Focus on the Family produced a series of six videos focusing on pro-life issues, including episodes highlighting the work of pregnancy resource centers. In two of the episodes, Heartbeat International president Jor-El Godsey helped to shine light on the great work of such organizations and how individuals and churches can become involved.
During the second episode, titled “Heroes Providing Hope,” Godsey joined Focus on the Family’s president Jim Daley; Robyn Chambers, the organization’s Executive Director of Advocacy for Children; Amy Ford, co-founder and president of Embrace Grace; and Toni Clarke, Executive Director of Assure Women’s Center in Omaha, Nebraska. The group discussed what pregnancy resource centers are and how they benefit communities and women facing an unplanned pregnancy.
Coming alongside women and PRCs
“We really want to come alongside her (the pregnant woman),” Clarke said. “It’s not just about rescuing that baby, it’s about ‘what do you need?’ We can’t reach that baby until we reach that mom.”
Heartbeat supports more than 2,800 pregnancy resource centers and medical clinics, mobile units, maternity homes, and non-profit adoption agencies, in encouraging and empowering women experiencing unplanned pregnancies to choose life for their unborn children. Many pregnancy centers offer various programs, including parenting programs for mothers, fathering programs for the new dads, spiritual counseling, and resources. Some also provide well-woman care as well as ultrasounds and STD testing and treatment, while others go even farther to include helping women get a GED and develop skills for job placements.
“It’s all about loving someone into a life-affirming decision and helping them walk toward that,” Godsey said.
“If we cannot provide (the resource needed), we’re connected to networks that can,” Clarke added.
Truth is spoken and shown in pregnancy resource centers (PRCs), Clarke said.
“The truth stands on its own. We can stand on the truth of God’s word and stand on the truth of that ultrasound,” she said.
That truth about life via ultrasound is a program available to pregnancy centers through Focus on the Family’s Option Ultrasound program. Among other roles at Focus, Chambers helps PRCs that decide to add medical services to their repertoire to obtain ultrasound machines through that program.
“We want women to have several options; it’s not just one choice,” Chambers said. “That’s why the title Option Ultrasound. We want her (the pregnant woman) to see the life growing within her.”
Heartbeat’s vision is to make abortion unwanted today and unthinkable for future generations.
“We (at Heartbeat) want to walk with them so that no woman finds themselves so alone or desperate that the only choice they can imagine is terminating the life of their child,” Godsey said.
Tweet This: At Heartbeat we walk w/them so that no woman finds themselves so desperate that the only choice she can imagine is aborting her child
“No mom should ever walk alone,” Ford said.
Godsey agreed. “Every woman should feel loved and supported in their pregnancy.”
“The employees (of PRCs) are really heroes,” Daley said. “You’re saving lives each and every day and also empowering lives – that’s an awesome thing!”
The pro-life movement and PRCs
Episode 6 aired on Friday, August 20. The topic of involvement in the pro-life movement and with pregnancy resource centers brought Godsey, Daley and Ford together again in addition to Doug Sommer, a PRC volunteer; Leah Outen, co-founder of and post-adoption advocate with Woven Together; and Jessica Hardman, a pro-life college student.
“My generation is being targeted (by the abortion industry),” the young woman said. “I felt I had to do something – I had to put my hands and feet where my heart is.”
She pins a baby sock on her backpack which helps start a conversation when a fellow student stops and asks why it’s there.
“A person just has to have a conversation,” Ford concurred.
Outen, who made an open adoption plan after an unexpected pregnancy when she was 16 years old, encouraged parents to not condemn their daughters if they become pregnant, but instead, to be helpful and loving. She said she was “thankful” the latter was her experience.
“It was their love and kindness that led me to Christ,” she said.
Although she acknowledged adoption was challenging, “God carried me through.”
“Birth moms are heroes,” Ford stated.
Ford herself being someone who experienced an unplanned pregnancy as a young woman, she discussed how Embrace Grace came to fruition with pregnancy centers and churches partnering to help single, pregnant moms like herself and Outen.
“We want the church to be a safe place,” Ford said. “A lot of times they (pregnant women) feel alone.”
Through Embrace Grace, however, that myth is dispelled.
The organization recently launched a new program for men called Embrace Legacy, she added.
Sommer, who volunteers with a men’s program at a Colorado Springs pregnancy center, was encouraged by a friend to help mentor young dads at the PRC.
“I love it!” he said of his role at the center. “We’re there to encourage them. I’m an introvert (but) the Holy Spirit shows up … It is not my strength that makes those appointments work.”
For people who may wonder how to get involved in pro-life issues or how to help PRCs, the panel offered simple ideas.
“Take the first step in front of you,” Godsey said.
That may be donating financially or through serving as a volunteer or a prayer partner. Or it could be to start an Embrace Grace and/or Embrace Legacy group at a person’s home church.
“When we’re faithful, God equips us,” Sommer said. “God equips me to go in and do this work because it’s His work, and I’m just coming alongside him.”
“He can take your perceived weaknesses and turn them into your strengths,” Hardman added.
“God is calling us … to actually do what He’s calling us to do because to do is being obedient,” Ford said. “What do you have in your hand right now that you can do? Be obedient with that and then watch all the doors start opening…. We can help our fellow women have their baby and their dreams, too.”
See Life 2021 in Dallas and online
See Life 2021 took place live in Dallas, Texas, on Saturday, August 28, beginning with some ‘behind-the-scenes’ activities. The main program, celebrated life and the Giver of Life, saw Daley serving as host and Ford as co-host. Also appearing were Clarke and Nick Vujicic, president and CEO of Life Without Limbs. Christian singer/songwriter Matthew West led worship.
Editor's note: Heartbeat International manages Pregnancy Help News.