LISTEN TO EP.97
Insider Look on How Indiana Made History with New Post-Roe Abortion Law
Following the striking of Roe v Wade, one state is taking a pro-life stance and creating a model law for other states to follow. Indiana signed into law a new bill that will eliminate 95-99% of abortions while also addressing needed family support due to increased birthrate. Linda Znachko, founder of He Knows Your Name Ministries, recently gave testimony before the Indiana Senate and House and describes the good, the bad, and the ugly that took place during the eight days of hearings. From protestors shouting vile remarks, supporters singing and sharing words of encouragement, and hard-working legislators and police trying to keep things orderly, Znachko shares her perspective and how other states can piggyback off what Indiana has done to adapt and modify the law in their state. Listen to this inspiring episode, discover what’s at stake, and understand how you as a citizen can make a difference in your community.
Welcome to The Influencers Podcast. I’m Scott Young, along with our great co-host Dave Donaldson and David is so good to welcome you back over the last few episodes. As of this recording, you have been out traveling the world, influencing people and being a representative of CityServe. So Dave, welcome and give us a little update of where you’ve been and what you’ve been doing
Well, thank you, Scott. Always to be back with you in our audience. I just return from Ukraine and you know, Jesus said “I will build my church” and many times we quote that is future tense. But I can tell you that he’s been building his church in Ukraine, 1800 churches we’re working with to provide much needed relief, food, poultry that just recently got donated. Transportation, vans and trucks, and then were helping to rebuild homes that have been bombed and also providing what we call sea train mobile homes. And it was a tough trip, very dangerous, my first day in Bucha, which you may recall, Bucha where you have the mass graves, and I can tell you walking through that town, it looks like something from a sci-fi movie practically obliterated.
The driver said to me that there are snipers Russian snipers everywhere. A bullet he said a week ago went through his windshield and went over his shoulder and killed a passenger seated behind him. Well, I was seated in that same place. Wow. And then we went to the Ukraine hotel. We were the only guests, so, and it was dark. It felt like something from hotel, California, you can check in anytime, but never leave. Wow. And the 4:30 AM, the sirens went off, that missiles were coming and they landed about four to five miles from us. Fortunately through the missile defense they were able to take out most of them, but some of them still landed. And then you try to get back to sleep and the alarms went off again a few hours later with more you know, incoming artillery. So, you know, this is what these heroes are living through. And, but the good news is that the church is very much alive. And we’re seeing Acts 2 happening in that country. And it’s a joy, a privilege for city serve to be a part of it. If I can just share one story in Bucha. We met this couple, we’re standing outside of their home, which was bombed, but the, the, the great news is that we were able to provide a home, one of these mobile homes on the same property.
And so you literally have on one side, this bombed out home, but now this family that returned after the Russians left to their property, and they have a beautiful home there now, and we’re gonna help them rebuild their other home that was bombed. And so this is all being done through the local church and thousands are receiving the Lord they’re being discipled and Matthew 25 is happening all over that country.
Well, we really just appreciate you. You are an ambassador of compassion, and we appreciate the CityServe initiatives that are taking place all across America. And now expanding in an incredible way to Europe.
Indiana’s Historic Decision
Our prayers are always with the teams that you travel with and the networks that you build and what a joy that you’re with us today, as we delve into a very important subject that is on the top of mind for so many people across America, especially since the Supreme court said Roe versus Wade is not based in the constitution. It is not constitutionally protected abortion rights, and that the states have to work on this subject. And one of the first or not one of the first, but the first state in the nation to implement laws protecting life, Indiana, and our guest today Linda Znachko was on the forefront testifying before the Senate, working with the legislatures that have really eliminated the legislation that Indiana has enacted has eliminated on demand abortions that used to be open with many clinics across the state up to 20 weeks.
Unless there’s a few exceptions, if there’s a, a lethal fatality anomaly with the child, with the unborn child, or if there’s a rape or incest, a few exceptions up to 10 weeks, but, and they’ve moved the abortions out of the clinics, I think. And I’ll talk to Linda in a moment, just hear from her. I think all the clinics have been closed in Indiana and abortions if done under the legislation must be done in hospital, but what a joy Linda that you’ve been on the forefront of this, you founded a ministry He Knows Your Name ministries and you are, are speaking across America in conferences, retreats, and it all began with a life changing experience in 2009. When you learned of a precious little baby boy that had been found dead in a dumpster, and how that changed your world and welcome to The Influencers Podcast, Linda, and just, just tell me maybe this is people just hearing your story for the first time 2009, that incident with a child nameless in a dumpster. What did that do to you?
How It All Began
It changed to me forever. I mean, I, I heard that news story of sitting at my computer much, like I am now and the crisis of something happening downtown, you know, the sirens, the construction tape, I see forensic people climbing in a dumpster and I’m watching this like what in the world is happening? And it just, it really stopped me. And I watched, and then I just, the question started coming to me like, gosh, what do we do in our state when this happens? What do we do in our city, in our county? And I called the journalist and he said, I have no answers for you, but the babies at the coroner’s office called the coroner. And of course, I’ve never called the coroner before, thankfully, and I just called and started asking questions. And really the big overarching answer I got was that this would be a very long criminal investigation and that baby found in a dumpster wearing only a diaper was going to be put in a Popper’s grave.
And, you know, as we talk about Ukraine, like a third world country, I’ve been there. My husband’s been there 50 times, probably in the last 25 years. So near and dear to our hearts. And I like that kinda language sounds like Ukraine to me, you know, and I’m thinking we live in the most resourced country in the world, and this is America for goodness sakes. How can this be? And they said, that’s what we do. We basically don’t really have a plan. And so I said, you know, well, I wanna change that. And that’s when I knew the injustice was mine to deal with, because I thought I am hearing this. I now know this. I can’t pretend this isn’t happening. So could you put my name on the case? And I will follow this. And I wanna know when this baby’s free to be given a celebration of life and a name and given a name in life and dignity and death is just, was this clear overarching mission that I felt from God.
And I really thought it was gonna be like, just this one, baby. And the coroner said, you know, okay, I’ll, I’ll, you know, you can call. And I literally called every Friday for 13 months and developed a lot of relationships there. I learned a lot about abandonment in our city, and I learned a lot about the possibility of what I could do if I persisted. And my first, yes has turned into a 13 year long ministry of claiming abandoned babies from hospitals, coroner’s offices, from outside, from other states that where they find babies just thrown away. And I just never thought this was ever gonna be my road, but it’s what God called me on and said, come with me and took my hand and told me that this organization was, He Knows Your Name. And he gave me a mission for it, a calling for it, compassion for it. And I have claimed 37 babies in 13 years.
Wow. Wow. And the organization, you found it, in fact, a book that you have written, He Knows Your Name. How a once abandoned baby inspired me to say yes to God. Yeah. there are some people you’ve done this podcast before highly appreciated and highly followed by our influencers, but we have new family members in the influence family all the time. Tell us a little bit about the organization and and what that organization does today.
He Knows Your Name
Well, it’s funny that you even use that word organization because when the coroner called me well actually I called her on a Friday morning randomly, and she said, I was just gonna call you. And this was just like three or four months into my waiting for this baby that was found in a dumpster. And who turned out to be baby Nicholas? And so she said, does your, you know, I have another baby. And of course I was shaken. And I said, I haven’t seen that on the news. What do you mean you have another baby? And she said, well, this one is LA is here at the corner’s office. And I just wondered if, since you were gonna take care of the other baby, would you take care of this baby? Does your organization do that? And I was like I don’t know.
I didn’t know I was an organization. It’s really just me calling you every Friday. Let me call you back. And I had a very long conversation with God in my car. Oh. And he just said to me, yeah, this is what we’re doing. Like I’m taking you by the hand. And I just, I’m asking you just to follow me. And really from that day forward, I have to say in 13 years, I have not had a blueprint for, he knows your name. I don’t have, I don’t fundraise. I just walk with God. And I spend time with him daily and abiding in him is the key to my knowing what my next yes is. Because I, I need to say yes to God, but I need to make sure it’s God, number one. And number two, I need to say no to Linda. And people think I’m the yes, lady, but I’m not I have to say no to a lot of things so that I’m free to say yes to God and hear his voice because so many of the things that I do even what’s coming up in my ministry are like nothing I’ve ever done before. Yeah. And I, I just have to know confidently that I’m walking really clearly on the path he has carved out for me.
SB 1 Becomes Law
Now, as you’ve been following that inner voice of the Holy Spirit, as God has been directing you, you got very involved in the legislation in Indiana. I think it’s called SB 1. Yeah. Tell us us about that journey and, and what that legislation really means.
Yeah. So I’m just gonna back up one second and say that in 2015, there was a baby. I claimed that had been left out in the woods and I named her Amelia and I gave her a celebration of life. And at her funeral, I met Monica Kelsey who has founded Safe Haven Baby Box Organization. And she said to me, this is my vision. And I was like, we are standing over the grave of a little casket, and this is the problem. And you are coming up with a solution. I wanna champion everything and anything you’re doing. And so from then, till now, I’ve given testimony before the Senate and the house for that legislation. So that was really my first exposure for like walking in the state house of Indiana, standing before a chamber, and really sensing like as a citizen of this state, I have the right under the constitution to be invited in and to testify and to ask for what I want and to what I want to see.
And so this felt initially a little similar to that. And I was so thankful that I had a little bit of that experience behind me because in this case with SB 1, it was absolutely one of the most difficult and spiritually oppressive, two weeks of my life to be standing in that chamber, walking through protestors and the screaming and the vulgarities and the vile language of everything I heard from them, the fact that they hated that we were there hated that we were giving testimony for this. And their was, was just something that was nothing I’ve experienced. I’ve never protested before, let alone be among the, the opposition. And that was a whole is experience in and of itself. So honestly, I was thankful that I knew some people there that over the years, my relationships has turned into some legislation. And I’ve just been working with right to life in many different ways in Indiana, right. To life. And so I was thankful that I had, I knew some people there that had my back so that when I gave testimony three different times in the chamber I, well, I felt safe inside the chamber, but it was not a safe place.
Yeah. Christianne Debysingh, our great producer, was telling us about what happened there when you were giving your testimony, can you share with us about that, Linda? What, what happened? Cause man, what she told us outrageous,
The Fight Over Life
Yes. Everything about it was outrageous. The first day I went there to give testimony for SB 1, which was the big overarching extreme bill from the Senate to ban abortion. I waited eight hours there in line to give testimony that day. And I was not, not called, but I watched those that I knew were pro-choice in that Senate chamber, just drag on question after question to other people testifying. And it really did eat up the time and it felt very manipulated that they were trying to only have those testifying, that they wanted to see testify. And it was a very inefficient couple of days. I then gave testimony for HB 100 1 through the house. And that was a more supportive bill for women who need diapers and wipes and medical care and formula and breast milk for babies. And so it was all the supportive components that were gonna come around the SB 1 if it passed.
And so I was able to give testimony to that. And then I also gave testimony in regard to a personal adoption, my husband and I had with a baby that was sick two years ago and a NICU who was born because her mother was a user and she had no prenatal care. And I, I knew that, that my baby Abigail, who we ended up adopting if, if she would’ve had an ultrasound while her mother was pregnant, I know they would’ve advised her to terminate because her brain was completely mush and gone because of her mother’s drug abuse. And so I knew that that fetal anomaly would’ve been exposed in termination would’ve been recommended. And so I was able to give testimony for fetal anomalies and even rape and incest because I, I serve so many women who had been conceived in rape or themselves did conceive in rape and, and kept their baby.
So there were so many incredible opportunities. I had to either meet with legislators one on one and talk with them about why they’re sitting on the fence in a maybe position about fetal anomaly or all levels of termination, exceptions. And it was that part of it was so extraordinary for me. I mean, to be there just, I was there six full days out of the eight that they met. And I just found it, it was just an absolute privilege to be, I mean, to be there. And I didn’t even know until the Sunday night before at 11 o’clock that they wanted me there and I, I just canceled everything and said, I’m gonna be there. This is history making time. Here we are in the state of Indiana doing extraordinary things like what He Knows Your Name does and Safe Haven baby Box does, we are leading the way in this country and I wanna be a part of that so bad.
Going Behind the Scenes
Well, just thank you, Linda, for being a warrior or voiceless souls and forgiving dignity to God’s creation. It is true or Indiana is the first state following the Roe V Wade, recent decision in the Supreme court to enact legislation. Maybe you can put those two things in context for our influencer friends,
Right? So what the us federal government did was just basically say, we’re gonna put this all back in the hands of individual states and what I’m so proud of our state for is that when governor Holcomb called this special session, everyone of them, all house representatives and senators literally dropped everything on their calendar for two solid weeks in the middle of summer. And they were there most nights till midnight, if not past debating, discussing and really hammering this out. Cause I think, honestly, everyone felt like the initial SB 1 was written pretty sloppy and it was not strong enough for some too strong for others. And so they knew it was gonna require a lot of conversation and debate. And so it was an honor to see like day one, what did they do with that bill here? We are at a state level saying, what do we wanna do as a state and work through meeting after meeting, after meeting many behind closed doors, like I said, to really give everyone an opportunity to express their views and what they felt like their constituents wanted them to be doing.
And how many of them said they were gonna vote one way and then voted another way. And you know, there was just a lot of tension. The week was full of a lot of exhausted people walking around, like, you know, we don’t know how this is gonna end, but we are in it for the finish. And I have never been more impressed with our elected officials. They are not perfect, but they are dedicated people. And honestly, I thought I, I was able to do what I did in the amount of time. I, I did every time they invited me to come, I was like, yes, I’ll be there. But it was a requirement for them. You know, I, there were a couple times I said, Hey, I can’t be there in the morning, but I can be in the afternoon and then I’d get there and stay just until I was done meeting with people.
But I, I just, I really like more than ever have so much respect for those people that are, who were there. I had, you know, a couple people say, well, I wasn’t supposed to be here today. But when I heard that Indiana right to life wanted me to meet with people today, we just showed up and I was like, you guys were here till two in the morning. I don’t know how you’re here already. You know? So that is just a big, important piece of this as well. I think that the states need to watch the way Indiana did this and say, this is what it’s gonna require that when your special session called and your governor says, hammer this out till it’s done, because Governor Holcomb was pretty much sitting there when that vote finished past midnight, I think it was, he signed it. Wow. He was ready to sign it and say, both of you did both sides. Did both of the work that it took to hammer this out. And then they debated forever. And he wasted no time. And I’m really thankful for that.
Handling the Objections
You know, one of the primary objections to the pro-life movement is that the foster care system is so messed up. It’s like a virtual graveyard when my wife and I explored becoming foster parents we were told that, you know, stay away. These kids are so messed up. The systems messed up. It’ll it’ll ruin your family life and you know, all the horror stories. And but praise the Lord. We adopted a young lady out of foster care at, she was 16. She’s doing incredibly well. But what would you say to those at that would say, you know, that, Hey, it’s, it’s only gonna continue to overpopulate the foster care system and it’s not gonna give these kids a better quality of life. So how does this bill help them? How does that help these babies that, that are gonna be born in Indiana?
Right? That’s a great question, Dave, because it is your right on the forefront of everyone’s mind. I will say personally, I feel that the bad rap that foster care gets is too one dimensional. And it’s just shortsighted. I know that all those workers there are overworked. I’ve been a part of the system. There. We fostered a child for 10 years on and off. I’ve been a part of family ministries that work specifically with them. And there are so many tragic stories, but there are also so many wonderful ones. And in light of the work that I do with Safe Haven Baby Box, I have to tell you the partnership that Monica Kelsey has developed, and that we have worked alongside them for five years to say, let’s partner together so that when these babies are safely surrendered anonymously in a box at a fire station or a hospital, that those babies are gonna go right into DCS.
Right? So, and you know, we could be apprehensive about that, or we could say, we’re gonna work with you and we’re gonna get this right. And I have to tell you, 21, babies have been safely surrendered in under four years. And every one of them within 30 days has been placed with their forever family. I met those babies. I meet their parents. I see them interacting in their homes. And I’m telling you, they are as rich and healthy as can be. And these are babies that I look at and say, these mothers chose life. They chose to carry. So they had a disposition of life. They were TA doing the ultimate sacrifice by putting their baby in a box. But I believe in hiding their pregnancies and then probably calling the hotline along the way, which by the way, the Safe Haven Baby Box hotline has helped in a safe handoff surrender of 122 babies.
Oh, so we are already like the test of what kind of you’re referring to like is how are we all gonna now handle this overload? We’ve been doing that here in our state for five years. And it has been really done successfully. These babies are placed with families that want an infant. And if, if more people would just choose to use the foster care system as their adoption option, then the attorney fees, aren’t gonna be as outrageous as they are. And there’s just other benefits to it. But they’re also overseen by Safe Haven Baby Box. So, you know, Monica, Kelsey and her whole team does not let go of these children once they’re in DCS. Like these are families we have relationships with. And I just feel like if more people would safely surrender their babies through the Safe Haven Law and the box, they will find themselves in a community of people that are very, very safe.
And I, I understand that, oh my goodness, the needs are like over the top, we, we get so overwhelmed. But part of what Indiana did was they took what they’re calling like Senate bill number two, and it’s the wraparound care services. And they wrapped it together in, in one safe Haven. I mean the box SB 1 and SB t2. So it was not just passing a law that took care of just abortion. It’s taking care of the wraparound services that are absolutely gonna be so necessary. And then there’s the whole topic of community in the church and everyone standing up to make sure that the foster care system isn’t overrun and that’s a whole other soapbox I could get on.
And it’s, I can tell you that the way our daughter who was in foster care, we adopted she is a, not only a trophy of God’s miracle working power, but she’s a trophy of a great country we live in. Yeah. It, the like you said, the amount of services that were available to her, to us so grateful what a great country.
And yes, I agree.
You know, and I, I love how you, you, you know, you’ve talked really about these really their models of success. God loves models. You know, David was a model of success. Yeah. Before that model the is, you know, the Israelites fled, they did a complete 180 after he was victorious. Yeah. And that’s one of the reasons why I love what you do. These are successful models. This, this law can be a successful model for other states. Talk with us about that.
Indiana: A Model for Other States
Well, I think you’re right. I think the, well I’ve seen Governor Holcomb’s law for the safe Haven baby box. That was like an attachment to our safe Haven law was so mimic that 11 different states have signed pretty much the same law. And I think that’s the key. And I think that I, I believe that Governor Holcomb has a gift to do that. You know, like if other states look at what was written and wanna follow it, I think they would be wise to do so and say, you know, maybe you guys don’t have to do all of the hard work and debate that we had to do look at the, the blueprint of it and, and make adjustments to it as you need to. But I do hope that this is a really good fresh start and it’s a new beginning.
We know it is not over the, I mean, you know, the whole concept of rape and incest and all the things you know, Indiana, honestly, I always say, you know, the pendulum swings and it’s like usually stays to the middle and sometimes it hits a wall and that’s when the dramatic happens. And I think that’s what happened here in Indiana last week that pendulum hit the wall and we banned abortion and abortion clinics are closing all of them. They all, any, and all, whatever abortion medically is deemed necessary must happen in a hospital. I mean, it could not get any more clear and safe than that.
The Key to Influence
Indiana is blessed to have you. You’re on a mission. You’re, you’re, you’re, you’re pursuing a calling and this program, the influencers is all about encouraging people to just expand the influence of their life. And I just wanna point out that we’re talking to Linda, who is a woman that just said, I want to hear God’s voice . I wanna listen to what the Holy Spirit would say to me. And then I wanna walk in that and that dedication has made her influential along with others, and she’s not taking credit for herself, but along with others has helped to move the pro-life message forward. And I thank you. Of course, I thank you for being pro-life and for advocating so beautifully people can get your book I’m sure. And connect with you at, heknowsyourname.org We’ll put that in the show notes, people to connect with you. But we really appreciate, I, I wonder Dave, if you could just close our time by praying for the vulnerable children, not just of Indiana, but of this great country America. Yeah. And I’m, pro-life not just because I’m a man of faith, but because I’m an American and we believe in life, Liberty and the pursuit of
Lord, we thank you for how you have raised up Linda for such a time as us. She was willing to say yes, regardless of the challenges, the consequences to take a stand for your greatest gift life and then life eternal. And we pray for your guidance protection upon her provision, supernatural provision, and we’re believing you’re, you are gonna continue to do beyond what we could possibly ask or think, and that you are going to use Indiana Lord as really a model of hope model of life that will spread out to the east west, north, and south across our great country. We give you the glory for what’s already happened in Indiana . And we know it’s just the beginning because your fingerprints are all over it. Amen.
Amen. Thank you so much, Linda, for being with us today. Thank you. And The Influencers
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