Well, today marks the 45th anniversary of perhaps the most dreadful United
States Supreme Court decision in the history of our nation. That decision turned
this nation from a nation of life to a nation of death, and that decision
guaranteed God’s judgment on a nation that was once birthed by God’s divine
providence. It's resulted in 90 times more deaths than all of the soldiers killed in
the battlefield in all of the US wars since 1775. That's right. Let me repeat that,
at over 60 million deaths this court case has sentenced to death 90 times more
people to death than all of the soldiers killed in all US battles since 1775. That
infamous court decision was none other than Roe v Wade which passed January
22nd, 1973, 45 years ago by a vote of seven to two.
Well, this week has also been declared by President Donald Trump to be the
annual sanctity of life week, appropriately so. We're going to focus today's
program on life. Our general theme for today is celebrate life. God does. We're
going to look at why life is sacred from God's perspective, here right off.
Segment two and three we're going to get a personal testimony from a woman
who yielded to the temptation to have an abortion, but then found redemption
and forgiveness through Jesus Christ, as we discuss a few of the personal costs
as well as the cultural costs of rejecting life. Then in the last segment we're
going to look at how we can restore a culture of life in our nation once again.
With that as a roadmap for today's program I want to welcome you to Stand In
The Gap Today, I'm Sam Rohrer host of the program here, and I'm going to be
joined by Pastor Gary Dull, senior pastor of Faith Baptist Church, Altoona,
Pennsylvania, and also executive director of the Pennsylvania Pastors Network,
as well as evangelist Dave Kistler, president of our North Carolina Pastors
Network, and president of Hope to the Hill in Washington, DC, and then our
very special guest Kim Ketola host of Cradle My Heart Today, that radio program
that she hosts. She's also the author of Amazon's number one bestseller Cradle
My Heart: Finding God's Love After Abortion.
Well, Dave and Gary, it's great to be back together with you two guys after this
weekend here on this national program that God's given us the privilege of
communicating all over America on nearly 450 radio stations on this program
alone, including now in the City of Washington, DC that covers Virginia,
Maryland, Delaware, Southern Pennsylvania. I think because of this topic today
talking about a Supreme Court case, really appropriate that we're there in that
market. Dave, I'd like to get some comment from you here. I think you listened
to some of the comments made at the rally, March for Life rally on Friday of last
week, but just before I ask you for your comments I'd like to play just a very
short clip, an introductory statement actually by Vice President Pence as he
welcomed that large gathering there to Washington, DC. If you could play that,
More than 240 years ago our founders wrote words that have echoed through
the ages. They declared these truths to be self-evident that we are each of us
endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights and that among these
are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 45 years ago the Supreme Court of
the United States turned its back on the inalienable right to life, but in that
moment our movement began, a movement that continues to win hearts and
minds, a movement defined by generosity, compassion and love, and a
movement that one year ago tomorrow inaugurated the most pro life President
in American history, President Donald Trump.
Well, Dave, those were just a few of the comments from Vice President Pence.
First of all I'd just like to ask you just a general brief comment of what you
thought the Vice President said and then build out at least one element of why
the foundation of our constitutionally protected freedoms and rights here are
so intricately linked to life.
Sam, let me say this, I think it's ironic almost but more than fitting that as Vice
President was speaking you heard a little baby's cry in the background, and that
is an amazing, amazing thing. He is 100% correct. These are the foundational
principles upon which our country was established, the first one being an
inalienable right given to us by almighty God, and that is life. His comments
were incredible, but then the President following up on what the Vice President
had to say, coming out as the first President in the history of the country to ever
as a sitting President to address that group was stellar. Sam, I think what it
signaled was a cataclysmic moral paradigm shift in the United States of America.
It is beyond encouraging.
Gary, let me go to you because I agree with what Dave just said, and I'm going
to play a clip in the next segment, a short portion of what the President said. I'd
like to take you, have Gary, from God's perspective give us a very short treatise
on why life being so sacred to God, why is that? Why because of that we should
view all life to be so sacred?
Well, I would draw your attention Sam to two verses of scripture, one back in
Genesis 2:7 where it says and the Lord God formed man of the dust of the
ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living
soul. Then over in the Book of Acts 17:28 the word of God says: "For in him that
is in God we live and move and have our being, as certain also of your poets
have said, for we are also his offspring." I could comment greatly on both of
those passages of scripture, but the reason why God values life is because he is
the creator of life. He has breathed into the nostrils of Adam life and, of course,
that's been passed down to us. Then as is brought out there in Acts chapter 17,
we are his offspring and so we are made in God's image, therefore we should
respect life as we respect God and what he did in the creating of mankind.
Gary, you are correct. All of us could spend a long time here, but ladies and
gentlemen what Gary just said, what Dave just said, God is the source of all life.
He created it. He breathed into that first body that he made. He breathed in life.
We're made in God's image. We are therefore special. We are therefore sacred.
When we cast off God in our minds and we cast off his commands, we cast off the sacredness of life. That's what our country has done and much of the world
has done for a long time, but never with good results.
Recognizing the sacredness of life as a gift from God and finding its sole source
in a loving creator God is one of the most profound decisions an individual, a
family, or a nation must take. To choose life results in blessings untold for the
individual and the individual as well. To choose death is a choice that results in
sorrow individually and for a nation God's judgment. Perhaps the most
applicable verse in all of scripture is found in the Book of Deuteronomy in a
section of verses of there, and it's these. I want to put down and list out for you
right now God's warning. This was a warning to the Nation of Israel who God
wanted to bless.
He said in chapter 30, verses 15 and 16 and following, it says this, God says:
"See, I have set before you this day life and good, death and evil. If you obey the
commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today by loving the
Lord your God, by walking in his ways and by keeping his commandments and
his statutes and his rules then you shall live and multiply and the Lord your God
will bless you and the land that you're entering to take possession of it. If your
heart turns away and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other
Gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you will surely perish." Then in
verse 19 it says: "I call heaven and Earth to witness against you today that I have
set before you life and death, blessing and curse, therefore choose life that you
and your offspring may live."
Now, while this is often applied to the modern pro life movement and it's right
to do so in principle, this promise is a national promise, and so its implications
are enormous when it comes to national blessing or national judgment. It starts
with individuals like you and me here today. It's my honor to welcome now to
Stand In The Gap Today a woman who was all too familiar with the personal
side of this decision to choose. Her name is Kim Ketola. She's the host and
executive producer of her own radio program, Cradle My Heart Today, and
author of a bestselling book about her life on this very subject entitled Cradle
My Heart: Finding God's Love After Abortion. With that I want to welcome to
Stand In The Gap Today Kim Ketola. Kim, thank you for being with us today.
I appreciate it. Thank you so much for inviting me.
Well, Kim, it's really wonderful and it's an honor for us to have you on the
program today. You've been a real blessing to many, many women and men
across this nation as well. I'm glad that you've really taken the time to share just
a bit of your story with our listeners across the country today. Before I ask you
to share your story, I'd like to play a less than one minute clip, Kim, of President
Trump's address to the March for Life rally in DC on Friday. Just a short clip.
Russ, if you'd play that please.
Thousands of families, students and patriots and really just great citizens gather
here in our nation's capital. You come from many backgrounds, many places,
but you all come for one beautiful cause to build a society where life is
celebrated, protected and cherished. The March for Life is a movement born out
of love. You love your families. You love your neighbors. You love our nation and
you love every child born and unborn because you believe that every life is
sacred, that every child is a precious gift from God.
Well, we've been talking about that. Life, a gift from God. Kim, on this infamous
45th anniversary day of the Supreme Court Roe v Wade declaring that the
taking of life of the unborn was legal and effectively put their fist in the face of
God, our creator. How significant is, first of all, that our President Donald Trump
spoke to the March for Life from your perspective and made those comments
that I just played? Just your comments please before we get into your
It's amazing to me that he's the first President to do so. I think other Presidents,
maybe it's a technology thing because they could do it via satellite from the
Rose Garden, but other Presidents have phoned in remarks. This is an event that
for over 45 years has been drawing hundreds of thousands of people to our
nation's capital to make their voices heard on behalf of the youngest members
of the human family here in our nation. I applaud President Trump. I don't think
we have to agree with him about everything to see that this is a very good thing
that he did in aligning himself with the cause of life this month.
Kim, certainly it is a delight to have you with us, and you've got quite a
testimony and you've written a book on a very important topic that has helped
many women, mothers and fathers and families together no doubt, because it
relates to this terrible crime of abortion. You've entitled your book Cradle My
Heart: Finding God's Love After Abortion, and I think that's very significant,
because there are a lot of people, a lot of ladies who've had abortion and after
those abortions they've just felt terrible. They need to know about the love of
God. Now, I know you've shared your story many, many times and it's difficult
every time you share it, but if you would please I'd like to ask you to share with
us a bit now of your story of your testimony. You evidently found yourself
pregnant and very fearful. Share just a little bit with our audience today what
this was like for you and how you went through it please.
Sure. Well, I was in a relationship and it was a committed relationship, and so
we were sexual active before marriage, which I knew to be wrong but I wasn't
thinking about whether it was right or wrong. Moral considerations were not at
the top of my mind. I guess I considered myself a good enough person, and I
certainly had never heard any teaching about the sanctity of human life when I
found myself pregnant. I thought, "Oh, well we'll get married. I'll tell him and we'll just quietly get married and save our reputations." Instead, he wanted to
save his future by eliminating the child. This was a shock to me and I was
mortified that he would treat me that way. I didn't have any resources to stand
up for myself. I didn't have any principles on which to stand, which I think is the
most important thing for us to really realize when we think about how can
women do this.
We have some sort of an innate sense in our conscience that there's another life
involved, but of course as is still happening the abortion industry sold me the
deception that an early pregnancy does not equal a child. It's just tissue. We
picture that and they're still telling women that. I wasn't ignorant. I was an
educated person. I knew about the birds and the bees, but I somehow believed
that this was not going to be taking a life. God intervened that day at the very
last minute to wake me up to what was happening and to let me know that it
was wrong. Now, I was not a follower of Jesus Christ. I had the remnant of some
childhood teaching, but I believe the Holy Spirit has given a moment of grace
like that, a moment of truth like that to countless others because I've heard
their stories. Many brave women at that point get up. Many women at that
point are held in place by workers in the abortion industry, and I've heard many
of those stories as well.
As for me, I didn't know what to do with that information, and they say it's fight
or flight, but the third option we have when we're panicked is to freeze, and
that's what I did. Although I knew it was wrong, and although it really was not
my choice, it was something others had chosen for me I passively allowed it to
happen. That engendered in me a knowledge that in my heart I had behaved as
a coward. I knew that I was then the last line of defense against the death of an
innocent child, and yet I protected myself instead. It's coming to grips with that
knowledge of your character, coming to grips with God's judgment, as he must
judge that justly, that drove me to finally seek my healing and write about what
that journey was like when I wrote Cradle My Heart.
Kim, let me ask you this, and it is a delight to have you aboard. How quickly after
you succumbed to this abortion did you come to a personal relationship with
It took many, many long years and the abortion absolutely impeded it. My first
question was does God hate me. My next question was am I going to hell. My
next question was what about the baby, have I doomed a baby to hell? I had a
lot of ignorance. I had a lot of misconceptions about God, but the fear drove my
lack of a relationship with God and when that would become intolerable I would
just deny that it was ever a problem at all. I would sink into the cultural
rationalizations: "Well, it was the best that I could do. It's legal. He wasn't there for me." Whatever it is that we tell ourselves. Then when the truth would dawn
once again, there was just an endless cycle of despair and denial, and despair
and denial. That lasted for over 20 years until a woman spoke the truth of God's
word to me from 1 John 1:8-9 and told me that that forgiveness and cleansing
was for me personally.
Praise God, the Holy Spirit opened my eyes and I was given the gift of faith and I
believed. It was probably a period of maybe 10 years of attrition feeling worse
because now I knew that Christ had died for my sins, but I had no idea how to
reconcile this particular action. Yes, I think abortion destroys the spiritual lives
of women, I know that firsthand, and I know it from the many stories that I've
heard and told as well.
Let me go back now into our discussion with Kim. We're looking right now at the
ugly impact side of the equation, that decision made years ago. As God told
Israel in that Deuteronomy passage, blessings both national and personal would
result from choosing to obey God and follow his commands. He said that by so
doing that would result in choosing life, but choosing death and hardship and
judgment both nationally and personally would result also from rejecting God
and his commands which are all about preserving and working with the
sacredness of human life created in his image, and it's the same as choosing
death. The cost is always high of choosing death personally, culturally,
Now to talk about this further I want to go back to our discussion with Kim Ketola. Kim, I'd like you to pick up just a little bit before we get into looking at
some cultural impacts of abortion on this nation, or frankly any nation. You
were talking about it was 20 years that you dealt with some guilt and all of that
associated with it. Talk to us a little bit about the downside of not choosing life.
What kind of scars, what kind of difficulty are we bearing as individuals involved
or families involved in this type of thing? Just give us some insight if you could
Well, I was extremely angry with the people who failed to support me. I was not
able to forgive when it would have been appropriate to forgive and would have
freed me from that experience. I poured myself into my career with a
vengeance, because after all what had it cost me? Then because I had that
abortion three months in to meeting my goal of starting a radio career in
Minneapolis and Saint Paul. I was on the air continuously there for over 30
years. I was part of the cultural landscape. You just couldn't escape me. I was 23
years old and just starting out in that launch phase. That's when most women
choose abortion, by the way, it's not primarily a poor women's problem. It's not primarily women of color. It's primarily middle class white women in the launch
phase who are choosing abortions to protect their income and to protect their
future, and that's what I was doing. I was a poster child for that.
As I advanced in that career I had no peace, you know unless the Lord builds the
house, those who build it labor in vain. With every bit of success, with every bit
of advancement a guilty conscience would tell me that I didn't deserve it and I
shouldn't enjoy it. I was terrified that people would find out what I had done,
once I did become a Christian in my late 30s. I had children. I married and had
children. That marriage had no chance. Christ was not at the center of it, but I
was not healed. I was working out all my issues, trying to, within this marriage
that was crippled by a lack of faith. Abortion, it definitely impacted my
parenting. I became very overprotective of my firstborn, and it was very difficult
for me to bond with my children when they were young. I didn't trust myself. I
knew I had harmed my first child, my child that's in heaven now, and so all of
these ways are … There are many others.
We have in the research a sixfold increase in suicide and suicidal gestures in
Finland, and that research is pure because they have national health care and because the women there, there's no stigma, and there's no disincentive to
report as we have here in America. Finland has had to address it as a public
health crisis. They haven't been all that successful. There's still, I think, a twofold
increase now after all their interventions. I thank God I didn't go to that level of
despair, but it's absolutely a potential for those who have an abortion
experience, one or more.
Kim, let me ask you this question. I am the son of a father who came out of a
very dysfunctional and broken home. I've heard him describe many, many times
before he went home to be with the Lord about how difficult it was in that
broken home, ordered out of the home when he was a 14 year old, lived with
seven different families from the time he was a teenager until he graduated
from college, and he struggled with a lot of issues as a result of that. He made
this statement that I've never forgotten, he said, "The moment God gave me
victory was when I realized that God loved me as much as he loved anyone else,
and that verse of scripture in the Bible that says when my father and mother
forsake me then the Lord will take me up."
I would love for you to describe if you could the moment you realized there is
forgiveness available in the person of Jesus Christ for this act of abortion I
committed and there is a bright future ahead for me. I'd love for you to describe
a little of that if you could.
Kim Ketola: That's a pleasure and that's a joy. I think what it drives toward is for everybody listening to this to understand that one of our primary purposes here is to be
Christ's dwelling place among men, that the Holy Spirit, our bodies are meant
for that. Women can understand that as vessels of new life, but until we are
indwelled by the Holy Spirit we're likely to do just about anything with our
bodies and with our lives. Yes, grasping God's love was the game changer for
me, and it happened at a retreat. I was watching the passion being played out,
and Christ was being crucified, and they asked us to put ourselves in the drama
and to determine who we were, who best reflected the state of our heart at
I saw Pilate who was just being political and trying to extract what he could out
of it for himself and I saw his wife who somehow supernaturally knew the truth
but had nothing to stand on to influence anybody with that truth, and I saw the
weeping women who were with him, suffering with him. I saw those guards
who gambled for his cloak, and I had to admit that, as I've told you, I had been
saved. I had accepted Christ as my savior 10 years earlier, but I had not made
him the goal of my faith. I had not called him Lord. I had not submitted to his
lordship in my life. As I watched him being crucified for me and saw them and
their callousness gambling for his cloak, I saw how I was trying to cloak myself
with salvation at his expense when he had already paid it all for me.
I don't know, somehow his bravery allowed me to step over the line and say, "I
have no excuse. I am guilty of everything including that abortion, and I will take
whatever sentence you deem fit for me. I don't want you to suffer for me in this way anymore." I still can be moved to think about the beauty of his bravery on
our behalf. Praise God, I did, I expected to be condemned, vaporized, I don't
know exactly what. It was just like whatever happens I have to repent. Praise
God, instead of smiting me, he spoke into my spirit and said tell them I love
them. Tell them I love them, that that's what this cross is about. That's why it's my joy to bring up that difficult day and everything that went with it to warn
others but also to shine a light on the goodness of Christ and just how far he
went to bring me back to himself.
Kim, in your speaking there I'm reminded of the Book of Lamentations 3 that
tells us that if it would not be for the mercy of the Lord we would be consumed,
and how we can thank God for his mercy. I can imagine there's some lady
listening to us right at this very moment who is feeling very, very lost and lonely
because of an abortion that she has had. Could you just take a few minutes and
share with her what the mercy of God really is like and how it can affect her
Well, I know that the following day God provided someone who said I had an
abortion and allowed me to confess it out loud to another person. I said, "I did
too." She held me and we wept, and in that moment I felt a supernatural
knowledge that my child was safe in the arms of our savior. This is what really
released me, that I no longer needed to protect and guard that awful day. I no
longer needed to stay attached to the grief over the loss of my child. I want you
to know that as a woman who's had an abortion we can so easily get our
emotional wires crossed. We read that grief as guilt. Sometimes, we're
Christian, we know we're forgiven but we can't let it go. I want to tell you that's probably grief, and it's not God's plan for you to languish in it even one more day.
There are abortion recovery ministries in the pregnancy health community
everywhere that can help you and get you started on a pathway to peace,
pathway to joy and a pathway to freedom to be able to share your experience,
when it's appropriate, with others.
On this 45th anniversary of Roe v Wade and all that has happened after that our
focus has been on life. Celebrating life, because God did at creation and he does
still to this very day. Our last segment, we want to continue as we complete the
solution segment here the theme restoring a culture of life, God's remedy. Now,
in John 3:16 the verse in the Book of John starts with the words, "Because God
so loved the world that he gave his only son." That was Jesus Christ, who came
and furthered the plan of redemption started at creation by God the father. He,
Jesus Christ, provided the only way to heal the deepest pains, the ugliest scars,
and to reclaim so much of what has been lost.
Now, in this solution segment we want to continue with Kim Ketola about how
she found healing and comfort after submitting to an abortion many, many
years ago. Kim, your book that you wrote it's about your life journey, some of
what you just shared in the last segment. As a mother you were confronted with
a pregnancy that was overwhelming. You opted for an abortion. Yet, in your
grief some time years later you said you found redemption and hope and all
that God gives in response from doing things his way when you trusted Christ as
your savior. Now, I want you to go just a little bit further into this, because you
are speaking for hundreds of thousands of women, and you've shared some
insights into what you went through in your heart and your mind.
Go through just a little bit of that again as we look at God's remedy for healing.
Now, you are looking back and you've been healed. You've given testimony of
that, but there are a lot of women, fathers perhaps, husbands who maybe have
been involved in the whole of this thing as well and they have not yet found that
healing. Go into that just a little bit more if you can in this solution segment.
Sure. Our solution, you know I worked up my material for the book, for Cradle
My Heart, while giving conference workshops while I was traveling with Ruth
Graham. We had about an hour and a half to deal with this topic, if you can
imagine. What can you possibly give someone about something so complex?
The answer is the gospel, and the answer is these healing encounters that Jesus
had with individuals, not parables. No. I'm talking about the portraits in our
family album of the Bible. We started with the lame man at the pool in John's
Gospel when Jesus asked him do you want to get well. The first time you read
that you're like, "What in the world? The guy's been lame on the sidewalk for 38 years. What kind of a question is that?"
I have found after abortion many of us don't want to get well. We cling to it. It
becomes part of our identity. "I will never forgive that. I can never be forgiven."
No, that is not Jesus' purpose and he zeroed in on blame, and he's talking about
how to motivate ourselves to move on from blame. As it says in Philippians,
forgetting the past, press on. Jesus said, "Do you want to get well? Get up. Pick
up your mat and walk. Pick up your baggage and let's get out of here." Then we
have the encounter of, of course, the woman at the well where Jesus said, "I
know every …" Her testimony was he told me everything I ever did, and yet he
came to talk to her and not about her sin but about her thirst and about true
worship. There's a key for you. Get in church and find a way to worship in truth
and be in community and in fellowship with other believers who can lift you up,
and you can confess and be healed as it says in James.
Oh my goodness, the story of the bleeding woman at the hem of his robe, and
again, this stunning question: "Who touched me?" You're Jesus. You know
everything. Why would he ask that? Because he wanted her to be able to stand
up and say, "What I could not do for myself to make myself pure in my impurity,
Jesus has just done for me. He has imputed righteousness to me miraculously."
What I love about her story is she's the only one that Jesus calls his daughter.
After abortion, we have this bodily shame that we know we've been defiled. We
know that our bodies have been misused. The very purpose of our female
anatomy has been disrupted and destroyed, and in many cases we've been maimed. Our fertility has been forever impacted. We can't fix that, but Jesus
comes and makes us clean, and then he calls us his daughters.
Oh my goodness, the things that Jesus did for the individuals who met him and
walked away healed I think are so, so powerful. I wrote this book for those who
can't go to an abortion recovery ministry immediately, or maybe they just don't
want to. It's not meant to be a complete resource, so you've got to be in
fellowship with other people and you've got to feel their arms around you.
You've got to allow them to receive your tears and assure you in person of God's
love for you.
Well, Kim, I wrote down a couple of things that you were saying there. You said
and identified these points of decision. One, you need to want to be healed. You
need to want healing. You said must be the desire to worship, which means
there's got to be a God focus. There will never be any healing without looking
towards the healer, that's God. Come to Christ, that's what redemption is all
about, and then when we put our faith and trust in him, he cleans all of those
things that have happened in the past, and then you stated finally must stay in
fellowship, because we need each other. I think those are great, great points.
Kim, have you found anyone, have you run into any woman or anyone your
point in life where this simple approach to healing has not yet worked? Will it
work for anyone?
What is the GK Chesterton quote? It's not that people have tried the gospel and
found it wanting, it's that they've never tried it at all. No. I haven't, and in fact I've heard from many, many women that the material that we assembled in this
book has been so helpful, because again, it's the personality, it's the ministry
personality of Jesus Christ brought to life and applied to this issue, to our issue. I
think that's the help that people need. It's not that they don't really want to
believe. It's that they don't understand what it means for me. They don't know how to place themselves in a bigger story. Instead what happens when we don't
know how to do that we become sitting ducks and we become extras in Satan's
evil drama. We don't even know he's directing the action. We don't even know where all of the condemnation and all of the lack of peace and problems are
coming from. This is the beauty of life in Christ.
Well, Kim, we are just about done. Ladies and gentlemen, you're hearing something
that probably pertains to a lot of you. First of all, I recommend go to Jesus
Christ, clearly, obviously. Go to the word of God. It's the book that tells us all
about it. Kim, you share a personal testimony in your book. Where can people
go perhaps to get a copy of your book? Restate the title of it again and where
they can go to pick up your personal history.
Thank you. I appreciate that. It's Cradle My Heart: Finding God's Love After
Abortion, and it's available wherever you can find books. Our website is
cradlemyheart.org. It's a love offering. All of our net proceeds go to the
pregnancy health community, so we don't have any profit motive in this
whatsoever. We're blessed to be able to do that, and we also are blessed to have some donors. If you can't afford it, we can make books available to you
without expense as well.
Well, Kim Ketola, thank you so much for being with us today on Stand In The