The ProLife Team Podcast 149 | Peggy Hartshorn & Frank Pavone

Hear the discussion between Peggy and the Frank as they discuss the impact of the Dobbs decision.


The transcript was automatically generated and may contain errors.

00:05 :

So, so Peggy and Father Frank, I’m excited to have you on the pro-life Team Podcast. Peggy, would you give us a an introduction into who you are as if you were talking to a group of Precy Clinic directors?

00:21 :

Sure well, my name is Peggy Hartshorn, also known as Margaret from my Growing up you might have seen my name is Margaret and I was the President of Heartbeat International from 1993 to 2016 and then I became Chairman of the Board. So our board is there to support our leader Jarrell Godsey and I’ve been involved in the pro-life movement since 1973 and doing pregnancy help work since we housed the 1st girl in our home in 1975 So I brought that volunteer experience and then starting a pregnancy center with my husband and a group of our friends in Columbus in 1981 We had pregnancy center experience and pregnancy help as part of our lives in a big way before I became president of Heartbeat International.

01:11 :

Wow, such an amazing story i’m excited to hear your thoughts today. So I’d like to ask you to talk about where you think the pro-life movement is today and where you see us going into the future and then Father Frank. And yeah, I’m going to sit back and listen, mostly because I don’t want to have Father Frank follow up with really helpful questions as we look at the where we are and where we’re going.

01:39 :

Well thank you Jacob. And you know, I know our audience is primarily pregnancy help people and it’s hard for us in pregnancy help sometimes to keep track of everything that’s happening. Where are we in the pro-life movement i mean, there’s so many pieces and parts to the pro-life movement. We often think of pregnancy help as the service arm or the service arms of the pro-life movement in that we’re there to serve the people who are needing help and support. And those are getting great and greater numbers all the time so that they don’t have to choose abortion because there’s always another alternative. So it’s hard for pregnancy help people I think to understand maybe what’s happening in the pro-life movement and as a whole. So I’d like to, while we’re here today, I’d be glad to share some specifics about what I think is happening in the pregnancy help part of the movement. But the first start with the overall view as you’ve asked Jacob, what about the whole pregnancy help movement what do I think is happening here or what? What stage are we in and I would say having been involved since 1973 right after Roe V Wade that we’re in another big transition in our movement right now and there have been many transitions through the years but the three big ones have been caused by Supreme Court decisions. So 1973 Roe V Wade was a real shock to the pro-life movement which already existed heartbeat already existed in 1973 but we never thought that so quickly the Supreme Court would knock down every protective abortion law that existed in our country at that time, only five states had liberalized their state law to allow abortion. The others we were fighting to keep as pro-life states and we’ve had some success. Michigan in fact had just turned down liberalization of abortion in their state when the Supreme Court decision came down. So that was a gigantic shock and the pro-life movement that existed at that point which was fairly small, we really had to get our act together and I knew there was a pro-life movement that existed back my sister was involved in Cleveland ohio but I had not personally jumped in because my husband and I were in Graduate School we had just recently gotten married. We were kind of seeing this happen from afar to a certain extent, and it hadn’t impacted us until I heard that decision announced on the radio when I was driving in my car on High Street in Columbus, ohio and it was like, and i don’t want to, this maybe is a very bad analogy, but to me it was reminded me of Saint Paul getting knocked off his horse. It was like everything is different now. Everything i don’t know what’s happening, but everything is different. So that was a gigantic time of transition for the pro-life movement and we can talk more about that. I know we’ve got a nice long time to talk here and if you think your listeners are more interested in how did the pro-life movement then change and get organized and so forth, we can go into that. But the second time that there was a gigantic reorganization was an after another Supreme Court decision, which was Planned Parenthood versus Casey in 1992 And many people in the movement really thought that this ruling might overturn Roe V Wade. They were counting on it actually overturning Roe V Wade. And it didn’t. Ok and that set up another standard for abortion. All of a sudden there was a standard of undue burden. We could limit abortion to a certain extent under certain circumstances if it didn’t create an undue burden for the woman. That was a whole new standard that hadn’t been considered in all the pro-life laws up to that point. So again, there was reorganization that’s when Heartbeat really reorganized Heartbeats was started in 1971 and up to 1992 We were an all volunteer organization, even at the top. Almost all pregnancy centers were all volunteer. If there was a paid staff person, it was maybe a secretary, and we don’t even call them secretaries, do we, anymore today that’s an agent, term, administrative assistant, And even at the top AAI, as we were called then, Alternatives to Abortion International. We hadn’t changed our name yet to Heartbeat. We were all volunteer at the top. The president of Heartbeat was the head of one of our affiliate organizations who just kind of tried to coordinate a conference every year and do what she could to keep the network growing, but always as a volunteer. So we decided after that decision we better get our act together because it seemed to our board at AAI that we might never be able to pass truly pro-life protection in this country After that surprise in 1992 and pregnancy help, we might be the main way the Lord was going to use to bring about a culture of life, one person at a time through pregnancy help. We needed to get our act together and do this in an even more organized way. We needed to grow and develop so we really needed a full time staff to lead this effort and to help pregnancy centers grow and develop like they needed to. So that was when God called me. I was a college English professor at that point doing pro-life work as a volunteer and I was on that heartbeat board. And so God called me and many other people at that point actually to start working full time in this and see what the Lord would provide and see what he could accomplish through people who are willing to say, OK, I’m all in, you know, use me, Lord to really make a difference. So that was when Heartbeat started. At Heartbeat, we changed our name from Alternatives to Abortion International to Heartbeat. And but there were many other organizations as I look back, that’s when NIFLA started National Institute of Family and Life Advocates and many of the listeners in Pregnancy help know NIFLA. And also, as I realized later, that’s when ADF was founded, Alliance Defending Freedom, their founders also felt the same way we did on the Heartbeat board. Something has to happen we’ve got to get our act together here and provide some legal help and support to defend the freedom of religion and the freedom of speech in this country and the right to life. So anyway, that was another big transition. And I think right now, Jacob, we are in another big transition as do as the Dobbs decision has thrown us again somewhat thrown us for the loop, for a loop. We kind of saw it coming. We thought this might happen. But I think in many people’s minds, and I’m speaking for myself here too, we thought, wow, when it gets back to the States, then we’ll be able to really protect women and babies and we’ll have so much more control and there won’t be this imaginary right to an abortion that the Supreme Court said we had in Roe V Wade. And all of a sudden, very quickly, wait a minute, the other side had a major strategy they were ready to go. They were ready to target states like Michigan and Ohio and others and we can talk about that. But they were ready to attack in the states, to attack any effort to expand the protection for the unborn. So now here we are again saying i think it’s it reminds me in my history of the same feeling that we had in 73 and in 92 and we’ve got it again, we’ve got to get our act together. And but the hopeful thing is, Jacob, we did it in 73 We made phenomenal progress in protecting the right to life after that decision. And 50 years later, we actually have it overturned. Ok. And in 1992 when heartbeat was refounding as heartbeat International, when A when AADF came into existence, Nephila, many other groups, We’ve made tremendous progress since then and the creativity of the pro-life movement is unbelievable. The passion, the energy and course God is behind it all behind all of us, under he, He’s really what’s driving this whole thing of course. So we know we got God on our side. So i do believe that in the next 25 years, in the next 50 years you know we need to be very hopeful and very proactive again. So i do believe that we’re in a period of transition, but that we are going to be continuing to move forward just as we’ve done you know for the last 50 years. So that’s kind of a shorthand summary in relation to the whole pro-life movement. I’d be happy to build out any of that you think is important and then focus where I think we’ve got tremendous opportunities in pregnancy help in the movement right now.

11:41 :

Excellent. Well so Peggy let me i agree with the this analysis of the three watershed moments and as the Dobbs decision came down and of course we all vividly remember that moment that morning that happened. I since then you know people have asked you and me and other leaders know what’s the pro-life move supposed to do next. And what I’ve been saying an answer to that is well the next thing the pro movement has to do is understand Dobbs and because it it’s disorienting to both sides of the abortion debate really to everyone. It’s like this is whole brand new terrain. But there’s something that in looking at what the court said what first of all what people said to the court just when they were saying get rid of Roe V Wade and then what the court said in the Dobbs decision. A lot of the reasoning focused around the pregnancy centers in the in the briefs that were submitted to the court, Heartbeat was one of the groups of course that submitted a friend of the court brief and I’ll and this ties into the history of the of the pregnancy center of movement and that is at the time of those first those first two of those three key moments of transition, there were relatively few pregnancy centers a relatively few of them were medical clinics. In other words, one of the things that was pointed out to the court was that, and this is in the heartbeat brief, that from the time of Planned Parenthood versus Casey in 1992 when Roe was almost overturned, to then 30 years later now with the Dobbs decision, the pregnancy center movement just blossomed even more than it had from 1971 up to then. Tell us about that explosion, that multiplication of centers because then the argument was, and listen, you can no longer rely like Roe V Wade tried to say or playing primary versus Casey tried to say, oh, you know, women, really, you know, if they don’t have the option of abortion, what are they going to do? And the pro-life movement had answered that question. What are they going to do? We’re here with them to help them on this journey of nurturing the life within them. Tell us about how all those dynamics worked.

14:10 :

Absolutely that was one of the things that you know is to me the most hopeful thing about the next 25 years and that is we’ve seen how God can multiply and the explosion of help as you mentioned Frank, is just unbelievable. When AAI, the ancestor group to Heartbeat, was founded in 1971 they one of the missions they said they wanted to achieve was to keep track of and help network into all of the pregnancy help organizations that were in existence. So the very next thing they did was develop a list, the first worldwide directory of every place they knew in the world and by the way, our founders were world travelers. One was a German lady who was a refugee from Nazi Germany she came and settled in the United States. The other doctor, John Hillebrand actually had been an expert witness around the world for the trials that were taking place because in the early days of the birth control pill though, they were very high estrogen level and many women were dying as a result of that, they were having blood clots and so Doctor Hillebrand traveled around the world as an expert with us in trials. So they knew, they knew more than what was just happening in the United States. So when they developed that first worldwide directory, it was it was on mimeograph sheets of paper. And there were, they had in 1972 a hundred and seventy six places that they knew of in the world. There were a handful, maybe 8 or 9, around the world and the rest in the United States. Most of those names were actually names of people that they were connecting with who were starting doing pregnancy help. And many of them were starting out of doctors offices because in those days a pregnancy test had to be sent to a certified lab and you didn’t get the results for about 3 days. So anyone as a layperson who was doing pregnancy help had to be working with a doctor. So almost all of those doctors in those days were Catholic doctors the movement started really among Catholic folks. And so umm so they were names of doctors who were doing this work out of their offices and their nurses were helping consulting with the women and also at that point there was there was an organization still exists called Birthright which had been founded in Canada. So there were some listings in Canada of pregnancy support. They were not as much focused on crisis intervention as supporting women who needed maternity clothes and baby items and love and support during their pregnancies. So that all added up to about 176 entries. So there was then, after Roe V Wade, you know how God will use something that seems to us so terrible to bring good out of it. And so many people were then motivated and activated and continue to be by the Planned Parenthood versus Casey decision in 92 that now that same worldwide directory that started with 176 entries has over 7000 entries and affiliates when I became Heartbeat president in 1993 we had about 200 pregnancy help centers that were affiliated officially with Heartbeat International. We now have over 2000 in the United States and three thousand five hundred around the world and they’re in 90 countries. So the explosion of pregnancy help is really unbelievable. Well, it is believable. It it’s somewhat miraculous. But we always say we’re just trying to keep up with the Holy Spirit who is inspiring people all around the world to realize that with this challenge of abortion, women need all the help and support we can possibly give them. And our founders said very early on, once abortion becomes legal, there will be a lot of pressure and coercion on women to get an abortion because it’s a lot more convenient for the people around them if she has an abortion, then if they’re also going to be held responsible, you know, for that child. So yeah, the explosion has been phenomenal and then as you mentioned, Frank, the changing as the centers have been very creative. And thank you to all those who are listening, who are in the pregnancy health movement, the creativity and the dedication and the hard work to create the kinds of programs that women need after 1992 that’s when we got the vision for the most part for the use of ultrasound in pregnancy help centers and that they could start providing medical services. You know, in the early days, remember I said pregnancy tests had to go to a licensed lab. Well, one of the legal hurdles we achieved was to get a an exception for the pregnancy test in some of the laws that required us to use a an actually licensed laboratory to do that test. We got an exemption so we could do pregnancy tests in pregnancy centers. That was kind of our first foray into a professional type service like that. So we were ready when the vision for the ultrasound came along. Ultrasound was existed before the nineties of course, but it was used primarily later in pregnancy. To date the age of the of the fetus and the development of the fetus and for at about 4 and a half months a woman could have an ultrasound. But it was not used for verification of a pregnancy early on. And so in working through again NIFLA was a great leader in this for us working through all the requirements of the FDA that lice that actually gave rules and regulations for use of ultrasound. We realized that abortion clinics were using ultrasound to verify the age of the fetus so they could decide what type of surgical abortion they were going to do. Well, there was a use of ultrasound that was already in the medical profession for determining an actual, an actual viable uterine pregnancy and determining, you know, the fetal age and gestation. So we knew that would be legitimate. You know, we had to do it the right way and we didn’t want to get into trouble with the law we could do it. And so that all developed in the nineteen nineties for the most part, and pregnancy centers jumped onto it. Some of them needed to be licensed. And that was an amazing effort a few states have licensing but very few. And it was proposed that centers could have a medical director and do their medical services under the license. They didn’t have to be licensed in most states, but they didn’t need to work under a licensed medical director. So working through all that and recruiting the doctors and by the way, there’s so many wonderful doctors that have allowed pregnancy centers to operate under their licenses and they then of course certify all the protocols, the medical protocols. And now we have a lot of nurses that work in our movement i can’t tell you how many thousands of nurses who have who have gone through extensive training to be able to actually do the ultrasounds. In fact, interestingly, I just saw the latest statistics. One of the partner organizations that we love in the pregnancy health movement is the Lozier Institute and they just did a most recent research. They’ve been doing research projects on the effectiveness of pregnancy centers through the years. I just noticed now that let me look here, 82 % of all of the pregnancy help organizations in the country now provide ultrasound services. So that is amazing. And it’s such a wonderful advance in our in our ability to help women because they do need to know, do they have a viable uterine pregnancy and how what is the gestational age of that baby? You know, they there was evidence when we started this that there were doctors doing abortions on women, charging them money and potentially damaging their fertility for the future in a surgical abortion, when in fact they actually weren’t even pregnant. All right, so they did need to know, do they have a viable uterine pregnancy? And then we’ve got the added benefit, of course, that this helps them bond to their babies. And it brings up that wonderful maternal instinct that God gave us women and I’ve heard some marvelous stories, too, about fathers standing by and watching that ultrasound fathers of the babies, they don’t even have an inkling of the reality of this baby like the mother does and sometimes they’ll say something like that’s my baby. So it really awakens that fatherhood in many, not all, of course, but it’s a great tool, but of course, it’s not a magic, it’s not a magic bullet, you know?

24:09 :

You know, one of the things you’re saying now brings something to mind i have a lot of, there’s a lot of questions that we could delve into in terms of more of the history and also the impact of law, the laws on the pregnancy centers. But I think that stories are something that can be most impactful for our listeners because here you were you know, leading and you’re still leading in a slightly different capacity this massive network of pregnancy centers. The stories as you know are endless you know in my own travels one of the most uplifting things that I do is to visit these pregnancy centers along the along the way up and down the country and tell us some of over all your years of leading heartbeat and by the way 1993 was a great year that’s when I also started full time with freeze for Life. So a.

25:03 :

Lot of great when that was because I thought maybe it was 1993 also.

25:07 :

Same year, Yes. Something was happening that year like you said, we were rising up after the, you know, this disappointing Supreme Court decision. And let’s remember, something else happened. Pro abortion president Bill Clinton got elected.

25:20 :

So by the end of that was a big motivation for the heartbeat board. We said we really thought and again, it shows how limited your vision can be. We really thought, because he was following up on Reagan that we might never, oh, we thought we would never have a pro-life president again.

25:37 :

Well, because we knew that he would, we knew also he would be appointing pro abortion Supreme Court justices, right. And we said, wow, this doesn’t look good for the immediate future so, so this was sort of like the pushback against that it’s like the movement said, like you, like you’d summarized. We better get our act together here. Yeah, and we did so. But the thing I wanted to ask you was this the stories. What are, over all these years, some of the most instructive, memorable, inspiring stories that have come out of the centers?

26:10 :

Wow, that’s a hard question. But when you first ask one of the ones I thought in the early days of ultrasound, you know, we, there weren’t that many centers, of course, right away that we’re using it so the stories were so powerful coming out and so amazing, you know, what was happening once we were able to show the woman what was happening in the womb. And I’ll never forget this one case, it was in New York City. And in New York City, it was very, of course, one of the abortion capitals of the world, New York and LA. Over 50 % of all the abortions in our country occur in new York City and LA and New York and California so having the ability to see what how we might be able to help save babies and help moms in New York was so exciting and they were having a very difficult time finding doctors that would allow them to practice medicine or to do the ultrasounds under their license. So they had a relationship this one center had a relationship with a Doctor Who was not pro-life but in New York he could he could apply for billing for the ultrasound from what they called the PCAP program, which was very generous, generously funding services for pregnant women. So if he did an ultrasound he could build PCAP. So he was willing to do it, and he agreed to allow a volunteer from the center to be in the room when he was doing the ultrasound so that volunteer could talk to the woman because it’s so important and even the ultrasounds weren’t that good in those days to show the image real clearly. So it was good to have someone saying, oh, there’s you can see the backbone of the baby oh, can you see the baby’s little arms you know, so helping the woman to understand what she was seeing on the screen. And this woman, she was so determined to have an abortion. She was so desperate and she kept saying to the woman, you know, I’ve got to have an abortion it doesn’t matter to me, you know what i what I see doesn’t make a difference. And this volunteer was so sad. She was so sorry and she was so hopeful that the woman would have a positive experience. And so she said, I just started praying. I just started praying she said, I did not know what to say and she said what I thought the Lord was saying to me tell the woman to put her hand down on her womb and would she like to touch her baby? And so she said, I did, I said, well, can you put your hand right here on your womb and would you like to touch your baby. And the woman looked kind of strange and then she OK, she put her hand down there. And as soon as she put her hand on her womb, the baby’s hand darted out and touched from the inside of the womb, touched your mother’s hand. It was absolutely profound, you know. And so those kinds of particularly early stories with the ultrasound, you know, helped us see that the ultrasound was a tool that God could use. But it was still God, and it was still the volunteer that he put there, or the nurse that he put there or the doctor that he put there that was going to be the person, you know, that he was going to work through in helping my mom. So that was one of my most powerful stories of the early years of ultrasound.

30:00 :

That is so.

30:01 :

Awesome and there are so many stories now, Frank and you know now that Heartbeat has the Abortion Pill Reversal Network, the Abortion Pill Rescue network in as part of Heartbeat, the amazing stories that we’re hearing now one of them and just you know, you can’t make these things up actually. But in this particular case, the this was in the earlier days of the network. Abortion Pill reversal was going on for a few years before it became part of the Heartbeat Network several years ago. And the network itself of providers was not very large. There weren’t that many around the country who could, who could do the reversal, who had understood the protocol. And so in the early days when it became part of Heartbeat, sometimes it was difficult to find a provider who was close enough to the woman that they could write the prescription and in a place where she could go and immediately pick it up. All right. And it was before we were doing much, oh gosh, what’s the term I want where you have the a virtual appointment, you know, on the telemedicine. So you had to be close geographically to the provider. The provider had to have be able to write a prescription for progesterone in your area. Well, a woman called and had taken the first pill and she really. And this is what happens that so many women take the first pill and the regret just immediately hits them, one woman said to us, I felt like I was determined to have that abortion until I took that first pill and she said I felt the devil saying gotcha and all of a sudden I realized what I had done. And so anyway, the story I’m telling the mom she’d taken the first pill. She started searching on her phone reversal they searched the term reversed. I need to reverse this abortion. So she found the Abortion Pill Reversal Network. That was at the time when we didn’t have as many providers like I said, we now have fourteen hundred. So we had her immediately, excuse me, we had her immediately talking to a nurse which is our protocol who can explain the reversal process to her and we she decided she wanted to try it. Of course we partner with pregnancy centers who then can do an ultrasound to make sure that the baby is still is still alive and then track after the reversal. Well we could not find a provider in her close enough in her area because it has to be immediate. Her mother happened to be a nurse practitioner and she was a provider and the girl told us this my mother is as a nurse practitioner and we counseled with her, consulted with her. She decided to tell her mother whom she had tried to keep this a secret from. She decided to tell her mother. We, our network nurses talked to the mother who was a provider. It turned out that the grandmother of the baby, the mother of this girl, became the provider that actually provided the prescription for the progesterone. She could get the progesterone, take it in time, the baby survived we have about a 70 % survival record here and the baby was actually saved on Mother’s Day, so.

33:51 :


33:51 :

This amazing grandmother of the baby, the baby’s mother and the baby, you know, all we’re celebrating Mother’s Day.

33:59 :


34:00 :

Doesn’t God just surprises you?

34:02 :

Stories the stories you can listen to, you could listen to forever. Really forever and that’s why you know one of the things and I’m sure you encourage this too, that we always say to the pregnancy centers is please collect the stories. Save the story anytime. Any investment of effort that a center staff can make in collecting. You know, I mean of course and maybe you could give us some insight into this in terms of the proportion of moms who the center helps them choose life. They reject abortion. But a certain percentage, of course will stay in contact for months or even years after the save. And I mean the more stories we can collect the more photos, the it’s inspiring for people it’s instructive. It’s part of the history of the movement and it’s just it. The stories themselves will save lives as they as they get past as they get past along.

35:02 :

You know, you know what I’ve realized, Frank? I think that the people listening in the pregnancy health movement know that Heartbeat’s key program that we train on, it’s called the Love Approach yeah.

35:14 :

I was going to ask you about that, yeah. The love approach tells what That each letter means. Something tell us about.

35:20 :

That yes it’s inspired by First Corinthians 13, Saint Paul’s hymn to love. And you know, he says, if you, if you could have faith through move mountains, you could be have all the spiritual gifts in the world. And if you don’t have love, you come across as a clanging symbol, as a sounding gong or a clanging symbol. And so whatever we do, it has to be in a loving way. And so it’s called the love approach for that reason but the other reason is that the four steps of it can be discussed in the acronym love The first step is listen and learn. And if we are not really listening to this woman, if it’s on the phone, if it’s in the office, if it’s even reading her words in a chat and reading through those to what is her heart, we have to establish a relationship and allow her to know that we do care about her. And the best way to do that is listen and simply ask her questions. Tell me more about that. You know, well, how did you feel then? Well what did you want at that point? Well what were you thinking when he said that or well, how does that relate to your values and how you usually make decisions. We’re talking about what we now call the self will where we’re going around kind of her feelings, thoughts, wants values beliefs. And frankly frank. When I first developed this, i realized how much we needed to focus on listening. Because the very first women that I worked with I really had I was speechless when I started listening to their stories. I There was nothing simple that I could say to them, Oh, well, you should do this. Or what have you thought about that or what about that option? You know, it’s just their stories just boggled my mind and i needed to ask more questions well, how did that happen well, tell me more about that. And then I realized as you keep asking them these questions and get to know them even better, you know, sometimes they’re already thinking of other options. But then they may say something like what i never thought I’d have to have an abortion. I never would have had this before, you know oh, OK You’re learning something about them. They really may be don’t think abortion is a good option. You know so sometimes they almost sorting out their issues and problems as they as you listen to them but the next step after you really believe that you understand their story and they trust you and they’ll be interested in what you have to say. Then you can open options you can say, well have you ever thought about this? Well I know you think that you know they’ll throw you out of school that but maybe not let’s look into that let’s see you know. And then the not just the options but then the new vision which you can the V step you can weave this in and this can be anything from simple affirmation like you can do this. I know people have told you that you could never be a mom, but you can do this you know, God created that maternal instinct in you know, that could be, that’s a small affirmation in the V step. It could be something like, you know, God created you in his image. He loves you. He created you for a purpose and maybe this is part of the purpose let’s think through that let’s think about that. And God loves you know, so many women, when they come to us, feel so unworthy. They made a lot of mistakes in their lives people have not affirmed them. They don’t understand their value. And so introducing a new vision and value to them is so important. Today is the first day of the rest of your life that’s another wonderful vision. God will forgive you if you’re sorry for that. You know, abortion is not an unforgivable sin. You know, these are some of the kinds of visions that women need to hear. And then the E and the last step is extend and empower through practical help and support. You know, I’ve heard actually David be right i heard David be right say this at a banquet recently the some of the five best words to say to a woman are how can I help you? And that’s the E step. What can we do to help and support you And one of the things I realized Frank and Jacob too that you know sometimes we have these really amazing stories like the ultrasound story I told that was a powerful save you know through the ultrasound. But in reality every step of the love approach i started thinking of clients that I’ve had and or heard their stories personally. And one of those steps is usually the thing that they needed to find a decision. For some it was the practical help. Wow, you can help me with that. I can. I can actually get items for my baby. You could help me find an apartment. You know you could help me get financial aid. It’s the practical help, the E step that sometimes is the thing that most impresses them.

41:04 :

Well, you know, Peggy, right behind me is my one of my bookshelves and one of the books I have on the shelf is about the love approach and I wonder who might have written it can you know the author?

41:16 :

Well, here’s another thing about the future, Frank. I think we need to deputize everybody to use the Love approach. Here’s for those of you who are watching here, here’s the Love Approach book that I wrote that if you look at, it’s called the Love Approach You can find the contents you can find graphics from it you can find steps from it. You can learn a lot just from the Love Approach But you know, there are besides those of us working in pregnancy centers and on option line and on hotlines and you know, there may be someone in the life of every person listening. You know it could be a babysitter it could be a friend, it could be a sister, it could be a niece, it could be a student friend of one of your children. I’ve said to people pray that God will send someone to you who says I think I may be pregnant because if you know the love approach, you know you don’t have to be a certified worker in a pregnancy center. You can use it, you know, And in fact, the love approach, actually, the reason I wrote the book, it’s great with your husband, with your children, with your friends, you know, with anybody who has an issue or problem, or you have an issue or problem with you know if it’s a mutual issue or problem or someone just in your life or neighborhood or parish or church congregation with an issue or problem, the love approach works.

42:50 :

It sure does and it’s wonderful too for pastors to, you know, to be preaching and speaking about, you know, in my work with pastors, I often find that it’s introducing people to the pregnancy centers is one of the easiest ways for them to start addressing the abortion issue, especially if they haven’t addressed it in the past. And obviously since this is so biblically based, it’s a great starting point for them. But tell us also this What how common is it now for the centers to also have, as part of their service, a program for healing after abortion?

43:28 :

That is, let me see again the new statistics of it’s the third most common program actually in pregnancy centers it’s 72 % of all pregnancy centers have a post abortion healing program and that is so important absolutely. As you know, Frank, 50 % of all abortions in the US are repeat abortions. So if women were healed, you know that alone would stop so many abortions.

43:59 :

That’s right yeah that’s a point I often make because the healing is not only for the sake of the healing, which of course is our primary motive we want to heal the wounds because we love these people we care about these.

44:10 :

People, absolutely.

44:11 :

But then but then this. The more hearts that are healed, the less likely it is that they will go and have a second abortion.

44:17 :

Absolutely, absolutely. And you know, one of the things that I’d like to focus on in our conversation for the pregnancy help for the future when Heartbeat celebrated its fiftieth anniversary i’ll show you another book. Jarrell and I wrote the book called The Power of Pregnancy Help and it’s the 50 years history of the pregnancy help movement and one of the things we said about the future and this was this was Jarrell he loves alliteration as those of you who know Jarrell he does he said we need more people more places and more paths to pregnancy help and i’m adding now I told him can I add another P because this is what I think is now the most the thing we need to really focus on a lot promptness we’re calling it speed to service And this is something now that not only this latest Supreme Court decision has forced on us to a certain extent but also and primarily the abortion pill. Because about the same time, you know, as this decision was coming down and because of COVID, in part all the restrictions and so-called Rems that were that were in place by the FDA to try to make the abortion pill abortion a little bit safer for women, all of that was removed. And so now 50 to 70 % of all abortions are abortion by pill. And I think most of our pregnancy centers know this women are getting the pill from websites. They’re stockpiling pills i understand they are, you know, they’re immediately getting the pills without without much intervention at all. So we used to be able to say to women when surgical abortion was the most common type and such an abortion particularly, they might come in and get an ultrasound and be maybe six weeks along. And we could say to them, well, you know, you’ve got several weeks to make this decision, abortion will still be available. We want you to come back. Let’s check again another ultrasound to see if the pregnancy really is viable. Let’s think through your alternatives you don’t have to rush. We have time to work and think through this used to be able to say that is very difficult now and even when a person calls option line for instance, and we can connect this person to her local pregnancy center, we can connect them in real time if the center is open, we can tell them the hours of the pregnancy center we can set up an appointment, the next appointment that’s free. If they call on a Friday and the center isn’t open again until Monday or Tuesday, what’s going to happen in that time period? She may easily take the abortion pill, sadly. So we really have to start thinking as a movement about speed to service. How can we speed up our help to these women? So it’s a big challenge that we’re facing right now and it’s and even with abortion going back to the states now, you know, even if a woman doesn’t necessarily have to travel, if she’s in a pro-life state to a pro abortion state because she can get that abortion pill and have the abortion right, sadly in her own home. So that’s one of the big challenges we have moving forward for pregnancy help. How are we going to get to these women even earlier, even before they’ve ordered the bill or start thinking about the bill? Thank God we have abortion pill reversal, but we need to intervene before that first pill is taken.

48:16 :

Yeah, we certainly do. You know, one of the legislative opportunities, and even under Roe V Wade and Planned Parenthood versus Casey, it was acknowledged by the court that the states could prefer childbirth over abortion.

48:33 :

And that’s in the Ohio law. I love it in the Ohio statute.

48:37 :

Yes, it is.

48:37 :

Right i’m from Ohio. Those about you who are listening who don’t know that.

48:41 :

Yeah, and so the point there being that, you know, all these pregnancy centres of course are, you know, they’re raising their own funds. I’ve spoken at so many of the banquets of the pregnancy centres I including including at yours and fundraising is a is a is a big burden on all of us. But what are your thoughts about now in this post row era? More doors opening up for these. I mean, if even under row, the states could prefer the childbirth over abortion even more so now when the court is more deferential to the preferences of the people and their elected representatives, What are your thoughts about the prospects for more funding on the state level for the pregnancy centers?

49:31 :

Yeah, I think, I think there’s a great opportunity here even in states that become abortion states, for instance, Ohio, where they just pushed through that referendum and now we have a right to abortion in our state constitution. Almost unbelievable because we’ve had a pro-life governor, pro-life Senate, pro-life house. And that is not having a right to abortion in our constitution is not going to affect the funding of pregnancy centers. I mean, which year is the largest amount of money provided to pregnancy centers ever in the state of Ohio. And so I think even in so-called abortion States and maybe they’ll be even more motivated in some abortion states that have had abortion, a right to abortion pushed into their state constitution. It wasn’t the desire of the people as a whole, It wasn’t representative government. It was kind of democracy gone wild where you know you appeal to the general population with lies and emotional appeals and they fall for it is exactly.

50:43 :


50:44 :

Yeah, so it wasn’t our representative form of government. You know, our founders didn’t give us a democracy, they gave us a representative Republic. And so that’s what we still have in the state of Ohio and our representatives and our governor and they’re very committed to the support of pregnancy centers and as I mentioned it is in our state constitution that we prefer childbirth to abortion. So I do think that this is something that there will be those opportunities for pregnancy centers as you know some of our listeners probably know too that the Biden administration is trying to limit TANF dollars now saying pregnancy centers aren’t eligible, which is again totally ridiculous. Tanf was written partly to support women who decide to continue their pregnancies and that’s what centers were using it for. The funding in Ohio is totally from the general funds it’s not any longer from TANF, but other states are using TANF funds and I think I think ultimately we will win that argument that TANF funds can be used. But actually I think I’m trying to think the last, Let me see whether I think there’s an actual statistic in the last survey that the Loggier Institute did with centers receiving state or federal funds. I don’t see it on this particular one, but it’s relatively small, 20 % of centers that have accepted state or federal funding. Now whether though and that’s totally up to the board of those centers to determine whether they want to do that. But in fact that percentage has been growing so I think as states get more friendly, they want to support the babies and the moms in their own state. Maybe more centers will be open to that.

52:43 :

You know Jacob, I want to respect our time and I know we might be getting but near the end of our allotted time. But Peggy, you know, one of the things that you and I have worked on over the years and i thank you for being so well, having the vision, the V, there in love. But part of the vision too for the pregnancy center movement overall is that you know what, we’re not disconnected from politics and we’re in a major election year and you know, you and I have worked together to say to the centers, listen, we’re not, you know, changing or diluting your mission at all. But the fact of the matter is that the very survival of pregnancy centers that does in part depend on whom we put into public office and as you were saying, I mean, we’ve seen legislation introduced to try to close down centers as you know, fake clinics and all this other nonsense that you know and this is only coming from one side of the political divide, not from both. So the question then that perhaps we can touch on very briefly is we are in a major election year and the pregnancy centers do have a role to play i mean, it’s not that they become political entities, but politics really is very simply that we’re influencing other people so whether it’s encouraging people to register to vote or to vote when the voting begins in their state, thank you for always tuning into and accenting that dimension of the reality that we live in.

54:13 :

Absolutely heartbeat is always try to encourage our centers to understand that being a 5O1C3 organization does not mean that you don’t talk about the political issues or you don’t educate on what’s happening. Because we can educate we can let our let our donors know, let our volunteers know, let our communities know of what we know about the important choices ahead that we’re going to be voting on. And yeah, it it’s one of the things I know that you’ve encouraged Frank is getting people registered to vote. You know, understand a lot of people don’t really think about well, I’ve moved i need to change my voter registration. Let’s make sure that everybody is registered to vote make.

55:04 :

Sure they’re registered and we even had, as you know at the at the Heartbeat International conference, the voter registration forms there there’s a national voter registration and you know, when that centers do their banquets and whatnot, there’s no reason why they can’t have a little table set up. Hey everybody, if you’re not registered to vote, you know, if you’re not sure, go take one of those forms, fill it out, use it. So we’re all helping each other across the board.

55:29 :

And the pregnancy centers did that too, when they could here in Ohio when the referendum was coming up at our pregnancy, we had yard signs ready for people when they left and, you know, so you can do that and you know, one of the things you said to me a long time ago, Frank, I think we need to also say to our people, you know, no candidate is perfect. Sometimes I just don’t think I can vote for that candidate for this particular reason or that particular reason. And you said to me one time, your vote is a strategy don’t think of your vote as voting for a particular person because no person is ideal. You know, think of it as a strategy strategy yeah. And I think that’s really an important point that we can keep making. And actually, one of the things that one of the things I think we could do with the love approach, bringing it up again, if somebody says, oh, I don’t know, i don’t think I could. I don’t think I could, you know, vote for a totally pro-life candidate i think women have to have that choice. All right, What about let’s use the love approach with that person? Well, yeah. Tell me why you think that. You know what makes you say that i’d like to know more. Ok and you may find out maybe that person had an abortion in their past or someone they know did, and somehow they feel complicit in that or, you know, for let’s, if it’s a person that you can have a relationship with, let’s try to share the truth in love with those people as well. And just start with listening you don’t have to have all the answers, No just start with listening tell me more. Why do you say that i’m surprised, but I’d like to know, you know.

57:09 :

You know, this has been a wonderful conversation i’m just going to give a final thought here. Thanks to all those that are listening to us that do this pregnancy center work. You know, I always summarize it, Peggy and Jacob, this way, that the role of our movement, the role of the entire pro-life movement, and in a special way of these centers is to replace despair with hope. Because people don’t go to the door of an abortion clinic because of freedom of choice, but because they feel they have no freedom and no choice. It’s the power of despair, not freedom, that puts them there at that door and they come to the centers. We’re often with that same despair in their hearts, but we turn it into hope. And hope is what gives us the strength to say yes to life. So thanks for your life giving work, Peggy, and all of those that are listening to us. It’s hard to imagine a work that God smiles more on, or that more is more dear to His eternal, infinite heart than this so.

58:14 :

Thank you just one time. Heartbeat is the heartbeat of God.

58:18 :

There you go. Exactly. So Jacob, great, you always have great guests and this certainly was a, you know, I think a very special opportunity here to hear from Peggy.

58:32 :

Yeah well, and yeah thank you, Frank, and thank you, Peggy. I just want to echo for that word promptness really speaks a great deal into the future of the movement i feel like it’s going to represent greater hours of operation. It’s going to represent greater funding that matches that and it also seems to match twenty four seven virtual telehealth that can cover weekends and late night hours that brick and mortars don’t have to cover because i think there’s a lot of, there’s a lot in that word promptness, that word promptness is speaking a great deal into the future.

59:13 :

Thank you.

59:14 :

Thank you so much, Peggy would you close out this podcast with a prayer with the expectation that those who are listening will join?

59:24 :

Sure thank you, Lord we just come before you and we thank you for this medium of the podcast that despite what else we may be doing, If we’re driving, if we’re in our homes, if we’re multitasking, we can hear what is being said we can be encouraged, we can learn things we can be motivated and we don’t all have to be together in person to do that. Thank you for the airwaves and letting us have this opportunity, Lord and the and the Internet wires and so forth and so on. Lord, we just come before you with asking that. Lord, you guide continue we know you will do this, but we ask you to continue to guide and protect the pro-life movement. And as we focused on today the pregnancy help part of the pro-life movement, but in particular because we are really on the front lines with the culture of death and the women and their babies that you are sending to us. Lord, thank you for all the tools that you’ve given us that we’ve been able to develop thanks to your inspiration through the years that are of such a great help thank you for these tools, even now telehealth tools and being available on the Internet and so forth, as well as the our brick and mortar. But Lord, we know that you are calling us as people, as individuals. Like we’ve always said, the best alternative to abortion is another person. Allow us as people to be in contact with the people that need us the most, even if it’s not within the pregnancy center lord those around us who need us as well, particularly in this time when abortion is just so readily available and taking place in our own homes and bathrooms where the challenges are great but we know that you have been with us from the beginning. You have shown yourself, you have guided and directed us. And we know that all the fruit that has been achieved is because of you. And we know that you will still be with us, Lord. So guide and direct, inspire us, help us in our creativeness and inventiveness to be what we need to be now at this particular moment in the pro-life movement. Thank you Lord, and we depend on you we ask all this in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus christ amen.

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01:03:03 :

And know that I am God beasted. And know that I am God beasted. And know that I am gone. Be still and know that I am gone. The fire midnight. The Thunder over waves. The murmur we can hear it all the reaching of our hands. The alibi, the broken. The wish inside the chorus of our questions all creatures of the earth beasted. And know that I am gone peace. And know that I am gone, The will and the lion, mother and the son, the family of Terra Firma, creatures of the earth beasted. And know that I am gone, beasted and know that I am gone. Be still and know that I am God. Be still and know that I am God.