The ProLife Team Podcast 66 | Anne O’Connor | Legal Concerns in 2022 in the PHC World

The ProLife Team Podcast
The ProLife Team Podcast 66 | Anne O'Connor | Legal Concerns in 2022 in the PHC World
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Hear Anne O’Connor and Jacob Barr talk about legal concerns with new laws and current laws in regards to pregnancy clinics.

Summary

This is Jacob Barr from the Pro-Life Team Podcast. In a recent episode, I had the privilege of speaking with Anne O’Connor, the Vice President of Legal Affairs at NIFLA (The National Institute of Family and Life Advocates). Our conversation revolved around the legal landscape for pregnancy clinics in the wake of new laws and the recent Dobbs ruling. Anne, with her extensive legal background and her role in NIFLA, which supports about sixteen hundred centers, shared valuable insights into the challenges and legal nuances facing pregnancy centers today.

A key focus of our discussion was on the implications of the Dobbs decision. Anne commended Justice Alito’s writing, noting its clarity in stating that there is no constitutional right to abortion. However, she also highlighted the resultant chaos, particularly the increase in violence and hatred towards pregnancy centers, with around 70 centers having been vandalized since the decision’s leak.

Anne also touched upon the attacks on pregnancy centers in various states, including Massachusetts, where centers are under scrutiny and facing legal challenges. She emphasized the importance of complying with HIPAA standards for the protection of patient information, regardless of whether a center is technically required to comply under federal law.

We delved into the issue of how pregnancy centers are managing the diverse legal landscapes across different states, with Anne pointing out that despite the varied legal environments, the core mission of these centers remains unchanged. She also discussed how NIFLA advises centers on best practices to avoid legal issues, particularly in the medical realm, such as ultrasound services.

A poignant part of our conversation was Anne’s reflection on how challenges often turn into opportunities for the pro-life movement. She shared a story about how a lawsuit against the Right to Life League of Southern California led to the widespread adoption of ultrasound technology in pregnancy centers, significantly impacting the decision-making process of women considering abortion.

As our conversation wrapped up, Anne offered insights on how listeners can support and pray for NIFLA and the pregnancy centers they serve. She stressed the need for guidance in focusing on God’s priorities and anticipating future challenges.

It was an enlightening discussion that shed light on the legal intricacies facing pregnancy centers and the ongoing efforts to support and protect life across the nation.

#ProLifeTeamPodcast #JacobBarr #AnneOConnor #NIFLA #LegalChallenges #PregnancyCenters #DobbsRuling #HIPAACompliance #UltrasoundServices #ProtectingLife #LegalSupport #StateLaws #ProLifeMovement #DefendingLife #PrayerSupport #GodsWorkInProLife

Transcript

The transcript was automatically generated and may contain errors.

Jacob Barr :

Welcome to the pro-life Team Podcast i’m Jacob Barr. I’m here with Anne O’Connor and we’re going to be talking about legal concerns with new laws and current laws and just for the outlook that we currently have in our country in regards to pregnancy clinics. So Anne, I’m excited to have you on the pro-life Team Podcast. Would you introduce yourself as if you were talking to a couple Prancy clinic leadership teams?

Anne O’Connor :

Great thanks, Jacob, for inviting me my name is Anne O’Connor i’m the vice president of legal affairs at NIFLA stands for the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates and we’re the legal medical arm of the pregnancy center movement. We have about sixteen hundred centers that are members and we started about 30 years ago because we saw there was a real need to help centers cross their TS and dot their IS and the legal aspects. And also it grew into the medical as centers were converting to medical. So that’s what Nephilis specializes in i’ve been with them for about 28 years i’m an attorney i’m licensed in California and in New Jersey. And then Tom Glessner is our founder and president, and he’s an attorney as well, licensed in Washington and the state of Virginia. And then we have one other attorney she’s just coming on full time this month. Her name is Angie Thomas and she is from Louisiana. And she ran a pregnancy center, a big pregnancy center in New Orleans, for the last 12 years. So she comes with a lot of practical experience.

Jacob Barr :

Awesome yeah and I’m going to be at your conference this next week i’m sure this video will probably get done way after that, but I’m looking forward to seeing you and Tom and your team in person.

Anne O’Connor :

Awesome thanks for coming. We’re excited about it.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah and so what do I guess i want to ask you about the Dobbs ruling, but I also want to ask you about like what’s currently happening in, you know, in the legal world that Prancy clinics should be aware of.

Anne O’Connor :

Yeah, the Dobbs decision i mean, the leak just threw us off, right? And the fact that we don’t know who the leaker is still really just sounds a little fishy. The Dobbs decision itself, I thought Justice Alito did an incredible job writing it, even where a layperson could read it and understand it. And basically, you know, he said there’s no right to an abortion in the Constitution. You can’t even, like, look between the lines and find a right to an abortion. And the fact that it takes the life of a human being puts in a different realm than any other of those privacy rights, like rights for contraceptives or even same sex marriage, any of those. So it was refreshing to read his opinion, but it kind of triggered a lot of chaos, right? Because what it did was it sent it back to each state to decide and it’s just been on fire since and the what we didn’t really contemplate is the violence and hatred against pregnancy centers that would result because of it. So that was a little bit shocking since May, since the leaked decision, I think it’s up to 70 pregnancy centers have been vandalized, a good handful of them have even been firebombed. There has not been one arrest that we’re aware of.

Jacob Barr :

Really not one is that and that’s based on all the clinics that are being attacked it would seem like they would have surveillance videos or in person witnesses and so the fact that there’s no arrest seems like are these is that because the prosecutors won’t prosecute or what’s the what’s the thought there?

Anne O’Connor :

Well, it’s hard to tell. The FBI is telling us they’re investigating it under the FACE Act, which is the same act as freedom to access to clinics, clinic entrances, FACE. And there it’s the same law that they used to prosecute pro-life protests that interfere with abortion clinic operations. They told us that we, our centers qualify as reproductive health centers because we’re dealing with reproductive health issues and therefore they are investigating it under face, which means there would be a criminal prosecution. We’re not, You know, if there were 70 Planned Parenthood’s that had been attacked since May, you bet there would be arrests. You’d have the president talking about it and, you know, the DOJ talking about it beyond the media constantly you hear crickets about these centers yeah. But pregnancy centers have taken steps to provide security for themselves and including security cameras and just, you know, policies and procedures in place so that no one’s working alone at the center. They’re very careful about going out to the parking lot and we anticipate during the elections in November, it will heat up again. So we’re telling pregnancy centers, please be on the alert some of them hired security guards, some of them had volunteer patrols and there is video, but it it’s the attacks have been done at night under the cover of dark with hoods and masks so it’s been hard to identify them perhaps.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah, that makes sense especially when it comes to, yeah, they’re hooded and it’s dark that would. Yeah, that’s interesting. So wow so one of the thoughts that comes to mind that I want to ask you about is you know with your with the work that you do and now there’s every state has its has its own makeup of legal well laws that are now in place. How are you managing that and like what’s your current thoughts on the, you know the state of our country is it. It’s probably is a bit overwhelming to say the least, based on doing something with that many different variables.

Anne O’Connor :

Yeah, it definitely is overwhelming. Luckily, our focus is pregnancy centers. So for pregnancy centers, nothing’s changed too much. They still are helping women who are facing unplanned pregnancy. So whether they’re in the state that bans abortion or in a state like California that allows abortion even after birth, that’s still our main focus. But what’s happened is the different states have attacked pregnancy centers like you probably all heard senator Warren in Massachusetts has gone after pregnancy centers terribly. The attorney general in Massachusetts has issued a consumer alert about pregnancy centers. So we’re seeing more and more things like that, different cities actually and Los Angeles is looking into one now, an ordinance that would prevent pregnancy centers from fraudulently advertising those have been passed in several cities in Massachusetts, and they’ve been There is federal legislation that Senator Warren has sponsored that says the same thing.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah so you mentioned, you mentioned the perinatal abortions in California i remember they had like a there’s a law and I forget the numbers right now, but there’s a law that they passed within the last eight months and it was protecting that. And they and they keep saying it’s not abortion after birth, but that’s perinatal means like 1 to 30 days or some period of time after birth that’s the period of age. And there’s like no investigation on the on the why or what, you know what causes the death.

Anne O’Connor :

No, I mean, California is off the charts, off the charts. I feel bad for pregnancy centers in California and Newsom is even putting up billboards and surrounding States and quoting the Bible saying come to us for abortion.

Jacob Barr :

It’s just so disturbing to see, you know, because you know, he’s mocking Jesus or God and that is, you know, yeah, that’s just, that’s going to come back to him.

Anne O’Connor :

Right. I mean, we’re really seeing how, you know, how people are calling evil good and good evil now, You know it’s like so clear.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah, I just never have i couldn’t have imagined someone using words of Jesus to defend the idea of come to California for an abortion. But that’s literally what like that’s what he did.

Anne O’Connor :

Right, like I mean.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah.

Anne O’Connor :

Satan quoted the Bible too. That’s true. Yeah he quoted the Bible when he was tempting Jesus, and for the 40 days so.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah, he did it more than once that’s right that was his like, yeah, using God’s word to try and deceive. Yeah it didn’t i’m not sure if that’s what it didn’t really feel like Newsom was doing that it felt like he was trying to just like sucker punch people in the in the States like it felt more like a like a visceral attack against the believers in that space more so than trying to use it as like a yeah as a puzzle or a mind twist like Satan did to Jesus, I think. But yeah, it’s somewhat, it was the same tactic, but I think it was used a little bit differently. And then it seems like California had so many laws passed, like I think it’s like 14 or so i don’t even know what the number is, but they’ve passed so many abortion focused laws. And has any other state had that, you know, yeah, I guess which states are almost as active as California? I don’t, I have no idea. I see a lot of what’s happening in California, but I don’t quite know if anyone else is actually as active and like seen.

Anne O’Connor :

New York is really bad, and they also passed a bill that will go after pregnancy centers. It authorizes the Division of Consumer Affairs to do a whole big investigation of pregnancy centers, only pro-life ones. You know, find out how they’re funded, what information they give out, how they advertise, what kind of clients they’re seeing. And then they’re supposed to prepare a report on how to best regulate these pregnancy centers wow Vermont is bad, too oK? Vermont it has on the ballot. So does California to put abortion in their state constitutions, The right to abortion.

Jacob Barr :

Is abortion. Do you know if it’s in any state constitution? Currently I have. I really don’t know the answer to that one.

Anne O’Connor :

I think several Supreme State supreme courts have interpreted their state constitutions to include the right to abortion, and I think even Alaska is one of those states so yeah.

Jacob Barr :

You said that was it Vermont that was looking to and actually looking to use a statement that would use the word abortion and add it as an addendum to their constitution, or I?

Anne O’Connor :

I think without having it from me, I think it’s more like, you know, reproductive rights are constitutional, right.

Jacob Barr :

Ok yeah and that’s that makes sense wow so with all this going on, I guess what you know, how do you prioritize or what is your thoughts on where to? Yeah, it just feels like the number of things to look at has increased so how do you currently figure out where to spend your time?

Anne O’Connor :

Right that’s a good question because I don’t really feel like I get to decide i feel like it’s just like the fire hose coming at me and whatever is aimed at me right now is what we’re focusing on. You know, Google and Yelp were up to no good about advertising you certainly know that. You know all the state legislation against pregnancy center, the senator Warren doing all her stuff against pregnancy centers, and then the media. The media, you know, is not friendly to us that we help centers navigate whether they should even bother to do an interview with the media who are knocking at their doors. So every day seems to be something it’s definitely a battle, right?

Jacob Barr :

And it seems like for Princeton clinics that are a member of NIFLA, they get to rely on you to figure out all of the fire hose information to a degree. And then they get to bring you their concerns, in which case you can then focus on their concerns, I’m sure. But it’s like for those for groups that are a member of NIFLA like that, it probably gives them at least some level of Peace of Mind that you’re you and your team are actively trying to figure this out and all these pieces. Is there any other group that’s similar to NIFLA that’s like the legal, you know defense group for Principle Clinic that are it seems like NIFLA is the only group that I know of that does this we’re like ADF is more of like a Christian legal group, more so than focused on like the way nephla is to precy clinics.

Anne O’Connor :

Right yeah nephla’s main and only focus is pregnancy centers. Adf is incredible we rely on them a lot they represent us in cases, and they’re too i was just on their website today to do some research they’re fighting in so many arenas. It’s amazing. Thank God for them. And I know pregnancy centers have been represented by them there’s several great pro-life Christian Attorney Networks, you know Thomas Moore Life Legal Defense Fund, Pacific Justice, the Liberty there’s some great groups ACLJ. So we’re grateful for that but our focus is not so much in litigation our focus is in helping centers, so they avoid litigation, you know, so they avoid any kind of gap in their services that could cause them any liability. So for an example, we’re real concerned about the centers when they’re doing ultrasounds that they have well trained staff and really tight policies and procedures for doing ultrasounds because our biggest risk there is missing in ectopic pregnancy. We’re doing scans very early like women are just finding out they’re pregnant and they’re thinking about getting the abortion pills so we said, you know, come in, make let’s make sure you’re even pregnant first before you go down that. So we’re doing scans very early and sometimes we don’t see anything or we’re not, We’re not able to confirm a pregnancy at that scan. But you know, that kind of leaves her in limbo, like we haven’t confirmed a pregnancy she has a positive test. You know, we have to be very careful about an ectopic pregnancy so that’s the kind of thing Nephla does all the research on, creates policies and procedures, analyzes other cases, and is able to tell centers here, here’s a really good set of policies and procedures. Implement this. Make sure your stenographers are highly trained and skilled and that they’ve been assessed as competent. It’s not like anyone can pick up an ultrasound wand and do an ultrasound. You know it’s a it’s a medical test and RDMSS who are stenographer, tech techs, they go to school for like 2 years for it and have to pass national board so it’s a it’s a big skill to learn and it can be learned, according to A1 guidelines by nurses very effectively, but they have to be well trained.

Jacob Barr :

So if someone had a positive Pansy test and they come in very early for the ultrasound and it’s, you know it, you know, it’s essentially it sounds like it’s too early to detect with the ultrasound because it’s very early. Would the would the normal response be to come back in two weeks or in some period of time to do another ultrasound or what would be the normal response to that situation?

Anne O’Connor :

Yes so it varies with what her LMP was and what we’re seeing when we do the ultrasound but we probably wouldn’t wait two weeks. The only time we would wait two weeks for a scan is if we confirmed an inner uterine pregnancy we saw the gestational SAC, we saw the yolk SAC in the uterus, then we know there’s not an ectopic floating out there. So then come back in a week or two and we’ll scan again and you’ll see the heartbeat, you know? But if it’s earlier than that, and we can’t confirm you know, a few things are in the womb, then we’d have them come back in a in a couple days and you know, we’d send them with ectopic and miscarriage precautions if you start bleeding or you start cramping, do not ignore it. Call your physician right away. Go to the emergency room if it’s bad.

Jacob Barr :

And that makes a lot of sense and that’s why you’re there with that great information and well in the medical teams that have that great information to yeah it had the follow up at the appropriate time that makes a lot of sense so when it comes to the current legal world, what’s another, what’s one of the things that seems to be coming at you that you’re having to work on or that you feel like Prancy clinics would need to know about Or you know that, I mean they do know about, but you maybe could share some more about?

Anne O’Connor :

Yeah, well, one big thing is the whole HIPAA medical privacy, right? And the pro boards are making a lot of accusations saying, oh, pregnancy centers don’t have to keep your information confidential. They’re going to share it with law enforcement, you know, all below me. But for years we’ve been training pregnancy centers to comply with HIPAA. Technically, unless a medical facility is billing or communicating with health plans electronically, technically HIPAA doesn’t apply, but it’s standard in the industry and you know we want to protect patients health information so we’re very strict about that. We have a whole set, HIPAAA policies and procedures. One big area is texting. You know, centers are very relational, so they want to communicate as much as possible with their clients and texting is usually not a secure way to do that. So we have to just make sure we’re following through, getting written permission from the client to text, not texting PHI things like that.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah, we were. There’s a software called live chat and it it’s like a chat program that’s on a website and in order for it to be HIPAA, well, part of our HIPAA compliance besides well, several steps that come along with that software. One was to have a disclaimer essentially because that chat software is not much different than an SMS text level concern it’s essentially the idea is you know do you agree to this and they have to hit yes or no if they hit yes then it will the chat will proceed if they hit no then the chat will stop and the idea is that try and have that agreement before the chat will even begin that was something that we just recently applied to. And anyway, all that to say is it makes sense to ask for someone’s permission if it if you know if they, you know if they accept, you know that passing it over SMS.

Anne O’Connor :

Yeah.

Jacob Barr :

Or something. Definitely SMS, yeah. And HIPAA seems like, yeah, it seems like the groups that are performing the, you know, the billing for services or they’re in a more whole women’s healthcare model are going, they’re under HIPAA. And then those that are under like limited ultrasound with STI testing and Prenti tests with the free model are technically not under HIPAA, but some will or many will voluntarily follow those guidelines, but they’re at the same time not technically under those guidelines.

Anne O’Connor :

Right and we would urge everything.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah, go ahead.

Anne O’Connor :

We would urge every single center to comply with HIPAA it’s not that difficult, especially if you’re not billing. If you’re doing billing, then that’s a whole other IT area, right? But it’s not that hard to comply with hIPAA includes training you have to appoint a privacy officer that’s usually the nurse manager. You have to have protocols in place. But state law can pull a center under HIPAA. So, you know, they have to know their state law as well like in California, the state law pulls the centers under HIPAA. They can’t say, Oh no, we’re voluntarily compliant no, you are under HIPAA. You have to comply with the state and the federal law.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah and so it seems like, yeah and so I guess I’m not familiar with California’s position on that as much I know, Texas has like special rules for like every clinic is under their HB 300 which is HIPAA plus a little bit. And then yeah how? How would someone get pulled into being under HIPAA in California like what would that scenario look like?

Anne O’Connor :

Well, the law says if you collect private health information, PHI you have to comply with the law oK, That’s basically what it says. It doesn’t it’s so under the federal HIPAA, it defines a covered entity, one that has to comply with HIPAA as someone who communicates electronically with health plans, bills electronically. And so there’s like 8 categories that are all in that realm and most centers don’t bill, but if you’re in a state like California, it defines covered entity very broadly any entity that collects private health information is. You must comply with the privacy laws.

Jacob Barr :

Ok. Yeah so that’s very broad more so than billing. That’s wow, that’s a lot to think about. So I guess if for those who are listening in California, this is probably a good time to email Anne and add to her inbox of 500 Yeah, actually. So let’s say someone’s in California, they they’re under, they’re currently not under HIPAA or thinking they’re not under HIPAA, but maybe they really should be or maybe they really are. What would that be reasonable for them to reach out to someone on your team? Or what would you suggest that they do if they’re in that situation?

Anne O’Connor :

So we did research in every single state and we have a memo on every single state on the members website, NIFLA website so they could log in there, pull down their state law and read it, see if it complies and it will tell them, you know what steps to take. So that would be a good place to start.

Jacob Barr :

That makes sense, yeah. It seems like most crazy clinics are a member of NIFLA there’s very few that seem to not be. I guess i don’t know what the percentage is, but is it like 6 % or 70 are members of NIFLA or is it It’s a lot, at least i know it’s a lot.

Anne O’Connor :

Well, we have sixteen hundred members and we love all of them. About fourteen hundred are medical facilities. So we still have a good handful that aren’t medical, probably won’t ever go medical, don’t need to go medical, still doing great work. So we that’s why we focus on the medical and the legal so there’s something for both kinds of centers.

Jacob Barr :

Ok so it looks like maybe about half of the, is it 3000 clinic there in the US or roughly?

Anne O’Connor :

Yeah, between twenty seven hundred and three thousand i’ve heard.

Jacob Barr :

Ok. That makes sense. Yeah so going back to that leak and the fact that the person that leaked it was not identified that that’s a still a bit shocking that it’s not been totally out because like that’s a major leak like that’s AI mean that’s a top level leak.

Anne O’Connor :

Yeah, and I have a bet on it too and I’d like to collect on my bet who it was.

Jacob Barr :

Until they figure it out, I guess verify it.

Anne O’Connor :

So i don’t. I mean, the Supreme Court opened their doors, you know, since COVID, this is the first term now that we can go back in. I don’t know if they’re just planning never to tell us if they haven’t figured it out yet. Seems like it would be appropriate for this to be public information it was a crime. I don’t know if the person will be prosecuted, but.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah. So are you willing to share what you’re who you’re betting or is that is that private because it’s probably a little bit you don’t want to make an accusation that’s maybe not founded and yeah, I mean, that might be inappropriate perhaps, I don’t know.

Anne O’Connor :

First of all, I half of your viewers probably think it’s inappropriate that I have to bet on it so. But I bet it was a law clerk from Yale or Harvard who’s clerking for SO to my year, that was my bet. Another person bet it was a clean lady who found a copy, got paid a sum to give it over.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah so if you win the bet, what is i mean what are the stakes is it you know or who? Who are you betting? That might be interesting too.

Anne O’Connor :

Yeah, we bet 50 bucks and we would donate to each other’s organizations whoever won.

Jacob Barr :

Everyone should agree that that’s a good that’s a good way to spend the winnings so next week is the OR this week I’m sorry, this week is the NIFLA conference and so tell me like how are you, what are you looking forward to this week or what do you. I guess we’ll focus on the positives.

Anne O’Connor :

Yeah, well, I mean, it’s our annual conference we always have, you know, wonderful people coming it’s great to see good friends again we have some great speakers this year, Professor Lincoln from Regent University she speaks every year she is a Dynamo and one night and she’s a professor of the law school there at Region and one night, she arranged to have 80 law students come and meet with the lawyers and the executive directors who are going to be at the conference in kind of like a speed dating kind of scenario where they move from table to table and ask, when I’m at a law school, what can I do to help what are your priorities what kind of legal challenges are you facing? So it’s a great it’s we’re trying to get more law students with the vision of being involved with the pregnancy center after they graduate, either on the board or serving somehow.

Jacob Barr :

Oh, that’s good yeah that’s. Wow what a what a wonderful thing to try and grow. Yeah our legal team into the future yeah, that’s good.

Anne O’Connor :

Yeah.

Jacob Barr :

So and one of my last questions would be is working in this, you know, legal space for so many years, what’s a story that you can think of where you have seen like God’s fingerprints And I can think of a few that I can consider, you know connect to you and Nephla but what are some what’s the story that comes to your mind when you see God working through, you know, through these, through this effort and sort of bringing things together in his way?

Anne O’Connor :

Well, i see it almost every day, Jacob, when I help pregnancy centers convert to medical because a center will have existed for a while doing the resource part of it, but they’re not seeing all the clients they want to see and so there’s a you know, what can we do next? And but they’re in that it’s a big leap to go medical should we really and then the Knights of Columbus will call them and say, hey we’d like to raise money for you to buy an ultrasound machine for you and they go, oh, and then a doctor will come to their banquet and be inspired and go up and tell the executive director hey I’d like to be your medical director. Like think like God just like arranges the dominoes that need to happen so that that’s almost like every day. But one of the biggest, biggest things, and i tell this story all the time just to encourage centers, is back in the nineties the, right to Life League of Southern California got sued for practicing medicine without a license and I was on the board then and what we were doing was just basically urine pregnancy testing we were actually sending the clients to a lab because it was before the instant dipstick ones. And she would come back a week later and we’d hand her the results of her urine pregnancy test from the lab. And an attorney, probably many people are familiar with a very feminist attorney her name’s Gloria Allbrad in California she sued the right to Life League for a bunch of things like we falsely imprison clients we intentionally inflict emotional distress on them, but also for practicing medicine without a license. So we go through trial. Everything else is thrown out except the judge rules yeah. You’re giving a pregnancy test result that’s practicing medicine. You have to be licensed to do that. And we all sat around the table going, how are we going to do that? You know, this is going to shut us down i’m sure that’s what Gloria hoped for. You know, So as we’re brainstorming, we’re like, well, you know, if we have to be medical, let’s figure out how hard it is to go medical. And in California, there’s a whole licensing of primary care clinics that you follow. So we started licensing clinics and then we said, well, this is a lot of work to do just for a pregnancy test. What else can we do? And it was at that time that ultrasound was being more readily available and guidelines were being promoted where nurses can be trained to do it. So we said let’s add ultrasound and you know, now there’s six at least. Let’s see, of the twenty seven hundred i, think seventy five percent % facilities offering ultrasound there’s a lot of clinics nationwide offering ultrasound since that lawsuit. So what I tell people is I, Gloria Allred, went to my law school. We went to Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. And one day I want to go to an alumni event and I’m going to hunt her down and I’m just going to shake her hand and say, Gloria, I just want to thank you because what you meant for evil, God used for good, for the saving of many lives and that is the truth. I’ve seen that over and over again in the pro-life movement what we think is evil coming at us. God just used to either strengthen us to steer us in a different direction. So she got a measly forty thousand dollars of attorneys fees out of us, which was a lot back then, but it was it was worth the return on investment because look at the lives saved by women just seeing their babies on a screen. Opening that window to the womb makes all the difference for women.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah, ultrasounds are, yeah, they have, I mean it, the percentage of women that will choose life because of the imagery that’s seen inside of their womb is what % do you think it might what do you think it does to, you know, when someone is able to go from hearing things to actually seen, how would you measure that impact that it has?

Anne O’Connor :

Well, the statistics say like 70 % to 80 % of women who were really, seriously thinking about abortion once they saw their baby on the screen and realize it’s not a BLOB of tissue, it has a heartbeat. It changes their decision like that. And especially if their boyfriend or their husband is with them seeing it, they the male almost gets it quicker, like he sees it and goes, that’s my baby, you know. So we have to do a better job at reaching the partner in these situations because no woman chooses abortion because it’s a great option. She chooses it because she feels like she has no other choice. And that’s not choice, you know, So if we had the men involved in supporting her, that would make all the difference in the world.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah and it seems like the ultrasound mixed with someone that cares and that listening posture like that’s like the, you know the perfect setup and then it and it seems like Abortion Pill reversal is posture to have like a similar outcome to that of the ultrasound machine because it’s helping us reach a group that was before APR was really hard to provide hope to and now there’s a way to provide a positive response to someone who’s taking the abortion pill and there’s a way for them to respond, you know whether it results in life or in failure. Either way it results in them being able to try and do something with the majority actually being, yeah, life giving more and so it. But it feels like it’s a way to respond in a positive way based on where they where someone might be.

Anne O’Connor :

Yeah.

Jacob Barr :

And well, and I really appreciate your time and I’m looking forward to seeing you and everyone else at NIFLA this week. So thank you so much for being on the podcast. Yeah, I hope you have a wonderful afternoon i just how might someone who hears this whenever they hear it may not be this week, right before the before your conference, but how might someone pray for you and your team and when they are driving there, you know, they’re doing their commute and they’re thinking about what you’re having to go through with like 50 different state constitutions and all these new laws and, you know, people needing help across the country, How might they pray for you, especially as you hear this?

Anne O’Connor :

Thank you, Jacob that’s so nice. I think like how you started this segment like how do you focus, like, you know, to pray that Nephila really is focused on things that God wants us to be focused on and can anticipate where the attacks are coming in the future so we can help strengthen centers would be a great one. And you know, we spend a lot of time praying for pregnancy centers because they’re the ones on the front line. They’re seeing life and death decisions every day. You know, I can’t imagine how hard that must be. So I almost feel guilty asking for prayers when it’s really, you know, we’re praying for them, you know, so and the hard work they do that they don’t get discouraged and that they have success and that women find them. But I want to thank you too, Jacob. You do such an awesome job and you are such a good friend of Nephla. So we want to thank you very much for what you’re doing in the pro-life movement and helping centers with advertising and websites and we know you do things with excellence.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah and thank you. And I just feel like it’s a lot of when it comes to legal attacks, you know, it’s sort of like outside the comfort zone for so many directors and the fear can be very crippling. And the fact that they have someone who can help them avoid risk and help them, you know, when the attack comes, even when it’s not deserved, is very liberating for someone to, you know, let go of a lot of anxiety by leaning on someone who is strong in that space. So, well, I guess to me to wrap this podcast up, would you mind I guess praying for the pregnancy clinics as you as you normally?

Anne O’Connor :

Yes, please, Dear Lord, I thank you so much for this incredible network of pregnancy centers nationwide close to 3000 Lord, all serving women in their communities because of their love for you. Trying to protect those that bear your image, Lord, and in a battle that is way more than flesh and blood. I just ask your protection, Lord just have angels camp around their buildings. Keep their buildings safe, all the people that go in and out of there and just make their buildings be like a light on the hill that is burning bright so that women faced with unplanned pregnancies and their partners come to the center first before doing anything else. Let them find a space where they can be loved on, where they can hear truth, where they can see their baby and make a decision that will not hurt them the rest of their lives lord and may always glorify you because it’s you that this is all about in Jesus name amen.

Jacob Barr :

Amen awesome thank you, Anne thank you.

Anne O’Connor :

Jacob, God bless you all.

Jacob Barr :

Right.

Anne O’Connor :

See you tomorrow bye.

Jacob Barr :

Bye, bye, bye, bye.