By Tanya Fifth, CareNet’s Outreach Communications Director
I, along with several other pregnancy center leaders from across the nation, recently had the opportunity to attend a pro-life conference held by the leading authorities of pregnancy center and pro-life legislation and legal counsel. Many of the attorneys at this conference are the ones who are consistently standing before our US Supreme Court fighting for the lives of the unborn and rights of pregnancy center’s Nationwide.
Among the main topics of the presentations were what we can expect to see in regard to defending life and protecting our pregnancy centers in the current political climate. There was much discussion as to current cases set to be heard by the Supreme Court and what to expect moving forward.
There’s good news and there’s bad news.
The good news: Based largely on the efforts of our pro-life community, our previous administration, and the strategic placement of pro-life judges at every level over the past 4 years, they are very confident that we can expect to see Roe v Wade overturned within the next five years! There are several cases currently in the pipeline that are expected to pave the way for the overturning of the decision that abortion is a constitutional right at a federal level. Once this occurs, the debate as to how to move forward with abortion legislation will be handed down to the states. At that time, each state will be able to decide where it stands on abortion and move forward with legislation on an individual level.
The bad news: We. Are. Not. Prepared.
And by we, I am referring to THE CHURCH.
Many people think the pro-life movement is about “Saving babies.” And while it is true that we do hope that every mother will choose life for her baby, the Biblical definition of “pro-life” is found in John 10:10 in which Jesus states “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have life more abundantly.” That means that we, as the church, should not only be worried about the life of the baby, but should also be concerning ourselves with the life of the mother, that both she and her baby may experience the abundant life that Christ provides! We, as the church are supposed to go beyond just being “pro-life,” but rather we are to be pro-ABUNDANT life!
One of the pregnancy center leaders at the conference told a story of a woman who had come to their center seeking services. This woman had five small children, the father was not much help, she was working two jobs, and had recently discovered she was pregnant. She was intent on having an abortion and after receiving services, she left the center still determined. However, several weeks later she called the center again frantically panicking because due to her lack of transportation, lack of babysitting and inability to get time off work she had missed her appointment at the abortion clinic. She now had no other options. This center director was able to refer her to a local church who had been trained in “Making Life Disciples,” a pro-abundant life study offered by CareNet that teaches churches how to love on and disciple women in crisis pregnancy situations. Because the church had gone through this training, they already had plans in place for such a situation as hers. Through this church, this young mother found love, friendship, and discipleship. There were people available and prepared to help babysit her children, give her rides to doctor’s appointments, and help fill in the gaps where she was not able to adequately provide for her family.
Sadly, later in her pregnancy this mother was given an adverse diagnosis and told that her baby would not be compatible with life, even if made it to full term. Because of the love and support she had received through her local church; this brave mom chose to carry her baby as long as possible. She chose life for her baby until the very end and allowed her child the dignity of being born. Had she not had the love and support she was shown, there is no doubt she would have ended up in another abortion decision – one that may have left her emotionally scarred at best.
One of the many thought-provoking points that was made at this conference was that legislation does not determine culture! Although we can rejoice at the idea of Roe v Wade being overturned and seeing an end to the horrible practice of abortion, that does not mean that women who find themselves in crisis pregnancies are going to all of a sudden jump for joy at the idea of being pregnant. It does not automatically mean that they are going to accept the idea of carrying a child to term. In fact, should Roe v Wade be overturned, we are going to see an influx of women in crisis far beyond what we can imagine. These are going to be women who are going to be desperate, scared, and many may seek drastic measures because abortion is no longer easily accessible.
We, as the Church, are not prepared.
There is a solution, however. CareNet has a wonderful discipleship program, as mentioned, called “Making Life Disciples.” This is a study that is designed to help churches. It’s completely free. We can come lead your church in it or lead your church leaders in it so that they are able to present it to their congregations.
One thing is certain, if the church is not prepared to receive these women in the way that will be needed, our communities are going to see a rise in women turning to things such as drugs, alcohol, suicide, etc as a way to cope with their crisis. PLEASE speak to your church leaders about partnering with us in “Making Life Disciples” out of your faith community. If you are a church leader, please schedule a meeting with us. We would love to talk more with you about how we can partner and be prepared. When we see the result of what the pro-life community has been fighting for, we want it to truly be a joyous celebration knowing that we are prepared to love on these women and provide them with Jesus’s message of abundant life!