By / Sep 14

Each year, the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate must pass the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which funds and directs the functions of the United States Armed Forces and overall national defense. This bill typically includes issues such as the operations of military bases, the procurement of weapons, vessels, and aircraft, and revised training requirements for the members of military branches.

Due to the politically divided nature of Congress, the two versions of the NDAA, one led by Republicans in the House and the other by Democrats in the Senate, vary on how federal funding can be used. As a result, Congress will need to meet, or “conference,” to negotiate the final form of the NDAA to be enacted next year. 

Congressional conference provides a unique opportunity for advocacy groups, such as the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, to voice concerns or support for provisions included in the NDAA as they begin the negotiating process.

Why is the NDAA important?

Through the NDAA, Congress allocates approximately $886 billion in taxpayer funds. In addition, the NDAA helps set what Congress views as legitimate uses of federal funding. Without proper language included in the NDAA, taxpayer dollars could be used to fund activities Southern Baptists fundamentally oppose.

One example of such an issue is federally funded abortion. The Department of Defense has announced plans to use federal funding provided in the NDAA to transport women who serve in the armed forces from military bases located within states that limit or ban abortion for the sole purpose of obtaining an abortion. This is justified as a “national security” issue to ensure women who become pregnant are not required to take a leave of absence during their pregnancy and while giving birth. However, this policy is really part of an overarching plan from the White House to prevent state abortion restrictions from taking effect whenever possible following the Dobbs decision.

Another example is the use of federal funding to cover gender transition procedures and other medication, such as puberty blockers. The Department of Defense spends roughly $136 billion annually on healthcare for employees and military personnel, and under the current leadership, the Department is extending such coverage to include surgical procedures and medication prescribed for gender transitioning. This is part of a federal policy designed to facilitate gender transitions under the guise of supporting the armed forces.

Language prohibiting the usage of federal funds for abortion-related travel and for gender transition procedures is included in one version of the NDAA, but not both. This means when the congressional conference begins, these prohibitions may be removed during the negotiating process.

How does this affect Southern Baptists?

As stated in the Baptist Faith and Message, Southern Baptists believe that God has ordained government for the purpose of executing justice, praising that which is good, and punishing those who do evil. Any federal funding of abortion or gender-transition services cultivates injustice by violating our consciences as taxpayers and by causing irreversible bodily harm to our neighbors.

Southern Baptists have historically supported these measures through the passage of our annual resolutions such as the:

What happens next?

On Sept. 14, the ERLC sent a letter to congressional representatives urging them to include language prohibiting the use of federal funding for:

  • Abortion, including abortion-related travel, and
  • Gender-transition resources, including both surgeries and medication.

Congress will likely begin negotiations in September and must complete the final version of the NDAA before the end of the year. In the meantime, the ERLC will continue advocating on behalf of Southern Baptists at every opportunity. 

We invite our fellow Southern Baptists to join us in praying for godly wisdom to permeate these negotiations, for lives to be saved through maintaining the current restrictions on abortion, and for opportunities to clearly articulate God’s design for gender and sexuality.

By / Aug 31

We’ve been working behind the scenes and are excited to announce an all new ERLC Podcast. While the format is new, our goal for the podcast remains the same. The ERLC seeks to help you think biblically about today’s cultural issues.

We’ve been listening to you to better understand the questions you’re facing and how the ERLC can help on matters related to marriage and family, life, religious liberty, and human dignity. 

On this updated format of the ERLC Podcast, we want to give you brief, informed, practical, and biblically-based answers to important cultural issues.

You are not the only one asking these questions. Just like you, we want to hold fast to the teachings of Scripture as we seek to raise our families, serve our churches, and love our neighbors in an ever-evolving and often challenging cultural landscape. 

Join us starting in September as we look to the Bible for wisdom, hear from trusted voices, and break down complex issues so that we can live in the world, but not of it—all for the sake of the gospel.

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By / Aug 29

Nashville, Tenn., Aug. 29, 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 Birth Choice in Jackson, Tenn. 

A dedication ceremony will be held Aug. 31 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. CST at Birth Choice at 391 Wallace Rd. Jackson, Tenn. 38305. Representatives from the ERLC and local community leaders will be in attendance.

“It is a privilege for the ERLC to partner with Birth Choice in the placement of this mobile ultrasound unit,” said Miles Mullin, vice president of the ERLC. “ Over the last three decades, their efforts have borne significant fruit in the five-county area surrounding Jackson. We are thrilled to help them expand to serve more women and families, save more babies, and have more gospel conversations.”

Birth Choice is a pro-life, nonprofit pregnancy medical clinic serving West Tennessee. Since 1989, the ministry has empowered thousands of women and men to choose life for their babies. Their mobile units and clinics in Jackson and Gibson Counties serve over 1,000 clients each year and offer free pregnancy testing and ultrasounds, pregnancy and relationship information, parenting classes and material assistance. The mobile units serve Fayette, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood and Henderson Counties.

“The new ultrasound machine enables Birth Choice to expand on its mission to reach even more underserved women in our multi-county area,” said Brent Lambert, founder and CEO of Birth Choice in Jackson, Tenn. “Many women in these areas that surround our offices find it difficult to travel the sixty to 150 miles round trip to a pregnancy center, so we have made our three mobile medical units available to them with the help and partnering support of the ERLC. Our mobile units currently travel over 500 miles per week.”

This machine placement was made possible due to Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and legislative leaders allocating $283,100 in the 2022-2023 budget for a partnership with the Psalm 139 Project to place life-saving ultrasound machines across the state.
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 psalm 139

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
Follow us on Twitter at @ERLC.

By / Aug 18

A Massachusetts couple recently filed a complaint in federal court against the state’s health secretary and multiple officials in the Department of Children and Families (DCF) after their application to become foster parents was denied because of their religious beliefs about marriage and sexuality. 

What happened? 

Mike and Kitty Burke are a Catholic couple from Massachusetts who applied to become foster parents in order to care for vulnerable children in need of a loving home. Mike is an Iraq war veteran, and Kitty is a former paraprofessional for special needs children. Unable to have biological children, they sought to become foster parents through the state’s foster care program with the hope of caring for and eventually adopting children in need of a stable home.

According to Becket Law, the nonprofit legal firm representing the Burkes, the Massachusetts DCF currently does not have enough foster homes or facilities to meet the needs of the children in its care, leaving over 1,500 children without a family. The crisis has become so extreme that the state has resorted to housing children in hospitals for weeks on end—not because the children need medical attention, but because the Commonwealth has nowhere else to put them. 

The couple went through 30 hours of training, lengthy interviews, and assessments of their home, health, and family life. Despite meeting all the requirements, the DCF denied the couple because they “would not be affirming to a child who identified as LGBTQIA.”

The Burkes believe that all children should be loved and supported, and they would never reject a child placed in their home. They also believe that children should not undergo procedures that attempt to change their God-given sex, and they uphold orthodox Christian beliefs about marriage and sexuality. As the author of their license study put it, while the Burkes are “lovely people,” “their faith is not supportive and neither are they.”

DCF regulation and policy, as well as the Massachusetts Foster Parent Bill of Rights, all prohibit religious discrimination against potential foster parents. As Becket Laws points out, the “Supreme Court has already—unanimously—rejected the attempt to exclude Catholic foster care agencies from the child welfare system (Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, 2021). And the Third Circuit held that the First Amendment prohibits retaliation against foster parents for sharing their religious beliefs on marriage.”

Why does this matter?

This is another instance of the state overstepping its authority and failing in its duty. The state has no authority to penalize individuals for their religious beliefs. This is a bedrock principle of our constitutional order, and one that has been affirmed repeatedly in court decisions at all levels. 

Instead, the state does have a duty to promote justice. One way it does that is through the care of the most vulnerable. A loving husband and wife willing to care and provide for a vulnerable child should not be seen as dangerous because they will not support dangerous and medically unnecessary surgical interventions for children experiencing gender dysphoria. No government should use the state’s power to cause children to suffer by advancing a progressive agenda out of step with the actual goal of caring for vulnerable children. 

How is the ERLC advocating for similar issues? 

The ERLC has made it a priority to protect the religious liberty of foster care and adoption service providers. 

A number of states and cities are working to exclude child welfare providers who seek to operate in a manner consistent with their religious convictions. This leads to fewer families available for foster care and adoption. Legislation is needed to further prohibit government discrimination against child welfare agencies on the basis of their beliefs and ultimately protect children in the foster system and those waiting for adoption by ensuring that a wide range of child welfare providers are available to serve them. Such religious liberty protections are especially necessary to support pro-family policy in a post-Roe world.  

One example of such legislation at the federal level is the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act. The bill would prohibit “the federal government, states, tribal nations, or localities from discriminating or taking adverse action against a child welfare provider that declines to provide services due to the provider’s sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions.” The ERLC has long supported this legislation and hopes to see states take up similar efforts to preserve religious liberty and help vulnerable children find a place to call home.

As Christians, we are called to hold fast to God’s design for marriage and sexuality as we care for the vulnerable. Furthermore, as Southern Baptists, we believe that government should not interfere with our ability to live out our faith as we participate in our communities. As our culture continues to turn away from a biblical view of gender and sexuality, the ERLC will steadfastly affirm the foundational rights of parents—including foster and adoptive parents—in decision-making regarding their children and advocate against harmful gender-transition practices while we seek the flourishing of our society and hold out the hope of the gospel to a confused culture. 

By / Aug 16

On Aug.16, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that important safety precautions surrounding the use of the chemical abortion drug, mifepristone, must be reinstated, drastically restricting the availability of this harmful drug. The court’s decision will not immediately go into effect due to an earlier ruling from the Supreme Court which temporarily allows mifepristone to remain on the market with no restrictions while litigation proceeds. It is likely that the Biden administration will appeal this ruling and the Supreme Court will weigh in on the merits of this case.

If upheld, this ruling will reinstate key safety measures such as:

  • limiting the use of the drug to the first 7 weeks of pregnancy,
  • ending mail-order chemical abortions,
  • and requiring in-person medical visits prior to the drugs being prescribed.

Chemical abortions account for a majority of all abortions in the U.S., particularly in states where abortion has been restricted or banned following the Dobbs decision. 

What is this chemical abortion drug case about?

In November 2022, Alliance Defending Freedom filed suit against the FDA on behalf of four pro-life medical groups. The suit claims that the FDA “failed America’s women and girls when it chose politics over science and approved chemical abortion drugs for use in the United States. And it has continued to fail them by repeatedly removing even the most basic precautionary requirements associated with their use.”

These pro-life groups argue that the FDA was wrong to grant the chemical abortion drug mifepristone fast-tracked approval back in 2000. The complaint continues:

The only way the FDA could have approved chemical abortion drugs was to use its accelerated drug approval authority, necessitating the FDA to call pregnancy an “illness” and argue that these dangerous drugs provide a “meaningful therapeutic benefit” over existing treatments.

But pregnancy is not an illness, nor do chemical abortion drugs provide a therapeutic benefit over surgical abortion. In asserting these transparently false conclusions, the FDA exceeded its regulatory authority to approve the drugs.

Currently, 1 in 5 women who take the drug will experience complications that require further medical attention. The case argues that the disposal of original safety precautions that accompanied the drug’s initial approval have led to increased danger to the women and girls who take mifepristone.

In 2016, the FDA:

  • expanded the availability of chemical abortion drugs from 7 weeks of pregnancy up to 10 weeks of pregnancy,
  • changed the dosing regimen,
  • reduced the number of in-person doctor visits from three to one,
  • expanded who could prescribe and administer chemical abortion drugs beyond medical doctors,
  • and eliminated the requirement for prescribers to report non-fatal complications from chemical abortion drugs.  

Then, in 2021, the FDA removed the requirement of in-person dispensing, allowing for abortion drugs to be accessed through the mail and telemedicine without a woman ever seeing a doctor in-person.

Why now?

Though it is unusual that this case is only now being argued over a drug approved 23 years ago, it comes after more than two decades of continued work by the petitioners against the approval of mifepristone.

  • In 2002, the petitioners submitted a citizen petition to challenge the FDA’s approval.
  • It was not until 2016 that the FDA denied the petition.
  • In 2019, the petitioners filed a new citizen petition to challenge the FDA’s 2016 changes.
  • In 2021, on the same day the FDA changed the in-person dispensing requirement, it denied the citizen petition.
  • Following the denial, the petitioners were finally able to file suit against the FDA in November 2022.

What happens next?

This case now likely heads on appeal to the full 5th Circuit and then almost certainly back to the U.S. Supreme Court. The court’s previous 7-2 ruling in April was narrowly focused on the availability of mifepristone as litigation proceeded and did not look at the broader merits of the case. At this time, it is unclear how quickly the court could hear and decide this case.

In anticipation of that ruling, some abortion advocates have already begun to stockpile the drug in anticipation of its potential removal from the market. Others have suggested that the medication abortion protocol could be changed to just include misoprostol, the other drug in the current two-step protocol, even though this practice is known to cause increased cramping, bleeding, and potential complications for women.

Southern Baptists care about the sanctity of life and dignity of all people, including the preborn. We also care about the health, safety, and welfare of women who have experienced harmful and serious medical complications from these drugs at the hands of the predatory abortion industry. 

If upheld, this decision from the 5th Circuit will save more preborn lives and protect women from the dangers intrinsic to chemical abortions. While we will continue to work toward a day when chemical abortions are no more, today’s ruling is a step forward in our work to build a true culture of life and to protect the health, safety, and welfare of women and girls.

By / Aug 9

Nashville, Tenn., Aug. 2, 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 The Care Center in Spring City, Tenn.

There will be an open house celebration with tours of the center August 7 beginning at 3:00 p.m. EST followed by a dedication ceremony from 5:00-6:00 p.m. EST at The Care Center located at 250 Neal St. Spring City, Tenn., 37381. Representatives from the ERLC will be in attendance.

“We are grateful to partner with The Care Center to provide an ultrasound machine for their new location in Spring City,” said Carlotta White, ERLC’s Psalm 139 Project placement coordinator. “As this center expands its ministry with an office in northern Rhea County, we are confident that more clients will be served with quality pregnancy care that educates and empowers women to choose life. The Care Center will be a strong source of support for families in years to come.”

The Care Center is located in a small town between Knoxville and Chattanooga and has been serving clients in Dayton, Tenn. for nearly 40 years. The center provides pregnancy testing, limited OB ultrasounds, STI testing, education, mentoring, material support and post-abortion education. Additionally, they have a public school education program that serves middle and high school students in five surrounding counties. 

A second satellite office is located in the northern end of Rhea County. Last year, the Dayton location had over 1,100 client visits, and provided over 200 pregnancy tests and 254 ultrasounds. This new center will further expand The Care Center’s ministry in Spring City and the surrounding areas.

“When we decided to grow our ministry in Spring City by opening in a new location, we knew we were stepping out in faith and trusting the Lord to provide,” said Tiffany Soyster, executive director of The Care Center. “He has provided abundantly. We know that this machine will save lives. We know that God will use this machine to draw people to Him. And we also know that without The Psalm 139 Project, and their willingness to allow God to use them in such a way, this machine would not be a reality for us.”

This machine placement was made possible due to Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and legislative leaders allocating $283,100 in the 2022-2023 budget for a partnership with the Psalm 139 Project to place life-saving ultrasound machines across the state.

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

By / Jul 19

There are untold numbers of children around the world who, for any number of reasons, are without a family and in need of a loving home. Recognizing this need, Americans have proven year after year to be among those most willing to help. As Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a 2022 report, “U.S. families have historically adopted half of all children eligible for intercountry adoption.” We are a country eager to open our homes to children all over the world and welcome them into our families.  

In recent years, however, procuring intercountry adoptions has become exceedingly difficult due to a number of factors. Travel restrictions, war, and the outright suspension of intercountry adoptions by some nations, among other factors, have continued to shrink the number of children brought to America to be united with a forever family. And according to the State Department’s most recent Annual Report on Intercountry Adoption, those difficulties persisted (and in some ways grew) last year. 

What did the report reveal?

Since 2004, intercountry adoptions in America have been in a precipitous decline, a trend that continued once again last year. For instance, in 2004 almost 23,000 children joined a new family here in the United States via intercountry adoption. After years of steady decline, that number dipped to 1,517 in 2022, a decrease of more than 90% in less than 20 years and the lowest in recent history. 

Of the 1,517 children who were adopted from other countries, the largest numbers came from Colombia (235), India (223), and South Korea (141). 

Despite efforts by the State Department to be a leader in promoting intercountry adoptions and to establish mutually beneficial relationships with other governments around the world, several issues have severely inhibited Americans’ ability to adopt children internationally including:

  • Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine; 
  • the suspension of adoption processing by the People’s Republic of China’s; 
  • and adoption prohibitions among countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Latvia 

The report outlines efforts by the U.S. government to help secure American citizens’ ability to “give children the loving, permanent families they deserve.” Nevertheless, it reveals the many significant barriers that prospective families faced last year. 

How should Christians think about intercountry adoption?

The Bible is clear: Christians are called to care for orphans (James 1:27). There are many ways to do that, and one of them is through intercountry adoptions.

We can recognize, as Herbie Newell, president and executive director of Lifeline Children’s Services, has written, intercountry adoption may not be the most appropriate solution for all orphaned and vulnerable children—moving children from one culture to another is no small matter, after all. “But it is the best answer for some.” Adopting children from another part of the world, especially from areas where exposure to the gospel is either limited or barred, is an opportunity not only to unite those children with a loving family but to introduce them to God who is himself a “father to the fatherless” (Psa. 68:5). 

God cares for children who have been orphaned, both here and abroad, and so should we.  

What can Christians do?

Christians have a long history of international adoption support, as does the Southern Baptist Convention, from advocacy efforts to denominational resolutions to expanding our own families through the means of adoption. Much of America’s willingness to welcome children from around the world into their families is owing to Christians and our support for the cause. Today, our continued support is as important as it’s ever been.

Considering the challenges the State Department faces that continue to diminish many Americans’ prospects for adoption and many children’s opportunity to be placed in a loving home, Christians have an urgent responsibility to continue and even strengthen the work we’ve long been a part of. We can:

  • write our representatives, 
  • financially support organizations that serve this cause, 
  • join advocacy efforts, 
  • and, “pray for guidance as to whether God is calling [us] to adopt a child” ourselves (as Resolution No. 2 from the 2009 SBC Annual Meeting states). 

There are innumerable ways we can stop the downward trend in intercountry adoptions we’ve been witness to for nearly 20 years. We don’t have to do it all, but we can do something. 

By / Jul 14

In June, the pro-life movement celebrated the one-year anniversary of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade. But in ​​the wake of that significant victory, the fight to protect preborn life and care for vulnerable mothers has continued at the state and federal level. Here are four recent events related to abortion you should know about. 

Iowa lawmakers approve ban on most abortions after about 6 weeks

The Iowa House has approved a new law that bans most abortions after approximately six weeks of pregnancy. Currently, abortion is legal in Iowa up to 20 weeks of pregnancy. But this law prohibits almost all abortions once cardiac activity can be detected, which typically occurs around six weeks of pregnancy. The new legislation will take immediate effect once it is signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds.

Abortions after six weeks would be allowed only in such cases as:

  • rape, if reported to law enforcement or a health provider within 45 days;
  • incest, if reported within 145 days;
  • if the fetus has a fetal abnormality “incompatible with life;”
  • and if the pregnancy is endangering the life of the pregnant woman.

This bill also does not hold a woman criminally or civilly liable for having an abortion.

Iowa will join 11 other states that ban abortion as early as six weeks: Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. 

Idaho sued over abortion trafficking ban that makes it a crime to help minors get abortions without parental consent

A lawsuit has been filed against the state of Idaho over its new law that restricts some out-of-state travel for abortions. Abortion is already banned in Idaho at all stages of pregnancy. But the new law makes it illegal for an adult to help a minor get an abortion without parental consent, and anyone who helps a pregnant minor get an abortion in another state can be punished by two to five years in prison. 

The law is the first to expressly criminalize assisting with an out-of-state abortion. It attempts to sidestep violating a constitutional right to travel between states by making illegal only the portion of the trip that takes place in Idaho.

The lawsuit claims that the law infringes on the right to interstate travel and on First Amendment rights to speak about abortion and provide support for pregnant minors traveling within and outside of Idaho. Abortion remains legal in the neighboring states of Washington, where no parental consent is required, and Oregon, where people over age 15 can get abortions without parental consent.

Pro-abortion advocates in Ohio push to codify abortion in the state’s constitution 

Ohio is poised to become the next major battleground in the pro-life fight to prevent the expansion of abortion. Pro-abortion rights groups submitted more than 700,000 signatures for a ballot initiative that would codify the right to an abortion in the state’s constitution. The initiative, known as Issue 1, would amend the Ohio Constitution to state that “every person has the fundamental right to choose or refuse contraception or sterilization” and “every person has the fundamental right to choose to have an abortion.” The initiative is expected to be on the ballot in November 2023. 

During the last election season, similar pro-abortion measures passed in six states that had similar ballot initiatives. Other ballot campaigns to expand or codify a right to abortion are being pushed in several other states including Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Ohio, and South Dakota.

U.S. government ordered to pay $2.2 million in fees to religious non-profit in abortion lawsuit

A federal judge in Texas has ordered the U.S. government to pay $2.2 million in legal fees to the non-profit Becket Law. The fees were awarded for the organization’s work in leading a lawsuit against the Health and Human Services Department. The lawsuit was related to issues of abortion and gender identity.

Becket Law, formerly the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, has been involved in various legal cases involving religious freedom and abortion including Whole Woman’s Health v. Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops, which was a lawsuit over a Texas law requiring abortion facilities to meet certain standards.

Reimbursement is sometimes ordered by the courts when laws that violate civil rights are successfully challenged. Becket Law played a leading role in representing the non-profit in this lawsuit. 

By / Jul 12

With last year’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision overturning the precedent of Roe v. Wade, the organization March for Life has shifted its attention toward changing the hearts of Americans to make abortion unthinkable by focusing on the state and federal level in a post-Roe world. 

March for Life is the largest annual human rights demonstration in the world. The Dobbs case was an incredible pro-life victory that encouraged March for Life, and the organization is hopeful for the future. However, the work they must do is greater than ever before. 2023 marked 50 years of March for Life, and the past five decades have proven that they are up for the task of fighting for life even with the new challenges ahead in a post-Roe world. 

Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life, said, “Yes, there is still so much work to be done, but we are encouraged by the fruits of our labors so far, and we are emboldened by the incredible dedication and passion of our marchers to take these next steps in carrying out our joyful mission.”

Focusing to the state level, too

In 2023, the March for Life in Washington, D.C., shifted from the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court to the steps of the Capitol. Along with this shift, the new wave of future efforts will focus on the states, continuing to advocate for women and children as the decisions now lie in the hands of the legislators. The organization hopes to march in 10 states in 2023 and to be in all 50 states in the next five to seven years.

Instead of fizzling out in a post-Roe America, March for Life has grown. 

The purpose behind these state marches is to expand the voices that have been heard in Washington for years. The leadership of March for Life understands how powerful it can be for unified masses of people declaring with one voice their commitment to protecting life. They want to send a message of clarity to legislators through the state marches. 

March for Life is also committed to increasing support for pregnant women. Violence and misinformation have threatened the work of over 3,000 pregnancy care centers and maternity homes that provide care for expectant mothers and their children across the country.

“The Supreme Court decision, contrary to the false and widely held belief, did not make abortion illegal across the country,” Mancini said. “Rather, it gave people the chance to fight for life through the democratic process.”

Countering abortion activisim in a post-Roe world

In giving pro-life activists victory, the Dobbs decision also gave pro-abortion activists the opportunity for exploitation and to induce a spirit of fear in Americans. Their efforts threaten thousands of unborn lives in pro-abortion states, as they seek to make abortion policies even more extreme than they were under Roe. Many proposals of pro-abortionists include abortion up until birth. 

Under these circumstances, education related to life, such as how preborn babies feel pain as early as 15 weeks’ gestation, is a key part of March for Life’s mission. The more the public is educated on topics like fetal development and abortion, the more they will support common sense limits. 

The task of marching at the state level is daunting, but the leadership at March for Life is facing this new era with enthusiasm and faith. 

“Our fight, which for the last five decades had been relegated to the courts, is now being waged in Congress, in our statehouses and in our communities,” Mancini said. “The landscape has changed, but our mission to create a culture of love and life where abortion is unthinkable remains the same.”

By / Jul 10

What does it look like practically to create a culture of life within a family, especially if there are young children?  How can caregivers uphold the value of life in age-appropriate ways?

The sanctity of every human life is one of the most important truths we can teach the children in our care. Kids are being raised in a society that devalues life at every turn, from messages on billboards to ads on streaming services. Too often, any individual who requires our personal sacrifice is viewed as a burden and a threat to our autonomy.  And the abortion industry thrives off of this way of thinking.

If we want our children to be both hearers and doers of the Word, we must demonstrate a pro-life ethic not only in our words, though that is essential, but also in our actions.

Here are 10 ways you can create a culture of life within your family and develop ongoing trust between you and your children. 

  1. Connect with your local pregnancy resource center (PRC). Find out where your closest PRC is, and reach out. All PRCs need support in some way. Ask for a tour, and bring the whole family. Let your children see the facility, hear the stories, and develop empathy for women who may feel scared and alone.
  2. Donate baby items for expecting mothers. You could do this through your local pregnancy center, church, or another local organization that supports pregnant women. Take a family shopping trip to purchase diapers, wipes, bottles, blankets, toys, and more. Talk about how exciting it is to welcome a new life into the world and to support moms by meeting physical needs.
  3. Fill a baby bottle. Many pregnancy centers hold what is known as “Baby Bottle Campaigns”—but even if yours doesn’t, this is still a wonderful way to uphold the value of life. Keep an empty baby bottle in your home where it will be seen every day. Set a goal for your family to fill it up with loose change. Once filled, donate the contents to your PRC or other organization that supports moms. Pray together over that money, that it would bless both parents and new life.
  4. Memorize Scripture that points to the sanctity of life. Psalm 139 is a great place to start. Read this passage together and work toward reciting it by heart.
  5. Read picture books that are pro-life. Picture books have the unique power of uniting both words and images to communicate powerful truths. Add life-affirming books to your library and make a point to read them together. A few places to start: Pro-Life Kids; God’s Very Good Idea; Wherever You Go, I Want You To Know.
  6. Talk about your relationship with your children before they were born. Share stories of your excitement about meeting your children. Share about the kicks, how they heard and knew your voice, and how they developed eyes, fingers, and toes while they were in the womb. Normalize talking about the humanity of children from the moment of conception.
  7. Host a baby shower. If you have a family member or friend who is expecting, offer to host a baby shower or even invite your children to attend one with you. Create the expectation of celebrating new life.
  8. Practice gentleness with babies and respect for the elderly. Whether your children are preschool-aged, teenagers, or somewhere in between, there is value in creating an expectation of gentleness and respect toward all life. Cast a vision for your family members as protectors of the weak. This can be demonstrated with babies by using gentle touches, soft voices, and kind speech. This can be practiced with the elderly by holding doors, assisting with physical needs, and listening attentively to stories and wisdom.
  9. Learn with your family about adoption and foster care. Pray about whether or not God is leading your family to pursue one or both of these options. Invite other families who have fostered or adopted to come share about their experiences. Pray together for those families. Add these words to your family vocabulary, and make sure your children see positive examples of both.
  10. Tell the truth about abortion using age-appropriate language. Our world has sterilized the word “abortion” with phrases like “pro-choice,” “abortion care,” and “removal of pregnancy tissue.” If your children are older, they are hearing this language. Do they know what abortion really is? You can tell the truth about the humanity of the unborn and the sadness of abortion without going into extreme detail. For younger children, it may sound something like this:

    “Sometimes when a mom gets pregnant with a baby, she might feel afraid or scared about being a mom. Some people might tell her that abortion will help her not be afraid. Abortion is when a baby’s life is ended on purpose inside the womb. Abortion doesn’t protect babies or mommies.”

    With age and maturity, your children can learn more. But the important thing is making sure you are the source of their information. Hearing the truth from you will build trust and increase the likelihood that they’ll come back to you with questions. 

Giving feet to your faith

If your children hear you say you’re pro-life, but see no evidence of compassion, empathy, and love toward all life—whether it be a preborn child, a lonely man in a retirement home, or a mother facing an unplanned pregnancy—then they will be less inclined to believe you when they’re grown. 

Additionally, making the extra effort to uphold a culture of life within your family, especially regarding our tiniest of neighbors, will give feet to your faith and bolster the faith of your children. In his book The Storm-Tossed Family, Russell Moore says, “The self-interest that sears over the joy of birth will also sear over the joy of new birth.” New life here on earth is God’s megaphone for proclaiming the gospel to the world. That’s why abortion is inherently a gospel issue.

May it never be said that we let the world inform our children’s beliefs about the immeasurable value of life—or about the One who authors it.