How the ERLC is working to oppose abortion

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.

Psalm 139

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/.

Legislative Agenda

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.

Amicus Briefs

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. 

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