Kelly Hudnall: She said, “My dad said he thinks I’ll be a horrible mom but that guy at the UPS Store said he thought I would be a good mom.” And it just blows me away that someone, a perfect stranger, that she would most likely never see again, said something so simple that he probably just didn’t even realize that that meant everything to her.
End of Preview
John Fuller: Well that story illustrates the simple yet really profound influence that any one of us can have to rescue a woman and her pre-born child from abortion. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family. Your host is Focus president and author, Jim Daly, and I’m John Fuller.
Jim Daly: John, uh, there may be a lot of people in the US that think the abortion battle is over because of the Dobbs decision. And that was a great decision for life. But it really did put it all back on the states. So that battle ground has now a 50-state battle ground. And some states-
Jim: … have restricted abortion. Others have, uh, really gone the other direction and allowed abortion right up until the point of birth. And it’s horrific. And we’re gonna see, I think, a great distinction between those two, uh, states, those two types of states.
Jim: And I think life is always the better choice, obviously. As a Christian we are strongly pro-life and we believe that God, uh, intends for life, innocent life, to be protected, not destroyed. And, uh, man, we are gonna talk about this subject today. And perhaps talk about what you can do to get involved.
John: Mm-hmm. Yeah. And we have some great guests, uh, for the conversation today. Pastors Todd and Kelly Hudnall are, uh, co-leaders at Radiant Church here in Colorado Springs. And they partner with Focus and many others in the pro-life movement. We also have our colleague of 30 years now, Robyn Chambers. Uh, she’s the Executive Director of Advocacy for Children here at Focus and oversees really important programs that address foster care and adoption, uh, the sanctity of human life and Option Ultrasound.
Jim: And John, one of the key take aways for the listeners and the viewers today is really you don’t have to have a big platform. It’s what you can do in your community-
Jim: … that makes a difference. And this is one of those things, being pro-life and fighting for those voiceless children and the moms in their difficult struggle is such an opportunity to exhibit the love of God to people and to, uh, really put an emphasis on the life of a child. And today we have Robyn, Todd and Kelly. I wanna say welcome to all three of you.
Todd Hudnall: Thank you.
Kelly: Thank you, Jim.
Robyn Chambers: Great to be here.
Jim: Okay. Robyn, we need to disclose this. Back when I was Vice President of International, Robyn was my assistant. You have- you’ve climbed the, the chain, girl.
Jim: Good job.
Robyn: Thank you. It was probably, uh, you mentoring me all those years ago-
Jim: Yeah. Oh, nice-
Jim: … response. But-
John: Yeah. You led to her success.
Robyn: That’s right.
Jim: That was so much fun. It’s just been great to see you fall into this role in such a capable way and doing such a great job helping, uh, save babies. I always say you got the best job at Focus coming in every day, along with your team-
Robyn: I agree.
Jim: (laughs) Come in and you’re just all about life. And it’s so, so cool to be able to do that each and every day. Uh, Todd and Kelly, in terms of your church and the greater Christian community here in Colorado, Colorado Springs, do you think Christians still- are still engaged on the pro-life values issues?
Todd: I think there was a very positive response, at least at our church. I know when we announced, uh, the decision of the Supreme Court, we had a standing ovation-
Jim: As it should be.
Todd: … uproarious-
Jim: That’s great.
Todd: … applause and people were so excited about that. But then the reality crept in. Our state is not gonna, um, change the direction. In fact, we doubled down on, uh, going the other direction.
Jim: Yeah. There’s a few states that governors have done that, you know? Which to me, again, is a bit illogical because, uh, you know, they said, well, okay. If you’re gonna restrict abortion to 15 weeks or 20 weeks, we’re going the other direction. We’re going to 40 weeks. And there are so few people, even those on the left, that don’t support that. It’s a small percentage, right Robyn?
Robyn: It is. It’s interesting to see the statistics where, um, you know, the far left leaning even will say, you know, at 40 weeks? That’s a full-term baby. You’re, you’re talking about minutes from that child being born. That is extreme-
Robyn: … even for those who are abortion proponents.
Jim: How do we, um, you know, fight that pro-abortion narrative that y- I mean, they’re now claiming that they need to celebrate an abortion, high fiving each other. I remember Chuck Schumer, uh, the Senate leader was high fiving his colleagues about passing a more liberal abortion approach in the Senate. And I just thought, man, at least have some remorse. But it’s not there. Now it’s like we need to celebrate the death of a child.
Robyn: You know, the argument right now is not necessarily the science or the humanity of that baby. They’ve taken that personhood of the baby completely away and made it about women’s rights. Like you’re losing your rights. You’re- this is healthcare for women. You’re losing your healthcare. And so Focus on the Family has an opportunity to speak into that with pastors like, you know, Todd and Kelly and talking about what we can do individually to have that conversation and to change that narrative.
Jim: Let’s, uh, give people a taste of that. Because some people may not know about Option Ultrasound and, and this has been an ongoing effort I think for 18 years now. Is that number right?
Robyn: January will be our 19th anniversary-
Jim: 19th year. So we’ve been-
Jim: … at it a long time. Maybe- we may have been the first one in that area of providing ultrasound machines to pregnancy resource centers. I know Knights of Columbus jumped in a year or two after, I think, we did. And it’s great. I mean, the- the issue’s so big, we need everybody piling in and helping these, uh, pregnancy resource centers. Do you have a sh- story that you might share about working with the PRCs and the good work that we’ve done with the grant money? And kind of explain what we’re doing.
Robyn: And Jim, you’re right. We were the very first ones to step into this- kind of this world of ultrasound and start talking about the difference that ultrasound makes when that woman sees her baby on the screen or she hears that heartbeat. And we have nearly 60% of all abortion-minded women will choose life when they see that ultrasound-
Robyn: Um, what’s so fascinating to me is one of my favorite stories came from a clinic in Nebraska. They were doing the ultrasound. And the nurse said the woman almost act angry. Like wait, wait. That’s my baby? And she said I’ve been told that it was a clump of tissue. I’ve been told it didn’t have a heartbeat. And she said I can see the heart beating. I’ve been lied to.
Robyn: And chose life for her baby. That’s what we have an opportunity to do is speak the truth-
Robyn: … show them the life, and tell those women they have the right to all of the information they need to make the better choice, which is the choice for life.
Jim: Well yeah. And here’s the power of it in the ultrasound. I mean, GE, whoever invented the ultrasound, man, did they really help the pro-life movement. I don’t think on purpose. But, you know, just that technology to be able to look into the womb. But a baby’s heartbeat starts about, uh, five and a half weeks at- from conception. And then fingers and toes are formed what- what week are- is the baby-
Robyn: A baby is fully formed by eight weeks. They just-
Jim: Eight weeks?
Robyn: … need time. They just need-
Jim: Eight weeks?
Robyn: … time to, to bake, you know, in their momma’s womb.
Jim: You never hear that from those who, uh, benefit financially from abortion, right? They don’t give that story, do they? Uh, Todd and Kelly, uh, research shows, and this breaks my heart, and I know women listening right now, and men too, who have participated in abortion don’t feel this as condemnation, but within the church, uh, about 40% of women who have experienced abortion are regular attenders of church. And again, that’s not a judgment, it’s just a data point.
Jim: What do you do within the, the church to encourage women to think differently about this? And there’s lots of reasons that women give and men why abortion is their better choice. As Christians, most Christians would support the fact that life is always the better choice.
Jim: But what do you see as a pastor in that setting? And, and what women are struggling with?
Kelly: I think, um, you know, the Bible says that Satan is a liar and the father of lies. And that’s what he does. That’s what he’s done from the beginning of, of time is to lie to men and women, lie to people, and convince them that what God says is not truth. And to get them to go in a different direction. And, and I think it’s very clear that the enemy use lies, like you- you just mentioned-
Jim: The clump of cells. And it’s not-
Jim: … really a baby.
Kelly: And, and fear.
Kelly: He uses lies and fear. And so the church, we, we are the light of the world. Jesus came as the light of the world. And then he says to us, the church, now you are the light of the world. And we have to step in and shine the light of truth to expose the lies of the enemy.
Todd: And part of that for us is just teaching on the sanctity of life.
Todd: Talking about the importance of it in every area. And then celebrating these mothers who choose to keep their children. We have had those who chose to have their children adopted-
Todd: … and did a video on it. And showed it to the congregation with great applause. And then of course the ministry that we came to talk about, Embrace Grace, does that on a regular basis.
Jim: And that was started by Amy Ford, who’s a good friend of ours. But describe Embrace Grace and how it plays out at your church.
Kelly: Oh, it’s wonderful. And, um, I mentioned earlier that the couple that leads Embrace Grace at Radiant are Crystal and, uh, Rashad Clark. Rashad is a pastor on our staff. And Crystal may not have the credentials but she is a pastor (laughing)-
Kelly: … as well.
Kelly: She truly has a pastor’s heart. And, um, I think it was about two years ago, the Lord really began stirring this passion in their hearts to come alongside of women who find themselves in an unplanned pregnancy. And they’re fearful. They don’t know what to do. They don’t know how they could possibly, um, cope with having this child. And, um, they just had a passion to come alongside of them and give them hope. Uh, get rid of the fear and show them that God’s grace is sufficient.
Kelly: That God will give you the grace to bring this child to term. And this child that you see right now as a complication or an unplanned pregnancy, something that you think is going to mess up your life, they come alongside. We, the church, come alongside of these, these frightened women to give them hope and grace and to help them see this child is truly a gift from God.
Kelly: This child is a blessing from heaven. And one of the most amazing things that I have witnessed again and again is how these frightened moms find themselves in this situation. But through Embrace Grace, through the church coming alongside of them and not shaming them, not condemning them-
Kelly: … but wrapping our arms around them and saying we love you. God loves you. We love your baby. God loves your baby. And we wanna do whatever we can to assist you in making the choice for life. And what I’ve seen again and again is women who were lied to by the enemy. They were- they were broken. They were hurting. They were- some of them destitute of soul, spiritually, emotionally. And just in darkness. And that baby that they had considered aborting ended up being the gift from God that brought them into an intimate, personal, life-giving relationship with Jesus.
Jim: I appreciate that.
John: Well, Pastors Todd and Kelly Hudnall and Robyn Chambers are our guests today on Focus on the Family. And our topic is why you need to stay engaged in the battle for pro-life values. And, uh, certainly a couple of ways you can do that, uh, come right through this ministry like Option Ultrasound or, um, Amy Ford’s ministry, Embrace Grace. We have details about both of those when you call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. 800-232-6459. Or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.
Jim: Robyn, let me- let me come your direction. Um, the top reasons why women facing a so-called unplanned pregnancy and why they choose abortion. I know there’s a stigma about adoption. It’s so sad. And yet I would say the abortion industry profits. What really frustrates me is the fact that nobody points out that they are financially benefiting from their position.
Jim: You know, nobody says well, wait a minute. You guys don’t get to sit at the table because you’re getting 600, $700 for an abortion. So you’re incentivized to fight for abortion and to celebrate it and all those things. And it’s like the rest of the culture doesn’t wake up to that point. They should not be allowed into the discussion, frankly, because of the, the financial benefit that they earn from it. But what are women feeling in that context of why abortion’s the only answer?
Robyn: I think Kelly said, you know, the perfect statement lies in fear. Um, you know, going back to my unplanned pregnancy, it was fear of disappointment. It was fear of losing the life that I thought I was supposed to have. It was fear of disappointing my parents. Um, you know, my husband of 43 years, you know, he was in college on a baseball scholarship. It was fear of him losing his scholarship. All of those play into that decision of that quick fix. If I can just do this and no one knows, then I can continue with my life. And I will say 43 years ago, there was a very negative stigma about giving your child away.
Robyn: And I think the pro-life community’s done a brilliant job over the last probably- I would say two decades of really changing that conversation and honoring that birth momma. Um, where it’s- it is a positive thing that she’s doing. It’s a very sacrificial brave thing that she’s doing-
Robyn: And we’ve- I think we’re changing. We’re kind of moving that needle a little bit toward, um, honoring her and showing what a gift that is. And honoring the birth father as well. And Jim, one of the things I’m excited about at Focus on the Family, we just launched a brand-new website called Christian Adoptions Alliance and we can connect that young woman at the pregnancy center with a prospective adoptive couple immediately.
Jim: That’s fantastic.
Robyn: So she sees someone in her community and says, oh, they have a dog. They have a cat. Oh, that’s where my child would go to school. And so you’re putting this in a very positive-
Todd: Oh, that’s great.
Robyn: … light. We talk about open adoption, semi-open, and closed. So again, she has all of that information to make that amazing decision. So-
Jim: Boy, that’s been a long time coming. We’ve talked about that for a long-
Robyn: Long time.
Jim: … long time. So I’m proud of you. Thanks for moving in that direction and trying to connect those dots for people. Um, describe our partnership with the PRCs, Robyn, and the PMCs as they’re called. And you can, you know, figure out the acronym for me. But the national ministries that we’re networking with to help inform women and give women the visual. It’s a wonderful statistic when women- pro-abortion minded women come into the clinic and see their baby and how it changes their mind. It’s like 60%-
Jim: … of women who are abortion-minded, when they see that ultrasound say, whoa, okay. I’m not gonna do that. It shows you the power of just showing them- showing them the baby, which is something I’ve been, you know, I felt the Lord call us to for many years now. Just show em the baby.
Robyn: You’ve said that so much that I, I feel like that is such a- I do- a very winsome way to maybe change someone’s mind is show them the baby. Show them the beauty of life. Um, and our relationship with pregnancy centers has been very strong for the entire time at Focus on the Family. Um, PMCs, pregnancy medical clinics, PRCs, pregnancy resource centers, um, Focus started- I was- we said earlier 19 years ago putting brand new ultrasound machines in pregnancy centers for that very reason, which is to show them the baby. And it’s fascinating to me. There are young women who have no idea what’s going on in their bodies. What an opportunity to show her that that’s a different body. It’s not- you know, I love the her body, her choice.
Robyn: No, it’s that baby has different DNA. The baby has s- you know, that’s not the same as yours. And so it’s been fascinating over the 19 years to see that change and to see that 60% grow. It’s showing them the baby. Um, I think one of the things that the pro-life community is doing, after the Dobbs decision, there’s such unity. You know, we work with Heartbeat International, NIFLA, Care Net, Human Coalition, Embrace Grace. And I think that’s the way we win this battle. And you said that.
Robyn: You know, we had- now have 50 battlegrounds, not just the one. That partnership and that unity is how we change hearts and minds, regardless of the law of the land, it’s changing someone’s heart and their mind about how they feel about abortion.
Jim: Yeah. That’s really well said. And, you know, even lifting up Embrace Grace. We don’t- Focus doesn’t need to go recreate that. Amy Ford’s already done it. So giving it some oxygen, some more churches, more pastors can get involved, is our goal is just to expose Embrace Grace to more people and more leaders. What are other things that you’ve seen, Todd and Kelly, even in your church where people have stepped up to do something?
Kelly: Uh-huh. I- you know, in thinking about what can the church do? What can pastors do? Um, first of all, I would say pastors, as pastors, we already have so much on our plates-
Jim: Oh, I know.
Kelly: And our job is not to do every job and take on every ministry. We’re to equip the saints. We’re to equip the body of Christ to be the hands and the feet of Jesus. And I know- I believe that in every biblical church there are people who are ready to do something.
Kelly: And they just need their pastors to say somebody stand up and do something. Do what God has put on your heart. Be like Crystal and Rashad. Be the hands and feet of- e- of Jesus. And I would just strongly urge every church, every pastor, to prayerfully consider, uh, having an Embrace Grace ministry in your church.
Jim: Yeah. It’s that easy.
Kelly: It’s that simple. And it truly is embracing grace. It’s embracing these frightened women that the enemy wants to deceive and trick into making one of the worst decisions, if not the worst decision, of their lives. It- it’s just embracing them with God’s grace and saying God’s grace is sufficient. We wanna come alongside of you and your baby and help you in whatever ways we can. Um-
Todd: And it’s amazing. Once we did this, all the people that stepped up-
Todd: … they were willing to give and to serve and give their time. People wanna get involved-
Kelly: They wanna help.
Todd: They just need to know how.
Jim: Yeah. And that Embrace Grace ends up giving you, uh, kind of a road map on how to engage, correct?
Jim: And helps people-
Jim: … you know… I, I so appreciate your admonition there, Kelly, that people need to step up and do ministry. We can’t just write a check and expect the pastor and his wife to do it all. I mean, right? I mean, that’s so difficult. Uh, and not the way it’s intended to go. Uh, Robyn, as we close I need to ask you about the two core things that we’re doing, Option Ultrasound. But we’ve watched this metric now for, uh, 19 years. So we know it’s $60 to save a baby’s life. I, I just think that’s fantastic. It’s 600, 700 to take a baby’s life. But $60 will save a baby’s life through Option Ultrasound. Speak to that. I kinda stole that thunder for you-
Jim: … but isn’t that awesome?
Robyn: That is amazing. And working with the pregnancy centers is the key to changing that young woman’s life. And it was interesting listening to Todd and Kelly talk about their church. That’s a perfect way to get involved. That’s a simple way to get involved. Your church body, body of Christ, big C Church, find out where your local pregnancy center is. That is the hero. That’s who’s on that front line. And that connection is where we make the change. Everything that we do through Option Ultrasound is designed to equip that pregnancy center to meet that young woman right at her- her moment of crisis, her moment of fear, and show her the life of that baby. It is practical resources for that mom. You know, we get accused of only being pro-birth or pro-baby. This is pro-woman. This is pro-love-
Robyn: … pro-baby, pro-grace.
Robyn: And it’s through those pregnancy centers. And we’ve worked with them for more than 40 years.
Jim: I love that. And I think again it’s just such a clear indication of what we can do as the body of Christ to serve these women and help them in their point of need. And man, the other, uh, great thing is, uh, the My Choice Network that we’re doing. Explain that quickly.
Robyn: Yeah. The My Choice Network is a digital database of all the pregnancy centers that have partnered with Focus over the last 19 years through Option Ultrasound. And we do all their digital client marketing. That is where the pro-abortion side was winning. Um, it was, you know, on that phone when that young woman’s in her dorm room freaking out at two o’clock in the morning that she’s pregnant. She can now search abortion terms, abortion near me, abortion clinic, abortion pill and a My Choice Network ad will pop up and it connects her with a pregnancy center in her community where she can get help immediately. There’s someone there 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days out of the year, to answer a question. And someone can serve her. And there’s no financial gain from those pregnancy centers. They do this because they’re serving the Lord and they do this because they’re pro-life, all-life pro-life.
Jim: Yeah. And that, that has, uh, shown great results in terms of page views and appointments made by women-
Jim: … in these cities that we’re doing it. And that’s a good thing to do. But working with the clinics, churches that wanna guide and partner with these clinics in their own town, that is a great way to go. And people from the church volunteering at the clinic just to be the receptionist for a couple hours a day or a week, whatever it might be. And work with your church. Get the church more involved in adopting that clinic. Would you agree with that?
Todd: Absolutely. It’s what you said before. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You don’t have to spend millions of dollars as some have. You just need to get involved with what’s there and get started-
Jim: Yeah. It’s so good. All right. Any last comment before we direct people to the Focus website and all the good stuff?
Todd: Well one thing that I think sometimes gets forgotten, this is a spiritual battle.
Todd: And we need to remember that. I mean, it’s like you said earlier, Jim. We’ve gone from safe and rare to shout your abortion.
Jim: Yeah. High five and celebrate it-
Todd: That is not normal. That is-
Todd: … that is to put it on the line, satanic.
Todd: And we’ve gotta recognize we’re in a real spiritual battle. And this needs to be taken on with the love of God, with prayer and vigilance depending on Christ because he’s the only one who ultimately can bring the victory in this area ’cause he changes hearts.
Jim: Todd, that’s so well said. The other day I was shocked to read that the FDA, the Food and Drug Administration, had reclassified pregnancy to be an illness.
Jim: A woman’s illness.
Todd: Oh no.
Jim: Which probably qualifies, uh, a clinic and the mother for certain benefits, right? So if you’ve got this illness, like cancer, and they cure it, you get dollars as the doctor’s office, et cetera. But think of that. Pregnancy is now seen as an illness.
Jim: And I’ll tell you what. Culturally to your point, Todd, there is a war against children. It’s just there.
Jim: Man, if you make it through the birth canal, you’ve done a miracle right there as a child. I mean, because there are so many things arrayed against you. Number one, the culture in all of its expressions, big media, Hollywood. Um, they want women to abort their children and get a dog.
Jim: Well guess what? It’s not the same thing. And you can write me all you want. But it’s not the same thing. And I so appreciate that comment of the spiritual battle that this is. ‘Cause it’s demonic. Like John 10:10 says, “The enemy comes to steal, kill-
Jim: … and destroy.” There’s nothing, you know, 63 million dead. He’s had his way for far too long.
Kelly: I just wanted to share one comment from one of the Embrace Grace mommas, these brave moms. Um, she said, “Thank you so much for accepting me, no matter the amount of guilt and shame that I had when I walked into the door. I am so grateful to have an opportunity to come to a church that’s not only welcoming but honest in what I needed to know and hear. Now I have the gift of bringing a miracle into the world-
Kelly: … and bringing my baby to church. Thank you for everything you’ve done.”
Kelly: This is it.
Jim: That’s it. That’s it.
Kelly: This is why every church should start an Embrace Grace ministry in their church.
Jim: There’s no reason not to. So Kelly, Todd, thank you. Robyn, thank you. Um, there’s so many ways you can get involved. I hope we’ve shared a few of those today. But Option Ultrasound and what we’re trying to do, what Amy Ford’s doing with Embrace Grace. Get engaged. Support it. If you’re too busy, that’s great that you have the time to generate the revenue to help organizations do this as well. So John, how do I do it?
John: Well (laughs), we’re a phone call away for resources to help. And, uh, if you can get behind us to help us save babies, it’s 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. 800-232-6459. And online you’ll find an array of resources to equip you, inspire you, and to activate you for life. Uh, our website is focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.
Jim: And again, let me punch that $60. I mean, that’s all it takes to save a baby’s life. So support the Option Ultrasound ministry today. Uh, you know, Jean and I, I know you and Dena do.
Jim: Robyn, I’m sure you and Ivan do. I mean, it is a great way, month to month, annually, to help save a baby. Why not? And, uh, you know, we’re at about a half a million babies saved. I wanna see before I step out of Focus over the next many years, hopefully, that we’re at a million babies saved. And I think that’ll be a great milestone. I think the Lord’s gonna do that.
John: Yeah. Uh, we hope you’ll join us in this effort and donate generously as you can. Again, our number, 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. Or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Have a great weekend with your family and your church family as well. And join us on Monday when we have some practical advice for husbands and wives who wanna have a great marriage.
Katharine Hill: Well I think words are really, really powerful. Um, in the book of Proverbs it says that our words have the power of life and death. And we can literally be speaking life into our spouse by the words that we speak.