Pro-Life Legislation: What You Need to Know - Part 2 (Transcript)

Dr. Dobson: Hello, everyone. You're listening to Family Talk, the radio-broadcasting ministry of the James Dobson Family Institute. I'm Dr. James Dobson. Thank you for joining us for this program.

Roger Marsh: Well, hello and Happy Friday, everyone. Welcome to Family Talk, a division of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute. I'm Roger Marsh, thanking you for making us a part of your day today, and also joining us throughout this week as well. Yesterday, we heard part one of Dr. Tim Clinton's conversation with Janet Porter, the dynamic founder of Faith2Action and the architect of the heartbeat bill. Its premise is simple: If a heartbeat is detected, the baby is protected. Over the last decade, it has been introduced in 29 states and thankfully has become law in some shape or form in 10 of those states. Janet Porter has written a new book on this subject entitled A Heartbeat Away: How the Heartbeat Bill Will Pierce the Heart of Roe vs. Wade and the Shocking Betrayal No One Saw Coming. Let's listen now to the second half of Dr. Tim Clinton's encouraging conversation with Janet Porter here on Family Talk.

Dr. Clinton: Janet, yesterday, we talked about some amazing legislation, the heartbeat bill, which you are a key architect behind it, that's sweeping across the country that is really stirring the hearts of the pro-life movement. Janet, in it, yesterday, you talked about some Barna research that simply said this: "If a heartbeat's detected, a baby is protected." The majority of Americans stand with that statement, and that's a powerful statement right now as we consider where we're at and where we're going in this whole pro-life movement.

Janet Porter: It's really encouraging. Like I said, I've been in the movement since the 10th grade when someone came and spoke to my health class at a public school, but I have never in all those years, I have never seen a bill that protects nearly every child. Almost all of them have this much public support where seven out of 10 favor heartbeat bills to keep hearts beating. 86% of Republicans, that's a fun fact to have in a primary, let me tell you.

Dr. Clinton: Yes, it is.

Janet Porter: As well as a majority of Democrats, 55% of Democrats want heartbeat bills to become law, to keep hearts beating, because again, they understand, everybody gets it. If there's a heartbeat, there's life. As Dr. Wilke used to always say, it's so simple. The bill is so easy. If a heartbeat's detected, the baby's protected, the same as any other human being in any hospital setting, any emergency setting. You look for a pulse and if there is a pulse, we all know instinctively that there is a live human being.

Dr. Clinton: Janet, you helped lead the way in the state of Ohio. God's done some amazing work there. It's spreading into other states. Janet, give us again what's happening in a number of states across the country, and then let's take a transition into what's happening at the federal level.

Janet Porter: Sure. I was one of the people who had the privilege to pray in Washington at The Return last year. One of the cases I made to God, and this is why I have such hope, even in spite of what took place on January 20th, I have such hope that God is hearing our prayers and that He's moving behind the scenes because what I said to God is much like Abraham said, "If 10 people, 10 righteous were found, He would have spared Sodom and Gomorrah."

The case I made there on the National Mall is that there were 10 righteous states that passed heartbeat bills. In 2013, they passed in Arkansas and North Dakota. In 2018, it was Iowa. In 2019, we saw six: Kentucky, Mississippi, Georgia, Missouri, Louisiana, and Ohio. Then in 2020, we saw Tennessee become the 10th state to pass a heartbeat bill. Then we had Alabama, which added full protection to children, so the case I made to God is: "Spare us, give us mercy, give us more time," because there are 10 righteous states, now, 11 with Alabama that will protect children as long as the courts give that green light, and I believe ultimately, they will. So, I have great, great optimism, I have great hope for what's about to happen, and not only at the state level, but we're seeing things happen in the federal level.

I'll tell you what happened when we first introduced the federal heartbeat bill. I went on the Hill and I had talked to a handful. We had a couple of dozen co-sponsors, but I knew we needed help. We were on a call and I said, "God, who is it that we're not thinking of that can help us? Who is it we're forgetting about that could weigh in right now?" It was like, somebody whispered the thought in my mind, "Tom DeLay," the former majority leader of the United States House of Representatives. I called him up and said, "Will you help us?" He said yes and we went from a couple of dozen co-sponsors to 174 co-sponsors.

Dr. Clinton: Amazing.

Janet Porter: More than any other pro-life bill in Congress. I mean, doors swung, open. People were running across the street to go and give him a hug. I remember when we were at the White House, we had a meeting in the White House and we couldn't get to meet with Vice President Pence, we met with his policy guy and his policy director said, "Well, which way would you like to leave the White House?" and I just said, "Well, how about the scenic route?" and so we'd get the scenic route of the White House and who do we run into but Vice President Pence?

He sees Tom DeLay, who used to be his boss as the majority leader back when Mike Pence was in the Congress, and he's like, "Tommy, come here." He talked to us for 20 minutes, said he'd leave the letter with over a hundred leaders supporting the heartbeat bill and he put it personally on the president's desk. I do know this, that God orders our steps and that we have been working all of these years and the work is not in vain. What we're seeing now is that people are realizing what was once impossible is now inevitable. We're going to end abortion. It's not a question of regulating it or working around the edges of abortion. We're going to the heart of this matter and we're going to see abortion end. That's what I'm seeing happening.

As these bills are launched through the court system, they will ultimately be before the Supreme Court, and I believe the votes are there. I was disappointed in what the Supreme Court didn't do, not taking the case from Pennsylvania, not reviewing the things that needed to be done, but I think on the issue of life, the votes are there to keep hearts beating and we will soon find out. I believe that we're all going to be very pleased with the results because those arrows are being launched, as I mentioned, 10 of them, but there are, as you mentioned the last show, that 29 states have introduced heartbeat bills. Despite what it looks like at the White House, God is moving, and I think we're going to be very happy with the results of what happens because of the answers to our prayers that are on the way.

Dr. Clinton: Janet, we heard a lot about the Supreme Court through the election process and more. I wanted to get your take on the current makeup of the Supreme Court and especially in light of President Trump's appointment of Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. You think that if a heartbeat bill gets to them, which you think is going to happen, it's inevitable, that that could be a real game-changer, but what's your take on the current makeup? Are you concerned also about President Biden potentially stacking the court down the road here?

Janet Porter: Well, certainly, that's their intent and there's also talk about them expanding the Court, putting more members, stacking it and bringing more members on there. We need to pray and we need to pray fervently, like we've never prayed, and we need to work and make sure that all of those who are considering such an action will be held accountable at the polls.

But let me just take you back- we talk about what the Court may do. When we were first drafting this bill, we had, I remember it was about 20 attorneys on the phone and Dr. Wilke and medical experts. When we were first discussing the idea of a heartbeat bill, we talked about, "What do we call it?" Some brought up "cardiac activity" or "discernable heartbeat," and all of these. We ended up with the words "detectable heartbeat," but we didn't know when we drafted the bill with "detectable heartbeat," which is the language I believe in all of the heartbeat bills across the country, certainly the federal bill as well, is that that was the exact same language from the Gonzales v. Carhart case.

In that case, the Gonzales v. Carhart Supreme Court case, they said, unlike any other ruling up until that time, they said that from the point of detectable heartbeat, you have a living fetus, not a potentially living fetus, like they always talked about. Don't let the word "fetus" really scare you. "Fetus" just is the Latin word, which means unborn child, developing human, young one. But what they're saying, the Supreme Court, in not only a finding of fact, it was a unanimous, undisputed finding of fact that once you have a detectable heartbeat, you have a living fetus, a living, unborn human being. What that means is, as Blackman said, that if we ever disprove this, if science actually showed something to the contrary, that the whole case of Roe vs. Wade falls, and that's what I believe is going to happen.

But let me explain it this way: Right now, the Supreme Court says, "If the child is viable, if the child can survive outside the womb, then you're allowed to protect it," all right? But guess what? As I mentioned yesterday, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals said, "Hey, hang on a second. The state's got a better marker. They've got a much better marker than the one the Court is currently using, that all they have to do is keep their current jurisprudence, their current judicial outlook and say, 'Yeah, the states can still protect children as long as there is a likelihood of survival to live birth.'" But the marker that they're using is a lousy one. It's called "viability," which really measures our technology, our ability to sustain life outside the womb.

We've got a better marker. What the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals said is that it's a more certain and consistent marker than viability. It's called "heartbeat." That if you've got a detectable heartbeat of an unborn baby, there is a 95 to 98% likelihood that child will survive to live birth. Now, we've got a marker that's not arbitrary, not based on our technology. It's based on that measurable, scientific indicator that we use across the board in every other case. So, I believe that when this comes to the Supreme Court, all they have to, they don't have to overturn Roe entirely, I hope they do, but even if they don't, they just move that marker from miles away at viability to inches away, they slide it down to heartbeat, which will protect almost every child.

When we were bringing in people to testify, the pro-aborts came in and they said, "This will outlaw all abortions," and I just sat there smiling because, you know what? It may very well be that the abortion mills that are motivated by money won't stay open for a fraction of their business. Yeah, I believe we're going to close them down and I believe the heartbeat bill will do that and I believe as our technology increases, we're going to detect that heartbeat earlier and earlier in the pregnancy, and we're going to get them all. If we get heartbeat bills across the country, we're going to go back and we're going to get the rest of those children whose heartbeats are not yet detectable for whatever reason. Maybe the next bill is a presence of a heartbeat, which as we know happens at 18 days or 21 days, which is before the woman even knows she's pregnant, so we're going to get them through heartbeat. I believe that this is the arrow that will pierce the heart of Roe vs. Wade.

Dr. Clinton: You're listening to Dr. James Dobson's family talk. I'm Dr. Tim Clinton, your host. Our special guest, Janet Porter, she's the founder of Faith2Action, where she's been the architect of the pro-life heartbeat bill, which ensures that if a heartbeat is detected, the baby is protected. Dr. Dobson recently said this about Janet: "Janet Porter is a frontline warrior whom I respect highly. She has done as much to protect the sanctity of life as anyone I know. I'm also pleased to call her my friend."

Janet, it has been really amazing to listen to you and to hear about what's happening with this. No doubt there are many listening, Janet, who would say, "Listen, I want to step into the fight." This thing has become front and center in American culture like never before. The nation is divided, but let me say this, they are united in this sense: An overwhelming majority of Americans want some type of restriction on an abortion and this heartbeat bill activity is amazing and it's exciting to see what God's doing in and through it. Janet, what can people do? They're at home listening right now. What can they do to step in and help become a part of the solution here?

Janet Porter: Well, I wrote a whole book on how it is that you can take it from the idea stage, from you and your friend that want to end abortion in your state to how to get it done, and honestly, it doesn't take more than a couple of people to get this thing moving. I know from experience because ultimately it was just me and another that worked from the beginning to the end. We had many along the way who joined, some dropped off, but ultimately, it doesn't take an army. It doesn't take a majority to get this thing done. You can pick up a copy of A Heartbeat Away. You can download a copy of the model bill at But I want to also tell you about the pitfalls that not only do we have RINOs that have been running on pro-life promises that be expected, there'll be people who disappoint you, but there are groups that you think are going to be with you that aren't.

I'll just say this, I hate to say it, but we have a whole chapter in the book about the enemy within. The biggest opponent to the heartbeat bill wasn't Planned Parenthood, it wasn't NARAL or the pro-abortion movement, it was a group that I used to work for. I used to be the legislative director of Ohio Right to Life and they fought us. They testified against the bill. They lobbied against the bill. They called for not one, but two vetoes against the most protective pro-life bill to ever pass in the state, and they were getting their marching orders, I believe, from National Right to Life, because it happened not just in Ohio, but Right to Life opposition to the heartbeat bill happened in Michigan, Tennessee, in Kansas, Indiana, Missouri, Texas, West Virginia, and so just like all those who are Republicans, they don't adhere to the platform, there's a lot of RINOs that are holding office right now, we all know who they are after what we went through in this last election.

But I want to tell you that all the groups that you think will be with you are not. Many people are committed to merely regulate abortion and not end it. Even though I would go to them, and I went to National Right to Life. I said, "Hey, listen, I've read your mission statement. You guys want to end abortion. That's what you are all about. That's why I wrote those checks to donate to you. That's why I worked for a decade of my life in the Right to Life movement," but turns out that's not what they all want to do, and so you've got to be careful. There's some pitfalls. The book, A Heartbeat Away, will help steer you through the process, where are the landmines, and what do you need to do to take this over the finish line? The answer is whatever it takes. If you're willing to do whatever it takes, then you're going to end abortion in your state.

We found that in the committee. Before the bill ever passed the committee in Ohio, when we first introduced it, there was a woman who was a staffer, she came up to me and said, "I was asked by a friend to drive her to the abortion mill," she didn't use that word, she called it a "clinic," but I don't. She said, "Once I found out about this baby's heartbeat, I told her I couldn't do it." Months later, she came up to me and hugged me and said "They canceled the appointment," and months later, they show me the picture of little baby Aiden who was saved just from the publicity of the heartbeat bill, just from the truth getting out that your baby in your womb has a beating heart, and that means something.

In fact, when we had testimony from women who've had abortions, nine out of 10 of them raised their hand that if they had even just known about their baby's heartbeat, they would have chosen life, and that's what we're seeing. Even with just the introductions, just the publicity that happens from the committee hearings, from the House-Senate votes. Even if it doesn't get signed into law, ultimately, you'll save lives just from getting the bill moving in your statehouse.

Dr. Clinton: Janet, yesterday we talked a little bit about many people who are discouraged, maybe disheartened, angry, frustrated, confused about where we're at in our country, even in the fight for life. Janet, I want you to speak to them. I want you to speak to all of us right now. I know you're out there. You're pounding the pavement, you're getting it done. Good things are happening, but they need to hear that over and over again because life's winning. Life is winning.

Janet Porter: I want to say that I was one that was holding out for the miracle to happen on January 20th, but I know this about God: He is not constrained by time. Time submits to Him. He's the Creator. He's the one in charge of it all and He's bigger than the circumstances. He's bigger than the dates on the calendar. He's bigger than all of pundits, all the polls, all the political rhetoric we hear. Let me tell you, if we knew what God was doing behind the scenes, we would be filled with hope, we would have such encouragement. I feel like a kid on Christmas that God is going to move in such a way that it's going to bring shock and awe to the Body of Christ. That they're going to say, "Wait a minute, God really does answer prayers. Wait a minute, God really does hear us when we cry out to Him, and God has heard the prayers of His people for the last nearly 50 years to bring the killing to an end."

I believe that those bowls are being tipped right now, that we're seeing those answers come, and I believe that we may be looking at a Supreme Court decision in the next, who knows? It could be months, it could be a year or two, but we're going to see the end of abortion. I'm just going to tell them on the record, write it down. We will see the killing of children in America come to an end. Abortion will end and it's already begun. It is unstoppable right now. It was called impossible. It is now inevitable. What we need to do is stay the course. Never give up. It doesn't matter what it looks like. Our God is bigger than every giant that occupies our land and I believe He is on the move. He has heard our cry. He is answering our prayers and I believe those answers are coming a whole lot sooner than anybody can imagine. Stay tuned. It's coming soon.

Dr. Clinton: Yeah. Lord, would you do just that? We do pray for our great country. Janet, we're running out of time, but on September 26, 2020, you prayed a powerful prayer in front of the US Capitol at Rabbi Jonathan Cahn's The Return event. Dr. Dobson was also a part of that. You prayed, "We speak life to United States of America. We declare this day that we will obey you and through your grace, we pledge and proclaim America will end abortion and no longer merrily regulate it." At the end of the day, that's really what we've been talking about and that's what's in your heart, isn't it?

Janet Porter: It is. This is from somebody that was in the regulation business. I was legislative director of Ohio Right to Life. I was told it couldn't be done and every time I'd come up with an idea to the contrary. In fact, something in me rose up that said, "We can do this. We need to do it and we need to do it now," and so there's a lot of people who are telling you it can't be done. Again, we serve the God of the impossible. It is time that we see the impossible bow to the name of Jesus spoken through your lips. We get to see God do the miraculous and be in the front row when it happens. There's nothing like that. I just think there's so many people that are sitting on the sidelines. They've given up and they've regulated abortion.

People say to me, "Aren't we doing great? We've got all these regulatory bills and parental consent and right to know and the partial-birth abortion ban." I passed every one of those bills, including the first ban on partial-birth abortion. But you know what? That we still have a million casualties every year. You can call that effort a lot of things, but success is not one of them when you've got a death toll of 60 million children and a million more every year being killed. We've got to do something different. If you want a different result, you've got to try a different approach. That's where the heartbeat bill came in. We're not talking about a cell or a glob of cells. We're talking about a fellow human being with a beating heart and to turn your back on a fellow human being with a beating heart is heartless. It is cold. It is heartless.

"That's not where America is," says George Barna. That poll said seven out of 10 want to keep hearts beating. Even a majority of Democrats, and so that's where I believe God has given us this opportunity to keep hearts beating and I believe that the answers to our prayers are coming. I believe they're coming quickly. But what we need to do is realize, quit looking at the giants that occupy your land and start running against them. Start taking the seats of power and authority where you live. Let's start getting a handful of people that can get a bill introduced in your state. I will help you. We will walk you through it. We'll bring in people to testify. You can bring in, as I mentioned, the youngest to testify with a mobile ultrasound, and have a lot of fun with it.

We had a blast. We did everything you can imagine. We had a press conference, not only with pastor of the heartbeat bill, groups for the heartbeat bill, women, African-Americans, we had a kids for the heartbeat bill press conference where kids came in, they had a hearing in the legislature to keep hearts beating, and they had little Teddy bears with beating hearts that were actually recorded of a human heartbeat inside a Teddy bear that they delivered to the Senate. Again, we've got a three-story heart balloon. Anybody that wants it, you let me know, you pay the postage, and you've got this balloon to use in your effort in your state.

But I'll just tell you, it takes persistence. It takes maybe some people not liking you because when you challenge people that don't want to do what you're being asked to do, do what you've elected them to do, to protect human life, that you're not going to have a lot of friends. From the beginning, and I can say sometimes I can count on one hand who our friends were, Dr. Dobson was one of them. He had our first broadcast that we did for Faith2Action. When I ran against the Senate president, he endorsed me. When we were in Congress, he ran programs. We rang the phones, we delivered 400,000 faxes to Congress, 910,000 emails until they told us, "Stop, stop. You got to shut this off. We overloaded the system in Congress." That was really due in large part to our, our great friend, the heartbeat hero. I presented him with that award when I saw him last, our heartbeat hero, Dr. James Dobson.

But I remember Mark Crutcher from Life Dynamics. He'd say, Janet, "How's it going?" I said, "Well, not so great. The Senate's blocking our bill, they're blocking us in Congress. They hate us." He says, "Janet, did you go down to the statehouse to make friends, or did you go down there to end abortion?" We went down there to end abortion and you can do it, too, no matter where you live. We'll help you. Just get the model bill at

Dr. Clinton: Janet, I want to end this way. I want to ask you to, with our listeners, let's join together and pray. Would you pray that God would work mightily in our midst and that we would see the end to Roe vs. Wade?

Janet Porter: Of course. Lord, we thank You that You sit above the circle of the Earth, and while the enemy makes their plans and while they celebrate and while they think they've won, You sit in the heavens and You laugh. Lord, I just recognize and I bring to Your attention that there were 10 righteous states. There were 11 with Alabama that really did what You said to do. We've turned from our wicked ways, one of the conditions You said for You to hear from heaven, forgive our sins and heal our land. As we humble ourselves, as we pray, as we seek Your face, we are committed to turning from our wicked ways.

I ask You to come down with Your righteous right hand that is not too short to save to rescue this nation, to fulfill every dream You have for America in Your heart and the hearts of Your people that You've put in their hearts to bring the killing to an end. Father, I pray that You would do it now without delay, that there would be no more delay to these prayers that You're answering. Lord, we just thank You that You are everything You claim to be. You are bigger than every giant we face and we thank You that the impossible bows to the name of Jesus. Make it so. We ask that You do so quickly and we ask for a sign from You that we would see in this upcoming month that we would see Your hand come in a powerful way that even Your enemies will have to recognize as the hand of God. I pray that in Jesus' name. Amen.

Dr. Clinton: Psalm 139:13-14 says this: "For You formed my inward parts, You knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works. My soul knows it very well." It's a great passage of Scripture on life, life in the womb. We've been talking about hearts and heartbeats and a whole lot more. I'd be remiss if we didn't say Happy Valentine's Day from Dr. Dobson, his wife, Shirley, their family, and the entire team at Family Talk. I hope you'll stand with us on the heartbeat motto this weekend: If a heartbeat is detected, the baby is protected.

Roger Marsh: Well, you can see why Christian talk show host Craig Roberts said, "Janet Porter is the adrenaline in the Body of Christ." You're listening to family talk with Dr. James Dobson and I'm Roger Marsh. You know, Janet's right. The strategy of regulating abortion has still left us with a million casualties every year. No one can call that a "success." Now, as the architect of the heartbeat bill, Janet is convinced that what once was impossible is now inevitable. We are going to end abortion. Janet has a fundamental belief that fuels her every action: that God will orchestrate the overturning of Roe vs. Wade. There is reason for hope. Now, to learn more about Janet Porter and her new book, A Heartbeat Away: How the Heartbeat Bill will Pierce the Heart of Roe v. Wade and the Shocking Betrayal No One Saw Coming, visit our broadcast page at While you're there, if you want to hear part one of this conversation from yesterday's broadcast, you'll find that there as well. That's

Well, that's all the time we have for today. Thanks so much for listening to Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk. I'm Roger Marsh. Have a nice weekend.

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