This article originally appeared here.
As we reflect on the Dobbs ruling that returned abortion policy decisions to individual states, the pro-life movement is committed now more than ever to advancing the sanctity of human life and to making abortion unthinkable. For years, trailblazing organizations and individuals have worked tirelessly to help empower women to make life-saving decisions. Many of these organizations regularly work together in order to reach even more women and make a greater impact.
As a collective of pro-life leaders all doing unique work in the movement, we share the belief that we need all of you for the future of the movement. We need the church, because it’s going to take all of us doing our part to change hearts and lives.
The church isn’t a building. People are the church. We are the church wherever we go, and we represent Jesus wherever we are. The church can play a powerful role in saving lives. We can help prevent unplanned pregnancies by affirming people’s identity and value as those made in God’s image—and for those who trust in Jesus, as daughters and sons of the King—and by talking about hard topics like sex and abstinence.
The church can be one of the first places a girl runs to when she finds out she has an unplanned pregnancy. It should never be the place she avoids because of shame and guilt. We can help her be brave and choose life. The church can reach out and invite these women and men into a spiritual family. We can help heal past hurts and wounds because free people, free people. And we can help practically by giving single moms a hand up so they don’t just survive, but thrive.
Getting the church ready to save lives
Most Christians say they want to live that way. But I believe the same Christians who have taken a stance for the sanctity of life took one thing for granted: the church was not prepared for abortion to become illegal.
We weren’t prepared for women who were pregnant and scared, even angry, who found themselves with no option but to carry their baby to term. It isn’t right for us to look away and say, “Good luck!” We need to be available to assist spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
It’s time to get the church ready. We can’t ignore these women anymore.
There may be different reasons behind every woman’s choice, but all of them are rooted in fear. Together, we can ease her fears and help her be brave. How can we do it? The recipe for transforming fear to faith is simple. There is one main ingredient: love. First John 4:18 explains clearly, “there is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.”
We punish women with unplanned pregnancies when we label them or ignore them. But it is not guilt that brings transformation—“The goodness of God leads [us] to repentance” (Rom. 2:4 NKJV). If we’re not showing and sharing the goodness and kindness of our Heavenly Father, how will anyone know the hope of Jesus? It is love that changes hearts and mindsets.
Simply put, love saves lives.
We can’t just vote a certain way or talk about what needs to change—we are the change. And it will take all of us to create change. Miracles won’t happen if we are content to pass by on the other side of the road when we see people who are hurting, bruised, and afraid. It is time to activate our beliefs by being “good Samaritans,” bandaging the wounds of the broken and introducing them to the Healer of hearts.
Where should you get involved?
Many of you may ask, “Okay, we need to love. But how? What does it look like in practical terms? How do I know where to start? Where do I find a place to serve or get involved? I don’t even know what’s out there or what I might have to offer.”
I felt the same way a few years ago. I didn’t even know there was a pro-life movement before I started Embrace Grace, a nonprofit that inspires and equips the church to love on single and pregnant young women and their families. After my first book, A Bump in Life, released, I received invitations to speak for various organizations. One of them was a Care Net Conference, a training conference for pregnancy center workers. When I arrived, there were hundreds of pro-life ministries lining the hotel hallways in order to share information about a service or life-saving ministry that people could connect and get involved with. I walked up and down those halls in awe of how many amazing resources were available. I kept thinking, If only people knew about all of these!
The pro-life movement is filled with love and opportunity. The possibilities are endless. Whether you partner with an organization that is already doing great things or start something new on your own, there is a place for you to help and serve. God has put certain strengths, gifts, talents, and passions within you so you can use them for his glory and your neighbor’s good.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you pray about where to get involved:
- What are you passionate about? What is your favorite hobby or thing to do in your spare time? Can it somehow connect to the pro-life movement? For example, if you love numbers and accounting, you might help a single mom create a budget. If you’re familiar with human resources or love career coaching, you might help a single mom create her resume and find a good job. If you love children, you could offer to babysit. If you have a knack for fixing cars, you could help repair a single mom’s car.
- What makes you pound your fist on the table and say, “Someone needs to do something about this”? That someone might be you. There’s a reason why you get fired up about a certain injustice or cause.
- What is your story? A lot of times, our purpose is tied to our story. Have you experienced an abortion and want to help others experience God’s healing the way you have? Did an unplanned pregnancy leave you feeling completely alone? Perhaps you can be the person you wish had been there for you. God often uses our deepest pain as the launching pad for our greatest calling.
Look out into the world and see what breaks your heart. Run toward your heartbreak, not away from it. Ask God if your heart is broken because his is too. When your heartbreak becomes a map to find a place to serve, it will set your soul on fire. If all of us work together, we can empower women to be brave. We would be blessing future generations, because brave moms raise brave kids.
Whatever stirs your soul and compels you to act, have an open heart, and just start. Take a step and see where the pro-love path leads. God may show you an opportunity you never knew to look for.
You can be the answer to someone’s prayer. There might be a new mother out there who needs you. And while you can’t fix all of her problems, you can point her to the one who can.
Recently, I was working the Embrace Grace booth at a pro-life women’s conference, and a friend of mine named Terrisa, the founder and executive director of Pro-Life San Francisco, came by to chat. She leads a millennial-focused grassroots activist group operating in arguably the most pro-choice city in America. She speaks to pro-life groups about secular and millennial outreach throughout the United States.
But what really makes her stand out in the pro-life community is that she is an atheist.
“Amy,” she said, “I wanted to see if you would be one of our speakers at our upcoming Pro-Life San Francisco event that will take place at Berkeley College. Would you be interested?”
I couldn’t hide my surprise. “Umm, you know what my message is about, right? The church, life, love, and Jesus. Wouldn’t that be an issue for you?”
“Yeah, I know what your pro-love message is about. I don’t believe in your God. But I believe in the power of your people. If you can get the church to actually do something, then the abortion issue wouldn’t even be an issue. The pro-life side has the manpower because we have the church. We have got to activate the church to get involved, and things will start to change.”
Why can an atheist recognize the power within us, but we can’t? Come on, church! If we join together, using all the strengths and gifts God put inside each one of us, we would push the tipping point back toward life—and back toward love.