Shawn Carney sat down with me to discuss his Pro-Life organization 40 Days for Life and how God is using him to end abortion worldwide.
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More about Shawn Carney
Shawn Carney is a husband, a father of 7 and the CEO of the pro-life organization 40 Days for Life. When he was a student at Texas A&M in 2004, Carney and three other people held an hour of prayer around an old wooden table to ask God how to end abortion in Bryan/College Station. That prayer led to the first 40 Days for Life campaign.
He is the co-author of 40 Days for Life: Discover What God Has Done … Imagine What He Can Do*, and his new book, The Beginning of The End of Abortion*, is out now by Capella Books.
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Chris Craft: Good morning, good afternoon, or good evening. Welcome to episode 27 of the Chris Craft Show. Today, I’m sharing some rich content as I welcome my guest, Shawn Carney, from pro-life organization 40 Days for Life and we discuss the importance of life including life in the womb and how it’s a natural or, dare I say, supernatural aspect of our Christian worldview and how life should be valued by everyone. If you enjoy today’s show, check out my Patreon page at patreon.com/chriscraft. That’s patreon.com/chriscraft for exclusive content and a whole lot more. Now, on to today’s show.
Chris Craft: Shawn Carney is a husband, a father of seven, and the CEO of the pro-life organization 40 Days for Life. He’s our guest today on the Christ Craft Show. Welcome, Shawn. How are you?
Shawn Carney: Good to be on, Chris. How are you today?
Chris Craft: I am doing well, brother. God is good. We’re alive and breathing and everything else is a bonus.
Shawn Carney: Everything else is small details.
Chris Craft: In reading up about you, Shawn, I noticed that you currently live in the Houston area. Is that true?
Shawn Carney: I do. Yeah. I have lived in Houston for about years and it’s hot and it’s humid, but there’s good folks and a good Major League Baseball team.
Chris Craft: Oh, a really good team. So Houston is my hometown. I was wondering if that’s your hometown. I know you went to A&M. Are you from Texas at all?
Shawn Carney: Yes. No, I am from Texas. I’m from Tyler which is about-
Chris Craft: Yeah.
Shawn Carney: … an hour and a half east of Dallas. So I’m from the eastern part of the state, went to Texas A&M. We lived outside of DC for a couple years and then moved back to Texas and made Houston our home. It’s been great.
Chris Craft: Very good. Very good. Yeah. Houston is a great city. We’re a story-centered podcast. We love learning about our guests. Start as far back as you like and tell us your story. Who is Shawn Carney?
Shawn Carney: I think I’m still trying to figure that out. I’m from the Bible Belt, from east Texas, from Tyler, Texas. I grew up Catholic. I’m still Catholic. I went to a Catholic school, but 98% of the kids were Southern Baptists, right?
Chris Craft: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Shawn Carney: The good god-fearing Southern Baptists that we have in east Texas. It was a great experience actually, really prepared me for being in the pro-life movement which is such an interdenominational movement, and so I took my faith seriously because everybody around me did. I had wonderful priests in our school and we went to church every Sunday and all of that, but Tyler did not have an abortion facility. I had never, to my knowledge, ever met a woman who had had an abortion. So we were pro-life, but that didn’t really mean a whole lot. Growing up, we didn’t talk about abortion.
Shawn Carney: Then middle school and high school, I got really convicted. I went to the largest Baptist church in my hometown, Green Acres Baptist. I heard Carol Everett speak, and Carol had run four abortion facilities before her conversion in the early 1990s. It really convicted me as a young man particularly-
Chris Craft: Wow.
Shawn Carney: … because this woman sharing her heart and how could you go from doing that to actually advocating on behalf of women and the unborn. It was really transformational for me to hear her. I got involved in the pro-life movement just in high school. Then it wasn’t until I went to Texas A&M which is part of the SEC which is … I know you’re a sports fan.
Chris Craft: Oh, yeah. That’s right. That’s right. I’m actually a Tech grad, Georgia Tech grad so-
Shawn Carney: Oh, you’re smart. You’re one of the smart-
Chris Craft: I’m okay. I’m alright.
Shawn Carney: Those Georgia Tech guys, they’re … You can’t get anything past them.
Chris Craft: But get this. Not to interrupt your story, but it was in-between Morehouse/Georgia Tech, the program that I eventually did, or UT, University of Texas.
Shawn Carney: Oh, yeah. Well you chose … Yeah. We don’t like Texas. They’re the devil. That’s good that you didn’t choose the devil. Good for you. Always good in life-
Chris Craft: I know you-
Shawn Carney: … no matter what you’re doing.
Chris Craft: I knew you’d get a kick out of that.
Shawn Carney: Yeah. Okay. Well that said, I’m glad that you escaped that. There’s so many people we kid about Austin, but I travel a lot. People come to Texas and they … Or I’ll go outside the state, I should say, and I’ll meet people and they’ll say “Yeah, I’ve only been to … I’ve been once. I was in Austin.” I always say “Austin is great, man. That’s a wonderful, wonderful town. You should visit Texas someday.” It’s a great rivalry.
Shawn Carney: I went to A&M and there was a Planned Parenthood abortion facility in College Station, and my then-girlfriend, now-wife, mother of our seven children, she would go out and peacefully pray at the local abortion facility. I had never done that. As I mentioned, was certainly pro-life, but she invited me. Didn’t really want to do it, was very timid, but I was all in with her so she could ask me to do anything and I was going to do it. That’s the way we operate today as well.
Chris Craft: Smart man.
Shawn Carney: Yes. Smart, smart man. I went out there. The stereotype is this is going to be a bunch of self-righteous Christians yelling at women, telling them that they’re going to burn in hell, and then the women are going to be leaping out of their cars, screaming about reproductive rights, and then marching in to have an abortion. It was anything but that. It was very sad for sure.
Chris Craft: Yes. Yes.
Shawn Carney: But it was quiet and it was uneventful in the sense of controversy or what we would think of in the world or media. What was, I guess, so disturbing was how it was uneventful in some senses of this goes on in our neighborhoods.
Chris Craft: Yes. Yes.
Shawn Carney: Nobody grows up wanting an abortion. Nobody grows up wanting to be the best abortion doctor the country’s ever seen. Nobody really wants to be there except for the Christians that were on the other side of the fence peacefully praying. That really resonated with me. I got more involved in the pro-life movement. I became a sidewalk counselor so you could offer medical alternatives to women who would want to come over and talk to you.
Shawn Carney: In the fall of 2004, we saw our local abortion numbers going up in College Station, and I was still at A&M at the time. I was a junior. We decided to just spend one hour in prayer, and from that hour of prayer came 40 Days for Life. What if we took this timeframe that God uses throughout scripture to transform us and our world? What if we dedicated that to help end abortion in our community? We did 40 days of prayer and fasting, 40 days of community outreach, and 40 days of a nonstop peaceful vigil outside of our local Planned Parenthood abortion facility. That was the first ever 40 Days for Life campaign. It helped drop our local abortion numbers by 28%. We saw new-
Chris Craft: Praise God.
Shawn Carney: … pastors in churches. Oh, yeah. It was just God really did a lot, and we thought “Well that was wonderful. I’m glad we got to be part of it. We’re never going to do it every again.” City after city started calling and asking us how we did it. In the fall of 2007, we launched 40 Days for Life as a nationally coordinated effort, hoping and praying we’d get 25 cities, and by the grace of God, there were 89 that first fall.
Chris Craft: Wow.
Shawn Carney: That led to a spring campaign. Over the last 11 years, we’ve done a fall campaign and a spring campaign, and now this really simple effort has gone from one city of College Station, Texas to 775 cities in over 50 countries. It has been definitely a situation where we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. We underestimated what God was going to do, and it’s just been a blessing to see. We’ve had 15000 moms choose life at the very last moment. Those are the ones that we know about.
Shawn Carney: We’ve had 177 abortion workers have a change of heart and leave their job that we’ve worked with, and not just quit because they’re like “I don’t want these religious nuts out in front of my building.” Not that. Though some of those people quit too. They just don’t want the inconvenience of having to think about it, but these are people that actually had a change of heart. We’ve had 177 do that. We’ve also seen 97 abortion facilities close their doors.
Chris Craft: Wow.
Shawn Carney: … and go out of business. One of them, Chris, was that original location in College Station, Texas, and we now … That is now the … That building, now that it’s no longer an abortion facility, is the headquarters for 40 Days for Life.
Chris Craft: Oh, wow. Look at God. That’s amazing.
Shawn Carney: Yeah. We actually … On the medical side of the building, we have two former abortion doctors. They’re married. They run the medical side. They had conversions decades ago. It shows God makes all things new. That building represents that, and the building really … Obviously, it’s brick and mortar. It’s a building, but it represents what is possible through prayer in any community. We never … Most people in any given city in America are not lobbying to have an abortion facility come to their city, but we’re not paralyzed whenever they do. We can offer alternatives and we can offer hope.
Chris Craft: Yes. Yes. Our God does bless us with hope. That is a great story. I’m always interested in how people grow during their college years. Obviously, you were convicted in high school and did a lot of growing thanks to the Lord and to your girlfriend, now wife. How else did you grow during those college years alongside some of your buddies and your girlfriend?
Shawn Carney: Well I lived with a great group of guys. I mean in college overall. It was acceptable and encouraged to pray in our house. I lived on the side of a duplex with college friends. Two of them ended up becoming my brother-in-law. We had a great environment. We had good guys that were looking out for each other. I would say it was easier to be good in our environment. We didn’t put ourselves in compromising situations, and I had friends that did. I had friends that really left high school and lost their faith in God and got into some bad things. Some got out and are living great and free lives now, and some didn’t.
Shawn Carney: I really grew and I think my work ethic as far as growth definitely kicked into high gear. I didn’t take school seriously in high school. I was all about sports or my faith. I don’t know. Maybe I was using my faith to justify not doing good in school, but I just thought “Eh, grades don’t really matter” and all that kind of stuff. That definitely all changed once you start going to college and you start paying for college.
Shawn Carney: I just had a tremendous college experience. I also got married Christmas break of my junior year. I knew this was the woman that I wanted to marry, and I was hoping she felt the same. So we got married after dating two years. It was really … Life started very early and I think that was God preparing me for sort of throwing the end of the pro-life movement. I really wanted to be an attorney. That’s what I wanted to do. My wife and I always wanted kids, a lot of kids, when we … We’re dating. God has been good. We have seven.
Chris Craft: Yes. Yes.
Shawn Carney: I thought … I was always drawn to a legal career. I had friends that were parents of other kids that I grew up with who were lawyers, and that always sort of interested me. We were planning on going to law school. Then the local pro-life organization, the Coalition for Life, that was in our community hired me. Then I ended up becoming the director shortly after. Our plans never work out. I’m very thankful for that.
Chris Craft: Very true. Please tell us more about your work as a producer of pro-life documentaries. I find that fascinating.
Shawn Carney: Yeah. I had an opportunity to make a pro-life documentary, and one of the ways that I did it is there was this wonderful Baptist man named John. I call him John the Baptist. He had some regional Emmys. He had done documentaries for CNN and he had done some big stuff, but he was living in College Station to take care of his parents. But very pro-life. The two of us connected and I wanted to do a documentary on who goes out and prays at an abortion facility. Are these people crazy? Are they well-intentioned but misguided? Are they effective? Does it really do any good? Do people turn around? What is this type, if you will?
Shawn Carney: He loved the idea because he didn’t like that people went out to abortion facilities and prayed in front of them. He was very honest about it. As a Christian, he’s like “I don’t know. I’m more of … I think about the stereotypes. Isn’t it just noise?” He went out. He’s like “I’ll consider doing this documentary, but I want to go out there.” He had done missionary work all over the world and made documentaries around missionary work: Africa, Asia, everywhere. He’s been everywhere 10 times.
Shawn Carney: He met me out there and he went and he saw young college women that were out there praying during that time. He said “Man, I’ve been all over the world and I’ve seen people take the Gospel in the places I don’t even really want to go into, would definitely not let my wife or children go into. Yet, this is it? This is … Y’all are just missionaries.” Kind of like it was so simple. It was like “Nobody wants an abortion. You’re coming out here. You’re not violent. You’re not yelling. You’re not judgemental. You’re the only real choice to put it like that. It’s beautiful.” He kind of went all in in seeing the heart of the ministry that this is we are there, as Mother Teresa said, to be the hands and feet of Christ.
Shawn Carney: That was really a good moment because I needed him to make the documentary. We produced it and it won a Telly Award. It was aired on EWTN. We ended up getting funding and making a mini-series out of it. It was really one of those opportunities that I wasn’t pursuing. It just came up and I thought “We need to get our message out there. Why don’t we do a documentary?” I had no idea what I was doing. It was a great learning process. I think I was 24, 25 at the time when we did that, but I learned a lot, learned a lot about making videos and quality videos and telling a story and telling a story that a lot of people don’t want to hear about. Abortion’s the most controversial issue of our time still. How do we present that in a way that shows this effects everyone?
Chris Craft: Wow. What I really hear in your story is that there are several opportunities where, I guess what you could call evangelicals or Protestants, you’ve teamed up with them. You’ve been to Baptist churches. Sometimes that divide between Catholic and Protestant can get in the way, but not in your story. I appreciate that.
Shawn Carney: Yeah. Yeah. Definitely. Definitely. I think that really you could say broader … I think my story does represent the pro-life movement. I think it’s by far the most ecumenical movement and proudly so. You go to the March for Life. You go to … I’ve written two books on 40 Days for Life. We get endorsements from Focus on the Family. We get endorsements from Catholic bishops. We get endorsements from everybody that you would hope would be locked arm in arm. I think it’s definitely … I think God has blessed that unity. I tell people, as a Catholic too, the evangelicals and Protestants that I know in the pro-life movement, they respect Catholicism.
PART 1 OF 3 ENDS [00:18:04]
Shawn Carney: I feel that they respect Catholicism. And we should, just as they should, not expect people to hang their faith on the door. You’re not compromising your faith when you lock arm and arm in defense of the unborn.
Chris Craft: I agree.
Shawn Carney: I mean, you’re not saying, “There’s no differences and we’re all the same.” We’re not the same. There are differences. And that’s the beauty of it. That’s the beauty that we move forward anyways in unity because of what is at stake. We’re defending the family. I had this Baptist preacher. We would play golf years ago, before we moved away. And we were golfing one time and he goes, “You know, we don’t really have the luxury of arguing with you people anymore.” You know, like, you look around and you see the attacks on the family, you see the attacks on the dignity of women, the dignity of men, on children.
Shawn Carney: And secularism has just absolutely aggressively invaded so many corners of our culture. And the abortion industry would love nothing more than to see a bunch of Christians out arguing over the trinity or the saints or something. I mean, they would get their popcorn and just sit there and laugh at us all day. And so we really … you know, it’s something I think we need to take seriously. And it’s something also you learn about other people’s faith and you’re inspired by their commitment to it. And it’s been one of the joys, I think, of being in the pro life movement. And I was ready for it because, as a Catholic, I was a minority. East Texas is two percent Catholic. So if you’re unwilling to get along with others, it’s going to be a pretty lonely life.
Chris Craft: Thanks for sharing that. And on that point, perfect segue. Why do you think abortion is such a central spiritual issue in our country and worldwide?
Shawn Carney: Because there’s nothing more unnatural. You know, our Lord could have popped out of an acorn and saved us from our sins in a millisecond. He’s God, he can do anything. But He didn’t. He chose to come through the womb. He even asked permission. He sent his angel to ask a 14 year old virgin permission if He could do it. That’s His humility. And He comes in through a family. He listens to Joseph. He listens to Mary. He learns to be a carpenter, he sweats, he works, he laughs. He lives a full life. And we can’t get away from that. That is ingrained in our nature as human beings, to love our children, to teach our children, to protect our children. And it’s not only a natural reality, but through Christ and in the trinity, it’s a supernatural reality. And that’s why it is at heart, a spiritual crisis.
Shawn Carney: I mean, there’s nothing sadder than a woman feeling like she has no other option than to pay a physician, a protector of life, to end the life of her child. And so … and obviously there’s the division of men not standing up for that woman, of healthcare certainly not standing up for the unborn child. And we ultimately haven’t bought it. We haven’t bought that. It’s such a great lie in this country, which is why despite 45 years of legalized abortion, we’re not only just still talking about it, but we are closer to ending it than we’ve ever been before.
Chris Craft: That’s right. We’ll get to that in a moment. But let’s talk about the economics. It seems like people on the other side of this debate from us, they hold up the economics side of it and the liberating aspect of abortion. Can you tell our listeners why the idea of abortion being a liberator for women is such a fallacy.
Shawn Carney: Yeah. It’s such a fallacy because it says that you have to take the life of someone else to get what you want it. It’s the epitome of might makes right. And it’s very dangerous. And we dehumanized African Americans during slavery. Nazi Germany dehumanized Jews. And we have illegally dehumanized the unborn. And we’ve done so because of their size, because of their location, they’re in the womb and they’re little. And so, thank God, science and reason has always been chasing the truth. And, that’s what’s happened over the last 45 years. We can see inside the womb, we know that you have everything in your DNA at conception to be a great athlete or have a disability or be super athletic when you’re 55 or a cranky old man when you’re 88, whatever it is that you’re gonna be, that DNA is there.
Shawn Carney: And so, the idea that this is liberating … None of the data shows that because the conversion gate only swings in one direction. The march for life in DC is led by women who have had an abortion. We have a former abortion doctor on our board of directors. There’s just a line out the door of people who have experienced abortion and regret it. So that alone is obviously very powerful. But there’s also the reality that in order to really justify abortion or to accept it or promote it with good intentions, I mean, you’re trying to help people, that’s why most people work at Planned Parenthood. They think that they’re helping people. But to do that, you really have to reject science and you have to reject God.
Chris Craft: Yes, yes.
Shawn Carney: And those are two things, when you have to disregard each of those, you’re never going to get from the abortion industry … They’re not going to talk about DNA and science. They don’t get into any of that. It’s all reproductive rights. It’s freedom. It’s the things that you mentioned. And that’s a very dangerous world. And I think that that’s why so many people have rejected it. They’re uncomfortable with it. And you’ll see younger people, I’m 36, I don’t consider myself a young person anymore, but like if you’re 18 or 20, those kids, they’ve seen their siblings ultrasound that’s on the fridge. They … We sort of have this open door to the womb now that we didn’t have 30 or 40 years ago.
Chris Craft: Yes. Yes.
Shawn Carney: And so, it’s not a liberal/conservative thing down the line by any means. People can support a lot of “liberal causes” and be for all these other different rights. But more often than not, these days, they are pro life. And so, I think that it’s a really … We’ve put ourselves in this impossible position where we have done so much to protect the unborn child. You can’t get on a roller coaster. I mean, they’re not going to serve you a beer. We do all these practical things to protect unborn children. Scott Peterson is serving a double homicide life in prison sentence in California, because he murdered his wife who was pregnant.
Chris Craft: That’s right.
Shawn Carney: The jury gave him two life sentences back to back, double homicide. So there’s all that legal precedent where we say, this is a human. And we would never allow a plantation owner to say, “Well, I don’t really own slaves. I think that they’re people.” And then the next guy says, “Well, I think that their slaves.” And then everybody just gets to decide. We have given ourselves the authority to decide who is worthy to live among us and be like us. And that is a dangerous mentality that always leads to the destruction of innocent human life and it’s anything but freedom.
Chris Craft: Anything but freedom, anything but Godly. And I’m a brown person, African American, however you want to call it. And this next statement is not to cause a ethnic divide or anything, but just up the road, 45 north in Dallas, I believe a bill board was put up of three African American women. They’re smiling and enjoying themselves and I believe the headline is abortion is self care. And the angling of the copywriting is to make abortion seem like it’s a good decision, once again, a liberator for brown women, for African Americans.
Chris Craft: And the “clinics” or the mills that I’ve been around, most of them have been in urban areas. And so can you talk a little bit about, not to put a specific color line on this thing, but has there been a focus or an attack on people of color with the abortion industry?
Shawn Carney: Definitely. I mean that is unfortunately an easy question to answer. And when you look at the big picture, let’s say you’re black, you’re brown, you’re from Africa or Latin America, not just here in the states, but when we go places. You can go to the inner city, you can go to Nigeria, you can go to Bogota, Columbia, where I was, and they have 80 abortion facilities in a two square mile radius.
Chris Craft: Oh wow!
Shawn Carney: And anytime Americans go into another country, Latin America or Africa especially, or we go into an inner city, and our overall message is, “You ought not breed. You shouldn’t have children. You’re too sick or you’re too poor or you’re too whatever it is.” There’s just nothing on a human level. You could just remove God. On a human level, there’s nothing more degrading-
Chris Craft: Talk about it Shawn.
Shawn Carney: … than telling someone they shouldn’t have children.
Chris Craft: Come on now.
Shawn Carney: Not that they can’t, you know, but that they ought not. You shouldn’t have kids. And we did a great podcast with the leader of Culture of Life Africa and she heard Melinda Gates, it’s Bill Gates’ wife, in Nigeria talking about we got to get contraception, we got to get abortion, we’ve got to get all these things throughout Africa. And she just took it personally, thank God. She thought, “Why are you coming over here?” And so Ujo has done so much in Culture of Life Africa. But we have a podcast called Aborting Africa. And that’s exactly what is happening? And it’s all under the guise of freedom, that you can be like us. You can be … This is the poison of the West. This isn’t your jeans are gonna look better and your shoes are gonna be cooler and your … everything is gonna work better for you.
Shawn Carney: We do so much good around the world, but this is not one of them. We have helped spread abortion. And it’s under that same mentality of that ridiculous billboard in Dallas. And those are things, Chris, those are like, forget all the race stuff, forget all the abortion, trying to sell abortion, targeting minorities. If you just set that aside. Let’s say, “Okay, they do want money and they do want to target minorities.” Just from a PR standpoint, there’s just nothing dumber than …
Chris Craft: It is dumb.
Shawn Carney: I mean, you’re sitting here going … So you put a black woman on there, they’re beautiful. They’re kind of laughing, they’re joyful women. And you’re saying they all need to get abortions.
Chris Craft: Oh, it’s ridiculous.
Shawn Carney: It’s unbelievable. So this was just ironic, but we, 40 days For Life, is doing some billboard campaigns in different parts of the country. In Wisconsin, the graphic design company that we use had this beautiful African American woman smiling and it said, “Women deserve better than Planned Parenthood.” And it had the website and it said, “The beginning of the end of abortion.” And the woman you just … you fall in love with. I mean, she’s laughing, she’s joyful. And we sit this out on Twitter. We took our billboard and we put it next to the one in Dallas. And we said this is the difference of how black women are viewed by the pro life movement and by the abortion industry.
Chris Craft: Preach Carn.
Shawn Carney: And it absolutely is … it’s just shameful. And there are a lot of great … you know, Dr Haywood Robinson, he’s from south central LA. He’s the former abortion doctor. He’s on our board, he’s been in the pro life black movement for a long time and worked with Reverend Johnny Hunter and Alveda King and we’ve done a lot in this area. But as far as are they being targeted? Yes. And it’s just the locations of the abortion facilities. I’ve been to 450 abortion facilities in America. And there are ones that are very safe and you can go out there, and we work with our campaigns on safety. That’s the number one thing that we do. But you know, there’s some, “There’s no way I’m taking my kids out there. And there’s no way I’m letting my wife go.”
Shawn Carney: And the fact that the black community makes up 11 to 12 percent of the US population, but they make up 40 percent of all abortions, you would have to just bury your head in the sand to say, “AH, it’s a big irony. They’re not being targeted.” And all of that. And so, you know, it just piles on. If abortion is just a form of eugenics, you don’t want certain people around and you should have an abortion because fill in the blank because you’re on drugs because … fill in the blank. Because you’re on drugs, because you are a victim of sex abuse, because you are black, because you’re white, because you’re not going to finish college, because you’re poor. All of those reasons are ways to basically judge who that person will be.
Chris Craft: Yes. Yes. And Satan doesn’t care either way. He just wants death.
Shawn Carney: He does.
Chris Craft: That’s unfortunate. So let’s talk about some of the positive things that are out there. What kind of resources are out there for women who are pregnant and feel under supported and unprepared for caring for their child?
Shawn Carney: Well, there’s more now than ever. And thank God for that. I mean, right now … You know, since 1991, over half of all the abortion facilities in America have closed. And so during that time, mainly through the leadership of evangelicals, there have been pregnancy resource centers built across the country to where they now outnumber abortion providers three to one. And you are extremely likely, if you have 20 or 30,000 people in your town, you probably have access to a pregnancy center. But you now have to have about 200,000 people in your town to have access to abortion. They have had to retreat out of rural America because they couldn’t stay open. And now, they are building larger abortion facilities in cities. And so, you know, I think it was like 97 percent of US counties do not have an abortion provider.
Chris Craft: Wow, what a stat. Wow.
Shawn Carney: It’s … yeah. And so it’s very, very encouraging. And so when you see that all of these resources are available for women … And there’s just some tangible things, Chris. People can be like, “Well look, I’m not pro life, but I don’t want my daughter to have an abortion and, and we just … we need help.”
Shawn Carney: This is real medical care. I mean, you’re seeing you can get a free ultrasound. Planned Parenthood charges for that. You can get free pregnancy tests, which Planned Parenthood charges for that too. I don’t know why. They shouldn’t, I don’t know why.
Chris Craft: Oh man.
Shawn Carney: They charge for that. And you’re getting real access. You will not see a doctor at Planned Parenthood unless you’re having an abortion. So, these wonderful medical pregnancy resource centers are all over the country and it’s before, during and after. You don’t have a baby and then they say, “Well good luck. Be sure to get as much sleep when you can.” They provide diapers and formula and they have education classes. They’ll help women finish their high school diploma. They’ll do so much and it’s all free. It’s all donations. I tell people, “Donate to your local pregnancy center. I mean it’s just money well spent.”
Shawn Carney: And I travel a lot. I’ve spoken at hundreds of pregnancy resource center banquets and fundraisers and what an easy thing to give money to. I mean, it’s just going to the front lines and they have standards. People just can’t show up and get a bunch of free stuff. They have earn while you learn programs. They have educational resources. They also are now offering more-
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Shawn Carney: … educational resources. They also are now offering more resources for men. So, those are really great and the options are, like I said, more available now than ever.
Chris Craft: That’s great. So listeners, women, men, if you are concerned, go to google or your search engine of choice and enter pregnancy resource center in x, fill in the blank, whichever city or town you’re in, and seek help. There is help out there that could help support you in a pro life decision.
Chris Craft: So, I’m intrigued by your seven children and your wife. That’s wonderful. That’s wonderful, man.
Shawn Carney: I’m intrigued by him too.
Chris Craft: So they have to see the work that mom and dad are doing. So what kind of impact do you think your work in ministry is having on your children, and their view of the sanctity of life?
Shawn Carney: Well, I hope a positive one obviously. I definitely see that. I think that the biggest witness that our kids have seen is each other.
Chris Craft: Yes.
Shawn Carney: Because they see our families like big. Why don’t we get two grocery carts, when we go to the store? All the normal people I have one, like what’s the deal? And so they see the joy. It’s fun. I think it’s hard. I was the youngest of three, I mean, but my extended family, my dad was the oldest of 11, so there were always people around. It’s hard to take yourself seriously when you’re in a house full of people. And that’s one of the tremendous blessings. There’s many things, sometimes you don’t want the invitation not to be selfish, but there’s many invitations not to be selfish, right?
Chris Craft: Right.
Shawn Carney: And so, I think for abortion it’s a full … my oldest is 12 and my youngest is three months. And so, I’d say four of our kids really have no real grasp of what I do. They know I worked for 40 … They know we’re pro=life, they know we pray for the babies, but they’re just too little. The older two are girls and they completely get it. And I think it’s, it’s, with dad travels, or dad’s working or whatever, they know what that is, both of them. My two oldest have read the 40 Days for Life book, which an 11 or 12 year old could read. The new book that I just wrote, they couldn’t, that’s definitely PG13.
Shawn Carney: But, they get it. I think that, hopefully a beautiful witness to them that we stand up for others, and that we work hard when we do so. I mean there’s so many different career paths anyone can take. No matter what, you should do your best. And Facebook, and Google, and Adidas, and Marriott and all of these huge corporations, and we all like their stuff. We like when our cell phone turns on and doesn’t break. We like when our cars run properly, and we demand otherwise. And I think that the nonprofit world needs that as well. And certainly the pro-life movement because these babies deserve our best.
Chris Craft: Excellent, yes, yes.
Shawn Carney: Excellent. And, and we’re doing this for God, like we got to answer for all this. This isn’t like, “Hey, I’m going to do this job and then if it works out, it works out, or whatever.” I mean, these are His children, and we need to bring our A game and do our best for Him, and for His children. And in that sense, this work is self motivating, right? I mean, how easy is it to get up and do this? But, no matter what you do, if you’re a plumber, everything is pro-life. When you are married and raising your kids, and living a life worthy of our Lord, that’s pro-life.
Shawn Carney: It’s pro-life to get your kid to soccer practice on time, which may seem like, it’s like, “Oh, that’s no big deal.” That’s a huge deal.
Chris Craft: It’s a huge deal, it is.
Shawn Carney: And we downplay those things, we want to be big and we want to be flashy and we want to be all those things. But what about just getting up in the morning, and making your kids breakfast, and then getting out the door on time, and getting the work and all of those things. I think that for us, teaching our kids that, is the most pro-life thing. Because our kids may go into ministry, they may go into sales, they may become a doctor, they may stay at home with kids, or work or whatever they end up doing. There has to be that level of excellence that, our life is not our own. Our time is not our own. It belongs to God. I think that that is the best life affirming message we can send.
Shawn Carney: For us having seven kids, you can’t run around and be upset at some of the kids. Because then they’re like, “I don’t even want kids. All I do is hear mom and dad yell about how there’s more cheerios on the floor.” You’re visibly can’t be complaining in front of your children. I think that’s an easy thing for all of us to do, but it’s pro-life not to. It’s pro life just to be quiet, so you know, somehow we’re going to get home. And we’re going to clean up the car, and we’re going to get to bed on time. I don’t know how it’s going to happen, but we’re going to pray that it happens.
Shawn Carney: I think all those things go into a family life. And Really Chris, these parking lots of abortion facilities, they are, nothing’s 100%, but 95% of the time it wasn’t right at home.
Chris Craft: Right, right, right.
Shawn Carney: Now they’re sitting in a parking lot of an abortion facility, and there is so much we can do to repair the family. And I really highlight that in the new book, that the family is the answer.
Chris Craft: Please give the title of your new book.
Shawn Carney: It’s called the Beginning of the End of Abortion. I cover a lot of what we’ve talked about, some of these trends and everything. But really it goes back to your first question, which is the spiritual nature of this. I take 40 true stories that we have seen, babies saved or a worker, or something inside the abortion industry. And I tell these 40 true stories. It’s a very fast moving book, at the end of each chapter there is a scripture and a daily reflection. And so it is a 40 day journey. Each chapter is a day. And so, it just takes people through … it’s a very hope filled book. It’s very hope filled. My prayer is that it encourages those who are trying to not just pray for our culture, but transform our culture.
Shawn Carney: But it’s also a call to action. It wakes people up, no matter if you’ve been in the pro-life movement, or you’ve never done anything in the pro-life movement, it’s a very unique book. It’s definitely one, as one person said, that the abortion industry does not want you to read. Because we do have so much momentum, and they don’t. They’re closing facilities, and they’re losing executives left and right. And so our movement is built from the grassroots up. And thank God when abortion does end in our nation, we’re going to know that it was God. Because there’s so much going in favor of the abortion industry. I think the book will be encouraging, and I hope folks enjoy it. It’s a heavy topic, but I don’t beat people over the head. We definitely talk about barbecue and sports in the book.
Chris Craft: Which next time in Houston, we have to go get some ‘que, man.
Shawn Carney: We’re going to Corkscrew in Spring, Texas. Your listeners can Google it.
Chris Craft: Hey, let’s do it. Let’s do it, bro. We’re on with Child of God, husband, father, Shawn Carney. Shawn, let’s talk a little bit about politics, but it, it resonates with this topic. What are your thoughts on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s views on abortion, and what do you think about all the backlash against him right now?
Shawn Carney: Yeah, it’s like a circus with his confirmation.
Chris Craft: Yeah, it’s a lot.
Shawn Carney: They’re like, “You had a bowl of Cheerios and the second grade, and you claimed you didn’t like Cheerios.” I don’t think there’s anything to worry about with Kavanaugh. I like the pick. I think like most people, he was like my second or third desire, I guess, if we don’t get a vote, our president does. But we definitely have to trust President Trump on this. He did a great job of pointing Neil Gorsuch. There were some pro-life groups that were kind of nervous about Gorsuch, and boy, he has turned out to be way better than even advertised. Which is hard when you got President Trump, because he builds everybody up as the greatest thing ever.
Chris Craft: Yep.
Shawn Carney: Gorsuch really delivered that. So, everything that I’ve read about Kavanaugh, all of the legal opinions from the lawyers that we work with, or articles that have commented on him said that he would be fantastic. We have to love the fact that he’s so young. The courts have been a huge problem on this issue. We can’t even begin to go through all of the laws, state by state, that the citizens want it, Republicans and Democrats. To help women to, to help regulate a very unregulated abortion industry. And the courts just throw them out. It’s unbelievable. Many have gone to the supreme court, and been thrown out.
Shawn Carney: So this is, whether you love Donald trump or you hate Donald Trump, if you are a pro-life and you voted for him, this is the reason why, is his appointments. Because this is stuff, it doesn’t matter, he’s not going to be tweeting in 20 years. And then, you’d be able to complain about it. But your kids and grandkids will deal with the judges that he appoints. And so, this is why you wanted him and not Hillary Clinton, if you’re pro-life. I don’t have a problem at all with Kavanaugh. I think he’ll be confirmed, and it’s not going to be a big deal.
Shawn Carney: I also think that a President Trump will probably get one, and most likely two other nominations if he’s reelected.
Chris Craft: What time in our country. Well, there’s a lot going on. But, as you’ve been alluding to, the trend is in the right direction in terms of the pro-life movement and praise God for that. That is great.
Shawn Carney: And it’s trickled up, Chris, that’s the thing. We’ve seen so much momentum at the hearts and minds level, the grassroots level, and people changing their mind on abortion. Now it’s starting to trickle up politically. And we’ve been disappointed, I think as a movement. I know I have been, there’ve been bad judicial nominations. There have been disappointing legislation that hasn’t passed, and we’ve just sort of been at the mercy of a lot of these appointed judges across the country. Now we’re actually seeing in DC, wow, America really is pro-life. I mean, when Kennedy resigned last summer, or two months ago, I mean, it was like hysteria in the media. What if, what if Roe V Wade is overturned and, and sort of they looked around and saw this huge pro-life movement that they’ve ignored for four decades.
Chris Craft: Yep. That’s right. Just doing the work, doing like you said, the hearts and minds work, peacefully. I love it. I love it. Which let’s talk about the Word. Which verse in the Bible speaks to you the most ,about the sanctity of life.
Shawn Carney: I think, “With God, all things are possible. Luke 1:37.” And that’s it, right? That’s the invitation from Gabriel?
Chris Craft: That’s right.
Shawn Carney: To Mary saying, will you do this? And you can save. She’s like, “No, I didn’t.” A wonderful Jewish woman arguing with God. And with God, all things are possible. And think about it, there is the most insane claim in the world, unless it’s true, is that Christ rose from the dead. And that’s how by the way, I open the book. CS Lewis was right, he’s either a lunatic, a liar, or Lord. So, when people say, “I don’t believe in this or I’m not going to believe in that, I’m not gonna …”
Shawn Carney: We believe that God put a man in a womb, who grew up, died, rose from the dead and now saves us from our sins. There’s just not a more, on a practical level, ridiculous claim, except the fact that it ties into all of human history and creation. Which we avoid in our culture these days. So it’s, you know …
Chris Craft: Or they try to avoid it. That’s right.
Shawn Carney: You always come home? You always come home in the end. Yeah, it’s a beautiful verse. It should give us great hope, that with God all things are possible. Even ending abortion in this great country.
Chris Craft: Shawn, that is rich. I appreciate it. And I also appreciate the paradigm shift that you’ve given me, in that pro-life is more than just the abortion movement. It’s cooking eggs and bacon for your kids. It’s smiling whether they win or lose in their soccer game or basketball game. It’s every single interaction within the fabric of daily life, is pro-life, and I appreciate that. That’s been a paradigm shift for me, and I hope it’s for a lot of our listeners as well.
Shawn Carney: Well, I appreciate that. And when your kids are seeing you cook real bacon, not the turkey bacon, that’s not the way.
Chris Craft: Now, come on. Now, come on.
Shawn Carney: When you’re cooking for them, and you’re going to the soccer games, and you’re picking them up when they’re down ,and when we’re just trying to lead by example, nobody’s going to want an abortion, Chris. They’re gonna want life, and they’re going to want family. With family come struggle. And it’s a famous saying, “A saint is one who struggles.” And life is a struggle and we need to embrace that, and not give up on it.
Chris Craft: Amen. Amen. Shawn, this has been great. I’ve learned so much. I’m praying for you. Listeners pray for Shawn and his family, and 40 Days For Life. Shawn, where can people learn more about your work, and your ministry and your books?
Shawn Carney: They can go to 40DaysForLife.com, and the book is available on there. It’s also available on Amazon. You can also check out, we have a weekly 30 minute podcast on 40DaysForLife.com. Then they can follow along. The campaign starts on September 26, and if you sign up for the free emails we send out, the daily prayer request, the daily updates of babies that are saved, or workers that have a conversion. So you can follow along in the campaign, and all that’s at 40DaysForLife.com.
Chris Craft: Awesome. Awesome. Praise God. Well, brother, I’ll be praying for you. Thank you for being a guest on the Chris Craft show. We’ll have to have you back, Lord willing.
Shawn Carney: I’d love it. I would love it. And I’d love to take you to eat barbecue when you’re in Houston.
Chris Craft: Let’s do it. Let’s do it. It won’t be far from now.
Chris Craft: If you enjoyed today’s show, please give us a five star review, and subscribe on iTunes. I’d be ever so grateful. Contact the show anytime via email with your questions, comments, ideas, and prayer requests at love@ChrisCraftShow.com. That’s L-O-V-E @ChrisCraftshow.com. Or you can leave us a voicemail at (855) 932-7263. Please indicate if you’d like your email or voicemail read or played during the show. And remember, do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind. God bless.