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A Conversation With Governor Greg Abbott

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
November 1, 2021 6:00 am

A Conversation With Governor Greg Abbott

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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November 1, 2021 6:00 am

Texas Governor Greg Abbott discusses current issues which have garnered national attention, including the Texas "Heartbeat Bill" which protects babies from abortion starting at nearly six weeks from conception.

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Christmas memories baking sharing stories with your family that's depicted in the play from Focus on the Family titled family traditions this story and paid by artist Morgan was a lively family kitchen scene will find a special place in your home and find out how to get a signed version of the special edition print@focusonthefamily.com/family traditions.

That's focusonthefamily.com/family traditions. We believe the pro-life policy with a part of those pro-life policies is promoting adoption so that every child can have a life but also providing adoption way that a child can go to lead a healthy, happy and fulfilling life. And that's exactly what we wanted to provide Texas Gov. Greg Abbott joins us today on Focus on the Family talking about some of the challenges that families face and how Texas seems to be in the center of our cultural conversation about families in so many ways your hostess focus Pres. and other Jim Daly and I'm John John were living in some incredibly turbulent time in these days and probably things are occurring that even a decade ago would not have been thought imaginable and that families are concerned about their children's education and safety in creating an environment for life.

There's a lot happening. Religious liberty is another issue. The state of Texas is very much in the national conversation on these topics and these issues and the governor of the state has been in the news a lot this past year really last couple years. In some tremendous ways and we have the privilege today to talk to the governor of Texas Gov. Abbott and we are looking forward to it. Apart from the government duties said there's also human side of this equation, and I'm honored to have the opportunity to visit with the governor about who is in that what he's learned over the years. Indeed and Doug Gov. Abbott has been in his role since 2014, he was elected the 48th governor of Texas then and prior. That was the longest serving Atty. Gen. in the states history is responsible for the ninth largest economy in the world which is really something to think about Mary to his wife Cecilia for 40 years. She's a former teacher and principal, the first Hispanic first lady of Texas and a daughter who just graduated from college and out today Jim were sitting in the governor's mansion in Austin Texas and Gov. Abbott.

Welcome to Focus on the Family going to be with you. Thanks so much and I might add them to the governor's mansion of the great state of Texas.

This is a beautiful home with his store call.

Let me start because some of our listeners that, especially those that live outside of Texas. Don't know your story and you have an amazing story, and I'd like to start there because you graduated law school you married your wife, Cecilia, and then had this tragic accident what happened what interestingly is a question I get so often because I'm on national TV a lot right and I'll go to different locations across the country.

People will meet me know say I had no idea you were in a wheelchair doing a wheelchair. As I said to get this question quite a bit across the country. What happened is my wife and I've been married for just over two years and moved to Houston Texas where I had taken a job to begin our career or letterwriting time exciting time in it.

When you're billing for the future and I was studying for the bar exam to be a licensed lawyer and I took a break from studying for the bar exam and went out for a jog. I was an avid runner and I was out running this particular day and an enormous oak tree fell as I was running and it crashed down into my back fracture my vertebrae in my spinal cord, leaving me immediately paralyzed and I was taken to hospital. I was in a intensive care unit for about 10 days as they were trying to figure out how to remove all these vertebrae fragments from my spinal cord which is very very difficult going through lengthy surgeries and then in a rehabilitation center for months.

And so it was a long recovery. I got serious.

It is a time when you really have to question life and a lot of questions are raised, but I'll tell you this. I was born and raised a Christian but we often do is we have challenges in life when our faith is tested and I call myself a boarding again Christian because it was during these times that I fully realized that the only pathway I had for the future. My life was by leaning on pricing and having my relationship with Christ be what would pull me through this most challenging time of my entire life governor, let me ask you this. You've lived at so many people are listening who have had tragedy strike them how did you get through that aspect of the old question why me Lord wife. So in that that is the question and I'm I'm glad you asked question the way you do because I know that there will be people who were watching who may be going to a physical challenge in emotional or family or whatever type of challenge they're facing and I would strongly urge them to learn the lesson that I learned and as we way is common to ask why me, but is important to answer, let God lead the way and if if you let God lead the way in and truly turn your life over to God. God will build a pathway for you there. There is a reason I believe everything happens and I have found meaning in the accident that I sustained recovery that I've been through the pathway that have been down since that recovery and what I found one have look back is every step of the way there was God guiding me every step of and what a wonderful example. You are of not letting those limitations curtail what you can do in this life and near the governor of one of the biggest states in this country and it's amazing to see what God has done through your faithfulness and in that's a good way to put it a bit because as we all know with with God, anything is possible.

Sure, and even a person whose life and body has been broken in half can rise up and be governor of one of the largest states in the world so we can we have today at the ninth largest economy in the entire world. That's a man that shows EQ can rise up and be the leader of the ninth largest coming entire world with God guiding you down that path was when the great examples of the many things this country allows to occur and let me let me get into some of the issues that you face every day is governor one of the things you're very pro-adoption.

You have an adopted daughter, and we do something to wait no more Focus on the Family the last 10 years is been working with foster adoption very proud of that thousands of kids been adopted through that program speak to that issue personally and as well as as a policy is a public policy matter, the idea of adoption so as understand the situation, the birth mother of our daughter considered.

Perhaps an abortion was really seeking discernment for the right path of what to do in her life.

In sheep, met got to know some people who were involved in crisis pregnancy centers in and she was led on the pathway of giving birth to the daughter that we adopted in summer so that I was ushered the first person to hold our daughter after she was born but it connects to something that we believe in. We believe in pro-life policies, but a part of those public policies is promoting adoption so that every child can have a life, but also reminding adoption way that a child can go to lead a healthy, happy, fulfilling life. And that's exactly what we wanted to provide the hunt. It's so good and those of us except the Focus on the Family along with the constituency we have in our weekly list listenership of about 7 million.

There's a big swath in this country that believe in life, believe in adoption believe in a better choice and recently signed the Hartley bill. You know it's been in the news. I'm sure just about everybody listening and watching knows about it talk about the strategy that if you can and then you what you are attempting to do. Signing that bill into law sure so a lot of the lead strategy behind this came from a person who is my former solicitor Gen. when I was Atty. Gen. of Texas that the strategy was twofold.

One we really wanted to pass a law that did more to protect life than ever before and I think that we can all agree we should all be able to agree that every child with a heartbeat should be's spared for the ravages of abortionists is that simple.

So from a policy perspective about setting life we want to make sure that a child's life would be protected. The strategy was one that did we know that that government enforcement of mandates like that would be more likely to be overturned legally and so we came up with a new enforcement mechanism and enforcement mechanism. By the way, this been around since the entirety of the United States of America in and that is it. If it provides third parties is called a TTM just to get into details and Scully acute him lawsuit work provides third parties the enforcement power is used to Medicaid and Medicare claims is using any type of false claims act against the federal government, and so it just imported into the enforcement mechanism strategy. This been used for well over a century in the United States when you look at it today is Monday were airing the program as oral arguments are being heard on this very case Texas cast if you were here before a Supreme Court justice. What would you say to them to try to persuade them that this is good. One thing the Supreme Court has said in the past is written in the past and abortion cases and that is states have the authority and the responsibility to look after both the health and safety of the mother and the child in this exactly what were doing.

We we continue to support the health and safety of the mother.

Through this law, but also we do more to promote the health and safety of the child. So this really does dovetail with what the Supreme Court has written in the past and that the reality is with the advancements of medicine. Children are being saved it earlier and earlier ages and this is the step the taxes taken is just consistent with the advancements that we've seen in medicine and the ability to protect children at the earliest of ages. It seems one of the missing ingredients has been the political spine to actually step up and defend these pre-born children. I think that's why the country is really rallying around you and other governors that have expressed such support for the pre-born child. So thank you sure about so many people as I'm traveling literally every day, and strangers will come up to me and thanked me for signing this law is that it Texas because it does send such a strong signal about the support in the reference when we have children which are so good in fact my wife sent me pictures and ask about that. It was a billboard in Colorado Springs and it was a bunch of puppies and I want to get this quote correctly it said on the billboard with all these puppies that Planned Parenthood was killing puppies instead of babies. Then, would you care I mean is, interestingly, it's a great eye-catching moment right that that may be our emphasis is on the wrong thing was, I think we just need to clarify the emphasis not because some people claim and argue that by focusing on the child. We are ignoring the mother is not the case is another way we strongly support all women, including women who are pregnant women who will be giving birth to a child and and we continue to do so in this law in Texas continues to pass laws to support mothers who do get pregnant who do give birth, but also we need to support the children absolutely and thankfully I know many pregnancy resource clinics right here in Texas that do an outstanding job of that helping them with budget training and job training and job placement and goods for their children, the cribs, the formula whatever they need and so along those lines it in the same time that we pass this bill. We also added funding interstate budget to provide more of those types of services and the magic question that it really irritates me. If I could say that when I get from reporters all the time as evangelical Christians. Why do you get so wrapped up in the Republican Party and I would say I think from my perspective, I say to them what was the last time you asked that of a liberal or progressive, that the candidate that they support actually puts forward policies that they can adhere to writing and I think is such an absurd question. I'd love for both Democrats and Republicans to be pro-life, profamily, pro-marriage in order to I think create a more stable culture for ourselves, but how would you respond to that that you know Christians being wrapped around a certain party. We identify with the policies that we like to live out right right me to look good can conversely socialists defined with a particular party. This is not the Republican Party in but there there is. If you would, and it was some tension between the those who are pro-life and those who were social suite. We believe that the family is the centerpiece of the United States of America and even bold about the right and so we wouldn't we naturally promote Pro family policies in children are a core component of that here in Texas.

You taken a strong stance on protecting children from ideological or radical ideas speak to some of those strong things you've done to try to get education back to educational and you said it well.

We need to get education back to education right we need it working to keep up in this international economy, we need to make sure that our students are learning the core principles of math of science and in the hard skills that he learned as opposed to the ideology that the educators are trying to indoctrinate our children now just give you couple quick examples, concerns, laws we pass in this we we see this effort to try to allow boys to participate in girl sports. That just makes no sense whatsoever.

Unless what we pass a law to prevent boys from participating in girl sports in the state of Texas. Can I ask you this, or is it so often hear the argument being mean-spirited that that down because that's not it. We care about everybody so I think is being mean-spirited to allow girls who have worked for years to be a state champion, only to lose a state championship to a boy competing against them of this is I should bring Pro girl Pro woman and in and as a father of a daughter. I support those very principles, but another thing that we been fighting against in the said taxes that were seen across entire country and that is this indoctrination through critical race theory is being taught in our schools. And so we passed during the regular session and injuring a special session, but I think is the strongest band on the teaching of critical race theory in the United States of America because it's in every grade is in every subject on it seeks to root out and eliminate any teaching of critical race theory schools. Let me ask you in that regard you're sitting in an incredibly important position as governor Texas. What is the big issue there with critical race theory. What is the threat to our freedoms. There are several. One is a key component of the teachings of critical race theory is the antithesis of what God teaches, the antithesis of what the United States was founded on.

Because what it does is it quicker race theory divides people on the basis of race, and then uses strategies to have them attack each other using race as the reason to attack each other. So, as opposed to uniting people is dividing people in it teaches the contrary of what Martin Luther King Jr. Thomas Meadows were to be judged by the content of our character, not the color of her skin that is so true.

It's the opposite of what Martin Luther King, Junior, Sheriff, that's right, which I think everybody aspired to. That's a good thing right. Let me move to the border crisis in Texas here at the epicenter.

I was able to go down to McAllen Texas and take a look at the border issues couple years ago and it seemed like things were reasonably under control, things of exploded as the governor. What do you see one of the concerns and again it's not that the dislike or you dislike anybody.

It's can we put this into a legal process on what in and so I'll expand on some key points that you made last year and a few years ago. The border was under better control that had been may be in decades, but this year is the worst it's ever been in us because of lawlessness is because the body ministration has promoted open border policies that have abandoned the rule of the laws passed by the Nazis Congress that established immigration system in the United States whenever our country leaders good on a pathway of abandoning the rule of law that is articulated by either Congress or by state legislatures. So chaos and chaos is exactly what we are reaping as a country right now because with the body ministration is done in this what I'm trying to correct as governor of Texas up with the largest border of any state in the United States.

I'm seeking to enforce the rule of law interstate to restore order and to get rid of the chaos, but also to restore public safety. We need understand this is more than just people who were seeking food and hard work in a better way of life of their cartel members. There are gangs there are very dangerous traffickers of the deadly drugs that no others.

All kinds of dangerous elements including people who are coming from terrorist base countries there's people, for more than hundred 50 countries across entire globe across our border somebody has to stand up and say we are going to protect the sovereignty of the United States of America governor that many people asked me this question which I can answer because I don't serve the public capacity like you do.

But why is he getting so difficult for people to agree on these things.

I don't care what letters behind her name, a dealer in Arnett.

I bit.

This is so self-evident that we need to protect the borders to have orderly immigration white people lost their way.

In this regard lies become purely politics because politics to become more polarized.

You do see this quite candidly, a socialistic agenda that these are policies that the Democrats all campaign up upon and is open border policies and is chaotic that they want to see America have open borders which is no immigration system in a country without borders is not a country is any country in the world do that no miscarry that this look look look at Israel. For example in in the way they secure the borders affect even look at Mexico on the way to secure this borders and so almost every country in the entire world.

They understand that what part of what makes in the country or the physical lines of their region and if we abandon those lines. We banner a country we embedded all the values that have been a part of our country since our very founding I friends down in the southern border military. They own property down there. They said the small town you bawled in other places are just getting overrun that it's diminishing their lives in people's houses be broken into.

There are a lot of branches down there at the ranch. Fences are being cut cattle, and livestock are being let out on this great destruction is by the sheer number. Just this year alone.

You been over a million people come across the border illegally, and in those numbers add up and that they lead to all kinds of challenges and all the border related communities, another a policy area is human sex trafficking you have been very strong. Texas is rated as one of the strongest states in the country getting a from our good friend Linda Smith from shared hope and they give every state a grade. I tried to do some things in our state of Colorado to improve the grade we took it from and after the D+ or were not quite where you're at, which Ryan and I I just think that's an amazing achievement for the state of Texas on your leadership.

What is capturing your attention in that area of sex trafficking. Why do you care so much well is something I got involved in why was the Atty. Gen. before became governor was very active in using the tools as Atty. Gen. to as a prosecutor to crack down on it, but since I've been governor with A Lot Of Laws That Continue to Crack down on Infective Session Assigned Nine Laws Cracking down on This Heinous Crime of Human Trafficking Because It Is a Depravity of Life Itself for Anyone to Be Trafficked or to Be Violated the Way That These Victims of Human Trafficking Are Being Violated in the Something That Pres. Biden, and in the Others Who Are Open Borders Need Understand and That Is by Enticing People to Come to This Country. They Are Enticing People to Go through the Horrors of What Human Trafficking Is All about and Many People Come across the Border Are Victims of the Human Trafficking Because of the Open Border Policies As Opposed to Having People Go through the Proper Asylum Process to Come to the United States Correctly Yeah and Again That's the Big Point Do It Orderly Do It Legally and I Think Everybody's Favorable to Write As TheyMay Pro Illegal Immigration State from the Very Beginning and Are Very Legal Ways to Do It. And People Need to Follow Those Legal Pathways to Governor, I Know You're on a Tight Schedule. Let Me Ask This Final Question and Is a Personal One, I Think, How Can We Pray for You and in That Context, What Keeps You up at Night. Would You Worry about Will First on Prayer Always Pray Pray for Health and Safety Mostly Pray for God's Continued Grace and Guidance We All Have God's Grace and Guidance.

Everything Is Going to Work out and so I Would When I Pray When I Go to Bed Is for God's Grace and Guidance and Knowing That Everything Will Be Just Fine. I Love That Idea of Wisdom. Solomon Prayed for That. I Think That's a Good and Anything Keeping You If If You If You Have God on Your Side. You Can Sleep Well. I like That Governor Habit. Thank You so Much for Your Time and We so Appreciate Your Leadership.

Truly, On Behalf Of Millions of People At Least the Focus Listenership so Thank You You All What a Great Conversation and I Hope You Been Encouraged by the Governor and His Stance for Biblical Perspectives on the Issues Surrounding Us.

One of Those Being Life. Jim Mentioned Wait No More. Let Me Also Make Mention of Option Ultrasound Which Jim Is a Terrific Program Sitting Pre-Born Babies Is Ending Almost 500,000 Babies Have Been Saved, John, and I'm Proud of That.

I Want to See a Million Saved over the Next 34 Years and I Think the Lord Will Smile If We Can Achieve That. I Think You Smiling Now, but You Heard the Governor Mentioned That Today Oral Arguments Are Being Heard a Right in the Supreme Court on the Texas Heartbeat Bill Those That Sell Abortion That Promote the Taking of Reborn Babies.

They Are Attempting to Squelch That to Turn It around to Overrule It. I Would Say Pray Pray Today for the Wisdom of the Supreme Court to Do the Right Thing and It's Possible. I Think That Life There Is Wind in the Sales of Life in This Country and That There's Been A Lot Of Effort from so Many Organizations and People and We Need Your Prayers Now and Also Obviously If You Can Support Focus On The Family with Option Ultrasound Would Really Appreciate It. It Only Cost $60 to Save the Baby's Life and I Would Encourage You to Consider Saving a Baby's Life Today Is Used Said Time and Again in the Halls of Focus.

Jim Million Alive by 2025. Join Us in This Effort to Save Every Babies Life That Can Be Saved through Our Option Ultrasound Program. You Can Do That by Donating a $60 Gift Call 800 the Letter in the Word Family or Click the Episode Notes for More Details. John, Let Me Say One Last Thing about Interviewing a Governor. I Don't Care If There's an Art or Deed behind That Person's Name. I Would Wish That Everybody Would Be Concerned about the Family Structure about Traditional Marriage about Children about the Issue of Taking an Innocent Child's Life When It Be a Better Country If Politically All Those Things Were Seen As Normal and That We All Champion IE I Is Not a Political Thing.

These Are Moral Issues in the Public Square and I Hope You Understand That Don't Consider Abortion Politics Abortion Is It Evil in This Country and in Moral Situation That We the Body of Christ Need to Correct in Our Culture. One Other Thing That Comes to Mind Is Your Opportunity to Stay Up-To-Date with Cultural Currents of Things That the Governor Has Addressed and Much Much More. The Daily Citizen Is a Service That We Provide and Find out All the Details about How to Get Updates in Your Email Inbox on a Regular Basis to Check out Daily Citizen and Also Make a Donation If You Can to the Option Ultrasound Program That We Have Link Is in the Episode Notes or Call One 800 the K and the Word Family On Behalf Of Jim Daly and the Rest of the Team Here. Thanks for Joining Us Today for Focus On The Family. Next, I Will Hear from Dr. Tony Evans about Having a Kingdom Marriage and Once Again Help You and Your Family. Thriving Christ. Just like a Warm Fireplace When It's Cold outside and Enjoy the Christmas Season Gives Comfort and Draws Us Closer to Loved Ones.

I'm John Fuller, and Focus On The Family Is Excited to Let You Know about Our Christmas Stories Podcast. Each Episode Brings Heartwarming Conversations to Bring Your Family Closer Together and Remind You of the Hope We Have in Jesus. You Can Enjoy That podcast@focusonthefamily.com/Christmas story that's focusonthefamily.com/Christmas


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