By / Mar 28

Nashville, Tenn., March 28, 2024 —The Psalm 139 Project, a pro-life ministry of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, in partnership with Texas Baptists, has donated an ultrasound machine to Legacy Pregnancy Resource Center in Hobbs, New Mexico, a city on the TX/NM border of the country that has become a popular destination for abortion tourism.

A dedication ceremony will be held April 3 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. MDT at Legacy Pregnancy Resource Center located at 301 E Cain St, Hobbs, NM 88240. Representatives from the ERLC, Baptist General Convention of Texas, Baptist Convention of New Mexico, Southeastern Baptist Association and ERLC Trustees will be in attendance.

This placement was made possible because of the generosity of Texas Baptists.

“Texas Baptists are honored and delighted to work with the Psalm 139 Project on this placement,” said Katie Fruge, director for the Center for Cultural Engagement for Texas Baptists. “This partnership represents our shared commitment to grow a culture of life in a post-Roe world as we pray for a day when abortion is unthinkable.”

“Since the historic Dobbs Supreme Court ruling, the reality of abortion tourism has only grown as the abortion industry tries to outmaneuver pro-life states, and certain areas of the country are in dire need of life-saving resources,” said ERLC President Brent Leatherwood. “This is why we rejoice in our partnership with Texas Baptists to place an ultrasound machine through the Psalm 139 Project at a clinic on the New Mexico/Texas border, currently facing these challenges in a tangible way. As Planned Parenthood continues its assault on life, these instances of Baptist cooperation are needed to save lives and serve mothers as we work toward a day when abortion is no more.”

Legacy Pregnancy Resource Center was established in 2012 with the vision of providing help, hope, and healing to all persons facing unplanned pregnancies in and around the communities of Lea County in New Mexico. The center serves its community by providing free and confidential pregnancy tests, peer counseling, options counseling, and the Earn While You Learn Program. The underlying goal is to present Jesus Christ as the only true and eternal hope for clients. 

“We are grateful for the cooperative partnership of ERLC’s Psalm 139 Project, Texas Baptists and FBC Hobbs that has greatly enhanced the ministry of Legacy Pregnancy Resource Center,” said Steve Ballew, director of the Baptist Convention of New Mexico. “The capacity to show moms and dads the life of their child will undoubtedly result in a much greater percentage of people making a choice for life. More than that, we look forward to hearing how the follow up counseling results in eternal difference as these same moms and dads commit their lives and families to Jesus Christ.” 

The BGCT had been in communication with First Baptist Church of Hobbs about this need as the center worked to transition their resource center into a medical pregnancy care center. FBC Hobbs provided Legacy with a new building, which will serve as a permanent home for Legacy and will allow growth and further expansion of services being offered.

“We are extremely grateful for the ERLC and Texas Baptists who made the placement of this machine possible,” said Janet Waldrop, executive director of Legacy Pregnancy Resource Center. “It will have a huge impact on our ministry by providing a window through which moms and dads can see the life of their unborn child.”

One hundred percent of financial contributions designated to the Psalm 139 Project go toward purchasing ultrasound machines and providing training for workers. No ERLC Cooperative Program resources are used for these machines. Tax-deductible gifts may be made online to The Psalm 139 Project, or via check to ERLC, 901 Commerce Street, Nashville, Tenn., 37203. Learn more at psalm139project.org.

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.

To request an interview contact Elizabeth Bristow by email at [email protected]

By / Mar 27

Nashville, Tenn., March 27, 2024 —The Psalm 139 Project, a pro-life ministry of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, has donated an ultrasound machine to The Life Center in Big Spring, Texas, funded by the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.

A dedication ceremony will be held April 2 from 3:00-4:00 p.m. CST at The Life Center located at 1801 S. Main Street, Big Spring, TX 79720. Representatives from the ERLC, and Crossroads Baptist Association plan to be in attendance.

“We are so grateful to be able to support ongoing, life-saving work of the Life Center,” said Miles Mullin, vice president of the ERLC. “In addition, any opportunity we have to partner with Baptist state conventions to help advance our mission to save lives and serve families is a reason to celebrate. We are grateful for the generosity of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention in funding this ultrasound machine and pray it will be used in miraculous ways throughout the years to come.”

The Life Center is a nonprofit, faith-based alternative to abortion organizations advocating sexual wellness through three areas of outreach: teaching about sexual risks, helping through pregnancy, and healing through restoration. The Life Center has locations in Midland, Andrews, Big Spring, and Odessa, Texas. They uphold and promote the value of human life at every stage of existence and development. The location in Big Spring opened in 2016 to serve women experiencing unexpected pregnancies.

“We are so blessed to have a new updated ultrasound machine in our Big Spring location,” said Tracy Watson, director of The Life Center’s Big Spring location. “This ultrasound machine is a vital tool in helping our abortion-minded moms connect to the fact there is a baby growing inside their womb. This visual evidence has proven to be lifesaving.”

One hundred percent of financial contributions designated to the Psalm 139 Project go toward purchasing ultrasound machines and providing training for workers. No ERLC Cooperative Program resources are used for these machines. Tax-deductible gifts may be made online to The Psalm 139 Project, or via check to ERLC, 901 Commerce Street, Nashville, Tenn., 37203. Learn more at psalm139project.org.

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.

To request an interview contact Elizabeth Bristow by email at [email protected]

By / Mar 7

Today we’re talking about the important work of pregnancy resource centers and Baptist state conventions across the country.

Psalm 139:14 says that each life is “fearfully and wonderfully made” by God. Out of all of his creation, Genesis tells us that human life alone is made in His image. Because of this truth, we bear a responsibility to help preserve and protect all lives. This is why the work of pregnancy resource centers across the country and abroad is vital. The individuals in these centers commit themselves to the work of proclaiming the dignity of preborn lives, doing all they can to give them a chance at life while serving the vulnerable women and families who walk through their doors. And it’s also why partnership among Southern Baptists is essential. We can do more to protect life, together. 

On today’s episode, you’ll hear from a special guest, Karen Roseberry. She spent much of her life dedicated to serving both women and preborn children as the executive director of Care Net Women’s Resource Center in Lancaster, California. Tragically, Karen lost her life in a car accident shortly after we conducted this interview, but the staff of Care Net encouraged us to share her words with you since this work was a great passion of her life.  

Karen left a lasting impression everywhere she served and led many women to know Jesus as their Savior and choose life for their babies. She will be greatly missed, but the important work of the center continues onward as they work to provide free support and resources for women and families in their community. 

You’ll also hear from Todd Unzicker who serves as executive director-treasurer for North Carolina Baptists. Todd is passionate about the local church and the Great Commission, and his vision for North Carolina Baptists is focused on rallying them to be a movement of churches on mission together.

The ERLC podcast is a production of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. It is produced by Lindsay Nicolet and Elizabeth Bristow. Technical production is provided by Owens Productions.  It is edited and mixed by Mark Owens.

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.

To request an interview, contact Elizabeth Bristow
by email at [email protected] or call 202-547-0209
 Visit our website at www.erlc.com
Follow us on Twitter at @ERLC.

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 14

Located just 40 miles north of the border in Las Cruces, New Mexico, Care Net Pregnancy Center seeks to partner with their clients by confirming pregnancy, extending comprehensive support, and cultivating healthy relationships to help them flourish. Through the ERLC’s Psalm 139 ultrasound machine placement, Care Net has also been able to start offering life-saving ultrasounds and has the potential to impact at least 120 pregnancy decisions each year.

What type of community do you serve?

The community we serve is diverse.  We see a large percentage of Hispanic women and men, some of whom are undocumented immigrants. This reflects the population of our wider community. We also serve high school students up to women in their 40s. The most common age range of women we serve is from 20-30. In addition, we have the opportunity to serve college students from New Mexico State University including many international students.

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

The Psalm 139 Project made it possible for us to start providing life-saving ultrasounds. We transitioned to being a medical pregnancy center this year with trained nurse sonographers. Now, in addition to providing free pregnancy tests, we are able to share images of unborn babies with their parents. 

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

We believe that providing women and men information about their options is a powerful tool in both saving and transforming lives. The sonogram machine adds a valuable layer in providing parents full information about the implications of their pregnancy decision.  Though we have only been providing ultrasounds for a few short months, we have had the opportunity to see women choose life after viewing their baby on an ultrasound. 

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

In 2019, we served 587 unique clients with 1,346 total visits. These included free pregnancy tests as well as providing emergency baby and maternity supplies. In addition, we also provide around 20,000 diapers to our community annually. During COVID, our numbers of diaper distribution have been even higher.

What usually happens after a woman sees her baby through an ultrasound? 

Typically, we see clients in their first stages of pregnancy. During those early weeks, the signs of pregnancy are usually morning sickness and a missed period. For the client, those symptoms are not enough to make the pregnancy real. When a woman sees her baby in the ultrasound, a shift in thinking takes place. The client no longer sees her conditions as symptoms to be diagnosed but as signs of life growing in her womb, and a relationship is established. With the ultrasound, the client can make a truly informed decision about her pregnancy.

As we seek to minister to women, men, and the unborn, it is vital that we recognize the dignity of each person involved. They are each made in the image of God and deserve our love and respect no matter their circumstances. 

One of our first expecting moms who came in for an ultrasound had been to our center for a previous pregnancy and was fairly set on abortion. This time, she was unsure about how far along she was. She stated that seeing the images and the heartbeat on the ultrasound made a difference for her in making a pregnancy decision for life.

What else would you share with those who are passionate about saving unborn babies as well as preserving life and the human dignity of others in the name of Jesus? 

The language we speak around issues of life and human dignity is as important as the actions we take. As we seek to minister to women, men, and the unborn, it is vital that we recognize the dignity of each person involved. They are each made in the image of God and deserve our love and respect no matter their circumstances. 

In the pro-life arena, women often get thrown under the bus for the choices they have made. Our hope at Care Net of Las Cruces is to meet women right where they are, love them in that space, and walk with them as they seek information and help. We also firmly believe that standing for life includes so much more than words but includes meeting physical needs. This is important in every community because abortion is often chosen due to lack of resources. But for us in Las Cruces, we see the ability to meet such needs as a unique and incredible opportunity to minister and honor life in our borderland. 

Editor’s note: Updated numbers for 2020 will be available later in the year.

By / Feb 15

“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations” (Matt. 28:19).

The bedrock of the vision of Care Net, a pregnancy care ministry that supports one of the largest networks of pregnancy centers in North America and runs the nation’s only real-time call center providing pregnancy decision coaching, is to see a culture where women and men faced with pregnancy decisions are transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ.  

Why is that so important? Because without the transformative power of the gospel, the women and men considering abortion will fall prey to the 18/18 rule coined by Roland C. Warren, Care Net’s president and CEO. The 18/18 Rule says, “Without the transforming power of the gospel, the same woman that visits a pregnancy center today will find herself in another unplanned pregnancy in 18 months and her daughter or son will be facing the same pregnancy decision in another 18 years.”  

As followers of Jesus, we are called to bring the gospel to the women and men we minister to as we stand for life. There are approximately 2,500 pregnancy centers in the U.S., but there are approximately 350,000 Christian churches.. So, if we are called by Christ to “go and make disciples,” how does that translate to our day-to-day outreach to save the lives of the unborn?

Abortion: A log in the eye of the church

In December 2015, Christianity Today released results from a national survey, commissioned by Care Net, that revealed four out of 10 women who had an abortion were actively attending church at the time of their abortion. Also, consider the Guttmacher Institute numbers that say 65 percent of women who have abortions self-identify as Christian (37 percent, Protestant and 28 percent, Catholic). Christ gave his life for the church that she would be glorious, without spot or wrinkle or any other blemish (Eph. 5:25-27). And yet, abortion is a log in the eye of the church. And what an ugly log it is.   

This places the church squarely at a new crossroads; at a major decision point that could define the future of the church’s impact in our culture. Will the church ignore what we’ve recently learned about the abortion industry from the Planned Parenthood exposé videos, or will we believe the words of Christ in Matthew 16:17-19 when he says that the powers of hell will not and cannot conquer his church? Only Christ’s church has the power to overcome this evil known as abortion in a battle that is ultimately spiritual—a battle that Christ has already won, but one we are currently facing.

A new way to minister to those considering abortion

Care Net’s vision in launching our church initiative was to pull back the curtain and reveal the facts about abortion in the church and also offer the solution. We have developed a one-of-a-kind curriculum called Making Life Disciples (MLD). MLD will equip the church to offer compassion, hope, help and discipleship to women and men considering abortion.

MLD is an out-of-the-box, six-part DVD curriculum specifically crafted to give a church everything it needs to start a pregnancy care ministry. Throughout the content, churches will be guided by leaders of the pro-life and pregnancy center movements on how to set up their ministry, how to work with women and men facing pregnancy decisions, how to partner with pregnancy centers, and how to make disciples for Christ through the work of ministering to women and men during a time of great need. 

God has provided like-minded men and women, gifted in the art of curriculum production, to lend their considerable talents, expertise and resources to the creation of Making Life Disciples. Churches will have engaging, visually beautiful video footage that will guide them through the challenging task of learning how to minister to those deceived by the culture into believing abortion is their only option.  

Care Net is also humbled by the contribution of Tony Evans, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, who participated in segments of MLD to call pastors to stand for life as well as emphasize the power of the gospel as we surround women and men with the love of the Father during one of the most frightening times of their lives.

Is the church ready to train up life disciples who can offer compassion, hope and help to women and men considering abortion? Is the church ready to walk alongside unmarried parents by filling in the gap with mentors, friends and stand-in grandpas? Are we ready to start post-abortion healing ministries for the many women and men who suffer silently each week as they sit in pews and put on a happy face? Now is the time for the church to get ready.