What’s Next for Pro-Life Legal Matters in a Post-Roe World?

Denise Harle: Hi, I’m Denise Harle, Senior Counsel and Director of the Center for Life with Alliance Defending Freedom, and I’m here with my colleague Kevin Theriot, also Senior Counsel on ADF’s Life Team. We’re here to talk about what the pro-life legal battle looks like in a post-Roe America. Kevin and I have had the privilege and the challenge of working on pro-life legal cases for many years, including helping states defend their pro-life laws, as well as helping defend the rights of pregnancy care centers, pro-life medical professionals, sidewalk counselors also. 

So, we’re going to be looking ahead today to what the future is going to look like after the historic overturning of Roe. We actually were able to serve alongside Mississippi as their legal counsel in the Dobbs case, and so have a little bit of an inside view into that as well.  

I think as we started this conversation, it’s important looking ahead to actually go back and look at what Dobbs did and said. So, you had an important role in that. Can you just hit the highlights and run through the Dobbs decision and what it said in overturning Roe?  

Kevin Theriot: Sure. It really was a privilege to be part of the team that helped get that over the finish line that people have been praying for 50 years and people have been working hard and long on. 

But it is amazing that we got an opinion that Justice Alito wrote that we, I don’t think that we could have done any better if we’d have written it ourselves. It is just fantastic. And what that opinion held is that Roe was wrongly decided, has been wrongly decided from the beginning. It was egregiously wrong and that the Constitution that does not create a right to abortion. 

And what the Supreme Court did in, back in 1973 in Roe is they actually fabricated this right to abortion. And but we know now, and we should have known then that there has never been a deeply rooted right to abortion in our nation’s history. And that’s, those are key words when it comes to the due process clause of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. 

And Justice Alito and a majority of the court said that just isn’t there. And it recounted the history and said that there just hasn’t been a right to abortion in our country. And of course, it’s something we’ve all known. But the initial opinion in Roe was, in some ways they were misled by the attorneys in that case. 

But the good news is that there is no right to abortion, and they were very clear in that. And that because abortion isn’t mentioned in the Constitution, it’s not an enumerated right, that it can be regulated just like any other medical procedure. And interestingly enough, I remember having that conversation with the legal team is, okay, we’re advocating for the court to overturn Roe. 

What test should we use? And that was a big deal because if any, if you follow abortion jurisprudence at all it’s incredibly confusing. They’ve manufactured these tests that are very unique to the abortion context and make no sense. And so, we had a lot of discussions about how can we come up with a test that maybe is an amalgamation of all of these other tests, but actually makes sense. 

And basically, we couldn’t come up with one. And finally, we landed on, we just have to advocate for the baseline constitutional test that they apply to any other medical procedure, and it’s called rational basis. And basically, the idea is if they have, if they, if the state has valid interests, and those interests are logically linked to the purpose of the legislation, then it’s upheld as constitutional. And the Supreme Court held in the Dobbs decision that there are at least six interests that the state has and regulating abortion. Let’s see if I can come up with all of them without licking my paper. I don’t think I can, but I’ll give it a shot. 

And one is protecting life from, human life, from inception. That means all through the life of the baby, even in the mom’s womb. Another one is protecting the health of the mother because abortion can be dangerous despite all the propaganda from the other side. And of course you, we all know that abortion can be gruesome and barbaric and protecting our society from the gruesomeness that comes along with things like dismemberment abortions and partial-birth abortion. 

The state has an interest in avoiding that and protecting as a corollary to that the integrity of the medical profession because when you start destroying life as the medical profession, that’s a slippery slope that can end up, it’s an analogy that’s overused, but it can end up like Nazi Germany, but where you just disregard life. 

And of course, I think the last one is our last two. One is elimination of pain because evidence, interestingly enough, evidence increasingly is showing that babies, even as young as 12 weeks old in the womb can possibly feel pain and respond to stimuli and protecting babies from pain. There’s clear evidence that it does, pre-viability. 

And then the last one, I’m not gonna get it without looking. Oh, prevention of discrimination based upon sex or disability or race. And the state has an interest in not only regulating those types of discrimination and prohibiting them in the world where we all are outside of the womb, but also in the womb. 

And there should be no difference. So, some broad array of interest that the Supreme Court has specifically said the state has and regulating abortion. And those are legitimate interests that can be justified in a court of law.  

Denise Harle: It’s so incredible to hear those highlights because it’s just a reminder of how amazing and strong that a majority opinion was that all of that you just described was in the Supreme Court official decision forever. It’s just historic.  

I think that, you also alluded to the fact that rather than trying to come up with some sort of compromise, the Supreme Court did the actual clean, correct, intellectually honest thing and corrected its mistake. That had led to more than 60 million unnecessary deaths of unborn children. So that’s exciting.  

You talked about a couple things that I think are important. One being the return to the people and their elected lawmakers. And then two, those general interests that states have in limiting abortion and protecting life. Can you flesh out what that looks like in practice in what we’re seeing happen in this next phase of the pro-life legal battle after Roe? 

Kevin Theriot: Yeah.So, really this just shifts the battle to the States. We were restricted in our state. Its ability to regulate abortion by this national standard that the Supreme Court imposed upon us in 1973 and some accused the Supreme Court of becoming a National Medical Board. That is gone now. 

So, the battle shifts to the states. In some ways that makes it much more complex because we have 50 states and the District of Columbia that we have to deal with on each of these, on this issue. And so that makes the battlefront larger, means the need for resources and people to engage is much bigger. 

But the good news is, it’s a lot easier for pro-life people to influence their legislators at the state level than it was to influence five members of the Supreme Court that are unelected. So we’re in a much better place, but it’s a much more difficult and complex place.  

And I think that there are several categories of laws that a lot of states are doing. One of the gestational limits law and those could be anywhere from heartbeat at about six weeks to 15 weeks like the Mississippi law that our colleague Denise Burke wrote that Mississippi enacted and was used as the vehicle to overturning Roe. 

Also anti-discrimination legislation. We’re going to talk a little more in depth about this in a minute, but Arizona, for instance, passed one of those recently and said that babies can’t be discriminated against because they’re down syndrome or because of for sex selection purposes. 

And then, of course, I alluded to fetal pain laws and the fact that the science is showing more and more that babies in the womb even younger and younger, they’re determining, can respond to stimuli and can respond to instruments that cause them pain. And, of course, that is not only heartbreaking, but it’s also an opportunity to educate about the life in the womb and how abortion affects them. I think that’s pretty much it of the broad categories. Obviously, there are a bunch of other levels and you can go to our website, adflegal. org, and see some of the areas, other areas we’re working on in the state legislative space. 

Denise Harle: Yeah, and we are seeing states do this. They were, states have been ready for this day, and that’s because the American people have been supporting these kinds of laws. In general, a majority of Americans have been wanting these laws in place. 

There were pre- Roe laws that completely protected life that had been blocked by Roe. And then there were pro-life laws that were passed while Roe was in effect that were also blocked by Roe. Like some of those, heartbeat laws and the anti-discrimination abortion laws. And then, many states had also set up the so called trigger laws that, where the people said if the day ever comes when Roe is overturned, we are ready and we want to fully protect life immediately. 

And it’s really astounding what’s happened since June 24, 2022. So, right now as we speak, there are 22 states that have heartbeat or better laws. Fourteen are currently in effect, and eight states have those laws on the books that are now being litigated and at least temporarily enjoined. But just to think about the unbelievable change in the landscape and just how clearly it reflects the fact that a lot of people are standing for life in America, and a lot of people have been wanting to stand for life, and it was just that one just horrific legal error that has been preventing it from happening, and now we have this opportunity to do it. 

I will just give a shout out, I think, to some of the states, because I know a lot of people are always curious of okay, what’s happening where, and we’re always looking for maps that show what’s going on, but right now, these states have total protections from abortion at either heartbeat, so five or six weeks, or complete protections. 

Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia. That shows that all those people are standing for life, and they’re voting for lawmakers who are also going to stand for life, and governors who are going to sign those bills and that’s, it’s really encouraging that we’ve made this much progress since that national mandate of Roe was thrown out. 

We’ve also seen a lot of litigation by pro-abortion groups, which were ready on day one, of course, to challenge any variety of pro-life laws. They’ve been doing it since Roe was decided, and now of course they have even more force behind their litigation. I wanna dive into some of those cases in a minute with you, but I just wanna talk a little bit about the sort of post-Roe litigation frenzy at high level for people to have an understanding of what’s been happening.  

So, there have been a lot of state court challenges by Planned Parenthood and the ACLU and the Center for Reproductive Rights, which are the favorite go-to abortion activist legal groups. 

Because the battle has returned to the state, that means that across the nation in state courts, starting in the state trial court, there is a whole just proliferation of litigation involving different state laws and allegations that these state constitutions actually have some sort of so-called right to abortion in it. 

Basically, the strategy is to create mini Roe v. Wade’s in every single pro-life state in America to try to block the pro-life laws. Now for the same reason that Roe was completely wrong, completely fabricated, these lawsuits are based on just wrong legal claims. Even the Dobbs decision walks through the fact that, in our nation’s history, even until shortly before Roe, abortion was a crime in every single state. And that was true going back all the way to the time of the Constitution and even the common law, the founding of our nation. It was well understood that the states could and wanted to and did prohibit abortion and protect life from the tragedy of abortion. 

So, the idea that it was in the Constitution all along and no one really noticed, is ludicrous. And even the in the majority of Roe, who I always like to point out, were 7 men, w didn’t say exactly where they thought the right is coming from. They alluded to maybe the 1st or the 4th or the 5th or the 9th or the 14th amendment. And that’s what we’re seeing in the state court litigation. 

Now abortion advocates are naming a whole bunch of different clauses in state constitutions. Oh, the right to parent, the right against sex discrimination, the right against involuntary servitude, on and on, due process, equal protection, whatever it may be, anything to try to find a foothold with a friendly judge who will block a pro-life law, that one judge’s view would stop the democratically enacted legislation.  

So that is, that’s frustrating, but that’s part of the battle that we’re here for, right? . And we just praise God that we’re under this regime instead of under Roe. So we have the opportunity to even have these conversations and have these lawsuits. So, as of last month, so as of the end of 2022, there were a total of 34 cases that had been filed, challenging pro-life laws in 19 different states. Thirty-one are still pending right now. I’m sure more are coming. 

Again, the lawsuits are basically just based on state constitutional claims, even though no state constitution has ever been understood to actually contain a right to abortion. So, they’re on shaky ground, and I think that should give us a lot of encouragement as we do stand up for life, that we are in the right in so many ways, right? 

Just as a matter of God and the fact that we know that He creates everyone in His image. We know that life is a human right. We’re right as a matter of science, that we know that human life begins at conception. We’re right as a matter of law, knowing that our laws have never protected the killing of innocence. 

So, that at least as a litigator, that gives me a lot of encouragement, even when it’s exhausting to see Planned Parenthood and all of their money and all of the big firms backing them, that we’re still on the right side.  

Kevin Theriot: Yeah,and there’s a spiritual aspect to that. Let me just interject that I, that God’s been revealing to me, I think, more and more, and that is, you look at Ephesians 6 in the full armor of God, the first one is the belt of truth. 

We’re on the side of truth. Science is on our side and the breastplate of righteousness. We’re on the side of right, so that should be encouraging to us and give us the will to continue to fight.  

Denise Harle: Yeah, absolutely. I love that. So, we’ve been involved as you know in a lot of these post Roe lawsuits, working alongside states as their counsel or co-counsel or behind the scenes as well. 

I would love to talk about a couple of examples to just flesh out what these lawsuits are looking like and the trajectory. Can you tell us about what’s going on in Arizona where there’s multiple lawsuits over multiple pro-life laws? But I think it’s a good snapshot of what we can expect to see in the post-Roe legal battles. 

Kevin Theriot: Sure. So, Arizona is a great example of multiple lawsuits and and pretty good sort of indicator of what things are, how things are going wrong around the country. And the interesting thing about Arizona, like some states, is it had a, an abortion, like most states, had an abortion regulation pre-Roe that it eliminated abortion or regulated abortion, except in cases of when the life of the mother was at stake and but, and that law was actually upheld by the court of appeals in Arizona in 19, like 1973, right before Roe came down and then Roe came down and the court of appeals had to reverse itself based upon Roe because of this new federal mandate. 

And that abortion had to be allowed at least up until viability. And that law was put on hold. But an interesting thing about, for you constitutional scholars out there, you know that the court can declare a law unconstitutional and it can keep the attorney general and county attorneys from enforcing it. 

It doesn’t have legislative power. It can’t take that law off the books. So that law was essentially put on ice for 50 years. And then and when the sole basis for enjoining that law for putting it on hold was overturned on June 24th of 2022, all of a sudden, that injunction no longer became valid and Mark Brnovich, who was the attorney general at that time and a staunch defender of life, his attorneys and his SG Bo Royston decided to move under a particular civil rule to say we need to lift that injunction because it’s no longer valid.  

And so, they went back to this case that was 50 years old and and reopened it and asked the court to lift the injunction. And interestingly enough, one of the cool things about this case is, back in 1971 when Planned Parenthood first filed the lawsuit, they, the court, the trial court who eventually actually ruled for Planned Parenthood appointed a guardian ad litem to represent the interest of all the unborn Children in Arizona and allowed that guardian to intervene. Basically have party status in the case to help defend the law on behalf of the unborn children. 

They’re going to be affected by it should Arizona’s regulation prohibiting abortion except for the life of the mother allow babies to be killed. Think about the foresight there. Fifty years ago is a long time. In the meantime the guardian ad litem had passed away. As had most of the litigants in that old case had passed away. 

But because the way the law works we reinstituted and the attorney general we talked to the attorney general about us. Having an intervener come in and take the place of that original guardian. And we found a medical doctor who is actually the medical director at Choices Pregnancy Center there in Phoenix and asked the court to substitute him for the old guardian and the court granted that motion. 

It was, I could get into a lot of detail about how that hearing went, but it was fascinating. Planned Parenthood thought that they could block it, but they didn’t have any good argument at all and the court recognized it and they allowed him in. And long story short, the court lifted the injunction. 

But Planned Parenthood appealed and the Court of Appeals, the Court of Appeals said that the trial court was wrong to lift the injunction and put the injunction back in place. The pre-Roe law is still on hold post-Roe litigation I’m sorry, legislation is now in effect, which is still decent. 

It regulates, they also have a 15-week law like Mississippi that regulates abortion. But, if you’ve watched the elections at all, you know that the Attorney General Brnovich did not run again and the Republican who was running in his place lost. So, we now have a pro-abortion Attorney General in Arizona, and she has said that she will not appeal to the Arizona Supreme Court. 

She’ll no longer pursue, defend the pre-Roe law. But God in His infinite wisdom has, we still have the guardian ad litem that we represent that can make that appeal. And so God arranged that we’ll talk about that here in a little bit at the end, but the way God has worked behind the scenes and not only overturning Roe, but other things. 

It’s just been amazing. And this is a great example of that. So just to sum up quickly on the status of that case is, we’re in the process of preparing papers to the Arizona Supreme Court to try to get the pre-Roe law back into effect. It’s a very complex process. And how the court analyzes that along with subsequent regulations. 

But we’re confident that we’ll have the Supreme Court allow that law to go back in place. And that’s gonna be a huge deal in Arizona. And we’re very optimistic, but that is an example of how a pre-Roe law that was in existence before Roe can come back to life as it were.  

Denise Harle: And really, it should have, right? 

Kevin Theriot: Sure.  

Denise Harle: The Court of Appeals didn’t even say that there was something fundamentally wrong with the pre-Roe law, but said the fact that under Roe, Arizona had passed a 15 week law, somehow meant that they wanted to allow abortions into the fourth month of pregnancy, which is not the case at all. Arizona was just tracking with the Dobbs case and what we knew was the baseline. 

We figured the Supreme Court would be upholding. To be continued. I’m really excited to see what happens as we present our arguments to the Arizona Supreme Court there. Yeah, and that one’s actually a little bit different from what we’re seeing in a lot of states where they’re using the state constitutions. 

They’re, they were trying to make a procedural argument about harmonizing two statutes that happened at different times. Our case in North Carolina, which is a win that we can celebrate, did rely on those really bogus state constitutional arguments. I think the clause they pointed to was the right to enjoy the fruits of your labor should allow abortionists to do all sorts of things unregulated. 

So, tell us about that victory and the rollercoaster of that case.  

Kevin Theriot: Sure. So Planned Parenthood sued several years ago, the state of North Carolina and said under state law, we think that your abortion regulations, the physician only law, the waiting period, the regulations on chemical abortion and several others were unconstitutional because there really is a right to abortion that’s found somewhere in the North Carolina constitution. 

And they’ve thrown a couple things at the wall, hoping one of them will stick. One of them is, like Roe, the due process clause that this defy, deprives women of the to due process. And another is that it’s vague. There’s just a general lack of fairness and equal protection. 

It’s the old lie that women can’t be equal without abortion which is just heartbreaking to me. 

Denise Harle: So demeaning too. It’s so insulting as a woman. Exactly. Hello.  

Kevin Theriot: And then of course, the interesting one that’s a little unique to North Carolina is a right to enjoy the fruits of your labor. 

In other words, a right to make money. And so, we’ve been saying for years that the abortion industry is all about making money off of women. And they just went ahead and put it right in their court papers and say, absolutely. And you can’t keep us from doing that. It was really unique. 

But interestingly enough, in North Carolina, in order to get a law off the books based upon its face, you have to include the the speaker of the house and the president of the Senate as defendants. And in North Carolina, the assembly is very conservative. The attorney general is not, and neither is the governor. 

And necessarily they were able to come in and make all the arguments that the Attorney General probably wouldn’t. And so, we were privileged to represent them and one of our faithful allies down there got us connected with them. We represent them and the way it works is, you file a lawsuit and it gets appointed to this three judge panel and there are a lot of things, a lot of strategy involved in that, but eventually, about a month or two ago, we decided to file a motion for judgment on the pleadings, which is basically a motion to dismiss that said that, look, in order for them to win and say that they’re gonna have to show that they’re abortion is a fundamental right in North Carolina, and they can’t do that. 

And Dobbs actually demonstrates that says that, no, it’s not a fundamental right. It’s not deeply rooted in our nation’s history, certainly not deeply rooted in North Carolina’s history. And they can’t show that. They can’t show that they’re being discriminated against based upon any sort of protected characteristic. 

And so, their equal protection plan goes away. And really, they’re just left with a, just like the court said in Dobbs, a rational basis review, the lowest constitutional test, the easiest one for the government to satisfy, and and they have to show, interestingly enough that it, there are no circumstances where these laws, with 24 hour waiting periods and physicians only, can be applied constitutionally. 

That’s an extremely high bar. And so, we filed that lawsuit that, excuse me, that motion and what was it about a couple three weeks later. Yeah, they dismissed and maybe five days. It was a five days. So yeah, it was really fast. I think I was on break.  

Denise Harle: So, I kind of missed it on Christmas time. It was a present to us all. 

Kevin Theriot: Yes. Awesome. But I think one of the things to point out about that is really goes to what we as a pro-life movement need to be very mindful of, and while I was instrumental in writing that motion and I feel pretty good about that motion, that’s not the only reason why they dismissed and may not even be the primary reason why they dismissed, although that’s not what I’ll tell my grandkids that, but the, during the last election, the Supreme Court of North Carolina, they basically flipped to being conservative. 

And they saw that. And they realized that their chance of being able to get the Supreme Court to manufacture a right to abortion in the North Carolina Constitution, like the Supreme Court did in Roe, and like some of the other states have done recently went down. And so, little things like who you vote for and who the judges you vote for and what kind of campaigns are being run at the state level are becoming magnified now and becoming a much bigger deal than they used to be. So, I think that’s something that we need to remember as a movement that we’ve got to educate our people about how to vote, whom to vote for and support organizations that are doing that work.  

Denise Harle: And really all with the abortion industry was afraid of is that judges who are going to apply the law as it’s written. And what it actually means and what it actually says, because if that’s what we’re, if that’s what’s being done in the courts, then we’re going to win on every pro-life law is going to be upheld, right? If the judges are actually just simply faithfully applying the law. That’s why I going back to these state constitutions, we’ve now seen a new strategy in these. 

Past November elections because I think the abortion advocates recognizing that a lot of judges are faithful in applying the law that state constitutions do not include a right to abortion are, have been proposing ballot measures to amend state constitutions to say that there is some sort of fundamental right to abortion. 

And that is really tipping the hand that they realize there’s no basis for the legal arguments they’ve been making. And unfortunately, they were successful this past election in California, Vermont, and Michigan in adding fundamental rights to abortion in their state constitutions and it’s extremely sad because that has a really broad implication. 

It’s codifying Roe as a state constitutional right and that means that every state pro-life law that was passed in those states would run up against that constitutional provision and be struck down until prayerfully, hopefully, one day those states will regret what they did, and the people of those states will re amend their state constitutions. But I think because of the success there, that is a legal battle that we’re going to be seeing in the near future. That strategy being tried, probably in the double digits this year, and it’s not the same as a lawsuit because you can’t go make your arguments in court. It’s all about persuading the voters, which unfortunately involves a lot of misleading and deceptive advertisements by the abortion industry and a whole lot of money by the abortion industry.  

I believe the numbers I’ve seen is they outspent the pro-life campaigns about 35 to one. And that is a really important way to stand for life, is to support the good ballot measures, oppose the terrible, deadly ballot measures and also to have the courage and confidence to persuade your neighbor and talk with your friends and family and your co-workers, and educate yourself on what those ballot amendments actually do because a lot of people think they’re voting on whether to ban abortion or not when instead they were actually voting on whether to allow or not taxpayer funding of elective abortion up to the moment of birth through all nine months of pregnancy. But the way it was put forward by Planned Parenthood that was difficult to assess. So that is one potentially dark next chapter in our legal battles. 

Another one is just the current administration in the federal government. We’ve seen since Dobbs, the Biden administration coming up with all sorts of new tactics to try to expand abortion and force it upon the states. There are many regulations and guidance letters and rules that have come out of the administration. 

Some of them do more than others. One that we have sued over and been successful so far is that the shortly after Dobbs, the Biden administration issued a regulation through, which is an emergency medical treatment law that essentially required emergency rooms to become abortion clinics in the sense that doctors were required under the understanding of this regulation to “complete” chemical abortions that were unsuccessful or to treat miscarriages. 

And this completely ignored the conscience rights of healthcare professionals, many of whom do not want to participate or facilitate abortion. In fact, a high majority of OBs would have nothing to do with abortion, let alone emergency room doctors who are all driven, I think, by saving lives in the most dire circumstances. So, we were co-plaintiffs alongside the state of Texas and got an injunction on that, which is a very good thing.  

But more and more have come out of the administration. Everything from Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs, Department of State. It just keeps coming. We have also seen the FDA continue to loosen its safety requirements on the chemical abortion drugs, which unfortunately now constitute a majority of abortions are done through this two-drug regimen. 

The approval of chemical abortion was unlawful from the beginning. We have a pending lawsuit over that as well against the FDA. They did not do the required safety testing on adolescence. Even though we know that these drugs are given to girls, that is a there’s a minimum that has to be done. The FDA did some safety testing, but when it put the drug on the market didn’t require those same safety mechanisms that it did in the tests. 

So, the tests were not even valid as to the regimen that was actually allowed on the market, excuse me, and in addition, the FDA had to categorize pregnancy as an illness to even be able to put it on the market. So, there’s all of these problems.  

And then in recent years the Biden administration has loosened the regulations such that now Tele-med is allowed, pharmacies, retail pharmacies will be able to dispense these pills, and that means that women who are undergoing chemical abortions often need not even be seen by a doctor in person to get an evaluation to find out how far along they are in pregnancy or whether they have an ectopic pregnancy or some other risk. 

So, these are very dangerous threats that we’re seeing from the Biden administration. And based on the briefing I’ve read in the case so far, in opposition to our lawsuit, they are all in on this just putting all of their resources on a victory. As we celebrate Dobbs and the overturning of Roe, there is just still a lot to be rightly concerned about and to be covering in prayer. 

Why don’t you tell us a little bit about what’s happening in the states to look back to some good things we can be looking for? Not just pro-life laws, but maybe some, not just pro-life limitations on abortion, but kind of other ways we can be holistically pro-life. I know that’s so much what Stand for Life is about, is that it’s not just about laws that limit abortion. It’s about making abortion unthinkable in our society ’cause there’s just no one feels like that’s their only option. So tell us about some creative things that the states might be doing in that way. 

Kevin Theriot: Sure. Then the, in the surveys that, that groups like CareNet do, the primary reason women choose abortion is because of a lack of support. 

Now that can take different forms, so that’s family support, but certainly financial support. They feel trapped and that this is really their only viable option. And so states like Mississippi just passed a law and where they’re giving more money to pregnancy centers to help support women. 

And Texas just passed a law that can go towards pregnancy centers and maternity homes. And it’s giving government money towards these groups that are providing support for the mothers of the unborn children and the fathers to not only provide them with tangible things like diapers and housing and job training, but also spiritual support and to help them get to the point where they even how to be a better parent. 

So, real coping mechanisms for this situation and really to drive the the education that’s needed to get at the underlying root of the cause for abortion, which is really fundamentally, we could spend a whole show on this, the breakdown of the family. States are being creative and trying to put resources in place in order to eliminate that demand. 

We can only do so much to restrict the supply of abortion, but we really need to work on the demand, too. And some states are doing some good work on that. Of course, on the flip side, there are states that are working to expand abortion. You talked about the ballot initiative. 

California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York. Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, basically the coasts and the third coast, if you count Chicago as the third coast, is, they’re working hard to to expand abortion in their states which is really troubling, especially in view of the science that we talked about. 

A lot of the pro-abortion abortionists now are conceding, it’s a life as a matter of fact. The plaintiffs in the Dobbs case that were challenging Mississippi’s abortion ban and before the Supreme Court, they actually, in their papers, described the unborn baby as fetal life, whereas potentially, before, they’d always never conceded that it was life, it was potential life could be a life at some point. Now they’re conceding that and still going forward with this pro-death agenda. And that’s disturbing on a lot of levels.  

Denise Harle: Yeah. And again, it just reminds me of the opportunity that we have now that states are going to be choosing to have pro-life laws and embrace life, stand for life, that as those states flourish and show how beautiful life is, how to empower mothers, to strengthen families and communities and welcome babies into the world as a blessing that, gosh, we just pray that those other states will recognize, that the veil will be lifted and they will recognize the horror of what they’re doing and turn towards channeling their resources to do, to also stand for life. 

We know everything is possible through God. Amen. I like to touch on a couple myths that come up when we’re talking about the overturning of Roe. So just want to hit on that because I think it can equip people in the conversations that you’re having. One is that right after the overturning of Roe, there was all sorts of talk about, women not getting health care treatment or medical treatment. 

Of course, abortion’s not health care. Abortion is the intentional taking of a human life. It has nothing to do with healing or treating or saving. It’s unnecessary. It’s elective. It harms women for no reason. And the conversation was about ectopic pregnancies and miscarriage management. You and I have looked at every single state law on abortion. 

Every single state allows for abortion when a mother’s life is at risk. In fact, that’s not even abortion. And most of the statutes explain that when you’re saving pregnant mom’s life by some sort of early separation or preterm delivery, that’s not an abortion. That’s not stopping to end a human life. That’s actually just caring for the mother’s life.  

And if unfortunately, the child can’t make it that’s just a very sad sort of side effect, but that’s not the purpose of the procedure, unlike abortion. In addition, all state laws, even the strongest pro-life state laws, allow for treatment of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy as nothing, again, nothing to do with abortion. 

And so that’s just a way that I think that the abortion industry has been misleading people when trying to trick people into not supporting pro-life laws. So I just throw that out there for your own education and for future conversations. But, so I think with that we’re almost at time. We definitely have an uphill battle. 

We’ve talked about these states that are anti-life. We’ve talked about a pro-abortion administration in Congress right now. But we have, even just looking at what happened in Roe, we have so much reason to hope. So, will you just leave us, as a pastor’s kid, with some inspirational and just some spiritual affirmation as we go into this legal battle? 

Kevin Theriot: Absolutely. It really has increased my faith to be a part of, be a privilege to be part of the team that helped get Roe overturned because it was so obvious in looking and it’s become now obvious and looking back on it that God orchestrated the whole thing, and I think it’s important to remember that God’s got a plan going forward and He allows us to participate in it and we need to be good stewards of those opportunities. 

But the bottom line is, God all is always working. And you remember when Elijah had that great win in Mount Carmel and called down fire and against the prophets of Baal and all that thing. He complained later and God said… Elijah said, I’m the only one. He said, I have 7,000. God’s got a lot in reserve. He knows what’s going on. He’s got a plan, and we can be encouraged by that.  

And one of the things to remember is that, people that have been praying for the overturning of Roe for 50 years. A March for Life that’s an important part of Life Week every year is has been marching and peacefully and praying for that for 50 years. 

And prayer works. That’s one of the things that we’ve got to, excuse me, remember to do first instead of last is to pray. Because what is it, James five says the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. It really works. And that is not just, excuse me, a weapon- it’s our primary weapon that we’re going to prevail on our knees.  

I think also that we have to remember that God’s timing is not ours. Why God chose to wait 50 years. I have no idea. Probably we won’t know, but Galatians 6:9 talks about not becoming weary in well doing because we will reap a harvest and we have to remember that, even in the face of and some of the backlash as a result of that, that we cannot become weary in well doing. 

And then I think the important, this is just a personal thing for me as I was journaling after, I think it was on June 26th. So two days after Dobbs came down the Elijah, I felt like God brought the Elijah story back to my mind. That in the, in after his greatest victory he was running because he felt threatened. And running out into the wilderness.  

And God said, what are you doing here? But remembering that when we have a great victory, and the pro-life movement has had a fantastic victory, one that is for the ages that books are being written about and documentaries done, and that we got to remember that’s when the devil likes to counter attack and we need to be, but if we’re aware of his schemes then we can be, we can be ready to defend against it. So, I think we have a lot of reason to hope. Heck, we just had a just huge victory. And but it may take another 50 years. 

But we cannot become weary in well doing.  

Denise Harle: Amen. That’s good. Thank you so much.