Leading the Fight in the Pro-Life Movement – with John Stemberger: Today we have John Stemberger on with us again, this time to discuss some victories in the pro life movement and his new book, Legacy of Life. This book tells us the story of some of the most notable pro life leaders in a beautiful, well-presented format. He reminds us that life is worth fighting for and we have some amazing leaders with amazing victories to learn from.
Air Date: 06/5/2023
Guest: John Stemberger
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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This is the intersection of faith and the culture. Thanks for joining us today on WallBuilders, where we take on the hot topics of the day, from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective. And of course, we have that conversation with David Barton. He’s America’s premier historian and our founder at WallBuilders. And Tim Barton, national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. And I’m Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution Coach, we’re thankful for you joining us today, on the air, we also encourage you to join us online at WallBuilders.com , that’s where you can also join us by coming alongside us making a contribution, one time or monthly, we appreciate you doing that, that allows us to add more stations, get to more people, spread the truth, equip and inspire and get people involved in making a difference and saving our constitutional republic. You can also come alongside us by sharing the program so you can take the program and send it out on social media to your friends and family. The more people that hear this program, the more likely we’re going to save this constitutional republic. Alright guys, John Stemberger will be back with us today. He was with us last week talking about a lot of victories out of Florida. We’re going to talk specifically about pro life victories. And of course, you know, we’ve already talked a lot about the Dobbs decision from last summer. But all of these pro life victories didn’t happen overnight. This stuff was, you know, 50 years in the making, a lot of people very, you know, dedicated to the cause and literally devoted their lives to this battle. It of course, is ongoing, but John’s going to talk to us about, a little bit about you know, just kind of pausing and saying okay, look at all these victories. Look at Dobbs overturning Roe v. Wade, let’s honor some of the people that came before us. And and David, I guess this was even really what in, you know, one of the reasons I mean, obviously school prayer was the main reason you got involved, but it was going to a Concerned Women for America conference and looking at the pro life issue that even started you back in the 80s.
Yeah, it was and back at that point in time… And of course, the abortion stuff goes back 15 years earlier than the stuff I was doing. But it was all built around rejecting a certain set of values. We’ve had Judeo Christian biblical values for a long time. And we started rejecting those, we rejected it first in ’62, ’63 with prayer and Bible then we said, well, life, that’s up to you, you don’t get to decide life. Well biblical values [are] pretty clear on that. And then what we saw [with] the results of that is where I started talking about how bad the results have been statistically, since that 60 and 70 decisions. And so what John’s done has really taken that… And by the way, John has… this book, he’s got out as a great celebration of the 50 years of battle that have gone on to resecure the pro life movement and a much more biblical direction. But I’ll just point out that having won the Supreme Court decision doesn’t mean the battle is anywhere near over. Because what you’ve got is you still have educational institutions and teachers still radically pro abortion, they’re going to be promoting this for the kids. So they’re hoping to get a new generation that thinks abortion should be a constitutional amendment, that thinks that this should be something natural. So John’s book celebrates what goes up through Dobbs all the decades that were put into it, all the leaders who were so key and influential, helping educate Americans. America became majority pro life, the Supreme Court is the result of elections. Elections became an issue over the life issue. So it’s a long legacy that’s there, but just a reminder, with all the celebration, the battle is still ongoing. It’s just moved to a different arena. It’s not in the legislative legal arena now. It’s in the educational and social arena, and we got to pay as just as much attention to that, or we’ll lose this battle again.
Still a lot of work to do. But let’s celebrate some of those victories from over the years, John Stemberger, we’re going to talk about some of the key players in the pro life movement over the last 50 years. Stay with us, you’re listening to WallBuilders.
This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. In the early 1700s, the Reverend John Wise preached that all men were created equal, that taxation without representation was tyranny, and that God’s preferred form of government was the consent of the governed: all of which is language recognizable on the Declaration of Independence. Why? Because in 1772, the Sons of Liberty led by founders such as Sam Adams and John Hancock, reprinted and distributed the Reverend Wise’s sermons. So four years later, much of the declaration reflected the language of those sermons by John Wise. In 1926, on the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, President Calvin Coolidge affirmed “The thoughts in the declaration can very largely be traced back to what John Wise was saying.” Few today know that the Declaration was so strongly influenced by the Reverend John Wise. For more information on this and other stories, go to WallBuilders.com .
Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders, our good friend John Stemberger, back with us from Florida. You have too many titles John, I never know which one, you know, my… of course the one I’m most proud of is you’re our Patriot Academy partner for the leadership Congress there in Florida. But man, you got your law firm, you got a course Florida Family Policy Council, so many different things that you’re working on to influence the culture and just appreciate you taking time and I know you’re busy.
Wow. That’s a quick answer! See you really are in a hurry! All right, let’s talk Legacy of Life, new book that’s going to be out later this month. And a great opportunity for people to realize what it took to stand up against the pro abortion movement and kind of where we are on that. But it really highlights… well tell us what… does it highlight champions of the life movement through the years and people that have really been the ones to get us to where we are at this point?
You know, out of everything I’ve done in my entire career, between Trail Life and the marriage amendment and all the work we’ve done, this is the most exciting project that we’ve done. It’s a book called Legacy of Life. This is not an ordinary book. It’s a piece of history. And it’s a piece of artwork. It’s a 12″ by 12″ Commemorative table book. It’s gorgeous. It’s striking, when you see it, like even an unbeliever would want to pick it up and say what is this all about. But it profile of 50 of the greatest leaders of the pro life movement for the last 50 years. And in the book, every two pages is devoted to one leader. We have original pictures, beautiful pictures from their past and their present. And we have 50 leaders that have written attributes honoring these 50 leaders. So for instance, Al Mohler wrote the tribute to Francis Schaeffer, Dr. Robert George at Princeton University, where it’s a tribute to Mother Teresa. Marco Rubio, the US senator has written a tribute, Kevin Roberts has written tribute, Mike Farris has written a tribute. So there’s high profile leaders that are writing the tributes to these people that have passed away, and people that are living now. About 1/3 of the leaders are passed away, and about two thirds of the leaders are still living with us. So it’s an exciting book. It’s really a family heirloom, folks can order it LegacyOfLifeBook.com That’s LegacyOfLifeBook.com . It is a little pricey, but this is an investment and not just an ordinary book. This is literally a piece of history. There’s wonderful little stories that we’ve uncovered pieces of church history and history about these people’s lives. So there’s three goals, Rick, to the book, one is to educate people about the nature of the pro life history, two is to honor the leaders that have gone before us whose shoulders we now stand on, in this moment, this remarkable moment where roe is overturned. And then finally we want to educate and inspire young people. And you, I know you’re passionate about this too, Rick. And the book is designed to just pick up and have young person go, wow, this is amazing. Like, I want to be one of these people in this book. I want to be the next Lila Rose and David Daleiden the next Kristan Hawkins, right? And so it’s that kind of dynamic that we’re looking for. And if one, just one person, one young person is animated, and goes on to be a national pro life leader, it’s success. But this is a gorgeous book. And it’s an heirloom you want in your family.
Well, you said it’s pricey, I mean, honestly, $50 bucks is not pricing for something like this that’s done this well with, you know, not only the stories and the compilation, and all of that, but the beauty of it, like you said as an heirloom that you put in the living room, because you want… you also want the nephews and nieces when they come over to go, oh, wow, what’s this? And again, it’s inspiration, it’s saying saying I could have a legacy like this. God could use me for whatever it is. And it may not even be the life issue, maybe something else, but it inspires them to be part of something greater than themselves so I love that. I think that’s a beautiful, beautiful thing you got, you know, like you said, Ben Shapiro doing the foreword, and then all these great contributors. Impossible. I know, impossible question I’m going to ask you here, but out of these 50 stories, your favorite? You compiled all this.
So yeah, that’s a great question. The one person that stands out more than anyone else is Francis Schaeffer. His life literally affects over 19 people in the book, who referenced him in some way, and it’s really, the story is remarkable. There’s a fellow that we discovered in the process of doing this book named Harold O. J. Brown. He was a theologian, and his daughter, meet Francis Shaffer’s daughter on the streets in Switzerland, providentially just like totally coincidence. And they start talking about their fathers and they’re like, wow, our fathers like, we need to… they need to meet each other. So, Professor O.J., Harold O. J. Brown, Joe Brown, they called him, goes to Switzerland, studies under Schaeffer, becomes totally animated by his understanding of Christian worldview. And he brings Schaeffer back to America for the first time in many, many years, does a series of lectures at Harvard University, then takes them to Moody where he was exposed to a bunch of young pastors, including guys like John Piper, who are all animated by Schaeffer understanding of the Scripture and is preaching about Christian worldview. And so that then, Schaeffer becomes a celebrity. He meets a woman named Beverly Lahaye, a young lady who then mentors a young man named Mike Farris, who goes on to start Home School Legal Defense Fund, and Mike Farris then influences all these other people. And so it’s just absolutely amazing to see Schaeffer influence. There’s so many people in the book, it’s really quite remarkable to think of one man’s life who’s not even here anymore. And even me, I mean, if I didn’t read Christian Manifesto by Schaeffer along with my mentor Ken Connor, I wouldn’t even be doing what I’m doing. He literally brought me into the pro life movement and to doing what I’m doing, by reading the force of his words. So he’s a remarkable human being who’s featured in the book as well.
The ripple effect, you just don’t know what God’s going to do with a seed you plant or when you water or whatever it might be. I don’t know… if you remember this off the top of your head. How long ago was that? When they met on the street? The daughters?
Yeah, that would have been in the late 70s, early 80s, yeah.
And then here we are 50 years later, maybe 60 years later, just realizing all of the different impact… And of course God’s got, you know, he knows where all these pieces of the puzzle are and he brings these things, like you said, providentially together, so what a cool, cool way to teach our kids to teach our family. It’s called Legacy of Life, the website is LegacyOfLifeBook.com , LegacyOfLifeBook.com , coordinated, edited by you John and how you got all of these different people to come together, boy, you talk about herding cats, this, these… You got some of the most influential busy people on the planet to contribute a chapter here. I don’t know how long this took you how long you been at work on it, but what a great feat. I’m excited for you, man.
I appreciate that. It took us about nine months to assemble and it’s just gorgeous. It’s more beautiful than I could ever imagine. And folks are going to really want it home.
All right, LegacyOfLifeBook.com , what will your legacy be? You know, as we like to talk about around here the whole Nathan Hale thing, I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country. Well, we’ve all got one life. What are you going to give yours for? What a great way to motivate us and to motivate our children and grandchildren, LegacyOfLifeBook.com , got to take a quick break. John, thanks so much for joining us. We’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton.
Hey, guys, we want to let you know about a new resource we have at WallBuilders called The American Story. For so many years, people have asked us to do a history book to help tell more of the story that’s just not known or not told today. And we would say very providentially in the midst of all of the new attacks coming out against America, whether it be from things like the 1619 project that say America is evil, and everything in America was built off slavery, which is certainly not true or things, like even the Black Lives Matter movement, the organization itself, not out the statement Black Lives Matter, but the organization that says we’re against everything that America was built on, and this is part of the Marxist ideology. There’s so many things attacking America. Well, is America worth defending? What is the true story of America? We actually have written and told that story starting with Christopher Columbus, going roughly through Abraham Lincoln, we tell the story of America not as the story of a perfect nation of a perfect people. But the story of how God used these imperfect people and did great things through this nation. It’s a story you want to check out, WallBuilders.com, The American Story .
Welcome back to WallBuilders. Thanks for staying with us. Thanks to John Stemberger for joining us again today and for bringing this book to market so that we can celebrate those lives and encourage young people to get involved in whatever area God’s calling them to as well. David And Tim, of course, it’s not over, I mean, Dobbs overturns Roe v. Wade, we talked about this. I mean, this is, this brings the battle to the state and local level. Are we still winning? You know, sometimes people kind of… you get a big victory like overturn Roe v. Wade, and they just say, okay, I’m done. And they don’t get involved anymore. Are we still winning? Do we still have people paying attention? Is there anything happening at the local level, we can celebrate today as if it were good news Friday on a Monday?
Well, I mean, we’re talking about it a little bit between the interview where that are stacks of good news are always so full of things that are positive gains when it comes to the pro life issue. And when we look at the overturning of Roe versus Wade, one of the things we said in the very beginning is this does not solve the problem of abortion in America. All it does is send it back to the States. And this is where fundamentally I disagree with a lot of this notion that it’s even a states rights issue, saying that abortion is a states rights issue, in my mind is a little similar to saying slavery was a states rights issue back prior to the Civil War. It’s not, it’s a violation of a fundamental inalienable right. And the Founding Fathers identified the first of the inalienable right was the right to life. The right to be born, the right to live was the first of the God given rights. And so this is something that should not be a state issue. States shouldn’t debate and decide at what point someone gets to live and die. They are not God, they should not be able to play God in that respect. And when you look at some states that are saying that we’re going to ban abortion after 20 weeks or after 12 weeks after 8 weeks, and then there’s opposition saying no, there should be no limitations on abortion. These are things that are the basic… it’s a violation that basic understanding the Founding Fathers laid out in their principles, their philosophy of government, saying that the first inalienable right is a right to life. Now with that being said, because that’s not the way that most people see the life issue today, it’s not the way that most of our elected officials view the life issue. This is something that now that it’s at the states, it’s become a even more significant battle than it was before, where you have some very conservative states that are saying we’re going to try to get rid of abortion altogether and some have. But you’ve seen some liberal states say, well, we’re going to expand abortion access, because we think it’s very important for women to be able to kill their unborn children. This is a battle going both directions. And so now it’s a battle for the heart, the soul, the minds of people in every state. And even you’re seeing battles where some states have said that they’re going to do abortions. And yet now there are states saying that they will mail abortion pills across state lines, to help women in some of these states that have banned abortion, to still have access to abortion, and where they don’t have to travel and go somewhere. We’ve seen different companies, whether it be an Amazon or some these other major companies say that they will actually pay women to be able to travel to go to some of these states that still promote abortion, and they will fund that for them. Now, the idea that they are doing this out of the goodness of their heart is really silly. They’re doing it so that they don’t lose people out of the workforce, because maternity leave is much longer than leave after having an abortion, for that medical quote unquote, procedure. So this is not something that you look at companies, you go man, they’re really great; they really care about their employees. No, they don’t have a… they do not have any value for human life if they are paying for people to fly to another state so they can murder the unborn child within them. Nonetheless, this is where there are major battles happening in states. Now, not to go too far down some of the battle and the rabbit hole of the battle, because we are seeing so much positive happen around the nation, there is so much good news, even this year, in the legislative cycle we’ve seen in a lot of states, already this year, we’ve seen a lot of positive ground. And that’s where we said look, we maybe should just take the rest of the program, talk about some of the good things that are happening and be able to address some of the coming battlegrounds where people need to maybe pay attention to what’s happening in states and even highlight some what we’ve done with our pro family legislative network, to help equip legislators around the nation with good information with a proper understanding of the constitution, of the basic foundation of government, where they’ve been able to help protect life and their states. So there is a lot of positive stuff in the midst of this now very fiery battle happening at the state level.
Well, let’s hit some of those specific, guys. We’ve got stories that happen across the country where individuals get involved or we win a case or maybe a legislature passes something. What are some of those specific stories we can highlight today?
Well, guys, one example that we can quickly point to. Let me reach over, pull stuff out of the sack of good news. One example that we’ve seen just in the last couple of weeks was in North Carolina. The state legislature passed a piece of pro life legislation, it was the care for women, children and families act. And the governor vetoed this. Governor Roy Cooper vetoed this, saying hey, we need abortion access. We need abortion, quote unquote care in North Carolina. This is very important in the Tar Heel State. Actually the governor went around the state trying to recruit state legislators to switch their vote to help him uphold his veto because he understood that his veto was going to have a challenge because what… in every state legislature after the Governor vetoes, the state legislature has the opportunity to override the veto if they can get the votes. In North Carolina, there’s a supermajority in their legislative… and so they were able to override the veto. And part of why this is so significant, one of the many things it does in this care for women, children and families Act, is it limited abortion number one at 12 weeks. And even though there are many people who say no, you should end all abortion. One of the things we understand is that when you are competing for something, you take the ground you can get when you can get it. And ultimately, yes, we want no abortion anywhere in America and really nowhere in the world. This is not something we want. People that argue and advocate, but what about saving the life of the mother? Well, if you talk to OBGYNs who actually are caring for individuals and trying to save the life of the Mother, what they’ll tell you is that killing a baby is not the way to protect the life of the mother. If lives are endangered, they prioritize the life of the mother in the saving process and if they lose the baby along the way, then that’s a loss they take along the way. But also a reality is that there’s a lot of mothers, if this is something that their life is threatened, there’s a lot of mothers that say I would rather my child live, and I would rather die than lose my child, so that this notion that the only way to save a mother’s life is to abort a baby, that’s not actually true, medically speaking, nonetheless, this 12 week abortion ban is a great step in the right direction. But among other things that were included in this care for women, children and families act is no mail order abortion pills, which is a big deal. As mentioned, there are some states that have said that they will mail not only in their state, but they’re looking at mailing across state lines, which then can be some major question marks about legality, what that looks like for some of the states that have said no to the abortion pill, and is there repercussions for individuals that would send these abortion pills across state line? But in North Carolina, they said there’s not going to be abortion pills. It requires an in person examination, it prohibits advertising illegal sales of abortion pills, that it… maintaining current law requiring abortion pills to be administered in person by a doctor. And this would be again before 12 weeks for that to happen. One of the provisions is protecting abortion survivors. So babies born alive in failed abortions are entitled to the same legal protection and standard of medical care as any other baby of the same gestational age. And, you know, at this point, if they’re saying no abortion after 12 weeks, then this is not as relevant for some states where abortion happens much later. Nonetheless, it’s still a great provision. It combats discrimination protects unborn children from discrimination based on sex, race or Down Syndrome. So they can’t say, right, a mom’s pregnant with a girl. Ah, I wanted to boy, let’s abort this child, because it’s not a boy or it’s a boy and I wanted a girl, they take that off the table, you cannot abort a child, because the child, whether it be Down Syndrome or gender you don’t like whatever it is, that’s not an option for individuals anymore. It protects women’s health, safety and informed consent. It requires the same health and safety standards for abortion facilities as for other ambulatory surgical centers, and this is a big deal, because in a lot of places, abortion facilities, they don’t have admitting privileges to hospitals. And of course, this is a very dangerous thing. Part of the act, it ensures that women are not rushed or coerced into unwanted abortions it limits elective and late term abortions. I mean, on and on, it goes. There’s $160 million in support for children, families and maternal health. And this is something that the Governor vetoed, and the state legislature was able to override that veto. So these are examples where we are seeing good news with great pieces of legislation coming from states and sometimes not always even the most conservative states, or where you have to override someone who is embracing these Democrat ideologies and policies. It’s great that we are seeing this. This is one example and Dad, I want to keep going, there’s… this article goes on for a long time, but I know you have examples as well. So I will yield to you for your example from our good news stack. Because this is stuff we are seeing good news, literally from all over the nation.
The gentleman from Texas yields the balance of his time to the gentleman from Texas.
That’s a good decision, Texas to Texas. For those of you that may recall a civics or government course that you might have had at one point in school, you don’t always get them anymore. It takes two thirds, generally takes two thirds of the legislature [to] override the governor’s veto, which means the two thirds of the legislators that were elected in the state were pro life, which represents two thirds of the population and area of the state. But you got to Governor that’s pro abortion so if you want to make this a lot easier just to elect a pro life governor. You don’t have to go through all the drama, and you probably could even get some more conservative things in there if you hadn’t been fighting the governor along the way. So by the way, North Carolina you’re kind of, the election… you’re going to have a great prolife lieutenant governor running for governor so that’s another way to solve this. My piece of prolapse good news comes out of New York of all places, a very blue, very pro abortion area, and it comes from the City University of New York, which is again not a conservative college. It’s a very liberal, pretty radical left college and there is an adjunct assistant professor of art there that her her name is Shellyne Rodriguez and their students for life had a table there at the college and they had prolife material, they were putting out prolapse material, and this professor came up and started cussing them, cussed them really good, started vandalizing the stuff on their table, started tearing stuff up. And someone did record that on camera that this pro abortion professor was doing this and actually the City University of New York club on campus for abortion rights praised the professor for doing this, called a courageous actions and threatened more hostility against pro life students and their Instagram posts so it was not a good situation. And then the New York Post which is the old his newspaper in America, it was actually started by Alexander Hamilton. 200 years ago, New York Post sent a reporter and a photographer to her door to talk to her about what she had done to this pro life table. And not only did she meet them at the door and have some choice things to say for herself, she came at them with a machete. She put that machete up beside one of the necks of the reporters and threatened them if they didn’t leave her property and stop asking her questions. And after all of that, the City University of New York decided to fire that professor. So that’s pretty good in a city where they usually don’t… they usually prosecute people who don’t do much and they don’t prosecute people who do a whole lot. That’s a really good thing for the City University of New York to not protect this professor, as radical pro abortion as she was, and come out on the side of getting rid of that professor because she attacked prolife table and vandalized it and cussed the kids out. So good news from that standpoint.
We finally found a way for a professor to get fired. They have to have a machete and put it right on the neck of someone. They don’t have to necessarily kill anybody, but they have to at least put the machete on the… So now we know what to look for if we want to get rid of more liberal professors across the country, find the ones that have machetes. Wow, wow, wow, wow. Well, anyway, lots of good news today, guys. Thank y’all so much for sharing that good news on a Monday, so it’s not good news Friday, it’s good news Monday. And thanks to John Stemberger for joining us today and sharing so much about the folks that have led the fight in the pro life movement for so long. Thanks for listening. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders.