Let’s get right to it.
One of the Pregnancy Help Community’s biggest faults is that we subject ourselves to constant discouragement. It’s our own fault and no one else’s.
We turn our attention to Washington, D.C. and see the powerful abortion lobby get its way too many times. We look around us and wonder where our culture is going and we shrug our collective shoulders as if to say, “What’s next?”
Or, we look at our own organizations and ministries and ask, “Why can’t we do more? Where is the funding, the support, the laborers?”
Sometimes, we exacerbate our discouragement by constantly reminding our friends—at fundraising events or during church presentations—of the tragic numbers of abortions in our community or our nation.
Telling the truth is important; don’t misunderstand where I’m going. But for goodness’ sakes, sometimes we lose sight of the changing dynamic taking place right in front of our eyes. With so many victories, we dwell on the defeats—leading ourselves directly to discouragement.
We must inoculate ourselves against discouragement, and do so now.
One antidote for the Discouragement Syndrome? Encouragement. We pointed this out in last week’s column. Read it. I’ll wait till you get back. As the Pregnancy Help Community, we’ve got to be proactive in encouraging each other, or we lose the battle to discouragement. And ultimately, we will lose the war to create a culture which celebrates life once again.
But there is a second antidote. It’s simple. Nothing fancy.
We must believe once again.
We not only must believe we will be culture-changers; we must also share this powerful belief among our paid and volunteer staff, our boards, our prayer partners, our financial supporters and those who may be thinking of joining our team.
We must say it over and over again, until we are absolutely, positively convinced: We can, and with God’s help, will; create this culture of life where abortion is no longer even a part of the social conversation. There is no room for doubt here, no time for debating with skeptics and cynics.
To those who would rather philosophize or criticize, we will say politely, “Step aside. We have work to do.”
We must believe not only because we are on the side of life, but because the facts on the ground tell us we are winning. Yes, winning. Again and again. Abortion clinics are closing. Pregnancy help clinics are opening. That’s a fact. Want proof?
Bloomberg Business News, reporting just the facts, tells us a whopping 162 abortion centers (defined as a facility providing 400 or more abortions each year) closed their doors since 2011. Only 21 opened in that time frame.
Tweet This: #Abortion clinics are closing, more women are finding #pregnancyhelp #prolife @KirkWalden
More facts? In the late 1980s there were 705 such facilities. By 2011 that number had dropped 22% to just 553. So if 162 centers closed their doors since 2011 and just 21 opened, even I can do the math: Only 412 major abortion centers remain. That’s an unbelievable 41.6% drop since abortion was at its peak.
The cynics will tell us we’re talking surgical abortion centers, not necessarily about chemically-induced abortions. Whatever. I get it.
But look at the trends, friends. Look at the trends. The trend for abortion continues to drop at a rate of 31 abortion providers every year. Abortion providers are aging and shutting down. Few are taking their places—even with the Obama administration’s best efforts to keep the sham going.
All the while, we are growing. Some 2,500 pregnancy help centers and medical clinics cover the landscape in the United States alone. Heartbeat International, the world’s largest pregnancy help affiliate network, recently welcomed its 2,000th Affiliate.
Oh, and let’s not forget one of the key reasons why abortion centers are closing. As Bloomberg notes, many abortion providers are “citing reduced demand.”
The time is now to believe we can finish the job and take our place as the home for women’s health (and for many life-affirming centers, men’s health, too). And when we say “health,” we are talking about far more than reproduction. We believe in spiritual health, psychological health, familial health—all of it.
In the Pregnancy Help Community, no one is overlooked, no one is cast aside. We know this.
The media, the abortion lobby and even our culture will throw at us any one of a number of reasons for us to become discouraged. Fine. Let them have at it.
As for us, we choose to believe. And just so we are clear; our belief is not based on fairy tales or misplaced optimism. Not at all.
Our belief is founded upon the trend of 20 years. Our belief is founded upon the courageous decisions made in our centers, clinics, maternity homes and adoption agencies. And our belief is based on the strength and power of the God who created us; A God who parts the seas, who raises the dead.
We must believe. This, along with the encouragement we provide for each other, is the antidote for the discouragement we must fight against every day.
When we encourage, and when we choose to believe; we become more united, more engaged, and exponentially more effective as we go about shifting our culture through all the we do.
We are changing the dynamic. Life is winning again. Let’s encourage each other going forward, and let’s believe. Our culture—whether they know it or not—is counting on us.