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planned parenthood

Abortion Hurts Women

In addition to the physical problems caused by abortion, what are some of the psychological problems women go through after the procedure? Former abortion doctor, Kathi Aultman, joins Dan and Kristen McQueary to share her reaction to the movie "Unplanned" and her own conversion story to becoming a pro-life activist.

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An Inside Look At The Corrupt Abortion Industry

Why do people believe abortion is an easy medical procedure that doesn’t involve any pain or regret? Are pro-choice advocates willing to face the reality of abortion and the corruption within Planned Parenthood? Do women have abortions because they feel like they have no other choice? Former Planned Parenthood clinic director turned pro-life advocate, Abby Johnson joins Dan and Amy to discuss her new film, "Unplanned."

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Michael “She Hit Me First” Avenatti 2020

In the spirit of bipartisanship, should Trump pardon Michael Avenatti for all his crimes? Has feminism become mistakenly synonymous with a movement that is good for women? Does feminism simply reward women for their service to the state? Is Planned Parenthood already prepping for a post Roe v. Wade world? Screenwriter for the Gosnell movie, Andrew Klavan joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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The Madigan Machine vs. Conservative Reformers

Madigan-financed smears against reform lawmakers are hitting mailboxes and airwaves. But even though they lack truth and substance, will they influence voters with just a few weeks to go before election day? On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Brian Timpone discuss how these attacks are being funded, what their aim is and how conservative reformers can fight back. Proft and Timpone also discuss the new discrimination allegations against gubernatorial candidate JB Pritzker.

WATCH THE FULL EPISODE HERE

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Huckabee: Trump Is The Most Pro-Life President We’ve Ever Had

Is Obama breaking the norms of past presidents because Trump is rolling back everything he spent the last eight years doing? Do the Congressional Republicans lying to voters promising they would defund Planned Parenthood need to go home? What’s the real story behind the Red Hen incident involving Sarah Huckabee-Sanders and her family? Governor Mike Huckabee joins Dan and Amy to discuss Trump’s presidency and his upcoming visit to Chicago as keynote speaker at the benefit dinner for Aid for Women on October 3. 

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America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer

Where was the Department of Health? Where was the outcry for the unsafe conditions that killed women and their babies from Planned Parenthood and other feminist groups? Why is Dr. Gosnell never mentioned in conversations regarding heinous serial killers? Author of “Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer,” Ann McElhinney joins Dan and Amy to discuss the shocking story and upcoming film of the atrocities that occurred and went unreported for so long in Dr. Gosnell’s clinic.  

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Becerra Decision Transcends Abortion Debate

Was the coverage of the SCOTUS Becerra decision focused on the abortion debate rather than the first amendment victory? Did California try to create a new category of speech, “professional speech?” Were CA lawmakers under intense pressure from the abortion industry to advocate for a policy to make pregnancy centers lead the conversation with abortion options with women who may have never even considered abortion? Attorney Mary Fiorito of the Ethics and Public Policy Center joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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“Mission Accomplished” In Syria?

Can the latest chemical attack in Syria serve as an opportunity for the Trump Administration to reach out to its European allies to begin isolating the Iranian regime? What happened to the commitment to defund Planned Parenthood from Congressional Republicans? What’s the path to victory in 2018 for Republicans in the 6th Congressional District? Rep. Peter Roskam joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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Scaling Illinois

Living in Illinois, I know something of the ravages of big government Republicanism.

It’s an approach to governance that sends people scurrying for the exits before the bills come due.

Which is why Trump’s decision to fund Obamacare and Planned Parenthood, bump up the subsidies for P-hat-approved art and reward the swamp monsters with increased office allotments was a disastrous one.

Illinois is a model to discontinue not replicate.

In Illinois, the physical exodus from the state has cemented the GOP as the superminority party.

Nationally, the evacuation will be of a partisan nature not a physical one but the result will be the same: Democrat control.

In 2008 and 2012, the nation chose to scale Chicago Democrat governance nationally. It did no better inside the Beltway than it’s done in the Land of Lincoln, an officially-decreed Trump-free zone.

If Trump was looking for a Midwestern model to emulate, he would’ve done better to look to the states he actually won or ask his Vice President.

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Roe V. Wade Worst SCOTUS Decision Since Dred Scott

A Marist survey finds 56% of Americans believe abortion is "morally wrong" and 76% want significant restrictions. Despite abortion clinics getting reduced nationally, more are popping up in Illinois. Is this a direct consequence of Rauner’s decision to sign HB 40 that provides taxpayer-funded abortions on demand? Moving on to another “life and death issue” as described by a CNN panel, could the government shutdown leave the world vulnerable to a possible asteroid strike? Peter Roskam joins Dan and Amy to discuss these topics and where the FBI’s reputation stands in the debate of #releasethememo.

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Proft: Good morning, Dan and Amy. On every other network, and every other station, you'll hear...Scarlett Johansson's nitwit-ery and all the other peahat prevaricators, their voices will be amplified. And before there was the peahat, there was the penumbra, this is...today was the 45th anniversary of the worst Supreme Court decision since Dred Scott, of course Roe v. Wade, that's my opinion, and that opinion happens to be correct, so that it has the utility of being correct. So here, we're going to make sure you hear from some of the participants in the March for Life, whose voices weren't amplified by the DC Press Corps. Say for example the House Speaker, Paul Ryan. Jacobson: I didn't...what march? Honestly, I've been glued to cable news all weekend, and local news, and did not see one clip or one mention of it anywhere. Proft: Right, and it's because of the (?) tactic to make the majority feel like their opinions are those of the minority. In point of fact, what you hear from Paul Ryan is in fact the majority position in America. Majority position. Marist poll, 56% of Americans feel abortion is morally wrong, 76% want substantial restrictions on abortion, based on the science that, by the way, we no longer have to guess about, the formation of a child after 20 weeks...that's all the bans, after 20 weeks, in RADICALLY CONSERVATIVE COUNTRIES LIKE...France. Paul Ryan, on the power of the Pro-Life movement...it's compassion. Ryan (from tape): And you know, one thing that gets sort of lost in this controversy, is just how compassionate the Pro-Life movement really is. This is what is lost by all those detractors out there. I am so proud of the work this movement has done to help women. Especially women who have gone through the pain of abortion, this movement helps them find healing and acceptance. I am so proud of this movement and how it supports single mothers who are struggling to raise their children, how it gives them the resources through thousands of phenomenal Crisis Pregnancy Centers around the country. This is the face of the Pro-Life Movement. Proft: Yeah, abortion hurts women, Pro-Life movement helps women...kind of a hospital that helps women who are in need, confused...suffering, if you will, metaphorically of course. As Reagan said "The only people I've ever met who were for abortion...were alive." It's interesting to note, isn't it? Jacobson: Well even at our church, Pastor Bonnie celebrated a 16-year old girl who decided to have the baby, and she said nobody celebrated...she didn't know how to feel at the time because it wasn't...people encouraged her to get an abortion, and she kept the baby. And I went ohhh, I wish Dan was with me! Proft: Yeah. Now the flip side is an Illinois Congressional delegation, a Republican delegation, chastised Governor Rauner for signing H bill...HB40, the public financing of abortion all nine months, the first US governor to do that. Fringe candidate, that's Governor Rauner, Rauner is the fringe candidate in Illinois. Something Pat Quinn, with supermajorities of Democrats, didn't do. That's how extreme Governor Rauner is...it's an untenable position. It's a disqualifying position....it's a disqualifying act, I should say. And by the way, you want to understand how policy has consequences? (Jacobson: Yeah.) Planned Parenthood is opening a clinic in Flossmoor, and four other clinics around the state of Illinois. Jacobson: Because of all the money they've got from fundraisers! Proft: No. It's a direct result of HB40. Jacobson: It is? Proft: Direct result of HB40. Nationally, abortion clinics are being reduced in number, in Illinois they're increasing. Near the Indiana border, bring people in from Indiana, also in heavy minority communities, the racism that underlies, you know, the eugenicists that support abortion-on-demand. Five more clinics, including in Flossmoor, as a result of Rauner's decision. So even if you are unconcerned with the underlying life-and-death issue, which you should not be unconcerned, how about the financial issue of another open-ended entitlement in a state with $10M in unpaid bills? For more on this topic, and others inside the Beltway, we're pleased to be joined by Congressman Peter Roskam. Peter, thanks for joining us again, appreciate it. Roskam: Dan and Amy! Good to be with you, thanks for having me on! Proft: Thank you. So, were you at the March for Life? Roskam: I was at the March for Life, and your discussion of the issue prompted a memory for me of an earlier March for Life, if I could just share with you quickly. A few years ago, I was at the one, downtown Chicago. And I was one of the speakers, and I got there a little bit early, before the marchers got there. And I was looking, and I wasn't sure I was at the right place. And I looked over, and there were some really angry abortion protesters, over on the other side. And they were angry, and they were scattered, and it was quite pathetic actually, to look at them. And then came the Pro-Life marchers, sort of around the corner and down the street. And they were buoyant, and they were joyful, and they were young, the music was great, they were dancing, they had yellow balloons, and the contrast just took my breath away. And I thought "There is no bigger picture in terms of distinction about what it is that this movement is all about than those who are standing for those who have no voice." And it was an image that really had a profound impact on me, and I think that we need to remember the power of that, the power of truth, and the power of speaking out, and the power of clarity. And my success...my predecessor, Henry Hyde, was the great hero of the Pro-Life movement, and it is just an image that is with me to this day. Proft: Well, that's a REAL life-or-death issue. In an issue that's been portrayed as life-and-death, as the government "shutdown", in quotation marks. And I wonder, Peter, if you are concerned as is per a discussion on CNN... Jacobson: About the Panda cam? Proft: No. That's a concern, sure, but this is even more existential...that because of the shutdown, NASA may stop monitoring potentially dangerous asteroids. We may have an undetected asteroid attack destroy the planet if you don't...you know, if the Senate doesn't vote to bring this to an end at noon today. You feel the sense of urgency? Roskam: *laughing* That makes the...you know, I think the reason you want the government open is, Number One, they're there to do a job, Number Two, they're likely to get paid anyways, and so the notion of giving people furloughs and then giving them back pay doesn't make any sense to me at all. That said, I really think the Democrats have gotten themselves stuck. And they decided from a political point of view "Hey, we want to shut this down, we want to create an impression that we don't have any influence and this is all on the GOP." And I think that Chuck Schumer has really led them into a cul-de-sac. They want to create this linkage on immigration, we're saying look, we're not going to negotiate on immigration while the government is shut down. You want to have a discussion about immigration in the regular course of things? Fine. But the immigration deadline for DACA is, you know...it's not today! It's not this month, it's not next month, it happens in March, there's still plenty of time to deal with it. Jacobson: How are Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell getting along these days? Roskam: As far as I know, they're getting along fine. (Jacobson says something about a phone call) The people to watch are...yeah, look...the people to watch are, I think, Senate Democrats in states that Trump won. So people like Joe Donnely from Indiana, or people like Heidi Heitkamp from North Dakota, these are people who have voted to keep the government open in the Senate, and I think they're going to be under increasing pressure to influence their leadership. Because their leadership cannot really articulate beyond this immigration issue, they can't articulate why...why they want to shut the government down. So I think Schumer is getting more and more isolated procedurally, and we'll see what the day brings. Proft: This story out over the weekend about the FBI failing to preserve five months of text messages exchanged between those lovebirds, Peter Strock and Lisa Paige, these...particularly Strock...senior-level FBI official involved in both Clinton and the Trump-Russia Collusion investigations, sort of conflicted, one would argue. Now is Platte River Networks a vendor to the FBI, the way it was to the Hillary Clinton campaign, or...how do we explain...I know it's been explained as a technical glitch, but are we to buy that text messages from those two individuals, especially considering how essential they are to our entire assessment of the fairness of the FBI's look into the Trump campaign, and the Trump administration. How are we to understand this? Roskam: Look, what you're to understand is echoes from the IRS, echoes from the Benghazi Investigation, and the burden is on the entity that can't hold on to, or is charged with having the evidence, charged with the records, and it's their burden to say why is it that they...that they've left. Look, it's highly suspicious, it's highly suspect, and this continues to undermine the nature and the integrity of some of these investigations. Jacobson: Yeah, but do you think the FBI will be held accountable? I mean, how can the FBI lose data like this, for a five-month period? It's just mind-boggling. Roskam: Yeah, so the accountability comes in a couple of forms. The accountability comes in terms of public reputation, which is diminishing. And the accountability comes in individuals who end up moving on and moving out. And then the accountability comes in what is it the FBI actually presents to the American people, as it comes to their findings and their investigations? Proft: And could the accountability also come in the release of this four-page memo that's being bandied about on the Hill that people are talking about, and also making some pretty aggressive predictions about the potential impact of this memo, were the public to see it? Roskam: I think that the memo...I've reviewed the memo, I signed all kinds of things before I reviewed the memo in terms of non-disclosure. (Proft: Alright, so tell us what's in it.) So I can't talk about what's in the memo per se, but I am of the strong opinion that the memo should be released. Jacobson: Well what's in it? Do you know? I mean, cmon Peter! Proft: Yeah I mean, I know you can't disclose this, but just tell us what's in it. Roskam: Yeah, yeah...you're killin' me. Proft: No, but... Jacobson: So does that mean no? Roskam: The memo should be released. The memo should be released. Proft: Can...can...do you...can you characterize it generally, as some other members of Congress have, is it as explosive as some others...some of your other colleagues have described? Roskam: Look, no I wouldn't...I'd say there is a...there's...I've been around, I've seen these types of things where an expectation gets created that's just through the roof, I wouldn't do that. I would just say look, the memo speaks for itself, the memo needs to be released, and it puts...it puts some of this larger debate into a context that is helpful and insightful. And that's why I think it should be released. Proft: Do you think that maybe the House Republicans can use the same Columbia professor cut-out that Comey used to release the stuff he wanted to get out there? Roskam: *laughs* Yeah, there ya go! Look, my view is, you know, triple-check it to make sure no sources are revealed, no methods are revealed, the things that...the conclusions that are easy to come to after reading this memo should be part of the public discussion. No question about it. Jacobson: Okay, ultimate tease! Proft: Alright, he is Peter Roskam...yep...well he wants to stay on this side of the bars, that's understandable. Congressman Peter Roskam, Representative from Illinois' 6th District out there in the Western 'burbs, thank you for joining us, appreciate it. Roskam: Thanks guys.

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The Rauner Experiment Is Over

Gov. Rauner said he had no social agenda. His wife said they are both social justice warriors. Someone turned out to be a liar. State Rep. Peter Breen does not believe Governor Rauner should be the 2018 Republican nominee for Governor saying, “The Rauner experiment is over and we need to move through the five stages of grief as fast as possible.” Rauner broke his word. How can we trust anything he says now? The Planned Parenthood chair was allowed in the press conference announcing Rauner would sign taxpayer funding of abortion but not the Republican House Floor Leader? Republican Representative Peter Breen joins Dan and Amy to discuss his reaction to the signing of taxpayer funding of abortion and Rauner’s political future.

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Civil War Brewing In Congress?

“If the status quo was fine, then we would have Hillary Clinton as President.” If there’s no tax reform, what’s the signature piece of legislation in Trump’s first year? What happened to prosecuting Lois Lerner at the IRS? Where’s the outrage from Republicans on continuing to fund Planned Parenthood? Is Trump at a turning point? If so, is that good news? New York Post Columnist and Fox News Contributor, Michael Goodwin joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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Does Pro-Life Mean Anti-Woman?

Pro-Life feminist groups were excluded from Women's Marches across the country. Can pro-Life women also be pro-woman, even feminists? We went to a Pro-Life Rally at Planned Parenthood to find out.  

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Rauner's "No Social Agenda" Runs Into Illinois Dems' Social Agenda

Dan & Amy discussed Gov. Rauner's signature of two bills, one which decriminalizes small amounts of marijuana and another which forces pro-life medical professionals, including those who work at crisis pregnancy centers, to refer women for an abortion eliminating any consideration of religious conscience. The latter law is likely to face a federal lawsuit just as a law mandating pro-life pharmacists prescribe the abortion pill (signed by Gov. Blagojevich) was successfully challenged in federal court. Dan & Amy spoke with Sue Barrett, Executive Director of Aid for Women, a Catholic life-affirming pregnancy center, about the legislation and its impact on real-world practitioners like her.

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Dan Proft: This is Dan Proft coming to from the Sky Line Club atop the Old Republic Building in downtown Chicago for another edition Against the Current. My guest on this edition is Faisal Khan, a former New York City Inspector General, city of Chicago legislative Inspector General, now the president and CEO of an organization called Project 6 which we’ll learn about on this episode. Faisal Khan, thanks so much for joining us. Appreciate it. Faisal Khan: Thank you for having me. Dan Proft: Why don’t we start before we get to Project 6 and what you're doing currently, let's start with how you came to Chicago because there’s such a New York Chicago deal here, right? Maybe a little bit of an inferiority complex but a lot of the political class as well as people in general kind of measure Chicago by New York in many respects and so as someone who spent a good amount of time working for multiple mayors essentially trying to enforce ethical conduct with the politicians in New York City, can you tell us a little bit about that experience and compare that to your experience four years as the Legislative Inspector General over at the fifth floor. Faisal Khan: Yeah, I'm not going to pander but I do love the city of Chicago. I love everything about Chicago. I love the atmosphere, the culture, the people, there are wonderful things here that I'm now a part of and I've been a part for the last six years by living here as, and being a resident and citizen of this city. But when we talk about what you just mentioned and when we talk about the politics and we talk about the ethics and we talk about the lack of ethics, unfortunately Chicago still is way behind New York City in that area and it's incredibly disappointing considering the one thing probably that I do agree with the mayor on is that Chicago can be a world-class city in so many ways but we are unfortunately severely lacking in the ethical oversight department here. I can tell you that from experience like you said both from New York City, being a prosecutor in New York City, being Inspector General New York City and now working in this city for the last five years. Dan Proft: Tell us a little bit about that because that may be a statement that most people would say that doesn't surprise me except the recent news. In the last year and a half or so you've seen some incredible developments in New York, you know, New York City, New York state kind of controlled by New York City the same way Chicago controls Illinois politically speaking and you saw the Democrat House Speaker Sheldon Silver and the Democrat Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos both be prosecuted by federal authorities for corruption, both on their way to prison so you see two legislative leaders in New York state go down and of course Chicagoans are saying well, why can't that be us? We'd love to see our legislative leaders imprisoned too. More to the point is so there actually is corruption in New York at the highest levels. It’s being prosecuted but here back in Chicago, it seems like there's this culture of corruption that rises up to the highest levels and there's a lack of prosecution. Faisal Khan: Well, I can tell you that as former Legislative Inspector General, my role was to deal with the city aldermen and to oversee that body and certainly there are levels of corruption within that body that needed to be investigated and I did investigate and we took those investigations and we passed them onto the US Attorney's Office and other law enforcement agencies and hopefully we'll see the fruition of our work soon. There are a lot of similarities, Dan, between New York and Chicago as you just noted and Illinois, I'm sorry, you know, similar party structure, similar issues, similar patterns that we see and I think as I was saying to you earlier before we started, it was simply that comfort breeds longevity and longevity breeds arrogance, arrogance breeds contempt which leads into corruption. Whether it takes a year, five years, ten years, eventually it will catch up with you and so I think you saw that happened in New York with Mr Silver and some of his other elected cronies. These are people who had been in office for so long, used that comfort to their benefit and to their arrogance and that led into the contempt for the system that led to corruption of the system and those individuals taking for themselves whatever they wanted to. Dan Proft: Certainly, we've seen that here obviously with governors going to jail. We've seen it here at the city council level in Chicago with 30 in the last 35 years that have gone to jail but I think the thing that sticks in people's craws is they say okay, fine. You know, these prosecutors, they get the idiot alderman who takes $500 in an envelope over a lunch counter, right? The poor criminal and they don't get the guys that seem to be walking conflicts of interest with security details and $8 million campaign funds, not mentioning any names, Ed Burke, and other politicians who also seem to be inherently conflicted, Mike Madigan writing property tax law while practicing property tax appeals, that have lorded over the city and the state for decades. To me, that's the frustration. It’s easy to pick off the low-hanging fruit but we're not getting to the top of the corruption pyramid as it were. Faisal Khan: I completely agree with you. There's two trains of thought to that, right? There’s broken window theory of you take down every corruption, any corruption you can find so the guy taking that $500 envelope is a good start and you keep building, building, building and I don't have a problem with that also. But at the same time we do have to look at the bigger fish so to speak and realize where the problems start and what we can do about that. There's a disconnect between asking the right questions I think in this city and that is why does an alderman need an $8 million war chest? Why for someone who's holding a local position need those kind of resources to get reelected or…? Dan Proft: And why are people giving at that level. Faisal Khan: And why are people giving and who is giving at that level? Are we talking about you and me as residents of the city of Chicago? Are we talking about corporations? Are we talking about businesses who are trying to do business here in the city of Chicago and are recipients of contracts that come out of the city? Remember aldermen control every dollar that comes in and out of the city of Chicago. Every single dollar they sign off on, whether it's settlements in police cases, whether its contracts being given out, whether it's your taxes that we've talked about, whether it's penalties and fines, all of that money is controlled by them. So that's a great deal of power that they wheeled and so they simply has not been enough spotlight on these individuals not just in Chicago, Dan, but also at the state level. Also thinking about all the money that goes that way also. Dan Proft: Well, just doing comparative political systems, and this has been mentioned before that New York despite having three times the population of Chicago has fewer aldermen and the New York aldermanic or mayor aldermanic, mayor, city council system operates differently than Chicago. Is that part and parcel of the difference at least somewhat different political cultures? Faisal Khan: Incredibly so. I've often said that and I speak of Chicago this way that knowing what we know, Chicago is the third-biggest metropolis in this country behind New York and LA yet it’s run like the Wild West. I never would have envisioned what I've learned in the last four years. I never would’ve predicted this. I couldn't have. Dan Proft: It’s like a kleptocracy, like a South American kleptocracy. Faisal Khan: It’s something out of a novel. It’s something out of a movie that I thought I would see that this is what goes on here in Chicago. This is how our elected officials act with impunity and go about mining their own pockets or doing business that benefits themselves rather than their constituents. Dan Proft: That’s a pretty strong statement coming from somebody from New Jersey and New York. I mean it's not like you were out there in Mayberry. You didn’t come here, you know, kind of with the scales over your eyes. Faisal Khan: I was not wearing any rose-tinted glasses when I got to Chicago. In fact, leaving New York I saw the problems in New York and I thought that's going to be as bad as it gets and I was very much mistaken. Dan Proft: Were you recruited by Emanuel to come here or how did you make your way here? Faisal Khan: I actually came to Chicago before the Legislative Inspector General job was officially posted. It was actually held in abeyance for years, council delayed, delayed, delayed until they finally got forced to hire someone. So when I came here, I came here under different reasons to be a lawyer and do something different and with my employment history, I thought I fit well into this position and that's how I became the Inspector General. Dan Proft: Going back to the system, so in New York I'm sensing and I don't know the particulars certainly like you do, they don't have the feudal system that we have in Chicago and that turns out to make a big difference. Faisal Khan: I think it's the ultimate difference. I think it's not just the big difference. I think like you noted it's a population three times, more than three times the size I think at this point now and we're talking about half the size of the body of aldermen. In New York the councilmen they do what their job description describes and that's legislate. They come, get together as a body, they come up with ideas, they come up with ways to improve the city, they're not looking out for their one particular neighborhood where they live, they’re looking out for everyone in New York. I'm not implying that the system is perfect. There are plenty of bad apples that have come through New York unfortunately too which we all know about but certainly there's enough oversight and scrutiny of that body to make sure that that is marginalized and minimized as much as possible. Now look at Chicago. We’ve got 50 fiefdoms here. We’ve got 50 little cities within one major city. If I need a car sticker, I'm going to my alderman. If I need a garbage can, I'm going to my alderman. If I need to put a business sign up, I'm going to my alderman. If I need an extension on my house, I'm going to my alderman. Dan Proft: And the now if I want to rent my house out on Airbnb or some other share economy site then I have to go to my alderman. Faisal Khan: Everything is slowly being controlled by your alderman and what I saw as Legislative Inspector General a number of complaints that came in was about that. About this objective process of an individual like me as a citizen going to my alderman and either being asked when the last time I contributed to you was or whether there was just a personality conflict. Now here I am wanting to improve my business, wanting to improve my personal life, my home, my job and I've got someone who simply just doesn't like me and that's the easiest case, right? That's the word and now I can get what I need and so I can’t go to the city who I do pay my centralized taxes to who are supposed to handle buildings and permits and everything else that we just talked about but won't process my application because your alderman hasn't signed off on it which is not required by law. Dan Proft: It’s cultural and then it goes back to what you were saying where you said before about the continuum. Arrogance, contempt, corruption. Faisal Khan: Exactly and so when I walk in and an alderman suggests or his chief of staff asks me when the last time I contributed was, I should have my checkbook on me because that's ultimately what happens a number of different times and I again I'm not painting all aldermen with the same brush. There are many, many good people in this city who want to do good for their constituents but as you noted and I can tell you 31 over 30 years have gone to jail. Clearly there's a pattern and it's the pattern of arrogance, contempt, corruption and until somebody stands up and says enough is enough, something has to change, nothing will change. There is a culture of apathy that I want to change in Chicago. There's a culture where I want people to get outraged again and say enough is enough. They have to understand that corruption on the south side effects them on the north side. That somebody lining his pockets over there means your taxes are going up here. A bad contract given out to somebody on the west side means again money coming out of your pocket. Anything that goes wrong in the city, Dan, affects each and every citizen even though they don't see the connection. So my job at Project 6 is going to be able to show that connection to these people. That’s how I want to do this because I'm under no illusion here. I will not make any change in Chicago because if it hasn't been done already in the last 60 or 70 years by people far stronger than me who am I to I have enough humility to understand what I can and cannot accomplish. Dan Proft: Well, as you kind of intimate, you can't do it without majority will so a couple million people need to decide that they want to have to change direction. Faisal Khan: And not just the majority. Well, yes, it's the constituents. It’s people like you. It’s people like the media saying nope. There is no gray area anymore. It’s black and white. There is a rule. Follow the rule or deal with the consequences of the rule. One of my biggest frustrations as Inspector General in Chicago was that even though we would cite an alderman for doing something wrong, the often time response would be well, was that really a big deal? Dan Proft: Right. I can see the point that it's a violation but it's not a big deal. Faisal Khan: Right. That inherently is part of the problem. When you rank violations as to no big deal to serious big deal, we've lost already. Dan Proft: Right. Probably a good indication we shouldn’t allow the aldermen to self-police. I suppose though you must’ve done such a great job of turning this thing around because your position at City Hall was eliminated. Right? You were no longer needed because everything’s square. Isn’t that how it went down? Faisal Khan: I’d like to think that. I'd like to think that but unfortunately I'm smart enough to know the reality of it. As Inspector General when I have to go to the very body that I oversee and tell them they're under investigation because they wrote the law that says if I start an investigation against an alderman, I have to tell him or her she's under investigation and then at the same time ask them for an increase in budget or an increase in resources. We are doomed from day one. Dan Proft: Can you get me more money so I can further my investigation of you? Right. Why would they not say yes? Faisal Khan: Of course. Dan Proft: Of course. Sure. No conflict there. Faisal Khan: We had the second-lowest budget. No, I can officially say we had the lowest budget of any full-time agency in Chicago. We had $350,000 to run an investigative agency. To put that in perspective they spent more money on weed whacking in the south side per year than they did on an oversight agency of a body where 31 members went to jail in over 30 years. Dan Proft: Was the problem that you didn't get what they were doing, that this was supposed to be window dressing, not a serious thing and you took it to be a serious thing and so you weren't getting what they were laying down? Faisal Khan: I think there was some naivety on my part but when I took the job, Dan, when I sat down with some of the alderman that interviewed me, I said if you're looking for someone to collect a paycheck and go sit in the corner and keep himself busy, I'm not your guy. You see my resume. You see what I've done for the last 15 years of my career be it a police investigator for misconduct, be it a prosecutor, be it an Inspector General in New York City arguably the biggest and craziest city in the world. I'm not here to collect a paycheck. I could be at a law firm. I could be doing something much easier to collect a paycheck. Dan Proft: And you came with the imprimatur of the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations. Faisal Khan: Yeah, who were very aggressive in cleaning up New York. For better or worse we can argue about that sometime but both had a similar mandate in ending corruption and problems in New York City in many different ways and I don't speak in an arrogant way about this, Dan. I don't want to give that impression that I was something special coming into Chicago. Simply that I was not going to take a paycheck and not do my job which is as it was laid out to me. Dan Proft: What happened here because what we were told and what many, not myself, but many Chicagoans bought is Rahm Emanuel, when he came to town in 2011, he was Gary Cooper at high noon. He's rounding up a posse. It's going to be different than the daily decades and he's going to make the hard decisions. He's going to chart a different course. He’s going to change the political culture. Now five years in, we all recognize that none of that was true but what was it like to actually work in the administration and deal with the mayor in addition to the members of city council? Faisal Khan: I don't know the mayor personally so I don't know what kind of man he is. I can only tell you from a professional standpoint that his leadership has been incredibly disappointing when it comes to ethics reform here in Chicago. Simple as that. I reached out to him numerous times over my four-year tenure and got radio silence. Back I brought him problems that I knew I couldn't address with city council and I needed him to lead, I needed him to intervene in the process and fix the problems. To me and to many of my colleagues, these were clear-cut issues that I don't think anyone would have argued about. I don't think ethics oversight is a partisan issue. I don't think I've ever seen a Democrat or Republican or anyone else in office stand up and say I'm not for good government and I'm not for cleaning up a system. Dan Proft: No, they don't stand up. They whisper it in the back of the room. Faisal Khan: Maybe so. But the fact that I got radio silence of four years from this administration spoke volumes, spoke louder than anything else and illustrated to me that unfortunately the words that were spoken by the mayor about ethics reform was just empty rhetoric. Because every opportunity the mayor had to in fact strengthen ethics oversight here in Chicago, it went the other direction. It weakened every single time. The ethics ordinance if you look at it, if you look at the changes that have gone through in the last three or four years it has been considerably weakened, weakened¸ weakened and bended more to the aldermen's where it's literally, it is a free-for-all. Dan Proft: Is it fair to say that Rahm Emanuel was complicit in the alderman essentially trying to slow walk your agency out of existence because I mean I read accounts and this was kind of on your way out the door, where you were personally financing the operation of your office because nobody would get back to you about your budget for the forthcoming fiscal year? Faisal Khan: We knew for a fact that our budget would expire by June of 2015, oh, sorry, June ’14, every year we knew that we could only run our term - we were a staff of maybe six or seven people, Dan, for an agency that - they envisioned we would take three or four complaints a year. By my second year, we were over 120 complaints a year against aldermen. People were coming out the woodwork to tell us about the problems they were having the city council. So we knew that we simply could not sustain the pace that we needed to sustain in order to be successful. So we knew that we needed staffing desperately, we needed bodies and we knew that even with the bodies, we would run out of a budget by June. We did. We ran out of budget by June and I had been deferring my salary up to that point as slow as I could in order to keep the agency going and try to spread the money out a little bit. So by June we had run out of the money and I had my salary left to either - to what to do with it. Take it for myself and close the office or defer the money to my staff, continue paying them because they were making much less than I was and keep the office open because we felt it was incredibly important and I made the latter decision. The office had to stay open. Alderman wanted me to close that door. City council want me to close that door. The mayor wanted me to close that door because he has his own agenda and I simply would not give in to that. I simply would not allow an agency as important as ours that had never existed before, never existed, and I knew was never going to exist again. I knew that. I knew that there would never be a Legislative Inspector General's office again. There was just no in that because I think I'd done what I was supposed to and they hated that idea. It was a clear choice to me. You know, as much as I needed salary too and to keep paying bills and doing what I needed, I wanted to keep the office open. I needed to keep these investigations going and I needed to keep the heat on the aldermen to make sure that they were doing what they're supposed to be doing. Dan Proft: But ultimately the doors closed? Faisal Khan: Ultimately, the doors still closed. My term ran out in November 2015 and that was the end and even though the mayor kept promising over and over and over again that it would never happen, the power transfer immediately, there’d be someone else running that. Never, never happened. It happened three to six months later when finally some of my power transferred to the Inspector General's office still with a great deal of limitations so again they weakened the ordinance and essentially there is no oversight. Dan Proft: So those complaints that you were getting, you know 120 a year or more, that was the beginning. Some of the alderman had said, well, you were going on fishing expeditions. You know, they were unsubstantiated complaint or they were complaints that weren’t of a serious level and it made it appear that there was more to investigate than there really was. How do you respond to that? Faisal Khan: That is a perfect example of why the system was so rigged. Aldermen knew and they knew because they wrote the law this way that I can't speak publicly about any investigation ever. I can’t confirm or deny the existence of an investigation. I can’t tell you that aldermen so and so was taking money from rom this person. I can't tell you which one is under investigation. I can’t tell you what they're under investigation for. So any alderman can go out there, Dan, stand up and make these statements like the one you just recited to me and they know that I will not stand up and repudiate that or refute it in anyway because I can't by law. So they set the system up in such a way that they can sit up and badmouth the Inspector General as much as they want knowing that I will never respond because by law I cannot. Dan Proft: Yeah, but now what about, I mean in terms of the outcomes of any investigations over four years, were there…? Faisal Khan: Even then I can’t talk about them publicly because our investigations are confidential. They went from me to the Board of Ethics. The Board of Ethics is under the same boundaries that I am. They cannot talk publicly. They can't even if they substantiate an allegation against an alderman or an elected official, Dan, they cannot publicly publish that alderman’s name. You will never know who was investigated. You will never know… Dan Proft: Unless it’s referred for a prosecution or some other adjudicative. Faisal Khan: Unless it gets public that way. Yep. You will never know. And the mayor had many opportunities to do something about it, did nothing about it and council certainly did nothing about it since they're the ones who designed the system in the first place. So that is the beauty of this conversation is that they knew that I would never respond to any of their accusations so they stood up and made as many accusations as they wanted. And this is not sour grapes here that I'm talking to you about. This is my frustrations coming forward and that's why Project 6 exists now. because we're no longer under those boundaries. That campaign finance investigation we just completed, where over 37 out of 50 alderman took illegal campaign contributions in 2015. We named names. We named where they got the donations from, how much they got it for, what legislation that that money was tied to or what vendor it was tied to lobbyists it was tied to, we can name names now finally. And that's exactly what I did and if you've seen any of the backlash to the report, they love to insult me personally, they insult my organization but no one's actually talking about the substance of the report. No one's actually refuting any of the allegations. Dan Proft: Well, you know as a lawyer, when the facts aren’t with you, attack your opponent. Faisal Khan: That's the Chicago way. Dan Proft: Well, yes and some have perfected it better than others. Faisal Khan: I agree. Dan Proft: Now when your office closed, when the Legislature Inspector General's office closed in the city, you did something else that was interesting and noteworthy. You whistled in the FBI to take your files because apparently you believe there was criminal wrongdoing that the FBI should pick up the ball and run with. I'm putting words in your mouth but I think that's a fair interpretation and the question is is that something that you believe, number one, and number two, do you expect to see some of the work that you did, the legwork you did, come to fruition in federal criminal prosecutions of sitting office holders in the near term? Faisal Khan: The short answer is yes. The short answer is we worked with law enforcement including the FBI and a number of different organizations in advancement of our investigations, criminal and otherwise. And so once we knew that… Dan Proft: So when will Rahm Emanuel be arrested? Faisal Khan: Once we knew that the doors were going to close, once we knew there was no turning back, once we knew that we weren't getting response from the mayor's office or any member of council, we knew that the end was near, that the sword of Damocles is going to drop. We had to make a decision and that decision was we have to protect the integrity of our investigations because the first thing that would’ve happened once I stepped out of that office with my staff, there’d be 15 aldermen lining up to get in the door to look through our files and look through our computers to see what exactly we were working on and what we knew about who we knew and what and when. Dan Proft: It was important I mean as an officer of the court to preserve chain of custody. Faisal Khan: It's not just chain of custody. It’s to preserve the integrity of every investigation that we were undergoing and it was also my duty and mandate to the complainants. These people finally had the courage to come forward – understand, Dan, that it wasn't like you and I could, you know, we can pick up the phone and called 911 tomorrow and say I think there's an alderman taking a bribe in an alleyway and sure, there’s a chance to cops will come out or something will happen. I couldn’t do that as Legislative Inspector General. If you wanted to file a complaint against alderman, you had to come in. You had to swear to your complaint under penalty of perjury. You had to sign your name to a document, your full name and address and eventually I had to turn that information over to the aldermen and so I can't even explain to you the chilling effect that that had on people who wanted to come in to file a complaint against an alderman. It's not like filing a complaint against a state elected official. Someone you never see or ever deal with or even a police officer because a police also deals with thousands of people and he's not going to, chances are he’s not going to remember you. Aldermen, I don't have to give the person's name to an alderman. They will recognize the fact pattern. Oh, that’s Joe Johnson who came in looking for this. These people knew that they were going to get retaliated against. And Chicago's history speaks to that. You know I think there is a perfect a reasonable belief that you will be retaliated against should you take on the system. And so these people, the ones that did come forward, these 120 people a year, who had the courage still to come forward, it was my obligation to protect them in any way I could because once they knew we were shutting down, panic set in as to was going to happen. Dan Proft: Well, sure. I mean I got into a Twitter war with my alderman and I am not allowed to go to Boss Bar anymore where he drinks. Faisal Khan: The power of the alderman. Dan Proft: But seriously, in terms of that it’s so interesting to me thinking about this and the whole controversy over Chicago police and police brutality issues. So on the one hand the alderman say you have to sign this affidavit under penalty of perjury like you described and on the other hand the same aldermen are saying with respect to police officers, no, no, no. We should have anonymous complaints. That should be fine. That's part of the whole Lori Lightfoot reform proposal. So here again you have political elites putting themselves above the standard of review as it pertains to even law enforcement. Faisal Khan: The hypocrisy is mind-blowing. It's absolutely mind-blowing. I don't know how else to describe it and I don't know how there isn’t a greater outrage about this. That not only did the aldermen shut down my office, an oversight agency of themselves that they mandated that no anonymous complaint can come in against an alderman and they came up with a myriad of improper excuses, superficial excuses for that yet they encourage complaints against police officers to come from any source anywhere. And I'm not in impugning the integrity of those complaints. I'm simply saying… Dan Proft: The standard. Faisal Khan: …what's good for the goose should be good for the gander. And it's again the history of Chicago where the aldermen or other elected officials in Illinois simply place themselves above the law. Dan Proft: And also the history of Chicago the problem with that, right? So I mean this is the Chicago Tribune famously opining when former fifth ward Alderman Hyde from Hyde Park Larry Bloom got pinched and went to prison. You know in Chicago even the reformers are on the take. Right? And so nothing has materially changed because you don't have the accountability mechanisms in place and when they want to present kind of a facade of an accountability mechanism, if somebody takes that seriously, then that somebody's ushered out the door. Faisal Khan: Ethics has got weaker. Something has changed with the aldermen in charge and this mayor re doing nothing about it. Ethics oversight it's got weaker and weaker and weaker and it continues to go down that path and that's why we started Project 6. Because there is such a significant void in the city of trust between the citizens and its government. Dan Proft: So tell me about Project 6 because this is a reference to the secret six from the Capone era. So the genesis of the name and then you know kind of the continuation about the work that you started at city hall. Faisal Khan: So my term ended as Inspector General and I thought about what I wanted to do. I think Alderman Joe Moore offered to buy me a ticket out of town. Dan Proft: That’s generous of him. Faisal Khan: It was. Dan Proft: He’s a bit of a spendthrift so a nice offering. Faisal Khan: He is and he tends to take taxpayer money anyway so I thought… Dan Proft: Yeah, that’s right. Yeah, right. I would’ve actually been buying you a ticket out of town. Faisal Khan: So the choice is clear. It was either let's call it a day and the proverbial tail between your legs and leave or stick around and I'm honest with you, I had a bad taste in my mouth. This is not the way it's supposed to go and whether it's my own arrogance coming through or my own frustration, whatever you describe it as, I simply was not going to leave Chicago in a worse place than when I found it and that might be again incredibly naive and arrogant of me but I couldn't do it and the people that I talk to in that time between starting Project 6 and ending as Legislative Inspector General was that same message, that they didn't want that either. They wanted to see the improvements. There are complainants who filed complaints who are such ardent supporters of us and they did not want to see this end. They did not want oversight to be buried yet again in Chicago. Dan Proft: So you're kind of a last to the mast kind of guy. I mean I like it because look I've been here for 24 years in the political arena and you know, I should be playing golf in Arizona like my neurology doctor friends at this point in my life. You know, it's one of those things – I don't know if, have you ever seen the movie Office Space? Faisal Khan: Yeah. Dan Proft: Yeah, so Michael Bolton? And Michael says well if you hate your name so much, why don't you change it? And he said well, I didn't have any problem with my name until that assclown started selling millions of records. He should change his name. He's the one who sucks. Well, I feel the same way about these people here across the partisan divide by the way because of course you've got a lot of Republicans that are corrupt and just as bad as any of the Democrats in charge. But why should I leave? I love Chicago. They're the ones who suck. They should leave. Faisal Khan: Well, I’m also kind of like the guy got moved into the basement, right? Because they kept pushing me away, taking my stapler, I’m that guy. I got my desk moved into the basement. Dan Proft: What’s happening? What’s happening, Faisal? Faisal Khan: Yeah, and I did it the polite way for the longest time and I’m like, okay, I can work with you, okay, I can work with you until they finally turned the lights out on me which is exactly what happened. They cut off the paychecks and then he came back and burned the building down. And that's not what I'm doing. Dan Proft: No. Faisal Khan: But proverbially I wish I can because that is what Project 6 wants to do. Is to fix the system here in Chicago, that we start fresh and we rebuild this and we do it the right way. Dan Proft: So are you kind of essentially, is this going like a shadow Inspector General's office where you're soliciting complaints, anonymous tips and then you're investigating them? You don't have administrative subpoena power anymore like you did at the actual Legislative Inspector General's office but you still have people that are experienced and can track down these matters or what's the kind of angle of incidence to prepare information that you can level up? Faisal Khan: I think your analysis is somewhat correct. I wouldn't necessarily say we're a shadow of the OIG. There's a great deal of limitations that the OIG has that we don't have in terms of the same rules that I had problems with, they’re still in place over there and there are a great deal limitations that the Inspector General's office needs to go through. What I think is going on in Chicago, Dan, is that there's an inherent distrust of government by the citizens. Dan Proft: Yes, well founded. Faisal Khan: Well founded and under many circumstances. Even the OIG's office. I think you can see that in the media. You've seen it and commentary and so we see it in a protest on our streets. We see it on so many different levels and there's a void which is what I was talking about earlier and I want to fill that void. I want people to be able to come forward and know that they're going to be protected, that we're going to do our best to protect them, that we're not under the same obligations, that I'm not turning over my investigative files on aldermen because I have to. I'm not giving up their names because I'm a government entity and I have to. I’m no longer a government entity. We're here to fight for the citizens of Chicago and I don't mean to sound corny or clichéd but we're doing something that's never been done before and there's other organizations out there, Dan like BGA and Civic Fed. Dan Proft: Yeah, yeah. But not so investigative like what you’re talking about. Faisal Khan: They're more policy-driven I would say and we're more investigative-driven. We are corruption seekers and corruption busters. We are we are looking to identify the real problems here in Chicago and take immediate action. Dan Proft: So many of us walk and talk about these things in abstraction. What we’re talking about is look, I go to my alderman, I'm trying to open a restaurant in X ward and I say hey, I got to come see you because I need a liquor license for this Chinese restaurant I'm trying to open and the alderman says, no problem, that's X amount of dollars to get the license through Department of Revenue and it's $5,000 the campaign contribution to me. You want to hear from that guy that's getting shaken down. Faisal Khan: I want him to walk out, pick up the phone, call Project 6 at that moment. I'll have an investigator available to talk to him and then we will take it from there. I want that conversation immediately. They can contact us on Facebook at Facebook/secretsix. They can go to our website thesecretsix.com. They can Tweet at us. They can find us. We are everywhere. We plan to be everywhere. We want to handle those problems because enough is enough in this city. People are sick and tired. Part of the problem, Dan, is that Chicagoans don't know what real government is supposed to be like. They haven't seen... Dan Proft: Nobody's lived long enough to see it. Faisal Khan: That's not meant to be condescending or insulting. It is simply that they've accepted the system the way it is. Dan Proft: Did you ever read Gus Russo's book The Outfit? Faisal Khan: Yeah. Dan Proft: Yeah. I mean that goes all the way back to the incorporation of the city which was kind of a corrupt deal in and of itself. Faisal Khan: If a New Yorker walked into his alderman’s office and had that conversation that you just described, I think New Yorker would reach over and punch the guy in the face or something else will come out of it. To give you an example, in New York just happened maybe four or five months ago in the winter, the Fire Commissioner used his own firemen to dig his driveway clean for him. Both newspapers called for his immediate termination from his employment. We see far worse going on in the city, far worse and yet unfortunately there are not enough calls for the ending of the abusive practices that go on here because again it's like… Dan Proft: What about the proactive stuff because you've got all these various arms of government and you've got areas that have been replete with patronage you know everybody's idiot cousin gets a job at O'Hare or at the park district. What about actually looking at institutions that are notoriously, infamously corrupt and zeroing in on them? Faisal Khan: Fantastic. We’re looking at anything and everything. We are initiating our own investigations. We are taking tips from citizens. I want as many whistleblowers to come forward as humanly possible. I genuinely believe that people are in situations they don't want to be in, don't feel comfortable in and/or know of people who are getting jobs and promotions above them that they shouldn’t be getting just because like you said somebody's nephew needs an internship, somebody's niece needs a job and somebody knows the mayor or knows somebody who knows somebody and here we are. That you're reporting to someone far less qualified than you and only got the job because of their last name. That has to end and the only way it can end is if we continuously identify that practice. Dan Proft: There was much touted during, this was maybe a couple years ago now. But Michael Shakman, Shakman saying the Shakman Decree is no longer necessary at the city level because Rahm has substantial reformed hiring practices so politics no longer plays a role in hiring and firing. Faisal Khan: I respect the court and their determination. I would say that these problems tend to repeat themselves and this mayor even if we gave him the credit for that, this mayor is not going to be here forever to maintain that and I think there's enough evidence and if you talk to employees of the city who will be able to come and tell you that this problem is never going away and as Inspector General I saw it. I received complaints about it and so this notion that patronage has now ended in Chicago is simply just not a notion. It unfortunately isn't based in reality and so while I can understand it from the cost that it was inflicting upon the city because we have to talk about that, the amount of money that was being paid out for an independent monitor to come in to monitor all the hiring, that can be fixed if we have a strong administration that says we will continue some of the practices that the court imposed on us or the Inspector General reviewed and there's ways to do that but I think you and I agree we haven't seen any of that. We haven't seen what really needs to be done or the stuff that we have seen is simply window dressing just like my job was supposed to be window dressing. Chicago's great at window dressing and I think we've seen enough window dressing for this lifetime. Dan Proft: And a message to Chicago voters, not to put too fine a point on it, but the Chicago residents who are fatalistic or apathetic or afraid to some extent legitimately so and have just – you know, and this is what breeds the kleptocracy and extends it, is people thinking they're not in charge of their destiny and they don't think they can improve their conditions. What do you say to them? Faisal Khan: I only want to speak to the people who aren't so jaded anymore. There are people unfortunately that are so jaded in this city whether based on longevity or bad experiences that I will simply not get through to them and I respect that. I understand that. So my comments are only going to be directed to people who are still willing to listen and care enough to listen. And what I would say to them is I'm not here to blow smoke. As a New Yorker would say, you know, to blow smoke somewhere. I'm not here to sell you a bill of goods that I can't come through on. I'm going to tell you truth and I'm going to tell you the problems in this city. Project 6 is going to tell you about the problems in this city but I can't do a damn thing about it without you. Without you and your anger, your interest, even your money if you can donate, you know, to help us keep going. Project 6 needs to keep going but until you take us seriously and take these issues in this city seriously, this is all a waste of time. You have to start taking this stuff seriously because you have to understand that it affects you. Your property taxes just went up. A lot of money across the city. Dan Proft: Utility tax is coming next. Faisal Khan: Utility taxes. You’re paying a cloud tax now on your Netflix and everything else. There’s reasons for that and the reason s is your gross mismanagement of your money over the last 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 50 years in the city of Chicago and it's not changing and that some of that is due to mismanagement, some of that is due to corruption, some of that is due to criminality. But understand that every decision that's been made in council and by this mayor and any mayor for that matter affects you somehow whether you see it or not. Until you take the time to be a part of that process and understand it, it's going to continue and so I want to work with you. I want to make this city better for you and the only way I can do it is if you want the same thing. And if you want the same thing, pick up the phone and call me. Call my office. Visit us. Work with us. Give us the information we need to do the things that need to be done in this city. And then I'll sit down with people like Dan Proft. I’ll sit down with other places and I will get this message out and we can finally change a culture that is so desperate in need, does so desperately need it. Chicago will be the place where you do want to live and you do want to stay. Dan Proft: He Is Faisal Khan. He’s the 21st century Eliot Ness. Hopefully you and your six can accomplish with the secret six accomplished against Al Capone. Faisal Khan, the President and CEO of Project 6, former Legislative Inspector General for the city of Chicago, former Inspector General for the City of New York under both mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg. Faisal Khan, thanks so much for joining us on Against the Current. Appreciate it. Faisal Khan: Thank you, sir.

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What SCOTUS' Decision In TX Abortion Law Case Means For Women's Health And Constitutional Rights

George Mason University Law Professor Helen Alvare joined Dan & Amy to discuss the most significant Supreme Court decision on abortion since Casey v. Planned Parenthood more than two decades ago.

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Dan Proft: Dan and Amy, so a couple of important decisions chanted on by the Supreme Court yesterday. The most impactful of which is striking down a Texas law, that was signed in the law by Governor Rick Perry, that would do two things: require abortionist to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion facility in which they work; number one, and number two, it would require that abortion facilities comply to the same standards, in terms of safety and cleanliness and the like, of ambulatory surgical centers. Is that extreme? Amy Jacobson: So it’s the same standards if you’re getting elective surgery, such as augmentations or facelifts. That’s the same level of standard. Dan Proft: Right, so would you want medical facilities like that inspected to ensure that they were safe. Would you want somebody that engages invasive surgery to have admitting privileges at the hospital, to say something about their competence at their job? Apparently not; apparently that is an undue burden, so said a majority of the court in a 5-3 decision – thanks Anthony Kennedy once again. He’s more of an op-ed writer than a Supreme Court Justice, who engages in legal opinions, but at least we weren’t treated to his thinking on the topic; he just signed onto the majority. And this is being hailed as the most important decision on the topic since Roe v. Wade. It’s being celebrated. It’s odd, it’s morbid the way that it’s celebrated on the left. Let me give you an example. The Daily Show tweet, after the decision was rendered: “Celebrate the #SCOTUS ruling! Go knock someone up in Texas!” Now I know that purports to be a comedy show, but I think it also is an unintentional insight into the attitude of the left. Once upon of time I thought that pro-choice people just wanted safe, legal and rare. Now they don’t want safe and they don’t want rare, they just want legal underneath circumstances. And by the way, let’s have a reminder of who we’re talking about here, particularly with respect to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion service provider. Dispense even even with the whole illegally trafficking in baby body parts for a minute. Remember what happened to Susan G. Komen Foundation a few years ago? They have been giving a lot of money to Planned Parenthood. Amy Jacobson: Right. Dan Proft: Susan G. Komen Foundation; you know, pink, ribbons and all the marathons. Amy Jacobson: I’m very familiar with the month of October. Dan Proft: Everyone knows this is one of the highest profile breast cancer research non for profits, right? So they decide to stop providing funding for Planned Parenthood for breast cancer research because Planned Parenthood wasn’t doing any breast cancer research. Seemed like a good reason. The reaction was Susan G. Komen was treated by Cecile the Lion just like I would be; as the enemy. And they went on the offence, they attacked the Susan G. Komen Foundation, they dried up funding. Susan G. Komen Foundation saw a 22% decline in their revenue that year because of Planned Parenthood’s assault. Tells you something about Planned Parenthood; tells you something about the motifs underlying this issue. But for more on the legal reasoning behind the Supreme Court’s decision, we’re happy to be joined again by Helen Alvare; she is professor of law at George Mason University school of law. Helen, thanks for joining us again, appreciate it. Helen Alvare: Thanks for having me. Dan Proft: So explain to us the undue burden standard that was set forward in the Planned Parenthood v. Casey case in 1992, which is the standard the court used, and they said, “Yes, the Texas law presents an undue burden”. Helen Alvare: Here’s the thing; nobody could actually explain the undue burden standard to you, because the court changes its meaning from time to time. Dan Proft: There you. Helen Alvare: The language of it on itself – undue burden – and another way they refrained it is a substantial obstacle to a woman receiving an abortion. Even in its first iteration, which is the 1992 Supreme Court decision, which was Planned Parenthood versus Casey, then the governor of Pennsylvania, the descent said “What does this mean? Nobody really knows what it means”. What the court said yesterday, and this is Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt case, was that if clinics closed as a result of being required to conform to the standards of other surgery centers, if they were being required to conform to the standards that, by the way, other surgery centers also have for their doctors, they want to know that the doctors that they have during abortions are the kind of doctors who a hospital would give an accreditation within 30 miles, because those would be doctors that people would judge to be good doctors, doctors who would be familiar with others in the medical community, such that if something terrible happened to one of their patients, they could quickly be in touch with the local hospital, know who to refer the woman to or themselves be able to take care of her. So these regulations the court held yesterday are an undue burden or substantial obstacle, why? Well, the court claimed without actually having the proof that the regulations that Texas passed were responsible for the closing of a bunch of Texas clinics. It’s quite possible, but it’s also possible that the drastic decline over the last number of years in abortion providers, and the drastic ramping up of the size of Planned Parenthood facilities was responsible for that. We don’t know. But the court just assumed it was responsible. Number two, they said that the existing clinics probably wouldn’t have enough capacity to handle the number of women in Texas who want abortions. Couple problems with that; again the court did not require Planned Parenthood and the other complainants to actually prove that, and it turns out Justice Aleto in his descent actually went and did the numbers and showed that the clinics that existed very likely had the capacity to do the high number of abortions that Texas still has, because Planned Parenthood is now building these mega-clinics to handle higher capacity. They set longer wait times, maybe less attention, this in itself constitutes a constitutional undue burden to women receiving abortions. What they didn’t countenance at all – and this is the underlying rationale for these regulations – is this: we know there are moral hazards in the abortion industry. And it’s not just that Dr. Gosnell in Philadelphia was basically killing newborns and also killing their moms through negligence in medical practice. We know many clinics, many have been cited, for pretty drastic failures in healthcare. There’s a moral hazard in the situation where desperate women, in an industry that’s often cash, are coming into clinics where doctors stand to make an enormous amount of money in the situation of these desperate women. There’s a moral hazard that and it makes a lot of sense that a state would say, “In the interest of protecting the women, and frankly, very frankly, in the interest of making you doctors who we don’t really trust” – by the way, the vast majority are not even OBGYN’s; they don’t know what they’re doing with a mother that is pregnant – “We’re going to set high standards for you. They’re not going to be higher than other surgery, but you’re going to have to at least meet those standards, because the moral hazards at your place are so high”. But the Supreme Court acting very much like a legislature in the abortion arena is basically scrutinizing every state’s response to this. I don’t think the court would do the same if there were severe regulations with banks or pharmaceutical companies that have injured their clients, but abortion is always treated as the exception. Amy Jacobson: So Helen, before this Texas state law passed, there were 32 abortion clinics, then it would drop down to 19. What happens now? Did those abortion clinics reopen, or is it a process? What do they have to go through? Helen Alvare: Well, isn’t that an interesting question, because in fact, probably many of those abortions clinics won’t open at all because already the numbers of abortions in the United States were declining. People are just having fewer abortions in the first place. The case for abortion has gone done. It’s wonderful, and the pro-life movement can take a lot of credit for that. The second reason is because those clinics were losing business in a drastic fashion to these Planned Parenthood mega-clinics, which could take, really, not just hundreds, but thousands more clients a year. So I think what you’re going to see – and this is something we should check in on six months from now – will these clinics reopen, now that they don’t have to obey commonsense medical standards. I think you’re going to find that they won’t, because these laws may not have been the reason for their closure in the first place. One other thing I think I just have to point out, Planned Parenthood bellyached in the case and afterwards that they were going to have to spend this extraordinary amount of money to bring their clinics up to these standards. Number one, that should kind of freak out your average female clients at Planned Parenthood, but number two, contrast that with Planned Parenthood’s willingness to spend, I think it was 6 million dollars on the last election cycle and 12 million on this one, I think for Hillary Clinton and other candidates like her. So they’ll be able to spend money on political races, but not on health and safety race. I think that tells the whole story. Dan Proft: I want to refer to something that Richard Posner, of course, on the 7th circuit court of appeals wrote recently – and it speaks to this issue; it even goes beyond the matter of abortion, to legislators in robes, which is what your suggestion occurred here as seems to be a recurring problem – he writes, “I see absolutely no value to a judge of spending decades, years, months, weeks, day, hours, minutes, or seconds studying the Constitution, the history of its enactment, its amendments, and its implementation. Eighteenth-century guys, however smart, could not foresee the culture, technology, etc., of the 21st century. Which means that the original Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the post–Civil War amendments (including the 14th), do not speak to today.” That’s a rather startling statement to make from somebody who’s otherwise, in some circles, a well regarded court of appeals jurist, and I wonder, as a professor of law at a university, what your response to that is. Helen Alvare: For me, I regard the attempt to follow the Constitution as it’s written as respect for democracy. If judges want to make stuff up out of whole cloth, this is disrespectful for democracy. If we have a constitution, it’s not unamendable. If what you want as a right is not in the Constitution, it doesn’t mean you can’t get the thing done. It means you can pass a piece of legislation on it, which requires actual democracy and influent and electing particular legislators, and convincing your fellow men and women citizens to pass the law. Just because the Constitution doesn’t give you the candy that you want, doesn’t mean you don’t have good democratic possibilities for passing good laws. And if you go to the Supreme Court and say, “I want to find X in the Constitution”, and they say it’s not there, you still, if you want it, as a constitutional right, have the opportunity to amend the constitution. I think where we are now , I hate to be talking about what everyone’s talking, BREXIT, but they’re coming out today saying “The disconnect between the elite”, people who have the kinds of educations that we’re seeing on the Supreme Court, right, Harvard and Yale put a period on it, “The disconnect between people with dramatic money, the disconnect between corporations who are threatening states with loss of jobs if they don’t obey the corporation’s opinion on gender or marriage, etc., the disconnect between the well-off and the poor, between the privileged and the less privileged, the elitely educated and the working man and woman, it’s creating some very serious social effects”. The Supreme Court continuing to find what five people want in the Constitution is only going to fuel a kind of populist anger, and a kind of almost irrational revolt; in some cases it will be just rational commonsense being attempted to be put into the public debate. It’s a very scary pattern for five human beings to be able to tell 360 million Americans that something they have invented out of whole cloth is the last word. That’s what we have in abortion law, that’s what we have in marriage law, it’s what we have in cases of deciding about federal power to pass certain laws in the Constitution. What Posner is saying, I think, is fundamentally problematic. We should know what we think the founders meant by the Constitution, and how Americans have actually abided by. It’s not that we can’t say the country has lived in a particular way for 200 and some years and people understand the Constitution this way, okay, so be it. But five justices making stuff up, I really think that’s going to lead in an even greater risk in a democratic culture than you’ve seen so far. Dan Proft: She is Helen Alvare, professor of law at George Mason University school of law. Helen, thanks for joining us again, appreciate it. Helen Alvare: Thanks for having me.

Related Content

Pro-Life Leader: We’re Changing Minds Based on Science

"We need pregnancy resource centers because if a woman decides to choose life, what does Planned Parenthood  have to offer her?" 

On this episode of ATC, Dan Proft sits down with Emily Zender, Executive Director of Illinois Right to Life, who has emerged as one of the pro-life movement’s important young leaders.

Zender’s group focuses on millennials and educating them on the science of life.

Zender also notes a change in the pro-life, pro-choice debate in that the pro-choice side has withdrawn debate all together instead focusing on using their partners in the media and academia to stifle the pro-life viewpoint.

Zender also explains how the Planned Parenthood undercover videos have changed the policy landscape and the available mission field.

All of this and how abortion hurts women with Illinois Right to Life’s Emily Zender.

View full transcript


Dan Proft: Thank you for joining us on another edition of Against the Current coming to you live on top of the Skyline Club from Downtown Chicago; our guest this week is Emily Zender; she’s the Executive Director of Illinois Right to Life, which is housed in Downtown Chicago. Emily, thanks so much for being with us, appreciate it. Emily Zender: Thank you for having me. Dan Proft: So 43 years after Roe v. Wade. Where do you think the pro-life movement is today, particularly from the perspective of someone who enters about mid-point in that 43 year period? Emily Zender: The pro-life movement has done an incredible job on keeping abortion on the front page. So for 43 years abortion has been talked about. The issue has never been set to rest. And what we’re seeing is in the past 4 years we’ve had more laws passed that are pro-life than ever before. We’ve seen a stronger generation that is pro-life, because my generation, we never had the option to live in a world without abortion. And we’ve seen it hurt our friends, we’ve seen our siblings missing, or hurt our mothers, and that affects us in a very personal way with 1/3 of our generation missing. So this generation is more pro-life than ever, and we are closer than we have ever been to ending abortion. Dan Proft: But you have a generation on college campuses that is unable to distinguish between men and women. And so, if they’re unable to see gender, or at least they pretend to be, how are they able to understand that, as one of the tropes of the pro-life movement, that abortion hurts women? Emily Zender: Well, they see that it hurts women because of their personal experiences and at Illinois Right to Life we receive phone calls from women who are looking for healing and help, and women share with us that they can’t use the dryer in the bathroom because it makes the same noise that the machine made during the abortion. They tell us that the perfume that the doctor wore, the song that they heard in the waiting room sparks nightmares for them. They have covered up the pain with alcohol abuse, drugs, and one said, “I stayed in an abusive relationship because I thought that I deserved it”. This pain is very real, and it is experienced by this generation, which is why they struggle on some social issues, but abortion is becoming a very important topic to them. Dan Proft: Well, so why do we not hear their stories more often in, like you see, media and even online, where it’s kind of the wild-west? Why aren’t we hearing their stories? Is it fear, is it shame? Certainly, in a lot of circles, particularly in the left dominated legacy media, abortion isn’t just okay, it’s celebrated, so why do we not hear the stories that you’re talking about so much in terms of people saying “My experience wasn’t something to celebrate”? Emily Zender: There are a lot of stories that are out, but we do need to see more making it into the mainstream media. Organizations like Silent No More is an organization of women across the United States who come to this organization for healing and then they go and they tell their stories; and they tell them in public at the March for Life in Washington DC and the media doesn’t cover that. They write articles and they don’t get published. So there is a group of women who are hurting and suffering from this, a large amount of women, that their voices are not being heard. But you can find them in certain areas, like Project Rachel, is the Catholic Church’s healing program; it’s the largest program in the country that helps women heal, and they have places where women go and they tell their stories, and the stories are heartbreaking. Illinois Right to Life, for 48 years, the stories that come to us are heartbreaking. But abortion is a very personal and delicate issue. And so, when we’re counseling women we don’t encourage them to rush out and tell everybody. We want to focus on the woman first and make sure she’s doing okay. Dan Proft: Tactically, as again, a young person that’s entered this movement, recently, but has been involved for a number of years now; now he’s in the leadership position; what are your frustrations with the pro-life movement? One of the things I’ve seen over a kind of 20 years in politics, why the pro-life movement isn’t as effective as some other issue focused advocacy movements, like say gun-rights, for example, is it seems to be a bit defused, there seems to be sometimes a struggle for different pro-life organizations that have a different focus in this larger umbrella of advancing the notion of the sanctity of life from conception to natural death, where they’re siloed, and they’re not working even within your own sector, much less trying to broaden the reach to other sectors where there may be complementary interest. Is that a frustration, and if it’s not, some of the other frustrations you had that you’d be willing to voice. Emily Zender: I think the pro-life movement has done a great job of trying to overcome that kind of hurdle that you’ve talked about; the organizations across the country are working together much more efficiently, much more focused. I think the problem that it runs into is that abortion is so personal that a lot of passion gets involved. And so that can, at times, stand between this cohesive perfect unit, as the NRA, as you’ve mentioned. I think one of the frustrations for me with the pro-life movement is we need to focus more on adoption, and not just in the sense that we need to talk about it more, but we need to talk about it appropriately, we need to talk about it properly, and then we need to be out there adopting. There are children in foster homes who need loving homes, and we can’t sit here and say that “I’m pro-life and I believe that you shouldn’t chose abortion” if we’re not going to be there for those children who need those families. And I know incredible families who have adopted. I know some wonderful people, but we need more of them. It’s scary, but I think the pro-life movement needs to really step up more in the role of adoption. Dan Proft: Yeah, as someone who is adopted I would certainly approve of that. I don’t know if my parents would still be proponents of adoption after 44 years of experience with me, but you know, you roll the dice with kids. The thing with adoption, how we talk about it, how we promote it. What is it that we’re not doing that we should be? Emily Zender: We need to talk about adoption in the loving sense that it is. You don’t put a child up for adoption, you place a child in a loving home. And that’s what we see from our students when we’re talking to high school and college students; they say adoption is wonderful, they love their adopted friends, but then when they talk about it in a personal way, they would say “I would never place my child in an adoptive home”. So there’s kind of a disconnection where they say “I have to raise my child, adoption’s not an option for me”. Dan Proft: Very much like when they say “I’m personally pro-life, I would never get an abortion”, while 1.5 million people are getting abortions; so somebody’s doing it. Emily Zender: Yes, absolutely. So we need to let them know that it’s okay. It’s not anything negative. Just like I can be a great mom, but I can never replace a mom and a dad, or I’m just not ready to parent yet. Those are very real concerns. And saying “Let’s put this child with a home who can raise this child in a loving wonderful way, that I could do, to an extent, but couldn’t do as well as them”. Dan Proft: What about to the hurdles to adopting in the state of Illinois and nationally? You hear about a lot of couples – I know couples that are in the pro-life movement that have looked overseas to adopt because of the struggles to wait through the bureaucracy to affined children that the birthmother wants to place them in a loving home, as you say, and we’ve seen the incidents of adoption decline as a result. Emily Zender: Yeah, you know, to be frank, the government needs to get out of the way, because if a family wants to accept and love a child in their home and grow their family, then the government should be all for that, should support that. So we have made some strides in the past about making adoption more accessible for families, and let me be clear, we do a great job at adopting children who are newborn. It’s the children in the foster system that we need to focus more on, and those are the ones that the pro-life movement needs to really come and continue to adopt through the foster system as well. Dan Proft: Is this an example where the pro-life movement and, frankly, the discussion of abortion and adoption and these related issues has matured over the past 40 years, or do you still find generally that people are – most people who don’t want to deal with it because it’s a difficult topic, it’s a personal topic – they just kind of cover themselves, depending on their perspective, by biting one of the two binary choices? It’s a woman’s body, it’s her right to do what she wants with it, end of story, or it’s child, and the child deserves protection, end of story, and those are my positions, I’m just going to wave that flag and that’s all I really have to say about it. Emily Zender: Yeah. There’s so many different ways to be pro-life, and I think what this generation that is coming into the leadership positions now is really trying to bring to the conversation is that being pro-life is not just about being against abortion; it’s about being pro-life to the core and you are going to go out and lovingly support that abortion clinic worker that wants to come out of the abortion industry; it’s about loving those women who have had abortions, not condemning them, it’s about being there for people who are struggling with the decision of “Do I keep this child? Do I have an abortion?” So we’re really pushing that conversation to be much deeper than to be solely about abortion. I think that this is where it will continue to move, and also, it’s not just about the moment when she chooses life, or when she chooses the abortion; it’s about what happens afterwards as well, and the pro-life movement is becoming much better about saying “We need to support her through that pregnancy. We need to be able to be there for her, and we need to be able to let her know that she can do this after the pregnancy, not just right after”. Dan Proft: And part of that is maybe raising the profile – although it’s a bit of a double-edge sword because of the other side, and targeting for discrediting and so forth, but raising the profile as crisis pregnancy centers and other organizations that actually do the work that you’re talking about that provide resources for women who have a pregnancy that presents challenges to them in terms of “How am I going to do this? I don’t have a support network, I don’t have a family that can help me, I’m kind of on my own, the father has left, so I need clothes, I need diapers, I need shelter, I need a job, all of those things, and this is where Crisis Pregnancy Centers have intervened, and there’s dozens throughout the state of Illinois. Emily Zender: There’re actually over 100 in Illinois, and I have to say that the people that work at Pregnancy Resource Centers are some of the most loving, supportive and helpful people. Dan Proft: Is that also – you know, we get into how we frame things – I say Crisis Pregnancy Centers, CPC, which maybe is an old construct; you said Pregnancy Resource Centers; and is that maybe the language that we need to be careful too. This could be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be a crisis. That connotes different things, and a Pregnancy Resource Centers says “Hey, there’re all these resources here for you to help you; that’s what we’re here, to help you, not pass judgment on you on one way or another”. Emily Zender: Exactly. We don’t want to project onto that woman that you should be in a crisis to come here. What it is, is it’s a resource for women whether you have decided in a complete bringing of your conscience that you’re not going to have an abortion. If you’re in a pregnancy, you need support. That’s what these Pregnancy Resource Centers are for. And I think that the other side, the pro-abortion side, does a huge injustice to women by attacking Pregnancy Resource Centers, because if a woman decides to chose life, then what’s planned-parenthood able to offer her? And that’s where these Pregnancy Resource Centers come into play. And if they really support women then they should be trumpeting through the rooftops the great work of these Pregnancy Resource Centers. Dan Proft: And that’s an important distinction, because you just mentioned earlier, we’re talking about the Pregnancy Resource Centers for women that choose to have their children, but for women who have had an abortion there’s also a pro-life play; there’re pro-life resources devoted there, and also people perhaps forget the Norma McCorvey – Roe, in Roe v. Wade, went from being a plaintiff in the case to being a pro-life activist, so she had a little bit of an epiphany in her life as well. People’s opinions can change, imagine that; particularly through experience. And so, the pro-life movement perhaps seen as – I think Pope John Paul II essentially made this reference – as a hospital to help repair people who have been hurt by abortion and perhaps bad choices in life – which we all make – rather than as just a movement that is passing judgment saying you’re good or you’re bad, or this was good and this was bad, and that’s all we have to say on the topic. Those are very different things, and it seems that there’s a bit of education that needs to happen writ large so that people understand the distinction, and, frankly, what one side is doing versus planned-parenthood and their ilk are doing. Emily Zender: I have to say that that is such an important piece, is that we have to love in our words, in our actions, and the way that we talk about this has such a bit impact. When I give talks, it always blows me away that people will come up to me afterwards and pull me aside and privately tell me things that they haven’t told their family or their closest friends or maybe no one. And they share these heart wrenching stories saying “I had a late term abortion” and they cry, on the spot, right there. It’s because when you talk and when you show women that they deserve love and they deserve to feel whole again after that abortion, then that’s when we can welcome them and pull them into the movement. It’s not by sitting here, saying that “You had an abortion, you should be ashamed of it”. No, it’s by telling them that “We know this hurt you, and you can come talk to us about it”. Dan Proft: Speaking of dealing with shibboleth associated with all of these issues, you know, it’s a woman’s body; as a man, I have nothing to say about it and I have really no role to play, other than holding up my end, if it’s my child. What do you say to that kind of - I kind of refer to this as the cop out argument for men – dinkish pseudo-feminism where I’m so enlightened, I’m not going to pass judgment on a woman’s choice, so I’m just going to retreat and pretend that nothing that is done with respect to life has an impact on me, or I have any responsibility in that space. Emily Zender: I can say, that’s completely out of line, because first of all, it’s in a man’s nature to care for and to protect women and children. He shouldn’t by any means reject that or say “I’m not going to even think about that”. It should be encouraged. Secondly, the most heart wrenching phone call we get to Illinois Right to Life is when it’s a young man who says it’s my child that’s being aborted; my girlfriend’s having an abortion, tell me what I can do, and I’ll just say, “There’s nothing, there’s nothing legally that you can do”. And one gentleman, he was 19 and he was pro-choice up until that morning when he found out it was his baby about to be aborted. So suddenly, when it becomes personal, it doesn’t always become a man’s issue, because if it is in fact a child, and science says it is, then that man should be doing everything he can to protect the life of that unborn child. And women who have abortions, the studies show, women tell, in our experience, that it hurts them. So I could never recommend abortion for one of my friends, just like men should never recommend abortion for someone they love, because the hurt and pain that it’s going to cost them. Dan Proft: So, as you think about the baby boomers exiting the stage and genexers like me and younger generations like you, what are the new challenges that you are facing as you go around, particularly talking to high school students in terms of understanding, or even paying any attention to this issue, because on the political discourse, on both sides, frankly, maybe with the exception of what happened since those Planned Parenthood undercover videos which we’ll get to in a second, but we’re all supposed to not talk about the social issues. It’s all just about dollars and cents, it’s about the economy. The two are completely disconnected and nobody used to have any social agenda or position on social issues, because people recoil from them and so there’s not a national discourse on the topic. Emily Zender: I think what we have to be really careful is that we don’t get caught up in this, “Well, that’s just my opinion, but for you it may be different”. That’s not an appropriate stance to have on really important issues in society. So that’s what I think is going to be a struggle for this generation, especially for the next generation coming in, is that really saying, “No, it’s okay to offend people. If me saying abortion is wrong and it murders the unborn child, and it hurts women”, then we should have the confidence to be able to say that. Dan Proft: But you’re running into a headwind with the moral agnosticism that exists. We see it from the redefinition of marriage and the family to now the bathroom policy; that’s a lot to unwind and to rewind, isn’t it? Emily Zender: It is, but the thing that we go back to is science, and all the science supports the pro-life movement. And it’s supportive of our values, it’s supported of the unborn child, the woman, feminism supports the pro-life side. All of these things support pro-life, so we shouldn’t have any reservations sitting back and saying, “No, this is right. This is not just my opinion, this is right”. Dan Proft: And so, in a society that is less and less church going, you’re suggesting that it’s not faith that’s going to bring us back, it’s science, or it’s a combination of the two, or it’s different messaging to different audiences. Emily Zender: I think, no matter what the audience is, it’s always science because, as faithful Christians and Catholics, they will say all truth points to God; so science points to God. But when you look at science, it answers every question; every single pro-choice argument that is presented, science can argue. Dan Proft: How does science answer the question, does life begin at conception? Emily Zender: It is undisputed in the medical community that it is. Life begins at conception, so you can pick up any textbook and it will say, over and over again, that life begins at conception. That at fertilization, that’s when life begins. Dan Proft: And so, when you have these talks to high school students or to younger people, in their late teens and early 20s, what are the questions they’re asking, what is the pushback they’re giving? Emily Zender: They want to know that if it’s a woman’s body, how can I tell a woman what to do with her body? And that’s pretty the typical question that we get. A lot of them too, we find, don’t understand the science of the unborn child at the moment. So at 3 weeks, the heart is beating, at 16 weeks, the child can hiccup in the womb, 20 weeks, the child can feel the pain of being dismembered by the abortion. They don’t know any of this, and it actually shocks their teachers. It’s kind of funny to see them say, “Oh, we had no idea”. But as they start to understand that, then we go back and talk about, well, is it a woman’s body? Well, if it is a woman’s body, then we have to say that a woman, when she’s pregnant has two heads and two noses and four arms, and that kind of gets to the ridiculousness of teaching that it is a woman’s body. So those are a lot of the questions from high school students, the typical ones that you hear Planned Parenthood saying over and over again. Dan Proft: And so, how important, speaking of revelatory moments, how important have the undercover videos that were produced – captured is a better way to put it – by the Center for Medical Progress, David Daleiden and his Center for Medical Progress, the 11 videos they released over the last year, kind of presenting what Planned Parenthood says in their own words, what Planned Parenthood does, versus what federal and state law requires in terms of regulating abortion. How important have those videos been in changing the conversation and changing perception, particularly as you go down the age demographic scale? Emily Zender: I think the country was really shocked by it, because the fact that going back to the science of the child in the womb, Planned Parenthood would tell you it’s just a blob of tissue. But what these videos did is they made if very real. That if you can sell unborn babies’ brains, if you can sell their body parts, their arms, their livers, their hearts, if you can sell these things, it’s not a blob of tissue. And so it brought it into so much of a reality for many people that we saw a huge influx of people posting on social media in response to these videos, that “Thank you for opening my eyes, I’m now pro-life”. Illinois Right to Life saw an influx that volunteers; people just want to go out and do something. It really motivated people. We saw people wanting to choose adoption rather than abortion. And then we have some people come to us and say, “I’m hurting from an abortion. I had no idea that that’s what they did to my baby”, and they were quite upset about it. Dan Proft: Well, it’s interesting, it was what Daleiden said; all of this was sparked by asking himself a simple question; “What do they do with the aborted babies?” Why doesn’t anybody follow the trail and look what happens? So he got some people together and went undercover as a journalist and found out what happened, and the dots that he connects, which is always a challenge, is they’re trafficking baby body parts because they’re valuable, and they’re valuable because they’re human. Pretty linear argument and a pretty difficult one, so I think this is why the scales fell from so many eyes and you can’t unsee what you saw in those videos. Emily Zender: No, how can you go back to saying it’s just a blob of tissue when you have on-tape your own staff saying, “Oh, let me get the heart for you”. You can’t go back. So they’ve lost one of their biggest talking points. Dan Proft: And so the strategy then is to just limit the amount of arenas in which pro-lifers can speak, right? This is very much like the totalitarianism we see on campus; we are not going to entertain opposing view-points to the leftist orthodox view, or the secular humanist orthodoxy. And so, I wonder what your experience has been in terms of presenting both sides at the high school or the collegial level, or even just in the general public arena of presenting the Planned Parenthood viewpoint juxtaposed directly to the pro-life viewpoint and having a discussion about all the issues we’re talking about. Emily Zender: For years, we used to have debates both sides… Dan Proft: I remember when I was in college we had the Roadshow with Sarah Weddington and Phyllis Schlafly; they would speak at college campuses that came into Northwestern, and they would speak everywhere. You don’t see anything like that happening on college campuses these days. Emily Zender: The most recent time I was asked to come speak at a college, and they said, “We want you to debate somebody from the other side”, and I said, “Okay, great, sounds fun”. Then they come back to me and say “Do you have any suggestions?”, and I list off the usual suspects and they said “None of them will agree to it”. So it’s really about controlling messaging now for Planned Parenthood. They have very specific talking points that they want to stick to, and if you debate with me – they’re afraid to debate me – if they debate it, then science wins. They don’t have that response for when they’re challenged. I think the media really does a fair amount of Planned Parenthood’s work for them and perpetuating their messaging enough so they don’t have to go to these schools. Dan Proft: And this is kind of the Alinkian tactic, right? Make the majority feel like their viewpoint is the minority’s, an insular minority, so they’re afraid to speak out, they’re afraid to press the envelope, and Gallup polling as recently as March; a majority of Americans who want abortion to be illegal in most instances. Maybe they don’t confront it from a completely intellectually consistent perspective, but they come from a, this is something that I know is not a good thing, maybe there are extreme cases where I know I would undertake saying it’s okay, but viscerally, generally, this is not something I want to support, it’s not something I want to celebrate, it’s not something I want to see as a feature of our culture; but if you just watched the television coverage, the Old Legacy media coverage of the David Daleiden videos and the whole [countertop? 00:27:03] with Planned Parenthood, you wouldn’t think that at all. You would think, “If I’m watching this, I must be the only one in America who thinks what I think”. Emily Zender: And even with all that, the country grows more pro-life. And when you break it down too and talk to people about what happens in abortions, then they become even more uncomfortable with it. So we’re going to continue to see the pro-life side grow, as education continues to reach out to people who are maybe on the fence, may think that in cases of rape or in cases of the mother’s life, or health that they should allow abortion, but when you understand what happens in abortion, people reject it soundly. And it’s shocking to me how many people don’t know. Dan Proft: Or don’t want to be confronted with it. This is the ignorance is bliss argument. If I don’t have to deal with something that’s uncomfortable, I don’t have to do the difficult thing of making a moral determination on something, then I’m not complicit. But then that’s why those videos are so important. Now that I see what’s happening, now I can’t pretend to not know anymore what’s happening. So now you’re kind of pressing me, to some extent, to pick a side. Emily Zender: And the nation is picking the pro-life movement. Dan Proft: And so where does the pro-life movement go from here, because one of the things is, and this has been a problem for intellectual conservatism in general, if they shut you out, you allow yourself to be shut out through pre-k to post-secondary educational institutions, well, these are the forthcoming generations. And so if they’re not hearing varied view-points, if they’ve not been presented with the evidence that we’ve been kicking around, then it gets very difficult to get to them when they’re young adults or beyond and start to pivot them back to reconsideration of their views. Emily Zender: It’s absolutely true, and that’s what the Illinois Right to Life is here to do. We have a new educational program coming out that will focus on allowing people to tell their stories so that you’ll hear more about those women who have had abortions and how it’s hurt them. So you’ll hear about those women who are in an unplanned situation and they chose life. Or Abby Johnson, who was a clinic manager… Dan Proft: Planned Parenthood clinic. Emily Zender: She started off with Planned Parenthood as a college student, wanting to help women and years later she realized that was the exact opposite of what Planned Parenthood did. And so what these videos will do, they will allow them to share personally and very intimately with these students the realities of abortion and how it has affected their lives. And so this program will allow teachers to fill in, to their own curriculum, exactly where they need it, and to create that discussion and that dialogue so that they can be challenged. In the high school level, where they should be getting both sides, or they should be presented with facts and science so they could develop their own opinions. Dan Proft: How important is it for the pro-life movement to be more political? I think the pro-life movement – from my experience – is a lot less political than people would think it is, in terms of participating in electoral politics, or pressuring politicians on these issues. And you saw what David Daleiden’s video did, it forced, not by lobbying pressure, but by the presentation of the facts, it forced politicians from all the candidates and both sides of the aisles of the presidential race, to governors and state legislators to deal with this issue, because of the public funding of Planned Parenthood. And is this something that we should continue to do? Is what Planned Parenthood’s doing illegal? Is it a violation of the law? Should we investigate these organizations at the state level? It forced them to have to do that because of public outcry of what was seen. But should the pro-life movement, can the pro-life movement be more political when it comes to advocacy on these issues to build on what the Center for Medical Progress did with those videos? Emily Zender: We are very good at helping women when they’re abortion-bound, when they’re heading to the clinic. We’re very good at educating, trying to get these facts out. But what we do really need to focus on as well is the political aspect, as you mentioned. We have great groups, like the Susan B. Anthony List – they won 15 out of their 20 races in the last cycle – really holding congressional leaders, if you’re going to say you’re pro-life, you’re going to vote like it. And it had a huge impact, as you can see now, with congressional investigations in Planned Parenthood, but here at the local level, to you, people need to realize that we propose bills in the General Assembly and they don’t get heard in committee. They don’t even get that far. We need to be more active. We need to come out and put more pro-life people into positions of authority. Dan Proft: And also, not just so they should press the red button when they should press red, and green when they should press green, but actually articulate voices for the sanctity of life the way, let’s say, Henry Hyde was when he was a member of congress. You don’t see that as much. You still see a lot of republicans anymore, mainly, because there’re so many handful of democrats – Dan Lipinski comes in mind – that are pro-life, because they have to hue the orthodoxy of the left, which is increasingly intolerant of that kind of diversity of opinion. But in the center-right you don’t see a lot of erstwhile pro-life candidates or politicians willing to talk about it. They’re willing to check the box, but they’re not willing to talk about, they’re not willing to make the arguments, they’re not willing to provide the texture that you’re providing. And just pressing the button doesn’t really advance the argument or change minds, persuade anybody. Emily Zender: We’re seeing, congressionally and nationally, better talking points, better ability to be able to articulate why abortion is hurtful to our nation, and we’re seeing it be really much better about that. We still have a long way to go, but we’re getting there. And that’s in large, partly, because people are being able to understand the education better. Here, locally, we still have a long ways to go. We have some incredible political leaders down there who not only press the red button, but they can articulate it very well. But we have to, as citizens, make sure that our political leaders are educated on the issues. I mean, I would be curious to know how many members of the General Assembly that no Planned Parenthood in Illinois is licensed by the state, nor has received a health and sanitary inspection since 1999. That’s really important to the health of the citizens of Illinois and to just the governing purpose. Dan Proft: They perform medical procedures, there’s no other type of medical facility that would be allowed to operate the way Planned Parenthood operates. Emily Zender: They insert surgical tools into a woman’s body and they’ve never received a sanitary inspection as far back as 16 years. These are the kind of things that our members of the General Assembly and our governors need to understand. That can’t be done just with an organization like Illinois Rights. That belongs to the people and their district to continuously keeping their legislative leaders up to date. Dan Proft: What about pro-life activists? Are those people that believe this issue’s important, even vote on this issue? But their participation, what should that look like in 2016 and going forward? Emily Zender: For political leaders or for citizens? Dan Proft: No, just rank and file members of the pro-life movement. The kind of people that show up to your events and volunteer for the activities that Illinois Right to Life does, that have no aspirations to run for office, but want to do something to materially benefit this position and the respect for life, but may be doing so by just attending a march for life, and that just doesn’t cut it. Emily Zender: The best thing that anyone can do is go to Illinois Right to Life website and learn, and arm yourself with the facts – we have medical journals, we have statistics, all those things – and then go sit down with your representatives, with your senators, with anyone in the leadership position, your mayors, your aldermen, everyone, and sit there and just talk to them. And do it in a loving and respectful way. You don’t want to go in and have them uncomfortable. You want to sit there and you want to talk to them one on one and share with them the reality of it. Because it was on the help of somebody that was not professed to be pro-life, but is a political leader in Illinois, that got the abortion clinics inspected for the first time they were being inspected in an average of once every 9 years. And this was outrageous to a legislator who is not necessarily pro-life. And he was the one who really started that ball moving to get them inspected. These are issues that, it doesn’t matter if you’re pro-life or pro-choice, we can all agree on, like health inspections and taking care of women, and then there are issues that they need to be educated on, even if they are going to vote the other way. They need to understand that things like Planned Parenthood, they have 17 clinics here, but there are 670 other clinics that women can receive healthcare from. That Planned Parenthood only serves 2.3% of women in Illinois. These are things that every legislator needs to understand, so when they’re talking about Planned Parenthood being essential to woman’s health, they know it’s not actually true. Dan Proft: What prompted you to get involved in the pro-life movement, and then to rise through the ranks to be a leader in the pro-life movement now? Was it an event, or… why do you do what you do? Emily Zender: I had a bunch of friends who were going to this thing called the March for Life in Washington DC, and it sounded like fun and I wanted to go. So I went with them and that’s when my eyes were really opened to “Oh my Gosh, there were 300,000 people here”. I wanted to learn more about the issue. Dan Proft: Or 5,000, as reported by the mainstream news. Emily Zender: 5,000, so it’s growing. That was quite a few years ago. Dan Proft: Well, you have to discount by a factor of 50 in terms of how the media covers it, but yes. Emily Zender: But there were hundreds of thousands of people, and I had never heard of that before, so that really got me very interested in what was going on, and when I got back I participated in an Indiana Right to Life writing contest. And what that did is it forced me to go into research and to learn about it on my own, and I started stumbling on all these facts, and I was just blown away. And that’s when I realized I was learning about Anne Frank and World War II and Nazi Germany, and I could not stop the parallels in my head that I saw between the two – the dehumanization of the person. And that really sparks my inner passion for the pro-life movement. Dan Proft: Alright, she’s Emily Zender; she’s the Executive Director of Illinois Right to Life, and you’re going to be hearing and seeing a lot from Emily Zender in the years to come, as well as for Illinois Right to Life as a leader in the forefront of the pro-life movement in the 21st century. Emily, thanks so much for joining us, appreciate it. Emily Zender: Thank you! It’s been an honor to be here.

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David Daleiden: The Undercover Citizen Journalist Who Exposed Planned Parenthood

"Planned Parenthood has been lying to the American public for 10 months now. They’ve tried to assert that they have no financial benefit [from baby body parts] whatsoever but we know that's false...it's very clear that they were making up to five figure payments on the baby parts every month." 

David Daleiden and his Center for Medical Progress team changed the world’s understanding of Planned Parenthood and its business with 11 undercover videos that profiled Planned Parenthood personnel explaining what they do and how they do it in their own words. The results have been seismic. As Daleiden says, Planned Parenthood trafficks in baby body parts (illegally) because they have value and they have value precisely because they are something Planned Parenthood won’t admit they are: human. But Daleiden’s work has come at personal cost as political handmaidens to Planned Parenthood in CA and Houston, TX have raided Daleiden’s home in the former jurisdiction and indicted him on specious charges in the latter jurisdiction. Daleiden joined Dan & Amy for updates on all of the aforementioned matters and more.

View full transcript


Dan Proft: Good morning, Dan and Amy; well, as I’m one to say, history’s always changed by the committed few for good or for bad, and there is a committed few that have changed history for the good. David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress; citizen journalist who launched videos and weaved port over everyone who was launched from June 15 to present, launched videos of their undercover journalistic project to present what Planned Parenthood really is, who they really are at the top of it, from Cecile Richards on down, and what they really do; and the result of that work. Amy Jacobson: He faces up to 20 years in prison. Dan Proft: Well, that’s one result. The more important – I mean, that’s important for him – the more important result of their work – and this is thousands of hours of video, I’m sure – but all encapsulated in about 90 minutes of video spread over 11 installments; congress for the first time wanted to defund parenthood. Five congressional investigations, ten states have removed their state funding for Planned Parenthood; Planned Parenthood have agreed to stop accepting monetary payments for harvesting aborted baby body parts in a letter to NIH, and every presidential candidate has had to weigh in on this matter, Republican and Democrat. It is t he debate front and center, and a lot of scales have fallen from a lot of eyes around the globe, as tenths of millions of people have watched the work that David Daleiden and The Center for Medical Progress produced, and I was fortunate enough to MC a dinner at which he was the key note speaker for Illinois Right To Life committee last week, and we wanted to get him on the show to update people where this stands, and as you alluded to, Amy, where some of his personal legal challenges stand. So now we’re pleased to be joined by the aforesaid David Daleiden from The Center for Medical Progress. Dave, thanks so much for joining us. Appreciate it. David Daleiden: Thank you for having me on. Dan Proft: So why don’t we start with – we’ll get to your legal situation – but why don’t we start with the genesis of this citizen journalistic project you undertook; the amount of time that went into it before you decided to approach representatives of Planned Parenthood and start having these undercover conversations that you had. There was a lot that went into it that I don’t think most people know. David Daleiden: Definitely. You know, we call it the Human Capital Project – was ultimately a 30 month long investigative journalistic study of Planned Parenthood and the entire baby parts trafficking phenomenon. That issue first came across my radar back in 2010 and it was something that I thought was so gripping and so compelling and so disturbing that it deserved to have a very sophisticated long term in-depth expose done on it; and the opportunity to start something like that came to me in early 2013. There was a lot of background research, A lot of preparation, a lot of very intense training of the various actors that we used to do the undercover work. A lot of hands on immersion training to get really familiar with the whole space of baby body parts experimentation and research, and also what late term abortion practice, so it’ll be ready like fish and water to enter into those spaces and have a lot of up close and personal quality time with Planned Parenthood senior level representatives. So the information that we would gather would be basically unimpeachable because of the senior level and the people who’d be coming front. Dan Proft: The way I’ve compared, it’s almost like Daniel Day Lewis, like a method actor preparing for a role. That was the kind of intense education – if you will – preparation that went into this. David Daleiden: Definitely, definitely. Some people compare undercover work to acting. I tend to think of it more like learning a language. When learning the language of the other side in terms of phrases, the idiosyncrasies even, and learning to emulate those and once you do that, they feel like you’re one of them; it’s like learning the secret handshake. Amy Jacobson: You weren’t in any of the videos yourself? David Daleiden: I was. I was one of the five or six undercover investigators that we used for everything. Dan Proft: Question that a lot of people ask. A lot of people asked at that dinner I mentioned at the outset, was there ever a moment where you thought, where your colleagues thought that they were on to you that you were going to be exposed? David Daleiden: To answer that question I think is one of those more humorous things that happened throughout the course of the project. There were a few Planned Parenthood abortion doctors that we met who did have a very ordinary personality. And so, when we met them for the very first time, it was easily the most skeptical of what kind of personal connection we actually had, and whether they were really on board or what if they were suspicious? What exactly is going on? So for a couple of those individuals it was a little tense, a little frightening; during the first conversation I wasn’t sure if they were suspicious or what was going on, but suddenly I realized it was just their personality. Amy Jacobson: Were you surprised that their cavalier attitude; how they could be sitting down, drinking a glass of wine, having a salad and talking about selling baby hearts and aborted tissues? David Daleiden: Definitely. Not only cavalier, but callous attitude that they all displayed, but I was also surprised of how honest most of them were about the really brutal nature of their own work, and how honest most of them were about the fact that they were killing unborn children; I just saw a headline on Google News today about the dismemberment abortion bands that are cropping out in a couple of different states now where they’re trying different and surpassing laws to outlaw the 2nd trimester abortion method that’s done by literally dismembering the baby in the womb, and a lot of the progressive pro-abortion websites are criticizing these bands, talking about the measurement’s completely inaccurate; they call it dismemberment, how outrageous. Every abortion doctor that I met at Planned Parenthood referred to that abortion method as a “dismemberment abortion band”. That’s their own nomenclature within the aborted industry. And that’s how jaded they are; they’ll use works like that amongst themselves. Amy Jacobson: Do you think the women knew that their body parts were being sold? Or do you know? David Daleiden: No, we have copies of the consent form based on the permission slip that Planned Parenthood uses to get pregnant women to give permission to “donate” the body parts. The patients are told that this is a donation of fetal tissue, when in reality Planned Parenthood is making money off of it, and the companies that they sell them to – like Stem Express – are making money off of it. But that’s nowhere disclosed to the patient on the form. Back in March, the Select Investigative Panel in Congress, which has been doing some very good work looking into this entire issue, they’ve heard testimonies under oath from a Planned Parenthood financial donor and baby body parts customer, a scientist from UC San Diego who testified under oath that the language of Planned Parenthood Baby Parts Consent Form was inappropriately written and completely unethical; and that was a Planned Parenthood supporter’s own words under oath. Dan Proft: Before we lose the institutional knowledge here, because when you started releasing those videos you clearly caught Planned Parenthood flatfoot, and I want you to recount how Cecile Richards, the President of Planned Parenthood, this billion dollar organization, how her explanations for what we saw on those videos changed as one explanation after another was proven erroneous. David Daleiden: Definitely. So Planned Parenthood, including Cecile Richards, from the top down, has been lying to the American public for 10 months now about the reality of what’s going on in those video tapes and about how Planned Parenthood Baby Parts Program has been run. They’ve consistently tried to assert to the public that Planned Parenthood has no financial benefit whatsoever from supplying the body parts of the babies that they abort. We now know that’s completely false because of the very good work of the Select Investigative Panel; they released a very comprehensive report just a couple of weeks ago that has many, many new exhibits, new documentation; they’ve gathered to their subpoena process that makes it very, very clear that Planned Parenthood had no costs whatsoever in supplying the aborted fetal tissue, which is basically just medical waste to Planned Parenthood; and yet they were still making up to 5 figure payments on the Baby Parts every month in exchange for supplying them. Planned Parenthood has variously claimed for the past 10 months, first of all, that there was reimbursement and it went to the patients; they’re basically saying, “We don’t sell body parts, we buy them from our patients”. That would be just as illegal and just as wrong, so they changed that explanation after about 24 hours, and they said, “Oh no, it’s actually payments for the cost of shipping the body parts”; except Planned Parenthood doesn’t do any of the shipping; the shipping is done by the companies that they work with. And then they said, “Well, it’s for costs of storage”, but they’re not being stored, they’re being harvested fresh and then taken to wherever they’re going; so there’s no storage. So it’s just been one false justification after another after another. In reality they’ve been lying to the American public for 10 months about what’s going on with this issue. Dan Proft: To talk about exposing them, in their own words, in one of the videos the woman who wanted the Lamborghini, famously, if it’s just for reimbursement, then why are you haggling over price? Why is the price moving if it’s just reimbursement? David Daleiden: Exactly. Amy Jacobson: Or did that get kickbacks? I mean if they sold more body parts, did help lie in their pockets? David Daleiden: Absolutely. They were being paid on a per specimen volume basis, so based on the volume of body that they could supply, but only if they were high enough quality failable body parts. Dan Proft: We’re talking to Dave Daleiden; Center for Medical Progress; David, can we hold you over? We want to get some listeners call in with questions as well. We’ll be back with more David Daleiden right after this. David Daleiden: Great. Dan Proft: Dan and Amy; we’re talking to David Daleiden from the Center for Medical Progress; the group that did that undercover citizen journalistic project that exposed Planned Parenthood for the bloody business operators that they are, and we’ll get to your calls in just a minute. David, thanks for being with us, appreciate it. David Daleiden: No problem, thanks for having me on, you guys. Dan Proft: So just picking off where we left off. I want to go to the legal issues. There was a report out a couple of weeks ago that your home in California has been raided by authorities and you’re also under indictment in Houston, Texas. Could you just update our listeners into where your legal challenges stand? David Daleiden: Definitely. There’s a couple or there’s some things going on. In the state of California, which is where I’m located, there’s 3 civil law suits, first of all, from Planned Parenthood and their allies. There’s a lawsuit from Stem Express, which is the major baby parts company that’s been partnered with many Planned Parenthood clinics for the past 5 years; there’s a lawsuit from the National Abortion Federation, which is the major trade association in abortion right in North America, and there’s a lawsuit from Planned Parenthood themselves. Those second two lawsuits are moving very slowly and they’re just going through the process; the Stem Express case is supposed to be moving forward to trial, but Stem Express is being very, very hesitant about producing any information in discovery right now, which is kind of what we anticipated, because most of these entities have a lot more to lose than to gain by bringing the details of their baby parts trafficking into the light of the law, into the courtroom. Then Planned Parenthood’s political allies and cronies have bought some very politically motivated legal actions and harassments that bear on me and some of the other investigators in Texas. There are these two indictments from a complete sham runaway grand jury process in Houston, Texas. We have some very good motions to dismiss their on-file right now and waiting to be heard; there’s a lot of issues with the process out there and the charges certainly don’t fit the law as written or the facts that actually happened out there. And then, as you just mentioned, a couple of weeks ago, the California Attorney General’s office, the California Attorney General Kamala Harris – she was a bought and paid for politician by Planned Parenthood; they’ve donated tens of thousands of dollars to her political campaigns, and she’s currently running for senate in the state of California; has a petition on her website for people to support Planned Parenthood and give their e-mail and all that, so she is raising money off of their cause. She ordered eleven of her Department of Justice agents to raid my home just a couple of weeks ago. They seized 4 laptops, multiple external hard drives, lots of personal information and attorney-client protected information, all kinds of stuff in this incredibly heavy-handed KGB style overreach. And it’s especially outrageous, considering that California is really the hub of a lot of the baby parts trafficking; the companies like Stem Express are based out of here, the biggest Planned Parenthood affiliates in the country that have been doing this for the longest are based out here in California, and the California Attorney General’s office has refused to even open an investigations of those entities, even while they’re being investigated by the US Congress and very serious information is coming out through the congressional panel. The Attorney General bought and paid for by Planned Parenthood is refusing to even open an investigation of those entities, and instead is coming down like a thug, basically, on investigative journalists instead of on journalists. So it’s really concerning for every freedom loving American; it might sound a little cliché, but that’s the truth. We have a very competent legal team across the board on all these different cases, that including the Thomas More Society in Chicago, which is really, really great. So all that moves forward. Dan Proft: Let’s get a listener calling here real quick; Mary in River Forest, you’re on Chicago’s Morning Answer. Mary: Hi, good morning. David, I wanted to ask just in terms of your own emotional equilibrium, how you managed to look at the things that were in those pans when you were negotiating the purported fail of the body parts. I remember one video where the technician holds up a little baby arm and I can just tell you, as a mom to a premature kid, my eyes just filled with tears. How did you manage not to lose it when you saw those things? Dan Proft: Thanks, Mary. David Daleiden: It’s a really good question. Those were definitely the hardest moments of the entire project. I think all of undercover work certainly requires a lot of dissociation and no moment more than those moments, but those were certainly the most troubling sad moments of the entire project. It was very disturbing and there was a lot to process afterwards. Whatever you felt looking at those, we both felt it as well. We had to wait until afterwards to really express it. Dan Proft: And Dave Daleiden, one of the things you said that’s really powerful to me in terms of connecting the dots at this dinner that we both attended last week; there’s value in the body parts – that’s why Planned Parenthood sells them – and the value is that they’re human. Just a reminder of what we’re talking about. David Daleiden: Exactly, and the body parts are only valuable to sell precisely because they’re human. Even though the aborts in the street doesn’t consider their humanity to be equal enough to our own in order to not kill the children, it’s precisely that humanity that is equal to and identical to our own that makes them hunt after the body parts like buried treasure. There’s really nothing like it, being in that room and seeing the body parts and having the dialog up close and personal with the little person who’s just been killed. Our resolution as undercover investigators is that if we were going to go into those place, we were at least going to be a welcoming presence to those kids for the short moments that they would still be alive, and even if no one else would, we would be in there to welcome them and to appreciate their lives, even if they’re passed on to the other side. I was kind of inspired by the pastoral teaching of the Holy Father Pope Francis to try and bring the light of the gospel even into the darkest places, and even into the existential margins of society, which no margin is more existential than the front door of an abortion clinic. Dan Proft: He is David Daleiden from the Center for Medical Progress; David, thanks for joining us, and good luck with your legal challenges. David Daleiden: Thank you.

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