Gianna Jessen joins STAND to share her awe-inspiring journey of surviving an abortion procedure, persevering through the cerebral palsy caused by it, and becoming an international pro-life advocate.
Gianna endured the impossible–burning alive in a saline chemical abortion–and emerged with a story so powerful it has changed the very fabric of the abortion debate. Our conversation with Gianna explores the resilience of the human spirit and the profound impact of love and faith.
As she shares her encounters with her biological mother and the transformative effect of her adoptive family’s unwavering support, we’re reminded that life’s greatest challenges can lead to the most extraordinary blessings.
Gianna’s commitment to running marathons and her fight for the Born Alive Infant Protection Act stand as testaments to what can be accomplished when we refuse to be defined by our limitations or circumstances.
This episode also sheds light on the complex emotional landscape for women post-abortion and the urgent need for compassionate support systems. Gianna encourages us to join forces in the advocacy for life, both for parents and unborn children.
Kelly Tshibaka: 0:06
Welcome to Stand where we help forge Spines of Steel. I’m your host, Kelly Tshibaka, formerly a government watchdog and candidate for US Senate in Alaska, and I’m joined today by my co-host and husband, extraordinaire Niki Tshibaka. He formerly served at the Department of Justice. We are broadcasting from Alaska’s Last Frontier. Let’s give a shout out to our community of standouts, all of those people in our audience who help make this show possible. You can subscribe to our show on your favorite podcast platform, on YouTube or on Rumble. You can find all of our links on our website standshoworg. Standshoworg. Today we are joined by an American at the center of our abortion debate Gianna Jessen. Gianna is the survivor of an attempted abortion and she has lived to tell her story. She’s become a pro-life advocate and testified before Congress and the Australian Parliament, and she partnered with President George W Bush to help pass the Born Alive Infant Protections Act. There is so much more of her story to tell, but we would rather hear it from her directly, so let’s welcome her to the show. Gianna, welcome to Stand.
Gianna Jessen: 1:24
Thank you so much for having me.
Kelly Tshibaka: 1:26
We’re so excited to have you with us. We’ve been looking forward to talking with you for a long time, probably ever since we saw her testify right.
Niki Tshibaka: 1:34
Yeah, such an inspirational testimony.
Kelly Tshibaka: 1:38
Which testimony did you see? The one before the Australian Parliament was the one that really got our attention. But we know your story. I think there’s probably a lot of people on our audience who either don’t know your story or maybe know your story but haven’t connected it with your name. So we want to get to know you a little bit. But before we do, I want to let our audience know that here at Stand, we are committed to boldly embracing the truth. The truth can be very hard to hear sometimes, so while we boldly embrace the truth, I also want to let you know that the content might not be easy or appropriate for little ears to hear. And so with that, please make your judgment about whether this show is one for your little ears people to listen to. Gianna, you were born with very little ears and we would love to hear the story about what happened to you at your birth and what’s happened to you since. So could you please share all that with us?
Gianna Jessen: 2:37
Yes, and I thank you for having me, and I’m reminded on this day that my life has always been like this. We’re broadcasting in my kitchen and I’m so human and all of this. I’ve got cerebral palsy and I’m just Gianna and I have cerebral palsy because I actually lived through an abortion. And one thing I would love to say right off the bat is I am alive because of the power of Christ Jesus. I am, unashamedly, a born again believer in Jesus Christ, as unpopular and increasingly unpopular as that is to say, I would not even be breathing without his strong arm constantly upholding me. But I also want to say that I realize, after over 30 years of this work, since I was 14, that there are men and women listening right now that are suddenly flipping out recalling an incident 20 years ago, two weeks ago. And I want you to hear me clearly. I am not here to condemn you. I’m here to tell you what the Lord has done for me and that Jesus is the only one that can set you free. But I’m here to tell you about what can free you, not to shame you in any way. Even if you you’re not into Jesus right now, he’s into you. But anyway, to answer your primary question. I am adopted and my biological parents were just 17. And my biological mother went to a Planned Parenthood in Southern California and they said you’re too young to have a kid, you need to go have a late term saline abortion. A saline abortion is a saline salt solution that is injected into the mother’s womb. The baby gulps that solution. It is to burn and blind the baby. Burn the baby inside and out, blind the baby and then she’s to deliver a dead baby within 24 hours. But I was that baby that she was boarding. I just didn’t die, to everyone’s great shock and surprise. And I this is my favorite thing ever in the world my medical records, because, yes, I do have medical records, even though those that oppose me love to say you’re so irrelevant, you’re so 1977. My medical records say my name and then they say born during saline abortion, april the 6th 1977, 6am, 29 and a half weeks, two and a half pounds and this is my favorite part no resuscitation required upon arrival at the hospital, because I was in fact born in an abortion clinic in Los Angeles, not a hospital, and the dude that was trying to murder me just happened to not be at work yet giving the nurse time to call an ambulance and save my life. So it is astonishing. But think about that, how miraculous. We burned alive for 18 hours and no resuscitation is required upon arrival at the hospital.
Kelly Tshibaka: 6:10
Yes, that’s what I was going to ask is when you say the saline solution is consumed by the child. You were in there for a long time with your skin burning, your eyes burning, your insides burning. It doesn’t even seem possible.
Gianna Jessen: 6:25
Before COVID, I did a lot of work in Italy. I know that sounds ridiculous. Oh, you’re doing work in Italy Like you’re going to go on the mission field in Hawaii, you know for you. But I did a lot of work in Italy and I met a man by the name of Dr Noia, who happens to be one of the top neonatologists in the country, and he comes up to me and he says John, you are a witness to life. And this guy does surgery in utero on Down syndrome kids. He runs a clinic for Down syndrome. This guy knows what he is talking about. So with the help of a dear, dear soul, I said, to translate. I said doctor, can I ask you a couple of questions, because my enemies love to say I’m a liar and I’m this and I’m that because I have no burns on my body, I’m not blind, and all this and I guess cerebral palsy isn’t enough. And he said I believe that the amniotic fluid was more powerful than the saline solution and protected you. He said both. He said that is my medical opinion, but both and I know both you and I know. It was just who it was Jesus. And then he went on to say that the pain response in the womb is developed in the seventh month. Because I asked him doctor, I startle easily and I know that comes with cerebral palsy, but I’m not that terrified when the toast is popping up what the heck is going on. And he said I believe that your brain remembers you because the pain response was right there, I was. He said you have endured the highest level of physical and emotional trauma that is humanly possible and that’s when I began to cry. It was so freeing because it’s just, it’s just, oh, it’s just astonishing. Jesus is so good.
Kelly Tshibaka: 8:27
Well, when you experience that, when you also were your most vulnerable and so you know being in utero when you could do nothing and you’re supposed to be protected and cared for, there’s an emotional trauma that comes with that as well.
Gianna Jessen: 8:44
Yes, and I’m still so vulnerable. I mean, I think of this often. I’m a woman and I love being a woman and I just love all of that. But I have cerebral palsy and I fight so hard and I walk through this life limping and leaning on the strong arm of Jesus and I wouldn’t be considered, you know quote sophisticated by the modern, you know, person. I suppose I just am G, I’m not this big shot, I’m just limping and leaning on Jesus because I have to, and it changes your whole life. You know, I think in America just to make this a bit more succinct we’re very obsessed with stories and you know book deals and how wonderful you can become and all of that. And my life is how, how can there be less of me so people who are broken and lost and really need something of substance can hear of Christ, who has never allowed one of my bones to be broken, even though I smash into the floor, even though I. You know, it’s just astonishing, if that makes any sense. The longer I live, the more I find most of that such nonsense. But people are aching to know what is real and what is true, and that is such a gift of having cerebral palsy.
Niki Tshibaka: 10:30
Gianna, we’re coming up on a break so I’m going to ask a question and maybe you can answer it on the other side of the break. But before I ask the question, I just wanted to mention I looked up what Gianna means before this show and it means God is gracious. And. I just think it’s so powerful because that seems to be the testimony and the story of your life, god’s grace, and you’ve just been speaking so powerfully to that. The question I’d like to ask and we’ll talk about it on the other side of the break is after your birth, you were placed in foster care and then you were adopted, and we’d like to ask if you ever met your biological mother, and so does the story behind all of that. So after this break, folks, we’ll be back with Gianna Jessen and talking with her about her story of life. Stand by, we are back with Gianna Jessen on stand and talk about somebody who has lived of life, of standing not just standing for truth, but clearly standing for grace and love, and standing in the midst of incredible physical challenges and yet persevering and not just surviving but thriving, and, as Janna puts it, she just leans on the strong arms of Jesus and on her faith in him. So we’re back with you, janna. At the end of the last segment, I started to ask a question about what happened after you survived the abortion. You were placed in foster care and then adopted. Could you tell us a little bit about that story and about whether you ever met your biological mother and if there’s a story behind that.
Gianna Jessen: 12:33
Yeah. So I was placed in emergency foster care with a bunch of morons who decided they didn’t like me. So I had to be taken out of that home because they would shut me in a room for long periods of time. But the Lord was with me from my birth. Husband and I was placed in a beautiful home at 17 months, in the home of a woman by the name of Penny, and I believe that God used my penny to save my heart actually, just save me, because by 17 months old I’m highly traumatized. I can’t move. I’m diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Then Every doctor is looking at Penny and saying there’s no hope for this kid. She’s never going to get out of a bed, she’s never going to hold up her head, she’s never going to be anything. And she just smiled and didn’t believe them, prayed for me and did my physical therapy three times a day and I began to progress. Hold up my head Well, that’s great. She’s never going to crawl or hold up. She never doing anything. I did the next thing. So I was walking because of Penny and Jesus by three and a half with a walker and leg braces. I no longer walk with a walker and leg braces. I have a limb, which is kind of interesting. I don’t mind my limb, but I had to work through, and still am working through, a very emotional thing about seeing my own movement. It’s so hard. I posted a video the other day of these triumphs we had in my training sessions with Coach, a Navy guy, and we worked so hard but I saw my movement and sometimes I’ll just sob Because I’ve been told horrible things, so that’s a very vulnerable thing. But anyway, I went on to run two marathons on my toes, which was ages ago. It kind of doesn’t really matter anymore, but I did do it. And then I worked the eight hours with the Navy guy a week and all this and I’m just determined to do the harder things, try. I’m really just determined to try all kinds of things in the face of obstacles so that other people can see that they can live the impossible. So then, after I was adopted at three and a half by my foster mother, Penny’s daughter, which made my foster mother, penny my grandmother, who was my absolute heart. She was everything to me. I lost her in 2014. But I remember when she was dying she said in her spunky way everything is going to work out for you. And I said, in my frank way back how do you know? She said something I’ll never forget because you are so kind and for someone who’s constantly misunderstood. And hearing that from a woman who’s cared for 56 foster children of which I was one as a single woman and asked for the drug addicted, from the woman the most disabled, knowing that I am walking because of her, it was unbelievable. It was a mother’s blessing as she was dying. So I had an interesting adoption. It was very challenging in many ways, but I see God’s hand in that as well. And then, if we have time, to have time to answer your question about my biological mother.
Niki Tshibaka: 16:30
Gianna Jessen: 16:31
Okay. So then I was on a plane one day and I know this will sound very cuckoo to people who do not walk with Jesus, but he says my sheep know my voice, will know the voice of Jesus, and that voice will never be like hey, go, commit adultery, hey, you know, none of that has to line up with the Bible. But I was on a plane one day and I’m telling you, I heard in my heart what would you do if your biological mother came to an event? Because my adopted mother had met with her and told her I forgive her, but that I just didn’t want to meet with her, and we did our best with that. And so I hear in my heart what would you do if your biological mother came to an event? What would you say? What would you do if she tried to interrupt it? What would you do? And I should have had a clue, because it was like a trial attorney just firing questions what would you do this and what would you do that? And tell me the answer to this. But two weeks later, I was greeting people, as I always do each person after the event, and a woman came up and she said hi, I’m your mother. And I remembered the preparation on the plane two weeks before, and I just prayed and prayed and prayed, and prayed, and prayed, and prayed, and prayed Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, help me Jesus, help me Jesus, because it felt like the universe was just crushing me. It was the heaviest thing ever and I knew that this was sent to take me out and I knew that she was not my enemy, but it was a lot. And I looked at her and I was very, very specific in my language. I said, ma’am, you must need to know that I am a Christian and I forgive you. I don’t want your forgiveness. Your father is this and you are this and you are an embarrassment to this family. And then I knew what to do, because the Lord was directing me. I said, ma’am, you must need to know that I’m a Christian and I forgive you, but I will no longer allow you to speak to me in this manner. And I got up and I said, ma’am, I’m a Christian and I forgive you and I will no longer allow you to speak to me in this manner. And I got up and I walked out and that was it. And I think part of her anger was she could see that I was not in fact hers but Christ’s, that she could have told me I was the devil himself, but it wouldn’t matter. I am Christ and my job was to forgive her. She made her choices from there. But if she accepted my forgiveness, she would have to come to grips with what she had done, and I do not believe she was willing to do that.
Kelly Tshibaka: 19:37
That’s a really powerful story. Well, gianna, some of the things that I just want to highlight that you’ve said that I think are really important for people who are listening. There’s someone listening who needs to hear that their kid is going to be OK, that they’re going to be healed, that they’re going to overcome whatever sickness or diagnosis or pronouncement has been put on them. I’ve been holding back tears while you’ve been telling your story because Niki and I have a child where the same thing was said about them and everybody told us this will never happen and you’re stupid for and you’re going to live your life in the hospitals. And we also just refused to believe and so many people said that we were just so foolish and so stupid for having faith that kid is phenomenal. Now right, Not one of those disabilities or illnesses or handicaps or sicknesses hangs over that child’s life at all. But that is not what we were holding in our hands at the beginning and what we were encouraged to discard. And that’s what I hear in Penny’s story and there’s someone listening right now who needs to hear that that there is reason to believe.
Gianna Jessen: 21:02
Yes, and like you. Ok, there were two of you right, obviously, but there was just one woman, to my knowledge, penny, that believed God for me. One. Not an entire church or church group or a big cheerleading section.
Kelly Tshibaka: 21:17
I love that no.
Gianna Jessen: 21:18
But also, don’t you feel like you were changed forever by the people who mocked you by your suffering, by choosing the harder way? Not that I glorify suffering, but didn’t that impact you I?
Kelly Tshibaka: 21:33
think it’s important to glorify suffering. We’ve lost the theology of suffering in America and it is something that other countries have on us, and you do this really well. When you can see your suffering as a gift, you understand more the jewels in the middle of it. And I agree with you. We became stronger and better through that and what we saw in it, because we embraced it rather than run from it. That’s one part of your story. The other part of your story that I think is so important is that you walk out for the grace and forgiveness and love that you have experienced, that you bear witness to. You walk out and show, and you started your interview with that, and I didn’t know how you’re going to answer the story of with your birth mom. I was just curious to see how you’re going to answer that when Niki asked it. I think there’s someone listening right now who needs to hear that there’s so much love and grace and forgiveness to be offered, and especially through the relationship that we have with Jesus Christ. To God and what you did. I don’t even know what the seeds are that you sowed in your birth mom’s heart, and may they be watered and bear fruit, but I can tell that you despairing witness like that matters and someone needs to hear that that there’s grace and forgiveness for them. We’re up on a break. This is fantastic. We have so much to ask you. I want to get into some of these tough questions about abortion policy. We make it neutral, but for you, you’re the living product of our nation’s policies. Let’s talk about playing parenthood and abortion when we come back on stand, stand by, hit subscribe. We’ll see you on the other side of this break.
Niki Tshibaka: 23:27
We are back with Gianna Jessen and she’s just been sharing her powerful personal story of overcoming incredible challenges and of forgiveness and grace and faith and the power of those things to help us stand in the face of the many challenges we face in life. And just so inspiring and encouraging to speak with you, johnna. If you want Johnna to come speak at an event, you can reach out to her at assistant at JohnnaJessen.com. That’s assistant at GiannaJessen.com. Email her there for speaking engagements or interview requests. You can also purchase products. She has her own online store and you can purchase products from that store at GiannaJessenmyshopify.com. That’s GiannaJessenmyshopify.com. We’ll have this information, too, in our episode summary so you can click on that and go there later as well. So with that, Gianna, I want to move into, as Kelly mentioned at the end of the last segment, talking a little bit about abortion policy. You were involved in the passing of the Born Alive Infant Protection Act in 2002. I love that, in part because my college professor and mentor, Hadley Arkes, was the architect of that act, and so you know, to him, that’s a great sign. Yeah, so what a small world. But we’re in a time now where the abortion debate has escalated in the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent opinion overruling Roe v Wade and then passing the decision. Now to the individual states and state legislatures to decide, basically saying the people of each state are to decide this. And so there are many political leaders, advocacy groups on both sides of the debate, but Planned Parenthood is continuing to lead the charge, to push for abortion procedures, and not just for abortion, but pushing for a right to abortion in each state, meaning also the right to a successful abortion. In other words, in their view, a child like yourself who would have survived an abortion like that, should still have their life terminated, even if they were born alive. And so, in early this year, republicans in the House passed a bill that would require health care providers to provide the same medical care to a child who survives an abortion as they would to another child who was born before nine months or at nine months, who has medical complications but wasn’t intended to be aborted. It’s an effort to protect the life of infants born alive under abortion. And while we already say infanticide is wrong in the United States, apparently every Democrat in the House voted to leave the most vulnerable babies without proper medical care, so they voted against this bill. Wondering what your thoughts are and what your message would be to groups like Planned Parenthood and others and those who voted against what seems, I think, to most Americans a very common sense approach to this and just saying if a child survives an abortion, you’ve got a human being here that you need to provide medical care for and protect. What do you say to those who disagree with that and say, hey, no, the right to an abortion. If a state now passes that, it should be the right to a successful abortion.
Gianna Jessen: 27:28
I would not want to be them standing before a holy God. The blood of the innocent is on their hands and the blood of over 60 million children cries from the ground, like that of the blood of Abel, into the ear of God. He hears it. He doesn’t forget any of them, any one of them, and I would not want to be these people. It tells me that it’s just the desire for snuffing out the most innocent. It’s just so wicked. I can’t even believe that this is even a question, even a debate, but it tells you the level of wickedness. It is evil, it is wrong. That is what I say. You are evil, you need to repent, you need Jesus. I would not want to be you standing before the Lord of hosts, because woe to any of us who harm children, and to just be rejoicing in their death is just. I have no words. And the other thing that comes to mind is that, in their mind, if they give in to or concede this, ok, we’ll allow proper medical care for a child that survives an abortion. They have to admit that they are killing children the entire time. That is what they do not want to acknowledge and that is what they do not want the populace to be thinking of. And I am quite concerned about the abortion pill procedures, because now we have people in their houses taking abortion pills and delivering children in the toilet, on beds, in bathtubs all alone no-transcript the amount of of trauma. It’s just an abomination. All of it is just so wicked.
Niki Tshibaka: 29:40
What would you say if I could just follow up with that real quick? You know there are a lot of moms out there, a lot of women out there, who are post-abortive and, to your point, you’re talking about the trauma of abortion, any mother going in and getting an abortion and it’s a very difficult thing for and a lot of them suffer with grief afterwards, guilt and a lot of pain and it’s same. Yeah, and so how? What’s your message of sort of encouragement to them who might be dealing and wrestling with just the pain and the the shame that they might be feeling their guilt after the fact?
Gianna Jessen: 30:34
There are two things I would say. One is there is now, therefore, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. So if you repent of that abortion and you give it to Jesus and you ask him to forgive you he doesn’t remember it anymore and ask him to help you forgive yourself, why punish yourself for the rest of your life for something that Christ died for and doesn’t remember anymore once you have repented? The other thing is, I would say, a lot of pregnancy resource centers. I speak for many of their fundraising banquets and, by the way, if you’re listening to this and you’re pregnant and freaked out, go to your local pregnancy resource center. All their services are confidential and free and they will help you. But they also, at those centers, often have something called a post abortion recovery program, and I would get involved in one of those where you can really go through the process of grief but then forgiving yourself, because that is what you really need to be free, to really be free.
Kelly Tshibaka: 31:47
Jenna earlier you mentioned. I want to follow up on something you said earlier in the interview. You talked about misconceptions people have and that you run into this all the time when you’re out advocating. Can you share with us what some of those common misconceptions are and how you address them?
Gianna Jessen: 32:05
Misconceptions in what regard?
Niki Tshibaka: 32:08
I think about what you were saying about yourself. They misconstrue you, mischaracterize you.
Gianna Jessen: 32:16
But you know, it’s interesting is, yes, I get it from both sides actually, Christians and non-Christians alike. I’ve always been just one to march to the beat of my own drummer and I’ve had to, actually because I’ve had to to learn to walk twice after spinal surgery. I’ve had to find a different way of doing things and when you’re not sort of like everyone else, you are often misunderstood and criticized or whatever, and you know it just goes with the territory. But I would just, I just try to keep things simple. We’re talking about I am a Christian, a follower of Christ, and I should expect that there will be opposition when I am standing for him and standing for innocence, but there’s also. I have incredible joy and life, but my priority is first the gospel because I believe we are in a spiritual battle and I don’t believe that you can win a spiritual battle with earthly weapons. You need to fight with the same weapons, so to speak. So my first priority is the gospel, because if we seek first the kingdom of God, all of these children my interpretation, all of these children will be added unto us. We then can save innocence. But it’s very difficult to tell people who feel they have no reason not to kill their child. Just don’t kill your child when they don’t know Jesus. I mean, they’re used to living for themselves. You’ve got to start with the root of the problem and as complicated as we’ve made that, I just try to keep things that simple. My life is Christ and whatever that cost is whatever it costs. In fact, I say quite often, as I was told by the Lord once while weeping over not having any children of my own, not that I won’t, but I had committed to him very in my youth that I would not sleep with a man who would not marry me because of what the Bible says. And I had no idea how long I would have to wait and how many parties I would have to attend, and I remember him saying you cannot change a world that you resemble. Do not go through life creating ish males and calling them Isaacs. Wait on the Lord. And it wasn’t a reproof, but it was the most you ever have a moment like that with the Lord and you will never forget it as long as you live. He means business and at that moment he wasn’t just my father and best friend, he was my sovereign king and I was to bow.
Kelly Tshibaka: 35:17
That’s good, that’s good wisdom, also probably something someone needed to hear today. It’s there’s a blessing in the waiting and you’re not forfeiting anything, so there’s a suffering that can come with it, because there’s that patience that’s required. It says in 1 Corinthians love is patient is the first thing. It says. Love is kind, the first thing love will always cost you is time. Love is patient, it costs time.
Gianna Jessen: 35:44
Oh, I never thought about it like that yeah.
Kelly Tshibaka: 35:46
But when you, when you read through scripture, the love language of God is obedience, and so when we are patient and wait on the Lord, it will cost us time, but there is always that blessing. We don’t have a microwave God where we just end up in order and ding, it comes out. So I love what you’re saying. We’re coming up on a break and on the other side of the break I want to just talk about some of the challenges that you’ve faced and overcome and ways that you deal with some of the arguments that come your way, and that’ll be our end of the interview, which feels like it’s just gone so fast. I feel like we could talk forever. We so appreciate this conversation and the encouragement and edification that you’ve given. I just want to take a second to address, as we come up on the break, we need to acknowledge, I think at this point, 45 or 50% of people my age, women my age, have had abortions. So if you’re listening to this episode today, I want to emphasize what Gianna has said and what Niki and I believe. There is no shame in what’s happened in the past, but there is a path forward and I like what solutions Gianna has outlined for us today. We’ve talked to many women about their stories and it doesn’t need to stay in silent. It’s something that you hang over you. This can be something that we move beyond together. All right, we’ll catch you on the other side of the break. Stand firm, stand strong. Welcome back to Stand with Kelly Niki Tshibaka. Today we’re talking with Gianna Jessen. If you’ve made it this far in the show, then you get to know. If you leave a review this week, we will be happy to select one of our lucky reviewers to win this awesome hydroflask sticker from the show. So be sure to leave your review and we will get a sticker sent out to somebody on our standout community. All right, Gianna, I want to chat with you about some of the things that you come up against in people’s understanding of abortion, because you’ve lived through one. You are, I guess I would say, the victim of our national policies. We talk a lot about the esoteric nature of abortion and women’s reproductive rights, and then there’s your story, and a lot of people don’t expect to talk to somebody like you. I think you said something really profound in our last segment when you said we come from different starting places and when you come from a different starting place, you end up at a different conclusion and reminded me of something that happened to us in law school. I was sitting in the foremost constitutional scholars class I think people would still say this about this professor today and he was talking about constitutional law at the turn of the century and how the Supreme Court thinks about abortion. He said one abortion procedure the Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional. And again, if you have little ears, this is not something they want to hear. Okay, he said, if you, the court, had ruled that if you do the procedure where you slit the baby’s head open and suction out its brain to abortion it, to abort it, then that’s unconstitutional. However, if you go into the mother’s womb and dismember the baby limb by limb, that’s constitutional. And he posed this question to a class of about 150 soon to be Harvard law grads class. We already have established scientifically that a fetus can feel pain between 12 to 15 weeks. So, assuming that the fetus can feel pain when these procedures are being performed, which one is more humane dismembering the baby limb by limb or cutting open its head and suctioning out its brain? And the class already knew my positions on everything. I’ll just make clear I was vocal in law school, so I sat.
Niki Tshibaka: 39:40
People always know Kelly’s position pretty much everything.
Kelly Tshibaka: 39:43
How come I’m not surprised. This is not surprising to all the fans watching. I don’t. I’ve never been one to speaking of when we would go to parties as a kid. My parents would say to like little eight year old Kelly, can you please not talk about politics or religion at the party? And I would be so grumpy I would say things like then why are we going and what’s the point of talking about anything else? Those are the only topics worth talking about, and of course I would. They didn’t think so, gianna. I would ruin every party. I always had a great time. I would come back from every party like exhilarated and full of energy and my parents would be fuming in the car, which meant that I stopped getting invited to parent parties. But I always had incredible conversations with adults who left very angry. All that to say, fast forward to law school. I sit and watch 149 classmates for about 30 to 45 seconds, sit and seriously ponder this question which is more humane, which procedure? And they’re taking notes and thinking about it. And I finally raised my hand and he’s so excited that someone finally has the answer and I said with all due respect, professor, if we assume, because of course everyone knows my position on this already that a fetus can feel pain, then both are equally inhumane. Oh, I know, I know, I know, but and I share this story because these there’s no buts these 149 people are likely the people making decisions and leading the country right now. They’re in the Senate, they’re at the top of the policy firms lobbying for things. They’re probably at Planned Parenthood. We start from a different place, right? I wanted to ask you what are some of the things you run into? The stuff that’s just like most shocking when you are out there advocating for life positions, where you go wow, people really don’t understand what’s happening here that our audience needs to understand and needs to be ready to talk about. What would you say? This is what we need to understand and kind of demystify or clarify.
Gianna Jessen: 42:03
An interesting question because I have so many thoughts, depending on who we’re talking about. But one thing I think we need to deal with as conservatives, as Christians, as pro-life people is the issue of ego the issue of ego at all in our lives, and is our lives supposed to be about us or Christ? Or is it just more about me, but clothed in conservatism and patriotism? I’m just not into that. And then, because it’s all going to burn up anyway, anything that was all about me is not going to matter. It’s all for the glory of God. And the other thing is, I find it so astonishing to live in a time where we have evidence for something it’s on video we have, or someone saw it for tech and that didn’t happen Over and over, just a denial, a constant denial of what is true. No, that’s not true, because I don’t want it to be true. It is my truth. No, it’s not such thing as my truth. It is truth or not. It is absolute or it is not. It is not. I’m making up the truth according to my mood or whatever I want it to be. No, so we have that problem going on and I just listen. I am not childish, but I’m very childlike in the way that I live, because I must lean on Jesus or I am in a big mess and I just think people need him and they need to understand that what really matters, and they need to understand that creating their own gospel, their own version of truth, is only going to lead to more death. And really, who cares how many cocktail parties I go to or how much money I make or don’t make? Now, these things are not what are important anymore. Anymore, I’m so tired of people being content with the surface of things. The surface is not. Does that any of this make sense what I’m saying?
Kelly Tshibaka: 44:32
Yeah, absolutely, I’m seeing it everywhere.
Gianna Jessen: 44:34
I’m seeing a denial of the truth, I’m seeing a bunch of egomaniacs on all sides of things. Me, me, me, me, me. How about? People are hungry, they’re thirsty, they’re broken hearted, their dad just left, their dad hasn’t been around, their mom is out with her 12 boyfriends, whatever Nobody to take care of our kids. And you might think, are we coming up on a break? Before I continue my rant, oh, you’re fine, okay, because I asked someone who grew up in a broken home and who has had to be on her own most of her life. I just I cannot believe what an orphaned generation this is. People just leaving their responsibilities as parents so often. And God bless the ones that are grown up emotionally and know how to be adults. But I just no-transcript. I feel like we are, our priorities are a mess, and I don’t mean to be so, so negative, but can we grow up a little bit? Can we look at things as they actually are? If our lives are about us, let’s admit that and and repent, and and and grow, but let’s not be all about me and all about my, you know me time I.
Kelly Tshibaka: 45:54
Gianna Jessen: 45:55
Kelly Tshibaka: 45:55
I think that’s good. What I hear you saying is it’s really important. If we’re gonna value life all around, it requires sacrifice.
Gianna Jessen: 46:04
Here’s what I meant to say. It’s not that we don’t know guys. People know they’re killing a baby now and they don’t care. Hmm, they don’t care anymore. That’s the problem. We have people with such a coldness of heart who just want to have sex with them. Ever they want to have sex with. I mean, now you’ve got the dating apps so you can bring home three guys in one night.
Kelly Tshibaka: 46:33
Right, so what would? You say what would you say for the people who are listening and want to do something? What advice do you have for them to be more effective? Advocates for the pro-life causes. You’re out there every day. Let’s say someone’s listening and they care about this, but they’re not out there every day. What can they do? How can they be effective?
Gianna Jessen: 46:54
Be an awesome person in their daily life. I mean, if you’re, if you can, if, if you can build relationship with people and they know you are who you say you are. You can get a whole lot of truth so into their lives one on one. Just do what the Lord has you doing Every day as a normal person being awesome, being kind as you can be, being truthful as you could be, but with kindness, right, you know. That kind of thing. I’m a huge advocate of just one-on-one and living out what you believe. That will speak volumes. I mean, like I said earlier, people don’t want to hear about Jesus anymore, but I have a balance issue and sometimes I freeze in place as a result of brain trauma and when you have to walk up to a stranger and look at them and say, man, please have your arm, because I have a balance issue. Hmm. Guess what You’ve got them. It would look like a total jackass if they walked away and you can say whatever you want. So you can. You can talk about how great Jesus has been to you and how and who he is. So you can see why I mean If, if I had to live all of this again and let my way all the way to heaven leaning on the strong arm of Jesus, so that these legs could act as a net. To be a fisher of men, I would do it all again. That’s beautiful.
Niki Tshibaka: 48:32
John, if we’re gonna be wrapping up here in a moment, but you recently made a huge, you had a huge physical accomplishment. You talked about it earlier on the show. You referenced the, the Facebook post, and we’d like to show it for some folks to see what you were able to do. Can you please briefly, just in these next say 30 seconds or so, share that story with us?
Gianna Jessen: 48:56
sure, in my case, in my case with my cerebral palsy, when my hands are empty, that is my safety to my brain, because if I fall which I fall quite well actually and not so often, but when I do I can catch. You know, I can fall well with empty hands. But to fill them and to balance, and all this is To deliberately take away what makes my brain feel safe, is the only way I can grow and build new pathways, which I want to emphasize you can neural pathways that can be rebuilt in the brain, people. So there’s always hope because we’re seeing this. So five years ago, when my intense training began, I would freeze in place, I couldn’t hold anything or whatever and walk, and so I I just picked up traffic cones and we were astonished, because coach is a trainer and a physical therapist and I was able to process like holding those up over my head, walking at the same time and doing motor planning, what’s called motor planning, which is too long to get into now by going over, walking over branches at the same time, doing all of these different things, with this evidence that God has Created new neural pathways in my brain. Wow so we just keep working, and working, and working, and working and it’s been a tremendous, it was a miracle so you can go on my Facebook wall and see the videos there, even though it’s hard for me to see my, my, my own movements. But I, I’m getting better.
Kelly Tshibaka: 50:26
Yeah Well, we pray. Blessings over you, gianna. May the Lord continue to bless and protect you and smile upon you, be gracious to you, show you his favor, give you his peace and remove the trauma of the stings of those harsh criticisms from the past, so that you can see yourself through his eyes and See your walk and your limp and your accomplishments the same way that Paul saw his, that he prays for the thorn to be removed but realizes it’s actually a blessing from God, because I think everything you shared today is a blessing, that there’s little nuggets in there that the right people needed to hear at the right time, including what you just shared. New neural pathways can be built to Erase the pain, erase the trauma, even erase the disability. Johnna Jessen has been with us today. Thank you so much. We appreciate it. You can find her shop, giannajesson.myshopify.com. We will put it at the top of our show notes. You can book her assistant at GiannaJessen.com. We so appreciate you being with us. We will be on next week stand with Kelly Niki Tshibaka. You can find us at stand show org. Thanks so much you.