Thirty-one years ago, Gianna Jessen’s mom attempted to abort her. After being burned alive for about 18 hours by the saline solution, Gianna was delivered alive in a Los Angeles County abortion clinic. She weighed just 2 pounds at birth, and doctors said she would never crawl or walk.
Today, Gianna walks with a slight limp – and runs marathons. She’ also taking on pro-abortion advocates. She recently visited Focus on the Family and spoke with Dr. James Dobson and Kim Trobee. What follows is part of the interaction…
Q: We know so much of your story from the very early part of your life, but what have you been doing recently?
A: I ran the Boston Marathon and the London Marathon. It’s kind of adventurous for a girl with CP (cerebral palsy). Also, I’ve had the honor of meeting the president and speaking before Congress. And I’ve just returned from Australia, where I was speaking in the Parliament and House. Every year that I think (God) must be finished, He seems to open up the doors wider. My life is so much bigger than just an issue. I’m not consumed by the abortion issue, which I think is healthy. I have a beautiful life. It has been an honor to fight for the most vulnerable among us – and for the true empowerment of women and men around the world. When people are exposed to the facts, (they) cannot help (but) be changed. Either they become harder, or they change in favor of life. And I find that the latter is mostly true, and that is so beautiful to me – especially with young people. They are very pro-life these days. I think because they see the result in our culture of not valuing life on so many levels.
Q: Do you have hope Roe v. Wade will be overturned in your lifetime?
A: I know God can do anything. The possibility of Roe v. Wade being overturned is quite high – which is amazing to say. But the thing that does trouble me is the hardness of people. All I know is whether it is overturned or not, we will commit ourselves to care for women and children and stand up for them.
Q: In a TV ad, you challenge Sen. Barack Obama over his repeated opposition to the Illinois Born Alive Infant Protection Act. In response, a new ad calls you a liar, sleazy and vile. How do you respond to that?
A: The exact opposite response of what they’re expecting. It actually blesses me because I am God’s girl, and I know that if that is coming, then I am on the right road. It fires me up to be like Esther and to live in this time, for such a time as this.
Which is more important when voting economics and an unjust war or the abortion stand?
Q: If you could sit down with Sen. Obama, what would you say to him? Do you think you could sway him?
A: I’ve challenged him, and he won’t meet with me so far, but maybe one day he will. “Sir, why do you discard life so easily? I just want to know why. When did you decide that you had the right to determine who lives and who dies? You are not God.” I think God could sway him. I think he’s frightened of me, really. The fact that I have cerebral palsy as a direct result of having survived an abortion is very convicting to people. I mean, that’s my sermon. If the Lord was sitting right in front of me and said, “G, (’cause that’s my nickname), do you want me to make you whole?” I would say, firstly, “I’m going to be whole when I get home. But, if you leave me this way, I have a sermon to preach without saying a word, and I’ll get to know you in a way I (would) never know you had I not been schooled in the school of adversity.”
Q: It seems many Christians are pushing the abortion issue to the back burner. Does that bother you?
A: It’s cowardice (and) appalling. What a man thinks about the most vulnerable among us says everything about him. It will determine all of his other decisions. It’s cowardice on the part of Christians to run away from this because they want to be seen more relevant or less threatening, or whatever the motives may be. We need to fight for the most vulnerable.