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(LifeSiteNews) — My guest on this episode of The John-Henry Westen Show truly needs no introduction. She has been involved in pro-life activism for decades, debated abortionists and abortion activists, and become one of the pro-life movement’s most successful apologists.

Stephanie Gray joins me to discuss her time in the pro-life movement, her talk at Google, her debate with Peter Singer, her new book, My Body For You: A Pro-life Message for a Post-Roe World, and much more.

Gray and I begin the conversation by discussing how she got involved in the pro-life movement. Gray tells me her parents raised her in the movement. She further recalls that she was aware of Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) and LifeSite while growing up, and while she was always involved in some form, she truly began getting involved around the ages of 12 to 14, explaining that it was around that time she wrote a letter to the prime minister of Canada about abortion, got a response from two of his assistants, and wrote back to them demanding the prime minister answer and that he needed to listen to her and put an end to abortion in Canada.

“I was just deeply convicted as a young child,” she tells me. “I loved babies and I knew what abortion was from a very early age, and so I therefore hated abortion. And I knew there was a need to do something about it.”

Gray finally married in 2020 after nearly two decades in pro-life activism, which she started doing full-time at the age of 21. While she’s suffered from multiple miscarriages during her marriage, her experience of the losses as well as her experience as a mother have “really broadened my view on just the pro-life message.” To Gray, she is “living it out” as opposed to knowing it theoretically, realizing the beauty of the call to motherhood and how all of us are called to either spiritual or biological parenthood when we reach adulthood.

“Realizing that there’s hardship that comes with the grand call that someone is meant for, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but therefore then realizing as a movement when we tell people, ‘Reject abortion, carry a pregnancy to term, either place a child for adoption or parent your child,’ that that is calling people to challenges and to hardship, and it can be very real at times, which is why we need support, which the pro-life movement has always done an excellent job of doing,” she observes.

At one point during the course of the conversation, we touch upon the pro-life talk she did at Google, which Gray says was “a God thing.”

She relates that it came off the heels of a broken engagement in 2015. Upon advice from her spiritual director, Gray spent 40 days at the Madonna House, a retreat house in Canada, and while there entrusted her work to God, asking if He wanted her to continue her work. Immediately, she recounts, doors began to open for her.

Early in 2017, a staffer from Google contacted her to see if she were interested in doing a talk at Google after the company hosted the head of Planned Parenthood, with the company wanting to appear “inclusive and tolerant.” She said that she would, and she did the surrender novena entrusting any talk to God.

Gray remembers feeling that God “blinded the people that needed to be blinded and gave sight to the people that needed to have sight,” simply because of the events surrounding the talk itself. The videographer, for instance, did not show, delaying the talk for an hour, and the company would not have posted the talk to the internet if a particular light would not stop flickering. The talk itself, meanwhile, was recorded on Easter, and was posted in June.

Later in the episode, Gray and I discuss her debate with Peter Singer.

Gray explains that the debate was supposed to happen in 2020 after a group of pro-lifers from Harvard asked her if she would be interested in debating someone, and she agreed. She was excited that she was going to debate Singer, someone whose work she had been studying for 20 years. But since he was in Australia and she was in the United States during COVID, the debate had to take place online. To Gray, the challenge of the debate was showing that Singer’s views on the unborn were “monstrous” despite positive aspects of his thought, such as how he encourages people to donate “huge sums of their income.”

“It was a great experience, because I think it’s a great way of reaching a lot of people who ordinarily would not listen to the pro-life message are now going to tune into that debate … and therefore are going to hear a pro-life message in contrast to his worldview,” she says.

Gray and I also touch upon some of her religious ideas in the interview.

Gray explains that the way she hears God’s voice is through adoration and the sacraments, though she gives credit to her parents for raising her a Catholic and in the pro-life movement, two things that “just kept coming together.” Gray also notes that she seeks spiritual direction and obedience to “trusted authorities,” observing that while there is still a “need to continually use wisdom and discernment, but you generally should be able to trust in their authority and guidance.”

She also points to an example used by St. Bernard found in the spiritual classic The Soul of the Apostolate, in which the saint compares people who work incessantly and those who pray to channels and reservoirs, noting that the reservoirs overflow. The image, Gray explains, is such that those who work incessantly are like channels that water simply flows through, though since they do not take the time to pray, they “run out of steam and they can be a threat to whatever ministry they’re in, as well as to their spiritual well-being.” We are instead called to be like reservoirs, taking time to be still, know that God is God, and let ourselves be filled with the Holy Ghost, letting that overflow in our apostolate.

Gray also describes a change to her speaking style, noting that at one point she realized that the most powerful words that one can use are those of Our Lord, recounting that she was praying on what to talk about before giving a talk in Mexico, and then the thought came to her that opposed the words of consecration, “This is My Body which is given up for you,” to abortion, which is the taking of someone else’s body for one’s own betterment.

A similar thought occurred to her while breastfeeding at Mass, when at the words of consecration she looked down at her daughter and realized that her daughter, her own flesh and blood, was truly eating her.

“The Eucharist took on a whole new meaning, Christ’s sacrifice took on a whole new meaning, motherhood took on a whole new meaning, and the pro-life message took on a whole new meaning,” Gray relates.

“This realization that at the heart of the pro-life message is a call for everyone to be like Christ, and a mother has a very unique way of doing that, by laying down her body physically, emotionally, spiritually, at every level, and saying to our offspring, ‘Take and eat. This is my body, given for you,’ and it starts in pregnancy, but it continues well beyond after that too.”

Later in the interview, we touch upon how marriage changed her view of fatherhood. Gray recalls a challenge from Bishop Thomas Olmsted, bishop emeritus of Phoenix, who called on men to “rise to their call of fatherhood … and to remember what … it mean[s] to be a father.”

She also notes that she met a good deal of pro-abortion people who showed bitterness towards men, especially pro-life men. She began to realize that they may have experienced people who used them and abused them such that they have a different perception of men, whereas Gray experienced men who exhibited “authentic masculinity and fatherhood” throughout her life.

The experience, Gray relates, made her realize the importance that men empower each other to “go into the breach” and live an “authentic masculinity” and be the “protectors and providers that are so needed.”

For more from my discussion with Stephanie Gray, tune in to this episode of The John-Henry Westen Show.

The John-Henry Westen Show is available by video on the show’s YouTube channel and right here on my LifeSite blog.

It is also available in audio format on platforms such as SpotifySoundcloud, and Acast. We are awaiting approval for iTunes and Google Play as well. To subscribe to the audio version on various channels, visit the Acast webpage here.

You can send me feedback, or ideas for show topics by emailing [email protected].

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John-Henry is the co-founder, CEO and editor-in-chief of He and his wife Dianne have eight children and they live in the Ottawa Valley in Ontario, Canada.

He has spoken at conferences and retreats, and appeared on radio and television throughout the world. John-Henry founded the Rome Life Forum, an annual strategy meeting for life, faith and family leaders worldwide. He is a board member of the John Paul II Academy for Human Life and the Family. He is a consultant to Canada’s largest pro-life organization Campaign Life Coalition, and serves on the executive of the Ontario branch of the organization. He has run three times for political office in the province of Ontario representing the Family Coalition Party.

John-Henry earned an MA from the University of Toronto in School and Child Clinical Psychology and an Honours BA from York University in Psychology.