By / Oct 9

SBC’s policy arm filed public comments, calls bill sponsors to file with EEOC

Nashville, Tenn., Oct. 9, 2023 The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention filed comments calling for the removal of abortion language from the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act regulations. 

The comments were filed in a letter to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The federal commission is tasked with issuing regulations to carry out the newly passed law, but the EEOC’s proposed regulations include abortion procedures in the list of “pregnancy related medical conditions”—directly contradicting Congress’ stated legislative intent and endangering preborn lives.  

“We urge each sponsor of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to file an official comment on this proposal and demand abortion be dropped from this regulation,” said Brent Leatherwood, ERLC president and the signatory of the letter. “Failure to do so will only empower a radical agency to completely disregard clear congressional intent and, more alarmingly, turn a law meant to help mothers and children thrive into the abortion regime’s newest tool to destroy life.”

The ERLC affirms the important objective of the bipartisan PWFA to ensure women are given accommodations in the workplace in consideration of their health and the health of their preborn children. 

“Every human being has inherent dignity and every life should be protected,” the ERLC states in its letter to the EEOC. “In the context of the PWFA, Scripture makes it clear that mothers and children are precious and worthy of protection.” 

The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest Protestant denomination with more than 13.6 million members and a network of over 47,000 cooperating churches and congregations. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBC’s ethics, religious liberty and public policy agency with offices in Nashville, Tenn., and Washington, D.C.

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By / Dec 27

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to testify before Congress for a hearing of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. I was the sole pro-life witness called to Capitol Hill that spring day, in the weeks leading up to the reversal of Roe v. Wade. I recognized that it was my responsibly to advocate well for our cause, not only for the sake of Americans United for Life, but also because I knew I would be speaking on behalf of all American pro-life moms, dads, and families.

I knew it would be a generally hostile pro-abortion hearing, and I had to do whatever I could to focus Congress’s and the public’s attention on the reality of the humanity of the preborn child, the dignity of every mother, and the threat that is every abortion business to both mother and child.

“The future of America, a post-Roe America, is a future full of hope,” I shared in my opening statement. “Roe’s reversal will make it possible for America’s lawmakers to once more affirmatively protect the human right to life and to enshrine law and policy that makes abortion unthinkable even for those most vulnerable to abortion propaganda.”

“Abortion is fundamentally unjust,” I continued. “Abortion deprives our brothers and sisters of the equal protection of the laws. Abortion turns equals into unequals. Abortion empowers the strong at the expense of the vulnerable. And it makes us all less human and less humane along the way.”

The Role of Pregnancy Resource Centers 

In June, of course, the U.S. Supreme Court finally reversed Roe and rejected its deadly abortion precedents. Although we are still only in the first months of this post-Roe America, and although we undoubtedly have many years left before we achieve the abolition of the scourge of abortion in America, we can be proud in knowing that pro-life advocates and lawmakers are making a difference in states across the country. We are recognizing, in powerful ways, the importance not only of abolishing abortion, but also of the crucial family, community, and state support for mothers and families who desire to choose life.

There’s no question that the organic growth of pro-life pregnancy resource centers across the United States over the past few decades played a major role in persuading the Supreme Court that America’s mothers and families can truly succeed without reliance upon abortion. We must continue to build upon the authentic healthcare responses of pregnancy resource centers now that we are living in this post-Roe era. 

We must give our resources and time to helping centers expand their healthcare services through qualified medical providers. We must ensure that every American mother in every state and in every county has access to a high standard of care like that represented in pregnancy resource centers. And we must establish partnerships across organizations where individuals can receive whatever care they need in life-affirming, loving environments. 

I knew that day on Capitol Hill that pro-abortion members of Congress would attack pregnancy resource centers. I knew the sort of falsehoods I would hear about the so-called assistance offered by Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses. But I also knew the reality of what pregnancy resource centers provide, and the tragedies that take place every day at abortion businesses. At one point during the hearing, I was asked about the claims of Planned Parenthood and abortion businesses, and where mothers who need help can go.

“When it comes to helping mothers in difficult situations,” I said, “go ask Planned Parenthood if they provide diapers or formula or a crib or rent assistance or food or bill assistance or counseling or mammograms or continuing education and compare that to what pregnancy care centers offer and then come tell me that pro-lifers are the ones who don’t care about children.”

Who Provides Real Healthcare? 

In Washington, D.C., just a stone’s throw from the halls of Congress, the Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center has been doing the rewarding work of serving mothers for years. In fact, it was one of many targeted by the pro-abortion activists from a group calling itself “Jane’s revenge.” Since the fall of Roe, pro-abortion activists have defaced, broken into, and even committed acts of arson to intimidate pregnancy resource centers. I joined the thousands of pro-life advocates who donated to the Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center in response to the attack on their mission and property this summer. They are an organic example of Washingtonians’ pro-life response to our still too pro-abortion culture, and their persistence gives me hope that we will win the hearts of Americans on the truth about abortion and pregnancy-related care.

I often hear pro-abortion activists mischaracterize pro-life protections as if they are threats to reproductive care. Yet, there is no greater threat to reproductive care than Planned Parenthood, where every pregnancy ends with a dead child and a wounded mother and father. 

Those who are truly concerned about reproductive care should be stepping up to support the pregnancy resource center in their communities. It’s at our nearest pregnancy resource center that we should expect to find real reproductive care, real compassion, real options, and real healthcare. 

In this post-Roe era, we look to the successes of the pregnancy resource center movement as a model to emulate. We must speak boldly and courageously about what we all really need—what every child, mother, and father deserve—and that is hope. All of our law and policy focus should be on cultivating cultural norms, nationally and in the states, that make it easier to embrace children as a part of the heroic and noble work of building up families. 

Our pro-life law and policy efforts, most directly through model bills and political and legislative pushes—especially for laws that strengthen pregnancy resource centers—should build up a culture that embraces a spirit of doing even more than laws require, because to be pro-life means being pro-love. In addition, we must continue to give of our time and money in order to enable and support the expansion of existing pregnancy resource centers as they seek to provide more healthcare offerings for vulnerable women and men. 

All true care, and every instance of authentic healthcare, comes, at the deepest level, as an expression of love. We care because we first choose to love. And we love by ensuring the right to life and well-being of every individual.

By / Aug 29

Yelp announced last week that, in light of the historic Dobbs v. Jackson Whole Woman’s Health case at the U.S. Supreme Court and the continued push by many in society for greater access to abortion services, they would begin to recategorize crisis pregnancy centers (also known as pregnancy resource centers) and other faith-based clinics on their platforms to distinguish them from abortion clinics. They also have placed user warnings on these listings, indicating that crisis pregnancy centers “typically provide limited medical services and may not have licensed medical professionals onsite,” regardless of the reality of what these clinics might offer or the qualifications of those onsite. This announcement was framed in light of Yelp’s ongoing commitment to support “access to reproductive healthcare for our employees, underserved communities, and our users,” as vice president of User Operations, Noorie Malik, wrote.

This relabeling and the user warnings being applied to pregnancy care and resource centers by Yelp comes on the heels of other technology companies such as Alphabet’s Google being pressured by Congressional Democrats to limit the appearance of pregnancy resource centers in certain abortion-related search terms and results. In addition, there are calls to delete location data for those visiting abortion clinics, especially in states where abortion services may be severely limited due to the number of pro-life laws taking affect after Dobbs. In response to the push by Congressional Democrats in June, a number of Republican attorneys general sent a letter in July warning Google not to censor or suppress information about these clinics in search or map results. On Aug. 25, Google announced that it would alter how abortion clinics and pregnancy care centers appear in search results, ads, and on maps.

This particular issue is shaped by a number of significant current debates over content moderation, digital governance, and access to information in our increasingly digital public square. Dobbs has resulted in an unprecedented time of debate, and the predatory abortion industry continues in its long-established efforts to lead women to believe that the only option during an unplanned pregnancy is abortion—at times, even celebrating the practice of the abortion. Now, more than ever, technology companies must not bow to the pressure of abortion advocates, government leaders, and the abortion industry in limiting access to life-altering information for women in crisis. Access to accurate information in order to make life-and-death decisions should be at the very core of these businesses’ values. 

Lack of information

One of the primary reasons that the technology industry has thrived — especially companies like Yelp, Google, and others — is that they give people access to nearly limitless information about things that matter (as well as a host of things that don’t) and help people make informed decisions. Accessing information can range from reading the breaking news to research about various topics to the details about a local restaurant, but it can also be life-saving as mothers in crisis are frantically searching for help with an unplanned pregnancy. One aspect usually left out of these conversations about vulnerable women searching for abortion facilities is that they are routinely under extreme duress and pressure from others to have an abortion regardless of their own choice. Whether it is an abusive or pressuring boyfriend or an embarrassed parent urging the woman to end the developing baby’s life, women in crisis pregnancies need to know where to turn.

Countless users, including women and their families, depend on these services to provide the right information in the midst of these often unplanned and emotional searches for help. This truth is clear, especially in light of the fact many women choose life for their preborn baby if they have access to an ultrasound image of the child in the womb. A vast amount of women have been led to believe by a deceptive pro-abortion industry that killing the baby in the womb is the primary solution in these types of situations. But with advances in technology, especially ultrasound machines, women can now see what they typically already know subconsciously—that there is a living human being growing inside of them for whom they are their only source of support, love, and protection.

While more information does not immediately solve the crisis at hand, nor is information all that is needed, pregnancy resource centers and faith-based clinics are ready and able to assist far more than abortion clinics in caring for women with prenatal, postnatal, and even postpartum services — including options like adoption. These services often include provision of clothes, food, diapers, strollers, and countless other items for women in need so that they can raise their family and care for their children, regardless of financial or material circumstances. On top of this level of holistic care, many of these life-saving clinics are also staffed with trained medical professionals, including technicians with limited OB-training that is required in order to maintain, use, and interpret the results of ultrasound machines.

The real cost of pro-abortion misinformation

Some abortion proponents, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, are actively promoting misinformation that these clinics are ill-equipped, lacking medical training, and simply exist to manipulate women into not having the desired abortion. But, as mentioned above, many of these clinics actually do employ medical professionals and offer a host of healthcare services as well as holistic care, as opposed to their pro-abortion counterparts.

For example, Hope Resource Center in Knoxville, Tennessee, offers free pregnancy testing, ultrasound imaging, STD testing, well-woman exams, and pap testing. In addition, the center employs seven medical professionals. But this clinic is currently labeled by Yelp with a consumer notice reading “This is a Crisis Pregnancy Center. Crisis Pregnancy Centers typically provide limited medical services and may not have licensed medical professionals onsite.” While some will argue that this simply indicates the clinic MAY not have licensed medical professionals onsite, it is misleading to apply such a broad label that is designed to introduce doubt in the minds of users, especially if those same notices are not applied to abortion clinics offering substandard care. In an ironic twist, it has been long documented that not all abortion clinics have adequately licensed medical professionals or a full range of medical services outside of abortion. Some clinics employ doctors who lack admitting privileges at local hospitals in case an abortion goes wrong or a woman is in need of further medical treatment after the procedure. This is one reason that Google’s recent announcement about labeling ads and locations as “providing abortions” and not providing abortions is better suited than overly broad labels utilized by Yelp that introduce doubt and confusion rather than provide accurate information.

It is clear that this labeling is one-sided and meant to ensure easy access to abortion while introducing friction for obtaining life-saving information and services.

It is true that pregnancy resource centers and faith-based clinics operate from a particular ideological and religious perspective, just as any clinic or medical professional, including abortion providers themselves. It is a myth to assume that anyone can truly be neutral and simply present information without their beliefs interfering. Our beliefs will always drive our actions, no matter the perspective we come from. And it should be noted that it is abortion clinics who are actually limiting the information available to women and pushing abortion services as the best option for women in crisis. This illustrates that just as Christians ought to unapologetically celebrate the Dobbs ruling and the passing of major pro-life legislation across states, we also must acknowledge that this ruling simply represents the first step among many in combating the abortion industry.

If Yelp and other information providers actually want to provide reliable information and assist vulnerable women, they would not apply misleading labels, delist, or remove this life-saving information from those who need it most. YouTube, for example, decided in late July to update its policies and remove certain abortion-related content and misinformation from its platform, but it appears it did so without pushing a particular view of abortion. Google, likewise followed suit with labeling that brings clarity, not introducing confusion or misleading the public about what clinics may or may not offer. 

Limiting access to information based on partisan and ideological beliefs is the complete opposite of what these companies claim to stand for and support. Given that abortion is on the ballot in many states with mid-term elections coming this November, technology companies must resist the partisan push to remove information and limit the options of women facing these unplanned and crisis pregnancies. Women and their children deserve accurate and honest information, especially as Christians and other pro-life groups seek to push back against the lies and misleading information promoted by the abortion industry in the digital public square today.

By / Jan 27

The work of pregnancy resource centers is literally life and death. Many women walk through their doors with the intent of ending the preborn life inside their womb, and those waiting to receive them know that only God can truly intervene. There is a real spiritual war raging for babies’ lives and the hearts of moms and dads. In the midst of this, Christians are entrusted with the responsibility of showing the love of Jesus, caring for those who are vulnerable, and sharing the truth of God’s Word. Jamie Brown, the executive director of A Women’s Pregnancy Center, shares more about her center and a Christians’s call in an abortion culture. 

Lindsay Nicolet: Will you tell us a little bit about A Woman’s Pregnancy Center and Mosaic and explain their distinctions? 

Jamie Brown: A Women’s Pregnancy Center offers free pregnancy tests and limited ultrasounds to women in the Tallahassee, Florida, community. Mosaic offers these same services, but additionally offers low-cost STD testing to men and women. Each of our clients have the opportunity to meet with a staff member for peer biblical counseling, and we also have our center for material assistance, called the Belly Boutique. 

LN: What kind of environment do you minister in? And how many clients do you usually see?

JB: I believe that God has strategically placed both AWPC and Mosaic in areas of our community that need us most. A Women’s Pregnancy Center, which we often refer to as our Campus location, is positioned right at the edge of Florida State’s campus. FSU students who are in need of pregnancy tests are within walking distance of a place that is committed to caring for them with the love of Christ. Additionally, Mosaic is located right next door to our local Planned Parenthood. Their staff has even sent clients over to Mosaic, which is a fantastic example of just how sovereign and powerful our God is! Our ministry expects to serve over 2,000 clients each year. That’s 2,000 gospel opportunities in areas of our community where the gospel needs to go forth, and we are so grateful to be on the front lines in this way.

LN: How have you seen the Lord at work recently? 

JB: I can’t even begin to fully describe all that the Lord has done through AWPC in the last year. But, to give you some numbers from 2021, our ministry saw 303 babies rescued from abortion and 108 women and men who made a decision for Christ. We know that this is 100% attributed to God’s favor upon this place and the prayers that have gone up on behalf of our clients. We constantly have clients telling us how comfortable and at home they feel. They’re not only grateful for the pregnancy help they receive, but we often hear clients thanking us for praying over them and sharing the love of Christ with them. Where the world tells women that pregnancy centers like ours shove religion down their throats and guilt them, our clients see a different story when they walk through our doors. They see the love of Jesus tenderly shown to them, and they encounter biblical truth, perhaps for the first time.  

LN: What is the benefit of having an ultrasound machine? How valuable is this resource to your mission? 

JB: The Lord has shown us that ultrasounds are not just a service — they are a life-saving tool that show a tangible image of God’s power on display. We have had multiple women come into our center considering abortion this month, but God has used the ultrasound techs, and this incredible technology, to show these women the beauty of their tiny but valuable babies. Already in 2022, clients have chosen to carry because of what they have seen on the ultrasound screen, which is a beautiful, God-ordained life. This is such a powerful tool for ministering to our clients right where they are, and it grants women a unique opportunity to fall in love with this incredible picture of what God has given them.

LN: From your perspective, how can the church make a difference in the midst of an unplanned pregnancy? 

JB: There are several ways that the church can come alongside pregnancy centers like ours. First, you can volunteer your time, whether that is at fundraisers, working as an office volunteer, helping with mailouts, meeting with clients one on one at the Belly Boutique, or serving as an options counselor. The options are truly endless, and if one of these options doesn’t appeal to someone, I promise we can find a perfect avenue for them to serve based on the gifts and talents God has blessed them with. 

Some other ways the local church can come alongside us is by becoming a ministry partner and giving to AWPC, and also by praying for us. We have such an incredible team of prayer warriors, and we feel the effects of this each and every day. We see incredible stories written by our Heavenly Father each day at our centers, and I believe prayer is such a huge component of that. 

Lastly, I would say having open doors and open hearts is an incredible way to serve those in the midst of an unplanned pregnancy. Women in this position often expect judgment from people within the church, but what if we proved them wrong in the best way possible? What if the church said, “We are going to stand by you in this courageous choice to give your child life, and we are going to be here for you every step of the way.” God didn’t call us to judge her if her journey looks different than ours. God calls us to love her with the love of Christ and welcome her with open arms. It is my desire that the women and men of our community will be absolutely blown away by the unexpected outpouring of love and care from the local church, and that’s something each and every person can be a part of. 

LN: Based on your experience, what would it take to make abortion an unthinkable option for women in crisis pregnancy situations? 

JB: It simply takes women and men learning the truth. We offer women who come to AWPC the opportunity to view an animated video of an abortion procedure so that they can know what will be happening in their bodies if they choose to go this route. If women express that they want to watch this, they are often taken aback at what abortion actually looks like. The world has not prepared them for the trauma that will happen within their wombs, or the emotional trauma they could experience afterward. At our centers, we educate women on what actually happens when the abortion pill is taken or when women undergo a surgical abortion. We also educate on post-abortion stress and the emotional after-effects women often go through following an abortion experience.  

When women know the truth, that is often a game-changer for them, and they begin to get a glimpse of why life should be protected from this horrible act. We had a client who was on the fence regarding her pregnancy recently, and after being cared for with the love of Christ, she shared, “I don’t think Jesus would want me to do that.” It is amazing what the Holy Spirit does in the lives of these women when they are told the truth about abortion. 

LN: How can we pray for you and other pregnancy resource centers? 

JB: First, I would say to pray for boldness and strength. So often, we have clients who come in from absolutely unbelievable life situations. We are constantly confronted with the reality that there is trauma and heartache in this world and in this city that we can’t even begin to comprehend. 

Pray that the Lord will give our counselors and front desk staff the words to say and that he will soften the hearts of our clients toward the gospel before they even walk through the door. 

We also ask that you pray for women who are considering abortion — that they will choose a pregnancy resource center as their first step so they can be truly informed before making a permanent and life-altering decision. 

The ministry of pregnancy centers, I believe, are propelled by prayer, and it would mean the world for you to join this team of prayer warriors coming before the throne on behalf of the unborn and their parents.  

By / Apr 23

In this episode, Josh, Lindsay, and Brent discuss Derek Chauvin’s verdict, fetal tissue research denounced, and the first flight on Mars. Lindsay gives a rundown of this week’s ERLC content including Jason Thacker with “How social media can impede our witness: The disconnect of the digital life,” Jill Waggoner with “How to raise children who honor human dignity,” and Julie Masson with “COVID-19 didn’t stop this pregnancy resource center from saving lives.” Also in this episode, the hosts are joined by Virginia Roberson for a conversation about life and ministry 

About Virginia

Virginia is the Director of Your Choice Resource Center a Pregnancy Resource Center in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. You can learn more about the ministry of Your Choice Resource Center at https://yourchoicenc.org/

ERLC Content

Culture

  1. Derek Chauvin found guilty
  2. Reactions to Chauvin verdict: “Justice for Black America is justice for all America”
  3. Biden Administration Ends Limits on Use of Fetal Tissue for Research
  4. First flight on Mars

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By / Apr 23

When most people think of a pregnancy resource center (PRC), they rightly think first about the babies that are saved. When women are given a chance to see their baby in the womb through ultrasound technology, most will choose to carry the baby to term. But what if I told you that many PRCs are also investing time and money in helping the mothers (and sometimes fathers) of these babies?

Recently, I had the privilege of visiting a PRC in Kansas City called Parkville Women’s Clinic. Throughout my visit, I was amazed at all this clinic is doing to serve these vulnerable women. Every single staff member at the clinic cares deeply for the women that come through their doors. They pivoted to care for women during COVID-19, demonstrating that their ability to meet these women where they are is a huge asset to their ministry.

Through care and attention to these mothers, Parkville Women’s Clinic models what it means to be holistically pro-life, valuing the life of the baby in the womb just as much as the woman carrying that baby, because all of life is sacred. Many women who come to a PRC are scared and don’t know what to do. And if a woman decides to carry the baby to term, the work doesn’t end. In fact, this is when the ministry of this clinic really shines. Here are just some of the things they do to serve parents of babies whose lives are saved through ultrasound machine technology:

Equipping and education: Mothers have access to “Bright Course Lessons” which are digital lessons that can be accessed through their phones or a computer. These courses are very practical, and many are geared toward parenting: Your first trimester, infant temperament, breastfeeding, getting your baby to sleep, etc. Others are designed to help the mother succeed in additional areas of life: Preparing for a job interview, staying out of debt, budgeting 101, domestic violence, relationships loss, and more. The women are able to earn points for products in the clinic’s “store.”

Providing products for baby: Volunteers at the clinic manage an entire room of donated baby clothes, books, diapers, and other baby gear that women can get as needed. These are things that a woman in a vulnerable situation benefits from as they prepare for and bring a newborn home. The most common product moms need are diapers and wipes. Pre-COVID, the clinic offered weekly lessons. Any who attended could shop in the store after class. I could tell the staff was thankful for the many donations they receive from the community. 

Investing into the dad: Some of the Bright Course Lessons are geared entirely to the father. Being a leader, respect for mothers, and co-parenting are just some of the classes offered to expectant dads. They also have trained staff who regularly meet with fathers to help them understand what is going on and how they can be supportive. 

To truly support a life, we must support the parents. That means coming alongside them and helping them make choices that will help the parents and baby thrive. I’m grateful that Parkville Women’s Clinic sees the innate value of both the baby and parents. 

Do you want to help save lives? Most women in a crisis pregnancy who are given a glimpse of the life within them choose life. However, this is only possible when women can go to a pregnancy center with an ultrasound machine. Sonogram machines are expensive, costing tens of thousands of dollars. Most crisis pregnancy centers do not have the funds to buy the equipment or have a medical expert on staff to read the output. When you donate to the Psalm 139 Project, 100% of your funds go to ultrasound machine placement and training PRC staff members. Will you consider giving a tax-deductible donation to Psalm 139 and help us stand for life?

By / Apr 21

Imagine being a young woman who recently found out she was pregnant through a visit to a pregnancy resource center (PRC). You are likely feeling alone, with no one to talk to except the staff you met. You aren’t sure how you’re going to care for the baby alone, or if you should tell the father. Now imagine that you are not able to go back to this PRC for ongoing help due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

A year ago, most of us were living with business closures and lockdowns. At the time, I hadn’t thought about what these closures could mean for PRCs and the women they serve. A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of visiting Parkville Women’s Clinic, a PRC in my own neighborhood of Kansas City. The visit opened my eyes to the challenges PRCs faced this past year. 

In the initial aftermath of city-wide closures, the clinic had to close for two weeks. However, during that time and through the rest of the year, volunteer nurses and staff members maintained ongoing communication via text with the women who had been coming to the clinic. Like the fictional woman I mentioned in the beginning, many were scared and still needed access to nurses and staff who could help them answer questions about pregnancy or their continued education. This touchpoint likely made all the difference for these women, many who were already in precarious situations. Nurses received text messages from women throughout their day and were able to provide real-time help and assurance. Other staff members provided counsel for women who were dealing with the uncertainty of talking to the baby’s father. Their care for these women did not stop simply because of COVID restrictions. Instead, they made every effort to maintain connection with these women as they walked the road of choosing life for their babies.

Public health protocols also caused several shifts for Parkville Women’s Clinic. They had to switch out their warm and inviting furniture for more sterile items that could be easily cleaned and sanitized after each visit. This meant the rooms where women asked hard questions about abortion were not nearly as comfortable as the staff would have liked. Also, the number of people who could be in a room at one time was restricted. Fathers were no longer able to come to the appointments, so the staff had to pivot once again and figure out how to keep the father engaged with the process. This is important because a mother is less likely to abort when a father is involved in the pregnancy.

The clinic “store” also had to undergo some changes. Previously, women who attended weekly equipping classes could “shop” in the store for diapers, wipes, baby clothes, and baby books. Thankfully, right before COVID hit, they had opened up digital course offerings which allowed women to continue learning and earn points to shop for products. These are now done by scheduling pick-ups. A staff member or volunteer will fill a bag of the requested items from the store, and women come to pick them up at a determined time. While there are more things this clinic did to continue caring for the lives of the preborn and their families, these are areas where they have excelled. 

I encourage you to reach out to your local PRC and ask them how you can help. Many PRCs had to let go of volunteers and only allow staff to be in the building due to public health guidelines. While you still may not be able to volunteer in person, ask your local PRC what you can do now. They may need something as easy as donations of diapers and wipes. But even something as simple as donating diapers will go a long way in showing them that you stand for life, together. 

Do you want to help save lives? Most women in a crisis pregnancy who are given a glimpse of the life within them choose life. However, this is only possible when women can go to a pregnancy center with an ultrasound machine. Sonogram machines are expensive, costing tens of thousands of dollars. Most crisis pregnancy centers do not have the funds to buy the equipment or have a medical expert on staff to read the output. When you donate to the Psalm 139 Project, 100% of your funds go to ultrasound machine placement and training PRC staff members. Will you consider giving a tax-deductible donation to Psalm 139 and help us stand for life?

By / Apr 15

Editor’s note: Because we care about championing the dignity of every individual’s life, from womb to tomb, we wanted to highlight the beauty of adoption. As you read this testimony, we pray you are gripped with compassion for every baby, mother, father, family, and pregnancy resource volunteer involved in the journey of an unplanned pregnancy. This story was given to us from Lifeline Christian Services, who is doing amazing work in the adoption space. 

When I think about the job I get to do as a pregnancy counselor, the word that comes to mind is “sacred.” Walking with a woman through pregnancy, birth, and adoption is full of a range of emotions and challenges, but mostly it is a privilege. 

For the past six months, I have worked with a birth mother named Becca. She found herself in an unplanned pregnancy, and her world flipped upside down. In desperation, she considered abortion but knew that was not the Lord’s will for her baby’s life. She reached out to Lifeline Children’s Services in May and decided to make an adoption plan for her precious baby boy. 

As I got to know Becca, I learned that her heart for the Lord was so evident in her life. She was walking through the darkest of valleys in many ways, but chose to trust the Lord and seek healing in every way she knew how. Becca faced shame, anger, abandonment, and grief, yet she could say, “I would rather walk through the pain with the Lord than make a decision not in my son’s best interest.” 

As her pregnancy counselor, I became a safe place for Becca to process her decision and feelings. I also learned a lot about God through Becca. Tears come to my eyes thinking about the way the Lord intertwined our lives and draws us to himself. Not only did Becca point me to the Lord, but she made me laugh uncontrollably and taught me more about the world.

Becca’s beautiful baby boy was born on a rainy day in late September, and in that moment, God brought an abundance of redemption into Becca’s life. Instead of feeling shame and anger, she felt a love and peace that she could not put into words. 

While at the hospital, we giggled and cried and dreamed for her son’s life. She chose to move forward with the adoption plan and, after her legal withdrawal time ended, she sent me a message saying, “Praise the Lord who has given me strength.” 

Every birth mother is incredible, but Becca has been someone special to me. Being her pregnancy counselor has been humbling, life-giving, and such an honor. I look forward to witnessing, in the years to come, how the Lord works in Becca’s life. 

Our Father proved faithful again, making what seemed hopeless, redeemed. What a privilege to be able to walk with her and allow the Lord to use me in her life and her in mine.

By / Jan 28

Lisa Cathcart, in her role as executive director at the Pregnancy Care Center (PCC) in Nashville, Tennessee, leads her team to serve women, men, and families in the greater Nashville area facing unplanned pregnancies. Their work has grown to include a special focus on the needs of those from immigrant communities. The spirit of their work and ability to adapt is an example to all of us who seek to serve our communities, as they truly are, and honor the dignity of all people. 

How did you become aware of the immigrant community in the Nashville area? From where are they coming?

Nashville has been a destination for immigrant populations for quite some time. Most area residents are aware of the various immigrant populations that have come to call Nashville home. However, unless one is intentional about engaging with our new neighbors, it is fairly easy to ignore or miss the important contributions they have made to our society and the richness they bring to our communities. At the Pregnancy Care Center we have a heart for serving vulnerable and marginalized populations. As a ministry that exists to affirm the worth, dignity, and sanctity of all human life, I believe we are uniquely positioned to accept and receive newcomers to our country and community, extending the same compassion and grace to this vulnerable population as we do toward the unborn and the women and men facing a pregnancy decision. 

The Pregnancy Care Center first started serving immigrant populations about six years ago when two women from Egypt were referred to us by a Nashville health clinic where they were participating in childbirth education. These expectant moms found themselves trying to navigate not only a new life in a new place far from home, but also the role of parenting in a country with different laws and vastly different customs—all without the support of the multigenerational influences and involvement that they had been raised with. Although both women were Arabic speaking and from the same country, they came from very different backgrounds. They practiced different religions, Islam and Coptic Christianity. One was a highly educated professional and the other was from more humble circumstances. One spoke English, and the other did not. One was a first-time mom, and one had older children. 

Yet despite their differences, they had formed a friendship and found their way to the PCC together. As they began to see the value in the relationships they were forming with the staff and volunteers at the PCC and in the assistance they received, each went back to their own communities and spread the word about the Center’s services. Very quickly, the number of immigrants who were seeking our services began to grow to the extent that at one point, more than 50 percent of Parenting Support cases/visits were with immigrant families. Over the past two years 32 percent of all visits of any type have been with individuals from other countries. 

We have now served individuals and families from 38 countries of origin and at least eight unique faith backgrounds. We have ministered to individuals from the Middle East, Africa, Central America, South America, and Asia. Those who are Arabic speaking continue to represent the largest immigrant population we are serving. Among Arabic-speaking families — which include both Coptic Christians and Muslims — many share histories of war torn countries, poverty, and religious persecution.  

What are you doing to serve the immigrant community in our area? What are their needs and unique challenges? 

Serving recent immigrants has presented unique challenges for staff at the Pregnancy Care Center as we work with women and families who are at the beginning stages of acclimating to Western culture. Our ministry is committed to providing holistic care that goes beyond what can be done by simply handing someone a pack of diapers. Too many services and experiences in our lives are transactional in nature. We are more interested in transformation, which can only come about through relationship with one another and with Christ. Many of the immigrant populations initially coming to the center have been told that they can “get free diapers,” etc. We have struggled through language and cultural barriers to communicate that the material assistance we provide is only available through participation in our Parent Support initiative, which involves meeting with a PCC team member one on one, or in a group setting, to complete a prenatal or parenting lesson, mentoring session, and/or Bible study. 

While this relational approach is our goal, it is very difficult to accomplish without an interpreter. Over the past few years, we have been continually adjusting our policies and experimenting with different ways of providing care to our new neighbors, while being careful to guard against mission drift and often struggling with compassion fatigue that comes with difficult cross-cultural ministry. 

Before having to pause group class offerings due to COVID-19, we were offering two group Parent Support sessions each month, specifically for Arabic-speaking clients with the help of a paid translator. By offering group classes we are able to serve these families by building relationships, offering meaningful practical instruction and assistance, while at the same time remain focused on our mission of serving individuals facing a life-altering pregnancy decision. 

The group sessions include a devotional, practical parenting lesson, and time for sharing and prayer. Afterward, participants “shop” in our “store” where they can pick out items needed for their children using points they have earned for their participation in Parent Support. Individuals who are fluent in conversational English are also eligible to schedule one-on-one appointments outside of group offerings. In addition to the Arabic groups, we have some Spanish-speaking volunteers who come to assist on a regular basis. Over the past year as we’ve had to reimagine how we deliver services during a global pandemic. We have served the needs of these diverse populations through virtual visits and curbside material assistance. 

We are very intentional about speaking words of affirmation in order to connect people with their worth and dignity as a child of God. We’ve had meetings with community leaders who can help us understand more about the cultures our clients come from—how to speak or sit, how to interact with our body language, how to navigate some of the challenges we face, and ultimately how to build bridges between our cultures in order to minister more effectively. So, whether helping with housing needs, health insurance questions, job applications, or learning to react properly to a client who tries to barter for material aid, we are continually learning as we go. 

How do you want individuals to feel when they arrive at your center?  

It is our hope that everyone who walks through our doors will have a sense that they matter. We have intentionally and prayerfully created a space that is inviting and welcoming to all. It is our prayer that individuals feel safe and welcome, no matter where they have come from or what difficulties and fears they are currently facing. Before our staff even speaks a word, we want the environment to communicate a message that elevates someone’s sense of dignity and worth. 

Too many services and experiences in our lives are transactional in nature. We are more interested in transformation, which can only come about through relationship with one another and with Christ.

Because the lives of those we serve are often filled with chaos and uncertainty, we offer a calming reassurance that they are not alone. Some of our staff have even learned basic Arabic phrases to extend meaningful greetings and expressions of hospitality so that our Arabic-speaking clients feel seen and valued. 

Everyday the team of staff and volunteers at the PCC begin with prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to fill us and the Center with his presence so that everyone we serve will encounter the love of Christ in a meaningful, tangible way. 

From your perspective, how do the needs of an immigrant change the longer they have been in the country?

As we work with immigrants and build relationships we see how assimilation changes people. In some ways, we see amazing growth and exciting new opportunities for families to flourish. In other ways, we are disappointed by how Western culture can influence individuals. 

Initially, we may be helping to advocate for individuals as they navigate the complexities of adjusting to life here. We make phone calls to various agencies on their behalf, sit at a computer with someone to fill out an online form, explain terminology on applications and documents, and demonstrate how to use and install a car seat, etc. As our relationships grow we sometimes become aware of emotional or spiritual concerns that we can speak into such as questions about the gospel, or even how to identify abuse in a relationship. We are able to educate women on the rights they have that they may not have had access to before, and we can empower people to seek and find safety when necessary. 

When many immigrants face an unplanned or crisis pregnancy, the stakes are extremely high, especially if the relationship is outside of their faith or culture. Sadly, the more assimilated to Western culture an immigrant is, the more vulnerable to abortion they become. Some come from a culture that does not even have a word in their language for abortion, but now they are presented with an option that they have been told will allow them to avoid the shame and pain of unintended pregnancy. Where marriage is an expectation and sexual purity a priority, assimilation sometimes leads to casual and promiscuous relationships. 

How would you encourage the Christians in your community to pray for and minister to these immigrant populations? 

Whenever I think of the refugees and immigrants in our community, I think of the Golden Rule that Jesus taught us. I ask myself how I would want to be treated if I found myself separated from most of my friends and family, starting a life in a new country. I would desperately want others to show patience with me as I attempt to speak a new language. I would want caring people to gently explain practices within this new culture that do not make sense to me. I would want to be welcomed as an image-bearer of God and valued as someone who can make a positive contribution to our community. I would long for friendship! Let’s pray that we as Christians will be the example in our community of radical hospitality to the stranger and foreigner as we see modeled in the people of God from the Old Testament to the New Testament.  

By / Jan 18

Since 2002, Liberty Women’s Clinic (LWC), located in Liberty, Missouri, has sought to minister with the love of Christ by empowering people to make informed, life-affirming choices about pregnancy, sexual health, and relationships. Through the ERLC’s Psalm 139 Project ultrasound machine donation, LWC was able to expand their services and ministry.

What type of community do you serve?  

Liberty is a community of approximately 60,000 which includes Kansas City addresses. Because of our location we serve women from urban, suburban, and surrounding smaller towns. During COVID-19 closures, we actually provided virtual services to women in every single county surrounding Kansas City.

How has the Psalm 139 project affected your pregnancy resource center?  

The Psalm 139 project provided our clinic with a second ultrasound machine, offering the opportunity to double the number of scans within the current facility and hours.

How has the Lord used the sonogram machines to influence Kingdom work?  

A woman who is in the valley of despair between choosing life or death for her unborn child will change her mind almost 80% of the time after viewing her baby on an ultrasound. She is shown mercy, grace, truth, and the love of Christ during her interaction with staff and volunteers, perhaps affecting her entire future.

How many women or couples come for advice, resources, and other services?  

In 2019, God worked through LWC with 3,900 services provided during 643 transformational client visits and 195 ultrasounds. We had 225 known decisions for life. Our 2020 numbers will look different. At the halfway point of 2020, we were only slightly lagging our 2019 services provided number even with the temporary closure of our physical clinic due to COVID-19. We’ve seen a spike in women leveraging our virtual services plus an increase in inquiries about abortions and abortion pills. We were blessed to stay “open” during this time to assist these women and continue to carefully provide client services as we worked slowly toward a full reopening.

Do you have any additional information you can share that highlights the importance of pregnancy resource centers?  

There are 13,300 abortion-related searches online each month in the Kansas City area. Approximately 3,708 pregnancies are ended yearly in the Kansas City metro area.

And from March–June 2020, LWC staff fielded 75 phone calls from abortion-minded women during our critical time of offering exclusively virtual services. This is in addition to calls and texts from non-abortion minded women. We know of 45 life decisions and two decisions to abort made during that same time period. 

Can you estimate how many pregnancies are saved per ultrasound machine at a pro-life pregnancy center?  

There were 225 lives saved at LWC during 2019, but we do not keep statistics per machine. However, the ultrasound machine we received from the ERLC is our first choice when it is available because the technology newer and superior.

Pregnancy resource centers are vital to proclaiming the dignity and right to life of preborn children, mothers, and fathers in unplanned pregnancy situations, and maybe especially so during trying times like a pandemic. LWC’s mobile services coordinator summed up best the work of these centers—and the call for every Christian as we stand for life: “In this unique time of uncertainty, our clients are not only facing an unplanned pregnancy, but also the fear of COVID-19 and their futures. Because we serve a God who is sovereign, we can be the voice of hope on the other end of the phone. It is my prayer that this pandemic will open up more opportunities to share the hope that we have in the person of Jesus Christ.” 

Editor’s note: Updated 2020 numbers will be available later this year.