When Planned Parenthood Attacks: How a Pro-Life Mom and State Rep. Lost Her Seat Serving North Dakota

Some would say I should have cut my losses and spent more time on interviews, but that really was not my job. I was asked by the majority leader to serve on a busy committee for a reason, and I knew I had to do my work there well. I certainly would never miss floor votes for an interview.

Bound4LIFE: Susan B. Anthony List noted in 2011 that "Planned Parenthood has its sights locked on Bette Grande." What happened in that election and in subsequent ones?

Bette Grande: Planned Parenthood and others had their sights set on making sure I was not re-elected for a long period of time. In the 2010 election, it was very telling how bitter some of their attacks were and how their focus was directed only at me.

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In our district, a senator and two representatives ran at the same time – but I am the only one who had an opponent. The media and other players just ran with this narrative that I was "out of touch"; though they didn't mention life issues, because North Dakotans largely supported my stand there.

After I was re-elected, what happened over the next three years is that a couple of talk show hosts and one local media outlet spent time attacking me nearly every day.

When asked by my friends who would call into the show, "Are you going to allow her to come on and address your concerns?" The radio host replied, "No, it would just take up my time." That's what I was up against for literally years, trying to combat that type of stuff.

During that election cycle, Planned Parenthood and its state-based political arm poured close to two million dollars into North Dakota "life issues" campaigns. They attached my name to all those attack ads. Indirectly, they were able to campaign against me in that fashion.

One cannot track specific donations of my blatantly pro-abortion opponent in the 2014 race, but the out-of-state percentage was fairly large. Check some of the names on the larger donations reported, there are affiliations with various pro-abortion groups. But I'm just presenting information, not making allegations; someone else can draw all the lines.

You can only fight that for so long. It comes down to the constant attack.

Bound4LIFE: In your view, what is the goal of pro-life legislation?

Bette Grande: Pro-life bills are not about trying to "legislate away" abortion. That by itself would not matter. As leaders, we need to shine a light so people in our society will open their eyes and change their hearts, minds and souls.

Society must change before we will stop abortion as a whole. There has to be a conscience that is awakened. If there was a law enacted tomorrow that somehow made abortion illegal, abortion would not stop tomorrow. Let's be honest about that.

The most important portion of this debate is the fact that we are no longer in our society talking about a "blob of tissue." This is a key aspect of the Heartbeat Bill. We now know that the baby's heart is beating as early as 6 weeks and that is powerful.

For 40 years, pro-choice advocates got away with this "blob of tissue" talk. Instead, the public discussion has now turned to: at what point does the baby feel pain in the womb? At what point are we hearing a baby's heartbeat?

People are starting to ask themselves and ponder these questions. The pro-abortion side knows exactly what we are talking about and the recent Planned Parenthood videos prove that in a disturbing way.

This matters a lot when we talk about a young mother who is trying to decide, Am I going to abort or keep my child?

She is going to hear in the back of her mind what she heard on the news, what she saw in the paper: that that baby's heart is beating. That the baby can feel pain. And she's not going to go in and have the abortion.

Changing hearts, minds and souls – that's what this whole thing is about.

Reprinted with permissiom from Bound4LIFE International.

After 10 years on staff at The Heritage Foundation and Focus on the Family, Josh M. Shepherd currently serves in communications at Bound4LIFE International – a faith-based pro-life group. Reprinted with permission from Bound4LIFE.

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