By / Feb 15

The Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission (CLC) and the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) are partnering through the ERLC’s Psalm 139 Project to provide a new ultrasound machine at the Legacy Pregnancy Resource Center in Hobbs, a southeastern New Mexico city that sits just four miles from the Texas border.

Shared commitment to ‘culture of life’

Although abortion was essentially banned in the state of Texas following Roe v. Wade’s reversal and subsequent anti-abortion laws, Katie Frugé, director of Texas Baptists’ Center for Cultural Engagement and the Christian Life Commission, said that the neighboring state of New Mexico remains an option for women seeking abortions.

“We know several abortion-vulnerable women are now traveling out of state to seek services, and we want to help support the crisis pregnancy center in Hobbs as they experience an influx of women in need of support and services,” explained Frugé.

“Texas Baptists proudly affirms the sanctity and dignity of all human life,” Frugé said. “This partnership with the ERLC is the result of our shared commitment to continuing to work to grow a culture of life in a post-Roe world.”

The ERLC added that the abortion industry has targeted Hobbs because of its location and already sees many clients from Texas. With a junior college and a four-year university in the city, Legacy has recently seen an increase in client appointments, averaging about 70 per month. They are excited to see Texas Baptists join forces to resource the city better and provide alternatives to those seeking abortions.

“At the ERLC, we are overjoyed when we can partner with state conventions as we stand for life together. This placement in Hobbs, N.M., in partnership with the BGCT, is unique since the state convention is reaching beyond its borders and giving with a missional mindset to serve their neighbors in an abortion-permissible state,” said Rachel Wiles, director of ERLC’s Psalm 139 Project.

Psalm 139 Project exists to make people aware of the life-saving potential of ultrasound technology in unplanned pregnancy situations and to help pregnancy centers minister to abortion-vulnerable women by providing ultrasound equipment for them to use.

Read the full Texas Baptists article here.

By / Feb 2

HOBBS, N.M. (BP) – The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission’s Psalm 139 Project has partnered with the Baptist General Convention of Texas to place an ultrasound at Legacy Pregnancy Resource Center in Hobbs, N.M.

The ultrasound placement highlights the cooperation of Southern Baptists across local churches, state conventions and SBC entities in meeting a specific need in an important location.

“At the ERLC, we are overjoyed when we can partner with state conventions as we stand for life together,” said Rachel Wiles, director of the Psalm 139 Project.

“This placement in Hobbs, in partnership with the BGCT, is unique since the state convention is reaching beyond its borders and giving with a missional mindset to serve their neighbors in an abortion-permissible state.”

I think that’s the beauty of this placement. Many women from Texas are traveling to New Mexico where abortion is permissible. The BGCT is rightly asking the question, ‘How can we support the pro-life movement there?’

Rachel Wiles, director of the Psalm 139 Project

Read the full Baptist Press article here.

By / Jan 24

WASHINGTON (BP) – A trio of pro-life bills, endorsed by the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, were either introduced, reintroduced or passed on Thursday, Jan. 18.

The Pregnancy Center Support Act was introduced to the Senate on Thursday, while the Unborn Child Support Act was reintroduced the same day. Additionally, the previously introduced Pregnant Students’ Rights Act passed the House on Thursday.

These updates took place one day before the annual March for Life, and three days before Sanctity of Life Sunday on the SBC Calendar.

Hannah Daniel, ERLC public policy director, praised the work of the lawmakers involved with the bills.

“At a time when lawmakers have been timid to voice pro-life convictions, I was encouraged to see legislative activity pushing forward the cause of life last week,” Daniel said.

At the ERLC, we are celebrating the passage of the Pregnant Students’ Rights Act along with the introduction of the Pregnancy Center Support Act and the Unborn Child Support Act. These bills recognize the dignity and personhood of the preborn and also tangibly assist new mothers and families to choose life.

Hannah Daniel

Read the full Baptist Press article here.

By / Jan 11

Welcome to episode #348 on The ERLC Podcast where our goal is to help you think biblically about today’s cultural issues. Today, we’re starting a new series that will focus on life. In this first episode, we’ll discuss what you should know about the pro-life movement after Roe.

Dignity of all human life

God’s Word, from the very beginning, affirms the dignity of all human life. Genesis 1 tells us that at the end of the creation process, “God said, ’Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.’ … 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” This reveals to us that every person is made in the imago Dei, the image of God. And this means that every life, regardless of age, ability, or any other feature, has infinite value that cannot be taken away. The rest of the Bible unwaveringly affirms this truth. 

Pro-life movement after Roe

The pro-life movement is grounded in this reality and, most fundamentally, has sought to protect our tiniest citizens from the horrors of abortion. The culmination of this work was realized on June 24, 2022, a historic day of celebration as the Supreme Court ruled to overturn the constitutional right to abortion and return abortion legislation back to the states. This was a long-time unifying goal of the pro-life movement. According to The New York Times, since the court’s ruling, abortion access has dropped overall, with 21 states banning or restricting it and others reinforcing abortion protections.

However, the fight for life and the mission of the pro-life movement is far from over, and there’s still much work to be done on the local, state, and federal levels. New frontiers have arisen, with abortion tourism, or travel for abortions across state lines, and chemical abortions, or abortion pills, gaining momentum across our country. 

As we begin our series, we’ll talk to several guests who will give us a clear picture of the current state of the pro-life movement since last year’s historic Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision. 

This week’s podcast guests: Benjamin Watson, Herbie Newell, and Dr. Bart Barber

You’ll hear from Benjamin Watson, a former NFL tight end, as well as a writer, speaker, and activist. He is the author of, “The New Fight for Life: Roe, Race, and a Pro-Life Commitment to Justice.” He serves as vice president of strategic relationships with the Human Coalition, one of the largest pro-life and pro-woman organizations in the country. Along with his wife, Kirsten, he is the founder of The Watson 7 Foundation, a nonprofit focused on strengthening families. The Watsons live in Georgia with their seven children.

Also joining us is Herbie Newell, president & executive director of Lifeline Children’s Services and its ministry arms. He holds a Master’s of Business Administration in Accounting from Samford University. Under Herbie’s leadership, Lifeline has increased international outreach to 25 countries through adoption and strategic orphan care, obtained licensure in 17 states, and established the foster care arm at Lifeline. 

Finally, you’ll hear from Dr. Bart Barber, who is pastor of First Baptist Church of Farmersville, Texas, and president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Our goal on the ERLC Podcast is to help you think biblically about today’s cultural issues. As we discuss important topics that matter to Southern Baptists, you might have additional questions. We’d love to hear from you. Please e-mail us at [email protected] and let us know how you’re processing the conversations featured on the podcast. 

And just a reminder, we want to make sure you are kept up to date about the important work the ERLC is doing on behalf of Southern Baptists. The best way to do that is by joining us at ERLC.com/updates. Signing up for email updates allows you to hear directly from us about our work and ways we are serving you on the issues that matter most to Southern Baptists. 

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 / Nov 6

Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 6, 2023 —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 Family Life Center in Shelbyville, Illinois.

A dedication ceremony will be held Nov. 9 from 4:00-5:00 p.m. CST at Family Life Center located at 225 E. South 1st St., Shelbyville, IL 62565. Representatives from the ERLC and Illinois Baptist State Association will be in attendance, along with ERLC Trustee, Scott Foshie. The center will host an open house immediately following the dedication.

“The Psalm 139 Project considers it an honor to partner with pregnancy centers across the country,” said Rachel Wiles, director of the Psalm 139 Project. “All pregnancy centers are doing the difficult work of sharing a countercultural message to those in crisis, but centers in states like Illinois face even more challenges from their state policies. We are privileged to be able to stand beside them and encourage them as they remain faithful.”

Family Life Center operates three locations across Illinois in Effingham, Newton and Shelbyville. This Christian not-for-profit ministry provides practical assistance, education and support to empower and equip women, men and families experiencing pregnancy, parenting and related issues.The PRC in Shelbyville offers parenting and prenatal education, ultrasounds, pregnancy and STI testing, abortion support recovery and material assistance at no cost to clients.

“What a blessing to have an ultrasound machine after 30 years of service in our community,” said Dawn Adrian, executive director of Family Life Center. “We have already been able to use it and see the impact it has to make life-saving decisions. We are so grateful to the Psalm 139 Project for contributing to our local ministry. To God Be The Glory!” 

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] or call 202-547-0209
 Visit our website at www.erlc.com
Follow us on Twitter at @ERLC.

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 / Aug 1

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren recently made national news when she argued that the government should shut down women’s health organizations she labeled “deceptive.” “We need to shut them down here in Massachusetts and we need to shut them down all around the country,” Warren told reporters. “You should not be able to torture a pregnant person like that.” However, she was not referring to abortion clinics that exploit vulnerable women and take the lives of preborn children. Rather, the senator was speaking out against pro-life pregnancy resource centers.

The Stop Anti-Abortion Disinformation Act

In June following the landmark Dobbs decision, congressional Democrats introduced the Stop Anti-Abortion Disinformation Act. This bill would empower the Federal Trade Commission to crack down on crisis pregnancy centers for advancing purportedly false claims about abortion. If passed, these pro-life centers could be fined $100,000 or 50% of their revenue for violating the “prohibition on [abortion] disinformation.”

The text of the bill fails to define what exactly qualifies as “abortion disinformation,” but statements by the legislation’s sponsors illuminated their intentions. “It’s more important than ever to crack down on so-called ‘crisis pregnancy centers’ that mislead women about reproductive health care,” Warren said, claiming that pro-life pregnancy centers “lie” to mothers by encouraging them to choose life and should therefore face punishment. 

Rep. Carolyn Maloney told reporters, “It is truly disgusting that reproductive rights are being threatened and attacked by crisis pregnancy centers whose guiding principle is to mislead, misinform, and outright lie to pregnant people in order to dissuade them from having an abortion. It is long past time that we prohibit these predatory tactics to undermine reproductive rights.”

Sadly, this legislative attack on pregnancy resource centers is not an isolated incident. Rather, it consistently tracks with the ethos of postmodern secularism—an unmooring from absolute truth that is reshaping the very moral frameworks that undergird our individual actions, cultural discernment, and political engagement. To discover what drives such legislative efforts, we should take a look under the hood of the religion of secularism.

Epistemology in a secular age

What is true? What is false? And who decides what is true? These epistemological questions frame our postmodern age and haunt Christians and secularists alike.

The prevailing doctrine of expressive individualism offers one possible take on the question of truth by advancing a system of truth claims that have influenced our modern moral order. We live in the “age of authenticity,” an era that the philosopher Charles Taylor characterizes as a “social imaginary of expressive individualism.” In our postmodern culture, authenticity is the prize, and self-actualization is the good life. By acting on the fundamental freedom to express oneself, the individual discovers his true purpose and place in the world.

In an age of expressive individualism, the pursuit of truth is no longer a quest for universal standards. Rather, culture has cast aside the universal value of human life to make way for a postmodern revelation: the individual is king. This secular revival rejects traditional institutional structures and communal senses of truth, instead heralding individual feelings and self-expression as sources of personal truth. The only prevailing truth is that each individual may choose for himself what is right, and the highest virtue is tolerance—celebrating each person’s “truth” while disdaining any truth claims that reach beyond the boundaries of the isolated, buffered self. 

To a culture that sacralizes tolerance and venerates individual choice as an inviolable good, anyone who believes in the inherent value of all human life, including the preborn, presents a threat to the core values of the modern moral order. The pro-life ethic is rooted in human dignity and the image of God, which are fixed realities and transcendent truths that run counter to the secular norms of moral autonomy and individual choice. To the postmodern secularist, then, pro-life advocates appear to intrude on the individual’s autonomy by intentionally spreading false information about the nature of reality.

Technology experts label this “manipulation and distribution of facts” as disinformation. Disinformation, in contrast to misinformation, is false information intentionally meant to distract or dissuade the intended audience. Warren isn’t politely disagreeing with the pro-life movement; instead, she is actively assigning foul motives to pro-life pregnancy centers. But secularists aren’t the only ones tempted to label others as their “enemies.” Many of us struggle to navigate this world of disinformation, and labeling opposing opinions as “fake news” often serves as an easy escape from the difficult task of engaging faithfully in personal relationships and the public square.

While Warren’s recent actions are disappointing, it’s not surprising that she leveled charges of disinformation against pregnancy resource centers. The senator is acting in step with her secular ethic, advancing personal choice and autonomy at the steep cost of devaluing preborn lives. To the postmodern secularist, pro-life counseling provided by pregnancy resource centers can only be a restrictive, intolerant lie masquerading as healthcare that denies women the right to express themselves through abortion. And since these pregnancy centers bar women from exercising allegedly fundamental rights, then the government must be right to intervene, label heterodoxy as disinformation, and enforce a (twisted) interpretation of the common good.

But over and over, the postmodern ethic of expressive individualism is tested and found wanting. By rejecting God’s creation order and design for humanity, secularists are left directionless and hopeless, lost in the wilderness with no map. Their ethic proclaims freedom and autonomy for the individual but enslaves the soul either to the ruthless, all-consuming desire for more, or to the hopeless, empty feeling that there is nothing more. The heralded eschaton of self-actualization seems to always be a false peak, a disappointing mountaintop experience that always leaves the ambitious climber with nothing but unfulfilled longings and hollow regrets. Countless regretful mothers who now mourn their abortions agree: the view from the top isn’t nearly as pleasant as it looked in the travel brochure.

Truth under God

But there is another way. Jason Thacker writes that this fruitless pursuit of expressive individualism “is fundamentally at odds with a Christian understanding of truth and ultimate reality.” Scripture counters the rise of postmodern secularism by offering a radically different take on reality: truth is not decided by the individual but rather is founded in the nature and commands of almighty God (John 14:6). The psalmists sing that the Lord delights in truth, so our every endeavor ought to align with his heart for wisdom (Psalm 51:6). God created man not to live free of all constraints but rather to submit to his lordship and perfect design for our lives; therefore, we align with truth by reflecting God’s character and living by his Word (Psalm 119:160, John 17:17).

A Christian approach to disinformation, then, should consider the biblical principles of God’s created order, Christ’s lordship, and our responsibility to faithfully order our lives in light of both. Because the King of the universe has revealed universal standards of truth, disinformation is not just in the eye of the beholder. We can discern truth revealed in Scripture, and God also endowed men with a sense of reason to understand the created order and apply lessons revealed by common grace. 

We can boldly speak the truth that life is worthy of protection and celebration, for each person is lovingly created in the very image of God. Pro-life pregnancy resource centers are not disseminating disinformation; they are working out their convictions in the public square in order to serve and love their neighbors. Senator Warren ignores that these centers serve women everyday by providing clothing, diapers, baby formula, and counseling. Pregnancy resource centers are an invaluable asset to their communities, and condemning them as disingenuous agents of disinformation does nothing but harm the very women that these politicians claim to serve.

Sen. Warren’s sweeping proposal aims its sights at legitimate pro-life speech, and it also opens the doors for the government to selectively weaponize speech codes to quash any other speech that the ruling party may find disagreeable. While it is good to combat legitimate disinformation and curtail its dangerous ramifications, we must also vigorously protect the right to free expression for all people, especially those with whom we disagree. An unhealthy public square forcefully cancels disagreeable speech and silences minority voices, but a healthy, flourishing public square encourages all to speak from their convictions and persuade without fear of government coercion.

By / Mar 18

In this episode, Jill Waggoner and Lindsay discuss the number of Ukrainian refugees increasing to 3.1 million and President Zelenskyy’s address to Congress. They also talk about substance abuse within the church, the call to foster care, and why cohabitation is a bad idea. In addition, Lindsay interviews Jill, a pastor’s wife, about church, COVID, and the importance of pregnancy resource centers. 

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  1. Axios: UN: Over 3.1 million refugees have fled Ukraine since Russian invasion began
  2. CNN: President Zelensky addressed U.S. Congress on Wed.

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  • Dobbs Resource Page Prayer Guide | Right now, the Supreme Court is considering a major Mississippi abortion case called Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The ERLC and other pro-life organizations filed an amicus brief in this case urging the Supreme Court to overturn the disatrous Roe v. Wade decision. Members of our team also joined pro-life advocates on the steps of the Supreme Court when oral arguments were heard last December. As we approach the Supreme Court’s final decision in June of this year, it’s important for Christians to pray for this landmark case and begin preparing our churches to serve vulnerable women and children in a potential post-Roe world. Download our free prayer guide at ERLC.com/Dobbs. That’s ERLC.com/Dobbs.
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By / Jan 28

Pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) are local, nonprofit organizations that provide support and information to women and men faced with making decisions about an unexpected or unwanted pregnancy. The history of the modern pregnancy resource center movement began in the the late 1960s, as several states began to remove legal restrictions on abortion. 

How pregnancy resource centers began 

In response to this shift toward legalization, Robert J. Pearson, a building contractor and Catholic pro-life advocate, established a foundation in 1969 to assist in the opening of volunteer-run Pregnancy Problem Centers across Hawaii. The centers offered free pregnancy testing, counseling, and some emergency and financial help for women considering abortion. 

Pearson also wrote and published a 93-page manual called, How to Start and Operate Your Own Pro-Life Outreach Crisis Pregnancy Center. While well-intended, the manual has been used to discredit the PRC movement because of its use of deceptive practices, such as providing misleading answers that give the impression such centers provide abortions. 

The first network of pregnancy centers was founded in 1968 in Toronto, Ontario, under the name Birthright in Canada. These centers soon spread to the United States as Birthright International. Other groups sprung up, and some of the first modern crisis pregnancy centers began helping women in California in 1968. Within three years there were 70 centers, many of which joined together to form Alternatives to Abortion (later known as Heartbeat International). In 1975, two years after the nationwide legalization of abortion, theologian Harold O. J. Brown formed the Christian Action Council, a group which would later adopt the name Care Net. Care Net opened its first PRC in 1983. 

In 1994 the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) was established to provide legal counsel to PRCs. Today, Heartbeat International, Care Net, and NIFLA are the three major PRC networks, operating nearly 2,000 pregnancy centers.

The use of ultrasound machines

Ultrasound machines were invented in the 1960s, but became more widespread for obstetrical use in the 1980s. NIFLA was the first of the national pregnancy center organizations to promote acquisition of ultrasound technology by the centers and to provide trainings in its use by certified and qualified personnel. Since the launch of its Institute in Limited Obstetric Ultrasound in 1998, NIFLA has trained over 4,500 pregnancy center healthcare professionals and administrators in the legal and medical “how to’s” of obstetric ultrasound. 

Today, about half of PRCs in America offer ultrasound services to the women they serve at little or no cost. In 2010 alone, close to 230,000 ultrasounds were performed at PRCs. The use of ultrasounds helps to provide confirmation of pregnancy, verifies the developing baby’s gestational age, and provides essential information that can provide a new perspective for women thinking about having an abortion. As Barbara Shoun says, “Ultrasound technology is proving to be the most convincing piece of evidence the pro-life community has to offer young women who think their unborn children aren’t babies.”

(Through the Psalm 139 Project, the ERLC seeks to save lives by donating ultrasound machines to PRCs.)

Sources of funding 

Although most PRCs have been funded through donations, additional sources began in the 1990s. 

In 1996, Choose Life, Inc. was formed in Florida with the idea to use license plate sales to fund PRCs. By 2018, the Choose Life license plate was available in 32 states and Washington, D.C., and the plates had raised over $28 million in those states for the causes of life and adoption. 

During this same period, President George W. Bush included support of pregnancy resource centers as part of his administration’s pro-life agenda. In 2002, President Bush told March for Life participants, “A generous society values all human life . . .  and that is why my administration opposes partial-birth abortion and public funding for abortion; why we support teen abstinence and crisis pregnancy programs . . .” 

Prior to the Bush administration, only a few PRCs received federal funding. However, between 2001 through 2005, over $30 million in federal funds was provided to more than 50 PRCs across the country. This funding was discontinued under President Obama, but President Trump awarded a $1.7 million family planning grant to a group that runs PRCs. 

Spreading the gospel

PRCs serve more than 2.3 million people each year, providing such services as pregnancy tests, ultrasound and medical services, abstinence education, options consulting and education, and parenting and childbirth classes. But many also aim to share the gospel with their clients. For instance, Care Net reports that over the past seven years, more than 1.2 million people heard the gospel at one of their centers.