By / Feb 14

The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention is dedicated to protecting life in all stages of development, including those in the womb. The Psalm 139 Project is an overflow of that commitment. 

This valuable ministry exists to purchase and place ultrasound machines in pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) and women’s health clinics (WHCs) around the country and train clinic staff for their use. Each placement allows abortion-vulnerable and abortion-determined women to get a glimpse of the life inside their womb. 

One hundred percent of all donations given to the Psalm 139 Project go toward the purchase of life-saving machines and training of the clinic staff who will utilize them.

Praying for this vital work

In 2022, we placed or committed to place 27 machines across nine states. In doing so, we partnered with five Baptist state conventions: Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, and SBC of Virginia.

Before placing an ultrasound machine, our staff works through a due-diligence checklist to determine if qualified PRCs and WHCs meet the local and state guidelines and criteria, as well as show longevity in the community. Among the other components we look for in centers where we place machines include:

  • Must be ready to go “medical”; 
  • Must meet all of the legal requirements in their area for operating an ultrasound machine;
  • Should have a strong, stable financial base; 
  • Needs a healthy leadership structure;
  • And contains adequate staff and volunteers who can sustain the work.

Many executive directors from clinics around the country have shared with our team about the vital work happening in underserved areas through mobile units, as well as the need for additional ultrasound machines and nurse training in order to open new locations. Placements are strategically spread out to areas with the intention of having the most impact per placement.

The work of these centers is increasingly indispensable in a post-Roe world. Here are a few ways you can pray for PRCs and WHCs: 

  • Marketing to reach more abortion-vulnerable women
  • Protection against harassment and safety for staff
  • Building space and quality medical equipment
  • Opportunities to share the gospel with clients
  • More advocates and volunteers to serve at centers

Join us in 2023

We will continue to provide ultrasound machines to PRCs or WHCs to aid clinic staff with the adequate means to better serve vulnerable women and to save more preborn babies. As word about the Psalm 139 Project spreads, we have had an overwhelming response from pregnancy care centers expressing a need for new ultrasound equipment through our application process. In 2023, we will work to identify and seek to place machines in as many abortion-permissible states to provide critical support for PRCs as abortion tourism will bring an increased number of women seeking abortions in these states.

At the ERLC, we believe in standing for the life of preborn children as well as caring for the well-being of women. Through hearing the heartbeat of a preborn child, caring for the pregnant woman regardless of where she finds herself, or educating about the foundational truths that each life has dignity, we desire to widely share the beauty of this holistic, pro-life vision. 

We know the pro-life movement requires us all working together to continue to see a shift in this country to make abortion unthinkable for women and to show them the true value of the sacred life within their womb. We would like to invite you to join us in this vital work through the Psalm 139 Project. 

Together, we have the amazing opportunity to place ultrasound machines in pregnancy care centers across the country to rescue babies and leave a legacy of life for generations to come.

By / Jan 31

Nashville, Tenn., Jan. 30, 2023—The Psalm 139 Project, a pro-life ministry of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, in partnership with the Southern Baptist Convention of Virginia (SBCV), has donated an ultrasound machine to Warrenton Pregnancy Center in Warrenton, Va. 

Details for the dedication ceremony are below:

Date & time: Tuesday, Jan. 31, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. EST 

Location: 400 Holiday Ct., Suite 101, Warrenton, VA 20196

Attendees: ERLC Policy Manager Hannah Daniel will be in attendance 

“Placing ultrasound machines in pregnancy centers is always a joy for our staff at the ERLC,” said Rachel Wiles, director of the Psalm 139 Project. “But when we can partner with state conventions to place these machines, it’s an extra special blessing as we cooperate together to see lives changed.”

The machine was provided through a grant by the SBCV. Brandon Pickett, director of strategic initiatives and communications for the SBCV, commented on the partnership.

“The churches of the SBC of Virginia are thankful to be able to come alongside the Warrenton Pregnancy Center. We count it a privilege to be able to support this incredible ministry with our partner, the Psalm 139 Project. We pray that countless women, men, and families are loved and served because of the work of the Warrenton Pregnancy Center. We believe that we won’t know until eternity the lives that were changed because of our partnership in the Gospel.”

Warrenton Pregnancy Center was founded in September 2017 and opened in March 2018. This center has served Fauquier County for nearly five years, offering medical services including ultrasounds and medical-grade pregnancy tests, and educational programs such as advocacy, abstinence, parenting, post-abortion healing and material support. The city of Warrenton has a population of 10,000 and the surrounding communities make up a greater population of about 50,000. Warrenton Pregnancy Center is open five days a week and walk-ins are welcome.

“Our sonogram machine is 10 years old, so the new machine from ERLC is a great blessing to us,” said Patrick Novecosky, executive director of Warrenton Pregnancy Center. “The new technology will help our clients to see their babies more clearly and hear their child’s heartbeat with clarity. We’re grateful to the Psalm 139 Project for their generosity!”

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.com.

By / Jan 31

As a pastor, father, and follower of Christ, I have often found myself with a heavy heart when I think and pray about abortion. I’m saddened. I’m sickened. I’m burdened for the life of preborn children who are precious in the sight of God. And I have a deep conviction that there’s more that I can do for the preborn, their mothers, and their fathers.

While pro-choice supporters advocate that abortion is a “women’s rights” issue, we cannot deny the deeply profound implications that abortions have on the male partners. While we continue to fight for the preborn and pray and provide for the mothers, let us not neglect the men who are struggling.

A harsh reality for men

When a man is faced with his partner’s unplanned pregnancy, there is a temptation to abandon her and think, This isn’t not my problem. And if he is advocating for an abortion, he often provides the same reasons women do: income, marital status, reputation, or loss of future plans.

Yet, some men would choose to stay when their unwed partners become pregnant. They want to make things right. They want to fight for the baby. Even though they want to choose life, they still experience a deep sense of helplessness if their partner doesn’t choose life.

In most states, there are little to no laws that advocate for fathers to have a legal voice in regards to their partners’ abortion. A man can become frustrated if he has no say and often experiences grief if his partner has an elective abortion. The result is a loss of trust in the relationship as well as sadness that he could not change the situation. Most romantic relationships do not persevere through having an elective abortion; research shows that only 37% of couples are still together two years after an abortion.[1]

What the Church can do

A few months ago I sat down at my computer in my office and began asking the Lord to guide me to go beyond giving money for the care of preborn children and their mothers. I want to be an active participant. After exploring opportunities in my local area for serving at a pro-life and counseling center, I was discouraged by the reality that while there are a plethora of opportunities for serving children and mothers, there are none in my area for the fathers. I found myself asking who is helping the men.

As I reflect how men are affected by abortions, there is more the Church can do to help. There’s more that I can do. Specifically, here are a few things your church can do to help men who have suffered loss from an abortion.

Counseling 

  • Seek out training for your church leaders in grief and premarital counseling regarding sex, pregnancy, and abortion.
  • When possible, include men in pre/post-abortion counseling.

Education 

  • Understand that a man’s involvement during the pregnancy greatly enhances a woman’s (and consequently the baby’s) health.
  • Communicate the reality of the grief and pain associated with an abortion for both the woman and the man before it is performed.

Preaching/teaching

  • Whenever you preach or teach against abortion, preach the gospel, and point out the forgiveness and hope that is found in Christ.
  • Preach that biblical manhood is displayed when a man supports his partner, fights for the life of the baby, and does not abandon his responsibility to them.
  • Implement discipleship opportunities for men to disciple men, and create an atmosphere of openness so suffering men can share and be ministered to.
  • Teach how the Bible provides us with a salvific message and a clear framework for understanding sex, intimacy, leadership, and stability in relationships.

Yes, there are clear physical and mental consequences for sin, yet the gospel of Jesus Christ provides the grace and forgiveness we desperately need. He doesn’t wait for us to have our lives in order before he saves (Rom. 5:8). If he did that, no one would be saved. The gospel tells us that he died for us when we were at our very worst.

Many men realize that in moments of deepest grief (like grief over supporting his partner’s abortion), conviction, and regret, Jesus offers forgiveness of sins when they repent and believe in him. Studies show that many men reference God and the importance of faith in him as a way of staying strong during an abortion crisis.[2]

The gospel meets both the mother and the father involved in an unplanned pregnancy. As ambassadors of Christ, may the Church serve and care for both mothers and fathers as we advocate for the preborn.

Notes

  1. ^ Mauldon, Jane., Diana Greene Foster, and Sarah C. M. Roberts, Effect of Abortion vs. Carrying to Term on a Woman’s Relationship with the Man Involved in the Pregnancy. Perspectives on Sexual & Reproductive Health. Mar2015, Vol. 47 Issue 1, p11-18.
  2. ^ Coyle, Catherine T. & Vincent M. Rue, Thematic Analysis of Men’s Experience with a Partner’s Elective Abortion, of Journal of American Counseling Association Volume 60, October 2015.
By / Jan 27

In this episode, Lindsay and Brent discuss this year’s March for Life, George Santos’ deception, and the classified documents debacle. 

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  • Dobbs Resource Page | The release of the Dobbs decision marks a true turning point in the pro-life movement, a moment that Christians, advocates and many others have worked toward tirelessly for 50 years. Let us rejoice that we live in a nation where past injustices can still be corrected, as we also roll our sleeves up to save preborn lives, serve vulnerable mothers, and support families in our communities. To get more resources on this case, visit ERLC.com/Dobbs.
  • Sexual Ethics Resource Page | Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the constant stream of entertainment and messages that challenge the Bible’s teachings on sexual ethics? It often feels like we’re walking through uncharted territory. But no matter what we face in our ever-shifting culture, God’s design for human sexuality has never changed. The ERLC’s new sexual ethics resource page is full of helpful articles, videos, and explainers that will equip you to navigate these important issues with truth and grace. Get these free resources at ERLC.com/sexualethics.
By / Jan 20

In a few days, President Joe Biden will speak before a joint session of Congress and deliver his second State of the Union address. In the message, the president will fulfill his constitutional duty to “give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” 

While President Biden might mention abortion in his speech, he is unlikely to discuss the varied ways the issue has changed since the overturning of Roe v. Wade and in the past few months. Here is what you should know about the state of abortion in 2023.

Most abortions are illegal in 14 U.S. states

Earlier this month, the Supreme Courts in Idaho and South Carolina issued rulings on pending cases concerning abortion. In Idaho, abortion is now allowed only to save the life of the mother or in cases of rape or incest. Sadly, in South Carolina the state Supreme Court ruled a 2021 Heartbeat Bill to be unconstitutional, granting the right of an abortion up to 22 weeks.

Abortion is currently banned in 13 states. In Georgia, where a complete ban was blocked by the courts, it is allowed only in the first six weeks. Eleven more states have restrictions between 15 and 22 weeks of gestation. Abortion is legal beyond 22 weeks’ gestation in 25 states and Washington, D.C. 

FDA allows retail pharmacies to offer abortion pill

In the final days of 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated a rule allowing retail pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens to dispense the abortion pill mifepristone. The change in expanding access to the drug came amid a wave of state efforts last year to impose restrictions. Until 2021, mifepristone could only be dispensed in person by a physician. The Biden administration relaxed that requirement during the COVID-19 pandemic and allowed the drug to be dispensed by telemedicine prescription and mail delivery. That rule was later made permanent. 

The new rule requires pharmacies to apply for a special certification process. The rule also will only apply in states that have not banned abortion. More than a dozen states have laws that would prohibit the abortion pill from being prescribed. However, women will be able to cross state lines and obtain mifepristone from states in which abortion is allowed within the first 10 weeks. 

Medication abortions—abortions that are a result of abortion pills rather than surgery—currently account for more than half of all abortions in the United States, so the ease of access is likely to increase the total number of abortions.  

Justice Department clears Postal Service to deliver abortion pills in states where abortion is banned

A day before Christmas Eve, the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel issued a legal opinion concluding that the mailing of abortion pills does not violate Section 1461 of title 18 of the U.S. Code, commonly known as the Comstock Act. According to the Justice Department, that law does not prohibit the mailing of certain drugs that can be used to perform abortions where the sender lacks the intent that the recipient of the drugs will use them unlawfully.

“Because there are manifold ways in which recipients in every state may lawfully use such drugs, including to produce an abortion,” states the ruling, “the mere mailing of such drugs to a particular jurisdiction is an insufficient basis for concluding that the sender intends them to be used unlawfully.”

The decision allows abortion pills to be shipped through the U.S. Postal Service as well as by other carriers, like FedEx and the United Parcel Service. But it does not guarantee legal immunity for those involved in sending or receiving abortion drugs in states that restrict them. The opinion also does not prevent state or local prosecutors from using state laws to charge people criminally for violating abortion bans or restrictions.

Congressional Democrats still refuse to protect children born alive after abortion

On Jan. 11, all but two Democrats in the House of Representatives voted against legislation that would require immediate medical attention for babies who are born alive after an attempt was made to abort them. In contrast, 210 Republicans and one Democrat, Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas, voted to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (one other Democrat, Rep. Vicente Gonzalez of Texas, voted “present”). 

The legislation says that any infant born alive after an attempted abortion is a “legal person for all purposes under the laws of the United States.” Doctors would be required to admit such infants to a hospital for further care. Any violation of this standard could result in fines and imprisonment for up to five years. 

Despite passing by a majority vote in the House, the Democrat-controlled Senate is unlikely to bring the legislation for a vote.

By / Jan 19

Where do we go from here? Sometimes that phrase is heard after a family tragedy or a moment that upends our life or business. Many Kentucky Baptists and their neighbors were asking that very question after the historic west Kentucky tornadoes on Dec. 10, 2021, and the eastern Kentucky flooding this past July.  

But in this case, the question was being asked after the Yes for Life Amendment (Constitutional Amendment 2) failed to pass in Kentucky’s voting booths Nov. 8, 2022. The amendment stated, “To protect human life, nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.” The result of the vote was disappointing for those who worked diligently to see this amendment passed.  

Much prayer and sacrifice went into the drafting and promotion of this historic amendment. Many elected leaders, as well as pastors and church leaders, put their own names on the line to defend the preborn in our state. Kentucky Baptist pastors and associational and ministry leaders were “all in” on promoting the passage of Amendment 2, and Kentucky Baptists showed up and voted for the amendment. We should give thanks for those who provided leadership to speak up for the preborn.  

We are disappointed in the defeat of Amendment 2. Legalized abortion is the greatest human rights atrocity of our day, and Kentucky Baptists will continue to work and pray that it remains illegal in our state. We are grateful that Attorney General Daniel Cameron has proven that he will fight to uphold Kentucky’s pro-life laws in court, and we encourage our state legislators to continue passing legislation that protects preborn children made in the image of God. 

What’s next for pro-life Kentuckians? 

But, where do we go from here? Here are five actions to consider:  

1. We continue to pray for abortion to be abolished in Kentucky. Abolitionist William Wilberforce fought tirelessly against the inhumane slave trade in Great Britain. He suffered defeat after defeat before finally experiencing victory. Our cause is one worthy of continued effort and prayer. This defeat gives each of us an opportunity to sharpen our pro-life apologetics and get to work convincing and persuading others of the rightness of our position.  

2. We continue to care for women and families with unplanned pregnancies. Forty-nine pregnancy resource centers in Kentucky are connected to the Kentucky Baptist Convention. You can learn more here. The leaders and volunteers at these bastions of compassion woke up on Wednesday morning following the election and went to work doing what they do every day—serving women and families experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. We can help them with their work.  

3. We continue to encourage elected leaders who defend life. I was so proud of many of Kentucky’s elected House and Senate members and constitutional officers who put their own popularity on the line to defend preborn children in Kentucky. The disrespectful chant that says “politicians look for a parade and get in front of it” does not fit these courageous leaders. In Kentucky, we have strong pro-life laws and an attorney general who will vigorously defend them before the Supreme Court. Continue to pray for the Kentucky Supreme Court as it heard arguments on Nov. 15t, 2022, about a challenge to the state’s pre-Roe trigger law which has currently banned abortion. We pray that they will uphold the ban which is currently in effect.

4. We continue to pray for pro-abortion advocates. During the recent Amendment 2 campaign, I was given a renewed passion for praying for and striving to persuade those who view preborn human beings differently than I do. I believe, according to God’s Word, that they are wrong in their position. I also believe they are people made in the image of God who need the gospel. 

5. We continue to promote the adoption of vulnerable children. While a vulnerable mom might not be up to the task of parenting her preborn child, someone else is. There are couples all over the commonwealth who would line up to adopt vulnerable children and give them a great life.  

So where do we go from here? We keep working toward the day when legalized elective abortion will be part of our terrible past, but not part of our more humane future.  

As of the writing of this article, there are no legalized elective abortions being performed in Kentucky. Please join me in praying that this will be our normal from now on. 

A version of this article first appeared here

By / Jan 17

Every semester thousands of students fill college campuses across America with dreams and aspirations of a bright future. While many go on to the career they’ve worked hard for, there are young women experiencing unplanned pregnancies and expect that their dream will never become a reality. A variety of factors such as costs, time, and relational support may prevent many young women from completing—or even starting—a college education. The MOMentum Network is an organization that exists to help single moms as they work toward their education. Below, Cara Hicks, founder and CEO, discusses the ways that they are living out a pro-life ethic and serving single moms.

Kadin Christian: What is the story behind The MOMentum Network, and what is its purpose?

Cara Hicks: Having experienced an unplanned pregnancy just before graduating high school, I realized the tremendous pressure to choose abortion. I hate to admit it, but I had heard people of faith respond unkindly to single moms and unmarried girls with unexpected pregnancies, and I was afraid of being judged too. I was scared and went to a women’s center out of town expecting to hear my options anonymously, but that center turned out to only focus on abortion.

They asked probing questions to understand my fears, then shared scary statistics that supported abortion only. “Less than 2% of teen moms graduate from college . . . growing up in poverty leads to the worst outcomes.” But I recalled the verse I had memorized for cheerleading that year, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Right before I was handed a pill that was promised to take my problems away, I felt like the Lord lifted me out of that place. I asked for my money back since they didn’t provide an abortion, but they refused. I realized it was never about empowering a woman; it was about profit only.

I never wanted another girl to feel pressured into having an abortion again.

I went on to shatter the statistics by completing college, thanks to the resources available by my college (campus housing & Pell grant for low-income students on top of my merit-based scholarships that I didn’t lose by continuing as planned), my campus ministry, my strong community of friends, and Christ—who was faithful—even when I stepped away from my faith for a season.

I later read from Guttmacher that when a woman decides on an abortion, “the reasons most frequently cited were that having a child would interfere with a woman’s education, work or ability to care for dependents (74%); that she could not afford a baby now (73%); and that she did not want to be a single mother or was having relationship problems (48%)”. However, I knew that there were resources available and that having a child helped me develop resilience and selflessness that I may not have had without a child to care for beyond myself.

Being a single mom doesn’t have to define us, but it can refine us and help us to be better. A woman shouldn’t be pressured to choose between a child and an education—she CAN choose BOTH. But no woman can do it alone. None of us can or should raise a child on our own. It takes a village. So that’s why we formed The MOMentum Network—to be a resource with relational and now residential community of support. 

KC: What are the benefits of a single mom obtaining an education? What are some factors or obstacles that can hinder a single mom from getting an education?

CH: Institute for Women’s Policy Research has done some great research on the benefits of a woman’s education—including more earning potential for her and her child—as children of college graduates are more likely to complete higher education. They spiral up.

I believe the most prevalent deterrent is the lack of awareness of abundant resources that can help moms make a strong choice for life, especially on college campuses. Campuses tend to be very aware of abortion providers, but not necessarily open to referring to agencies that can empower a woman to continue her pregnancy while progressing through her classes. There are resources available, but more people need to know more about them. That’s where the MOMentum Network can help. 

I can’t speak for all states, but Tennessee does have a multitude of resources to help women reach their goals, from public assistance that covers a large portion of childcare costs to Tennessee Promise and Reconnect that ensures a two-year degree can be attained tuition free. Insurance is available for pregnant women and their children. Temporary assistance for needy families even covers some transportation assistance and gives grace periods for their work requirements for up to one year. Additional funding has become available during the pandemic as well. Colleges also provide some wrap-around services that address issues specifically related to the challenges of being a single mom including counseling, food pantries on campus, and accommodations (through Title IX). 

Admittedly, the systems aren’t perfect, but that’s where the church can step up and shine. We’ve had needs met by people in our community in amazing ways. In collaboration with our local pregnancy resource center, necessary and even extra material needs are almost always covered. And when they’re not, we’ve seen organizations like Abby Johnson’s LoveLine cover costs no one else would cover. We’ve been fortunate as an organization to have both pro-life and pro-choice supporters see the value in supporting women and children as our Scholar Mamas are pursuing their education. It’s something that we can all agree is a proven pathway forward. 

And still, obstacles do exist. We need more childcare, and the biggest challenge with that right now is staffing. And we need more social support that goes beyond one-and-done gift giving. We need mentors who are willing to walk with these women long term. It can be messy; often life is chaotic before an unplanned pregnancy, so it doesn’t automatically get cute and comfortable. When I was close to giving birth, my car was stolen, my dad was murdered, and my life was extremely overwhelming. There was no easy fix. It was ugly before it was better. But I was fortunate to have a peer and a mentor who continued to meet me where I was. That made such a difference. 

KC: What are the specific services that The MOMentum Network provides? How many women and children do you typically serve at a time?

CH: We are a network at heart, serving as a connector between any motivated single parent who is interested in completing college (including those who aren’t currently enrolled) and collaborative organizations by keeping track of the complex systems and resources to help clients see a way forward.

We served over 244 women and children in this way last year. We go more in-depth with moms who are willing to commit to a deeper level of transparency and accountability; we call these participants scholars because they are willing to learn, grow, and commit to at least a semester of individual and group coaching.

When a mom comes to us, we look at her whole life, first recognizing her value and the assets she has and connecting her to the resources she needs, until she achieves her dream of graduating college. Our scholars who commit to the highest level of engagement live on campus as residents. We currently have six residential spots and six “fellows” or off-campus spots. We are eager to increase the residential capacity to help more moms but would need more mentors and space to make this possible. 

KC: Is The MOMentum Network a faith-based organization? If so, how has faith shaped its culture and operations?

CH: Yes, we are a faith-based organization. While there are a lot of organizations that do wonderful work in the same field, I’ve seen the power of the gospel make a hopeless situation seem possible. God really is a good Father, and his Word calls us to care for the fatherless. Christians have an opportunity to meet families in this time of need, and we have solutions that the world cannot provide.

Our staff and board are all Christians, however, we do NOT require participants to engage in religious activities if they do not want to. We ask about faith and honor their preferences. The MOMentum Network has seen the love of Christ work in the lives of women who are exploring their faith, largely because college is such a time of exploration. We encourage our non-believers to ask us any questions they have because walking with emerging adults is an adventure already. When they have a child to care for, their world opens up. While it’s not prescriptive to have a child while in college, it can certainly change their perspective—their world shifts to something beyond themselves, to something much bigger. 

KC: How can individual Christians and local churches help support the work of places like The Momentum Network?

CH: Commit to a long game. We are really good at giving gifts, but what our moms and these babies need more than anything is a committed presence. Someone who is willing to get to know them and go beyond transactional relationships. When we commit to coming alongside moms for life, we get to be a part of multi-generational transformation. 

KC: After the historic Dobbs decision, has The MOMentum Network been affected, negatively or positively? Do you anticipate any short-term or long-term effects from the decision?

CH: Yes, both positive and negative.

The negative: Women are making quicker and quieter decisions. The abortion industry has saturated the internet and college community. Pills are being shipped and abortions are happening in secret, no matter how dangerous that is. The pro-choice advocates united and poured so many resources into removing barriers to abortion. If the pro-life community united in the same way, two generations could be the catalyst for change. But I think a lot of pro-lifers have stepped back after the decision thinking that it’s over. It’s absolutely not over. 

The positive: I do hope that more lives are being saved. We haven’t seen a huge increase in moms needing assistance yet (which concerns us that quick, quiet abortions are happening), but we’re working hard to pull together more support to be ready for it. 

I pray that more Christians rise up and help us meet this challenge. 

By / Jan 13

In this episode, Lindsay and Brent discuss the South Carolina Supreme Court striking down the state’s 6-week abortion ban. They also talk about the pro-life organization and the March for Life happening next week.

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  • Dobbs Resource Page | The release of the Dobbs decision marks a true turning point in the pro-life movement, a moment that Christians, advocates and many others have worked toward tirelessly for 50 years. Let us rejoice that we live in a nation where past injustices can still be corrected, as we also roll our sleeves up to save preborn lives, serve vulnerable mothers, and support families in our communities. To get more resources on this case, visit ERLC.com/Dobbs.
  • Sexual Ethics Resource Page | Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the constant stream of entertainment and messages that challenge the Bible’s teachings on sexual ethics? It often feels like we’re walking through uncharted territory. But no matter what we face in our ever-shifting culture, God’s design for human sexuality has never changed. The ERLC’s new sexual ethics resource page is full of helpful articles, videos, and explainers that will equip you to navigate these important issues with truth and grace. Get these free resources at ERLC.com/sexualethics.
By / Jan 9

My OBGYN, Dr. John Bruchalski, used to be an abortionist. When he was conducting his residency in Virginia, an attempted late-term abortion he was performing turned into an unexpected delivery. Under Virginia law, he was required to send that living, breathing baby, even at just 1 pound, 1 ounce, to the neonatology unit for care. With his training as an abortionist, he saw this botched abortion as a problem. The neonatologist saw things differently. 

When Dr. Bruchalski called her, she scolded him for treating the baby like a “cancerous tumor,” instead of the living human being that the baby was.1Dr. John Bruchalski: From Abortionist to Pro-Life Doctor, https://divinemercycare.org/abortionist-to-pro-life-doctor/.

How could two doctors’ approaches to healthcare be so different—no, not only different, but inherently antithetical? How does the abortionist’s “care,” which prematurely ends the life inside the womb, cohere with that of the neonatologist’s, which seeks to nurture the prematurely born to health?

Indeed, does it even make sense to call what both of these doctors do “healthcare”? Is healthcare anything a doctor does for a living? Or is the location important—is it anything done in a hospital or clinic? Is healthcare anything we call it, anything we want it to be? 

Our relativistic, secular culture may say so, but a theologically orthodox account of healthcare is morally important to uphold. Embedded in the words “health” and “healthcare” is the word “heal,” a word that has deep historical and biblical significance. 

A biblical understanding of healthcare

The Hippocratic Oath, which physicians have been guided by for more than 2,000 years, begins with a vow to the healer (ἰητρὸν) deity, along with a promise to “benefit my patients according to my greatest ability and judgment.”2Greek text: Hippocrates Collected Works I. Hippocrates. W. H. S. Jones. Cambridge. Harvard University Press. 1868; English text: Hippocratic Oath. Hippocrates. Michael North. National Library of Medicine. 2002; both are accessible via http://data.perseus.org/texts/urn:cts:greekLit:tlg0627.tlg013.perseus-eng3 Certain practices and disciplines are off-limits to health professionals: physicians vow to “do no harm or injustice” to their patients, and they vow not to “give a lethal drug to anyone [even] when asked,” nor provide an abortion (οὐδὲ γυναικὶ πεσσὸν φθόριον δώσω).3Ibid. From the beginning of the profession, there was a distinction drawn from practices intended to heal and those, like euthanasia and elective abortion, which were not.

Likewise, in the Bible, “healer” is one of the most common identifiers for Jesus, as well as the Father, Jehova Rapha, “the Lord Who Heals.” Biblical healing is always about restoration: sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, and strength to the weak and crippled. In fact, the whole biblical story is about healing: of a fall that took place in our bodies, cursed our bodies, and ultimately of a healer who will restore us to our bodies in glory. Restoration is an affirmation of the goodness of God’s original creation and a sign of our ultimate destiny as human beings with God in eternity. When Jesus heals, he restores nature to its intended state of being (Rom. 8:19-21). 

This is what healthcare is: the practice of healing, the restoration of the body’s integrity and wholeness, a recognition of and reprieve from the curse of sin, which separates our bodies from our sense of self, and ourselves from God. Healing is a gift. 

However, there are many things, some even seemingly mundane, that our modern secular culture considers “healthcare” that do not qualify as such under this traditional historical and biblical definition. In most of these cases, healthcare providers’ innate compassion for the sufferer compels them to try to solve their problems through the use of surgery or medicine. But if the “healing” is not restorative of the body’s integrity and wholeness, we’ve made a mistake: we’ve assumed that our suffering can be solved by medicine, technology, and yes, so-called “healthcare.” But in reality our suffering is rooted in a deeper problem: our alienation from God, which has resulted in our alienation from our own bodies. 

As Christians, we are called to suffer and to suffer well. This is countercultural, especially in today’s world. By all means, we should make use of the gift of healthcare that God, in his mercy, has granted to us through the brilliant minds of the doctors and researchers and scientists that He has created. But when that so-called healthcare reaches beyond the bounds of healing, we must abstain, even if it means our suffering could be greater for it.

Abortion is not healthcare

Perhaps one of the most insidious and lethal tactics used by abortion proponents is the equation of abortion with healthcare. Elective abortion is not and never can be healthcare, because elective abortion is the willful destruction of a body—the unborn body.4I am distinguishing here between elective abortion (abortion performed not for medical reasons but simply upon the request of the woman) and other types of medical practices that are often called “abortion” or coded as such in medical settings. Miscarriage is also called “spontaneous abortion,” and sometimes requires the use of medical tools used in abortions to evacuate the uterus. This is not abortion. Similarly, ectopic pregnancy care is medically and morally distinct from elective abortion, as ectopic pregnancies are lethal for the baby and the mother. For more on the difference between these legitimate medical practices and elective abortion, see the following: https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2022/may/christian-ob-gyn-abortion-law-miscarriage-ectopic-pregnancy.html. Nothing with the explicit purpose of destroying the body can be considered healthcare. Indeed, the destruction of the body is antithetical to the true nature of reality: the biblical story of creation, fall, salvation, and glorification. The destruction of the body is satanic, in the most literal sense of the word: “the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy”—this is what elective abortion is, no matter what our culture deigns to call it.5John 10:10

Regardless of one’s position or worldview, pregnant women, and especially pregnant women who do not wish to be pregnant, are deserving of compassion; as Dr. Bruchalski himself once told me, pregnancy and childbearing are affected by the curse of the Fall. As beautiful and miraculous as pregnancy is, it also comes with much pain and suffering, physically, mentally, and emotionally. But our compassion should not compel us to “solve” the pregnant woman’s suffering by killing the life inside of her womb. They are symbiotically connected, but they are separate human beings. They are two different patients deserving and in need of care. 

Not long after Dr. Bruchalski’s botched abortion attempt, a series of miraculous encounters transformed his life—and the lives of his future patients, born and preborn. He told his hospital he could no longer perform abortions, and eventually began what would become the largest pro-life obstetric and gynecological practice in the nation, Tepeyac OB/GYN. Dr. Bruchalski began practicing true healthcare: healthcare which recognized that there were two patients in the exam room upon which he was called to have compassion and care.6Dr. Bruchlski’s new book, Two Patients, details his conversion story and was released on October 11, 2022 via Ignatius Press: https://ignatius.com/two-patients-tpp/.

There are powerful historical, biblical, and moral arguments for insisting that abortion is not healthcare. But even more importantly, God has written his law into the hearts of every human being, “their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them.”7Romans 12:15 While we can take confidence in knowing the truth that abortion is not healthcare, ultimately we should be praying for those with whom we disagree: that God would trouble their hearts and reveal himself and the truth to them in a saving encounter, just as he did for Dr. Bruchalski.

View the latest issue of Light magazine here.

  • 1
    Dr. John Bruchalski: From Abortionist to Pro-Life Doctor, https://divinemercycare.org/abortionist-to-pro-life-doctor/.
  • 2
    Greek text: Hippocrates Collected Works I. Hippocrates. W. H. S. Jones. Cambridge. Harvard University Press. 1868; English text: Hippocratic Oath. Hippocrates. Michael North. National Library of Medicine. 2002; both are accessible via http://data.perseus.org/texts/urn:cts:greekLit:tlg0627.tlg013.perseus-eng3
  • 3
    Ibid.
  • 4
    I am distinguishing here between elective abortion (abortion performed not for medical reasons but simply upon the request of the woman) and other types of medical practices that are often called “abortion” or coded as such in medical settings. Miscarriage is also called “spontaneous abortion,” and sometimes requires the use of medical tools used in abortions to evacuate the uterus. This is not abortion. Similarly, ectopic pregnancy care is medically and morally distinct from elective abortion, as ectopic pregnancies are lethal for the baby and the mother. For more on the difference between these legitimate medical practices and elective abortion, see the following: https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2022/may/christian-ob-gyn-abortion-law-miscarriage-ectopic-pregnancy.html.
  • 5
    John 10:10
  • 6
    Dr. Bruchlski’s new book, Two Patients, details his conversion story and was released on October 11, 2022 via Ignatius Press: https://ignatius.com/two-patients-tpp/.
  • 7
    Romans 12:15
By / Jan 6

In this episode, Lindsay and Brent discuss the latest development with abortion pills, the ongoing deliberations regarding Speaker of the House, and Damar Hamlin’s terrifying collapse on the football field. They also talk about the latest issue of Light magazine. 

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