The ERLC has been actively involved in supporting legislation against and bringing awareness about the horror of abortion. During just the past year and a half, we’ve held two pro-life events, donated ultrasound machines in four pregnancy care centers, issued seven policy briefs, published 20 articles on pro-life topics and a book on human dignity, and lobbied for a variety of anti-abortion legislation.
Here is a round-up of all the ways the ERLC has been involved in the issue of abortion.
Events and Initiatives
Evangelicals for Life
Since 2017, the ERLC has co-hosted Evangelicals for Life (EFL), an annual conference that addresses abortion and a variety of other human dignity issues. The event is structured around the annual March for Life and was held in Washington, D.C., in January 2018 and 2019. Two U.S. senators—James Lankford of Oklahoma and Ben Sasse of Nebraska—were among the keynote speakers in 2018. The 2019 event featured David Platt and a concert by Steven Curtis Chapman.
The ERLC and Focus on the Family launched EFL in 2016 as what ERLC President Russell Moore described as a "call to arms" to evangelicals. Evangelicals have been heavily involved in the pro-life movement for decades but have not made participation in the March for Life a priority, noted Moore. EFL was started with the hope it would help increase awareness of the march among evangelicals and prompt more to participate in the event.
ERLC’s Psalm 139 Project is an initiative designed to make people aware of the life-saving potential of ultrasound technology in crisis pregnancy situations and to help pregnancy centers minister to abortion-vulnerable women by providing ultrasound equipment for them to use. This project provides a way for motivated individuals to assist financially in the placement of ultrasound machines in qualified pregnancy care centers.
Since 2004, the Psalm 139 Project has helped provide ultrasound equipment for centers in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas. In 2018 the initiative helped place ultrasound machines in four pregnancy care centers, including two in the Dallas area, one in New Orleans, and one in the Kansas City suburb of Liberty, Missouri. In 2019, the initiative also placed sonogram machines in pregnancy centers in New Orleans, Louisiana and in Fultondale, Alabama.
All gifts to Psalm 139 go toward machines and training since the ERLC's administrative costs are covered by the SBC's Cooperative Program. Information on the Psalm 139 Project and how to donate is available at https://psalm139project.org/.
Stand for Life
In November 2018, the popular online, pro-life group Stand for Life became a new initiative of ERLC. Stand for Life—which seeks to promote human dignity through storytelling—has grown to more than 41,000 Facebook followers and nearly 30,000 Instagram followers. Stand for Life's website may be accessed at https://www.standforlife.org/.
Every year, ERLC releases a Legislative Agenda, highlighting various legislative and policy initiatives the organization plans to engage in over the course of the year. The ERLC's agenda initiatives related to pro-life issues in 2018 and 2019 included.
• Enactment of the Conscience Protection Act to keep pro-life, healthcare workers from being coerced into participating in abortions and other procedures to which they object.
• Approval of the Born-alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would require healthcare for babies born alive during abortion procedures. (The House of Representatives passed the bill Jan. 19, 2018, but failed to pass in the Senate.)
• Defunding of Planned Parenthood, the scandal-ridden abortion provider that received $543.7 million in government grants and reimbursements and performed more than 321,000 abortions, according to its most recent annual reports.
• Enactment of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. This act would codify the Hyde Amendment into law, by prohibiting federal funds from being expended for abortion or health coverage that includes coverage for elective abortion.
The ERLC files amicus (“friend of the court”) briefs in cases involving religious liberty, pro-life, and other issues critical to our Christian engagement in the public square. The amicus brief is a way to introduce concerns ensuring that the possibly broad legal effects of a court decision will not depend solely on the parties directly involved in the case.
In 2018, ERLC filed briefs in the landmark pro-life case National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Xavier Becerra, Attorney General of California, which had implications for free speech and the life-saving work of pregnancy resource centers in communities all around our country, and in the case First Resort, Inc. v. Herrera, a case involving the government’s right to prohibit a nonprofit pregnancy resource center for advertising its pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, and counseling to women considering abortion.
Articles and Explainers
- Three takeaways from a Pennsylvania abortion video by Andrew T. Walker and Josh Wester
- Why Christians offer hope, not the fatalism of abortion by Josh Wester
- Why we should refuse to rest in the battle against abortion by Mary Holloman
- The FDA is cracking down on mail-order abortion pills by Chelsea Patterson Sobolik
- My abortion didn’t empower me by Allison Duhon
- Analysis: How House bill 51 was defeated in the New Mexico Senate by Daniel Porter
- Explainer: U.S. expands ban on foreign aid to overseas abortion providers by Joe Carter
- Explainer: What you should know about fetal heartbeat legislation by Joe Carter
- Explainer: Planned Parenthood to lose tens of millions in taxpayer funding by Joe Carter
- SCOTUS temporarily blocks abortion regulation by Palmer Williams
- Explainer: What you should know about the law protecting late-term abortions by Joe Carter
- Another abortion video goes viral: Virginia and the Repeal Act by Josh Wester
- Explainer: New York removes barriers to abortion by Joe Carter
- The case(s) that could determine the next SCOTUS abortion ruling by Palmer Williams
- Explainer: What you should know about the March for Life by Joe Carter
- 3 things you need to know about the states voting on abortion referendums by Eric Mayo
- Norway Supreme Court upholds doctor’s conscience rights by Palmer Williams
- Why we should work to overturn abortion laws by Andrew T. Walker
- Explainer: Supreme Court protects free speech of pro-life pregnancy centers by Joe Carter
- Why an unwanted pregnancy is about the baby and the father, too by Garrett Kell
- Melissa Ohden on Surviving Abortion – Capital Conversations Podcast
- What's happening with the debate on late-term abortion and infanticide? – Capital Conversations Podcast
- Whole Woman’s Health v. Smith Supreme Court cert denied 2/19/19
- What’s happening with the debate on infanticide in Congress?
- ERLC Supports Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act
- ERLC Supports Hyde Amendment Protection
- ERLC Supports Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act
- Defund Planned Parenthood
- ERLC Supports Aderholt Detainee Abortion Funding Ban Amendment
- ERLC Commends HHS Announcement of Final Rule Protecting Conscience Freedom in Healthcare
- Russell Moore to Attend Dedication of New Sonogram Machine at North Jefferson Women's Center in Alabama
- Russell Moore Urges U.S. Senate to Support Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act
- NFL Saints’ Ben Watson, ERLC’s Russell Moore to Dedicate Sonogram Machine at Baptist Community Health Services in New Orleans
- Russell Moore Calls Virginia Governor's Abortion Comments 'Morally Reprehensible and Ghoulish to the Core'
- ERLC Offers Free Registration for Federal Workers to Attend Evangelicals for Life
- Through Psalm 139 Project, ERLC placed five sonogram machines in pregnancy resource centers in 201
- Stand for Life, popular online pro-life group, & ERLC partner on new initiative
- Psalm 139 Project Places Ultrasound Machine in Downtown Pregnancy Center in Dallas
- Psalm 139 Project places ultrasound machine in Missouri pregnancy resource center
- ERLC’s Russell Moore calls the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on NIFLA a victory for free speech, religious liberty and the sanctity of human life
- ERLC’s Russell Moore Comments on Proposed Rule to Restrict Federal Funding of Abortion
- Pro-Life and Civil Rights: Loving Our Unborn Neighbors by Karen Ellis
- Will Roe Go: Abortion and the Future of Pro-life Policy by Travis Wussow And Kristen Waggoner