Pro-Life Legislation: What You Need to Know - Part 1 (Transcript)

Dr. Dobson: Well, hello everyone. I'm James Dobson and you're listening to family talk, a listener supported ministry. In fact, thank you so much for being part of that support for James Dobson Family Institute.

Dr. Clinton: Well, hello, everyone. And welcome to Family Talk, a division of the James Dobson Family Institute. I'm Dr. Tim Clinton. I'll be your host today. Last month, we marked the 48th anniversary of the egregious Roe versus Wade decision of the Supreme Court, which has led to the loss, the murder of over 60 million preborn baby boys and girls. No doubt, you've heard that number before, but I want it to sink in. That would be like every person in America's top 86 cities being murdered, from New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago at the top, all the way through Scottsdale, Arizona, Reno, Nevada, and Buffalo, New York.

Imagine if tomorrow morning we woke up to discover that 60 million people who live in America's largest 86 cities have been killed overnight. What would the headlines say? How would America react? It would be the equivalent of 20,000 9/11 events. If that doesn't break your heart, I don't know what will. And now, if president Biden does what he's promised, abortions are going to increase across America.

Last April, he went as far as to call the killing of unborn babies an essential medical service during the coronavirus pandemic. Biden's healthcare plan would expand abortions by forcing insurance companies to cover abortions as essential healthcare under Obamacare. Plus, he wants to codify Roe versus Wade into federal law in case the United States Supreme Court overturns it. And Biden wants to end the lifesaving Hyde Amendment and force taxpayers to pay for elective abortions.

Once you grasp the gravity of the abortion Holocaust, especially in light of the new administration and the Democrats control of both chambers of Congress, then you're going to develop an urgency to save as many precious children as possible.

Janet Porter is my guest today. She has that urgency. First, she served as the Legislative Director of Ohio Right to Life, where she successfully lobbied for passage of the nation's first partial birth abortion ban. Then she worked as National Director of the Center for Reclaiming America, founded by Dr. D. James Kennedy, where she initiated the Truth in Love campaign, featuring ex-homosexuals in newspaper and television ads.

After that, she produced her first film entitled Light Wins: How to Overcome the Criminalization of Christianity, designed to equip Christians to defend biblical marriage. Janet has appeared on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360, Fox and Friends, NBC's Today Show, ABC's Evening News, 20/20, Nightline, CBS This Morning, and the O'Reilly Factor. She doesn't shrink away from a fight, which is why she debated Jack "Dr. Death" Kevorkian, Planned Parenthood's President, and Patricia Ireland, the former National Organization of Women President.

Janet is the founder of Faith2Action, where she has been the architect of the pro-life Heartbeat bill, which ensures that if a heartbeat is detected, the baby is protected, I like that. The Heartbeat bills have been introduced in 29 States, and have passed in 11 States. And now she has chronicled her decade-long battle in her latest book entitled A Heartbeat Away: How the Heartbeat Bill will Pierce the Heart of Roe versus Wade and the Shocking Betrayal No One Saw Coming. No wonder Dr. James Dobson said, "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." And Dr. Dobson went on to say this, "I am pleased to call her my friend." Janet, welcome back to Family Talk.

Janet Porter: Thank you so much. It is such an honor to be on the program and really an honor to be a friend of Dr. Dobson. I have been a big fan for many, many years, as so many across the country, but to be called his friend is quite a privilege and quite an honor.

Dr. Clinton: Janet, with the inauguration of President Joe Biden on January 20th, we're going to have to double our life-saving efforts to protect baby boys and baby girls in the womb.

Janet Porter: We are. But I want to tell people, I think there's a lot of people who are very disheartened right now. And I want them to know that if we knew, if we had any idea what God was doing behind the scenes, I believe we would be very, very hopeful and very optimistic. You mentioned, I wrote the book, The Criminalization of Christianity and made the movie about what would happen under a similar circumstance of a Biden administration.

But I'm going to tell you, doc, everything in me is screaming that this time, The Criminalization of Christianity, the time is not now. I believe that God is not done with America. I believe that he has our best days ahead of us, as President Trump so often said, and yeah, it's going to be tough for a while. And yeah, we've got some hurdles to overcome. But God is working behind the scenes and I am still praying for a breakthrough and I'm still expecting Him to act.

Dr. Clinton: I love that, Janet, I'm encouraged by just listening to you. Janet, let me ask you this. And we're going to talk a lot about the Heartbeat bill and more here in just a moment, but a majority of Americans want some type of restriction on abortion, how in the world did we get to a place where we're now talking about and having to defend against birthday abortions and even infanticide? It's just unbelievable to me.

Janet Porter: We have really been ramrodded with a propaganda machine from the so-called "mainstream media," which by the way, there's a reason why they call it programs, television programs. People have been programmed all of these years, now with the internet, that as you see, is censoring out any dissenting view, because they're afraid that we dare say something contrary to the government position, the Marxist rule.

But I want to tell you, it's not just people want to regulate abortion. We did a poll through George Barna recently. And what we found is that seven out of 10 in America said that if a doctor is able to detect the heartbeat of an unborn child, that child should be legally protected. And guess what? Seven out of 10 said, yes, 86% of Republicans, but here's the shocker and this is the part that I've been in the pro-life movement my whole life, more than 40 years in this movement.

And I'll tell you, I've never seen a bill that protects this many babies supported by so many, even 55%, a majority of Democrats, want to keep hearts beating. And so, even though we've been programmed, even though we've heard the lie repeated over and over and over again, that many people have believed it, but not the majority. And that was not the majority that we saw represented in this election. I'll just give you a little insight on how I pray.

God said that if a thief is caught, in the Bible, he has to either give back double or seven fold. So what I've been praying is that God restores to us seven times what has been stolen in this election. I believe God is moving and I believe He's going to restore what was stolen from us.

Dr. Clinton: Amen. Janet, at the heart of the debate is this issue between, it's healthcare versus the personhood debate. Can you help us just understand that just for a minute? Make sure our listeners get this particular point. I know this is my body, this is healthcare versus personhood.

Janet Porter: Well, it's as basic as Biology 101. I mean, you have half the women who are pregnant, are pregnant with a male child. You can't be both male and female at the same time. But what I love about it is the scientific solution. The pro-aborts and the Democrats want to kill children, as you say, up to their birthday and they want us to pay for it. We in the pro-life movement, we want to protect them for when their lives begin, at the moment of fertilization.

But what I love about the Heartbeat bill is it says no matter where you are, you can at least say, "Let's take the scientific solution. That if there's a heartbeat, there is life." It's the universally recognized indicator of life in hospitals across the world. I mean, if you had somebody lying on the ground, you wouldn't just plan a funeral. The first thing you'd do is check for a pulse, because if there's a heartbeat, there's life, it's the reason we have all those heart monitors in hospitals. They're not there for decorations.

None of us have ever been to a funeral of somebody with a beating heart. And that's really where we are with the Heartbeat bill. It's why I believe so many people, seven of 10 in America, support it. Because, again, it's not all the way there, but it's not miles away from our goal where we are currently at the point of viability, which is where the abortionist takes a measurement, and he takes a guess. It can be as much as 90% wrong.

But what we found and what science shows us is that if you have a heartbeat, a detectable heartbeat in an unborn baby, that child is 95% to 98% likely to survive to live birth. So, we've got a better indicator, said the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. And so, I believe that that even though things look like it's gone awry, and it seems irreparable, what we're looking at is focusing on the states. Because I remember, Dr. Tim, that I was on a show with Dr. Dobson not that long ago.

I remember, because I was calling from Congressman Steve King's office and I was doing the show from the Hill. And at that moment, and I explained on the air, that we had a Republican House, a Republican Senate, a Republican White House with new judges being ushered into the Supreme Court. I said, "We have an open window right now. We have a bill, a federal Heartbeat bill, had 174 co-sponsors, more than any other pro-life bill in Congress." And yet the RINOs, the pretenders, the imposters refused to vote on the bill that had more support than any other pro-life bill.

And what we did in Ohio is we had to - as you know, this battle for us was 10 years in the making, from when God put the idea in my heart to keep hearts beating to where we finally got it passed in Ohio. And the good news is it did pass in just a short time in Arkansas. It passed in North Dakota, in Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Georgia, Missouri, Louisiana, Tennessee, and ultimately in Ohio, where it all began, but it took a long time.

And there were three election cycles where we had to run candidates against these Senate RINOs who were blocking our bill. We even came to the place where I had the file to run against the Senate president.

Dr. Clinton: Amazing.

Janet Porter: That didn't go over real well. But that's what we're going to have to do now in Congress. We now know who are the people who voted to - Republicans, that voted to impeach the president. Now, we know who we need to run against, and then we need the states, because Congress is right now in the hands of the Democrats. What we need to do is rein in the voter integrity in each of these states, as well as to pass the Heartbeat laws and other pro-life laws in these other states that have introduced, as you said, 29 have introduced it, but we have had 10 Heartbeat bills pass and when you mentioned 11, that's Alabama, that protected babies from the moment of conception, that's as good as you can get. And that's ultimately our goal.

And so, I have great optimism, but I do know this, that if we went back to business as usual, I hate to say it, but I'd be afraid I'd come on your program again and say, "Yeah, even though we've got Republicans and all of these positions in the House, the Senate, the White House, until we make a cataclysmic change," and what we didn't know is who were the pretenders. Because here's the thing, these guys go out there and they say, "Oh, I'm so pro-life, vote for me." They use babies to get elected instead of using elections to protect babies. And that's what's been happening in this country for far too long. And that's one of the reasons why we've been killing children legally in America for 48 years.

Dr. Clinton: Janet, so let me go back just for a second here. Heartbeat then is the "viability marker."

Janet Porter: It's the new viability.

Dr. Clinton: It's the new viability marker. And the Barna research is showing that, again, an overwhelming number of Americans recognize this and say, "Yes, we get this. We stand with this." And what's happening now is these Heartbeat bills are starting to make their way through the States. You pioneered the work in Ohio. Tell us a little bit about what it was like in Ohio. Because you met some challenge with Governor Kasich along the way, tell us what happened and how you got a breakthrough there.

Janet Porter: We started off before anybody had heard of what a Heartbeat bill is. They said it was impossible. All right. But the motto of my state is "With God, all Things are Possible." And we know that motto is true because Jesus was the one who said it. It's actually emblazoned on the ground in front of our state house. We had people who were literally standing on the word of God when they stood and prayed, they knelt and prayed on that state seal.

But what I found out in the Ohio battle is that what was once impossible is now inevitable. That we're seeing Heartbeat bills pass all over the country and they are being launched right now through the court system. And I believe that they will deliver the fatal blow to the heart of Roe versus Wade, to abortion on demand.

Dr. Clinton: That's a big statement.

Janet Porter: I believe that's what's going to bring the giant down. I really do. But when we started, it was a tough battle. We wanted America to know about this bill. And when we launched it, we made a little music video and we have 99 members of the Ohio House of Representatives. So, we did this little parody song. You've heard of the 99 Red Balloons? Well, this was 99 red heart balloons. And we had people from all over the state, all over the country, order their balloons.

And on the day we introduced the bill, we delivered 4,000 red heart balloons. They were filled in the press conference room, floor to ceiling, all the way around. And there wasn't anyone by the end of the day that didn't know about our Heartbeat bill when we first introduced it. What we did and this is the advice I give to any state contemplating it, whatever bill it is, what we did is we gathered the 50 out of 99, the majority of members as co-sponsors, it's a lot harder to get talked off a bill if your name's on top as a co-sponsor.

So, we did the work ahead of time. We introduced the bill with all the fanfare. And I'll tell you, we were starting to run out of ideas. We did the heart balloons. We did 2,200 roses, which is the amount of babies the Heartbeat bill would save every month. They were combined in sets of three, which is the amount of babies the Heartbeat bill would save every hour. So, we filled up another room with roses. We did billboards, we did bumper stickers. I own, and I'm willing to lend this out to any state that will keep hearts beating.

I own a three story heart balloon. And yes, we put that in front of the state house. It towered above. It's something that we will be happy to lend to any anybody that wants one. By the way, we're seeing the momentum, even as we're talking, I got a text from those who are fighting on the front lines of the Heartbeat bill, that just passed in South Carolina's Senate Committee.

I talked to a state rep this week who is looking to introduce our model bill, which is found at, in the state of West Virginia and others that [inaudible 00:15:10]. I talked today to someone in Canada who wants to get a Heartbeat bill going. And so, I think my favorite thing, and I tell this because there may be some states that want to do this, is we actually build it as the youngest to ever testify.

So, in Ohio, we launched this, "we're bringing in the youngest to ever testify." It was a nine week old unborn baby and others at various ages, we brought in a mobile ultrasound right there in the committee room. And we played up on the screen that baby, you could zoom in on the baby's heartbeat that can make it red now on the ultrasound, it's beating. The parole boards didn't like it a bit. They're, "Janet, and her gimmicks and her stunts." And I said, "Isn't it sad that to defend your position, you've got to deny science, that you've got to run from technology?"

And that's what we saw at the federal Heartbeat bill. We did the same thing. We brought in a mobile ultrasound, we brought in baby Lincoln, who was 18 weeks old unprotected by our laws, but there he was. And there were people in the room, you know how it is. They had protesters and they were obnoxious and disruptive. But when little baby Lincoln's heart was beating and the federal judiciary subcommittee in the federal bill, in Congress, the room was silent.

And one of the protestors was seen wiping tears from both her eyes. And that's when it hit me, Tim, that if this heartbeat can reach even the hardest of hearts, it can reach America and that's what it's been doing.

Dr. Clinton: You're listening to Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk. I'm Dr. Tim Clinton, your host today. Our special guest is Janet Porter, she's the founder of Faith2Action, where she has been the architect of the pro-life Heartbeat bill, which ensures, by the way, if a heartbeat is detected, the baby is protected. Fascinating discussion. Janet, let me go back and make sure I've got all this straight. I want to make sure our listeners have this straight. So, the bill currently has been signed into law in 10 States, but there's some challenge to get this thing all the way through. Let's make sure and understand that real quick.

Janet Porter: Sure. You can't be discouraged by the fact that something's challenged by the court system. We knew that, we knew it going in. In fact, we crafted this bill on the beginning, in the very beginning, to be the arrow to pierce the heart of Roe versus Wade. It was crafted to go through the court system. It's like an arrow. In order to achieve your goal, in order to hit the target, you've got to pull that bow back.

So, it seems like we're, "Oh, no. We're being set back by a court that strikes down our bill." No, it's just actually being positioned into place to launch these bills to where they need to go and that is to the United States Supreme Court, where I believe we're going to see a favorable ruling ultimately. But we actually had a Republican governor by the name of John Kasich, who, as you recall, spoke at the Democratic Convention, he's a guy that vetoed our Heartbeat bill, not once, but twice.

And I often tell the story that we came actually so close to overturning his veto. In the House, we actually overrode his veto. And what happened was we had quite a battle, where we needed to get 60, a super majority, 60 instead of 50 votes. And what happened was, we had 58 to 35 by the end of the day. And it was just, "Oh, we're two votes short. Something's not right. Something's not right. I feel like we needed another vote."

And one of the guys who the Democrats had beat up and threatened came out and voted for life. And we were now one vote away, 59 votes instead of 60. And so, we found out that one of our votes was missing, we couldn't find her. We didn't know where she was. And so, I call her husband's cell phone and say, listen, "We need to bring her back. She's the swing vote. We've got three bills on the roster. We've got less than an hour to get her back."

And it was snowing now like a blizzard. He says, "Well, I'm two hours away and there's nothing I can do. I've got an essential meeting I can't miss." But something in me, Tim, something in me rose up and said, "Listen, we could not come within one vote to quit." And so I said, "Can you pull off the highway, because I'm on my way to get her right now." And so I told one group standing outside the chambers. I said, "You tell them to stall until we get back." And I told another group, "You pray until we get back."

And I take off, running to my car through the blizzard and I get two blocks away. I get to my car. I don't have my keys. And I'm like, "Oh my goodness." You're trying to hurry and get this, some guy walks up to me very calmly. I'm out of breath, because I've been sprinting. He hands me my keys very calmly and says, "Here you dropped these in the crosswalk." And he was either a marathon runner or an angel I believe. He gives me my keys; I'm driving North like a maniac.

I remember that our intern, his mother used to be an intern when I worked back in the Right to Life days. And I said, "Can you have her pick up the state rep, Marilyn Slaby, pick her up in Ashland, where she lived, drive South while I drove North," we found out that you can actually recess instead of adjourn. So, they recessed, where two people can actually bring the bill to a vote. One of them is our champion, Ron Hood, and the other is Marilyn Slaby, the lady in my car, as we're driving through a blizzard and maybe not the most pro-life of manners. We get there.

It was really a surreal moment, where they bring up House bill 253 for third consideration, slam down the gavel and my swing vote, still in her coat, signs the yes vote. That's how we overrode John Kasich's veto in the House. One of the people in the Senate, I don't like to point out names, his name is Bill Beagle. He is a guy who was a vote for the Heartbeat bill. But the governor got to him and he stabbed babies in the back, can never run again as a pro-lifer.

So, the message of all of this is, it looked impossible. And four months later, we had a bill that was much stronger signed by Governor DeWine. But here's the deal, if we want to end abortion, if you want to protect babies, you're going to have to do whatever it takes. And if that means setting out in a blizzard and snowstorm for your swing vote, you do it. If that means running against people, including the Senate president, you do it. They are absolutely imposters, they're RINOs. It's time for us to go back to the place where we get involved in our government and enough to do whatever it takes.

Because I'm tired of talking about abortion. I don't know about you. I'm tired of marching about it. I'm tired of talking about it. I want to end it. And it's time we do that. And I believe that time is now. It doesn't matter what it looks like in the White House. We can do this at the state level and look for God to intervene elsewhere. But right now, it's on us.

And I want to say one other thing. A lot of people say, "Well, Janet, you've got a great big group. You've got Faith2Action, you've got all these things that are working in your advantage. That's how you got the bill through." I'm going to tell you something. There was a time where I could count my friends on one hand. And the good news is, you know who they are. That's one advantage. But there were times when we filled up the state House, we had overflowing room, more than anybody's ever seen in the state House atrium. We had, Dr. Wilke, the founder of the pro-life movement, standing with us. We had all of these rockstar leaders and former presidential candidates, all standing with us.

And then there was time when we had to play hardball, run against these guys. And again, it came down to a couple of people that saw this through from the beginning to the end, Lori Viars is one of the generals who I write about in my book about how to do this, but you can do it with a handful of people. I think there's a reason why Jesus sent his disciples out two by two. If you have one friend, you can end abortion in your state and we can help you. We can walk you through it. We've got a model bill. And we've got the people who can come in and testify for you as well as hook you up with some mobile ultrasounds to get the youngest to testify in your state as well.

Dr. Clinton: What a fascinating discussion. Life is winning. Here on the legal and legislative side. Janet, this is just amazing. That's just an example. This Heartbeat bill and so much more. There's a lot to talk about, the Supreme Court, how can people get involved. Janet, I'd love for you to stay around for us to do part two that maybe could air tomorrow, and share with our listeners about this amazing work you're doing. Hey, will you stay with us?

Janet Porter: Would love to, thank you.

Roger Marsh: You've been listening to Janet Porter, the architect of the Heartbeat bill, here on Family Talk, hosted today by Dr. Tim Clinton. The heartbeat Bill's premise is simple: if a heartbeat is detected, the baby should be protected. Praise God that it has been introduced in 29 states and has become law in 10 states across America. And if the Supreme Court accepts one of these cases, where the pro abort forces have legally challenged the Heartbeat bills. Janet is convinced that Roe versus Wade will one day be overturned.

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, please visit our broadcast page at, and make sure to listen tomorrow for the second half of our conversation with Janet Porter.

Now, some exciting news. Throughout this romantic month of February, we're offering a copy of Dr. Dobson's book, entitled Night Light: A Devotional for Couples, whether you're just married or celebrating your golden anniversary, you need regular quiet moments with your mate. Time to renew love and intimacy with each other and with the Lord. Night Light by Dr. Dobson and his wife, Shirley, will help you do just that. This daily devotional offers the personal, practical and biblical insights that have sustained the Dobson's marriage for over 60 years. Let Night Light: A Devotional for Couples enrich your marriage as well.

We'll be happy to send you a copy of the book Night Light as our way of thanking you for your suggested donation of $20 when you visit us online at That's Or you can contact us over the phone when you call 877-732-6825. That's 877-732-6825. 24 hours a day, our customer service team is standing by ready to help you.

Well, that's all the time we have for today. We hope you'll join us again tomorrow for part two of our powerful conversation with special guest and pro-life advocate, Janet Porter. Thanks so much for joining us for Family Talk. On behalf of Dr. Dobson and everyone here at the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute in Colorado Springs, Colorado, I'm Roger Marsh. I hope you have a blessed day.

Announcer: This has been a presentation of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute.

Dr. Clinton: Hi, everyone, Dr. Tim Clinton here. When you think about your family and where they'll be when you're no longer living, are you worried? Are you confident? Are you hopeful? What kind of a legacy are you leaving for your children and their children right now? Here at Family Talk, we're committed to helping you understand the legacy that you're leaving your family. Join us today at You're going to find helpful insights, tips, and advice from Dr. Dobson himself. And remember, your legacy matters.
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