The ProLife Team Podcast | Episode 41 with Fr. Frank Pavone | Talking About The Leaked Draft of the Dobbs Case from the SCOTUS

The ProLife Team Podcast
The ProLife Team Podcast | Episode 41 with Fr. Frank Pavone | Talking About The Leaked Draft of the Dobbs Case from the SCOTUS
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Listen Fr. Frank Pavone and Jacob Barr talk about the leaked draft of the Dobbs Case. Hear Fr. Frank and Jacob talk about how we are in the 50th year of Roe and how this is the year of jubilee – and what this means for God’s people.

Summary

This is Jacob Barr, and in today’s episode of the Pro-Life Team Podcast, I had the honor of speaking with Father Frank Pavone, a prominent figure in the pro-life movement. We delved into the critical issue of the leaked draft of the Dobbs case from the Supreme Court and its implications on Roe v. Wade. Father Frank reflected on his lifelong dedication to the pro-life cause, emphasizing the importance of education, political action, and support for those affected by abortion.

Our discussion ventured into the complexities of the Dobbs case and its potential to shift the abortion debate from a federal to a state level. Father Frank underscored the significance of this transition, noting the importance of returning legislative power to the states and away from judicial overreach.

We also explored the profound moral and ethical issues surrounding abortion, comparing its gravity to historical injustices like slavery. Father Frank’s insights shed light on the psychological and societal impacts of abortion, highlighting the need for compassion and support for mothers in crisis.

Touching on the political aspects, we discussed recent pro-abortion legislation in states like California and its contrast with pro-life measures in other states. This dichotomy emphasized the varied approaches to abortion across the United States and the potential changes in a post-Roe landscape.

The conversation concluded with a prayer led by Father Frank, invoking guidance and strength for the pro-life movement and all those grappling with the issue of abortion.

#Hashtags: #ProLifePodcast, #DobbsCase, #RoeVWade, #AbortionDebate, #LegislativePower, #EthicsOfLife, #ProLifeLeadership, #CompassionInCrisis, #StateLegislation, #PrayerForLife.

Transcript

The transcript was automatically generated and may contain errors.

Jacob Barr :

Welcome to the pro-life Team Podcast i am Jacob Barr and I’m here with Father Frank Pavone, and we’re going to be talking about the leaked draft of the Dobbs case from the Supreme Court. We’re also going to be talking about how this is the fiftieth year of Roe and how we are in the Year of Jubilee and what that means to God’s people. So Father Frank Bravon, I am so excited to have you on here. Would you introduce yourself as if you were talking to a group of pro-life friends and people who aren’t, who cherish the unborn, along with moms and their and the and the young parents involved?

Fr. Frank Pavone :

Well, gladly it’s so good to be with you and with our audience i got involved in the pro-life movement as a high school student at 17 years old, three years after Roe V Wade was issued so it was 1976 Since then the movement has been a big part of my life i became a priest and then 30 years ago received permission within the church to make fighting abortion my full time ministry. So it’s been 30 years of non-stop work with the great people in this movement has head of Priests for Life and that name tells us, first of all, we work with the clergy people want to see their clergy teaching and preaching and leading on these issues, but it’s for much more than priests priests for Life has become one of the largest pro-life organizations and it’s for everyone and anyone of any religious background who wants to do something to end abortion. Simple as that. We do educational work, broadcasting, lobbying, political work, helping pregnancy centres, helping those who have had abortions to find healing. In fact, we run one of the largest ministry for that which is Rachel’s Vineyard. And we’ve developed a whole family of ministries, if you will, under this umbrella called Priests for Life. It is a such an honor and a joy to do this work, as I’m sure so many of our listeners understand, by doing it themselves and that’s in a nutshell what my life has been over these years.

Jacob Barr :

Thank you so much for, yeah, devoting yourself to this very important part of God’s will, part of this wonderful mission of helping those with the least voice and the youngest of our society, and while still being targeted by evil, essentially.

Fr. Frank Pavone :

It is evil. It’s you could say it’s the greatest evil because it’s, you know, it’s bad enough if a human life is taken by an act of violence. What makes abortion even worse is that it’s an act of violence that in so many places is no longer recognized as violence but is considered to be a right. So you add insult to injuries, Oh, it was a right to do that. And then another level of the evil is it’s being carried as bad enough if somebody killed somebody else, no matter who they are. But this is carried out within the family by against their own children so you have various levels, not to mention furthermore, these are the most defenseless human beings in the world and they are the greatest number. In other words, when you look at what takes human life, nothing takes human life more than abortion. So all these different, I see it as different layers of the evil compounding it, you know, on one thing upon another. So yeah, you use the right word that this is a major evil.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah, it’s a. It’s a compound layer of lies or false beliefs that add up to being just yeah, this the greatest evil because of just the just the magnitude and the impact and the target being the weakest and most vulnerable and turning moms against children or parents against their offspring. When that should be the reverse it should be full of joy and love and excitement, but then to turn that on its head.

Fr. Frank Pavone :

Well, isn’t that the most basic human relationship and really the core this the cell if you will, of our society i mean if a relationship between a mother and her own child isn’t secure, what are the relationship is secure. In fact when you think about it from a biblical point of view, God even uses this as an example of, you know, it’s as if God is trying to think what is the most extreme and unlikely example of people turning against one another. And he says in the prophet Isaiah, when he’s trying to convince us of his love for us, this Can a mother forget her child, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? And then he goes on to say, even if she should forget, I will never forget you. So it’s like, got him think of a better example of an unthinkable thing than that a mother would turn against her own child. And yet that’s what we have happening with abortion wow.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah and God is he never gives up on us and he is. And it would. It would be really and it’s really beautiful when a mom never gives up on her child.

Fr. Frank Pavone :

And is really good. Yes indeed. And so many are indeed living that heroic sacrifice, right where they so many pressures would tempt them to walk away, abandoned their responsibility and yet they persevere and they reach out and they struggle and they get the help they need and they remain faithful it’s a beautiful thing to see.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah. So when it comes to this Dobbs case and the leaked draft and I’d, I’d like to try and start with the Supreme Court justices and their and how they’re being targeted and to be influenced what are your thoughts on, you know, what do you what are your thoughts on the Supreme Court justices in this scenario, you know, with people protesting in front of their address in front of their homes?

Fr. Frank Pavone :

Well, you know it’s.

Jacob Barr :

Been the threats they’re probably receiving.

Fr. Frank Pavone :

Exactly well, it’s been a year now since the court announced the Dobbs case. It was May seventeenth of twenty one when we found out that the court had accepted this case and actually took them a long time to accept it so they were really thinking about it carefully and discussing it among themselves behind closed doors. I am sure that when it was announced, from the day it was announced in May a year ago, they have been under tremendous pressures, threats, intimidation, because the other side does not care about a protocol, decorum, respect. And I always say you can’t practice vice virtuously. If your conscience has been so seared that you can kill a baby you don’t care about anything else you can you’ll break all kinds of other laws and protocols and norms of society. So I don’t think that the current threats that we are seeing the intimidation which by the way is illegal to intimidate or pressure a justice by picketing in front of their homes i mean the right to picket in general is certainly legal, but to target a justice to influence whether their decision is actually against federal law. And but we see that happening now. This is simply the manifestation at the present moment because of that leak of a pressure intimidation that’s been going on for a year already so that is first of all to say that these justices are pretty strong. You know, they are not going to give in to public pressure and as a matter of fact, Justice Alito even mentions in that draft document that, you know, we don’t know what the public reaction is going to be, but no matter what it is, and he says it this way, it’s interesting it doesn’t only say we will not let it influence our decision, but he says we do not have the authority to let it influence our decision. In other words, they are bound by an oath to uphold the Constitution. If public pressure is trying to get them to abandon the Constitution, they have no right to do that they have no authority to do that. So they’re saying it explicitly and of course the Chief Justice said explicitly when this came out and when these protests started. He says we will not be bullied we will not be intimidated. I mean these are strong if these, if these men and women weren’t strong, they wouldn’t have gotten on the on the court in the 1st place. I don’t think any of them on either side is going to change their mind about this decision simply because of these protests. I think it does say a lot about the other side. Just think about this for a moment, they’re always saying to us, well Roe is the settled law of the land. I mean most people agree with us they would have us believe they agree with us you know, they won’t want Roe to go away, They want abortion to be legal, etcetera, etcetera. These are their talking points all the time well, if they really believed that, what are they worried about? Why are they panicking and going frantic in front of the Supreme Court, in front of the justices homes at churches? You know, why are they acting like the world is falling apart if they think everybody’s with them. So the fact is they don’t really believe that because the people aren’t with them, but they’ve been able to get away with abortion on demand because they were handed it on a silver platter by roe V Wade short circuited the democratic lawmaking process that we have in this country, which is painstaking. It takes time it’s a lot of back and forth you got to lobby people. You got to elect them in the 1st place. You got to work with them you’ve got to give and take and that’s a mature process for mature Americans. These people for that are for abortion are they were handed this on a silver platter. They didn’t have to go through the lawmaking process of persuasion and debate and lobbying. And therefore, when they see it slipping out of their hands, when they see that silver platter being now taken away from them, and the court is saying be an adult, go over there, talk to your lawmakers and persuade them that abortion on demand is a good idea. They don’t know how to engage that process. And So what do they do? They react with a temper tantrum, like a spoiled child who’s being deprived of what he or she wanted. And that’s, you know, that’s what we’re seeing unfold before our eyes.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah that’s like good description of like that bully ish the bully ish kind of tactics that they’ve been trying to like that mob mentality or yeah well we yeah so well I was talking with one of my friends recently and he was thinking with the power being returned to the states. Actually one thing that he what you had mentioned in a previous video, you said more so than it going from the federal level to the state level which it is more importantly it’s going from the power is being returned from the courts to the legislative body.

Fr. Frank Pavone :

Can you speak?

Jacob Barr :

Speak to that scenario.

Fr. Frank Pavone :

Yes, the Constitution in the first three articles of the constitution established the three branches of government and they’re supposed to be Co equal the first article deals with Congress, the second article deals with the executive branch, the president and so forth. And the third deals with the courts. Now the law making all law making authority is vested in the Congress on the federal level, in the state legislatures on the state level. That’s where, you know, we have, for example, let’s talk about Congress in the House of Representatives. You’ve got these members as being elected every two years now that’s a that’s a short term. They get elected to Congress, but they’re only going to serve for two years and they got to get elected again. So in a sense, they’re always in election mode. But we should see that as a good thing, because the reason our founders made the term so short is that reminds them and it reminds us that they work for us. They’re accountable to the people they represent and therefore the people they represent, if they don’t like the way they’re representing them, can vote them out of office. Now notice how for a judge on the federal level, it’s exactly the opposite. They don’t have to deal with elections at all. They get appointed, and if they’re confirmed, they serve for life. Now why is that so different you got the Congress being elected every two years. The judge or the justice serving for life. Well, because they’re not supposed to be political. They’re supposed to be independent. Their opinion on policies isn’t supposed to matter because they’re not making policy. They’re simply judging whether a law in a particular case or controversy does or doesn’t correspond to the Constitution, because constitutional law is higher than statutory law. And they have to judge if there’s a conflict or not. That’s it they judge. They don’t change the law. The if they judge that a law is unconstitutional, they can communicate back to the lawmakers and say, hey, listen, you guys need to change that law before the state can enforce it because it’s not constitutional, OK? So they have just the power of judgement. What’s happening here now with the abortion issue, what Roe V Wade did was it took this issue and it gave it took abortion and it gave it a special constitutional status by saying it was a constitutional right. Therefore it took it out of the legislative process because you can’t legislate away constitutional rights. You can’t do that. So again, because of what we just said, laws have to correspond to the Constitution. So what they did was they took power away from you and me because we can’t sit down and lobby a Supreme Court Justice. We can’t vote them out of office if they’re going in the wrong direction. It’s like so how do we change this? And the fact of the matter is we don’t. And this has what’s been has frustrated the American people who care about this issue, particularly on our side because again the other side was given everything it wanted by the court. And meanwhile we’re sitting here saying, well wait a minute, this was doesn’t represent what’s what we were supposed to govern ourselves this doesn’t represent what we believe. So now what the Dobbs decision looks like it’s about to do and what pro-life groups and the state of Mississippi have asked of the court to do? Please put this back in the hands of the lawmakers. The briefs in this case are beautiful. Hundreds of members of Congress authored A brief saying reverse row and give us back the power to do our jobs when it comes to abortion that is to make the law. Hundreds of state legislators signed on to a brief saying the same thing. Give us back our job, let us do our work relating to abortion. And so the power is being returned from the judicial branch which should have never usurped this power in the 1st place to make law from the judicial branch is being transferred back to the legislative branch. And this has implications well beyond the abortion issue. It goes to the very understanding that we’re supposed to have of the roles of these different branches of government and I’m convinced we we’ve lived so long with judicial activism, the courts making laws that many Americans, I’m talking about good sincere, patriotic people have lost an understanding of the way it’s really supposed to be. So this Dobbs case, if it goes the way we think it’s going to go, can really help us across the board on many issues to get a balanced and accurate understanding of how the courts are supposed to work vis A vis the legislators.

Jacob Barr :

So and yeah that’s enough. Yeah so essentially if it just feels like that’s another example of well the courts making essentially what looks to be like a law but yet it’s supposed to be giving out a ruling over law and in that in the draft it spoke about how the word abortions not mentioned the constitution and then it pulled it out of the rights of privacy which is also not in the constitution they pulled that other areas like maybe from here, but if that doesn’t work we got these two other options and.

Fr. Frank Pavone :

Yeah, it was like they weren’t even sure they said, oh, this isn’t the Constitution, but well, yeah, it could be here, it could be there we’re not really sure but it’s there you know.

Jacob Barr :

So like the person that challenges us, we would like them to do the homework of.

Fr. Frank Pavone :

Figuring it out. Exactly and you know there are rights i mean, for example, you and I have the right to travel i travel all the time on this mission and everybody travels with the right to travel. You can’t find that in the Constitution. We, you know, we have a right to raise our children you know, that’s not there. So there are certainly rights that are protected rights that are not explicitly named in the Constitution but in those cases, and the opinion goes into this in quite a bit of detail, you can always find those things, those rights rooted in the history and tradition of the country, state laws, constitutional decisions, court decisions. You can see it in the history of the country. So Justice Alito says, well, do we see in the history of the country a constitutional right to abortion? And he says absolutely nowhere do we see that until Roe V Wade came along in the mid twentieth. Century so it’s like, where is this coming from? It’s not in the text it’s not in the structure it’s not in the history and traditions of the country it’s nowhere. Now, like you said, the other side will say, well, you know, it derives from this or that. Some will say privacy. Others will say liberty. So the fourteenth Amendment says that the state may not take away our liberty oK, that sounds good. But what does liberty mean? It’s easy to think liberty means whatever we want to do and but it but you have to be very careful and the courts have to be very careful not to give it meanings that it that it doesn’t have. And this is what has happened over the years. There was a case in which the court had to reverse itself where there was a famous case out of New York where an employer was having an employee work beyond the state’s limit on the number of work hours. It’s called the Lochner case. And the court said, Oh well, there’s a liberty there, a freedom of contract. So they struck down the law that limited the work hour week to 60 hours. Well, some years later, the court had to reverse itself and say, well, wait a minute, We can’t be finding this right to contract, which is nowhere in the Constitution, and make it just, you know, ignore the laws that are on the books in various states, whether it has to do with work hours or minimum wages or various other things that had come before the court. So this is a similar case because under that same fourteenth, amendment under that same provision for liberty, the other side is saying, oh, well, there’s a right to abortion there. And again, what Justice Alito in the Dobbs case is saying is yeah, where? It’s not there, and it’s not consistent with our history. Not only is there no constitutional right to abortion in our history, but we see just the opposite. At the same time that the fourteenth Amendment was being adopted, the states were prohibiting abortion, 3/4 of them prohibited it throughout pregnancy, and then more followed afterwards. So it doesn’t make sense that a state at the same moment is passing vigorous laws prohibiting abortion throughout pregnancy and at the same time ratifying an amendment that purportedly allows abortion throughout pregnancy makes no sense. So it’s a very strong historical argument in this particular document.

Jacob Barr :

So, yeah, so this one of my friends, Jeremy, he was talking to me recently and he was wondering if anything will really change when it comes to Roe versus Wade being overturned and the and the, you know, the you know, simply the law or the governing law being returned to the States. How would you what change could we, You know what are your thoughts on the change that comes from Roe versus Wade being overturned?

Fr. Frank Pavone :

Well, you know as you said earlier, the reason that i’m careful about the phrase it’s returning it to the states is because the battle has already been in the states. You know, that’s how we got this case in the 1st place Mississippi passed a law. And what you’ve seen happening over these 50 years since Roe V Wade is that many states have passed many laws. So the work has been done, the conviction and will of the people has been expressed, the laws have been passed. What has happened however, the court put a roadblock to the enforcing of the laws. She got plenty of laws on the books around the country or tied up in court that are protecting the unborn and the court said no you can’t do it. You can’t protect the babies before viability and we can discuss that more but that was the boundary line that the court put in the in the way of these laws taking effect. So yes, there would be a very significant change even without much work being done. In other words, if this ends up being the final decision, Roe V Wade plan, plan power versus Casey, go away. Some things will happen right away now legislatures may have to take, some will have to take some formal action to make this happen but it’s not like you got to start from scratch because as I say, a lot of these laws have been made already. And now what will change is they will be allowed to go into effect so Mississippi, if they drew the line at 15 weeks, now, it’ll actually go into effect and abortions will not be permitted beyond that point. Similarly, a lot of other states with a lot of laws protecting babies before viability, now they go into effect. And then once that roadblock has been taken away, the many of these legislators will be motivated to pass new laws that protect these babies knowing now that there’s not a roadblock in the way. Because a lot of times when I’ve worked with these people over the years, you know, legislators will say or even pro-life groups that work with the legislators. They’ll say, well you know it would be great if we, if we pass this kind of a law in our state because most of the people support it. But knowing that the court would strike it down, they didn’t even try because they said waste our time and effort and money and what not. Now some places they did try and again they pushed back against the courts and that’s how we ended up having these cases. But a lot of them didn’t even try. You take that roadblock away and people are going to be like, OK, now let’s go you know, now this is like phase two of the effort to protect the unborn. Ultimately we have to protect all the babies in all the states. And ultimately, you know, the final goal is a constitutional amendment saying that these babies must be protected. But in order to get to that, you have to obviously take away this obstacle in the form of Roe V Wade saying it’s a constitutional right to an abortion in other words, we’ve got to flip it to be just the opposite.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah So Roe versus Wade from what I, if I, if I’m memory searching correctly was January twenty second nineteen, seventy three so. We’re currently forty nine and a half years after that date and so we’re in the fiftieth year like this is. What are your thoughts on the year of Jubilee or that might, how would you reflect on that idea?

Fr. Frank Pavone :

That’s a powerful, powerful reality that’s happening in front of our eyes because in the Scriptures that God decreed that there should be a year of Jubilee every 5050 years, freedom, remission of debts, forgiveness, sort of hitting a restart button in a good saying, OK, we’re going to wipe the slate clean everybody because, you know, human nature demands that happen every once in a while because there’s no way for us to completely clean up our mistakes or pay our debts there’s got to be built into the system of living in our world and in our society and in this frail human existence. A way to say, you know what, let’s just start again. Let’s forget about the deaths of the past. This in a year of Jubilee i mean, we have to set the unborn free. And this could be a big step in doing exactly that. So it really is, you know, a spiritual dimension of this whole thing that’s unfold to say that, wow, this is going to happen just about exactly 50 years after. And when you think about the, you know, then because Dobbs will come down, let’s say it comes down, I mean, it’s going to be sometime in the next few weeks. It’ll take the legislature’s you know, a few months at least or they’ll, you know, they’ll depending when they have their sessions. It will be 50 years by the time these laws now start going into effect, as we were describing a moment ago. Interesting biblical perspective, so.

Jacob Barr :

I was talking with Drill Godsey on a podcast and we were trying to figure out like you know, how precise is God on the fiftieth. Year and he pointed out to me after the podcast that when a baby is born that first 12 months is the first year of life and then when they on their first birthday, then they turn one and they start their second year so we are in the fiftieth. Year and I was just thinking while you were talking that the draft was written in February, which would have been in the first month of the fiftieth. Year and so we’re and so right now we’re currently 49 and a half but this is the fiftieth year of life and in the fiftieth will be at its completion on January twenty second of next year so we’re currently, yeah, about six months and.

Fr. Frank Pavone :

Then that’s when and that’s when a lot of the state legislatures will be starting up again. Their new the elections are in November and usually all these legislators, including the US Congress begin at the beginning of January. There’s another connection with the 50, which is the oral arguments in the Dobbs case were held in the Supreme Court on December 1st. Do you know when the first oral arguments were in Roe versus Wade, December thirteenth nineteen, seventy one, So it was almost to the day 50 years in the oral arguments in Roe and the oral arguments in Dobbs.

Jacob Barr :

Wow yeah, it just feels like God’s got a lot of fingerprints, ’cause it just the 50 year reset just has such a biblical spiritual layer to.

Fr. Frank Pavone :

It does. It does.

Jacob Barr :

So what is what is a post? Well, before I go to what does a post row world look like? What it was? What are you? What are your thoughts on what’s going to happen in this transition stage that we’re currently in where the draft being leaked, which is dangerous and unique and 1st a first time at some levels or first time at any levels and that’s in the decision of Roe, Like what is this, what do you think this time span looks like while we’re currently in this, you know, transition stage of, you know, the decision becoming public and final and like what’s this look like?

Fr. Frank Pavone :

Well, it’s first of all it’s helpful to us to digest the decision because even though this leaked document is not the final official, I don’t think the final official is going to be very far from it. Which means that we’ve had a chance now to really digest the argumentation in the document before it becomes official. So that when it does, we take a look at the decision obviously we say, hey, this is pretty much what we saw already, let’s go with it and we’ll be better the whole movement will be better equipped from day one to educate our fellow citizens about it number two In this interim period, you know we have to be speaking loudly in support of the justices, their safety and their protection from intimidation. Because the unfortunate thing, and one could easily understand how whoever the leaker was would see this as an opportunity to introduce this pressure and intimidation before they make their decision official. We’ve got to insist that this is not the way we operate in America. This is not the way our court system is designed. We need to defend an independent judiciary and independent means. Like we were saying before, they have lifetime appointments for a reason. They don’t face elections because they’re not supposed to be facing political pressure. It’s not supposed to be part of their equation. And so this is a period of time that is unprecedented. And like I say, I mean the other side does pressure the justices anyway they would have been pressuring them and we’re pressuring them even absent the leak. But the leak intensifies all of this and unleashes more of this notion that, oh, let’s see if we can get one of them to change their mind. And we’ve got to be speaking strongly against that during this period of time. But it’s also a period of time where, you know, I mean, it was such a mixed, mixed bag of emotions when this happened on May second because on the one hand, you’re sort of insulted and distressed that the integrity of the court and its processes would be treated with such disrespect by this leaker. But then you look at the content of what was leaked and it’s like jubilation it’s like, Oh my goodness, it looks like they’re going to give us everything we ask for and it it’s i must say as a as a pro-life leader that been working for this full time for 30 years, you can’t but jump for joy at the at the expectation that this is about to become a reality. So it’s a strange little period of time that we have here. And i hope that these i mean, I don’t think the process of the court should be rushed or short circuited in any way. But I hope they’re almost done with their work and get this decision out there and put this strange period of intimidation to rest and let’s just deal with the actual decision.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah, it when I when I first started praying for abortion to end and Roe versus Wade to be overturned, I don’t know, maybe it was less than 20 years ago, but i honestly did not know. I was thinking my kids would see it someday or my grandkids i didn’t i didn’t see a pathway for it to be overturned in my lifetime but.

Fr. Frank Pavone :

I’ll tell you what you’re making a good point because you know when I was I mean I’ve been speaking over all these decades on this issue and there were you know there were times when it looked like wow we really have a clear path to doing this. And there were other times when it look just the opposites like you know we know what’s going to happen someday but we’re certainly not on the track for that now. But I but I’ll but I’ll tell you and my talks are all out there you know over these over these decades. I always said to people we will see the victory in our lifetime, and this is not it wasn’t because I saw things moving necessary in that direction every time, politically or legislatively. Many periods of time they were going just the opposite. But here’s what I did see and what we all need to see. No lie can live forever. The truth of the pro-life position has always been advancing science has always been advancing the ultrasound technology, the reality of the unborn child. What else has also been advancing the awareness of people that abortion hurts. One of our big efforts is the Silent No More campaign, where those that have had abortion speak out and tell people how terrible it is. They also tell them about the healing and forgiveness that come in Jesus Christ and in the Church. So those voices have consistently, since the time of Roe, gotten louder and louder. Researchers have constantly been developing, without ’cause, the evidence, scientific evidence of the damage abortion does to women, to men, to relationships, to the family, physiological, psychological. All this evidence has been piling up. What else has been happening young people have become more and more pro-life so we see over these decades in the statistical trending of, you know, what do people think of abortion? Well, young people have been more and more pro-life because they realized they were in the womb. And, you know, it’s a strange, I don’t know what it’s like personally, but it’s got to be a very strange experience to realize one day, wait a minute, I wasn’t protected the law did not recognize me as a person. Roe V Wade says the word person does not include the unborn. So if you were unborn at some point after Roe V Wade, you realize I wasn’t considered a person under the law. Oh my goodness you know, that has a tremendous impact. So young people, in speaking up for the unborn now in a very real way, are Speaking of for themselves. All of these dynamics that I’ve mentioned, the science, the culture, the experience, the pain, the research, just the truth of the pro-life position that has gone on unhindered there’s nothing the other side can do to stop that. They can try to hide it you know, like with the research, pro abortion publications won’t publish it, Pro abortion universities won’t allow presentations i think that they’ll do all sorts of tricks, but they can only do that for so long. You can’t hide the truth forever they said this in the civil rights movement. Martin Luther King Junior said it. No lie can live forever. So that’s why I’ve always been confident along the way i said to people, you mark my words, we will be celebrating the victory and in our lifetime. Because then you look at big mistakes that the Supreme Court has changed in the past. One of the biggest ones, separate but equal, right the segregation decision under called Plessy versus Ferguson that was decided in 1896 The Supreme Court reversed itself on that point, recognizing that separate but equal wasn’t really equal it was harming a people by separating them that way. But they didn’t reverse it until 1954 That’s 58 years. So I always said to people as we were, we were looking ahead, you know, someday Roe V Wade is going to be reversed. I said to them, you know, I said just keep in mind we are well within the historical window of time for the Supreme Court to reverse very erroneous decisions. Not that there’s any official window of time. It could theoretically be longer, but it took them 58 years to reverse the separate but equal. And now it looks like it’s going to be just shy of 50 for the for the Roe V wade wow.

Jacob Barr :

So and it seems like the prayer that pro-life people in general you know we could we could all share and crying out to God in would be for these lies to be exposed and for the truth that continue to shine through and to remove the power you know remove the impact that these lies are having on people and for these just for the for the false beliefs to be exposed as you know essentially for the power to be removed from the false beliefs and there’s so many false beliefs layered upon layers of false beliefs involved with abortion. And I and I and I feel like for a lot of things connect you know saying this is similar to slavery is a dangerous place to go but when it comes to abortion and comparing it to slavery I feel like there is like that’s AI feel like that’s a good comparison to make because of saying that someone is only 3/5 of a person or saying someone’s not a person until you know a few weeks later like these are very similar arguments of dehumanizing a population. What are your thoughts on slavery and abortion and?

Fr. Frank Pavone :

It’s such a fundamental question that on the Supreme Court itself, as many of our listeners know, are 4 words, right emblazoned across the top of the building. Equal justice under law. And that’s what these issues there are certain issues that arise in our history that go right to the core of that equal justice under law who is a person in our society? Whom does the political community welcome, accept, protect. Who is the bearer of constitutional rights? The questions about our political life don’t get more basic than that. And so when a whole segment of the population is excluded from equal protection under the law, and we seem to keep falling into that mistake, and we did it with the slaves, eventually and painfully, a correction is made. A correction. Constitutionally, we recognize this does not. This policy does not conform to the Constitution. And as you were saying, a correction spiritually, a correction in our in our the understanding of our mind and in the attitude of our soul. And the correction is going from an attitude of exclusion to an attitude of inclusion. I quoted earlier that one of the core sentences in Roe V Wade is. The word person does not include the unborn. And now what we are saying is, yeah, it kind of needs to include the unborn. The court isn’t going so far as to say the unborn are persons who must be protected, but it is saying there is no constitutional basis for excluding them from person and that certainly is a major step in the right direction. So the similarity is very simple are some people being denied their full personhood? The answer is clearly yes in both of those cases.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah, I’ve been seeing a lot of arguments made for the, you know, the reason for abortion is because the child is unwanted. The, you know, the situation is making it so that an unwanted person’s more likely to do certain things like, you know, commit crime or something like that. And I feel like the counter argument to that is I remember and I don’t, I don’t know the exact quote, but I heard that Mother Teresa said something like send them to me. And it’s almost like a way of saying, you know, if you know for the unwanted babies, send them to me if you know, and i will take care of them. Can you speak to that quote or do you know that quote by chance?

Fr. Frank Pavone :

Yes well, I knew Mother Teresa and I was able to talk with her many times about abortion. When I first took over priest for life, I went over to Calcutta and spent about a week with her. And she and I talked about that, you know, and she said she had just given when I visited with her it was 1994 She had just given the prayer breakfast speech in Washington in February of that year. I was with her in June and she said in that speech she said you know, give the child to me. We teach the mother to love so that she doesn’t have the abortion and we help her and her baby to find life. The welcome that she is showing really informs the pro-life movement because the bulk of the time and energy of our movement, even though we’ve been discussing courts and laws, the main focus of the movement is help and hope. Reaching out and saying to these imams, we will help you. Now Mother Teresa told me an interesting story, because not only had she just given the prayer breakfast speech in February of 94 but then in three months later, President Bill Clinton at the time signed into law a bill that made it a federal crime to blockade, peacefully blockade the entrance to an abortion facility, as many people were doing in the rescue movement. They were saying, oh, we’re not going to let the abortionist and the and the, you know, reach this mother and this baby to kill the baby. I explained that law to Mother Teresa because not only did it prohibit the blockading, but it said, you know, you can’t approach a woman physically and you know, kind of intimidate her from going in to get this so-called health service. You know what she said to me she had, Father, if we had that law here in India, I would have been thrown in jail many times because I go to the places where they do the abortions, I take the mothers by the arm and I pull them away. That was funny to imagine that cause Mother Teresa was very small, very short. Imagine her going and pulling these girls away from the abortion facility. But she said she does that, she did that. And she said the reason is, you know, we’re we want, we want to help them. We will take them to our communities If they can’t raise the baby we’ll keep the baby ourselves and we’ll make sure that baby is loved and raised and cared for and ultimately adopted and taken care of. So it’s the heart and soul of the pro-life movement, isn’t it that we go out and we and we show that love that is unfortunately lacking in the hearts of many because of fear and despair. It’s not because of freedom of choice. It’s because people feel they have no freedom and no choice. And that’s why we have to stand up and say, look, I’m going to replace your despair with hope. And that hope is shown in the pregnancy centers. It’s shown in sidewalk counseling. It’s shown when we just speak up and say to people, you’re not alone, you don’t have to do this. And that’s at the heart of the pro-life.

Jacob Barr :

Movement wow, that’s such a beautiful picture of Mother Teresa. You know who may be small in stature but just amazing in her? Her love and care and reflection you know, her desire to reflect Jesus to people and pull them from essentially like, yeah, pulling them from the slaughterhouse.

Fr. Frank Pavone :

Into safety, Yes. Rescue those like the Book of Proverbs rescue those being dragged away to the slaughter i mean, she was doing that literally. And many people of course, do that literally when they sidewalk council. But with Mother Teresa, you know, so many people praise her, for she picked up the sick and the dying from the streets of Calcutta while she did that action for which she is so praised even by the secular culture was identical the identical action and spirit with which she fought abortion, for which the secular culture would not praise her and in fact, which they oppose. But we understand it in the Christian perspective as being the very same thing. The same dynamic by which you would pick up a sick or dying person is the dynamic by which you would go and save that unborn child from death.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah, and I never, I never met Mother Teresa but I did i did spend a lot of time talking to Sister Paula and I think Sister Paula’s contribution to the pro-life world was in asking questions and directing people through kind questions and counseling and really just having this just this way about giving someone direction through helping them discover what’s going to be best for them and for counseling techniques.

Fr. Frank Pavone :

We miss we miss Sister Paula i was able to work with her on various things and speak at her conferences and yeah, she too was a pioneer, wasn’t she in this whole vision and mission of just reaching out, connecting we have to part of the success of the pro-life effort is in this word, connecting we connect with that mom like Sister Paula and Mother Teresa They knew so well how to do. You connect with that mom. You understand what she’s thinking and feeling. You let her know that you understand, and therefore you win her trust and enable her to take hold of that New Hope that’ll allow her to say yes to life. And then we can but we’re connecting too, with the baby and what so many people don’t do in our culture is allow themselves to connect with the humanity of the baby. When we see how the other side treats this issue, I mean, they talk as if this baby doesn’t even exist, you know, oh, we stand up i mean, some of the most pro abortion people in our society, they’ll say we stand up for the vulnerable. We stand up for the helpless. We’re in favor of human rights. We’re in favor of human dignity for all. And they’ll use that phrase for all, for everybody. And you got to look at these people and say, you know, you are, you have such a blind spot. I mean, if you’re not just deliberately lying, well, then the only other alternative is that you’ve got a terrible blind spot. It’s making you look like a fool because you’re saying, oh, we stand up for the, you know, the most vulnerable. The attitude is correct. You’re just forgetting to apply it to the most vulnerable, those babies in the womb. It’s like said, they just completely dropped them out of the equation. And that was why, as we go back to what we were saying at the very beginning of our conversation, the way the other side is reacting so frantically, Oh well, they’re taking away our rights. You think you’re the only person affected by this. Again, they just drop out of the equation from the first moment. The other person who’s involved here, it’s. I always say that when we look back on this period of our history, constitutional lawyers will have a lot to say about it. But you know who else is going to have a lot to say is the psychologists and psychiatrists as to how we so fooled ourselves into pretending that these babies don’t even exist.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah, because it’s so clear that they do. And people don’t just magically show up on their birthday, right? Nine months old.

Fr. Frank Pavone :

Exactly.

Jacob Barr :

And they’re already nine months old or so many months old.

Fr. Frank Pavone :

Right.

Jacob Barr :

It’s interesting that you said yeah, you were you reflected on Sister Paula as being someone who helped when it comes to networking and networking different groups together. When I was trying to process her passing and trying to think about like what part of the body of Christ which she most symbolized, what I what I was thinking was that she would represent like the veins in the body because she was connecting different people together. And I felt like that was, you know, in the body, You know, sometimes I think people are the, you know, the feet or the hands but I think Sister Paula was the vein because she was very much connecting and starting things and helping connect, you know, the right people with other people and really providing education to people and direction and all and using those questions as guiding, as a as a kind intellectual way of directing education to people who needed it, whether it was the pro-life teams or to a client who is looking, looking for abortion and she would use questions to guide that person into the right path.

Fr. Frank Pavone :

Yeah i like that analogy, as she very much was, that she very much played that role and she gave people an opportunity to do something for the movement, You know, the Volunteers for Life was my favorite aspects of her work and give people a chance to help show people that there’s always something they can do to help, no matter what their background is, no matter how young, how old, what their professional back skills are. The movement needs everybody and she really believes that.

Jacob Barr :

So there was AI feel like the opposition is trying to label the pro-life people as terrorists i’ve heard that word a couple times in some videos recently and or they’re throwing a lot of labels at us, you know marking us as dangerous or talking about like these bombings that took place. So I don’t know much about them, but apparently in the eighties or well before, I was not aware of much going on in this world but the pro-life world. And it just feels like the pro-life that you know, from what I know of the pro-life world is that it’s full of care. Jesus loving people who are providing, you know, who are kind loving. They’re sacrificing their time and energy and these labels, you know, I feel like they’re damaging, but they’re not I don’t think like I don’t feel like they’re full of truth i don’t feel like they should stick and I feel like they’re abusive.

Fr. Frank Pavone :

Well, this is how the enemy always tries to abuse. They make out just lie about your opponent, try to sneer them it’s exactly what they did to Jesus himself. It’s what they do to their political enemies it’s what they do to their enemies in the culture wars. And we it’s our living example that disproves this because you just look at psychiatrists have a saying, believe behavior. So if somebody is drinking vigorously from a water fountain and then in between gulps, they turn around to you and say, i’m not thirsty, and then they go back to drinking yeah. What are you going to believe the words are the behavior. You look at the pro-life movement we’re the ones running the pregnancy centers, which now outnumber the abortion facilities by almost 4 to 1. And we’re the ones that are, that are offering the actual help, compassionate help, both before and after abortion. So to call us judgmental or to call us violent, I mean the probably movements, the largest peaceful, most peaceful movement in American history and history vindicates us any kind of person of goodwill, any kind of intellectual honesty vindicates us. And we just need to continue showing forth who we are in Word and example, and have that trust that history is the Great Vindicator.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah and if only you know, with some of the lies that the abortion clinic say, like for example, with a lie that abortion’s only 3 % of what they do. So if by chance there’s a, you know, an abortion clinic or a Planned Parenthood in Texas and abortion’s only at 3 % of what they do, you know, why would they close with abortion becoming illegal? I mean, why wouldn’t they just do the 97 % that they already, you know? But obviously, you know, the issue is that, you know, abortion is the main thing that they do.

Fr. Frank Pavone :

That’s their main.

Jacob Barr :

Priority and they just try and de emphasize it they try and you know, I don’t know, it just, it just feels very sleazy the way they try and make it so it’s small, but yet it’s big and it’s small and they go back and forth, flip, flopping on how important it is to them. And it’s always like, you know, essentially I feel like they’re always trying to like, finagle their way out of out of a real conversation or debate and trying to just throw mud at the other side, trying to like, reflect and deflect any kind of responsibility.

Fr. Frank Pavone :

And they’re not being honest about what it what abortion is i mean, you know, if you if you only kill 3 % of the people you meet in your life, but it’s like you’re really going to justify that I only kill 3 % of the people I meet in my life.

Jacob Barr :

You don’t make great food, but it’s only 3 % poison.

Fr. Frank Pavone :

Yeah, I mean if you do it once, that disqualifies you that’s it you don’t merit any kind of support if you’re not repenting of what you’re doing. So it’s said now it’s a bit so it’s completely bogus kind of claim and it’s ridiculous and you know they got to start by being honest you know what is an abortion? And you know, why would you want to do even a single one of them? It’s just it just goes to show how shallow they are.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah, So in California there was. They’ve been passing a lot of laws recently that are very pro abortion, mostly financial laws to try and raise lots of money but one of the laws that seems to be the shocker law would be the one that says they can, going beyond partial birth and now going into what’s called the phrase perinatal, which according to California law is up to 28 days. But some people define perinatal as being up to one year after birth but the California law seems to lean closer to 28 days. Why this is you know. I don’t. This is a you know. What are your thoughts on this new space, this new attack, This what i don’t even have to call this?

Fr. Frank Pavone :

Well, think about the reasons that they say abortion should be allowed. I’m too young. Ok, so if the baby is born, are you still too young? I don’t have enough money to raise the baby so the baby gets born, you get through the pregnancy, the baby gets born. Do you still not have enough money? I have too many children already and I don’t have the support of a of a father, A husband baby gets born. Do you still have too many children now you have even more and you still don’t have the support. So in other words, if those reasons that they give would justify killing the baby in the womb, how do they not justify killing the baby once the baby’s born now peter Singer, he is an ethicist whose ethics aren’t so great, but he is a well known, you know, influential ethicist. And he said this there’s only two consistent positions that you can have in regard to all this one either oppose abortion or endorse infanticide. And you think about his reasoning, he said because the physical act of birth cannot be so morally significant to change the moral status of this being from a from a non person to a person why would just this journey through the birth canal make such a difference? He said if in fact abortion is justified, infanticide is justified too. Now you’ve been writing about this, there are articles in prominent medical journals defending post birth abortion. And again, it’s very simply, you know, choice over life. If choice predominates because with the development of science over these recent decades, it’s harder and harder for the other side to say, well, I justify abortion because that’s not a human being. When science makes it more and more clear, well that is a human being. Then if you’re going to consider, if you’re going to continue justifying abortion, you have to justify the killing of a little human being. Well, if you succeed in doing that, you prove too much because now you justified infanticide. And some of them are simply being honest enough to accept that conclusion. They’re saying, you know what, Yeah, I am justifying the killing of a little baby and I am justifying infanticide. And that’s why we see laws like this in California. And that’s why we also see the Democrats nationally have failed to support a law that a bill that’s been introduced in Congress. I mean, it’s sitting there now waiting for their support that would increase protections for babies who are born, who survived an attempted abortion now sometimes that happens, especially with these late term abortions they’re essentially deliveries and sometimes that baby survives. So what do you do then? You have a baby outside the mother it’s no longer an unborn struggling to survive. Do you intervene and give that baby medical help, try to help the child survive? And this law would strengthen those protections there are some protections, but they’re not adequate. Democrats don’t want to have anything to do with that bill. And it’s like, wait a second, this is more than abortion. This is an outright lack of respect for human life in its earliest stages. So yeah, we’re going to see and we’re going to see this more and more.

Jacob Barr :

And yeah, some of some of the other one of the other bills that was passed in California. So i’m in Arizona right between Texas and California and so in Texas. Well so in California there’s a bill that was passed that says if a if an abortion doctor in Texas has a house or a boat in California that their assets can be protected. And the Texan, you know, if they do something illegal in Texas, those assets are protected in California. And so this feels, you know, just the, you know, it feels like the California laws are being designed. To harbor illegal activity that’s illegal in Texas, but maybe not it’s not illegal in California, but it’s illegal in Texas. And they’re creating ways of like harboring you know, someone that does something illegal in one state and so the I’m trying to wrap my head around like what is that? That just feels very, you know, how can we remain the United States when we have one state who is literally trying to create laws that will protect illegal activity in another state, which is hard to it’s hard to sometimes like, I’m still trying to wrap my head around like, what does that really mean and what does that look like for our country as a whole?

Fr. Frank Pavone :

Yeah, this is a very good question because it brings up two sets of issues one, like what’s going on morally with that, and it shows this fanatical obsession with abortion. They don’t want to do a single thing to stop a single abortion or discourage it. They want to protect these baby killers. And these people are so all in for the abortion industry. They’ll tell, they’ll create laws like this. But you said why how can we remain the United States of America because this is now that if the court is going to rule to reverse Roe V Wade. So as we were discussing before, this is going to give the states freedom to do what Texas did and also freedom to do what California did. But that’s how we remain the United States in other words, that there are 50 state governments and they indeed have a certain degree of autonomy because Texas is not California, Alabama is not Illinois. The people are different and their values are different, and there needs to be certain common values uniting all of us but the values and the mores and the and the cultures and the beliefs, the political persuasions, are so different from state to state that if you’re going to have the union survive, if you’re going to continue to be the United States, you’ve got to have two things number one, you’ve got to have some commonality uniting everybody, but you’ve also got to have enough leeway for diversity between the states. I’m not saying it’s OK for a state to kill the unborn children. I’m saying that the existence of the independent legislatures and the ability to hash out these controversial issues on a state level i believe what we have to do is work towards the consensus of saying no abortion anywhere. But while we don’t have that consensus for the country to impose, for the court to impose a constitutional right to abortion, it works against see, now it creates this, now it creates this phenomenon where the people in California are going to try to influence what’s going on in Texas through laws like this, and it encourage, encourage illegal behavior. So it is an issue of how do we be the United States of America well, you know, you let the states decide a lot of questions. That’s what you do. And you allow that diversity without compromising on principle. You allow the diversity constitutionally to work itself out. The other side doesn’t understand this and they don’t want it.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah and it’s just and I do think it feels like well I’m hoping that we’ll have less rioting when Roe versus Wade is actually passed because people in California you know it hopefully there’ll be less writing in California because they are on the same page and hopefully there’ll be less rioting in Texas probably won’t be any writing in Texas because they’ll be on the same page and so whereas like when there was something going on at the national level it seemed like there was lots of rioting and the you know the mob like mentality But really in the I think in the end the opposition is they’re pretty they seem to just want to lash out and cause damage when they when they don’t get their way it’s sort of like just like a young child having a tantrum it doesn’t make, it’s not logical it doesn’t always align you know, it’s not like they’ve thought about it and they’ve if calm themselves down when they didn’t get their way, but it’d be really nice if there was less, yeah, less fires, less attacks when they don’t get their way.

Fr. Frank Pavone :

Yeah, exactly we need we need maturity to again they can still engage the process. I i’m saying, say to them, during these days make your case. You know, the court’s not taking away your opportunity to make your case, to prove, to persuade your fellow citizens, persuade your elected officials to keep abortion legal. The court would still be giving them the opportunity to do that we don’t see that as right. But you still have. What are you just getting so mad about make your case see but they don’t have a persuasive case. And This is why this goes back, again to what I was saying before. If the court just handed them abortion on demand on a silver platter like they did in Roe V Wade, they didn’t have to make the case. They just hid behind the judge. Oh, the court said this the court said that. Now you have to make your case and persuade the lawmakers to say it and to do it it’s going to be harder for them.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah, and I’m hoping that we can have more civil discourse with people with different opinions can they? We can talk about things in a civil way that’s friendly. We can use intelligence and logic and good reasons to and to and to be heard for both. You know, for people who don’t agree to hear each other possibly well, you know, eating lunch together and having a conversation about something that’s difficult and divisive, but yet doing it in a way that’s civil and friendly in a way that we can try and influence each other for the better.

Fr. Frank Pavone :

And I think this is one of the ways that Roe has poisoned our civil discourse. Because when you think about it, not only did it short circuit the process by taking it away from the lawmakers, but it also short circuited the process just in these common conversations between citizens. Because in the courts and in the legislatures, as soon as the court said, oh, it’s a constitutional right now, the legislators couldn’t legislate on it anymore. I think a similar thing happens in just ordinary conversation between American citizens because somebody says, hey, what do you think about abortion i don’t think it’s right. Can we have a conversation about this if the other person just then comes down and said, oh, it’s constitutional right, You know, it’s like that short circuits the conversation, just like it’s short circuits the legislative debate. And that’s not good for anybody. What you’re advocating would come more from a position of saying, all right, let’s not, let’s not just all this constitutional right, let’s truly do what the court took away from us. And that is way the way and balance the different interests that are involved and why are we saying this is good why are we saying that’s bad? And let’s hear each other out Because we believe on the pro-life side of course, that we have the more persuasive case. So if people give us a chance to be heard, that’s why we believe we’ll come out the right way.

Jacob Barr :

And I think with in the post row world we’re going to have several states on both sides of the of the aisle and I think we’re going to end up getting a lot of good conversations and some states will fall on one side or the other and then some states are going to be in the middle and we’re going to have a lot of opportunities for people to talk and have good conversations and hopefully be persuasive with their, with their ideas and logic and the and essentially to share you know, reasons and good ideas with one another in order to try and compete in the world of ideas more so than and just trying to yell someone down or trying to set something on fire to try and influence someone to be quiet.

Fr. Frank Pavone :

Well, you know, to ask certain basic, honest questions. What does the science say about the unborn child what do embryologists say about when human life begins? These are just questions. What impact the other side is always talking about or Women’s Health? What impact has abortion had over these fifty years on Women’s Health there’s plenty of studies. If you want to try to refute the studies, go ahead. But let’s start with the question. What do the studies say? Not what do Medical Association say? Because associations can end up taking political position. What do the studies themselves say? I mean, these are like basic starting point questions that should be able to lead to the kind of rational discussion that you’re that you’re talking about. And again they have to take place between individuals on a one to one basis and then also in the legislatures, so that the proper laws can be made well.

Jacob Barr :

Father Frank, I really appreciate your time and I really appreciate your passion for the unborn and for people in general or for all people. Would you Would you say a prayer as we wrap up this podcast for just for word, God leads you to pray?

Fr. Frank Pavone :

Yes, absolutely so, Lord, we pray for all our listeners and viewers and all those that are wrestling with this issue. We pray for our lawmakers across the nation on the state and federal level we pray for the justices of the Supreme Court and their clerks. We pray for the American people we pray for our nation. Or we pray for all women right now tempted to have an abortion for all pregnancy counselors. We pray for all those who have had abortions that they may find healing and peace. We pray, Lord God for all your people. Lead us out of the shadow of death and the culture of death. Lead us, Lord, to your Kingdom of life. We pray through Christ our lord.

Jacob Barr :

Amen amen thank you Father Frank