How pregnancy resource centers empower moms to choose life

June 3, 2019

On May 14, the Alabama state senate passed a bill that would ban abortion at all stages, with the only exception being if the life of the mother was at risk. On May 15, Gov. Kay Ivey signed that bill into law and, in that moment, affirmed that the state would be standing up for the pro-life ethic that a majority of Alabamians hold strongly.

Unfortunately, the victories for the most vulnerable have not been celebrated by all. Many pro-abortion leaders and activists have taken to social media to attack this pro-life legislation. One notable moment came in a viral tweet that asked the question, “Dear pro-life friends, what have you personally done to support lower income single mothers?” While this tweet asks a question, what it really does is attempt to make a statement: The pro-life movement is a fraud. As I write this, the responses coming in have been overwhelming. Thousands of replies later, it became clear that many people are working to support mothers who need assistance.

Welcoming mothers in crisis

One of the most remarkable ways is through pregnancy resource centers. I recently had the opportunity to visit with Sandi Horsley, the executive director of Sav-A-Life Tuscaloosa, and heard how her pregnancy resource center is doing pro-life work at each stage of life—from conception until well after a child is born. Her center, which is supported by many organizations and churches in Tuscaloosa, is located next door to the busiest abortion clinic in the state and serves women from a wide background. The clinic is only one mile off of the campus of the University of Alabama—the largest university in the state.

During my visit to the center, Sandi gave me a tour to show me exactly what happens when someone arrives. I was amazed by the way they love and serve mothers, fathers, and babies. They pay attention to every detail from the very first moment.

“Our process from the minute a woman walks in our door is to listen. We want her to know we want to hear about her whole story and her whole life,” Horsley told me.

“We know that the crisis in her life right now is an unplanned and possibly unwanted pregnancy,” she explained. “We encourage her to allow us to do a pregnancy test and ultrasound to make sure the pregnancy is viable before we discuss any options or plans. We want to assure her that we will support her emotionally and in tangible ways if she chooses life for her baby.”

Caring for mothers and babies beyond birth

Sav-A-Life Tuscaloosa has a separate facility next door that is called the Family Education Center. This facility is an incredible resource for these new mothers where they can participate in a program called “Earn While You Learn.” By participating in this program, the moms are able to get the resources, many of which are donated by local churches, they need to raise their baby.

“We walk her, and whoever came with her, to our Family Education Center to show her that most everything she could ever need is available to her for going through our parenting programs,” Horsley said. “It’s often there that we hear one of them say, ‘We can do this’.”

The program consists of a variety of topics, all of which are aimed at helping the mom and the dad learn skills that will prepare them for parenting. These topics include things like car seat and sleep safety, first aid, tantrums, and setting limits. There are also topics to help the overall family including “Filling the Hole” (emotional needs), positive parenting, discipline with love, and the power of words—all of which teach parents a better way to protect and raise their children.

Upon the completion of each of these classes, the parents earn points that can be redeemed for the supplies they need. They are also given the opportunity to learn life skills such as budgeting and job searching, along with Bible discipleship to strengthen personal growth.

Horsley went on to describe the aim of this program,

“Our goal is to be there for the family to help them become loving parents and prepare their children to succeed in life. Those enrolled in our program receive most everything they could need for their infant up two years and beyond, if needed.”

Empowering moms to choose life

I asked Horsley if her center was an anomaly in how it supports these women in Alabama. I was not surprised that her answer was no. She immediately started listing off names from all over the state that were doing work just like her center is—from Huntsville to Jasper to Birmingham to Auburn. From corner to corner of the state, large and small centers are stepping up to help women and men prepare to be parents and supporting them throughout the journey.

Sandi has an important message for each of us as we celebrate these significant pro-life wins.

“I often speak to churches and organizations to ask for their support,” she told me. “They consider themselves pro-life, and I ask them to take that step further to provide life—to prove they believe in what they are shouting. It is one thing for ask these moms to choose life and quite another to say we want to stand behind you for making this choice. As one friend of mine put it, [we need to] be a part of ‘empowering moms to choose life’.”

She is right. To prove that we are truly pro-life, we must be consistent, and we must have an answer to questions like the one asked in that viral tweet. In Alabama, there are resources available to mothers and families to provide for children, regardless of their circumstances.

So as we celebrate—and we should celebrate—let’s remember that this isn’t the end; it’s only the beginning, and it’s time to support moms and dads with unplanned pregnancies.

Article 12: The Future of AI

We affirm that AI will continue to be developed in ways that we cannot currently imagine or understand, including AI that will far surpass many human abilities. God alone has the power to create life, and no future advancements in AI will usurp Him as the Creator of life. The church has a unique role in proclaiming human dignity for all and calling for the humane use of AI in all aspects of society.

We deny that AI will make us more or less human, or that AI will ever obtain a coequal level of worth, dignity, or value to image-bearers. Future advancements in AI will not ultimately fulfill our longings for a perfect world. While we are not able to comprehend or know the future, we do not fear what is to come because we know that God is omniscient and that nothing we create will be able to thwart His redemptive plan for creation or to supplant humanity as His image-bearers.

Genesis 1; Isaiah 42:8; Romans 1:20-21; 5:2; Ephesians 1:4-6; 2 Timothy 1:7-9; Revelation 5:9-10

Article 11: Public Policy

We affirm that the fundamental purposes of government are to protect human beings from harm, punish those who do evil, uphold civil liberties, and to commend those who do good. The public has a role in shaping and crafting policies concerning the use of AI in society, and these decisions should not be left to those who develop these technologies or to governments to set norms.

We deny that AI should be used by governments, corporations, or any entity to infringe upon God-given human rights. AI, even in a highly advanced state, should never be delegated the governing authority that has been granted by an all-sovereign God to human beings alone. 

Romans 13:1-7; Acts 10:35; 1 Peter 2:13-14

Article 10: War

We affirm that the use of AI in warfare should be governed by love of neighbor and the principles of just war. The use of AI may mitigate the loss of human life, provide greater protection of non-combatants, and inform better policymaking. Any lethal action conducted or substantially enabled by AI must employ 5 human oversight or review. All defense-related AI applications, such as underlying data and decision-making processes, must be subject to continual review by legitimate authorities. When these systems are deployed, human agents bear full moral responsibility for any actions taken by the system.

We deny that human agency or moral culpability in war can be delegated to AI. No nation or group has the right to use AI to carry out genocide, terrorism, torture, or other war crimes.

Genesis 4:10; Isaiah 1:16-17; Psalm 37:28; Matthew 5:44; 22:37-39; Romans 13:4

Article 9: Security

We affirm that AI has legitimate applications in policing, intelligence, surveillance, investigation, and other uses supporting the government’s responsibility to respect human rights, to protect and preserve human life, and to pursue justice in a flourishing society.

We deny that AI should be employed for safety and security applications in ways that seek to dehumanize, depersonalize, or harm our fellow human beings. We condemn the use of AI to suppress free expression or other basic human rights granted by God to all human beings.

Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-14

Article 8: Data & Privacy

We affirm that privacy and personal property are intertwined individual rights and choices that should not be violated by governments, corporations, nation-states, and other groups, even in the pursuit of the common good. While God knows all things, it is neither wise nor obligatory to have every detail of one’s life open to society.

We deny the manipulative and coercive uses of data and AI in ways that are inconsistent with the love of God and love of neighbor. Data collection practices should conform to ethical guidelines that uphold the dignity of all people. We further deny that consent, even informed consent, although requisite, is the only necessary ethical standard for the collection, manipulation, or exploitation of personal data—individually or in the aggregate. AI should not be employed in ways that distort truth through the use of generative applications. Data should not be mishandled, misused, or abused for sinful purposes to reinforce bias, strengthen the powerful, or demean the weak.

Exodus 20:15, Psalm 147:5; Isaiah 40:13-14; Matthew 10:16 Galatians 6:2; Hebrews 4:12-13; 1 John 1:7 

Article 7: Work

We affirm that work is part of God’s plan for human beings participating in the cultivation and stewardship of creation. The divine pattern is one of labor and rest in healthy proportion to each other. Our view of work should not be confined to commercial activity; it must also include the many ways that human beings serve each other through their efforts. AI can be used in ways that aid our work or allow us to make fuller use of our gifts. The church has a Spirit-empowered responsibility to help care for those who lose jobs and to encourage individuals, communities, employers, and governments to find ways to invest in the development of human beings and continue making vocational contributions to our lives together.

We deny that human worth and dignity is reducible to an individual’s economic contributions to society alone. Humanity should not use AI and other technological innovations as a reason to move toward lives of pure leisure even if greater social wealth creates such possibilities.

Genesis 1:27; 2:5; 2:15; Isaiah 65:21-24; Romans 12:6-8; Ephesians 4:11-16

Article 6: Sexuality

We affirm the goodness of God’s design for human sexuality which prescribes the sexual union to be an exclusive relationship between a man and a woman in the lifelong covenant of marriage.

We deny that the pursuit of sexual pleasure is a justification for the development or use of AI, and we condemn the objectification of humans that results from employing AI for sexual purposes. AI should not intrude upon or substitute for the biblical expression of sexuality between a husband and wife according to God’s design for human marriage.

Genesis 1:26-29; 2:18-25; Matthew 5:27-30; 1 Thess 4:3-4

Article 5: Bias

We affirm that, as a tool created by humans, AI will be inherently subject to bias and that these biases must be accounted for, minimized, or removed through continual human oversight and discretion. AI should be designed and used in such ways that treat all human beings as having equal worth and dignity. AI should be utilized as a tool to identify and eliminate bias inherent in human decision-making.

We deny that AI should be designed or used in ways that violate the fundamental principle of human dignity for all people. Neither should AI be used in ways that reinforce or further any ideology or agenda, seeking to subjugate human autonomy under the power of the state.

Micah 6:8; John 13:34; Galatians 3:28-29; 5:13-14; Philippians 2:3-4; Romans 12:10

Article 4: Medicine

We affirm that AI-related advances in medical technologies are expressions of God’s common grace through and for people created in His image and that these advances will increase our capacity to provide enhanced medical diagnostics and therapeutic interventions as we seek to care for all people. These advances should be guided by basic principles of medical ethics, including beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy, and justice, which are all consistent with the biblical principle of loving our neighbor.

We deny that death and disease—effects of the Fall—can ultimately be eradicated apart from Jesus Christ. Utilitarian applications regarding healthcare distribution should not override the dignity of human life. Fur- 3 thermore, we reject the materialist and consequentialist worldview that understands medical applications of AI as a means of improving, changing, or completing human beings.

Matthew 5:45; John 11:25-26; 1 Corinthians 15:55-57; Galatians 6:2; Philippians 2:4

Article 3: Relationship of AI & Humanity

We affirm the use of AI to inform and aid human reasoning and moral decision-making because it is a tool that excels at processing data and making determinations, which often mimics or exceeds human ability. While AI excels in data-based computation, technology is incapable of possessing the capacity for moral agency or responsibility.

We deny that humans can or should cede our moral accountability or responsibilities to any form of AI that will ever be created. Only humanity will be judged by God on the basis of our actions and that of the tools we create. While technology can be created with a moral use in view, it is not a moral agent. Humans alone bear the responsibility for moral decision making.

Romans 2:6-8; Galatians 5:19-21; 2 Peter 1:5-8; 1 John 2:1

Article 2: AI as Technology

We affirm that the development of AI is a demonstration of the unique creative abilities of human beings. When AI is employed in accordance with God’s moral will, it is an example of man’s obedience to the divine command to steward creation and to honor Him. We believe in innovation for the glory of God, the sake of human flourishing, and the love of neighbor. While we acknowledge the reality of the Fall and its consequences on human nature and human innovation, technology can be used in society to uphold human dignity. As a part of our God-given creative nature, human beings should develop and harness technology in ways that lead to greater flourishing and the alleviation of human suffering.

We deny that the use of AI is morally neutral. It is not worthy of man’s hope, worship, or love. Since the Lord Jesus alone can atone for sin and reconcile humanity to its Creator, technology such as AI cannot fulfill humanity’s ultimate needs. We further deny the goodness and benefit of any application of AI that devalues or degrades the dignity and worth of another human being. 

Genesis 2:25; Exodus 20:3; 31:1-11; Proverbs 16:4; Matthew 22:37-40; Romans 3:23

Article 1: Image of God

We affirm that God created each human being in His image with intrinsic and equal worth, dignity, and moral agency, distinct from all creation, and that humanity’s creativity is intended to reflect God’s creative pattern.

We deny that any part of creation, including any form of technology, should ever be used to usurp or subvert the dominion and stewardship which has been entrusted solely to humanity by God; nor should technology be assigned a level of human identity, worth, dignity, or moral agency.

Genesis 1:26-28; 5:1-2; Isaiah 43:6-7; Jeremiah 1:5; John 13:34; Colossians 1:16; 3:10; Ephesians 4:24