But the root of why people I think sit in in that pro choice position and feel like there's no other way is because not because they don't see the humanity of the unborn, but because they empathize with the impart what they would describe as the impossibility of her situation.
Welcome to Ideas have consequences the podcast of the disciple nations Alliance, a show where we examine how our mission as Christians is to not only spread the gospel around the world to all the nations, but to also transform the nations to increasingly reflect the truth, goodness and beauty of God's kingdom. Tragically, the church has largely neglected the second part of our mission. And today, Christians have little influence on their surrounding cultures. Join us on this podcast as we rediscover what it means for each of us to disciple the nations and to create Christ honoring cultures that reflect the character of the living God.
Well, welcome again to another episode of ideas have consequences. This is the podcast of the disciple nations Alliance. And once again, I'm Scott Allen, I'm the president of the DNA. And today we're here to talk about the pro life movement in the United States and around the world. And I'm joined by my colleagues, Dwight Vogt, and John Baltimore. And our very special guest today is Josiah Friedman. Hi, Josiah. Thanks for joining us.
Hi, Scott. It's an honor to be here. Thanks for having me.
It's an honor for us to have you here. And Josiah is the founder and the Chief Executive Officer of one of the most effective pro life organizations, I believe in the United States today. It's called Voices for the voiceless. And Josiah is a graduate of Arizona Christian University. And he founded voices for the voiceless in 2013, while pursuing double majors in journalism and political science at ACU he's widely known for his creative approach and compassionate cultural voice that reaches people on all sides of the issue. And just I have a personal connection there, because my daughter is a graduate of Arizona, Christian and worked with you for a little while before she took her current job up in Oregon. And yeah, I know several people that are working with you, they're in, in the office in Phoenix. So anyways, it's great to, it's great to have you here, and really, really been looking forward to this. So
thanks, Scott, I have such admiration for what you guys are building at DNA and the ways that you are really transforming the way the Christian worldview is able to be adopted and embraced to move human flourishing forward around the world a, it's one of my favorite organizations. So thank you for what you do. Oh,
that means a lot to say, you know, worldview is at the center of this issue that that joins us together, really, because one of the most fundamental worldview questions is what does it mean to be a human being? What is a human being? And that's right at the center of the pro life? pro choice or abortion? You know, debate? Is that question. And, yeah, I'd like to kind of explore the worldview side of it a little bit, maybe later on, but I thought Josiah would, I'd love to just hear your story a little bit. In terms of how you got started with the pro life movement, how you came to found voices for the voiceless as a student, that's very impressive feat when you're pursuing your studies like that. So yeah, tell us your story a little bit, and the story of voices for the voiceless.
Well, I grew up in a, in a context that was very pro life. My dad is a physician, who had always been deeply, deeply convicted about what was going on in the womb, and the desire to protect it as something that is human made in the image of God right then and there from the beginning. His faith and science worked together to create a viewpoint that was very strong and had a deep hole in his life. And so he was very, very passionate about this. And a lot of that got transferred to me as a young man, and sort of inheriting that energy. I began to just run with it as a kid, I was a political activist, and I lead you know, when voices for the voiceless started, it was a deeply, you know, political organization and we led big rallies out in front of the Capitol. And, and, yeah, I was I was on fire for this stuff. And I remember I remember those early days very fondly, but I also remember points that God used in my life to drastically evolve. How I looked at this I looked at this issue. One of them I remember, the legislature in Arizona, was opening up on the anniversary of Roe. I think it was like the 42nd anniversary of Roe or something like that. And I was invited to just say a few words on the floor of the house before the day started. And so I did and I plan something that would pack a punch Scott, I really thought, I'm gonna give it to him right here and I'm gonna watch his things change and things are influenced. And I did, I said, my piece, and I watched back as some of the most infantile, futile back and forth happened for about the next hour. Some people love what I said, other people hated it, there was no in between. And clearly, this was going nowhere. And I think it was one of the first times in my life, it was in college at the time studying political science, that I questioned my political future. Maybe my future as a political activist wasn't the most important thing. For this issue moving forward, maybe there were, maybe there were ways to reach people that were more important than that is the first time I began to think about the importance of culture. So I mean, this is a long way to answer your question, Scott. But there was one moment in my life that really did profoundly cause the complete evolution of how I thought on this, and it was about three years after I started voices, and it took off for something sorted by a younger person, about three years after my mother who had always been a little uncomfortable with what was going on, but had never really articulated why sat me down on the couch. And she told me a story that I did not know. And almost no one in her life to that point knew either. And it was about a time when she was the same age I was then she was 19 years old, growing up in a Catholic family and White Bear Lake, Minnesota. She is dating this guy, and she thought there really might be something there. And so when she found out she was pregnant at 19, she'll she knew one thing as happens in most of these most of these circumstances, she knew one thing that caused everything else to revolve around her that was that her dad could never find out about this. If he did, his sterling reputation in the community would be forever tarnished. Their family would be looked at in a different way. And this relationship she cared about would be over. She thought that for sure. So she went to Planned Parenthood. And they told her about a clinic where she could get this done, and no one would have to know so she went to that clinic with her boyfriend one day, and reluctantly went through it almost backed out at the last second but, but went through it and went home. And she thought Scott that that was it. But a couple days later, she began bleeding everywhere, and she had to be rushed back to the hospital. And she stayed there overnight, and her worried parents came to visit her and asked her what was wrong. And somehow she managed to conceal this from them, and returned home from the hospital. Okay. A couple weeks later, an insurance bill shows up in the mail addressed to her father, describing her condition for that night and why she received treatment. And my mom found this in the mail and turn 19 year old self drove right back to that clinic and said, Hey, you promised me no one would have to know about this. You have to change what's on the bill. My family's future depends on this. My relationship depends on this. And you promised you got to change it. So they did. He sent her back with a bill that said leading from irregular period is what she received treatment from that night. And my mom's life kind of quickly disintegrated. She became very depressed. She became an alcoholic for a time. And no one identified this as a cause because she didn't tell anyone and she managed to conceal it with everything that she was. Until about three decades later, her son began stepping on that wound with such an aggression, I had absolutely no idea. And it changed. It changed everything I thought about this issue and my entire framing, I joined this movement, because I wanted to be a part of doing justice in the world. And it profoundly changed my thought about this because I was leaving a person out of this equation, Scott, I was leaving a person created in God's image, who had walked through this journey and in complete isolation who could have had a different result had she received the right support. And I left that person out entirely until my mom did what I believe it's probably still the bravest thing I've ever seen done to me or in my presence. As a leader in this movement, who had banked my entire you know, I was only 19. But I banked my entire public reputation on this, right if you knew of me that you knew of me as this person leading these rallies out in front of the Capitol. And when she told me this story, it was one of the first people she told and what an honor to know. And it changed the way I thought about this forever.
That's really powerful. So she had She had not told anyone until that point until she told you.
There were other people in her life maybe who had known at the time. But it was the first time that that I had heard about this or that anyone, you know, among my brothers and siblings that anyone knew a lot of her family members didn't know and close friends either. And so it was a step of remarkable courage to go and share that as it is, for many people who have walked through unexpected pregnancy felt like they had to hide it, chosen abortion and then felt like there was no pathway to healing, because they would have to, they'd have to go in front of the very same people that they were worried about hurting the most, and talk to them about it. And so what a courageous thing, it was part of her path to healing and not an easy thing to do, but a brave thing.
Wow. Well, that explains the, the vision for voices of the voiceless as I understand it, from the website to it's to create a world where no mother faces and unplanned pregnancy alone. And so thanks for explaining that shift from kind of political activism on behalf of the unborn to just this kind of passion for women in you know, mothers in crisis pregnancies, like your mother was and you know, what strikes me about the pro life movement amongst many things is just how it's it's it's been a very healthy movement, you have people working, kind of in the judicial branch and people working with mothers and then people advocating on behalf of the unborn politically and culturally, you have all of these different players kind of coming together and seemingly working pretty well. together. And I think that's been one of the strengths of the movement.
Hi, friends, thank you so much for joining us today, I have a couple of things that I wanted to highlight for you in light of our discussion on life and human flourishing. Firstly, you need to go check out the beautiful work that Josiah and his team are doing over at voices for the voiceless, as they create a world where every human life is valued, and no one faces unplanned pregnancy alone. Secondly, Darrow Miller is recent eighth lesson online training course titled The Grand Design rediscovering male and female as Imago Dei is available right now on our website for free. During this time, I just wanted to give you an idea of what you can expect from that course, the grand design will surprise and delights you. Many participants find that they are engaging elements of worldview and the biblical narrative in ways that they never have before. Their self understanding has improved as they realize what it means to be transcendently and biologically male and female. This has breathed life and purpose into areas that previously felt mundane and unimportant, and their family relationships have improved for it. This course will provide you with a vision for the beauty of God's design for the family, a beauty that the abortion industry has ripped apart, it's time that we rediscover the grand design, take your first step by starting the free course today. To sign up, just head over to the episode landing page, which I've linked down in the description below. before resuming the discussion, if you enjoy ideas have consequences, please consider sharing it with the people that God has placed into your life. Thanks again for listening. And now back to the episode.
Yeah, I wanted to explore a little bit more about your, your particular part within the pro life movement. And I think you just did a great job of explaining it. But I'd love to hear a little bit more about that. Just saying how, how what what do you do specifically at voices to to help support? You know, mothers specifically here? I think?
Absolutely. Well, we want to change the framing of the narrative. For his very specific reason I, I think as I've looked at the landscape shift in the world on this issue, there have been a handful of almost, we call them high leverage points, areas in which people face extreme isolation, that causes them to genuinely feel like they have no other choice than abortion. And those kinds of situations contribute to hundreds of 1000s of abortions in the United States every year. And whether you're pro life or pro choice, you could come around and agree that no one should feel like they they have no choice but abortion, right. That's a non ideal for everyone. And so we want to tackle really specific ways we see that happening in the world, and fundamentally change how those circumstances go down. So I'll give you an example. Scott, one of the one of the things we're really passionate about is ensuring that parents who hear that their child is going to be born with a disability, let's say Down syndrome, for example, are actually given resources and support instead of being told to terminate their pregnancies. I remember when we started on this effort and this venture a number of years ago it was because the nation of Iceland, a story had just come out, focused on the nation of Iceland that found that 99% of pregnancies that were prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome in that country ended in termination. And when you looked deeper, you found sort of a harrowing story. And we looked deeper in the United States to so my team and I began interviewing a lot of different patients in the disability community, to ask about their diagnosis experiences, and over and over again, from these mothers who had become these Mama Bear activists. But we're not this way. Originally, we heard the following story. When my physician presented the diagnosis, they told it to me something like this, I'm so sorry. Here's how many days you have left to make a decision, which just means terminate. And that progression of information is extremely discriminatory. In a world no matter what happens politically, with abortion, in a world where you have physicians, who are pushing parents to make that choice and making it seem like you'd have to be crazy to choose a different way. In that world, we could never have a culture of life, a culture where there's actually support. So my team and I has looked into strategic ways, and works on projects to begin changing the way that the next generation of physicians is actually presenting that news. So it's a targeted approach, it's trying to create a world in which what that patient receives actually is full information about that condition, is a congratulations at the beginning of it, and is access to resources and support. Because there's never been a better time to be born with one of those conditions in the developed world, now is the best time there's so much support, and we want to connect people to that's what we think that's better, decidedly, so no matter where you're coming from on this issue than just pressuring a parent to try again. And so that's one example, Scott, we're really focused on finding those areas where one specific thing is happening. So for example, a physician in this case, is taking someone out of community, making them feel isolated, more isolated than they've ever felt before. And like there's only one pathway to success, we're looking for those points. And we're trying to say there's actually many pathways to success. Here's the community of people who have found success in that way. And here's how you find them. And we need to train physicians to do this. I'll be honest on this issue, it's not because we have a bunch of physicians who are on purpose, trying to make people feel that way to feel that degree of isolation. It's because we have a lot of people whose compassion instinct is triggered, right? What do you tell someone? It's normally not the best thing? What do you tell someone, when you feel compassion for them, and you want to empathize with their situation, you tell them I'm so I'm so sorry. Right? That's what many of us do. But we need to train people to get out of those patterns because of how discriminatory and isolating they are. So, Scott, that's just one example. But my team, but we view ourselves in our mission doing at this point in a post real world, is we're focused on up routing systems that create dependence on abortion in our society. And we want to replace those with systems that build community that are oriented to work toward creating a path of prosperity for people, especially around the issue of motherhood in our world. We want motherhood to be a path of prosperity. So it's not just creating a world where no one faces unexpected pregnancy alone. That's the baseline, right? We don't think anyone should feel that that isolated, we want to create a world where you can thrive, no matter where you're coming from, and no matter how difficult your situation is. So that's what the work is built on.
Wow, thanks for sharing that Josiah. You know, it's so interesting. It's such a multifaceted movement again, and you focus if you were focusing in on one particular aspect of it, what do doctors say to women who are pregnant with, you know, a baby who has Down syndrome? That's so important. And that's also very measurable, you can actually say, we can get our hands around that by helping doctors to say something different than what they're saying, in those really first kind of moments where they're interacting with the mother like that. Guys, any questions for you? As as we just kind of explore the ministry of voices for the voiceless in their particular focus? Yeah.
Two comments. One is, did I hear you why you said you want to create a scenario where motherhood is the pathway to prosperity? Is that what you said?
Yeah, and I think that that's, that's been an evolution for us. And by that, I mean, the life movement has been very focused on you know, rightly so, you know, trying to uphold human rights for a long time. What makes abortion such a different issue than just a pure human rights issue in India? United States and around the world is that there are two people involved. We like to say it in very spiritual terms, the poison of abortion on our society is that it's imagine Satan getting in between the most precious relationship God created between mother and child and creating a scenario in which only one of them can win. That is the scenario that too many people walk in, in the United States, in the developed world, and in nations all around the world today, it really needs to be a situation like our movement, I think needs to look at the end game when we've won as as having one creating a scenario where there's a double win available for everyone. And there's a clear pathway to get there. So that's the high level of it, we want to create a path, we want motherhood to be a path of prosperity in the United States, where people can flourish and thrive because they're walking in that direction. And we're a far cry from that today. So that's what we're focused on.
That just seems like a huge it's a huge insight for me. I mean, I it's not a new one, but that you would position motherhood, in its most difficult situation as well, with a disabled child and a crisis pregnancy as a path now to prosperity to flourishing to God's designed for you as a woman. So anyway, I think that's incredible. My next question is, how you're just one little boys? How do you get that into every pulpit in the country? Or wherever you want to get it to?
Well, I think it's a slow go to get an in every pulpit around the country, for sure. But I do think that there's a, there's a lot of hope. Well, and there's an opportunity here. So after a row fell about a year ago, now, so much has happened in the world, and the battle has changed dramatically. But I'll tell you, where there is no vision, the people perish. You've heard that many times. The vision I think of the life movement, for about its first 50 years was understandably so in undoing this Supreme Court decision that created sort of a systemic reliance on abortion everywhere in our institutions, right, that's really what road did is it created a scenario where you could have businesses that would essentially say, well, to move forward in your career, if you really care about it, you can do that there's a pathway for here, you just need to choose abortion, right? We created that environment in every sort of sector of our society under Roe, now that it was gone, two things have happened. One, it's hard when you've been fighting for something for 50 years to consider what what the next end you need to pursue is or what the end that you were needing to pursue the whole time was that you just couldn't focus on, because this this sort of court case, got in the way of you pursuing that substantially. So there's a need for vision in the movement right now. And that need for vision, I think is an opportunity for us to challenge people to think a little bit differently. The movement, as far as I'm concerned, at least in a post roe world has to be incredibly focused, not on necessarily just what an abortion is, philosophically, but how we come around people and offer support so that they can walk through unexpected pregnancy and thrive. That's the journey and, and it's not that our movement has never been focused on that. It's that the movement has been focused on that. But, Dwight, you're right, in that it is such a massive undertaking, that the undertaking of the life movement has always been a massive undertaking. And I think sometimes we grow tired of, you know, why is everybody I'll give you an example, right? So much mud is thrown on the life movement for, you know, for things that it's not right for just caring about the baby not caring about women that that kind of a thing. That's never been the case. But that money isn't thrown on on other movements, right? It's really, in many ways just directed toward towards a life movement. And many people in the life movement, I think, feel a certain kind of understandable defensiveness when that accusation is thrown our way because that's not what we've been fighting for the whole time. We've been fighting for the well being of women and their children at the same time for so many years. My response to that mob, though, is to kind of realize the reason the mud is being slung. I understand that it's this purpose, but if we actually realize that there's there's something to what's being said there, which is that our goal really needs to be that high a thing we need To be striving after that message that we could make motherhood, like I said, into a path of prosperity. So how you get it into pulpits? I don't know. I think one way is to do this. There's a very simple verse in scripture that I think helps us understand the immensity of Jesus love for us, and how Jesus thinks about how we respond to things like this. It's very simple verse, it's just we love because he first loved us the capacity to love or to have this sort of other focus, other focus SNESs, and to wish for the well being both of ourselves and another person. Jesus doesn't think that that's possible for us, unless we fully experience His love first. And he kind of created human beings to be like that, right? We don't love out of out of an empty void. We love because we've been loved. And our movement then is really a movement to figure out how do we love so many people, so that they can make a courageous decision and go into motherhood. So it's a place to be honest, I became a dad about a year ago, and watching what this has the journey of my wife at becoming a mother. You know, this is the most love I've ever seen directed from one human to another human ever, and getting to see it close up has been a beautiful, beautiful thing. But that's what our movement is about, right? We want to equip people to show that kind of love but to do that, people need to be loved in incredible ways. And I think that's hopefully that's a message that can resonate in our pulpits. I think it's that message that needs to if we're going to achieve that the ambitious goal we have in front of us.
Yeah, Josiah, it's a it's a beautiful statement. And it's a beautiful theme that motherhood is a pathway to prosperity. And you know, it's not inconsistent at all, at least. And we're, and we talk about prosperity in the fullest sense, there, but even from purely just the economic sense of prosperity. It's not at all inconsistent with what we have seen in economics that says if a man and a woman first graduate from at least a high school level, and they marry, and they wait to have children until they're married, the likelihood of being below the poverty level that we're in the welfare state is quite low, it's, you know, it's something less than, you know, 10%, or there abouts of people in in that area. So it's it's incredibly been proven out, statistically, from an economic standpoint, I'm going to ask a question is probably staying on the same topic, but just from a slightly different approach, because we're talking about your target audience here. So who, who is your customer? Let's say it from a business term? who your target audience? So if your target audience is, is it? Is it through crisis pregnancy centers? Are they they your primary audience? Because they deal with the people who are in these situations? Are you doing it more broadly to the public in general? And how would you answer that?
It's a great question. Right now, our organization is focused on reaching people online who are walking through this every day. And the purpose of of launching an initiative to reach people online, has been that we realized in a post real world, people are feeling more isolated than ever, I'll get into this for a second, the biggest change, after Dobbs has decidedly been that the journey of unexpected pregnancy has changed substantially both and who's walking through it, and in the resources they have access to. So you may be familiar with this. But the abortion pill which is, you know, been in the courts, we can talk about an update on that soon. But the FDA about a, you know, a year and a half ago changed a rule that used to require people to see a physician in person or a healthcare professional in person to be administered the abortion pill, so you had to go to a physical place. And then you could be administered the pills sent home and they'd say, call us if you have any issues. A year and a half ago, the FDA got rid of that regulation. And when they did, they created an entire industry of online abortion providers that realized they could make a big buck by aggressively marketing abortion pills to people who felt like they had no other choice, and then sending them fulfilling orders through the mail into all 50 states of the United States. There are international companies involved in this that are extremely hard to regulate, that are now sending pills, where it's illegal, including it to Phoenix, we're having this conversation right now. But into, you know, into all 50 states and there are companies like Hey Jane, that are raising significant venture capital funding because people believe they could make a lot of money selling the abortion pill without any overhead just online and By the way, healthcare professionals rarely involved in any of these circumstances, right. So it's people who are just being told, Hey, you can have these very limited information about the side effects or process and then just mailed pills and told that they can go through this in their bedroom without talking to anyone, that journey is more isolating than it has ever been before. And who's walking through that journey is different than you may think. I think for decades, people in the pro life space have mistakenly thought the person we're talking about reaching who walks through unexpected pregnancy is someone who is a teenager, right? Who was acting recklessly, and doesn't have any, you know, financial support. And that has changed fundamentally, in the United States in the last few years, the rising group of people who are having more unexpected pregnancies before than ever before, are people who are in their 20s and 30s, who feel like abortions that had their only choice. They're in their 20s, or 30s, many of them have several things that are going on at the same time, many of them already have at least one child, right? The majority of people who get an abortion in the United States, they already have at least one child, that's a journey, that's a lot different than people have thought. A second thing that's different is that many people walking through this seriously considering abortion, have already had one. And this not being their first experience means a couple things. One, it means most of those people have one and have never found healing and the culture of abortion healing ministry, by the way, in the United States, people actually finding a way to recover and get on a different path where they're walking in community after an abortion has been extremely slow, the commonality has been that people are only finding healing programs two or three decades after they walk through this, just like my mother, and not immediately afterward. And by the way, the need for this to happen immediately afterward has never been as high. Because you have people who are walking through this journey, and they're walking through it alone. And there is no abortion doctor performing the abortion. It's them. That's it. And so that's a completely different traumatic kind of experience than it has been before. These are the women who we need to find a way to empower and to connect to community and to help find healing. Right now, because there are so many forces that are finding ways to do that, on the internet, it's the biggest way that our world has changed post row, we have found that there's no more important place to be then in that same space to find a way to reach and empower people. So we're working hard at finding constructive ways to be the place that people go to, to build the kinds of things that you'd want to visit if you were pregnant. And that wasn't good news to you initially. So that people can find real information and powering support from an entity that's not trying to make money off of them. And that, unfortunately, is pretty unique in the post ro space.
So just practically just cya. You know, I'm imagining people are, you know, they're pregnant. And they're looking for information, and they're going online, and Googling, you know, how do I get an abortion? Or how do I get abortion pills or putting in certain questions and, and then yeah, it's all about algorithms. And it's about positioning, you know, who shows up first in those searches? Right, you know? And so is that where you guys are kind of working? It sounds like you're trying to get yourself high up on those lists for putting in those kinds of questions.
Yeah, we are. And the reason that we are, you know, doing well in these kinds of environments is that this isn't, we're not creating things that are trying to sell people things, we're not making money off of this off of any of this, right, which makes us really unique in that space. But also, what's so important in these environments is to create a space where people can actually be safe, right? A space where they can just walk through whatever they want to talk through with someone. Right? That's really the key here, because people are more isolated than they've ever been before. So yeah, we're we're finding ways to do that and reach people online. And those critical decision making moments and those windows aren't big Scott. So the studies that have been done have found that the average amount of time somebody makes it takes sort of deliberating what they're going to do in these situations when they feel most alone is zero days, right? Less than 24 hours, these these are decisions that are being made very quickly because people are feeling that level of trapped
is what walk us through a journey that you want people to experience online then what would it look like? So you want them to come to someplace besides place it's going to get sell them an abortion pill. What does that look like that journey that online? Yeah,
that's a great question. Well, there are several different journeys that are kind of built out. But what we really want is we want people to go online and we want them to find a space that's really going to be there for them. And we want a few things to happen in that experience. One, we want them to be able to read stuff that's written by people who've walked through that journey before, that's a critical thing for us. So that's one of the things we're empowering to happen online, is if you're really ambitious, for example, and you're in medical school, and you're working your way up and trying to figure out what this would mean, for your journey, we want you to read something written very specifically by someone who's walked that exact journey before so you can get a feel for it and be able to trust someone. The second thing is we want you to be able to interact with content that's going to be extremely accurate, medically, especially. So you're going to be able to actually consider your options, it when you think about it, from entities that are trying to profit off of her, there's so much incentive to not actually share real information, right? Because most of the time, these are, these are one time sales, right? You're trying to sell someone on an abortion, and then you're trying to move them aside rather than build relationship and trust. And we want to build relationship and trust. So we have accurate information on this site, we have ways that you can talk it through with somebody and actually find real support from someone who will just honestly sit there and listen, there isn't a lot of other, you know, other information communicated there. But those are the elements of the journey we want people to experience with us.
By the way, just we have some headline news, I guess, even over Easter weekend related to abortion pills, and maybe you could catch us up on some of that. Some of that news, I understand the US district judge has ruled that one of the kind of the top used drugs for abortions needs to be taken down off the market, because as I understand kind of the ruling, it was he ruled that the FDA was too quick to approve that without kind of doing proper safety evaluations back in 2000. Can you update us on what's going on with that? Yeah. And and maybe where you see that going?
Absolutely. And that was a good summary. So right over the weekend, US District Court judge in Texas effectively rules that myth for prestone, which is the first part of the two drug abortion pill regimen would be taken off the market and unavailable for illegal purchase in the United States. Now, this is a significant ruling. It's it's done for good reason, because the FDA really rushed to the approval process of this without actually being able to sufficiently test whether this was safe for women, they just kind of rushed it forward. So this was a long sort of overdue decision in the United States courts, and is really significant. At the same time. what's already happened is the Biden administration is going to appeal this and send it to the Fifth Circuit. There's a conflicting opinion, another district court already out of Washington. And so the expectation in the eyes on this case is that it will probably go to the Supreme Court before anything sort of concretely happens. Now, if and if a person were to get taken off the market because of a Supreme Court decision, there's still the question of would the Biden administration enforce that in the United States or not? I, you know, don't have high expectations for that. And so, so it's all over the place in that regard. Now, here's the thing to watch abortion pill companies have seen this happening. This was a thought out legal strategy on on the life side. But there's adaptations that are already being made. There's a group, an international group called eight access that sends a lot of abortion pills through all of the 50 states that has just expressed its plans to continue using the footprint so no matter what happens, and sending it to people in the mail, other companies like Kara femme, an abortion company that the Gates Foundation has put a lot of money behind, are already testing or have already tested. A misoprostol only abortion so I mentioned there's a two drug regimen that that means the abortion pill. The first drug mifepristone is what basically disconnects nutrition from the pregnancy. The second drug, misoprostol is just expels the pregnancy out of the body. So you can imagine the gruesomeness of just using that expelling drug, it will lead to quite a few more complications, quite a few more of these abortions having to failing and then having to be completed through a surgical procedure. A lot of messiness, and it's bad for women, but these companies realizing they can really profit off of this aren't going to stop. So they'll start using a misoprostol only regimen, some of these companies if they have to, and that's how these companies are adapting to this. In other words, this decision is significant and it does ensure that the FDA go through proper protocols, and it does have potential to change this have little bit. But companies that are really motivated on profiting off of these decisions are still really focused on that end. And they do have pathways to sort of change their strategy to make it work and continue selling abortions online moving forward. So it is something to watch, watch it, watch how the players interact. It's something that we'll be doing as a team, as we tried to try to serve these women and make sure the best information is available to them. But yeah, that's what's critical moving forward. Yeah,
wow. You know, it's, it seems like another kind of front. And this whole pro life movement right now is just, frankly, law enforcement, because like you say that there can be laws on the books and, and this could go through all the way to Supreme Court. But if there's not a will to enforce, I think at one time, just a you mentioned to me that in the state of Arizona, it was not legal for out of state or out of out of country, pill providers to be mailing pills to women in the state. But they do it anyways. Because there's no will to enforce that. Is that is am I getting that correct?
That is correct. And there's there's certainly the will there's also the question of if you did have the administrative Well, for some of these tactics that are being used? Would it matter? Like it is, is there actually a way to enforce something like this is a question in a lot of people's minds and and I think the ramifications, at least for me are to look at this and go, yes, the political battle is an important one, it's one that we must make headway in because we need to protect women and children to the furthest extent possible. But there's no way to really win. In that space, there's no way to create the kind of culture for life that we want to create, with 100% focus on those ends. Because every win that we get will just be very short term, we've already kind of seen this, right. And so a battle we're fighting Yes. But our movement can become so over focused on that to an extent, in a post real world, we've got to find, we have our work cut out for us and in finding ways to support women in ways that are our strategic and then finding ways to ensure that this concept that every human being that's made in God's image has dignity worth and value gets through, that's about all we have to be fighting to that, I think actually is going to take more resources than the political one to win. And so as much as I follow this political back and forth, I have hopes that it will do some good, but the future I think lies in our ability to transform the culture.
Can I ask you a question? I've been puzzling over a little bit Josiah, and I wanted to, you know, get your take on, you know, it seemed like the pro life movement was it had a very clear goal for a long time, which was the overturn of Roe v. Wade, very clear, and every big movement needs a clear defining goal and provided that but then, when that, you know, when that happened, and that goal was achieved, it seemed like the pro life movement kind of lost its bearings a little bit and like you say, Now, there's this kind of active discussion about what the next what the next kind of clear defining goal is going to be. And it seemed to me I guess, that I was seeing a lot of headway in the culture, not politics, but the culture on life, mainly coming from artists and other people who were, frankly, getting to the core of the issue. What is this is what is it? What what is this inside of a mother's womb? Is it a human being made by God in God's image with dignity and worth and value? Or is it or is it just a clump of matter and we can do whatever we want to with that? I mean, that's, that still is such a defining issue. And I felt like the pro life movement was really you know, making headway on just frankly making the case in the culture that this was a human being and really a precious human being not to say that the mother's life wasn't equally valuable of course, but the you know, we were abortion still the murder of an unborn you know, human being. And I feel like it seems like post roe I've been a little bit disappointed. I feel like we we've kind of even lost some ground there. You know, like all the focuses it's not again it's we've lost the focus on on on the humanity of the unborn person. What are you what are you what are your thoughts just generally on what I'm sharing here? Just say on kind of the post, post row kind of world we're in right now, I guess.
Scott, I think when it comes to public opinion, you've you've observed correctly and that I think, one it was really easy to kind of hide behind the you know, inaction of Roe right so it roe just because it was the Supreme Court. Decision kind of held things at a certain point, right? You could be pro life, but you weren't necessarily standing for anything that could happen anytime soon. So it was more of a symbolic, you know, position to hold, when the symbolism of it got torn away, because row was taken away. We found out I don't think I don't think it was a situation where we found out that man, we just keep losing people, right, we just keep losing the battle of public opinion, I think it was that we actually found where public opinion was, and public opinion was in that sort of uncomfortable space, generally speaking, a place where in secular society, you have a space that genuine, you know, genuinely wants the well being of women. And honestly, you know, has trouble rallying around that in the context of the humanity of the unborn at the same time, right. There's that sort of wrestling app going on. And Scott, to be honest, and you know, when we talk about what you guys are doing at DNA two, we saw this battle in our faith communities, too. Right? We saw we realized that not nearly as many people as we thought had a holistic sort of pro life view of this issue in the world, actually believed that, right? We had far fewer people who were in that camp, we actually had a lot of people who sort of, you know, sat on, you know, what, well, I'm not advocating for a third way as I'm here. But you had people who sat on sort of either side of a pendulum, that was a minority of people. So you had some people who said, you know, only the well being of the woman is what matters. So you had some people who said only the well being of the child is what matters. That's not necessarily pro life and pro choice, right. That's, that's not what those things are. But you have had, yeah, I've had people stand on opposite ends, very, you know, strictly and with a lot of energy and momentum and passion. And most people who are kind of in the middle, including a lot of pro life, people who are, you know, reasonably thinking, who want the best for mother and child, that is the pro life position. Most people in that space, are sort of alienated by that, and have felt like in a context where they have to choose between one or the other, that that just isn't a good enough situation. And what I think's happened in our churches, is, I think there were a disproportionate number of younger people in our churches, I remember sitting across from a pastor, you know, a couple of weeks after what happened at the Supreme Court, he said, Look, I've never talked about this. But we've got a lot of people in our church space, including a lot of young people who really haven't reacted to this well, and they don't know, you know, they don't know where to stand on this. So they're just following the voice of the culture where it is, because in our church communities, we haven't painted the picture of what God's vision for this actually is. Right? It's one thing, you know, in the world of Roe, we were able to focus on what we oppose, and what's wrong constantly. We never were able to focus on you know, what is the heart of Jesus on this issue, the heart of Jesus on this issue, right is Mother and Child flourishing in relationship together, supported by their village, right, and their community of people? That that's the vision that that's there. That's the position we need to hold on this issue. But it's not a position, it's not one of the political you know, it neither position that we have in the culture is framed that way enough, right to get it there. So it's got I guess, my, my thoughts on this are just, we've got to find a way, especially in our faith communities, to define properly what it means to be pro life because we haven't done that. There are so many people in our society who are retreating from the actual pro life view, not because they don't, you know, actually believe in it, but because they're believing that pro life is what it's been caricature to be and not actually what it is. Because we've been afraid to say what it is. And that's that Mother and Child flourishing together and community. That's the goal. So I think that's tough. And I'll say one other thing on this. I was just talking to John about this the other day there. There's some you know, it's some of the life movement would say that the future of this movement is the unthinkable bility of abortion, right. That's the next standard or the next goal. I think the problem with saying an unthinkable is when you think about something that's unthinkable, right? That's something that we think in the past with great shame over, right? That's what it means for for something to be unthinkable. You know, in the present, we look at the past, we see something that that's really shameful. The reality is that in our culture, the reason this issue has always been hard to talk about is that 1/3 of the US population has been through this personally. And their opinion on this issue is deeply shaped by that experience, and maybe hardly anything else. If we don't have a view or a representation of a view that says, somebody who's walked through this needs to find to healing and there's a pathway for them to do that in a situation that is safe. And in a situation where they can thrive, and they deserve better than abortion, God's plan for them is better than that is to find healing from that past or any past and deep forgiveness, not emphasizing that message enough, has led to a situation where you have a large group of people who've been through this personally, but haven't ever found healing. And because of that, it's almost like the view that Jesus has on this issue is just feels inaccessible to them, because they haven't felt his grace.
Yeah, what you're saying is, you know exactly what the human heart needs to know. And doing it with truth, but doing it as equally with God's love in a way that they can, they can understand that.
Well, thank you. And I appreciate that. And we've got to find a way, right where there's no vision, the people perish, we got to find a way to cast a new vision on what this is, this has been in the culture war for a long time. And so to be able to welcome people to hear about this afresh and consider a different vision for what would be ideal here is difficult. And one of the things that's so hard about the pro choice position that I think no one realizes, and it never gets caught out is that it is at its heart, it's a defeatist position. It is a settling position, it's saying, our society needs abortion. Without it, there is no pathway to actual equality and support and human flourishing. Is that good enough to any of us, there's this old MLK quote that is so deeply powerful, where he just talks about a concept that was true for him. And I think true for all of us, just says very simply, right? Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that. You cannot get rid of it, you cannot solve a dark situation for people with a solutio that is that promotes isolation, and darkness and disconnection. That's no pathway to solve our problems, we need to have a much different vision for the way forward. And I think, I hope and pray that we can rally around this vision instead in the future.
It seems to me just say that the pro choice movement, if you will, makes makes headway though and ground by focusing exclusively on the needs of the mother, right? This baby's an inconvenience, or it's not a baby in their view. You just need to get rid of it all, you know, reproductive justice is for the woman, right? The justice is the freedom and the access to get rid of this thing that she doesn't want, right? And it makes an incredible amount of headway on that. And then it kind of mischaracterizes or falsely characterizes the pro choice movement by saying, Oh, you only care about babies, you don't care about mothers, which I've always felt like was this was just a tactic. It was kind of a slander. But it was effective, right? You just You just care. You care about unborn babies, you don't care about women, we care about women, right that and so they've made a lot of headway on that. Where is your right to say, No, the pro choice movement is always about the life of the baby and the needs of the mother that's that are in this. But it's I still have to say at the end of the day, we can't lose focus on that. This is at the core of it. It's it's it's it's a it's a profound injustice against these human beings that would otherwise be here that are not millions of them. I mean, in the scope of human atrocity, abortion, trumps them all, including here in the United States, and I feel like that Justice can't be lost, we have to fight for that. We have to fight for the the clarity of that, that these are human beings, that somehow that the pro life movement, that's that's the only way it makes ground is if we, if we can, you know, we don't lose sight of that. And I know you're not saying we should lose sight of that you're saying both. I agree. The other side is just going to focus on one very, they're very happy to do that, because they don't believe in the value of that unborn life. They don't they don't count that at all. That's not even considered in the equation as far as I can tell. So I don't know I just maybe I'm just sharing a little bit of my own passion on this issue here. But I just feel like this is such an injustice. And I agree it's there's injustice on all sides of it, but especially against those people who would otherwise be here that are not you know, we've we've got to remember their humanity and the loss of of those people. And we've got to fight for that that's got to become this moral issue that we don't let go of, you know, what, what? So just again, if you could Put it into your own words. What would that vision look like for the prolate? That rallying vision for the pro life movement post? Post row? What would that be? How would you put to frame that again for us, Josiah?
Yeah. Well, I think so the framing that we've used is we want to make motherhood, a path of prosperity. Let's take the state of Arizona, right. What would that what questions would we be asking? If we were going to create a plan to do that? Right. The first question I think we would be asking ourselves is, what would make Arizona the best place to have a baby in America? What would make it the best place to do that? What would the you know what would make it fertile ground so that working women and women who are disadvantaged and walking through this can can find the care that they need and actually move forward into prosperity. That's the vision I think that needs to be needs to be adopted. And seen. Now I want to make one. You know, one thing about this, Scott, to your comments, that I think are really important, and we need not, we did not leave behind. And that's that the point of this whole effort, is we have to build a culture of life where human beings are valued. Exactly, exactly. And that we can never leave that behind. The challenge is how, how do you do that? How do you help a world that sees that looks at this with such defeatism that says, it's not even worth considering how both of these can thrive? She can just get an abortion and move on that looks at that so callously and so so defeat as to how do you get at that? I think underneath for most pro choice people. The reason that as I've sat with many of them that they are that way is not because they've thought deeply about what is in the womb. In fact, I think we've grown up in a generation where most people No, it is a, it is a harrowing thing. It is a difficult thing. Few of us are uneducated, because of the window into the womb that we have. And I think decades will pass. And hopefully we will build the world that we want to see and look back on it. And go, this cost us almost more than anything else that has ever cost us in our nation. This blood that we've lost these lives that we've lost forever. Yeah, it's cost us so great away. But but the root of why people I think sit in in that pro choice position and feel like there's no other way is because not because they don't see the humanity of the unborn, but because they empathize with what they would describe as the impossibility of her situation. And they and they see no path forward. And because abortion is an easy solution, and here's where they fallen into a trap. They don't bother to create the way forward, that's going to have to come from those of us who have a deep conviction about the sanctity of life, it's going to be up to us to create that. And I think we haven't worn that mantle and embraced it. But I think we need to and I think if we do if we can create a way where people see there is a path to flourishing for the for people who are walking through this who have felt like they have no other choice. And we can build that path for people with great intentionality. My great hope is not that the pro life position wins with a sledge hammer. In the end, I don't think that's what it's going to be that we just become a minority majority that simply beat it out of everybody else. I think there will be a win that happens when being pro choice feels like an irrelevant, artless defeatist position. irrelevant because there is a path to flourishing, heartless, because when there's a path to flourishing it, it's not worth this magnificent cost. And I think that's the place that we need to get to as a movement. So I want to build toward that. And I think that's the that's the nuance of kind of how we bring along a culture that has not been with us for so long. That I believe most of them know what is in what is in the womb.
Yeah, I think, you know, when you talk about prosperity, you know, having this child as a choice for prosperity. It's just, you know, so many people don't see it that way. Of course, they just see cost, you know, they're is no prospering here, it's just cost, you know, it's going to cost me to bring this baby into the world, it's going to cost me socially, it's going to cost me reputation Lee, it's going to cost me money, you know, to feed this baby don't have the money, you know, to do that, or whatever it is just cost. And so it's not I mean, when we step back, and we look at the value that from a biblical worldview, the value of a life, and what that life value is over the long run in the life of another person, it's all prosper. You know, it's all it's all upside. But we don't that that isn't that case isn't being I don't think Christians are making that case effectively. Right now, I don't think we're making an effective pro life case. Still, I know, you know, even for myself, and my wife, you know, when we were considering having kids, you know, most of the talk about children, forget abortion for a second is still it's just, you know, you should kind of limit it, because it's very costly. It's all cost. You know, it's not a very pro life, you know, kind of position even in the church. So I feel like, but that, to me, that's where that's where the church is, is at its strongest when it's clear, and it's making a clear Pro, the, you know, the this value of a human life, not just an unborn human life, a human life all the way through and the value to society, to a family to two people in their old age, when they have no one to care for them. You know, it's just, there's such a case that needs to be made for that. I think we're kind of seeing that too. Now, in a lot of countries around the world where there is, you know, people are just not having children. We've talked about this on the podcast. And so you've got a whole generation of elderly people now with no one to care for them. You know, so that that's again, kind of the I'm sorry, I'm a little bit on my soapbox here, guys. But I'm struggling with the same thing. You are just sighs like, what is the unifying vision? And how do we, how do we create, you know, this vision? It's got to be both the child and the mother? There's no question about that. So, guys, as we wrap up, I'd like to just open it up for any final thoughts that you guys have on this. And
my thought goes back to the end of Genesis one when God created finished with this creation? And he said, It's very good. And it goes back to Can we can we let the world know that God's plan is very, very good, and we can trust it, and we can walk it out? Even in a fallen world? It can be very good.
Yeah. So yeah. Just I want to really thank you for the courage that you have displayed in in pursuing your ministry. And this is a really difficult dark, this is spiritual warfare. And I know that takes a toll on you. And I just want to really appreciate you for fighting this good fight. And I want to really challenge all of our listeners to get behind you and voices for the voiceless. What's the best way that people can support you and your and your organization, Josiah?
Well, thanks, Scott, it's been an honor to have this conversation. And if you want to get more involved, and see how you can use your own influence, or potentially volunteer or get behind the ways that we're reaching these women and creating a culture of community in the United States, go to voices for the voiceless.org. You can also reach out to me directly, I'll put my my real information out there, just my first name Josiah at VF tv.org. Reach out to me directly would love to have a conversation with you about how you can get involved, especially if you're connected with these guys with DNA.
Great, thank you, Josiah. And yeah, I just want to encourage everyone get behind this movement, especially the work that you're doing online. It's incredibly strategic. And this is really where the battle is being fought right now. So I think you guys are right on the frontlines with that and I want to encourage everyone to get behind what you're doing. Josiah, thank you again. May God bless you and your ministry, and thank you all as well for listening to another episode of ideas have consequences.
Hi, friends, thank you so much for listening to this discussion with Josiah Friedman. If you enjoyed the episode, please consider sending it to a friend. Unfortunately today, we only had time to scratch the surface of hearing about the work that voices for the voiceless is doing. So again, I would encourage you to head over to the episode landing page where we've laid out ways that you can find out more about their ministry and ways that you can support them. Also, you can always find them on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter as well. Ideas have consequences is a podcast of the disciple nations alliance to learn more about our ministry you can find us on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube or on our website which is disciple nations.org. Thanks again for listening and have a great rest of your week.