The ProLife Team Podcast 133 | Jessica Andreae

Jessica Andreae answers several questions for The Abortion Museum and this is the raw footage of our interview. This footage will assist us in creating a series of museum exhibits on the truth/history surrounding abortion.


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. So, Jessica, I’m excited to have you on the Pro-Life Team podcast. Would you introduce yourself as if you were speaking to a group of, well, people interested in this museum exhibit on abortion and feminism? Yes, of course. Thanks for inviting me to be part of this. My name is Jessica Andre, and I am the Director of Operations at Pro-Life Ministries, which was founded by Abby Johnson.

I’m also co-founding the Center for Women’s Equity Development and Leadership at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. I’m a mother, I’m a grandmother, and I’m actually a widow since my husband died, unfortunately, in 2020. Okay, well, so I’ve got these 20 questions about abortion and feminism.

Are you ready to begin? Yes, let’s go for it. All right, so the first question is, what is a woman?

What is a woman? A woman is an adult female human being designed and created by God to be the counterpart to man, equally worthy, equally valued, and equally loved.

Perfect or awesome. To the best of your knowledge, are women in America mostly pro-choice, pro-life, undecided, or something else? This is an interesting question and one that our team at Loveline and Pro-Life Ministries seeks to work daily to influence the outcome. I’m really hopeful that when women are invited into conversations where they are welcomed, respected, and asked to share their story and perspective, that that will then lead to them being open to being influenced to become pro-life. However, for decades, I really feel that the body of Christ has neglected their responsibility to balance love and truth about this issue and lead the way for not just women in our country, but also for the men. Abortion is not a political issue, it’s a spiritual issue, it’s a life and death issue, and the church, meaning inclusively Christ followers everywhere, should never have become silent on this topic. Yep, that makes sense.

In your words, what is feminism and are most women feminists? So that term has changed meaning over the years. The dictionary will still tell you that it’s the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes. However, our culture is seeing all sorts of exceptions to that today. You know, there are feminists that don’t value the rights of the unborn women. There are feminists that don’t believe in the rights of our daughters and granddaughters to have safe locker rooms or bathrooms or even their own athletic competitions. And we’re now seeing these allowed attacks on women that not only erode what actual feminism means, but it’s also becoming woven into and being part of the feminist movement. Makes sense.

What are some of the positive contributions of feminism? And also, what are some of the negatives? I’m really thankful for the rights that the feminist movement have given me. I’m thankful for the right to vote. I’m thankful for the right to own property and for the right to be financially independent. In earlier times as a widow, I would have needed to rely on family members or remarriage to continue to have a sustainable life. And I’m very thankful for the right to an education.

As a lifelong curious learner, I’m so glad to have completed my MBA a couple of years ago at UW-Stevens Point. I’m thankful for the right to work. My late husband had health issues that at times prevented him from working. So my ability to have a stable, financially secure job was good for my family. And the challenge of having a career has always been so good and so rewarding for me. So I’m thankful for the ability to drive a car, to travel alone, to speak freely, to wear pants. I mean, I hate wearing dresses.

To do many things that these trailblazing women in the past all tackled head-on in order to provide this type of lifestyle for women like me today. And I think we’ve already covered some of the negatives. You know, the negatives that we’ll get into about abortion coming up, but then there’s also the lie that hormonal birth control is good for and contributes to the quality of life for women. I think we’re really just at the tip of the iceberg in discovering what that’s done to us as women, as well as to our daughters, both mentally and physically. Makes sense. Do you consider yourself a feminist? No. Like any human societal movement that removes God from the center, the feminist movement has morphed into something that does not align or represent my values or my faith.

I actually really abhor how abortion has become a central topic for the feminist movement. In my body, my choice is a lie from the pit of hell. I also don’t agree that women are better than men, or should be replacing men, or should have louder voices than men. I do believe that as a woman, I do believe that as a woman, there are women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes, because we are created by God as male and female, but that’s to complement and supplement each other. It’s not to replace or eliminate or compete with each other. And I still believe I should maintain a voice in the feminist arena, because we were each given a voice that God wants us to use now more than ever, because we’re called to be a light in the darkness, and we speak the truth in love and point people back to God’s original perfect design for how we were created as humans to live and to be. So that’s a lot of why I love not only the work we’re doing at ProLove Ministries, but also the work that I was invited into at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

It’s really my passion and my focus as a Christ-following, pro-life, conservative woman, that the physical and virtual spaces that I influence welcome all women and all men, all backgrounds, all perspectives, all political views, instead of alienating a segment of us. That’s good. So feminism, gender, and women’s issues are politically charged topics that candidates often use to drum up votes, motivate their base, demonize political opponents. When those topics are combined with the topic of abortion, candidates can swing a lot of votes in their favor by saying the right thing about feminism and abortion. In your view, how can female voters avoid being taken for granted and stay principled enough to navigate through the rhetoric and manipulation? So I really believe it’s crucial that we go back as a society to welcoming civil debate across our country. It seems like that it’s an art that we lost during my lifetime, and we really have very few public arenas that actually believe in iron sharpening iron.

And sadly, even within private conversations, that’s really deteriorated. Political correctness, hate speech, censorship, and other tactics that inject fear into the outcomes of speaking up and speaking out have silenced people who need to really find their voices again. We need more conversations about politics, not less. And we need more Christ following pro-life Americans to seek public office, choosing to boldly enter into that instead of shying away from it. We have too many elected officials that are disconnected from reality, and the power of the mass media to influence the general population needs to be diminished. Women need to increase their discernment, their knowledge, and their awareness of what’s happening politically, and to really set aside those emotional-based decisions and the cult of personality in favor of truth, the facts, the record, the platform, and the character of the candidates that we have presented to us as options. Yeah, very smart.

As you may know, early feminists in the 1800s and late 1800s and early 1900s were anti-abortion, but later feminists mostly embraced abortion choice as a pillar of mainstream feminism. In your opinion, what caused this change? So I believe that that is part of the spiritual warfare that’s always occurring. As Christians gave up more space and culture and went silent, the enemy claimed more ground. In Ephesians 6, Paul directs us to discern the spiritual realm and to armor up in order to face it. And that armor is not defensive. If you read through those verses, it’s designed as the forward-facing for taking an offensive approach.

So the lies that the enemy speaks about autonomy and material lifestyles and empowering women and devaluing life have been bought and paid for by organizations that seek power and control absolutely and corruptly. Yeah, I can see that. What are some of the benefits of pregnancy and childbirth and what are some of the risks or drawbacks? So I’ll speak from my own experience on this. My daughter is the best gift that God ever gave me. Raising her is the most important legacy that I will leave behind. And now I have a grandson that is a compounded blessing.

But back in 1998, when I became unexpectedly pregnant as a married, educated woman, so quite a bit of stability around me, it scared me and I cried. It was not something that I was actively going for. It was not something I really wanted to face. But I’m so glad that I did. I can’t imagine my life or this world without my daughter, my son-in-law, my grandson in it. And are there risks or drawbacks that women face who become mothers? Of course.

But those aren’t eternal ones. They’re really just worldly and temporary ones. And those temporary ones can still be really scary. Many women reach out to us at Loveline and they express being vulnerable to abortion due to needing to make a car payment or find a job or find more secure housing. That makes sense. Every pregnancy has some risks. Do those risks help justify abortion choice policy? No. Risks exist everywhere.

Interestingly enough, before I joined ProLove Ministries, I spent over 20 years in the insurance industry. And I actually have a designation that is an associate in risk management. So risk is unavoidable no matter what topic we’re talking about. Property is at risk for weather exposure. Employee groups are at risk for workplace shootings. Driving a car carries all sorts of inherent risk for bodily harm and property damage. Pregnancy has risks as well.

But if we let the fear of risk paralyze us and numb us and keep us from acting, keep us from stepping into an opportunity, that’s not living. It’s not freedom. It’s really bondage. Yep. That makes sense. So people have argued that abortion choice policy helps women achieve equality with men and overcome historic obstacles. How is that supposed to work?

And do you agree or disagree with that logic? When I think about that argument, it really seems to be centered around the act of sex and that men can experience immediate pleasure and move on relatively unencumbered, while women have to accept the risk of a long-term impact in order to experience that same immediate pleasure. But it really does go back to a lie that attacks God’s design for the act of sex. And we as humans have moved away from his perfect plan to seek our own ways and desires. So abortion is really just a mistake stacked on top of another mistake, and that doesn’t move us closer to God. It actually moves us further away from him. Yeah. Yep. So who is Margaret Sanger, and what is Planned Parenthood?

So Margaret Sanger is portrayed as an American birth control activist, a sex educator, a writer, and a nurse. And she co-founded Planned Parenthood. And while all of that is true, she also supported improving the human race through selective breeding, also known as eugenics. And that’s something that Planned Parenthood was actually pressured to acknowledge and denounce in 2020 when they removed her name from their Manhattan facility. So I think it’s really interesting for more women to realize that and realize that that’s actually something that they admit to. Hmm. Yeah. Among feminists, being a homemaker, wife, mother, caring for the home, has sometimes been called domestic slavery.

Is this a fair-slash-valid description? No, I believe that’s inflammatory language designed to trigger a response. As a career-minded woman, I was not wired to be a stay-at-home mom, but I would never insult or denigrate those that choose to do so for the good of their families. Is it best for children to have a stay-at-home parent? In many cases, yes, that’s true, although there are loving caregivers that also do a great job, and those can be instrumental in raising children. I’m personally really grateful for the way that God provided Christian caregivers for my daughter in her formative years, and I believe that that’s something that, as a family, we navigated really intentionally and really well. Is sex-selective abortion legal in the United States? Please explain.

Yes, but no one wants to look closely at that or admit that truth out loud. I don’t believe that there’s enough open space for abortion in the United States. I don’t believe that there’s enough oversight of abortion clinics to ensure that that’s not happening, and I think you’ve already interviewed Abby Johnson about that, and she has a much deeper experience with that than I would. However, there’s also in vitro fertilization, and that’s an example that has ethical challenges because, through that process, embryos can be tested and they can be selected for implantation, and doing that based on sex is possible and it’s allowable. So then what happens to those embryos that remain in limbo? That’s one of the great ethical challenges that our culture faces. Yeah, that makes sense.

Some feminists have said that women need men like a fish needs a bicycle. What do you say to that? Well, I think that’s another lie propagated by the enemy. We talked earlier together that God created men and women to form his entire body, and we are really less complete. We’re not whole. We’re weaker. We’re more vulnerable, less equipped, if there’s only one part of the body.

So women and men are both equally important to God’s design for life on earth, for the continuation of the human race. Men that are masculine, looking to God for direction, leading their families, loving their wives, defending the defenseless, we need more of that in this country, not less of that. The young men in our country need strong male voices and role models to learn how to become men. And the same is actually true for young women. Girls also need male voices and strong male role models. And I look at my daughter’s relationship with her dad as a really key example of why that is so critical. There are studies that have proven that girls that have a strong, loving father are more likely not only to have healthy dating relationships, but they’re better able to assess situations for risk factors, and they’re more willing to tackle obstacles that prevent them from reaching their goals. Hmm, awesome.

So has abortion choice policy been overall more helpful or harmful for women and families? It’s been more harmful. It’s been positioned as a women’s issue, and it largely has ignored the role that men have in unplanned pregnancies. So that further divides us as people based on sex instead of unifying us. And it’s degraded the worth and the strength of the traditional family, and that’s just one of many tactics that have been used to attack the family. Women are told to take control and to act in a way that really does have long-term detrimental effects on her, not just on the life of her baby, and that’s considered a trade-off to a short-term situation. And this has really reduced the value of human life in our country and the dignity that each person truly has as a unique person designed and created by God.

That makes sense. Thank you for answering that. In some other countries and cultures, women are often treated like property and second-class citizens, much worse than in the U.S. That can include legal domestic abuse, spousal rape, forced marriage, sex trafficking, female circumcision, and restricted access to education and opportunity. These are clear inequalities facing many women in the world. With that in mind, why do you think mainstream feminism in the West tends to focus on supporting abortion choice more than anything else? So I think this goes back to talking about spiritual warfare, because our country has eradicated God from public spaces through the rise and the reign of, in large part, the baby boomer generation over the last 50 years.

And we’ve made self a false god that we serve. So then, of course, godly values and godly ways and approaches to topics like this are not being taught and they’re not being emulated. And I honestly never expected to be the counterculture, but here I am. I’m the counterculture. And are there other issues that you mentioned that are more worthy of attention and change and funding? Yes, but we have this deep complacency and apathy and delusion here in America, and we’re distracted wrongly. And I really think that’s what’s behind a lot of it. Yeah. Perhaps the most famous abortion choice argument is summed up as my body, my choice.

What does that mean and how do you respond to that argument? I hate that term because it’s such a lie. It’s a lie that’s being sold to women using the term bodily autonomy, and it degrades and eliminates a connection with her and her preborn child. And it’s all based on her desire. Is the child wanted or is the child unwanted? And there’s a stark difference in our culture that’s presented between being wanted and unwanted. There’s apps and TikTokers and hype that track the growth of a wanted baby, a wanted developing pregnancy.

And then at the same time, unwanted children are described as parasites, as clumps of cells, as not worthy of being sheltered by their mother’s body as they grow and develop. In science and biology, they’re not arbitrary based on emotion and opinion and desire. So wanting or not wanting doesn’t change the fact that the baby is a separate human being and a separate organism with unique DNA. Yeah, that makes sense. It’s been said that women cannot be ethically required to lend their body for someone else, someone else’s use, even if that individual needs their body to live. This, they claim, is true whether it’s lending a womb to a growing fetus or lending a kidney to a famous violinist. How do you respond to this argument?

So I don’t like this comparison because they’re not really apples to apples, right? A growing baby is a separate person. It’s a separate organism that’s temporarily housed in a womb, and a kidney is an organ, and you donate that to someone and you never get it back. So does a pregnancy require lending a woman’s body to the baby? Yes. And that’s something that we each have benefited from in our own life and thankful for the mothers that did that for each other. And thankful for the mothers that did that for each of us.

But abusing your body while pregnant, smoking, drinking, drug use, that’s not something that we condone or praise as a society. We view that as unacceptable behavior in pregnant women because science has shown us the effects of those choices, right? We have fetal alcohol syndrome. We have crack babies. We have other evidence of the detriment to the children. But at the same time, we’re being told pervasively that it’s okay to end that same pregnancy. So these comparisons really just don’t hold up.

If you’re going to use science to support your position, it’s really important to look at all the science. And we hear it said that if there were a window into the womb, abortion would be less acceptable. And with the technology and social media and group of voices that are being raised across the pro-life movement, we could collaborate to build that window figuratively in order to pierce the darkness with light, loving the women and loving the babies, because abortion is built on fear.

And it’s love. It’s God’s perfect love that casts out fear. So love must lead the truth. Makes sense. It’s been, actually, in your opinion, what’s the biggest misconception that women tend to believe about abortion? That it’s a quick fix to a problem. And it’s not.

Ending the life of your child is not a quick fix. It’s not something that you just do and move on. Over the past several years, as I got to know women that made this choice at some point in their life, I also witnessed the aftermath for a young woman that I love that tragically made this choice. I know that I know that it’s never a quick fix. It is a physical, emotional, spiritual devastation of two lives, the babies and the mothers. And thankfully, we have a loving, redemptive, restorative God who is more than able to take the broken pieces of those wrong decisions and sinning against him in order to bring healing, new life, a future, and a hope.

Like we talked about, God is love. And the way we influence a culture for life is through love. So at ProLove Ministries, we talk about love in action. And we strive to make sure that everything we do proves that out. Awesome. Wow. Thank you so much, Jessica, for answering all of these questions. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Thank you for everything you’ve done for the community. Thank you for everything you’ve done for the community. Thank you for everything you’ve done for the community.