A Conversation with the Pro-Life Doc - Part 1 (Transcript)

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Roger Marsh: Thank you for joining us for Family Talk, the radio ministry of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute. I'm Roger Marsh and we have a stirring program for you today that was originally recorded in April of this year and is included in our 2022 Best of Broadcast collection. Our very own Dr. Dobson sat down with Dr. William Lile. You've probably heard Bill Lile on our airwaves before. He's a very special friend of the JDFI. Dr. Lile has dedicated his life to saving the lives of unborn children. He's a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist. He founded an online ministry that you can find at prolifedoc.org. In 1999, he purchased the largest pro-abortion practice in Florida and immediately stopped all of the abortions performed there. Then, Dr. Lile changed the practice into a pro-life facility that specializes in women's reproductive health conditions.

Now before we begin, I do have a very important announcement to make. Did you know that all-month long we have a matching grand in place here at the ministry to help us with our end-of-year fundraising? This is because of some very special friends of our ministry. So if you decide to make a donation this month, your dollars will go twice as far. That's right. Double your impact. To make a donation, please visit drjamesdobson.org. That's drjamesdobson.org, or call us at 877-732-6825. Thank you for your generosity and for your support.

As you know, the year 2022 will go down in history as the year Roe v. Wade crumbled to the ground on June the 24th. The Supreme Court correctly ruled in the Dobbs v. Mississippi Women's Health case and sent the abortion issue back to the states where it rightfully belongs, back to the people. Dr. Dobson has been in this fight for life since 1973 when Roe became bad law. What better way for us to encourage you to get involved than by presenting you with great pro-life content? And now we present to you part one of a three-part interview with the esteemed pro-life doc. Let's listen now as Dr. Dobson begins with today's guest, Dr. William Lile.

Dr. James Dobson: Dr. Lile, welcome back to Family Talk and thank you so much for flying the long distance from sunny Florida to be with us today.

Dr. William Lile: Well, it's an honor to be here, to be in your presence and to see your beautiful mountain scenery out of my hotel room this morning.

Dr. James Dobson: You know, we were riding in the car together a while back and you told me a story that relates to the last time you were here. And I think we want to start by you telling that story about apples. Do you remember?

Dr. William Lile: I'd love to. The reach of radio and your ministry is just so amazing. It's so important that not only you hear the stories, but other people hear the stories. I was actually in Washington State and I was going to be speaking at a pregnancy center and I was traveling from airport about two hours to where I would be speaking. And I love Honeycrisp apples. So I Googled apple farm, and I went up to the farmer and ordered some apples and he looked at me and he says, "Why are you in a suit out here in apple country?" I said, "Well, I'm actually here in town because I'm speaking tonight across the valley at a pregnancy resource center this evening." He goes, "Oh my goodness." He says, "My wife and I both support that pregnancy center and we have for almost the past two years." I said, "Well, that's great." He says, "We'd be there tonight, but we are in harvest season and we just can't take the time off, but we fervently love supporting them."

I said, "Well, thank you very much." He said, "And it was actually, it was just a couple years ago that we were listening to the radio out in the barn, and we were listening to Dr. Dobson with Family Talk. And he had this guy on board who was being interviewed who was a doctor and he was talking about how they treated the preborn as patients, how we're created the image of God. And just the amazing ways that we can treat the preborn."

"My wife and I," he said, "had always said, well, abortion is not for us, but we're not going to get involved and tell somebody else what to do. But it really changed our mind after we listened to this doctor describe how they're doing heart surgery and back surgery and spine surgery for the babies in the womb. And so we changed our mind, we started to support the pregnancy center across the valley." I said, "Well, that's great." I said, "Do you remember the name of that doctor that was on with him?" And he says, "No." He said, "But I would remember his name if you could tell me it." I said, "Well, was it by any chance Dr. Bill Lile?" He goes, "That's the guy's name." And I said, "Well, that's me too." And he says, "You're kidding me." So, before I left, he had loaded my car up with 40 pounds of Honeycrisp apples and we've already made arrangements to spend time with this farmer who changed his mind on the preborn and abortion, just because of your ministry and the reach that radio has.

Dr. James Dobson: It was not a coincidence that you found that man out of nowhere.

Dr. William Lile: God put us together just like two pieces in a puzzle.

Dr. James Dobson: We hear that kind of thing often, then it's just, you mentioned it. It's really the reach of Christian radio. I'm grateful for it because there are a lot of people out there that I will never meet, but I have a chance to talk directly to them and today is one of those days.

Dr. William Lile: Absolutely.

Dr. James Dobson: So that's exciting to me. This is not only your profession. It is a divine calling, isn't it?

Dr. William Lile: Oh, there is no doubt. I mean, I was blessed to be able to have a great education, go to a wonderful medical school and do my residency at the University of Florida. And I was always interested in medicine, but it was obstetrics and gynecology that really got my attention.

And in 1999, after I finished my residency, the practice that we took over at that time was the largest provider of abortions. So when we were looking at options on where to practice, we actually took over this practice and we had the physician sign a restrictive covenant where he couldn't practice any medicine for two years after that, pushed him into retirement and he actually-

Dr. James Dobson: In that area.

Dr. William Lile: Correct, our three county area. And it pushed him into retirement and he moved back to Sweden and he left the United States. And we thought that was really the end of the story that we had taken over the practice. And on day one, we stopped all abortions and abortions referrals. We kept the staff, but we also told them that if they referred a patient to another facility out of the area, they would be terminated that day.

And it wasn't until a Sunday afternoon after church when I had a key to the office and I actually went over to the office and I had seen the first floor, the exam rooms, the ultrasound rooms, the waiting room, but I've never been upstairs. And it was upstairs where the abortion facility was. And I walked up a set of gray carpeted stairs that thousands of women with babies in their womb had walked up as well. I walked up to the top stair, made a left, and now I was facing the surgical suite. And there was the abortion machine, the exam table, and all the instruments for the next day's abortion laid out and I just felt this chill-

Dr. James Dobson: Which was not operational at that point?

Dr. William Lile: Had not been since we took over the practice and we weren't starting until that Monday. And I looked at those instruments and I thought, "How can the people of Pensacola and not know that thousands of lives of God's preborn have been lost just here in this room?" So that was where I really felt that there was a coldness that was there in that building and not just taking over the practice and stopping abortions. But I really felt the calling to educate and to teach what abortion is and how we are created in the image of God at the moment of conception. And really dedicate my life and use my skills as a physician to defend God's preborn, train people how to do the same and share the message of forgiveness and redemption.

Dr. James Dobson: Was that what you would call an epiphany for you?

Dr. William Lile: Oh, there was no doubt. My plan was just to take over the practice and that that would shut down that aspect of abortion, but I never had the thought that we were going to expand it into a ministry.

One of the most dramatic events was when I was actually doing an amniocentesis in residency, where you are using an ultrasound to guide a long, but thin needle into the fluid around the baby. And I was guiding the needle through and doing the procedure and all of a sudden, the baby moved. And when the baby moved, the baby inadvertently bumped into the tip of the needle. And immediately the baby moved around, didn't know where or what was going on, but physically moved away from that needle tip. The baby's heart rate went from a relaxed heart rate of about 120 up to 160. The baby felt pain and the baby took steps to move away from that source of the pain. And that's when I realized that there is just so much to life. And if the baby can feel that kind of pain and respond to just the tip of a needle, I couldn't imagine what it would be to be actually aborted at that similar gestational age and just the violence that these babies created in God's image would go through.

Dr. James Dobson: Let me tell you about my epiphany with regard to life. It came when I was in, I think the next of the last year of graduate school and the professors there were on the liberal side, it was USC. I don't mean any disparagement, but that's what was going on at that time. It was no longer legal to abort a baby, but it was a hotbed of discussion about that subject. And the professor was talking about that. My field is child development and so naturally they were discussing that and this professor turned to the group and said to us something I will never forget. He said, "You know in the inner city, there are these kids." And he was talking about Black babies. It was the most racist thing anybody had ever said to me.

He said, "You know, these kids are coming up in a home, many of the homes where there is no father, where the mother may be on cocaine or other drugs and may be abusing the child. All kinds of heinous things happen in those inner city homes." And he actually said, "It would probably be better if those children had never been born." And it was shocking to me and I thought about it because I hadn't yet quite decided where I came down on this issue. And that night I had dinner with my parents and I was sitting at the table, we were eating and I shared that story with my parents, my dad especially, and he stiffened. And then I looked at him, Dr. Lile, and there were big tears flowing down his cheeks and he spoke loudly and he said, "No, no, no, that's wrong, that's evil. That professor's wrong." And he said, "It's every individual's right to life and you must oppose this." And he gave me a little lecture there and that settled into my heart. I thought about it.

And a few years later, Shirley and I had had one child and we were not able to have a second, and we adopted a little baby, little Ryan. And a teenage mother had carried him to term and given him life. She could have found somebody to abort that baby, but she didn't do it and she gave us the privilege of loving and caring for, and owning that little child who grew up to be my only son and that did it. From that point on, I was passionately pro-life and I've been fighting for life ever since. So it was one of those, I call it an epiphany where God spoke through a circumstance.

I hope there's somebody listening to us today will consider this program to be an epiphany. And He is using you dramatically.

Dr. William Lile: Well, thank you very much. It's an honor to do kingdom service and defend His preborn. From the moment of conception, Genesis 1:26, I mean, God has already created 200 billion stars in our galaxy in 500 billion galaxies. And then all of the animals, the birds, the mammals, the strains, the beautiful mountains and the oceans. And then God said, "Let us make man in our image and male and female created he them." At that moment of conception for all of us we have value, we have purpose and we have meaning. Not from the time that we are born, but from that time of conception.

So when we look at abortion, what is abortion? Well, number one, we're created in the image of God at that moment of conception. So abortion is not just an attack against that individual baby in the womb. It is really an attack against that in image of God. If you can't destroy God, you'll attack and destroy that image of God. That's why this is such a spiritual battle. There are forces that hate God and will attack the image of God. And that is why we are standing up for God's preborn.

Dr. James Dobson: When a pregnant woman comes into you as an obstetrician for treatment, you do not have one patient there, you have two.

Dr. William Lile: As soon as they walk into our office, we have two patients and sometimes we have more. I've delivered triplets and even quadruplets. Sometimes I have five patients that are walking into the office.

Dr. James Dobson: You are one busy man.

Dr. William Lile: I mean, it's an amazing thing to deliver four babies at one time during a C-section. You feel like a magician reaching into a hat and pulling out rabbits and the nursery is just, "Slow down, slow down." But we have multiple patients and the mom is of course our patient, but our baby is the patient as well. And we don't just diagnose the babies in the womb with ultrasound and with blood tests, we can actually treat and correct and save lives of the babies in the womb as well.

At our hospital, we've actually done blood transfusions directly to babies as early as 18 weeks gestation. Well, why would you need to give a baby a blood transfusion? From the moment of conception, the baby is a different unique person. In fact, the baby can have a different blood type than the mother. On day one when a woman comes into our office, we do an ultrasound, but we also do a lot of blood work. And we look for antibodies in the mother's blood. These antibodies can actually cross the placenta and start to attack the baby's blood. The baby's blood count will drop. If we don't correct this and give the baby blood, the baby will die. We give the baby a blood transfusion with adult blood that somebody donated at the Red Cross or One Blood. We can actually take that blood, and we can put it in a syringe, guide it into a needle, the needle goes through the skin of the mom through the wall of the uterus, we guide it up to the umbilical cord and we give the baby a lifesaving blood transfusion.

We scream about patients' rights and I'm a firm advocate for patients' rights. A patient is a person and is entitled to respect and bodily integrity. If we're giving a baby a blood transfusion and saving its life, that is a patient. And if they are a patient, they are a person. But the field of surgical correction of babies in the womb is exploding. Children's Hospital of Philadelphia just celebrated procedure number 2,000 on their babies in the womb. Cleveland Clinic just showed a video of a baby that they did open-heart surgery on in the womb. The baby had what's called a teratoma in the baby's heart. They made an incision in the mom's skin, they made an incision in the womb, they brought out the left arm, they brought out the right arm and then what was unique and amazing is they actually started an IV in one of the baby's arms to give the baby fluid and to support the baby.

Then the physicians made an incision in the baby's chest and they opened up the chest and they removed this tumor from the baby's heart. The fact that we can do open-heart surgery, save babies' lives and even start an IV on the baby just says that they are patients. They are patients and therefore they are persons and I'm just honored to be involved in such an amazing profession. But my passion is using that profession to show that these are all children created the image of God from the moment of conception. And it is not just a good thing, it is our responsibility and our calling to defend and protect those preborn.

Dr. James Dobson: What do you say to the person who says a woman has a right to her own body?

Dr. William Lile: She has a right to her own body, but from the moment of conception, that baby is no longer part of her body. Her body is an amazing life support system. The baby is dependent on the mother just like a one-day old baby is dependent on the mother, a one-week old baby is dependent on the mother, the baby is dependent on the mother. But from the moment of conception, that baby's DNA and genetics is a mix between the mom and the dad. Half the time that baby has a different gender even than the mom. So how can this one group of cells be part of the mom's body if it's a different gender? All the nucleated cells in the mom's body are XX chromosomes. Meanwhile, every nucleated cell in the baby's body are XY chromosomes. It is a different person with a different blood type, with different DNA. Mom is a life support system, but the baby is not part of the mom's body. And for those-

Dr. James Dobson: And that baby is absolutely unique in the entire universe. There's nothing like him or her.

Dr. William Lile: From that moment of conception, that baby is different from the other seven billion people on the planet. That first cell... At that moment of conception, you have one egg that the mom has released, but you have 300 million cells from the dad. And when those cells from the dad are looking for that egg, there's only going to be one gold medalist in this ultimate swimming race. And that one gold medalist is going to come together with that egg. And at that moment, when the genetic combination of those two cells happens, that baby is unique. And the way that God designed the body so that we only have that gold medalist is with something called the zona pellucida.

At the moment of conception, a shield actually goes up around the egg and that's called the zona pellucida. And at that moment when the shield goes up, no more sperm can get inside. There is no silver medalist who is going to get in. There is no bronze medalist. Well, at that moment of conception, there are zinc ions that are flying in. There are potassium ions, sodium ions. There's a lot of things that are flowing in and out of that membrane. And if you look with the right frequency of light at that moment of conception, you can actually see a flash with mammalian cells.

So when people say, "We really don't know when life begins." We can tell you exactly when new life begins. It's when you have that flash at that moment of conception and God miraculously designed that zona pellucida to put a shield up around that egg and say, "No more." It's amazing and unique.

Dr. James Dobson: That is wonderfully inspirational. I mean, that will touch the heart.

Dr. William Lile: Our primary goal in obstetrics is we want healthy moms and we want healthy babies, and we will do everything we can to achieve that goal. We are there not only just to deliver the baby and help the mom, but we are there for her emotional needs, her psychological needs. And there are pregnancy centers when a mom has needs. There are so many resources. Pregnancy centers around the country, their role is not just to convince a mom that she's been blessed with the baby on the inside. They do an amazing job meeting her spiritual needs, her psychological needs, her financial needs and supporting her. Not just through the time when she's deciding to keep the baby, not just once she's had the baby, but they are there faithfully for months afterwards to meet the needs of those moms.

Dr. James Dobson: Now, let me take you back to your early medical career. For your residency, you went to the University of Florida School of Medicine. Were you pro-life at that time?

Dr. William Lile: Oh, my goodness, yes. My parents were pro-life and I'll tell you what made my parents pro-life. My mom with her first pregnancy, she had a miscarriage and lost that baby. The second pregnancy was me and my mom got really sick during that pregnancy. She had hyperemesis, a condition where she was continuously vomiting, she was losing weight and she was hospitalized. Her electrolytes were all out of balance. And even though that was 1965, the physician said, "Your life is being threatened. We need to perform an abortion in order to save your life and make you healthy again." And my mom said, "No." And so she continued with the pregnancy and then I was born. And since I was in my mother's womb, I was almost aborted by the advice of a physician.

Dr. James Dobson: Were you under in the pressure to do abortions in your residency program?

Dr. William Lile: Our residency program was actually located in a Catholic hospital. So we did not permit abortions in our hospital, but we had a lot of physicians who would, of course, refer people in our community to get an abortion. The residents that are going through training now are facing extreme prejudice and pressure to participate in abortions. A lot of the residencies will weed out applicants from medical school who can have a pro-life mentality so that the graduates from the residencies will all be pro-abortion. There is a conscious effort to keep pro-life medical students out of obstetrics and gynecology, and that is evil. And in five, 10, 15 years, we might be short on pro-life OB/GYNs who have the board certification and the gravitas to stand up for God's preborn and say, "No, this is wrong. These are my patients. They have rights. We need to defend them."

Dr. James Dobson: Dr. Lile, these 30 minutes went by faster than any program I remember in a long time. We must continue tomorrow. Will you stay with us?

Dr. William Lile: I'll be back.

Dr. James Dobson: Thank you for being with us. Thank you for your heart for God's children. God has his hands on you, my brother, and I appreciate you and love you for it. And we are brothers in Christ.

Dr. William Lile: Amen, my brother. Thank you very much.

Roger Marsh: What an outstanding message indeed. It's truly amazing, the gift of life, and this was just part one of a three-part conversation. Join us again tomorrow and Wednesday for parts two and three. If you were touched by today's program and would like to hear similar programs, you'll enjoy owning our 2022 Best of Broadcast collection. For a suggested donation of $50, you can have your very own copy and we will mail it directly to you with free shipping. And new this year, we also have a digital download version that you can access right now. Just visit drjamesdobson.org/bestof2022. That's drjamesdobson.org/bestof2022. And if you order the CD set by December 14th, the U.S. Postal Service prescribes that they can have it to you by Christmas. What an excellent gift for your family and loved ones. You can also order by phone. Our customer care team is standing by. Just call 877-732-6825. We always love hearing from you.

We are a listener-supported program and we remain on the air only through the generosity and encouragement of loyal listeners like you. Remember that for the month of December, we have a matching grant. So any donation you make, every single dollar you give will have double the impact. Please join us as we continue to fulfill the tremendous work the Lord is doing through our ministry. From all of us here at the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute, thank you for being a part of our ministry. We wish you God's greatest blessing to you and to your family. Join us again tomorrow for part two with Dr. William Lile. I'm Roger Marsh, and this is Family Talk, the voice you trust for the family you love.

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