Taking the Next Steps: Marching in a Post-Roe America  (Transcript)

Dr. James Dobson: Welcome everyone to Family Talk. It's a ministry of the James Dobson Family Institute supported by listeners just like you. I'm Dr. James Dobson and I'm thrilled that you've joined us.

Roger Marsh: Thanks so much for joining us for Family Talk. I'm Roger Marsh, and here at the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute, we continue to offer up praise that the bad legislation, formerly known as Roe v. Wade, has in fact been overturned by the US Supreme Court. After 50 years of pain and destruction, finally the June 24th, 2022 Dobbs decision brought the fight against abortion back to the states where it belongs, but there is still so much work to be done to end abortion in our country. Did you know that tomorrow is the 50th annual March for Life event in Washington DC? Every year on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, tens of thousands of people of faith descended to our nation's capital and March to end abortion. With Roe now overturned, this year's March for Life will certainly be a celebration to some degree, but as I mentioned earlier, there is still much work yet to be done.

The March for Life is a non-profit organization that is committed to making abortion unthinkable, and one of the people leading that charge is today's guest here on Family Talk, the president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, Jeanne Mancini. In the past, Jeanne has worked for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the Office of the Secretary. She then served at the Family Research Council where she focused on issues like the inherent dignity of a human person, including abortion, women's health, and end of life issues. As for Jeanne, she's now in her 10th year as the president of March for Life Education and Defense Fund. She and her team are working to restore a culture of respect for life here in our country by making sure that we speak and practice our faith in the public square. And speaking of public squares, you can't do much better than the National Mall and in front of the US Capitol, right?

You may have seen Jeanne Mancini appear on one of the major network news programs sharing the message of the pro-life crusade, or perhaps you've read about her in the New York Times or Washington Post. With so many people who have worked so hard to move our nation into the post-Roe era, the fight is not yet over for the sanctity of life.

On today's program, Jeanne Mancini sits down with our own Dr. Tim Clinton to discuss why there is still a need for the March for Life and what the changes are for this year's event. With 50 years of history behind the March for Life, it will surely be an event that you'll want to follow. If you'd like to learn more about the March for Life happening tomorrow in Washington DC, just head over to our website, drjamesdobson.org. That's drjamesdobson.org. There you'll find a link for all the March for Life information for this year's event.

Now let's listen in as our co-host Dr. Tim Clinton talks with Jeanne Mancini and learns more about why the March for Life is taking the next steps and marching forward in a post-Roe country right here on Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Jeanne, what a delight to have you. Thank you so much for joining us here on Family Talk. Dr. Dobson and his wife Shirley send their regards. They want you to know that as an organization we're praying for and with you, especially for the event this weekend. What a joy.

Jeanne Mancini: Oh, thank you, Dr. Clinton. I am so grateful to be able to talk with you, and I'm just a huge fan of the Dobsons. One of the biggest wins and victories the first year that I was working at the March for Life was Ryan Dobson saying yes to coming and speaking at the march, and then calling me one day shortly before the march and saying, "Could I bring my dad along?" And I about hit the floor in the best of ways. So just a huge fan and so grateful for their fruitful ministry.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Jeanne, with the National March for Life coming up, there's a lot of excitement and energy this time around, especially on the heels of Roe v. Wade being overturned. What are you seeing? What are you hearing out there on the front lines?

Jeanne Mancini: Well, so much excitement, as you mentioned and confusion about what this means. For some, this momentous victory that I at least didn't think would happen in my lifetime almost indicates erroneously that it's like the end. We don't have to keep working towards building a culture of life, but sadly, the human rights abuse of abortion is still alive and well and our country. So the single largest human rights demonstration, the March for Life will continue nationally, but there's a lot more freedom at the states and we're growing our program in the states as well.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Jeanne, I know, some 64 million abortions now, your life mission is to fight against abortion and for life. You call it the greatest single human rights abuse issue of our day. Can you explain that for our listeners?

Jeanne Mancini: Absolutely. Dr. Clinton, you just nailed it basically. We've lost over 64 million Americans to abortion, and we live in a culture of the walking wounded because we know that whenever there is an abortion that the mother also really carries the war wound, so to speak. I should say, because for any of us, I mean we've all been impacted by abortion one way or another, whether it's a close friend or family member, and there's always hope and healing in Christ. There's always hope and healing. So whatever I can do to help really build a culture of life and teach about the inherent dignity of every human person from the moment of conception to natural death is definitely something that I feel called by God. We've seen over the course of history that human rights abuses take a long time to overcome.

I was looking recently at some of the Supreme Court cases related to discrimination. So when we think of Plessy v. Ferguson, which basically allowed segregation in schools, and then that case that overturned that which was Brown v. Board of Education, it took 58 years to be able to overturn that erroneous Supreme Court decision. Similarly, Loving v. Virginia was about discrimination basically within marriage, were interracial marriages allowed? Were they constitutional in our country? And it's shocking to most because of how far we've come. That came down in the mid 1970s, and when it came down, only 4% of Americans were favorable towards that Supreme Court decision. What I'm trying to say is that we're not done yet, in short. I mean we've come such a long way. In just 50 years, we've been able to overturn this "constitutional" right to abortion, but because of the confusion in our culture and this sheer number of abortions that will still occur, which we anticipate will be well over 700,000 in our country this year in a post-Roe world. We have our work still cut out for us.

Dr. Tim Clinton: We do. Jeanne, my wife Julie, used to head the Liberty Godparent Home in Lynchburg, Virginia. Liberty University, Thomas Road Baptist Church, and for years would go up to the March for Life and she would say, "Tim, you have to go. You would not believe it." And she would take a team up. Well, Jeanne, since then, I've made my trek up to Washington and the entire family, we have our team from Family Talk who come. We're going to be there this year. It seems like it continues to grow. By the way, the faces up there are getting younger and younger. It's like that new millennial Gen Z group are showing up in mass. And Jeanne, it's so encouraging to see what God's doing in and through the March for Life and the movement.

Jeanne Mancini: I feel the same way. The large participants of marchers are under the age of 30. Many high schoolers, many college students. They really buoy the spirits of those of us who've been around a few more decades like me. I think of young people as the best ambassadors for life because of their zeal and their enthusiasm and their joy, and anybody who comes to the March for Life, this topic of how the young people are really the largest population that's there. It's probably the single thing that's talked about more than anything else from newcomers to the march. I think that's because it's just so moving. There's so much hope in this generation and we're so happy to pass along the mantle to them.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Through the years, it's amazing. In spite of the weather, it's been cold up there a few times. To the pandemic that put a little interesting spin on everything, but what are you expecting for this Friday?

Jeanne Mancini: Okay. You really do know the march well, because every year there's something unexpected and you just hit some of the top ones. We had a blizzard in 2016. We called it Blizzardgedon where we were all snowed in at the march for a few days, and buses got stuck on highways, et cetera. I mean, the government shut down. We had the Covid year. I mean, what I can say is that every year there's something, and we usually don't know what it is at this stage. And we'll see. Perhaps this year, it's the little bit of confusion about what the overturn of Roe means. Something that we've been trying to clarify is that there's still a very important federal role. While we do have so much more freedom at the level of the states now, which is exciting, there's still very much a federal role in this abuse.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Jeanne, if you go back historically about the event, I think the very first March for Life event was led by Nellie Gray. They went to the steps of the Capitol. I think it was January 22nd, 1974. Is this the 50th event?

Jeanne Mancini: It is. This is the 50th annual March for Life, the first post-Roe march. And since you mentioned Nellie, I'd love to share that Roe was overturned on Nellie's birthday. So Nellie led the march for 40 years, and I've been blessed for the last 10 years to lead this organization, but it was June 24th, Nellie's birthday.

Dr. Tim Clinton: You mentioned the word confusion just for a moment, and I want to tie that together for everyone. The original march was about overturning Roe. So some people are coming now and they're saying, why are we still marching? And Jeanne, maybe you can clarify exactly that statement of our goal now is to make abortion unthinkable.

Jeanne Mancini: Great, great, great question. So it's true that the march began the year after Roe, as you just named, the date January 22nd, 1974. But thinking back to that, what Roe did was legalized abortion in all 50 states. So now what's happened is with the overturn of Roe, it's not that abortion is illegal, it's just that states have more freedom basically, and it's not illegal in any state in our country. As this has grown to be, sadly, as I've mentioned, the single most horrific human rights abuse of our time, that's not over yet. In short, we still march because we're not done yet. We haven't built a culture of life. And yes, abortion is not unthinkable. We work to change the laws. There's no question. We work at the federal level, at the state level to change the laws, but the much loftier goal is changing hearts. Changing hearts and minds. So we're working towards that day when abortion is unthinkable.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Jeanne, as we think about the road forward, and by the way, the theme for the March for Life this year is what, next steps?

Jeanne Mancini: Right. Next steps, marching forward in a post-Roe America, what it looks like? What's our next phase in this destination?

Dr. Tim Clinton: You mentioned changing hearts. That's the essence of what we've got to get done. What do you see programmatically? What are people going to be talking about up there? I know a lot of what happens is you see a lot of networking, the pro-life movement, people coming together and figuring out where we're going and how we can unify and stand strong together. We need to get beyond this silo mentality in Christianity or in faith America and figure out how to cross the big divides, if you will. Rally strength because if there's a divisive issue in culture, this is certainly one of, or if not the greatest issue facing us in our time.

Jeanne Mancini: Yes, yes. As you mentioned, we will very much be working on education and countering some of the disinformation that came out, whether it was about ectopic pregnancies or what have you, the things that have been really falsely forwarded over the last few months. But perhaps even more importantly, we'll be focusing a lot on the need to have a stronger safety net for women facing unexpected pregnancies. These are things like pregnancy care centers, which have grown and grown and grown. I mean, there's well over 3,000 in our country alone this year, but even more maternity homes. So the pregnancy care centers help women in that moment of crisis when she's facing this unexpected pregnancy.

They'll give free services and free formula and diaper and suggestions on where to go, counseling, pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, all that. Maternity homes actually take mom and babies and children in for up to two years, five years and try to really get her on her feet. Some of these maternity homes are so sophisticated in really helping women land on both feet. We're going to have one of those maternity home directors speaking at the March for Life, and we'll focus a lot on that, how we all have a role here in creating that stronger safety net.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Jeanne, you're going to have a lot of people in Washington. It's very moving, and the March is just amazing to me. But you guys have a program you've put together. I saw where you're headlining Tony Dungy this year. I want you to talk a little bit about Tony. I know you're going to kick off with We Are Messengers, great group and more. But tell the audience what actually is going to take place in Washington, what can they expect? And we're going to talk more about how they can be a part of the event.

Jeanne Mancini: Great. There's so much happening. The best thing is to check us out at marchforlife.org and read through all the different events. But just a quick snapshot. The day before the March for Life, January 19th, we offer a free session for anyone who wants to learn how to interact more effectively with their elected officials, whether that's at the federal level or at the state level. And that's at our headquarters hotel, which is the Marriott Renaissance. So you can sign up for that online. That's at 11:00 AM Eastern on the day before the March for Life. On the day of the March for Life, there's lots of things happening. In the morning, if you're interested in the political side of things, there's a political, or I should say an action breakfast on Capitol Hill. That's a fundraiser, so it's a little bit more of a pricey event, but you'll interact with all sorts of elected officials, including Attorney General Fitch, who brought the Supreme Court case Dobbs before the court, of course, and many members of Congress. That's a great event.

The actual March itself, the We Are Messengers portion concert begins at 11:00 on the National Mall. So we're at 12th Street on the National Mall, and then the rally itself is at 12:00. This is all broadcast live. You can check it out on our website. It's also on CBN, on EWTN, on CSPAN. And then the March kicks off around 1:15. We have a slightly different parade route this year, so you can check all of that out online. Then our culminating event at the end of the day is the Rose Dinner, and we're delighted to have Jonathan Roumie for any of your participants who've watched the wonderful series, The Chosen.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Yes.

Jeanne Mancini: I'm a big fan of it. He plays Jesus in The Chosen, and so we're so excited to have him. He's a big pro-life advocate and really excited to have him speak on behalf of the unborn.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Well, I know what Dr. Dobson would say right now. "Tim, this is breathtaking. It's so encouraging. You know that? To see the good work of the Lord up there and people coming together for such a time as this." You're listening to Family Talk, a division of the James Dobson Family Institute. I'm Dr. Tim Clinton, your host, and our special guest today is Jeanne Mancini. She's president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund. What a delightful conversation.

Jeanne, I want to transition just for a moment. When the Dobbs case went down and Roe in essence was overturned, people began to recognize that the battle moved from the federal level now to the state level. And Jeanne, in the midst of it, it became apparent that we are in an ongoing battle here. Because when you look at some of the states, it's radical. You've got some states that Supreme Courts are outlawing or standing strong in a pro-life position. Other states going all the way to extreme and talking about birthday abortions and being sanctuary states and more, and it's confusing and challenging. And I just wanted to pick up your heart on where you see us going and how intense this battle is on the road forward.

Jeanne Mancini: First, it's important to note that both the federal and the state are important now. It's just that the state has more freedom. It doesn't mean that the federal role isn't critical. And I could go down that and sort of explain two or three things real quick. The Hyde Amendment, this is just one small example where it's related to government spending and it's arguably the most impactful pro-life policy ever saving well over 2 million lives. We still have to fight for that every year at the federal level. So we can't give up that work. At the state level, the March for Life began a state March initiative five years ago. And little did we know, I mean it was really inspired by God. I mean, the March is inspired by God. But little did we know Roe would be overturned and how critical that state March program would be.

So this past year we were in five states. In 2023 we're going to be in 10. And now with Roe being overturned, our plan is to get into all 50 states over the course of the next five to seven years. This is really important because we could do so much more at the level of the state. So even just right after the March, February 1st, we're going to have the fifth annual Virginia March for Life. A few weeks later in Arizona, we'll have the first annual Arizona March for Life. A few weeks after that, we'll be back in California for the third annual. A few weeks after that in Connecticut for the second annual. This thing is growing and I think it's going to be really impactful.

But the last and most important thing I would say in where my heart is because I think that's what you asked is praying and fasting. This is first and foremost a spiritual battle, and we try to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit and how we can do what we can to build a culture of life. That's so critical because we need to be a witness to these moms and help them just broaden their hearts to receive life. But it starts with prayer and fasting and just begging God to bring His mercy upon our country. So that's where my heart is. But the March and all the work that we're doing, I think is a fruit of that, of all of the people collectively, all of us praying for this with God.

Dr. Tim Clinton: And an encouraging note too, I think is a lot of the research survey data that's out there shows that an overwhelming majority of American, seven out of 10 wants some type of restrictions on abortion. Hey, we're in a battle. We know we are. Even recently, we've heard about the abortion pill issue and how the Biden administration did away with even the most basic of medical oversight and the FDA has permitted that. What they really need to do is restore their risk evaluation and mitigation strategies that, by the way, protected women. I saw I think it's CVS and Walgreen and others talking about offering it basically over the counter. And Jeanne, I know that's got your attention. I know that's a real matter of prayer. We need to be serious in coming together and asking God for guidance, wisdom on where to go here and pray for our legislators and more.

Jeanne Mancini: Absolutely. I am so disheartened by what you just mentioned with the Food and Drug Administration releasing further oversight of chemical abortion, which is so dangerous for women. It's just so dangerous for women. All in the false name of women's health. Women will be the ones who suffer that decision the most. No question here on that. We've got to pray for that too and pray for our lawmakers. Amen.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Jeanne, as we wrap up our time together, and again, we're so grateful for you taking time out to join us.

Jeanne Mancini: I'm grateful. Thank you.

Dr. Tim Clinton: We're going to pray earnestly for a great weekend and that God would show up in a miraculous way. Jeanne, we'd be remiss though if we didn't address maybe some listening today who have carried a burden, a secret for a long time, and when she hears a program like this, she weeps. I'd love for you to offer a word of encouragement to that one.

Jeanne Mancini: There is always hope and healing. One thing that I'm very sure of is that the Lord does not want people to carry that dark sadness and grief with them. There are so many wonderful programs out there that help women to walk through that kind of grief. If you do carry that kind of a secret or burden, reach out to someone like to Dr. Dobson's organization or to another. I'm Catholic. There's a group called Project Rachel in the Catholic Church. It's very strong on helping women to heal through this. You don't need to be Catholic to reach out to that program. But there are people who are trained in this, and what I'm a hundred percent certain of is that God does not want people carrying that burden around. He wants freedom, hope, joy for His beloved children.

Dr. Tim Clinton: He offers that grace and forgiveness to all of us. I'm moved in my own heart by that very thing. I could tell many stories of those who I've met and looked them in the eyes and said, "You know what? God does forgive you." Jeanne, a lot of excitement, energy. We can't wait for the weekend. For people who want more information about how maybe even to get involved for the first time, where do they go and what should they be thinking?

Jeanne Mancini: Great. Check us out at marchforlife.org and if that breakfast I mentioned on Friday morning, the more action focused political breakfast is of interest, check us out at marchforlifeaction.org.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Hey, Jeanne, as we go, I'd love for you if you would just to pray about what God is doing in our country, in our midst, and maybe for those who have a heavy heart.

Jeanne Mancini: Oh, Heavenly Father, we're just so very grateful for the work of the Dobsons and the fruitfulness of their ministry over the many years and decades that they've been so close to you, Lord, and leading their flock. We ask blessings upon anyone who's listening to this today and we ask for special prayers on any woman facing an unexpected pregnancy, and that the work of the March for Life would be fruitful and give you tremendous glory in your name., Jesus. Amen.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Amen. Hey, a closing thought for today is the quote, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men," and I'll add women, "to do nothing." And God lead us for such a time as this. Thank you, Jeanne for joining us.

Jeanne Mancini: Thanks for having me.

Roger Marsh: Well, what an impactful event the National 50th Annual March for Life will be. Education about abortion is key to standing together so we can change hearts and minds to protect the gift of life. As it says in Proverbs 11:30, "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life and the one who is wise saves lives." Our guest today here on Family Talk has been Jeanne Mancini, the President of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund. If you missed any part of today's program or if you'd like to learn more about tomorrow's National March for Life event, head over to our website at drjamesdobson.org. That's drjamesdobson.org to hear today's program and to learn more about the march.

Now, if you enjoy listening to Family Talk on a regular basis, why not consider ordering our 2022 Best of Broadcast Collection? You can own the six CD set of our most popular programs from 2022, and they'll be yours as our way of thanking you for a suggested donation of $50. If you'd like to order yours today, you can head over to our website at drjamesdobson.org. If it's easier, you can order by phone at 877-732-6825. That's 877-732-6825. Thanks for remembering that Family Talk is a listener supported program, and we want to continue to provide you with God-honoring programs that you will enjoy and that will enrich your life.

Well, I'm Roger Marsh. Thanks so much for joining us today. God's richest blessings to you and your family, and be sure to join us again next time right here for another edition of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk.

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