As a Christian, I believe in the sanctity of human life, beginning with the unborn child in a mother’s womb. Tragically, the U.S. has allowed abortions for 41 years, and many believe abortion is a woman’s personal right.
While we must continue as Christians to prayerfully and actively challenge the laws of our land regarding this great moral tragedy, we must also find ways to minister to abortion-minded women who experience unplanned pregnancies.
An excellent and effective ministry for the cause of life has been pregnancy centers that provide care, counsel, resources and support for the pregnant woman and her unborn child. At one such center in my hometown of Tallahassee, Fla., A Women’s Pregnancy Center (AWPC), the staff works to save the lives of unborn children by ministering to the men in the expectant mothers’ lives, including the fathers of the unborn children and the fathers of the expectant mothers.
Research has shown the influence of a husband or partner on a woman’s decision to have an abortion. In the article “Why Do Women Have Abortions?” researchers Aida Torres and Jacqueline Darroch Forrest of the Guttmacher Institute examine the main contributing factors influencing a woman in her decision to have an abortion. The study surveys a sample of 1,900 abortion patients from 30 facilities, including three hospitals.
Of the women surveyed, 23 percent listed the desire of a husband or partner as a reason to end the pregnancy. Of 18- to 19-year-old women, 29 percent said husband or partner influence was a contributing factor in the decision to abort.
Both unmarried and married women are swayed to have an abortion because it is their partners’ wish. Of the 1,900 women surveyed, 51 percent said that problems with a relationship or the desire to avoid single parenthood contributed to their decision to have an abortion.
A 2004 Guttmacher Institute study reports similar findings, citing a relationship problem or a desire to avoid single parenthood as the third most common reason women surveyed chose an abortion.
These figures help point to the missing part of the conversation and action plan in the cause for the sanctity of life. Ministering to the father of the unborn child can and will save lives.
Here is a recent testimony from one of the counselors at the Tallahassee center.
“We had a client today that speaks to the influence of the partner. She has three children and had not considered abortions for any of them. She is now pregnant again by the father of the two youngest children, and she presented to us strongly abortion minded, primarily because the father of the baby has moved on to another relationship and is not interested in another child with her.”
If by God's grace we can minister to this man, a life could possibly be saved. He will have the option of being contacted by a trained, gospel-centered male counselor, who will share the gospel of Jesus Christ with him, walk with him in support through the entire progress of the pregnancy and commit to continued care for him after the baby is born. In 2013, AWPC’s sessions with its 215 male clients included counsel and care for men experiencing guilt, shame, depression and other post-abortion psychological effects because a partner of theirs has chosen abortion.
AWPC staff are compelled by the love of Christ to love all of their clients and help them see that choosing life is best. Out of care for the soul of the mother and the life of her unborn baby, the center wants to save as many lives as possible.
All across America, such centers are ministering with love and a strong sense of convictional kindness, leading mothers to give birth.. Many of these centers prioritize sharing the gospel with mothers and lead many to professions of faith in Jesus Christ.
If we want to be as compassionate and effective as possible when it comes to the cause for life, we must pay attention to the significance of ministering to men. Thankfully, this is happening at AWPC and will become a regular component of all pregnancy centers in their quest to serve women and protect lives.