Right to Life Radio (general)

Post YOUR dialogue tips at http://ProLifePodcast.net/196!

 

Josh interviews Justice For All trainer Timothy Brahm and JFA volunteer Anthony Trent on the subtle things they're doing lately in dialogues about abortion that seem to be making them more productive.

Direct download: LifeReport196.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:42am PST

Secular Pro-Life West Coast Representatives Monica and Ellen join Josh to discuss the Justice For All seminar they attended, and how they felt as atheists among Christians. 

 

They also discuss how the pro-life movement could be more welcome to atheists and when it's appropriate for Christians to evangelize their atheist acquaintances or friends.

Direct download: LifeReport195.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:31am PST

Steven Ertelt from LifeNews.com discusses his list of pro-life pet peeves with Josh.

 

While obviously not all pro-life advocates do these things, many do, and Steven argues that we will be more effective as a movement if we eliminate these bad habits.

Direct download: LifeReport194.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:25am PST

Comment on this episode at http://ProLifePodcast.net/193!

We're interrupting our series with Steven Ertelt to give you an update on the Supreme Court case, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores.

Notre Dame Law grad John Gerardi and Jonathan Keller from California Family Council explain the case and what happened during the oral arguments.

Questions:

1: Where are we in this case right now and how did we wind up here?

2: One of the issues in this case is whether or not a corporation should be considered a "person." Many people think it's crazy to call a corporation a person, that it just protects the rich and helps them get richer. What are your views on that?

3: What were some of the highlights from the oral arguments?

4: Is this about religious freedom or is it about the rights of the poor employees against their corporate employer?

5: How do you think the court will rule and why?

6: Where does the religious freedom road lead if Hobby Lobby loses this case?

 

Direct download: LifeReport193.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:42am PST

Steven Ertelt from LifeNews.com discusses his list of pro-life pet peeves with Josh.

 

While obviously not all pro-life advocates do these things, many do, and Steven argues that we will be more effective as a movement if we eliminate these bad habits.

Direct download: LifeReport192.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:03pm PST

I spoke last month at the Students for Life of America Regional Leadership Summit at UCLA. I spent the first 54-minutes speaking about bodily rights arguments, and you can download that audio here. I spent the last 24-minutes talking about life-threatening pregnancies and taking questions.

 

My thinking on this subject is heavily influenced by my friend Trent Horn at Catholic Answers. Trent has done a lot of research and great thinking on this subject, and the material I presented is largely based on what Trent has written on the subject that I subsequently agreed with.

 

After arguing that we should treat both mother and child as patients and that in late-term situations, we can usually save both, I explain that there are still some cases where we cannot save both, particularly in tubal pregnancies.

 

I respond to the concern that tubal pregnancies aren't really that risky, and offer a real-world example when it was also justified to put an innocent human being's life in perilous risk.

Direct download: JoshBrahmLive-LifeThreateningPregnancies-UCLA.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:29am PST

Post your comments at http://ProLifePodcast.net/191.

 

Steven Ertelt, Founder and Editor of LifeNews.com, shares his expertise on the relationship between the Girl Scouts of America and Planned Parenthood. 

 

He also explains why the Girl Scouts have sent a threatening legal letter to LifeNews.com.

 

Finally, Steven and Josh discuss the boycott and whether or not local Girl Scout groups should be boycotted.

 

Direct download: LifeReport191.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:45am PST

Josh concludes his interview with Jojo Ruba, former staff member of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform and Executive Director of Faith Beyond Belief.

After talking about the mission of Faith Beyond Belief, Josh asks a follow-up question from the previous episode, where Jojo made a comment about pro-lifers needing to be "more offensive." Josh asks, "How can you tell whether you should be more offensive or less offensive when talking to pro-choice people?"

Afterwards Jojo and Josh answer a listener mail question from Mark in Hawaii:

"I'm a new listener, and I'm trying to figure out exactly what your views are regarding human development and when a person comes into being and should be granted human rights. Most importantly and perhaps most difficult, when do you believe God endues a body/soul carrier with a soul in human fetal development and what are your reasons for that?"

The episode includes a discussion of the Equal Rights Argument that Josh and the Justice For All team have been using lately, and what Jojo and Josh think about animal rights.

Direct download: LifeReport190.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:01pm PST

Josh interviews Jojo Ruba, former staff member of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform and Executive Director of Faith Beyond Belief.

 

After talking about the pro-life presentations that have been protested and censored by Canadian pro-choice activists, Jojo answers the 9-question Life Report Questionnaire that has been answered by many other pro-life leaders in the past. I altered it a little for this interview, taking out the questions on stem cell research and euthanasia to focus more on the graphic pictures debate and how pro-lifers should treat pro-choice people.

 

I love this quote from Jojo, in regards to what he does when he's talking to a pro-choice person: "I say a little prayer, and the prayer is this: 'Father, show me how I can love this person today.'"

 

Questions:

 

What did you get in trouble for as a child?

What is your favorite movie, and why?

What has been the pro-life movement’s greatest victory (or victories) so far?

What has been the pro-life movement’s greatest failing or weakness?

Graphic Pictures: Should we use them, and if so, how, when, and where?

Is there a difference between showing non-graphic but disturbing images in public (like the human trafficking truck) and showing graphic images of abortion in public?

How should pro-lifers interact with those who are pro-abortion-choice?

What kind of tips are you offering students you train on how to treat pro-choice people with respect?

What single thing should pro-lifers be doing that most are NOT doing right now?

Direct download: LifeReport189.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:13am PST

It's Gabi's farewell show! So for something special, Josh and Gabi discuss the 21 most important lessons she's learned about abortion dialogue while working with Right to Life of Central CA and Justice For All.

Direct download: LifeReport188.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:59pm PST

After shooting the Life Report episode on arguments for embryonic stem cell research, Dr. Buratovich graciously stuck around 37-minutes to answer more questions! This audio includes my new favorite fact about early human development!

 

Questions:

 

1: Ronald Bailey has argued that since somatic cell nuclear transfer can transform a nucleus from an adult cell into an embryo, then every cell in our body is a potential embryo. Since we do not get upset about all those cells we lose when we sneeze or scrape our knees, we shouldn’t get upset about the death of a bunch of embryos. I train people to respond to that by saying they’re confusing parts with wholes and talk about what an organism is. How do you respond?

 

2: Some argue that embryos are like acorns as opposed to oak trees. The loss of a majestic oak tree is a genuinely sad, but an acorn? We trample hundreds of those while playing with our kids at the park and think nothing of it. So people argue that embryos are similar, in that they only become valuable when they grow up. How do you respond to that argument?

 

3: Respond to the more intelligent pro-choice argument that would say that sentience or some other capacity is a necessary condition for being valuable.

 

4: But if self-awareness really is what's important, then it seems like the pro-choice person could respond by agreeing that the threshold of self-awareness isn't epistomologically knowable, but that doesn't mean that that threshold doesn't ontologically exist. Then they could do what Boonin and Singer do and just draw the line several weeks before that threshold could possibly exist. How would you respond to that person?

 

5: The early church made a distinction between abortion after quickening (the maternal sensation of fetal movement), which was viewed as murder, and abortion before quickening, which was not viewed as murder. Is the pro-life movement inconsistent with early church teaching?

6: How would you argue that the unborn is a living, human organism?

 

7: Clarify how the mother's uterus communicates with the embryo, signalling it to the optimum location to implant.

 

8: Can we use dead embryos to ethically make embryonic stem cell lines?

 

9: Should people freeze their baby’s umbilical cord blood as a deposit on future research?

Direct download: BONUS-DrMichaelBuratovich.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:38am PST

Join the discussion at http://ProLifePodcast.net/187

 

Dr. Michael Buratovich is Professor of Biochemistry at Spring Arbor University and the faculty advisor for the SAU Students for Life club. Josh interviews him on what stem cell research is and how to respond to common arguments for embryonic stem cell research.

 

Purchase "The Stem Cell Epistles: Letters to my Students about Bioethics, Embryos, Stem Cells, and Fertility Treatments:" http://amzn.to/1f2rM3b

 

Read Dr. Buratovich's blog at http://BeyondTheDish.wordpress.com.

 

01:09 - How did this book come along?

 

04:10 - Can you explain for our listeners what a stem cell is, and why they are sought after in research for regenerative medicine?

 

11:03 - Can you talk about the differences between embryonic stem cell research, adult stem cell research and induced pluripotent stem cell research?  

 

17:18 - Many people argue that the embryo is just a tiny clump of cells with no nervous system; no heart, no consciousness, no ability to feel pain. They think it's crazy to call that an intrinsically valuable human being. What do you say to them?

 

18:49 - Some people think we should use cloned embryos to solve the practical issues with embryonic stem cell research? Do you believe that to be an ethical alternative?

 

21:08 - Some people make a utilitarian argument that all those millions of embryos in storage units are going to die anyway. They argue that we should put them to good use instead of wasting them in a cold storage unit or flushing them down the drain. How would you respond to that utilitarian argument?

 

24:39 - What should pro-lifers be doing about stem cell research?

 

Stay tuned for bonus audio with Dr. Buratovich to be posted later this week at http://ProLifePodcast.net

Direct download: LifeReport187.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:28am PST

Listen to Josh's speech at the Students for Life of America 2014 West Coast National Conference:

Josh responds to these four common statements:
1: "I'm pro-life, but people tell me I come across like a jerk. What can I do about that?"
2: "I'm pro-life, but I don’t know how to convince people that abortion is wrong?"
3: "I'm pro-life, but I think it should be legal."
4: "I'm pro-life, but what about rape?"

Direct download: JoshBrahmLive-2014SFLAConference.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:57am PST

We weren't able to cover everything I wanted to during the Life Report episode, but Dr. Poupard was gracious enough to spend some more time answering questions about this important topic.

1: How do birth control pllls and Plan B work, why do some people think that they are abortifacients and why do you think that they may not be?

2: Comment on article from Catholic Bioethics...Quarterly that cites studies indicating that Plan B is not an abortifacient and argues that the labels on Plan B may not mean anything. Is there a medical bias issue at play?

3: Question #1 from Dan: What about the studies cited in Randy Alcorn's book that breakthrough pregnancies while on oral contraceptives are more likely to be ectopic?

4: Question #2 from Dan: What is the state of the research on Progesterone-only pills like the mini pill and copper/hormonal IUD's?

Direct download: BONUS-DrRichPoupardOnBirthControl.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:17am PST

We've been wanting to shoot an episode on this topic for several years, and it's finally done! It's sometimes a contentious topic among pro-life people, but it's an important one nonetheless. How should pro-life people think and talk about birth control, aside from the important religious debate about whether or not you should plan your family? Dr. Rich Poupard from Life Training Institute comes on the show to offer his expertise.

02:25 - Dr. Poupard summarizes what he's learned about the medical question of how birth control methods work.

04:55 - How does Plan B work according to the research and what does a woman's weight have to do with it's effectiveness?

08:45 - Do you think women are getting enough information about the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of Plan B?

09:25 - Why the new Plan B research will probably result in MORE abortifacient use, and not less.

12:32 - Were pro-abortion-choice advocates talking about the new Plan B/weight study when it came out, or have they been hesitant to discuss it publicly?

13:26 - What's the connection between abortifacient IUD's and implantables and Obamacare?

19:17 - Knowing everything you know, how would you train pro-life advocates to talk publicly about birth control?

23:24 - What should pro-lifers talk about when discussing the public policy side of this issue? Parental involvement?

26:05 - How would you answer in 60-seconds the direct question of whether Plan B causes abortions or not?

We'll be posting bonus audio with Dr. Poupard answering more questions about birth control pills and Plan B later this week at http://ProLifePodcast.net.

Life Training Institute:

http://ProLifeTraining.com

Direct download: LifeReport186.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:13pm PST

We've got an unaired episode that was never published on YouTube for technical reasons that we recently resolved. Josh Brahm and Liz Goddard interview Bobby Schindler, the Executive Director of the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network which works to protect the lives of the medically vulnerable and disabled from the threat of euthanasia.

Join the discussion at http://ProLifePodcast.net/185.

00:29 Can you give us a brief overview of your sister Terri's story?

04:18 Did Michael wait 30-45 minutes after Terri's collapse before calling 911?

05:27 Can you define "persistent vegetative state" for us, and whether you believe Terri was in a persistent vegetative state?

06:53 Is there an objective definition of PVS?

08:11 Did Terri fit that medical criteria for PVS?

09:04 What progress did Terri show in the first two years of rehab before Michael took her off of rehab?

10:15 What happened to the trust fund that was earmarked for Terri's therapy?

12:25 Why do you think that Michael refused to divorce Terri after moving in with Jody Centonze?

13:02 What is it that the medical professionals believed whom Judge Greer refused to allow to testify?

14:37 Is there anyway Terri could have survived without the feeding tube?

15:26 Do you know anything about recent research to determine the extent of someones brain injury?

17:01 Do you have any how often people are starved to death who are not in a PVS state?

18:30 What is the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network doing now, six years later?

19:49 What do you believe is still the number one misconception about Terri?

21:36 What kind of legislation could be passed that would prevent Terri's situation happening again?

22:21 How will the new healthcare law impact people with situations similar to Terri's?

23:36 Would you be in favor of legislation that would sever spousal rights on the behalf of an incapacitated person in the event where there's a clear conflict of interest, such as when the spouse acting as guardian begins a new relationship?

24:47 What would you say to people who try to frame Terri's situation as a "right-to-die issue?"

26:02 So the clear distinction for you is that food and water is basic care and that ventilators and respirators are medical care that in some cases can be stopped?

Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network:

http://www.terrisfight.org/

Direct download: LifeReport185.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:53pm PST

Rebecca Hashke from Justice For All joins Josh Brahm and Gabi Vehrs to discuss a question that pro-lifers often struggle with.

After offering some thoughts on how pro-lifers should respond to this question, the discussion turns to another philosophical conundrum that pro-choice people often ask about: should the fact that abortion bans would be hard to enforce mean that we shouldn't try to make abortion illegal?

Direct download: LifeReport184.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am PST

Our favorite Notre Dame Law grad John Gerardi joins us again, this time to discuss the Pope's recent confusing comments about abortion.

Note from Josh: We recorded this episode in October, 2013. I'm grateful that yesterday (December 9th) Pope Francis made a clear pro-life statement to the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, a pro-life group in Rome.

Direct download: LifeReport183.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:17am PST

Steve Wagner from Justice For All joins Josh Brahm and Gabi Vehrs to discuss what Students for Life clubs should do with their events.

Steve argues that every event should create a debate about abortion that can be turned into a dialogue.

Here's the list of typical pro-life campus club activities that Steve assesses in this episode:

1: Cupcakes For Life.

2: Poll table event - Debate2Dialogue.org for pics.

3: Bringing speakers (pro-life apologetics, post-abortion, etc.) or hosting a debate.

4: Screening movies like "It's a Girl," "180," "October Baby" and "Bella."

5: Volunteering for the local Pregnancy Resource Center.

6: Diaper drives.

7: Traveling to the March for Life.

8: Bound4Life events. (Red tape over mouth.)

Direct download: LifeReport182.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:34am PST

Steve Wagner from Justice For All joins Josh Brahm and Gabi Vehrs for a two-episode discussion about common terms and labels used in the abortion debate. 

In this episode they focus on the labels that both sides of the debate call the entity killed in an abortion: unborn, preborn, zygote, embryo, fetus, fetal human, baby and child.

Steve uses the word "unborn" at the beginning of a dialogue with a pro-choice person so as not to add an unnecessary impediment to the conversation, and to avoid begging the question.

Steve responds to the following challenges to his approach:

"Aren't we humanizing the unborn by calling her a 'child' or by using male/female pronouns?"

"What about when we're writing? Do we always need to make a case for the humanity of the unborn before we start calling her a 'baby' or using male/female pronouns?"

Direct download: LifeReport181.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:46am PST

Steve Wagner from Justice For All joins Josh Brahm and Gabi Vehrs for a two-episode discussion about common terms and labels used in the abortion debate. In this episode they focus on the labels that both sides of the debate call each other: pro-choice, pro-abortion. pro-abort. pro-abortion-choice. pro-life. anti-abortion. anti-choice.

Steve, Josh and Gabi explain why they are willing to use the term "pro-choice" when beginning a dialogue, even though many pro-life people see that as an inaccurate "weasel word." 

Steve argues that he needs to ask the person in front of him a lot of questions to accurately understand what they think about abortion, and he doesn't want to create unnecessary impediments to the dialogue by using offensive terms that he doesn't even think accurately portrays most abortion advocates.

Steve also responds to the following challenges to his approach:

"But isn't 'pro-choice' the least accurate label for the other side?"

"What about when it's just pro-life people hanging out? Should we call them 'pro-aborts' then?"

"What if the entire pro-life movement decides to use gracious language while the other side uses rhetorically powerful labels? Are we giving up too much ground? What if unborn babies die because of this approach?"

"What should I do when I see other pro-life people using terms on Facebook that I think are mean or inaccurate? Should I confront the pro-life person, or just let it go?"

Finally, Steve, Josh and Gabi discuss the terms that pro-choice people often call pro-lifers: anti-abortion and anti-choice.

In the next episode, they will discuss the terms used for the unborn. (Zygote, embryo, fetus, unborn, preborn, baby, child.)

Direct download: LifeReport180.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:01pm PST

Megan Almon from Life Training Institute joins Josh Brahm and Gabi Vehrs to discuss strawman fallacies.

Josh starts the show by stating that both pro-life and pro-choice people strawman the other side all the time, and he shares several examples.

They then discuss how people can avoid making strawman arguments. How can we intentionally listen to people and ask a LOT of clarification questions to determine what they actually believe?

Direct download: LifeReport179.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:55am PST

Josh Brahm and Gabi Vehrs have a candid conversation about the state of the pro-life movement, and some of the most important things we need to do in the next ten years to set ourselves up in a good trajectory towards victory.

Direct download: LifeReport178.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:29am PST

Josh, Gabi and Megan Almon from Life Training Institute discuss how pro-lifers can best respond to pro-choice people who argue that abortion should be legal because the world is overpopulated or because women will die in back-alleys if abortion became illegal.

Note: Our strategy for responding to back-alley abortions relies heavily on the work of Steve Wagner from Justice For All.

Direct download: LifeReport177.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:17pm PST

The second part of Josh's interview with Brad Mattes, CEO of Life Issues Institute and host of the Emmy award-winning television show, "Facing Life Head-On." Brad answers the questions from the "Life Report Questionnaire" and more!

Questions:

  1. What did you get in trouble for as a child?
  2. What is your favorite movie, and why?
  3. What has been the pro-life movement's greatest victory (or victories) so far?
  4. What has been the pro-life movement's greatest failing or weakness?
  5.  Does the pro-life movement need more unity, and if so, how can we accomplish that?
  6.  Graphic Pictures: Should we use them, and if so, how, when, and where?
  7.  What would you say to those who would argue that graphic pictures should be used in very public places because children don't seem to be too negatively effected by them?
  8.  Stem Cell Research & Human Cloning: What should pro-lifers be doing about this, and why?
  9.  What would you say to those who say it's unfair to compare the current successes of ESCR with adult stem cell research since ASCR has had more public funding until recently?
  10.  What should pro-lifers be doing about human cloning now that it might actually be a reality?
  11.  Assisted Suicide & Euthanasia: What should pro-lifers be doing about this, and why?
  12.  Is the Netherlands a lost cause on the end-of-life issues debate?
  13.  Respond to Americans who look at the problems with euthanasia in the Netherlands and respond, "That's them. We will do it better."
  14.  What do you say to someone who is for assisted suicide in certain hard cases?
  15.  How should pro-lifers interact with those who are pro-abortion-choice?
  16.  Respond to pro-lifers who would say that we should be shouting at pro-choice people because that shows we're taking baby killing seriously.
  17.  What single thing should pro-lifers be doing that most are NOT doing right now?
  18.  How can pro-lifers start conversations about such a dark issue without being weird?
  19.  How should pro-life people use Facebook?
  20.  If people went to LifeIssues.org what could they find there?
Direct download: LifeReport176.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:29am PST

Josh interviews Brad Mattes, CEO of Life Issues Institute and host of the Emmy award-winning television show, "Facing Life Head-On."  Check back in two weeks for the second part of this interview, where Brad answers the questions from the "Life Report Questionnaire" and more!

Questions:

1:11 - How did you get involved in the pro-life movement?

2:15 - How early was Dr. Wilke publishing pro-life literature and media?

2:54 - How do you think the pro-life movement has changed in the last 40 years, especially as it relates to media?

5:04 - What have you learned about how abortion affects men?

6:45 - What resources are available at http://LifeIssues.org?

7:32 - Tell us about your TV show, "Facing Life Head-On."

9:01 - What are some of the common themes on your show?

9:37 - How do you get Emmy nominations doing pro-life work?

10:38 - What were you hoping to accomplish by going to Ethiopia?

11:57 - What happened with the Ethiopian abortion worker you spoke to?

13:20 - Can you tell our audience about the woman you met who is suffering from leprosy?

14:14 - How has your life changed since you came back?

16:09 - What was the most difficult interview you did on Facing Life Head-On?

18:33 - Do you have a few favorite episodes looking back?

19:26 - How can we overturn Roe vs. Wade?

20:38 - Looking ahead, what will be very important for the pro-life movement to do differently as we work towards overturning Roe vs. Wade?

21:52 - Is there anti-intellectualism in the pro-life movement, and if so, how do we combat that?

Check out the Life Issues Institute website and TV show:

http://lifeissues.org

Comment on this episode at:

http://ProLifePodcast.net/175

Direct download: LifeReport175.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:16am PST

I got a wonderful email from Andres in Santa Barbara who was in a dialogue about abortion and used an analogy about being hooked up to a machine in order to demonstrate that your personhood isn't based on your dependance. But the person he was talking to retorted, "Are you comparing a woman to a machine?!" Andres wants to know what I would suggest we do to avoid throwing people off when the analogies we use seem, at a surface level, to demean pregnant women.

In the video, I offer six tips for making clear analogies and responding to people who continue to misinterpret them.

1: Make sure you're communicating clearly.

2: Narrate the debate.

3: Suggest a golden rule for dialogue.

4: Explain that analogies are just that...analogies!

5: Explain that pro-choice people would be wise to not throw out all analogies.

6: Determine the right time to politely end the conversation.

Find more resources about bodily rights argument for abortion at:

http://prolifepodcast.net/tag/bodily-rights

Direct download: LM-OffensiveAnalogies.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:45am PST

Casey Vroman from Students for Life of America joins us in studio to talk about the free resources that SFLA offers to college students and now high schoolers. We believe it's important that all pro-life advocates know about these resources so that you can point students in your sphere of influence to them.

Questions:

1:55 How did you get involved with Students for Life and the pro-life movement?

3:15 How would you explain what Students for Life does to somebody who hasn't heard of SFLA before?

4:22 What is SFLA's long-term goal with campus clubs?

5:35 What is SFLA doing with high school students now?

6:46 What has it been like working with high school students?

8:18 Is SFLA planning on working with junior high students in the future, and what would you say to concerned parents about that?

10:29 What are some of the initiatives you're doing on college campuses now?

13:23 What practical resources is SFLA offering to college students?

16:14 What are some common mistakes students can avoid when starting a campus club?

19:50 Should clubs embrace a "whole life" model where they're also talking about capital punishment, sex trafficking and adoption, or should they focus on talking about abortion?

23:35 Talk to us about the Wilberforce and Steven's Fellowships.

25:20 What would be your key piece of advice for a high school student who wants a career in the pro-life movement?

Related Links:

- Visit Students for Life's website: http://StudentsForLife.org.

- Read Scott Klusendorf's "reading list for smart pro-lifers" that Josh referenced: http://bit.ly/17RnCNS

- Visit Students for Life's career opportunities page Josh referenced: http://StudentsForLife.org/Internships

Direct download: LifeReport174.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:51am PST

Here's an outline of my main points in response to this question from Bobby: "Some pro-life people oppose 'incrementalist' pro-life laws because they always end with '... and then you can kill the baby.' What are your thoughts?

Note: Many of my arguments and thinking on these issues comes from conversations I had with Scott Klusendorf and Dr. Francis Beckwith, who both graciously spent time with me while I was working through these issues in 2007. I'm not sure now who said what and how many of these arguments are really my own, nor would I want to source any of these arguments directly to Scott or Frank without their permission. (These were all private conversations.) It's probably a fair assumption that the really smart talking points came from one of them though.

This was supposed to be a video but we had technical difficulties with the recorded video, so I'm posting the audio only.

Common ground: I agree that we don't want to communicate to people that we only care about babies that feel pain, are a certain age, not conceived in rape, etc.

I disagree that most forms of incremental legislation send that message. I think most people know how politics works.

It's one thing to endorse something, it's another thing to say what is allowed under the law. I offer a clear example of this from Gonzales vs. Carhart.

My argument is not that we should do evil that good may come. My argument is that when we pass incremental bills that will have a positive impact for the unborn, we are not actually doing evil. We are doing a good thing.

What's implicit in these bills is that we want to save all, but we know we can't, so we're going to save the most we can, and go from there. That's called graduated absolutism.

Why I'm not utilitarian: I'm not saying 'We'll kill one baby if you let another go.' It's more like if in a Japanese POW camp, the Japanese soldier tells a prisoner, 'We'll let you go, and you can either take two with you and we'll kill the other eight, or you can go alone and we'll kill all ten.' It seems like some pro-life people that support personhood amendments would say that by taking the two I'm implicitly saying you can kill the other eight. 'As long as you give me these two, THEN you can kill the POW's.' No, we value life, and we're trying to save as much as we can.

The Bible doesn't say that if you can't save all, you can't save any. The midwives in Exodus 1 weren't able to save all the babies, but they saved as many as they could, and they are praised for it. When the Pharaoh confronted them, they didn't make a pro-life argument or statement; they lied about it so that they could continue saving some! It could be argued that they were implicitly telling the leader of the land that it's okay to kill infants. They never to his face say 'You shouldn't do that.' They lied, and saved as many as they could.

William Wilberforce helped pass a bill, the Foreign Slave Trade Bill of 1806) that you could have ended with, 'and then you can sell the slave.'

Do you think it's more important to make an impact or to make a statement? I don't believe that passing a bill with a rape exception tacked onto it at the last minute sends a message to pro-choice people that we don't care about the babies conceived in rape that are sometimes killed in abortions.

Are there some pro-life bills that don't directly save many lives after they pass? Yes. (Parental notification with judicial bypass; the partial-birth abortion ban.) Yet both had educational value, especially the PBA ban.

Direct download: LM-Incrementalism.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:16am PST

After summarizing Abby Johnson's story, Josh asks 40 Days for Life co-founder Shawn Carney about his ministry as well as the state of the pro-life movement.

Questions:

  1. How do you think 40 Days for Life has changed the pro-life movement?
  2. Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently when starting 40 Days for Life?
  3. Do people often go from participating in 40 Days for Life to doing other pro-life activities? What are you doing to encourage that?
  4. What do you think are the best methods for a local 40 Days for Life campaign?
  5. What could RLCC do better to persuade people to participate in sidewalk counseling?
  6. What has been the pro-life movements greatest victory so far?
  7. What has been the pro-life movements greatest weakness?
  8. What single thing should pro-lifers be doing that most are not doing right now?
  9. How should pro-life people interact with those that are pro-abortion-choice?
Direct download: LifeReport173.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:32pm PST

Josh, Tim and Gabi discuss what it actually means to be open-minded, (it does NOT mean being wishy-washy,) and whether pro-life people should be open-minded too.

Direct download: LifeReport172.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:12am PST

After wrapping up four Life Report episodes, Josh, Tim and Gabi hung out to cover some material they didn't have time to get into earlier in the day. Those topics and questions for Tim include:

  1. You said, "Love does not insist on its own way; it does not need to have the last word in a debate." Does that conflict with the Stand to Reason mantra of trying to leave people with a pebble in their shoe?
  2. A discussion of pro-life memes and why most of them are bad.
  3. You said, "Love is not resentful, it does not dwell on the failures of those around us. Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing. It is not excited when those around us are caught in sin." What about pro-life groups like Live Action that do undercover investigative videos catching Planned Parenthood doing bad things?
  4. Can you talk about how we are to love practically with those in the pro-life movement who may disagree on our political method, for example on our use of graphic images? How would you apply your piece to that?
  5. Which line in the 1 Cor 13 piece do you feel is the most important, or the most contrasted by the way a lot of pro-life people actually act?
Direct download: BONUS-ProLifeMemes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:25am PST

Megan Almon from Life Training Institute joins Josh and Gabi to discuss how pro-lifers can have productive conversations about Gosnell, as well as the common mistakes pro-lifers should avoid.

One of the most common questions we get is "how do you start non-weird conversations about abortion when you're not on campus next to a pro-life exhibit?" One of the easier methods is to use a story that's currently in the news. Josh thinks pro-life people can have good conversations about abortion starting with the controversy of what Gosnell did, but he doesn't think you should stop there. He uses several specific questions to lead the conversation into talking about the abortions that are less controversial to pro-choice people: abortions done on first-trimester babies that are in the womb, aren't viable, aren't conscious and don't feel pain.

After giving these questions and dialogue tips, the discussion turns to what pro-life people should NOT do when talking about Gosnell. What are the most common mistakes pro-lifers make regarding this story? Listen to the episode to find out.

Josh also briefly responds to the pro-choice argument that it's pro-lifers fault that women went to Gosnell's clinic in the first place.

Note from Josh: We shot this episode a week before Gosnell was finally convicted of murder, among other things. This content is still relevant, it just means you might change the first question from "Should Dr. Gosnell be in jail," to something like "do you think it's a good thing that Dr. Gosnell is serving a life sentence in prison?"

Direct download: LifeReport171.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:40am PST

Last February we published two episodes with our favorite (nearly graduated) student from Notre Dame Law John Gerardi with an update on the HHS mandate lawsuits as well as answering the controversial question, "why did so many church-going Catholics vote for President Obama, again?!"  After we recorded those two episodes, we spent another 20 minutes answering questions we hadn't talked about yet, and answered a good questions sent from a listener. This is the audio from that post-episode discussion.

Topics/Questions:

  1. "Tell me about states like Massachusetts, that are heavily Catholic and Irish but are totally in the tank for Obama."
  2. "What do you think is the future for the bishops' involvement in politics?"
  3. Karen: "Is it even possible that we really change our society legislatively, or do we need to concentrate on the hearts of women and men?"

Note from Josh: We try to get bonus audio published a lot closer to the original recording, but it wasn't as high of a priority as keeping our publishing schedule for TV and radio. As you listen to this, it'll be obvious that this was recorded before Pope Benedict stepped down.

Also, John said in this discussion that we're only "one Supreme Court justice away from overturning Roe vs. Wade." Based on some recent research that I plan on blogging about in the future, I now think this may be a bit optimistic. In other words, I think it's more likely that we have one or two justices that would overturn Roe, and a few others that we really don't know how they would rule on overturning Roe, even if they have pro-life beliefs. I hope history proves me wrong.

Direct download: Bonus-JohnGerarrdi.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:08pm PST

Josh, Tim and Gabi respond to fair questions that pro-choice people ask that we think pro-life people should be willing to answer.

In this episode, we discuss how a lot of pro-choice people believe that pro-lifers want to punish women for having premarital sex by forcing them to remain pregnant. This seems clear because we're not distributing condoms or encouraging the use of birth control, which could arguably lower the rate of unintended pregnancies and abortions. How should pro-lifers respond to this concern?

We also discuss the common conception (no pun intended) that pro-life activists are doing what they do because they're Christians. If so, is this just a ploy to force religion on people or win converts?

We end the episode by discussing a recent story of a teen who sued her parents who were trying to coerce her into having an abortion. We offer some tips for pro-life people to use this story in dialogues with their pro-choice friends.

Direct download: LifeReport170.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:23pm PST

Josh, Tim and Gabi spend the next two episodes responding to fair questions that pro-choice people ask that we think pro-life people should be willing to answer.

For example, when pro-lifers "trot out a toddler," does that mean we think women that have abortions are just as evil as mothers who kill their toddler?

They also discuss how pro-choice people are often confused when they see a picture of a six-day old embryo at implantation, and then see us point at that picture and call it a "person."

Direct download: LifeReport169.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30pm PST

It’s the twelfth and final part of our popular “Responding to Pro-Life Lies Video” series! The video we're responding to lists 55 “pro-life lies” a woman named Kenna heard, and in this series we respond to them all.

This is the first of four episodes with Josh's brother Timothy, who is now a staff member at Justice For All.

After discussing the last six "lies," Josh, Tim and Gabi have a conversation about the need for pro-life people to get out of their "echo chamber," and the need to ultimately be known by their love. We also communicate a mutual desire for both sides to be more charitable, considering the best arguments from the opposing side as opposed to just trumpeting the worst they can find.

Here are the 8 “pro-life lies” we respond to in this episode:

  1. "Birth control causes abortion."
  2. "Emergency contraception is an abortifacient."
  3. "Women are sacred vessels."
  4. "Pro-choice women don't have children."
  5. "Pro-choice women should have their children taken away."
  6. "Pro-choice people don't care about babies."

Note from Josh: I reached out to Kenna to let her know we finished the series based on her video and offered her a chance to respond. She wrote, "It was great to meet people who could discuss abortion and present their point of view in a civil manner. YouTube was my main forum for political discussions and it doesn't have the greatest reputation. I'm not as active online anymore since I finished college and started working, but I really did enjoy your podcast. Congratulations on finishing your series." ~ Kenna

I told her I would always be open to discussing abortion with her further.

Direct download: LifeReport168.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:50am PST

Stephanie Grant, Executive Director of Infant of Prague Adoption Services and Laurel Boylan, Founder of God's Waiting Children join Josh to discuss adoption.

Topics include:

  • Clarifying common misconceptions about adoption.
  • The difference between open and closed adoption.
  • The differences between the process of domestic and international adoption.
  • Available grants for adopting parents.
  • Addressing the common resentment between families that have adopted domestically and those that have adopted internationally.
  • An update on the situation with Russian president Vladimir Putin banning American families from adopting children from Russia.
  • How adopting children from the foster care system works.
  • Does a pregnant teen need to choose adoption before contacting an adoption agency?
Direct download: LifeReport167.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:42am PST

This is the recording of a sermon Josh preached on January 20, 2013 at Free Grace Church in Clovis.

Josh addresses two common reasons why Christians don't take a stand to make a difference on the issue of abortion: the concern of offending people, and the argument that pro-life advocates should be focused solely on Christian evangelism. Josh argues pragmatically that pro-life work has actually given him more opportunities for evangelism and than makes a principled argument that Christians should be doing both evangelism AND speaking up for the unborn.

Josh closes with some easy things that Christians can do to dip their toe in the waters of pro-life advocacy, and then takes a few questions that were texted in anonymously from the congregation.

Q&A Session:

  1. "I have a friend that believe that abortion is actually evil, but he doesn't care. He blatantly admits that he is selfish and apathetic but he chooses not to do anything about that. How do you think I could help him to care and deal with his apathy?"
  2. "Could you recommend one foundational pro-life and pro-choice text for a better understanding of both sides of the abortion issue?"
  3. "I know a young girl who recently had an abortion. What can I do or say to help her that she had other choices?"
  4. "What do you say to people who say that the embryo evolved because it has gills and a tail?"
Direct download: JoshBrahmSermon-AddressingChristianSilenceOnAbortion.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:02pm PST

Pro-choice people often accuse pro-life Christians of being hypocrites, charging that we don't really believe what we say we believe, evidenced by the fact that some Christians have abortions, among other things.  Hypocrisy is a rhetorically powerful charge, effectively silencing many Christians from saying anything about the issue of abortion.

It's our view that some pro-choice accusations of pro-life hypocrisy are unfair, but that some of their charges are fair. In this episode, we discuss both categories.

Direct download: LifeReport166.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:19pm PST

We’re super excited about this episode, because we think it’s the best roundtable discussion we’ve recorded in a long time. Megan Almon from Life Training Institute joins us to discuss the recent Planned Parenthood ad that distances itself from the labels “pro-life” and “pro-choice.” While pro-life bloggers discussed the ad when it came out, I felt like we had some unique perspectives to contribute. Discussion topics include the main problems with the argument in the ad, the weaknesses of labels in general, the importance of not stereotyping people and the question of whether moral neutrality is possible on abortion. Josh closes the show with questions for both sides of the abortion debate to consider.

Direct download: LifeReport165.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:40pm PST

Our favorite (nearly graduated) student from Notre Dame Law John Gerardi is back to help the pro-life community understand why so many faithful Catholics that go to mass every week still voted for President Obama in the 2012 election. Gerardi explains the history of the Catholic church's relationship with the Democratic party and the increasingly uncomfortable position many bishops are in since the Democratic party is so openly pro-abortion rights and anti-religious liberty.

Note from Josh: Life Report has never been an anti-Catholic show, and that hasn't changed. Frankly, a lot of Protestants didn't even vote. But there's no way to have a frank dialogue about this issue without recognizing that the Catholic church in America has had a long relationship with the Democratic party and that relationship is clearly having an impact on elections that effect the rights of unborn babies. We welcomed the chance to have a Catholic expert on the subject explain what he has learned for the benefit of our audience.

Direct download: LifeReport164.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:12am PST

Our favorite (nearly graduated) student from Notre Dame Law John Gerardi is back to give us an update on the current status of the different lawsuits against the HHS mandate. We talk about the kinds of entities that are suing and on what grounds, whether it's looking favorable or not and which religious groups have been exempted and why.

Listener Questions:

  1. Michael from Tulsa, OK: Will Scientologists get an exemption for all medical treatments that go against their religion now that Priests for Life got an exemption?
Direct download: LifeReport163.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:06am PST

Published on the 40th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade and Doe vs. Bolton decisions that made abortion legal in all 50 states through all nine months of pregnancy for virtually any reason, out interview with pro-life hero Fr. Frank Pavone from Priests for Life was focused on the current state of the pro-life movement.

Questions:

  1. What can pro-lifers do to more effectively change peoples minds?
  2. Why did 43% of church-going  Catholics vote for President Obama in the last election?
  3. What have been the pro-life movement’s greatest victory (or victories) so far?
  4. What has been the pro-life movement’s greatest failing or weakness?
  5. How can we overcome the obstacle of apathy?
  6. How should pro-lifers interact with those who are pro-abortion-choice?
  7. What single thing should pro-lifers be doing that most are NOT doing right now?
  8. What single thing do pro-life people sometimes spend TOO much time doing, when they could be doing something else that’s more effective?
  9. Graphic pictures: should we use them, and if so, how, when, and where?
  10. Assisted suicide & euthanasia: what should pro-lifers be doing about this, and why?

Questions from Listeners:

  1. Patrick in Grand Rapids, MI: "Given the election results, what do we most need to double down on: politics, public education/demonstration, educating the 'people in the pews,' support Pregnancy Resource Centers, something else?"
  2. JP Prichard from Hanford, CA: "What do you see as being the best ways to promote unity among pro-life organizations and sects?"
Direct download: LifeReport162.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:37am PST

Josh and Jonathan Keller finish their interview with Kristi Burkhart, Executive Director of the Fresno Pregnancy Care Center, focusing on the unique relationship our two organizations have and practical advice for people who want to help a girl who has an unplanned pregnancy.

Topics include:

  • Why our right to life organization has been able to maintain such a good partnership with the local pregnancy resource center. (Sadly, a rare situation.)
  • Common misconceptions that pro-life people have of girls that are pregnant and abortion-vulnerable.
  • How can our listeners practically help their friend that suddenly becomes pregnant?
  • What are common mistakes that well-meaning pro-life people make when talking to a pregnant teen?
  • Should sidewalk counselors offer to adopt the babies of mothers considering abortion?
  • Is it true that it's impossible for college students to have kids and stay in school?
Direct download: LifeReport161.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:14pm PST

We just filmed an interview with pro-life hero Fr. Frank Pavone from Priests for Life for our January 22nd episode. After we were finished, Fr. Pavone agreed to answer one more question geared toward pastors and priests as they prepare for Sanctity of Life Sunday. (January 20th.) Specifically I asked besides the obvious messages on imago dei and the sanctity of human life, what is the most important message for pastors to preach that Sunday morning. What should the congregation walk away with? 

Please forward this video on to your pastor or priest!

Visit ProLifePreaching.com.

Tune into ProLifePodcas.net for the full interview of Father Pavone on January 22nd, 2013.

Direct download: BONUS-FatherPavoneOnPro-LifePreaching.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:59pm PST

Josh and Jonathan Keller interview Kristi Burkhart, Executive Director of the Fresno Pregnancy Care Center. This is not just a puff piece about PRC's. Most of our discussion is about the most common accusations leveled at PRC's by pro-abortion-choice people and organizations.

Topics include:

  • The National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) says that PRC's give false information about the abortion/breast cancer link, post-abortion syndrome and physical effects of abortion. Kristi explains how her center handles those three topics with their clients.
  • What does her center do if a client doesn't want to discuss one of her options? (Parenting, adoption, abortion.)
  • How does her center talk about birth control?
  • The difference between PRC's under CareNetNIFLA and Heartbeat International, and "rogue centers" that often have less quality control.
Direct download: LifeReport160.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:56pm PST

It's the eleventh part of our popular "Responding to Pro-Life Lies Video" series. The video lists 55 “pro-life lies” she’s heard, and in this series, we’re responding to them all.

This was easily the toughest episode in this series to record, because so many of the statements are blatantly hateful. These are the worst statements from that entire video. Josh ends the episode with a plea to pro-lifers be good ambassadors for Christ.

Here are the 8 "pro-life lies" we respond to in this episode:

  1. "Abortion is anti-feminist."
  2. "Jobs aborted children could have held are taken over by illegal immigrants."
  3. "Women who abort should be sterilized."
  4. "Childbirth is easy and women who don't want to do it are just lazy."
  5. "Planned Parenthood lies to women."
  6. "Teen mothers are whores."
  7. "No mother would ever kill her child."
  8. "Women don't know what they really have."

Stay tuned for the final episode of this series coming soon!

Direct download: LifeReport159.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:41pm PST

Valerie from Silver Lake, Kansas emailed Life Report to ask for advice on a discouraging debate she had with her pro-choice, Christian father about abortion. Josh continues a three-part video series responding to different aspects of her email, and some of her dad's pro-choice arguments.

This is part three, where Josh discusses...

  • how to respond when somebody claims that personhood begins when a baby takes its first breath;
  • what to do when the person you're talking to states that their mind is closed on the issue.
Direct download: ListenerMail-DadsMindIsClosed.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:17am PST

Valerie from Silver Lake, Kansas emailed Life Report to ask for advice on a discouraging debate she had with her pro-choice, Christian father about abortion. Josh continues a three-part video series responding to different aspects of her email, and some of her dad's pro-choice arguments.

This is part two, where Josh discusses...

  • how to respond when people call the unborn a "potential human being;"
  • the claim that life is just a cycle and nothing really begins at fertilization;
  • how to use Richard Stith's Polaroid analogy;
  • how to define the term "human being."
Direct download: ListenerMail-PotentialHumanBeings.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:07am PST

Valerie from Silver Lake, Kansas emailed Life Report to ask for advice on a discouraging debate she had with her pro-choice, Christian father about abortion. Josh begins a three-part video series responding to different aspects of her email, and some of her dad's pro-choice arguments.

In part one, Josh discusses the most important question when somebody states that the unborn is "not a human being," how to effectively "narrate the debate" when people don't answer our reasonable questions, and a few quick thoughts on Valerie's dad's assertion that the functional DNA of an early embryo is different from the DNA at later stages.

Direct download: ListenerMail-NarratingTheDebate.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:53am PST

Josh responds to an email from Ashlen who was debating abortion with somebody who responded that parents should have the right to kill their children until they are 18 years old! She wants to know what she should have said.

Josh's response includes comments on what to do when you get stumped or run out of steam and the proper introduction of humor into a dialogue.

Direct download: ListenerMail-RespondingToExtremeArguments.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:52pm PST

Josh responds to a listener email that makes some strong claims about Margaret Sanger. Josh has a different take on Sanger's views and explains why.

Direct download: ListenerMail-MargaretSanger.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:31pm PST

Josh responds to an email from someone who isn't finding lots of success using economic arguments for the pro-life position. Her pro-choice friend's response is to reference "Freakonomics" and add that if the country needs more people, we should just open up the borders.

Direct download: ListenerMail-EconomicArguments.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:54pm PST

Josh responds to an email from someone who seems frustrated that Josh mis-characterized pro-life people as being uninformed about fetal development. Other topics include late-term abortions, Down Syndrome abortions, post-fertilization age vs. LMP, and the use of the term "pro-aborts."

Direct download: ListenerMail-YoureTooHardOnProlifers.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:45am PST

Josh, Liz and Gabi respond to the story of a pro-choice blogger who wrote some things about sex-selection abortion that was deemed embarrassing by her pro-choice colleagues and publicly berated for it.

Is there an inherent inconsistency in Laurie Penny's article? Can you be both pro-choice and opposed to legal sex-selection abortions? Should the other pro-choice bloggers have responded a different way? What does it mean to have an attitude of seeking truth? How can pro-lifers use this story to start conversations with pro-choice people? These questions and more are discussed on this episode of Life Report.

Direct download: LifeReport158.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:54pm PST

Josh, Liz and Gabi respond to a listener mail question: how much do pro-life advocates need to know about fetal development to be adequately prepared to have good conversations with lots of pro-choice people?

Ultimately, the team offers two separate lists: the minimal things you NEED to know and the things that will make you an even better advocate.

The team close the show by summarizing the best arguments for the humanity of the unborn and the idea that human beings are valuable in the first place.

Direct download: LifeReport157.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:18am PST

Josh and Gabi discuss the difference between moral relativism and libertarianism, in response to a pro-choice blogger who thinks we confused the two in a recent episode about a leaked Planned Parenthood document. After defining the terms, they carefully re-analyze the document to determine the validity of the bloggers accusation.

Direct download: RelativismVSLibertarianism.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:59pm PST

David French is a Senior Counsel at the American Center for Law and Justice. A graduate of Harvard Law School, he is a former Senior Counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund. David has written multiple books and his articles have been published by the Washington Post and Washington Times, among others. He has also founded Evangelicals for Mitt.

I wanted to bring David on to respond to the most common concerns that pro-life people have about voting for Romney. And that he did...

Here are the questions I asked David in this interview:

  1. What do you say to Evangelicals who say that abortion is just another "social justice issue."
  2. Why should evangelical's vote for Mitt Romney?
  3. What is your response to William Saleton's lengthy piece in Slate about Romney's abortion views?
  4. Do you think that Romney has a chance of winning the election?
  5. Some people argue that Christians should just "vote their conscience" meaning vote for whichever candidate most aligns with their personal beliefs. So they usually vote third party or they don't vote at all because they argue that the outcome is not their responsibility, but voting their conscience is. What do you say to them?
  6. Nick from Carbondale, Illionois: "Why should Christians accept the two-party system and indeed the political spectrum itself as somehow written in stone and never being able to change?"
  7. Tara from Marietta GA: "How are we supposed to vote based on principles if we are given only non-principled choices?"
  8. Jen from Rochester, NY: "Why should pro-lifers vote for Romney when his health care policy forced everyone to buy abortion coverage?"
  9. What do you say to Christians in California and New York who feel defeated before the election even happens, or to Christians in Texas where they may feel complacent? How do you tell them to avoid discouragement or apathy?
  10. Jonathan Merritt wrote a book called "A Faith of Our Own - Following Jesus Beyond the Culture Wars" and he argues that you're creating a false dichotomy for Christians: either fight the culture wars or stay silent. Is that a false dichotomy or is that not even your argument?
  11. Greg from Kansas City: "Why should Christians vote for a Mormon over a Protestant Christian?"
  12. What do you think Christians should be doing with social media in regards to this election?
  13. What can and can't pastors do in regards to speaking about politics from the pulpit?
Direct download: LifeReport156.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:36am PST

Josh, Liz and Gabi discuss the wisdom of pro-life activists choosing to compare abortion to recent tragedies like the Aurora movie theater shooting, or posting pro-life status updates every anniversary of 9/11. The Life Report team considers the toughest questions from the other side of this issue, and they end the 3-part discussion never fully agreeing on the subject.

Note from Josh: Bryan Kemper from Stand True Ministries and now working for Priests for Life was one of the main instigators to this comparison that we're responding to. I consider Bryan a friend and colleague, and he is doing a lot of great and important work for the unborn. Good people can disagree on this issue, and we certainly don't pretend to be right about everything. But we DO believe this is a discussion worth having, so that whatever pro-life people decide to do in the future with their Facebook statuses, they will have at least thought about it some more first. Everything we do to end abortion should be done purposefully and thoughtfully. So let's discuss these difficult topics, but don't stop there: GO DO SOMETHING.

Direct download: LifeReport155.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:42pm PST

Josh, Liz and Gabi stayed after the two episode shoot and responded to arguments for and against Bryan Kemper's picture, from both pro-life and pro-choice people. Here are the arguments we covered:

  • "We wouldn't hesitate to make [the Aurora] comparison if it were three year olds."
  • “It’s the 4,000 a day that are being minimized; this is a good opportunity to make the stats meaningful to people.”
  • “Babies are dying and we should do whatever it takes to end the apathy.”
  • “No comparisons are needed if both events are inherently wrong.”
    • Josh tells a story about what he recently told pro-choice people that reject ALL analogies to slavery and the Holocaust.
  • Nick on Facebook: “If [the picture] leads to the question, 'well what makes killing a born person different from killing the unborn,' than it helps advance the discussion for unborn rights. Comparing abortion to say infanticide may help make the comparison seem more apparent. Yes some people will be turned off, but people are always turned off by the pro-life message."
  • Kelly on Facebook: "I believe these comparisons are basically good (usually) and, many times, necessary. Like any good teacher would do, in explaining a pro-life view to a non pro-lifer, one must use examples & images of familiar things in order to reach the student where he/she is. What better way than to use an example from the media that everyone (well, almost everyone) knows about? It almost doesn't matter if they initially respond negatively; they certainly won't forget it!"
  • Andrew on facebook: “My question for prolifers is do you think it’s appropriate for the media to talk about the 'need for gun control' after this tragedy? I feel its a double standard."
  • Jessica (pro-choice): "I will whole heartily admit abortion kills. But to that person, whom was carrying that fetus, they felt terminating that pregnancy was needed or else they wouldn't have done it, its not a choice taken lightly. I feel like comparing a random killing spree by a mad man to the termination of life within one’s womb is a stretch. And probably offensive to those involved. 'Oh, your son was shot in the head? That's totally like this aborted fetus over here.'"
  • Greg: (personally pro-life) "On another page somebody compared the right to having an abortion to the right to removing or treating cancer. I cannot imagine a pro-choice person looking at this picture thinking, 'Oh, no! I never realized women who abort or the doctors who perform abortions could be equated to mass murderers. I'm switching sides! Thanks for the heads up.' The same way I can't see pro-life people reading the cancer comparison and saying 'Oh, I see now. I don't want to live with cancer. People should be able to have all of the abortions they want. Thanks for explaining it in that way.'"
  • Angela: ‎(reacting to caption under Bryan’s pic) "Some may say it is wrong to compare these two issues. So what, we don't care about people's feelings. GO PRO LIFE!" < is all I read. Not to mention the fact that this picture-maker is taking advantage of such a RECENT tragedy. Let these people's families finish their burial services before you bastardize their memories for your agenda, please."
  • Lindy: (pro-life) "I guess I don't like the word "murder" in pro-life graphics. I think 1) it turns people off extremely fast and 2) technically "murder" is the illegal taking of a life, which abortion isn’t."
Direct download: ColoradoBonus.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:33pm PST

Josh, Liz and Gabi discuss the wisdom of pro-life activists choosing to compare abortion to recent tragedies like the Aurora movie theater shooting, or posting pro-life status updates every anniversary of 9/11. The Life Report team considers the toughest questions from the other side of this issue, and they end the 3-part discussion never fully agreeing on the subject.

Note from Josh: Bryan Kemper from Stand True Ministries and now working for Priests for Life was one of the main instigators to this comparison that we're responding to. I consider Bryan a friend and colleague, and he is doing a lot of great and important work for the unborn. Good people can disagree on this issue, and we certainly don't pretend to be right about everything. But we DO believe this is a discussion worth having, so that whatever pro-life people decide to do in the future with their Facebook statuses, they will have at least thought about it some more first. Everything we do to end abortion should be done purposefully and thoughtfully. So let's discuss these difficult topics, but don't stop there: GO DO SOMETHING.

Direct download: LifeReport154.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:24pm PST

Josh, Liz and Gabi react to a leaked Planned Parenthood document that trains their volunteers to purposefully have bad dialogues with pro-life people. A stark contrast is made between the kind of dialogue that Planned Parenthood wants us to have, and the kind of dialogue we've been training people to have on this show. There are also some insights that can be made on the way Planned Parenthood directors think based on things that are said in this document.

Direct download: LifeReport153.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:47pm PST

Josh explains a relatively new app we're using on our facebook fan page to reward our most active fans. In the past we've been rewarding with free pro-life books. Future rewards to include pro-life clothing and exclusive Life Report audio.

Direct download: SITEUPDATE-Fanzy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:02am PST

Josh responds to a listener mail question about a pregnant Chinese immigrant Bei Bei Shuai who attempted suicide and in the process, her baby died. She is now being charged with feticide, and pro-choice advocates are talking about this story all over the country. Josh clears up a common misconception among pro-lifers about Roe vs. Wade and the Laci Peterson Law, and offers a thought experiment to defend why perhaps this woman should be charged with something.

Josh claimed that most 26-week premies survive. This is based on a premie survival rate based on stats from March of Dimes. According to MOD, 80-90% of 26-week premies ultimately survive. Bei Bei Shuai's baby at 33 weeks almost certainly would have lived.

Direct download: ListenerMail-SuicideAndFeticide.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:21pm PST

Josh responds to a listener who believes she found a flaw in Trent Horn's definition of personhood. Luckily, she just misunderstood Trent's definition, and strongly oversimplified it. Josh explains why and recommends some good books on the substance view of persons.

Direct download: ListenerMail-TrentOnPersonhood.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:20am PST

Josh Brahm responds to a listener who disagrees with a recent Life Report episode on voting principles, featuring Scott Klusendorf and Jonathan Keller. The listener thinks we need to use long-term strategy when voting, like chess.

Direct download: LifeReport-LM-VotingPrinciples.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:16pm PST

Josh, Liz and Life Report's newest co-host, Gabi Vehrs, discusses that "after-birth abortion" article, including how many pro-life people responded to it, as well as a refutation of the underlying premise in the article.

Direct download: LifeReport152.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:29am PST

Trent Horn is back in studio for one more episode, to discuss logical fallacies that both pro-life and pro-choice advocates make.

  1. What is logic?
  2. How do arguments work?
  3. What are fallacies?
  4. What are the most common fallacies that pro-choice advocates make?
  5. What are the most common fallacies that pro-life advocates make?
  6. Most people know that an ad hominem is a fallacy, but they aren’t sure how to describe it or refute it. How do you refute ad hominems?
  7. What are some fallacies that people may not recognize but are very common?
  8. How can we graciously explain to someone that they are relying on a logical fallacy?
  9. Isn't it more important to focus on emotional relationships and not just on who has the best argument?
  10. Are there any books you recommend on how to argue and spot fallacies?

Trent talked about a few faulty pro-life arguments in this episode. This is actually a common topic on our show. Click here for more faulty pro-life arguments: http://prolifepodcast.net/tag/faulty-pro-life-arguments/

Watch other Life Report episodes with him at prolifepodcast.net/tag/trent-horn.

Direct download: LifeReport151.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:42pm PST

Josh responds to a listener mail question asking whether the potential health benefits a mother receives during pregnancy negate bodily rights arguments.

Check out other resources on bodily rights arguments here: http://prolifepodcast.net/tag/bodily-rights

Direct download: LM-MotherBenefitsFromPregnancy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:52am PST

Josh talks about the recent improvements to the functionality of the Life Report website, (ProLifePodcast.net) as well as some changes to how we're responding to listener mail now.

Direct download: LifeReport-SiteUpdate.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:49pm PST

It's Life Report's 150th episode, and Trent Horn is back in studio to discuss how pro-lifers should respond when their discussion of abortion gets down to the "metaphysical basement:" why are human beings valuable in the first place? 

  1. Why should pro-lifers be concerned with answering the question “Why do humans matter?”
  2. How do pro-life advocates often answer the question?
  3. The imago dei is probably the most controversial or least understood reason, how do you understand this reason?
  4. Why shouldn't pro-lifers just quote Psalm 139, Jeremiah 1:5 and similar verses to pro-choice people?
  5. Can abortion be considered immoral even without reference to God?
  6. What do you do if a pro-choice advocate says that you’re imposing your religion on everyone else?
  7. Are there some inherent problems with Don Marquis' "future like ours" argument?

Trent Horn is the Coordinator of Respect Life Leadership Support at the Diocese of Phoenix. To learn more about Trent, visit DiocesePhoenix.org. Watch other Life Report episodes with him at prolifepodcast.net/tag/trent-horn.

Direct download: LifeReport150.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:19am PST

Trent Horn begins the show with a discussion of what a philosophy is (and isn't) and talks about why pro-life advocates need to study the discipline of philosophy. Issues Trent touches on that need philosophical reflection include:

  • Why is killing wrong?
  • What is a person?
  • Do people have a right to control their own bodies?
  • Are morals relative or objective?

Trent then surveys the major philosophical contributions to these issues. (Singer, Marquis, Warren, Thomson, Finnis, Noonan, Schwartz, Beckwith, Kaczor, Tooley.) Finally, he shares how understanding philosophy has helped him have gracious conversations with pro-choice advocates.

Trent Horn is the Coordinator of Respect Life Leadership Support at the Diocese of Phoenix. To learn more about Trent, visit DiocesePhoenix.org.

Direct download: LifeReport149.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:14pm PST

Pro-life philosopher Trent Horn explains how some pro-choice arguments don't seem so crazy if you view them through the lens of Judith Jarvis Thompson's violinist analogy instead of an anti-personhood worldview. This is very important, because we want to understand where pro-choice people are coming from, and in my experience, more and more of them are coming from a bodily rights case and not only an anti-fetal-personhood view.

Trent Horn is the Coordinator of Respect Life Leadership Support at the Diocese of Pheonix. To learn more about Trent, visit DiocesePheonix.org. Watch other Life Report episodes with him at http://prolifepodcast.net/tag/trent-horn.

More Life Report episodes responding to bodily rights arguments can be found here: http://prolifepodcast.net/tag/bodily-rights

Direct download: LifeReport148.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:55am PST

Notre Dame law student and former Life Report guest John Gerardi joins Josh Brahm and Jonathan Keller in the studio to discuss the Supreme Court's "Obamacare" decision. Josh opens the show by focusing on how this legislation promotes abortion and tramples on religious liberty. This includes a brief explanation of why "ella" should definitively be considered an abortifacient, and not merely a contraceptive. Josh also discourages people from making baseless claims about Chief Justice Roberts' intelligence or intentions.

Afterwards, John Gerardi gives a careful analysis of the decision, including what constitutional issues were examined.  The show ends with a discussion of what pro-lifers can do to fix things.

Note from Josh: After this episode finished shooting, we stayed on the air for over an hour continuing the discussion and responding to questions from our live stream audience. We will be releasing that footage in sections over the next week or two, so keep checking ProLifePodcast.net for regular updates, or subscribe to our RSS feed.

Direct download: LifeReport147.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:54am PST

Listen to WGSO talk show host Jeff Crouere interview Josh Brahm, asking the following questions:

  1. You believe that if they communicate the pro-life position properly, that any pro-life person can go toe-to-toe with any pro-choice advocate, is that right?
  2. Don't we see a reduction of abortions across the country?
  3. What is it within the pro-choice message that you can find common ground with?
  4. You still want to see Roe vs. Wade overturned, right? What would that look like on a national level?
  5. California is definitely a hostile state to pro-life causes. Does it help that there's such a large influx of Latino people who are often Catholic, and thus, pro-life?
  6. Won't ultrasounds have a dramatic impact on this issue?
  7. Is adoption an area where both pro-life and pro-choice people can find common ground?
  8. Do you think abortion-minded women realize that there are couples available to adopt their baby?

Callers:

  1. "I think it's horrible that the government is using abortion as a political way to control people."
  2. "I don't think we should try to find common ground with someone who thinks it's okay to kill a baby!"
  3. "The abortion rate is going down because RU-486 isn't being counted."
Direct download: JoshBrahmOnWSGO.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:53am PST

Josh Brahm interviews local student Jillian and her mom. After interviewing Josh and Kyle, Jillian wrote a paper and gave a pro-life speech to her entire class, and got very positive feedback from her teacher as well as her fellow students. Even more impressive: Jillian is just 14-years-old. Listen to her story here.

Direct download: BONUS-InterviewWithJilian.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:46am PST

Former Life Report co-host Carrie Guy was beloved by many fans. She brought something different to the show, as a youth pastor and a post-abortive pastors kid. 

She had to leave the show last year when she had baby, but she's come back for a special episode to share her story that includes having an abortion as a teen, her recovery process later, and ultimately helping other post-abortive women. 

Carrie also talks about how the modern church is doing responding to the abortion issue as well as tips for talking to pregnant women who are considering abortion. 

Learn more about Carrie and invite her to speak to your group at

http://www.CarrieGuy.com

Direct download: LifeReport146.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:57pm PST

Josh Brahm responds to listener mail from a fan who's veterinarian co-worker thinks life begins at birth.

Got a question for Josh? Email it to Josh@ProLifePodcast.net.

Direct download: LifeReport-LM1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:04pm PST

Eric Scheidler, Executive Director of Pro-Life Action League and Matt Yonke, PLAL Communications Director join Josh via Google+ to discuss the HHS mandate and what pro-lifers can do to stand up for religious freedom via public rallies on June 8th.

Topics covered:

- What is the HHS mandate?

- Why should Christians be concerned about it?

- Is this issue about religious liberty or contraception access?

- Exactly how does the HHS Mandate violate the First Amendment?

- What's being done to fight the HHS Mandate, and where does public protest fit in?

- What were the results of the Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally on March 23rd?

- Why hold another Stand Up Rally on June 8th?

- What is the next step if the Supreme Court rules against us on "Obamacare?"

Related Links:

- Look up the nearest rally near you:

http://StandUpForReligiousFreedom.com

- Learn more about Eric and Matt's work at the Pro-Life Action League:

http://ProLifeAction.org

- Read the full letter from Notre Dame's president to his staff about the lawsuit against "Obamacare:"

http://goo.gl/sDUAM

Direct download: LifeReport145.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:49am PST

Scott Klusendorf is a travelling pro-life speaker who interacts with all the big advocacy groups, as well as Pregnancy Care Centers. He has a unique perspective about the position pro-life advocates are in to make their case right now in history, as well as some observations about Right to Life of Central California that he requested to share in a special Life Report episode.

Direct download: LifeReport144.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:11pm PST

Josh Brahm retracts his argument in a recent Life Report episode that Ray Comfort begged the question during his 180 interviews.

Direct download: 180Retraction.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:12am PST

There are some Christians and even pastors who believe the Bible's silence on abortion means that we should not speak up about the issue. Scott Klusendorf from Life Training Institute deals a devastating blow to this argument.

Topics covered:

- Should pro-lifers defend their view with Psalm 139, Jeremiah 1:5 and others like it?

- A better biblical argument for the pro-life position;

- Responding to the argument that biblically speaking, life begins at "first breath;"

- Responding to the Mosaic law about fighting men that accidentally cause a premature delivery;

- Responding to that weird passage in Numbers 5 with a priest giving a suspected pregnant adulteress a potion that may result in an abortion;

- Responding to the argument that God is the "greatest aborter of history" because so many unborn children die in miscarriages;

- The inherent exegetical danger of modern Christians using directives from Mosaic law or the Old Covenant.

- Evaluating Mark Driscoll's statement that 2nd-trimester John the Baptist leaping in the womb in response to 1st-trimester Jesus is a great biblical argument for the personhood of the unborn child.

For more Scott Klusendorf, check out his website:

http://ProLifeTraining.com

Watch or download the Mark Driscoll sermon Josh referred to here:

http://marshill.com/media/luke/mary-elizabeth

Direct download: LifeReport143.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:18pm PST

Josh facilitates a discussion with Life Training Institute's Scott Klusendorf and RLCC's Jonathan Keller on pro-life voting principles.

Topics discussed include:

- the current political reality the pro-life movement is in; 
- the different nuances to voting for someone in the Senate, House, and Executive branches;
- voting for third-party candidates;
- the meaning of the word "pragmatic;"
- are all "social justice" issues equivalent?

For more Scott Klusendorf, check out his website:
http://ProLifeTraining.com

Direct download: LifeReport142.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:31pm PST