gives it to my wife. A child sees beauty in the midst of dirt and weeds.

Or little boys. I got three of them who are growing up now. They don’t see a bug. They see a spider and a spider web. And they’re amazed at what they’re looking at. Ew, bug. No, get it out of here.

And finally, the theology of a child. You know, we have in this room Catholics, Baptists, Pentecostals, Presbyterians. I’m a Presbyterian, frozen chosen. And we have all of us together. We have our theological differences. We believe on the basics. That’s why we’re here.

But we have our theological differences. Sometimes it’s fun to sit and kind of find out a little bit more about the opposing view. But we’re always right. So, you know, what’s the theology of a child? Jesus loves me.

This I know. For the Bible tells me so. That’s the theology of a child. That is the kingdom of heaven. Do not despise these little ones. Let’s always remember the children. So we’re going to close, stand and we’re going to close by singing a children’s song we’ve all known since we’re little. Come on.

Jesus loves me. This I know. For the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong. They are weak, but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me.

Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so.

That’s so pretty. Let’s do it one more time and then we’ll close. Jesus loves me. This I know. For the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong. They are weak, but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so.

God bless you. Take a 15-minute break and we’ll be back here for our next sessions.