Driving the other day between speaking engagements, my mind was wandering as I was simultaneously listening to talk radio, watching my GPS for directions, keeping my eyes ahead of me as best I could, and attempting to answer a simple question: Why are the Planned Parenthoods and abortion centers so often the first choice for those facing unplanned pregnancies? Why not pregnancy help organizations?
The premise stated above is not always true, certainly. Many, many times it is our organizations, clinics and centers that are the first choice. That’s one reason the abortion rate is dropping, and that’s why Big Abortion is up in arms, running to legislators (Case in point; California) and to the media for help in decrying our work.
But, while we are cutting into the abortion industry’s market share, we are not yet dominating them to the point where we are clearly the No. 1 destination for those facing an unplanned pregnancy. In all honesty, we have plenty of room to grow.
I don’t have all of the answers, but I’ve got an idea or two.
Tweet This: Why is #PPAct so often the first choice? Why not #prolife pregnancy help? @KirkWalden #dontfundpp
The obvious comes to mind of course. We need top-flight marketing so that every young woman and man knows where and how to connect with us. We need to continue to expand or refine our services so that we are relevant to those we want to see, and we must make sure our facilities and our people are inviting, warm, professional and sharp for those who come in our door.
We get this. I doubt anyone will argue with the paragraph above, though some may rightly want to add to it in various ways.
So what’s missing? If we know exactly what we need, why have we not succeeded in securing these needed characteristics across the board?
What struck me during my drive was a verse from I Corinthians 13, the famous “love chapter” where Paul writes, “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging symbol.”
Many in the pro-life community go above and beyond in their steadfast work on behalf of life. They do so with love, fulfilling the type of thinking Paul was writing about.
And yet, there are many who say the right things, but there is little action. “I vote pro-life, every time,” one might say. This is wonderful, but walking into a voting booth every couple of years and pulling the lever is not going to get it if we are to change a culture.
Another might say, “I pray on behalf of life.” This is foundational and vital. We must be people of prayer if we are to succeed. But if prayer is the foundation, just as we don’t say, “finished” when a home’s foundation is complete, we understand that after prayer we must act on those prayers in order to complete a home for life in our culture.
Tweet This: "It's time to challenge those who claim to be #prolife to act on those beliefs." @KirkWalden
It is time to lovingly challenge those who claim to be pro-life to act on those beliefs with love and purpose. It is not enough to know the facts, it is not enough to articulate our views and not enough to pull a lever. And while we see Biblical examples of prayer being all that is needed for God to move, many more times we see God asking us to move on those prayers by taking action.
As the pregnancy help community, we must continue to challenge our constituencies to show their love and compassion by joining us. With wisdom as our guide, we must challenge the idea that a vote is enough, or that writing a congressional representative constitutes the end-all of advocating for life. In addition, we must advocate for prayer coupled with a call to action.
The pregnancy help community is the most powerful avenue for advancing the calling of life in our culture today. We advance with love as our guide, a strong fulfillment of Paul’s words in I Corinthians 13.
We must remind our constituencies that volunteering professional expertise in marketing, legal affairs, technology, medicine, construction and many other occupations can make a tremendous difference. They must know we advance only as a team, and we need the most effective team possible.
And they must understand that a financial gift is action. When potential financial supporters understand that their hour’s work at a desk outside our walls makes it possible for a life to be changed and another to be saved inside our walls, that hour takes on new meaning.
My drive reminded me that our answer, ultimately, is “more.” With more, the number of good ideas increases; our expertise multiplies. And the funding we need to reach out to more with the love of Christ grows in ways we cannot imagine.
Pregnancy help organizations are on our way to becoming that first choice. All we need is a little . . . more.