Celebrate and honor God’s image bearers; pro-life advocate

Laura Lynn Hughes with her grandchildren and the Alpha mobile unit/Laura Lynn Hughes

Laura Lynn Hughes understands women experiencing unplanned pregnancies. She traveled a similar path, and she shares her experience with others through authorship and speaking.

Hughes attended the 53rd annual Heartbeat International Conference, held in Salt Lake City in April, where she talked with pro-life organization leaders, pregnancy center directors and staff, vendors, and others.

“There is such power in networking – it builds us up,” she said. “When you’re around like-minded people, you realize there’s power in numbers and that we’re never alone. I was rejuvenated being there.”

She humbly considers herself an “advocate for God’s image bearers,” modeling the faith walk and talk she witnessed during her childhood.

“My mom was an advocate at a pregnancy center … and her and dad were very much protectors of God’s image bearers,” Hughes said. “Dad was not just a pro-life person, but he took a pro-abundant-life approach, and he modeled everything he said about family and children.”

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Unplanned parenthood

At age 15, Hughes discovered she was pregnant. Although scared at first to tell her parents, as most teenagers are, when they did learn about her situation, her mother and father treated her with love and compassion.

“They were really, really good to me,” Hughes recalled. “They practiced what they preached and preached what they practiced.”

She was encouraged to choose adoption or parenting and they told her they would support either of those decisions. She chose to parent her child, and in 2018, she published a book about her unplanned parenthood experience at such a young age.

Hughes’ book, Choose Zoe: The Story of UnPlanned Parenthood and the Case for Life, is the story of her personal experience as a single mom as well as the stories of other women, young and older, who chose life instead of abortion.

“I start off with my teen pregnancy and how my parents received me, and how they taught me to parent, but it’s more than that. People see the child on the cover, and they think it’s my daughter, but it’s not,” Hughes told Pregnancy Help News. “Zoe is that Greek word in John 10:10, where it says Jesus came to give us life abundantly, so it’s that divine abundant life. Because the issue of pregnancy can be messy at times, we need Jesus.”

Laura Lynn Hughes pregnant at 15/Laura Lynn Hughes

She includes stories from pregnancy centers and even “my own children’s stories,” she added.

“To celebrate and honor God’s image-bearers and protect children – to me, there’s no greater joy,” Hughes said.

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The book, published about five years ago, was endorsed by Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, Jor-El Godsey, president and CEO of Heartbeat International, and Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, among others.

Hughes is also a member of Ambassador Speakers.

Laura Lynn Hughes and Jor-El Godsey at Heartbeat International's 2024 Conference/Laura Lynn Hughes

Passionate volunteer

In addition to her author and speaking career, Hughes, a professional photographer, volunteers for Alpha Clinic in California. She served as an advocate for years and now as a board member and Sanctity of Human Life speaker. She said during her own experience as a teenage mom, she pledged to God that she would “support pregnancy centers with whatever gifts and talents” He gave her.

“That may be writing, it may be speaking, it may be photography,” Hughes said.

As an advocate, she often travelled with the mobile unit and believes going into the community, especially near schools is pertinent.

“At PRCs, we’re partnering with God to save both lives and souls,” she said.

Laura Lynn Hughes and daughter Arica with the Alpha mobile unit/Laura Lynn Hughes

Hughes’ children and grandchildren sometimes assist her at Alpha events, and her oldest daughter, Arica, a former PRC worker and school psychologist, occasionally volunteers alongside her.

Hughes is also co-founder of an abortion recovery ministry known as A Movement of Love. She and the other co-founder, a pastor’s wife, recognized several years ago the need for resource materials for churches in order to minister to women and men affected by abortion more effectively and lovingly.

“Their wounds are deep,” Hughes said. “We need better ways to help the church help these men and women to heal. God, in his Zoe fashion, can always bring redemption.”

Although she chose life for her child and made a parenting plan, one of her daughters chose to abort as a teenager, and she kept that hidden for many years. When Hughes discovered her daughter’s secret, she remembers curling up in a fetal position and crying.

“Many people are impacted by abortion – not just the mother or father,” Hughes stated. “I ended up needing healing.”

Seeing a great need for churches to help those affected by abortion, Hughes plans to release another book to meet that need. Redemptive Love: A Journey of Restoration After Abortion is a collaborative work with friend Joan M. West and daughter Arica M. Henry. The anticipated publication date is this fall, Hughes said.

“It’s intended for churches, in order to take some of the weight off of pregnancy centers, which are primarily the ones offering abortion healing,” she said. “So, our intention is to bring it into the church where women need healing.” 

Laura Lynn Hughes


She views pro-life as abundant life, as reflected in her book Choose Zoe. In addition to her passion for the pro-life movement and pregnancy centers, Hughes is also passionate about the issue of human trafficking and child exploitation. She volunteers with and advocates for anti-human-trafficking organizations, including the online sexual exploitation of children.

“There’s abortion in that industry, too, and it’s a real crisis in the U.S.,” she said. “There’s just so much inappropriate stuff going on … It’s just really important that parents know how to keep their kids safe.”

Ways to do that include delaying giving children phones and social media accounts and taking away their phones at night, she said.  

Hope in spite of evil

Despite the evil of abortion, human trafficking, and child exploitation, Hughes, who resides in southern California, sees hope because of God’s love and mercy.

“Even in a polarized culture like here in California, we can still celebrate life,” she said. “We can share about our families and share about how pregnancy clinics offer free services … and about the Gospel. Life is messy, but God can bring really beautiful things out of the mess.”

Editor's note: Heartbeat International manages Pregnancy Help News. This article has been updated to clarify Hughes's role with Alpha Clinic.

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