The ProLife Team Podcast | Episode 12 with Allan Parker & Tracy Reynolds with the Justice Foundation | About How To Stop Forced Abortion

The ProLife Team Podcast
The ProLife Team Podcast | Episode 12 with Allan Parker & Tracy Reynolds with the Justice Foundation | About How To Stop Forced Abortion
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Protecting Women’s Rights: The Safe Haven Program and the Fight Against Coercion and Forced Abortions

In this blog post, we will explore the importance of the safe haven program in protecting women’s rights and preventing coercion and forced abortions. We will also discuss the role of pregnancy centers in providing support and resources for pregnant women facing pressure to have an abortion. Additionally, we will highlight the work of organizations like The Justice Foundation and Alliance Defending Freedom in assisting women in these situations.

Summary

This is Jacob Barr, and in this episode of the Pro-Life Team Podcast, I had the opportunity to discuss the Safe Haven program and issues surrounding coercion and forced abortions with Alan Parker and Tracy Reynolds. Alan, a lawyer and president of the Justice Foundation, emphasized that involuntary abortion is illegal, and Tracy, the coordinator of the Center Against Forced Abortion, detailed the tools and training provided to pregnancy centers nationwide.

We delved into the legal nuances and shared real-life scenarios illustrating how parents, partners, or others might coerce women into abortions. The Justice Foundation has developed several key resources like the “Dear Parent” and “Dear Father of the Child” letters, which are used to educate and deter those attempting to coerce. An essential tool discussed was the “Letter to the Abortionist,” which can be used by a woman to preemptively inform clinics of her being coerced, thus stopping the procedure.

Another significant part of our conversation focused on the Safe Haven laws. These laws allow a woman to safely surrender her newborn at designated places like hospitals or fire stations within a certain period after birth, without facing legal repercussions. This option provides an alternative to adoption or abortion for women who feel they cannot care for their child. Alan noted that while Safe Haven laws are present in all states, awareness among pregnancy centers is relatively low. We estimated that only about 15% of centers might be aware of these laws.

We concluded by discussing the rise of chemical abortions and the risks associated with them, especially in cases of forced abortion. Our aim through this podcast is to inform more pregnancy center directors and staff about these vital tools and legal rights, hoping to reach and assist more women facing these challenging situations.

#ProLifePodcast, #SafeHavenLaw, #ForcedAbortionPrevention, #JusticeFoundation, #WomensRights, #PregnancyCenterResources, #LegalToolsForPregnancyCenters, #AwarenessInPregnancyCare, #ProtectingMothersAndChildren, #SafeSurrenderOptions, #ChemicalAbortionRisks, #EducatingOnProLifeLaws, #SupportingVulnerableWomen.

Transcript

The transcript was automatically generated and may contain errors.

Jacob Barr :

Welcome to the pro-life Team Podcast. We’re here with Alan and Tracy and we’re going to talk about the Safe Haven program, along with also coercion and forced abortions.

Tracy Reynolds :

So my name is Tracy Reynolds, I work for the Justice Foundation, and I am the trainer and coordinator of the Center Against Forced Abortion. And we’ve been doing this for about 12 years and so I work with pregnancy centers across the country, and we train them on how to use the various tools that exist when a woman comes in and is afraid that she’s going to be forced to having an abortion.

Allan Parker :

And I’m Alan Parker i’m the president of the Justice Foundation. I’m also a lawyer. I’m licensed to practice before the US Supreme Court i’m a former professor of law. And we provide tons of free legal services to pregnancy resource centers all across the country about dealing with forced abortion, because forced abortion is illegal right now a lot of people don’t even know that abortion is legal everywhere if it’s voluntary, but an involuntary abortion is illegal. And then we’ve also worked with the safe surrender or safe haven wall in every state. That is another option for women considering abortion that they can simply wait until after the baby’s born and then surrender the baby to a safe place at a designated place state designated place within a certain time after birth, and the state will take care of the baby at no cost to her. So it’s free, unlike abortion, and it’s kind of less no legal procedure involved like there is with adoption. So it’s a kind of a simple, hands off message, a method if she wants to use that.

Tracy Reynolds :

Yeah so we’re gonna be talking about both those topics today awesome.

Jacob Barr :

So tell me, what does an executive director you know what does she need to know about coercion and how to respond when she sees a scenario or what are some of the examples of the scenarios that a pro-life leader like an executive director or someone in her team may experience or see?

Allan Parker :

Well, let me talk about it from a legal standpoint tracy’s got a lot of examples, too. As I said at the first, a voluntary abortion is legal. An involuntary abortion is always illegal. So one of the questions is this voluntary or involuntary? Another, simpler way to say that is whose will is being accomplished? The three main types of forced abortion or coerced is or undue pressure? Those are the three terms the law uses but. The common situations are adult parents forcing a minor girl to have an abortion against her will, the second is a man forcing a woman to abort his child against her will, and the third is human trafficking or prostitution. And Tracy can give you some examples of those things that we deal with very commonly in America.

Tracy Reynolds :

Yeah and actually the reason we started the center against forced abortion is that Alan was getting calls from pregnancy centers wanting to know how to deal with the situation. And the most common one is where a girl, a young girl who’s underage, is being forced by her parents to have an abortion. And so that’s when we started getting calls like that we said, well, we need to develop some tools and some letters that pregnancy centers can use. To help prevent this because there’s so many forced abortions out there and so and again, a lot of people, including police, are ignorant of the law that you can’t force her this is actually a place where Roe V Wade steps in and says, you know, you’ve heard the phrase, her body, her choice. Well, if she’s forced, it’s not her choice. So the first tool that we give pregnancy centers is a letter called the Dear Client letter. And this we tell directors that they can put it on their own letterhead and give it to the girl, give it to any girl, because they don’t know necessarily until she leaves center, she’s going to be pressured to have an abortion. So it says basically, we know you’re scared, but we’re here for you, we’re here to help you. And we also need to tell you your rights, which is that no one, not your parent, not your grandparent, not your boyfriend, no one can force you to have an abortion. It’s your decision and your decision alone, and there are people to help you. And so that, Dear Client letter is the first thing that the girl would take. And she would then take it home to her parents or show her boyfriend, etcetera. And then Alan is going to talk about one of the most powerful tools that we have, which is the Dear Parent letter, and it’s in English and Spanish.

Allan Parker :

Since the most common situation that we deal with is the Dear Parent situation, where it’s the parent of the girl, we point out it’s a letter to the parents to tell them. You we know that you’re not happy you’re not the first person to be in this situation. There are healthy outcomes on the other side, and the organization that gave this to your daughter and the Justice Foundation are willing to help you. So that organization that gave this to the girl would be a pregnancy Resource Center sometimes. But what it basically tells them is your daughter is now the mother of a child under the law and she has the right to make the decisions. And you are not in a position to force her to have an abortion or you’re guilty of crimes and here’s one of the most common examples it’s in the letter we have about 5 letters. Number one is if you don’t have this abortion, I’m kicking you out of my house. That’s what parents say all the time. That violates the duty under the family Code in every state to take care of their daughter in a safe place with a. Everything they need for life until they’re 18 so you can’t kick a child out on the streets because you want them to have an abortion. That’s the first thing what are some other things in that letter, Tracy?

Tracy Reynolds :

Yeah, well, it says I’m going to force you to have an abortion i’m going to take you down there there’s no turning back, You know, I’m doing it i’m making the appointment. Or if you don’t have the abortion, I’m going to beat you up, you know, So all those, of course, the last one is child abuse. But all those things, or I’m going to ground you i’m going to keep you in your room so you’re 18, You know, all of those things are things that legally they can’t say. But there’s another side to this, too, which is if the parent actually comes with the girl to a pregnancy center, the pregnancy center director can appeal to the parents. Emotional side, we know you’re anger, you’re upset, but if you force your daughter to have an abortion, first of all, it’s illegal secondly, this may alienate her from you and the family that we’ve heard so many cases of daughters who’ve run away and dropped out of school and gotten into drugs and alcohol and all the opposite of what the parents wanted for her because they were so mad and they were so hurt that the girl was forced to have an abortion so those are reasons why. You know, psychological reasons why the parent needs to understand that this could jeopardize your relationship with your daughter and also her life, her dreams. You know, she she’s not going to go to college because she’s so upset about you forcing her to have an abortion so that’s kind of the psychological side.

Allan Parker :

And then that letter also says dear parent or other concerned person because this applies to anyone who forces her sometimes. With fair frequency, but not quite as often as our own parents. The boy’s parents may be attempting to force her to have an abortion and they won’t kick her out of the house, but they’ll say other things like you’re ruining our son’s life, This is terrible. Or we’re going to report you for some kind of alleged crime or something or they’re going to do something to her and they can use quite threatening pressuring language. Maybe calling her every day. Have you scheduled the procedure yet? When are you going to do it? You’re ruining our lives and weeping and crying that can be emotional distress so it applies to anybody.

Tracy Reynolds :

Yeah, it.

Allan Parker :

Does, and I’ll just give one last example. When I first developed this letter, I have been offering to help a young lady on the telephone and we didn’t really even have this letter yet and actually. So but she had told me when and where the abortion was, and she hadn’t called me back to say I my mom’s changed her mind she’s not making me have an abortion so I was concerned that she was still being coerced. And I went to the abortion clinic and I talked to the first girl or two i said, I’m going to make up a name here. Hi, Sally i’m the lawyer you’ve been talking with. Do you want me to help you? And about the 3rd girl said, yes, I’m that I’m Sally, but she said I don’t want this abortion, but I can’t fight my mother anymore. And that’s a coerced abortion right there whose will has been accomplished she doesn’t want the abortion, but she can’t fight her mom anymore. And so I called the police right then and said there’s a forced abortion occurring and they came out and stopped it. And so we also developed a Dear police letter after that if you as a center, there’s some more tools we’re going to talk about, like the Dear Parent letter, 95 % of the time, the legal tools we’re going to talk about stop it. But if the girl calls you and says my parents are taking me to an abortion in the morning, it’s 10:00 at night what do I do? We suggest you call the police right then. You really can’t do anything that late at night and if it’s scheduled for the next morning. But when you do that, we say send the dear police letter to them. Because what we find is that the police and even Child Protective Services in many states don’t know that forced abortion is illegal. They think and sometimes they’ll even tell the girl you have to do what your parents say. But there is AUS Supreme Court said this no. That’s not true roe V Wade was extended to minor women in the case called Bellotti V Bear, and that’s in the letter. All the law we’re going to talk about is in the letter it’s only a page and a half. It’s not much it’s not like a legal memorandum. It’s very short, very powerful.

Tracy Reynolds :

Yeah, and to Alan’s point about the boyfriend’s mother, there was an example of a pregnancy center I heard about recently where? The boyfriend and the girl came in, they were 15 and 16 both their mothers were there and they, you know, found out that she was indeed pregnant. They were going to schedule the ultrasound and both mothers were adamant that the girl have an abortion. So both mothers received the Dear Parent letter, they received some counselling and in the counselling room we found out that both mothers had abortions when they were the kids age so after reading the Dear Parent letter, after then seeing the ultrasound and seeing their grandchild and some good counselling on the part of the pregnancy director, they said OK. Ok, you guys have the child. And so a lot of times that combination of the letter and counseling and seeing the ultrasound and identifying it as their grandchild will help them, will help change that. The next letter that I know Alan wants to talk about from a legal perspective is the dear father of the child letter so this could be the boyfriend, the husband, whoever was the father of the child. And he’s going to talk about the legal piece on that.

Allan Parker :

Again, this is illegal. And under Roe V Wade, whose choices it’s supposed to be, it’s the woman’s choice. And in fact, there’s a decision called Planned Parenthood V Casey, where the men’s role if they wanted to stop abortion was completely eliminated from the law, Even if they’re married. A married woman can get an abortion without her husband’s permission or even telling him about it. But here it’s the man trying to force a woman to have an abortion. And that’s illegal it’s the woman’s choice alone. This letter mentions some of the things a man kind of usually says, like you won’t get a penny of child support out of me. Well, he has a legal duty to pay child support and threatening an illegal action. It’s not the mother who’s going to demand child support, it’s the law for the protection of the child that demands child support. But he may use that recess. But I don’t care what you say i’ve got a gun we’re going down there now and you just sign those papers or I’m going to beat you within an inch of your life. There are many men. Even feminist literature shows that there are men who abuse women in there once they’re pregnant to get them to do what the man wants. And it can go either way sometimes. But when it’s forcing her to have an abortion that is illegal in every state, that’s another thing I want to emphasize. All 50 states. This is the law primarily because it’s a federal constitutional law it’s in every state. But if you think about this, any touching of a woman by a doctor that does not have her consent is a battery under state law because it’s an offensive touching without consent. That’s why doctors have to have you sign a consent form they want a record that you’re letting them poke your body with things and. The horrible thing that abortion is they even just as a matter of pure medical law in every state, they have to have permission.

Tracy Reynolds :

Yeah and Speaking of that, we also use a letter to abortionists and so this is when a girl knows that she’s being taken to the abortion facility she doesn’t want the abortion. And she goes into the pregnancy center and says, how can I stop this? And again, the pregnancy care director would give her this letter to abortionists and I’m going to have Alan talk about the legal piece. This is huge though, because we just heard about a great story where the girl signed the letter to abortion as saying I’m being pressured to have an abortion against my will, I’m here against my will i don’t want the abortion and the pregnancy care director. Faxed it to six different abortion facilities. The parents took her to all the facilities, and all the abortionists refused because they’ve gotten this letter faxed to them saying she’s there against her will. Then they were going to fly her to California to have an abortion in California, Well, they stopped at a place to eat. And the girl called the police and fortunately it was an enlightened police officer maybe you saw the deer police letter, but he knew that wasn’t OK so he got the parents on the phone and said, you can’t force her to have an abortion. Well, Fast forward. They calmed down. They ended up saying fine, fine. And she had the baby it’s now their grandchild. And they couldn’t believe that they were going to force her to have an abortion because they just love this grandbaby so, you know, so that’s a case where it was a happy ending. But Alan, tell us about the legal.

Allan Parker :

Aspect So this is our third tool all of these are available at the Justice foundation.org our website under the Centre Against Forced Abortion. It’s all easy to find it’s called the Letter to the Abortionist. And legally, of course, you can’t tell anybody about the problem unless there’s a legal exception, like an unlawful act or if you have permission. So when the girl is in your office saying my parents or someone is having me forced to have an abortion, say do you want us to do everything we can to stop it? If you’ll sign this letter, we can do that and the letter is then faxed to all the abortion clinics in the area saying I now know that it’s her name and she signs it. I Sally now know that I’m pregnant i’ve decided I want to keep this baby. But I may be brought to your facility by someone who’s trying to get me to have an abortion I don’t want. I’m telling you now that I don’t want it. I may be with someone who keeps me from telling you what I want. And if you have an abortion against me, you’re guilty of the following crimes and torts. Again, like I said earlier, it’s a battery for them to do it. That stops all the abortionist until they at least get something else. That prove she wants the abortion, like taking her to a judge or something. But as long as the girl is saying I don’t want this abortion, as long as she that’s her intent, then it’s an illegal abortion and we can stop it. That letter also gives you permission to contact Child Protective Services, The police and a lawyer and the Justice Foundation can help. And we work with the Alliance Defending Freedom and have a network of about 3000 attorneys across the nation who will help in these situations.

Tracy Reynolds :

The other type of letter that we have is a letter to school counselors, social workers and medical professionals because again, this is another group of people that don’t know the law and so, for example, a school counselor in one case. Talked to the girl and said, well, no, you have to do what your parents say if they want you to have an abortion, you have to have one. So the center director faxed her the letter to school counselors, medical professionals. And it explains that she could actually be liable for giving misinformation because it is unlawful to force her to have an abortion. School counselor was really surprised, had no idea, and so said, wow, I’m sorry, I was wrong. You need to do what your heart says, you know, and your parents don’t have the right to force you so again, there’s so much of an educational effort that needs to happen across the country with this.

Allan Parker :

Yeah, that reminds me of something that we did that saved a life. We knew it. And you can do if you’re a center director in any. State in this country. You could send the dear school counselor letter to all the school counselors in the state it’s pretty easy from your education department to get an email for every school in your state. Send them the email and that’s what we did in Texas, where we’re located, and we sent it out at the beginning of the school year that’s a good time to do it, but anytime is a good time. And about a couple of three weeks later, a young woman called us and said, my sister is being forced to have an abortion by our mother, and I know she’ll do it because she did it to me. So here you’ve got a very credible threat of a forced abortion. And she said that her sister had already gone to the school counselor for help and that she wanted. She was so afraid of her mother, she wanted a meeting with the school counselor, and she wanted her mother to come in for a meeting with the counselor at the counselor’s request so the mother and the daughter could tell her your daughter’s pregnant and you and you can’t do anything about it. Well, that happened. But anyway, I called the school counselor and I wanted to say to her, ma’am, if this mother has threatened this girl, you have a mandatory duty under Texas law. Who reported as child abuse? And many of you may be in states with mandatory reporting duty and this is child abuse. Or if you’re just allows you to do suspected child abuse, once you hear someone’s forcing a woman to have an abortion, that’s a violation of her rights well, anyway, the beautiful thing was I talked to the principal. She said, oh, yes, I’ve already notified CPS the mother was in here and she was adamant she was still going to force the woman to have an abortion even though she knew the law now. And so, gosh, ma’am, I said that’s very unusual, that you would know that law and she said, yes, I just got a letter on it recently from some group and she pulled it out and said there’s a Justice Foundation. Oh, that’s you. And then I know you said you were with, so we knew it got to the hands that we knew it saved the life and she’d already called CPS on her own. So that’s just something that you could do. Send it to every school district in your state. Good project.

Jacob Barr :

Wow, that’s a huge impact on these communities and these for these women who are going through this hard time of being pushed and bullied into this elective decision.

Allan Parker :

Right, it is we estimate that the center is saving about 1000 to 2000 babies a year. We just came back from the Care Net conference and several people, including the first people we really met once we opened up our booth who said, hey, there they are, the Justice Foundation, thank you. We’ve used your forced abortion materials three times and the reason there’s 3000 centers in America, give or take and we’ve sent them all this literature and if only one of them uses it once a year, that’s a thousand babies being. Saved if so, we just think it’s very common every center we’ve ever talked to says, yeah, we’ve heard about that, particularly the mothers forcing the daughters to have an abortion or the father.

Tracy Reynolds :

But there’s also lots of centers that have changed staff or new centers that have sprung up we just found out about a new center in San Antonio that doesn’t know about our stuff so that’s why we’ll continue to educate because there’s always new centers that haven’t heard of us or Staffs have changed and the director didn’t pass on the information so it’s a continuing education effort. We’re also doing an education for students. We have a dear students letter and so people that go into the schools can use that because a lot of students. Their friends tell them they’re pregnant and they have no idea what to do, including they don’t know what a pregnancy center is they get confused with Planned Parenthood. So the Dear Student Letter comes alongside them they tell them about pregnancy centers and that they’ll tell them about their options. And they also tell them, again, that they no one can force you to have an abortion so that’s another educational effort that we’re doing in conjunction with Students for Life. And pregnancy centers to get the word out in the schools because again, everybody knows unfortunately about Planned Parenthood but few students really understand what pregnancy centers are. And for this audience, who probably knows, pregnancy centers tell you about all your options they tell you about abortion, They tell you about adoption and they tell you about parenting your child and they help you to make the best decision but at the end, it’s your decision and they know that.

Allan Parker :

And so this all sounds a little bit complicated, but I just want to emphasize that the letters themselves are powerful legal tools, but you don’t have to have a lawyer to do all this. And we provide all the letters on the website and we provide free one hour training sessions recorded at for national pro-life organizations, Pregnancy Resource Center associations. We’ve trained at Carenet, NIFLA and Heartbeat, all of them and multiple times so.

Tracy Reynolds :

And we will provide free zoom training for individual centers or group of centers. In fact we’re doing one on Wednesday. So if anyone in this audience listening to this wants to have their center or group of centers trained, let us know and we do like a 45 minute training and then 15 minutes for questions and answers and it’s of course with zoom technology it’s really easy. And again, we just want to get this word out to as many centers as possible.

Jacob Barr :

Are all of the different states in the country are they the laws that govern this area are they identical or how do they vary?

Allan Parker :

In some ways, the basic constitutional law is the same everywhere yes, Roe V Wade says it’s a woman’s choice she could have an abortion. So we can’t legally today stop that. Though I will say the Justice Foundation is trying to do that through another project called The Moral Outcry, which is also available for you to see. And that’s a petition to the Supreme Court asking them to reverse Roe V Wade. But so there are some state laws specific to forced abortion that may vary a little bit like some states say it has to be forced, others might say, but those are rare there might be some specific law, but no matter what the state law says, the federal constitutional law is the same everywhere in the country. So that’s why it’s pretty specific general advice and it’s true everywhere in the country. So you know, if you unless you have another question about it, there’s also another little known law that we’re trying to get a publicity for and that center directors need to know. So it’s a different law. It’s called the safe haven law, but I will say the two laws together are laws that every woman who gets pregnant needs to know about. As soon as a woman gets a pregnancy test, their local medical director ought to give them a notice that says here are two laws you need. No one can force you to have an abortion we’ve talked about that the second is if you don’t want to care for this child, you’re our law has a state haven law that you need to know about and under this law, you can simply take the baby, even anonymously to a hospital or fire station or other designated space within a certain period of time after birth and the state will release you from all obligations for criminal neglect or abandonment. So unlike abortion, and here’s how I would say pregnancy centers can use it, OK, she’s considering abortion. You’re going to tell her about the risk of abortion and all of that, the harms that happen, you’re going to tell her about adoption and all of you know about adoption. But safe haven law is kind of what I call a hands off adoption. I’m going to use Texas law. And this law varies a little bit from state to state, but it’s usually three days or 30 days or 60 days or 90 days. And Texas is 60. She has 60 days to drop her off at a hospital or fire station with no questions asked, no legal procedure, just drop the baby off. So it’s free, unlike abortion, if a woman is considering abortion, it’s going to cost a thousand dollars. Safe Haven is free if the woman is low income the state and you can determine that with her. The state will pay for her medical care and the cost of delivery. So all of her expenses for the baby will be paid for by the state. She can walk out of the hospital and leave the baby behind say I want to safe haven the baby hospitals are always a good place or fire stations if she wants to use that. And there are other places like emergency rooms and adoption agencies that varies a little bit by state. I always just say hospital emergency room or fire station’s going to be good.

Tracy Reynolds :

And also, this is for the girl that’s not sure. You know, she, she’s on the fence. She’s not sure if she can take care of the baby once the baby’s born. And so they can say, well, you know what, go ahead, go forward with the pregnancy and if you find out, you can’t take care of the baby some laws, state laws say it’s up to 60 days. She can turn the baby over to a hospital or fire station so in other words, she has the option if she finds out. Once she’s, you know, had the baby that it’s too much, she can’t handle it and she doesn’t want to go through the adoption procedure again this is an easy way for her to abandon the baby without any criminal repercussions and the reason that this law came to being was there’s so many stories of babies that have been found in a dumpster or something because people just couldn’t handle it, but they didn’t know that they could actually drop it off with impunity to a fire station or to a medical facility. And so there are people that have been saved. There’s a couple of great stories about safe haven babies. That have were rescued from dumpsters, literally that are now speaking out about the safe haven law saying hey somebody Good Samaritan found me, but you don’t have to put me in a dumpster you know, you can you can leave me at a hospital or a fire station.

Allan Parker :

So there’s some really compelling stories about women who have survived being in that situation, and it’s a it’s an option that it gives the woman the most time to make a decision of any of the options because she can wait all the way till the baby’s born. Maybe she’ll have a great job by then maybe she’s worried she doesn’t have a job now and so she thinks I’ve got to abort. Maybe she’ll have a job by then if she keeps looking and the pregnancy center can help her find work, but then maybe so maybe she decides to keep the baby it’s always her choice if she doesn’t want to take care of that baby or she can’t take care of that baby, she can safe haven the baby and be free of the responsibility. Another thing I know that sometimes women have a desire to abort because they want don’t want to have any relationship with the father and they don’t want to go through a termination of procedure of parental rights with him. Maybe the father wouldn’t surrender his parental rights and so you couldn’t get a clean adoption of the child because they know who the father is and he doesn’t want to give up his rights. Well he cannot stop her from safe havening the baby. Now he can go and try to establish his own paternity through a DNA test and he can adopt that child on his own, but he can’t claim he can’t stop her from safe havening the baby and yet so she’s free and he can be the father if he wants so that’s really pretty rare. But a lot of women have this fear of having a relationship with the man for 18 years because he’s the father of her baby and so they can eliminate that at no cost. You don’t have to travel to another state to get this all 50 states have it. You should look under the safe haven laws in your state to tell the girls the specifics of where you live. But it’s there’s a website called the National Safe Haven alliance.org or just Google Safe haven laws and it’ll come up.

Tracy Reynolds :

Yeah, another case where this could happen is an abuse case where the woman’s afraid that the father of the baby’s going to hurt the baby and she’s already ready to flee, but she can’t handle bringing the baby with her, and so again, she may think that’s the best way to protect the baby. Is to, you know, to leave it again at a place where it can be taken care of like a hospital most women are uncomfortable about police stations, but hospital, fire station again, she can leave it with impunity and safe haven laws are all across the country.

Allan Parker :

The period of time varies from state to state, and it’s not necessarily the best option is parenting a child, and the center can give her all those good resources. She may want to choose the parents for her child through adoption, but this is a legal option that she ought to know about.

Jacob Barr :

How would how would you, What language would you suggest an executive director well a counselor may use Who’s talking to clients? What language would you suggest using for talking about safe haven and this is being the option like I heard you used the phrase safe surrender. Does that seem to go well with clients? It does it does.

Allan Parker :

Yeah, you can safely surrender your baby and then that i don’t know that the state cares, but that’s a safety net for the woman. You can safely surrender your baby at a hospital or fire station. It’s not like give your baby away. That’s the best language is safely surrender and it is a surrender for the woman and but it’s you can give the baby life and yet you don’t have to take care of the baby And some people ask what’s going to happen to that baby if this was used a lot. There are actually one to two million families every year in America waiting to adopt newborn children. Many women don’t feel confident to handle a neglected or abused child from foster care. But they would love to have a newborn children, and they’re waiting to have these newborn children give it into their homes. In fact, many of them have to wait years because there’s because we’re taking the life of our children instead of giving them life.

Tracy Reynolds :

And I would say from a pregnancy center counselor in the counseling room, it’s the woman that’s really unsure she’s scared she’s maybe 16 she’s not sure she can take care of a baby she doesn’t know if anybody’s going to support her, you know, listening to what she says and then saying, well, you know, here’s this other option, go forward. Have the baby and if things don’t change for you and you still feel you know, unsure or like you’re not prepared to take care of that child, then here’s what you can do. And that child will still be alive and still be safe and they’ll find a home for that child of someone that can take care of it so you know so again, center directors or counselors need to listen to what the girl’s saying and decide appropriately you know which option to talk about more or that particular option but again what we know is that pregnancy centers don’t really talk about safe haven because it’s still a fairly new concept and the laws are changing all the time but now there used to be safe haven laws in just a few states now I think it’s in all the states.

Allan Parker :

All 50 states have one. Yes. And I would say whether she expresses, I mean, Tracy’s right you always want to listen. She may not express this, so you’re helping her to know what her options are. It may change her thinking, but as a legal matter, you want to give her all of her options. That’s what we call ourselves, option lines, and we say we give alternatives to abortion. This is a safe legal abort alternative in every state in the union, even California and New York, the pro abortion.

Jacob Barr :

You mentioned this is a this is new law. How what’s the age like when did this law begin and when’s the last time it’s, you know, like, how new is it?

Tracy Reynolds :

Yeah well, again, it varies in every state and Alan’s going to talk about that but some states are, you know, three days some states are 60 some or even longer.

Allan Parker :

Yeah so it started in 1999 in Texas governor George Bush at the time passed what was called a baby Moses Law, then like Moses being placed in a basket in the river and saved. Generally it’s called safe haven law in most states though, and by 2016 all states had it. So now every state has one. Sometimes what changes is they might expand the number of places you can drop the baby off, or they might extend or change the deadline for when the baby has to be safely surrendered. So it’s good to check your local law if you’re going to start telling people about it, you want to be up to date. And if you need help finding the law, give us a call we’ll give you. We’ll be happy to help you find it.

Jacob Barr :

So in your estimation, how many pregnancy clinics are currently exercising or promoting Safe Haven? Compared to how many might not know about it or not promoting it quite yet, how would where would you say that’s at?

Tracy Reynolds :

Yeah, I’d say the majority of them have no idea and I think with people like the gal that you mentioned that may do a show later on in California. I think there are pregnancy center directors that are starting to promote, promote it, but it’s still a pretty new concept for pregnancy centers. And so that’s one of the things we’re trying to do with this podcast, it’s a podcast and others is to educate them about this.

Allan Parker :

And I just met my first centre director at the Care and Act convention who is actually on her local board for the Safe Haven Coalition, which is a coalition of the hospitals, the fire departments, the Child Protective Services. Because in most states they that child does then go into protective custody of Child Protective Services. But hopefully the states, if they’re doing a good job, will have a pre approved list of parents waiting to adopt that child there’s no reason for a safeated baby to be in foster care for six months waiting for a parent. All they got to do is call up the adoption agencies and prepare a list and then put you know do it in a transparent way the next person baby dropped off, hey, you’re on top of the list would you like the baby? And they come and get it so it’s much simpler than a long adoption. But the child protection services need to be prepared ahead of time to think it through. So California seems to be one of the leaders in this area. That’s the only center director I know who’s actually on a coalition of their county to help get it done safely. And she said, as a pregnancy center director, those government agencies are now calling her when they find pregnant noms who just need help. So they’ve given baby layouts and the whole package of healthcare to just moms who need help so you can reach more people by cooperating with the government and here’s the thing about safe haven and forced abortion is illegal. You ought to get your health departments telling everybody they know about it and no one can object. This is the law. Whatever your position is on abortion, whether you’re a pro-choice or pro abortion, forced abortion is illegal, and Safe Haven is available as the woman’s choice in every state if she chooses to use it.

Jacob Barr :

Wow so what I’m hearing is that the idea of an executive director connect or essentially someone who essentially having that list of parents who want to adopt getting onto that list and. Connected to the safe haven group or whoever’s managing those babies as they’re dropped off being on that list, was is a way to essentially be queued up for that adoption opportunity or how does that, what does that look like for who manages that list and how does someone get on a list like that and is that a relatively new idea as well?

Allan Parker :

That is something that probably has to be developed in most states. I did talk with someone from Georgia at the convention and you can get on the adoption only list of a new baby apparently in that state. So if you’re interested, I’d call this Child Protective Services or whatever it’s called in your state and see if it’s a possibility and say I’d like to take a safe haven baby, I do know there’s an article there was an article in CNN News there was a safe baby, safe haven in Atlanta and over a thousand parents, once it got the newspapers, a thousand parents called up and said we’d love to adopt that baby, We’d love to adopt that baby. That’s what I mean they’re out there. I don’t know exactly how the Department of Child Services handled it in that state, but.

Jacob Barr :

It sounds like to me if someone’s interested in being on that list, you know in line to, you know. Adopt a brand new baby left at a safe haven place. It sounds like they should reach out to you and then you could connect into someone who’s done it in one state in order to help them find the recipe or the steps of then you know, identifying what it looks like in their state and we’re helping develop it may be benchmarking what’s been done in a state that’s already done that. But sounds like there’s a reason to reach out there in order to then pursue and develop that. In states that may not currently have that list, or it’s hard to identify where it is.

Tracy Reynolds :

Well, and I would also say the Safe Haven Coalition, it really works with that because they work with all facets of that.

Allan Parker :

That’s called the National Safe Haven Alliance at nationalsafehavenalliance.org They do work to bring everybody together. So that’s probably the best group would have the information for each state. And in fact they’ll help a woman who’s desperate to do it use it. They’ll try, you know. You know we don’t want a woman to do something out of desperation that she wouldn’t do if she had resources. So we always offer her resources to keep her child if she wants. You say no one will help you. What if we give you help? Then she might say, oh, I could keep my baby, then I do it but you know we don’t want women using safe haven out of desperation either but if we don’t want them using abortion out of desperation, and this is a far better alternative. And someday we hope that abortion will be banned. But if abortion were banned today in every state, or in any state in every state, no woman would have to care for an unwanted child. If she doesn’t want to take care of that baby, she can safe haven the law, the baby in every single state, including California and New York. Even if abortion were made illegal today, Wow.

Jacob Barr :

Well, I really appreciate you sharing all of this and it and it sounds like, well, what how would if you were to put a % on it, if you were to put a % on the number of pregnancy clinics who are currently, let’s say, familiar with safe haven or the coercion legal letters that your group is providing as a resource to help stop forced abortion. Or how would you say like what? What % of groups are currently aware that these tools are in existence or they’re using these tools at some level?

Allan Parker :

How would you size up i’ll take a guess, but you want to go first, Tracy.

Tracy Reynolds :

Yeah, I would say for the Center Against Forced Abortion letters, because we’ve been out doing this for years, I would say, you know, probably 70 % of pregnancy centers are aware of it but again, the caveat is. There are always new centers coming up or new staff coming up. Safe Haven. Wow i’m gonna let Alan.

Allan Parker :

I would say maybe 15 % know about it. Like often when I’m speaking to them, oh, safe haven, I’ve heard of that. And there’s some because they’re in the pregnancy sphere and crisis pregnancies they might have heard about it in a state or went to a meeting, but then when you start saying do you use it drops down to about 2 % or 3 %. In fact, this California lady I met really was the first time who’s really organized about it so the awareness, maybe 1520 % will have heard about it, but that it hasn’t clicked to action. Yeah, because they don’t understand it in that.

Jacob Barr :

So my experience with Safe Haven. It was i was at a vendor booth at a care nut conference or heartbeat conference i don’t remember now i guess I would say it was about four maybe three or four years ago and so I met some of the people who started and were running their safe, the Safe Haven group. And I’d honestly I’d I’ve been working in the Precis clinic movement on content and websites for about 300 clinics. And it had not come up in conversation as something that we needed to add to their websites. And so through 300 websites, it didn’t show up. And I’m really glad that you’re working on getting the word out because I agree it’s, I would say it’s probably 15 % seems reasonable and obviously it needs to be 100 % because there’s really a benefit here for every clinic to use this as part of their messaging and part of you know, part of how they serve. Women in these variety of situations.

Tracy Reynolds :

Well, and we were at a conference, similar conference a few years ago in Dallas, texas and we met baby Mary Grace was she was called years ago and she was with the safe haven group and she gave her testimony and she actually recorded it for us too and it was just amazing and she was thrown in the dumpster near a hospital and a construction worker. Was out and they were doing some construction at the hospital. And so they went to throw some stuff away and they saw this bag moving and they reached in and here it was a baby and so they went to the hospital, found a nurse. And so between the construction worker and the nurse, the baby was saved and later adopted and the cool story was that she ended up meeting both the nurse and the construction worker years later when she was out with her story. And so that’s what got us really interested in. You know, pursuing this and finding out what the laws were and everything was hearing a testimony like that.

Jacob Barr :

And I think, yeah, I think she was also she was at the booth that was next to my booth and I would guess she was in her maybe mid, mid twenties late, twenties i’m not sure. And then the gentleman who helped, you know, I think he might have been tied to that very first scenario out of New York. And he had a cowboy hat on and I don’t remember his name right now i don’t either. But I OK. But yes. But essentially. But he was being honored. I think he was heartbeat I think he was and he was being honored that year and I just remember thinking I didn’t know much about this group before talking to them and so I’m just really glad that you are. You know, helping get the word out and I’m glad to be able to hopefully help amplify this through this podcast. And then when it comes to coercion, my first experience hearing about that topic was when you spoke at NIFLA Allen, I think it was two years ago at the NIFLA conference in Virginia, and you spoke about coercion and it’s just sort of like dawned on me that I had not seen that content or topic. On any pregnancy clinic website and that there was a need for that to be promoted and talked about So that, you know, essentially client facing content for clients to realize that, you know, essentially they know what their rights are as people and in order to not be forced into or coerced into a abortion that they don’t wish to have or don’t want to have.

Tracy Reynolds :

Yeah, and it really is an ongoing education movement, because he’d been referring to. Executive directors of pregnancy centers, but a lot of times they’re not in the counseling room, the new volunteer or the new counselors in the counseling room, maybe they haven’t heard about forced abortion yet. And so you know it really is a continuing education effort and we you know will continue to do that and we’ll continue to encourage pregnancy centers to when they have in services if let us know if they want to talk about this as a topic and we can definitely do a training for them.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah, that’s very true and I guess I was saying executive directors, because I know that’s probably a really good doorway to get a new topic.

Tracy Reynolds :

Into, Yeah, you got to get in.

Jacob Barr :

But you’re right the councillors are the one well the and the councillors have a probably a, you know there’s going to be more turnover with new councillors coming and going just in generally speaking. And so it’s good for them to have that as part of their training material which would yeah lean on the executive director or the leadership team or the board probably the executive director for the most part is they essentially they include this in their. Along with other things they want those counselors and team members to use.

Tracy Reynolds :

Exactly and ironically, because of COVID and a couple of the conferences being canceled or being virtual, we actually talked to several executive directors who had time. Because they were seeing less clients because of COVID and they really listened to all the tools that we had and went to the website and everything so I think we educated a lot even though we didn’t do conferences that year just by calling the executive directors and giving them the information and they had time to listen because you know their volunteers have gone down, their clients have gone down because of COVID.

Allan Parker :

So, you know, they use that time, a lot of them to develop curriculum and in services for their trainings, say something about the idea you’ve just come up with. I think it’s an excellent one of having this on their website. Because again, just like I said, every woman who gets a pregnancy test from a medical department or something should get two things that could be put on a website pretty easily, like the Texas Women’s Right to know as just a sentence or two. No one may legally force you to have an abortion. Let’s just say that. And if you put that on the front and someone’s looking at abortion, but they’re kind of being coerced into it, their boyfriend has told them, I want you to make an appointment to this thing, then they might say I’m going to this place, maybe they’ll help me or they’ll call that person. So you might help save some lives right there. You know it doesn’t have to be super big you know not the most prominent thing but it ought to be there or know your rights any know your rights column should certainly have these two things in there and you mentioned coercion. I’ll I’m going to repeat something I heard at the care deck conference. There is a gentleman, I don’t know if I should do this because I’m but it i’ll just say it. I mean we’re just talking right now. But he had a way he was in the business of going through advertising to help women looking for abortion find pregnancy resource centers. But he does a lot of research on the abortion facilities and he was able to find out through Google advertising that if you want to reach men thinking about abortion, you can advertise through Google. And he was saying that most, in some areas of some towns, most of the people making appointments for the women are men. Now that seems suspicious of coercion to me. Well, and even of sex trafficking. Yes, human trafficking.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah, and it sort of guides me into another topic that is also a new wave, and this one relates sadly, which is abortion at home when it comes to women having abortion pills. Sent to them through the mail, through, you know, essentially having, you know, an A medical appointment through the Internet or through the phone and then having, you know, that telehealth appointment, having those, the abortion pills sent to them. And then who’s to say, who’s taking it, who’s to say, you know, who’s verifying the age of the of the child and you know, through ultrasound measurements, who’s to say or the dates of the last period? And who’s to say who’s taking it and like, ’cause really in the end, if abortion pills are being shipped and mailed, then you know, forced abortion is such a likely story when it comes to someone you know, someone else taking it and possibly at the wrong time and making.

Tracy Reynolds :

It absolutely to the woman and also it’s what it’s the most traumatic it’s called the chemical abortion it’s the most traumatic because it happens typically in their home and so they really go through this painful experience and end up having this quote unquote, you know, baby at home and they see it and it’s just horrible we’ve had several experiences with people going through abortion recovery that have had chemical abortion so yes, it’s risky to the mother not only, you know, for mental health, but for physical health as well, ’cause we’ve heard of lots of stories of excessive bleeding and then she’s afraid to go to the hospital because what are they gonna think because she took these pills and you know, it’s just a slippery.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah, yeah it feels like there’s a lot of concern over, you know, who, who’s setting the appointments, who’s requesting these. You know, there’s a lot of unknowns when it comes to things being done remotely and not being done in person, and it just opens it up for forced abortion to be one of the results.

Allan Parker :

Yes. Yes, it does yeah.

Jacob Barr :

Well, I really appreciate your time and I think this is a topic. That several executive directors and teams will probably have questions on. And so I’m really hopeful that they will think about this podcast and find this content interesting and helpful to what they’re trying to do with their mission. And that they will reach out to you in order to inquire as they will have questions that I did not think of during this podcast. And so hopefully.

Tracy Reynolds :

You’ll be able to address address this. Yeah, thank you and I also want to repeat the website sothejusticefoundation.org and they can Scroll down to Center Against Forced Abortion to find all those tools. And then if they have any questions, they can email X J F again that stands for texas justice foundation info at T X J F dot org if they have any questions they can email us awesome.

Jacob Barr :

And I really appreciate you and your team. It look, honestly, I don’t know how you guys are. You must be funded through donors because it doesn’t appear that you’re charging client Apprentice clinics for the services.

Tracy Reynolds :

No, we don’t start yeah, we’re a nonprofit, 5O1C3 nonprofit, and our services to pregnancy centers are free.

Jacob Barr :

That is amazing and that’s very well i mean just want to say thank you on behalf of directors and teams who appreciate what you’re doing because you know you’re feeling these really important. Gaps in areas that we need, you know, that are just so extremely important for saving lives.

Allan Parker :

Thank you. Thank you for helping get the word out.