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Sharing Your Pro-Life Views Post-Roe (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
June 5, 2024 2:00 am

Sharing Your Pro-Life Views Post-Roe (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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June 5, 2024 2:00 am

Scott Klusendorf, President of The Life Training Institute and Robyn Chambers, Vice President of Advocacy for Children at Focus on the Family, share strategies and encouragement in the pro-life movement. They offer compassion for abortion-minded women and speak up for pre-born babies. (Part 1 of 2)


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Focus on the Family
Jim Daly
Focus on the Family
Jim Daly
Focus on the Family
Jim Daly
Focus on the Family
Jim Daly

This is Jim Daly with Focus on the Family, and I want to begin today's broadcast with an astonishing statement and admission made by comedian and talk show host Bill Maher about preborn babies.

John, that takes my breath away. On the one hand, I'm thankful that somebody of the left is actually saying it out loud now. They're admitting it. And Bill Maher has said a bunch of things that are true, and this is one of them. It is murder. That's what we've been saying.

We don't hate women. That's a concoction from those in the abortion industry. But every day in the U.S., about 3,000 babies die from abortion, yet we don't hear about it in the news. It's not a catastrophe. And there's a reason for that. People don't want to think about it or acknowledge what abortion truly is. And again, I won't agree with Bill Maher on much, but I do agree on that one.

It is murder. Yeah, and we believe every life is precious, and we're here to offer hope and some framework for you to better understand the pro-life position. Robin Chambers joins us today in the studio. She's our Vice President of Advocacy for Children.

And in a few minutes, we'll hear from Scott Klusendorf as well. Robin, thanks for joining us today. I often say you have the greatest job at Focus. You get to walk in every day proclaiming life in so many different ways with our adoption efforts, with Wait No More, our ultrasound program, with pregnancy resource centers. I mean, you've got to skip into work, I would hope. I come in here every day thrilled to see what we can do every day to save lives.

Yeah, that's awesome. And here's how I stated it a while back. We aren't where we want to be. We aren't where we ought to be.

But thank God we aren't where we used to be. When you look at the reversal of Roe v. Wade, which happened in 2022, the Supreme Court basically said it's going back to the states. The federal government does not have or should not have a position on this. There's no constitutional right to terminate the life of a baby. And Robin, this is the question I'm aiming your direction. On the one hand, it's been wonderful to hear of nearly 100,000 babies now saved in those states that have restricted abortion.

That's amazing. How do the those that support abortion fight with that reality that there are about 100,000 children now alive and thriving that would not have been here and to go against what that clip was saying that Bill Maher was saying the honesty of it. But abortion numbers are still too high and the problem isn't solved here at focus. The energy is pretty high for the pro-life movement. Obviously, the work's amazing. You mentioned coming in and skipping.

At least I did. The work of your team seems to never stop. What's the pulse that you're getting from around the country in the efforts to protect life?

Jim, I love that question. We often hear, is it hopeless? We've lost so many battles in the legislation recently. But when I talk to pregnancy centers, they are steadfast. They are firm and they are hopeful because their hope comes from Christ, not the government.

And so they are willing to step in even when it's really, really hard. Right after the Dobbs decision, we had 65 over 65 centers that were vandalized from pro-abortion activists. We'll call them that.

And those centers said, bring it on. We are here. We're not going anywhere. We are hopeful to save more lives. You know, Robin, one of the key things in all of this is this is not a political issue. This is a moral issue in the political square.

And for us as Christians to not grow weary, be bold, be kind, be loving, all those right things, those attributes of the Spirit of God. But be straightforward and truthful. When you terminate a baby's life like that, you are taking innocent life.

And that's the bottom line. So I would encourage people listening not to grow weary, not to shrink back, but to stay bold. Well, we're definitely encouraged like you, Robin, and I want to come back later in our program to hear more from you on Option Ultrasound, which I'm so excited about. It's such a great story. And talk about the pregnancy resource centers. So stick around if you could.

Absolutely. And right now, Jim, we're going to turn to a conversation that you had with Scott Klusendorf on your podcast, Refocus with Jim Daly. It's a great show, by the way. And we'll link over to the entire conversation with Scott. This is all about how we can touch hearts, how we can share with grace and compassion our convictions that life matters. And Scott Klusendorf has been on the show a number of times. He's the president of Life Training Institute. He challenges and equips pro-life advocates to really persuasively defend their views in public. Scott has written a number of books, and the one we want to highlight today is called The Case for Life, equipping Christians to engage the culture. Now, we've got copies of that here at the ministry.

Call 800-AFAMILY or check the show notes for all the details. And with that, let's go ahead and hear the conversation Jim had with Scott Klusendorf. Scott, welcome to Refocus. Good to be with you, Jim. It's good to have you.

I so appreciate and admire just how you do things. You know, it's very logic-driven. It puts a person to thinking about what they're trying to express, the pro-abortion person, for example, and really pushing them. And I'm looking forward to our discussion because I think, again, you just have so much ammunition, positive spiritual ammunition, to equip people to do a better job expressing the truth of God's word and the love of Christ.

Let's get into it. You were an associate pastor at one point, and a pro-life presentation was done. It really convicted you. What happened?

Well, that's a great question, Jim. I had been philosophically pro-life from the time I could remember as a teenager. There was never a time I thought abortion was okay.

Why do you think that is? That's a pretty amazing, mature conclusion. I think church upbringing, good parents, being around people who that was just a no-no. But here's the thing. Though I was pro-life in principle, I was not behaviorally pro-life.

I was not acting like abortion was intentionally killing innocent human beings. And when I was an associate pastor at a church in Southern California, the local pregnancy center director, God bless her, Lois Cunningham, badgered me and badgered me to get involved. And she called me up one day and said, Listen, we're going to have a breakfast for pastors, and there'll probably be a lot of other pastors there. Why don't you come, and we're going to have a great speaker. This guy was a former member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

It was her future husband, Greg Cunningham, but at the time they weren't married. And she invited me to come here, Greg. And I listened to Greg, and I thought, I really like this guy. He doesn't hurt the brain to listen to. I had heard some pro-lifers that were either too edgy, just kind of mean and forceful, and there wasn't a lot of compassion coming from them, and others that just gave bad arguments.

Well, this guy was very solid. He laid out a case for the pro-life view. But then Jimmy did something that fundamentally changed my life. He showed a short video depicting abortion. I had never seen abortion, and I sat there and wept, and I thought, I am no different than the priest and the Levite who passed by on the other side. I say I care about this, but I don't act like it.

And that day, I went home and I told my wife, I think everything has changed in my career. Bottom line, six months later, I resigned my position as an associate pastor to pursue how I might equip pro-life Christians to make the case. People have said to me in the pro-life movement that if the culture, if we were to somehow be able to televise an actual abortion, what a woman went through, that there would be fewer pro-abortion people, because it's right there on full display what's actually being done. Yeah, and we recognize this. You think about all of our listeners and the general public. They pay money to go watch films that are gruesome.

Why do they do it? Because they recognize these films like Schindler's List, Passion of the Christ, Hacksaw Ridge, Convey Truths. Words alone are powerless to convey. And the same is true with abortion imagery. And we're going to get into that over the next little while. We'll talk about all those issues and the arguments people make, and then the opposition and how they tried to convince pro-life people that we're wrong, etc.

We'll get into all that in a little while, but let's set some of the groundwork. Since Roe v. Wade was overturned in 22, the Dobbs decision as it's known, what are your observations about the cultural landscape here in the United States about what is changing, what's happening culturally? Even politically, I mean, there are some pro-life politicians that are pulling back a little bit, because it looks like those that believe in abortion are winning in these special elections and other places where it's the thing they've been campaigning on. So reset the landscape for us.

Sure. Well, overturning Roe was a good thing, make no mistake about it. Because prior to that, the federal courts had a chokehold on abortion policy. One branch of the federal government, the courts, said we alone will determine policy. And they literally shut out the executive and legislative branches. Which is not the way it's supposed to work.

No, not at all. So that's a good thing that we overcame that hurdle. Though it was a necessary win, Jim, it was not a sufficient win. We still have the cultural battle in front of us, and that's where we're finding challenges. I think a lot of pro-lifers thought now if we get rid of Roe and we get the federal courts out of the equation, it's going to be clear sailing from there. What they didn't realize is the public does not agree with us on this issue.

We don't have marketing problems, we have worldview problems. The reason people are voting for abortion is because they believe it's the right thing to do. So we as pro-life Christians have to be equipped to make our case persuasively to those people. And as you know, since Roe was overturned, we are I think 0 for 8 now in terms of... Right, that's what I was referring to.

Yeah, exactly. Every time this has been put to the public for a vote, we have lost. Even in red states like Kentucky, Montana, Kansas. In fact, in Montana, we couldn't even get voters to approve protecting babies who survive abortion procedures. In Montana?

In Montana, a red state, and here's why. The public was convinced that pro-lifers hate women and want them to die. And they are convinced that our worldview somehow is going to hurt women. So we've got a real worldview challenge in front of us.

Yeah, you know what's interesting with that connection? You look at the states that have restricted abortion like Texas and Florida and others, all to a varying degree. But Texas, I think now the number is somewhere around 70-80,000 children that have been born that otherwise they're estimating would not have been born.

Yeah, we've seen the birth rates go up in Texas. So in that context, I mean, how does a person with a straight face debate that they should never have been here? Yeah, that's the struggle we face is a lot of people, they literally have cognitive dissonance on this issue.

They will be abhorred at the idea that a woman could be driving to an abortion clinic, get an accident with a doctor that's going to perform the abortion, and they would think it terrible that he killed her fetus, where if he does it 10 minutes later in the clinic, it's no big deal. Wow, that's an interesting proposition. Yeah, so people are like, yeah, of course we support fetal homicide laws, but yeah, we also support a woman's choice to have an abortion if she wants one.

It's a very strange mix. It's a worldview problem. Yeah. Okay, we've laid a lot of groundwork for a little while here. So let's get specifically into the pro-life arena. In talking about a pro-life position, you've really boiled it down to one central issue, preborn boys and girls are human.

They have equal rights as other human beings. How does a conversation about life inequality begin with someone with a pro-abortion perspective? I like to ask questions.

I really think that can be very helpful. So I'll ask a person, do you believe each and every human being has an equal right to life? Everybody today says yes. They certainly want to say yes. So they don't know the trap is coming. So then I say, okay, fair enough.

I agree with you. If I'm able to demonstrate through the science of embryology that the unborn are one of us, would you agree they too have an equal right to life? Well, then the excuses start. Well, they're not self-aware. Oh, they don't have desires. They're not viable. They're too dependent. They're too small and all the things we always hear. But it is a trap because I'm trying to get them to think about consistency here.

They want human equality, but they aren't going to be able to ground it in anything that isn't arbitrary. Again, it points to logical flow, you know, what makes the difference. And you use an acronym S.L.E.D.

that you've used for years. And it's really a great and simple way for Christians or pro-life people to express a defense for the pro-life position. Let's move through S.L.E.D.

and talk about it. Well, we use S.L.E.D. to demonstrate that there's no essential difference between Jim the embryo and Jim the adult that would justify killing you back at that earlier stage. We don't use it to prove the unborn are human. The science of embryology does that. But we do use it to show that the differences don't matter. And here's why that is important, Jim. A lot of people today love to assert differences between fetus and newborn, embryo and adult.

But they never tell us why those differences matter such that we can say it's OK to kill you then, but not now. That S.L.E.D. acronym that Stephen Schwartz initially came up with that I modified a little bit helps us show people that those differences don't matter. So S.L.E.D. stands for size, level of development, environment, meaning where you're located and degree of dependency. That's what S.L.E.D.

stands for. And each of those represent a difference between you, the embryo and you, the adult. And we can see those differences don't matter. Look at S for size. You were smaller as an embryo. But since when does body size determine value? Shaquille O'Neal, the former seven foot two basketball player, is a foot taller than you and I. But he's not more human and valuable because of it, because body size doesn't determine value. What about level of development?

Yeah, you were less developed as an embryo. But why does that matter? And this is key because the pro-abortion philosophers, even in academia, never tell us why the things they pick out as decisive matter in the first place.

And too many Christians let them get away with it. And they can't define it. No, we need to call them out and say, wait a minute, why is self-awareness what gives me value?

Why is having a developed cortex what gives me value? You've got to argue for that. I could just as easily argue it's having a belly button that points out rather than in and be no less arbitrary than you are right now. They need to argue for it.

So level of development, yes, you were less developed as a fetus and as an embryo. But so what? In fact, I'd like your listeners to bring that phrase back into their vocabulary.

You know, they were great at it as a teenager. Mom and dad would say you can't have the car because your grades are bad. So what?

You know, I mean, you know, I don't know. The less developed argument. So why does self, why does development determine my value? A two year old girl is less developed than a 21 year old young woman. She doesn't even have a reproductive system yet that's developed.

Is she therefore a candidate to be killed because she's less developed? What about the environment where you're located? Now, I was with you, so I know this for a fact. You just walked about, oh, about 170 feet from a room off to the side of the studio into the studio. You changed location, but you didn't stop being you. If a journey of 170 feet didn't change you from one kind of thing to another, how does a journey of seven inches down the birth canal suddenly transform you from non-human, non-valuable thing we can intentionally kill to a valuable human being we can't?

The answer is, if you weren't already human and valuable, just changing your address isn't going to get that done. And finally, degree of dependency. Yeah, you depended on your mother. So what? Conjoined twins depend on each other. We don't slit their throats because they have dependency needs.

So if you look at size, level of development, environment, meaning where we're located, and degree of dependency, none of those four differences between Jim the embryo and Jim the adult is a good reason for saying, we could kill you then, but not now. Now, Scott, listening to all this, and again, yes, I'm a pro-life person, but I hear that I'm going, how could anyone argue against those things, against sled? What is it with the people that are so, man, so determined to allow the termination of the life of the baby? Why is it so foggy for them?

I think it's foggy for one key reason. Abortion is in their self-interest a lot of times, and that can take two different forms. It can mean they're thinking ahead to the future going, I may need this someday to keep my career path open, or it comes in terms of the past. They're thinking, I had an abortion, or I'm a guy who participated in one by paying for it.

I don't want to admit what this really is. Therefore, I'm not going to follow the argument where it leads. And some Christians look at that and they think, well, then why do we even bother with rational arguments?

I will tell you this. It's true that reason alone may not be sufficient in every case to win the day, but reason is a necessary condition, even if it's not sufficient. It was still necessary for the Allies to get their armies off the beaches of Dunkirk, even though it didn't constitute a sufficient win. They had to get their forces off the continent in order to reorganize them to fight another day in World War II. It didn't constitute a sufficient victory, but it was a necessary one.

Same idea here. Again, from our perspective, it's morally clear that you shouldn't take innocent life. And that is definitely taking innocent life.

You're exactly right. The Bible is crystal clear on these points. It is all humans have value because they bear the image of God.

That's your first premise. The second premise, because humans bear the image of God, the shedding of innocent blood is strictly forbidden. Exodus 23 teaches that. Proverbs 6 teaches that. Matthew 5 teaches that.

All right. We know from the science of embryology that from fertilization, the unborn are human beings. Therefore, the commands in scripture against the shedding of innocent blood apply to the unborn as they do everybody else. We don't need a verse that says thou shalt not abort. We got the clear teaching in scripture.

You know, it's interesting. I had never thought of it this way, but, you know, God chose to come in human flesh and chose to be a baby. So when you talk about being in the image of God, being made in the image of God, I mean, from the very point of fertilization, Jesus was both man and God. Our Messiah showed up at that point. So we are in the image of God in the womb.

Yes, we are. And that's a very good argument. That's a very good argument from scripture. You know, it's not just the fully developed adult. He didn't show up here as a 20-year-old. No, no.

He began his Messiahship in the womb as fully God and fully man. Exactly right. And that's Scott Klusendorf from the podcast Refocus with Jim Daly. Great conversation.

We'll have more next time. Right now, we have Robin Chambers in the studio. And Jim, she's our vice president of advocacy for children here.

She is. And Robin, I welcome you back here at the end. I appreciate what Scott was saying there, how we must show the culture that we love and care about women. I think that's just a lie that's put out there, that we don't care about women.

And it seems to stick, unfortunately. One of the biggest efforts you and your team are endeavoring to carry out is to give grants to pregnancy research centers to extend their hours to better serve women who are at risk. Tell us why that's important. With the abortion pill being so accessible, we found out that the highest call volume for abortion pill reversal, and yes, an abortion can be stopped, those highest call volumes were Friday and Saturday, and pregnancy centers weren't open on Fridays and Saturdays. So Focus on the Family has an opportunity to equip pregnancy centers for more hours to see more abortion-minded women coming in and serving them, literally at their moment of panic, and they can step in and offer life-saving choices. Well, what's so true about this, Robin, it's because people support the ministry. You know, people specifically that life is something they're concerned about, so they give a gift to Focus financially. We turn around and re-grant that to these centers to allow them to be open.

So thank you to all that are supporting us that way. I want to capture the heart of this issue on the value of human life and the incredible work that's happening at the pregnancy resource centers. We spoke to Amanda, a nurse working at a PRC in Rochester, Minnesota. Here's the story she shared. So for this mom as she came in, it just seemed like honestly she was coming in, could have been to get her nails done, like no emotion, just having a great day. I am sure she was hiding a lot of anxiety underneath the surface. But as I was talking with her and she had explained she'd already had an abortion and it didn't really affect her, it was fine. Just knowing that I feel some pressure doing the ultrasound, but knowing that God can work in that room. As we did the ultrasound, it was very quiet in the room.

It's a very somber and sobering time. And we just let the woman process everything that she's feeling. And initially she didn't realize all the things that she was seeing on the screen, what they were. And that's when she had mentioned, oh well, it's just a clump of tissue. And then as I proceeded to explain the baby to her and describe what we were seeing and her being able to watch the heartbeat, she just began to cry and looked at her and I said, are you okay? And she said, wow, that's my baby. And was just so one, amazed that it was her child, but then also grieving the loss of a previous child that she had aborted. And so a lot of mixed emotions for her and we definitely took a lot of time to help her work through those emotions. And we have followed up with her and she did deliver this baby.

So that is really exciting to be able to see that. I mean that comment, wow, that's my baby. Robin, that's what it's all about. That's why we do what we do.

And man, I don't know how to encourage you anymore. Jean and I support Focus specifically to help in life. We support it generally as well, but we do target some of our giving to help Robin and her team achieve this mission with Option Ultrasound. But explain it to people, Robin.

What do you do with those resources that come in? How do you intervene to help women and children? Every gift that comes in is humbling to me, Jim, because I know that there's life at the end of that gift. There's life for that woman. There is an ultrasound that changes her mind. When a woman says, wow, that's my baby, that's the gifts that donors give to us. There's options for her that include adoption, parenting. There's not one dollar that Pregnancy Center makes off a decision that she's making. We have the opportunity through our gifts that our donors give to us to speak live through ultrasound, to speak live through abortion pill reversal, and to speak live through adoption. There's so many resources for those women. And you know what's reality is Planned Parenthood gets about $500 million of taxpayer money to fight their battle, to secure a right for a woman to terminate the life of her baby.

The Christian effort gets no federal tax dollars. It's all us, guys. We're just doing this on our own, right? Supporting the ministry. We've done this for 20 years now, option ultrasound. So we've got the metrics down pretty well. We know it's $60 to save a baby's life. So that's what Jean and I do. We put $120 toward option ultrasound every month, saving two babies' lives a month.

We're excited about that, and we're grateful to be able to do that. But I want to challenge you to think about doing it, too, even if it's $30. But $60 is the target. And if you can do that, we have friends right now that are willing to match that donation dollar for dollar. So if you do $60, it will be $120 and save two babies. If it's $30, it'll be $60 and save a baby. So please, engage in this.

I mean, it's just maybe trimming a little bit, and we get it. It's sacrificial, but is there any greater thing to sacrifice for than the saving of a baby's life? I think this is close to the Lord's heart.

Yeah, I'd agree, Jim. And as you follow up on this conversation, get a copy of the book by Scott Klusendorf called The Case for Life, Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture. When you donate to Focus on the Family today, we'll say thank you for making a difference for life by sending a copy of that terrific book by Scott Klusendorf.

All the details are in the show notes, or call 800-A-Family. And while you're online, be sure to look for all the information about Sea Life 2024, which is an event here on campus at Focus on the Family, Saturday, June 15th. It's a wonderful opportunity for you to engage with the pro-life movement and to be better equipped to share your views in the culture. Now, you can join us here in Colorado Springs for the event, or you can watch online.

We have a simulcast set up, and you can see all the information there in the show notes. Robin, thank you so much for the work you're doing each and every day to help these women make the better choice, right, which is for life. And we'll hear more encouraging stories tomorrow. Thank you, Jim. And thank you for joining us today for Focus on the Family with Jim Daly.

I'm John Fuller inviting you back. We'll hear more from Robin and Scott Klusendorf, and once again, help you and your family thrive in Christ. The Focus on the Family Marriage Assessment provides a combined report that considers your individual strengths, areas of growth, and how unique people like you can better come together. To get started on your marriage assessment, visit That's
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