Monday, May 29, 2006


To all interested parties,

I want to share with you an awesome experience I recently had in the
Colorado House of Representatives. It is a humbling experience to look
back and realize that God used me to play a role in His divine

As I was leaving the House chambers for the weekend when our Democrat
Speaker of the House mentioned that the coming Monday would be the final
day of this year's General Assembly. He went on to state that there were
still numerous resolutions on the calendar which we would need to be
addressed prior to the summer adjournment. Interestingly, he specifically
mentioned that one of the resolutions we would be hearing was being
carried by the House Majority Leader Alice Madden, honoring the 90th
anniversary of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.

As a strong pro-life legislator I was disgusted by the idea that we would
pass a resolution honoring this 90 year legacy of genocide. I drove home
that night wondering what I could say that might pierce the darkness
during the debate on this heinous resolution.

On Saturday morning I took my eight-year-old son up to the mountains to
go white water rafting. The trip lasted all day. As we were driving home,
exhausted and hungry, I remembered that I had accepted an invitation to
attend a fundraising dinner that night for a local pro-life organization.
One of my most respected mentors had personally called me several weeks
earlier and asked me to attend, so I knew I'd have to clean up and head

After our meal, the executive director of the organization introduced the
keynote speaker. I looked up and saw walking to the stage a handicapped
young lady being assisted to the microphone by a young man holding a

Her name was Gianna Jessen.

Gianna said "Hello," welcomed everyone, and then sang three of the most
beautiful Christian songs that I have ever heard.

She then began to give her testimony. When her biological mother was 17
years old and 7 ½ months pregnant she went to a Planned Parenthood clinic
to have an abortion. As God would have it, the abortion failed and a
beautiful two-pound baby girl was brought into the world. Unfortunately,
she was born with cerebral palsy and the doctors thought that she would
never survive. The doctors were wrong.

Imagine the timing! A survivor of a Planned Parenthood abortion arrived
in town just days before the Colorado House of Representatives was to
celebrate Planned Parenthood's "wonderful" work.
As I listened to Gianna's amazing testimony the Lord inspired me to ask
her if she could stay in Denver until Monday morning so that I could
introduce her on the floor of the House and tell her story. Perhaps she
could even begin the final day's session by singing our country's
national anthem!

To my surprise she said she would seriously consider it. If she were to
agree, she wanted her accompanying guitar player to stay as well. A lady
standing in line behind me waiting to meet Gianna overheard our
conversation and said that she would be willing to pay for the
guitarist's room. Gianna then said that she would think about it.
As I was driving home from the banquet my cell phone rang. It was Gianna
and she immediately said, "I'm in, let's ruin this celebration." Praise

When Monday morning came, I awoke at 6:00 to write my speech before
heading to the Capitol. As I wrote down the words I could sense God's
help and I knew that this was going to be a powerful moment for the
pro-life movement.

Following a committee hearing, I rushed into the House Chambers just as
the opening morning prayer was about to be given. Between the prayer and
the pledge of allegiance I wrote a quick note to the Speaker of the House
explaining that Gianna is an advocate for cerebral palsy. I took the note
to the Speaker and asked if I could have my friend open the last day of
session by singing the national anthem. Without any hesitation the
Speaker took the microphone and said, "Before we begin, Representative
Harvey has made available for us Gianna Jessen to sing the National

Gianna sang the most amazing rendition of the Star Spangled Banner that
you could possibly imagine. Every person in the entire chamber was
completely still, quiet, and in awe of this frail young lady's voice.
Due to her cerebral palsy, Gianna often loses her balance, and shortly
after starting to sing she grabbed my arm to stabilize herself, and I
could tell that she was shaking. Suddenly, midway through the song, she
forgot the words and began to hum and said, "Please forgive me I am so
nervous." She then immediately began singing again and every House member
and every guest throughout the chambers began to sing along with her to
give her encouragement and lift her up.
As I looked around the huge hall I listened to the unbelievable melody of
Gianna's voice being accompanied by a choir of over 100 voices. I had
chills running all over my body and I knew that I had just witnessed an
act of God.

As the song concluded the Speaker of the House explained that Gianna has
cerebral palsy and is an activist to bring awareness to the disease. "Let
us give her a hand not only for her performance today but also for her
advocacy work," he said. The chamber immediately exploded into
applause.she had them all in the palm of her hand.
The Speaker then called the House to order and we proceeded as usual to
allow members to make any announcements or introductions of guests. For
dramatic effect, I waited until I was the last person remaining before I
introduced Gianna.

As I waited for my turn, I nervously paced back and forth praying to God
that he would give me the peace, confidence and the courage necessary to
pull off what I knew would be one of the most dramatic and controversial
moments of my political career.

While I waited, a prominent reporter from one of the major Denver
newspapers walked over to Gianna and told her that her rendition captured
the spirit of the national anthem more powerfully than any she had ever
heard before.

Finally, I was the last person remaining, so I proceeded to the
microphone and began my speech:

"Members, I would like to introduce you to a new friend and hero of
mine-- her name is Gianna Jessen. She is visiting us today from
Nashville, Tennessee where she is an accomplished recording artist.
She has cerebral palsy and was raised in foster homes before being
adopted at the age of four.

She was born prematurely and weighed only two pounds at birth. She
remained in the hospital for almost three months. A doctor once said she
had a great will to live and that she fought for her life. Eventually she
was able to leave the hospital and be placed in foster care.
Because of her cerebral palsy her foster mother was told that it was
doubtful that she would ever crawl or walk. She could not sit up
independently. Through the prayers and dedication of her foster mother,
she eventually learned to sit up, crawl, then stand. Shortly before her
fourth birthday she began to walk with leg braces and a walker.
She continued in physical therapy and after a total of four surgeries,
she was able to walk without assistance.

She still falls sometimes, but she says she has learned how to fall
gracefully after falling for 29 years.
Two years ago she walked into a local health club and said she wanted a
private trainer. At the time her legs could not lift 30 pounds. Today she
can leg press 200 pounds.
She became so physically fit that she began running marathons to raise
money and awareness for cerebral palsy. She just returned last week from
England where she ran in the London Marathon. It took her over 8 ½ hrs to
complete. They were taking down the course by the time she made it to the
finish line. But she made it none the less. With bloody feet and aching
joints she finished the race.

Members would you help me recognize a modern day hero.Gianna Jessen?
At this point the chamber exploded into applause which lasted for 15 to
20 seconds.Gianna had touched their souls.
Ironically, Alice Madden the Majority Leader and sponsor of the Planned
Parenthood Resolution walked over to Gianna and gave her a hug.
As the applause began to die down I raised my hand to be recognized one
more time.

"Mr. Speaker, members, if you would allow me just a few more moments I
would appreciate your time.

My name is Ted Harvey not Paul Harvey but please let me tell you the rest
of the story.

The cause of Gianna's cerebral palsy is not because of some biological
freak of nature, but rather the choice of her mother.
You see when her biological mother was 17 years old and 7 ½ months
pregnant she went to a Planned Parenthood clinic to seek a late term
abortion. The abortionist performed a saline abortion on this 17-year-old
girl. This procedure requires the injection of a high concentration of
saline into the mother's womb which the fetus is then bathed in and
swallows which results in the fetus being burned to death, inside and
out. Within 24 hrs the results are normally an induced still-born

As Gianna can testify the procedure is not always 100% effective. Gianna
is an aborted late term fetus that was born alive. The high concentration
of saline in the womb for 24 hrs resulted in a lack of oxygen to her
brain and is the cause of her cerebral palsy.
Members, today we are going to recognize the 90th anniversary of Rocky
Mountain Planned Parenthood,"

BANG! The gavel came down.

Just as I was finishing the last sentence of my speech.The climax of the
morning.The Speaker of the House gaveled me down and said,
"Representative Harvey, I will allow you to continue your introduction
but not for the purposes of debating a measure now pending before the

At which point I said,

"Mr. Speaker I understand, I just wanted to put a face to what we are
celebrating today".

Silence.Deafening silence.

I then walked back to my chair shaking like a leaf. The Democrats
wouldn't look at me.they were fuming. It was beautiful. I have been in
the legislature for five tough years and this made it all worthwhile.
The House Majority Leader wouldn't talk to me the rest of the day.
Was it because I introduced an abortion survivor, or was it because we
touched her soul? She could hug an inspirational cerebral palsy victim
and advocate, but was outraged when she discovered that the person she
hugged was also an abortion survivor.

The headline in the Denver Post the next day read Abortion Jab Earns
Rebuke. The Majority Leader is quoted as saying "I think it was amazingly
rude to use a human being as an example of his personal politics,"
Yes Representative Madden, Gianna Jessen is a human being. She was when
she was in her mother's womb and she was when she sang the National
Anthem on the Floor of the Colorado House of Representatives.
The paper went on to quote Gianna Jessen, stating she was glad Harvey
told her story.

"We need to discuss the humanity of it. I'm glad to be able to speak up
for children in the womb," she said. "If abortion is about women's
rights, where were my rights?"

Leslie Hanks, one of the matriarchs of the pro-life movement in Colorado,
was in the House Chamber that morning and told me that it was the single
greatest moment she had witnessed in the State Legislature in the 20
years that she'd been lobbying in the Capitol.

All I can say is, "Glory to God!" He orchestrated it all, every minute of
it, and I was so honored to have been chosen to play a part. May we all
continue to be filled with and to fight for the passion of our Lord Jesus

In His service,
Ted Harvey
Assistant Minority Leader
Colorado House of Representatives