Almost every time I talk with or visit a leader of a life-affirming organization, I hear a familiar refrain: The people in our community are appalled at the assault on life in this country.
I get it. Whether it be the new law in New York, comments by the governor of Virginia, or presidential candidates falling over each other as they attempt to outflank opponents by extending their support for abortion all the way to birth and beyond, it’s stunning. All these politicians are shamelessly competing for Planned Parenthood's money and support, and there is no end to what they will do or say.
Watch one party’s convention next summer and here is a promise: On at least one night, “reproductive health care” will be a focus and hundreds of Planned Parenthood signs will magically appear. It happens every four years, so I’m not guessing. It’s a thing. Nothing new.
So, those who believe in the sanctity of life are ticked off. They want to do something, and for this, we can be thankful. The abortion lobby’s rush toward infanticide lit a fire under many who were watching from the sidelines, and today, legions of good people are saying—to steal a line from John Fogerty’s song, Centerfield—“Put me in coach, I’m ready to play, today.”
Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets are blowing up as those in the life-affirming camp give an online voice to their thoughts. Others are calling legislators. As a result, pro-life legislation is popping up in states across the country, which is another good step. Legislation can certainly limit abortion.
But we must understand that while legislation can stop an abortion practitioner from plying his or her trade legally, ending abortion truly takes place when no one chooses to end a pregnancy, legally or illegally.
Make no mistake: Turning a culture toward life involves a multi-pronged approach. We must have pro-life public policy and legislative initiatives, along with effective educational resources if we are to carry the day.
Yet as policy is debated in the halls of Congress, in state houses, and throughout the public square, we must remember that on the ground, the biggest decisions made are by those facing this situation in real-life. For this reason, pregnancy help organizations like ours are the catalyst to ending abortion as we know it.
Today’s column, then, is not for those of us in the pregnancy help community. We know the importance of what we do. We’ve seen the victories, we’ve battled through times when we felt defeated. We’ve sat across from those in the valley of decision day after day, week after week, month after month...for decades.
No, this column is for those asking, “What should I do?” If you are fed up with the status quo, if you are steadfastly determined to be part of writing a new narrative where life prevails, join us. A new culture is within our grasp. The time is now for pregnancy help organizations to become the first choice for those facing unplanned pregnancies.
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For when we become the first choice, the second choice can—and God-willing will—disappear. Because if those facing the most difficult time of their lives come to us first and choose life, those who make a living ending pregnancies will have no one left to exploit. In two words, “Life wins.”
If you want to be a part of this victory, two ideas:
First, pregnancy help organizations are always looking for a few good men and women. Pick up the phone and call a pregnancy help organization and ask, “How can I help?” Whether you have one free hour a month or are retired and looking for your next adventure, there are plenty of positions open and ready for those who are willing, from administrative to medical to simply being a listening ear.
Second, invest in the work. We can’t emphasize this enough. Go online, find a pregnancy help organization close by. Then, either write a check or go online to place your funds alongside your passion. One of the biggest challenges these organizations face is raising funds. There is big vision, but in many cases, these ministries are waiting for the Christian community to come riding to the rescue with funding to make the vision a reality.
Here’s a crazy stat: According to a recent Marist poll, about 47 percent of Americans claim to be pro-life. Working off the census, this translates to roughly 60 million families. If just one in five (20%) of pro-life families added $100 per year ($8.33 per month) to their giving to a pregnancy help ministry (either starting from zero or adding to current giving), $1.2 billion would pour into these ministries.
How much is this? It means that with more than 2,700 pregnancy help locations in this country, the average pregnancy center would see $444,000 in new funding to reach out and assist those facing unplanned pregnancies. When we consider the average pregnancy center budget is perhaps $200,000—this would triple the outreach of these ministries.
Talk about changing the narrative.
If we’re moved to action by what we are seeing, we have the time and resources to accomplish what once seemed impossible. We can make abortion virtually unthinkable, and we can do so quickly. It’s up to us.
Let’s get started. And let’s finish this, once and for all.