Pro-Life, Pro-Love: How the Church Can Care for Moms who Choose Life

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Hi, I’m Amy Ford with Embrace Grace, and I’m super excited to talk to you guys today about what being pro-life is, what being pro-love is, and then also how your church can really walk alongside single and pregnant moms and make sure that no single mom ever has to walk alone. I know a lot of churches are a little hesitant to talk about pro-life. 

I’ve heard pastors say, “Oh, this is like maybe even a triggering word sometimes for some people because there’s so much political connotation to it.” But the thing is, this issue, it’s not a political issue. It is a people issue. And there are women and men that are impacted by abortion or unexpected pregnancies every day and even in your church it is happening, and they don’t feel like there is anywhere they can go or who to talk to.  

And I know that by experience because I had an unplanned pregnancy myself. I went to church my entire life, never missed a service. My parents made me go, but I didn’t have a relationship with the Lord. I just went because my parents made me.  

And so, I ended up having an unexpected pregnancy. And I was so scared and my baby daddy, he was so scared. And we just decided, even though we knew that abortion was wrong in that moment, it felt like a quick fix. It felt like we’ll deal with the consequences of a broken heart later. We just need to have an abortion and it’ll just magically go away.  

And so, we actually went to the abortion clinic. We paid for the abortion. And while I was there, in there, having the abortion, I actually ended up hyperventilating and passing out in the abortion room. And when I came to, one of the nurses was fanning me and she was trying to give me a drink of water. 

She said, “You’re too emotionally distraught to make this decision today. You can come back another day, but today you’re not getting an abortion.” And so, I went back out in the waiting room and my baby dad was out there waiting for me. And I just told him, he could see my face was like swollen from crying so much. 

And I said, “I’m still pregnant.” And so, we just decided in that moment okay, we’re going to figure this out together. The enemy lies to you in that situation. You think of the worst-case scenarios that can possibly happen. I thought we would be homeless. I thought my dreams were over for my life. I thought my life was over. I thought my parents were going to hate me forever.  

And so, we went into that just knowing this is what’s going to happen. But then, I ended up telling my parents. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Definitely, they were disappointed in the timing, but we decided that we wanted to get married when I was 16 weeks pregnant. 

And because we were high school sweethearts, we knew we wanted to get married someday, just not necessarily in the order that it ended up happening. But at 16 weeks pregnant, we got married and we had asked the pastor that had led my husband to the Lord years before, if he would marry us. And he said, “No, I’m sorry. Because you’ve sinned, I will not bless this marriage.”  

And we were like, “Oh my goodness, we are such horrible people. We can’t even get married and be blessed.” And so, we ended up having, we found another pastor that would marry us, but it really felt like a scarlet-letter experience on our wedding day.  

And then we tried to go back to church, but it was like the elephant in the room. People don’t know whether to say congratulations or I’m sorry. And so, they don’t say anything, and then you just feel alone in a crowd of people. And so ,then we isolated and really just backed away from the church.  

But one thing that’s really cool though is that pastor that wouldn’t marry us, he called us two years later and he asked for forgiveness. And he said that he felt like it was his worst mistake in pastoring history that he had ever made. And we loved that. This pastor, we were like, “Yes, of course we forgive you.” And my husband and this pastor are still to this day, great friends.  

And I ended up having a son, Jess. He’s actually 24 now. He just graduated from Oral Roberts University. And he actually just got his MBA. He got a degree in theology. He wants to be a pastor. He actually works in the pro-life movement. He works for Live Action working with pastors, helping them be able to talk about the issue of life. And it’s just amazing. We even travel and speak together, which how cool is that? That I get to do this. And it was so close that he wouldn’t have been here.  

And one more tiny part to his story is that when he was 16, that pastor that wouldn’t marry us, he asked us to come to his church and talk about the pro-love message, which I’ll get to in just a second. And he, so I spoke and then afterwards he asked me to come back on the platform and he asked my son, Jess, who was 16 at the time, to come on the platform.  

And he said, “Amy, years ago, I asked your husband for forgiveness, but I really never asked you. Will you forgive me for what I did 16 years ago?” I was like, “Of course. I forgave you such a long time ago. We love you so much. And now look at this ministry Embrace Grace that I founded that was like really birthed out of all of that season.”  

And then he looked at my son, 16, in front of the whole church. And he says, “Jess, will you forgive me for planting seeds of rejection in your heart before you were ever even born? And while you were in your mother’s womb, I rejected you. Will you forgive me?”  

And my son, 16 in front of the whole church says, “I forgive you.” And it was such a powerful moment in that room. You could feel church wounds being lifted. The fact that the pastor would humble himself in that way in front of a whole congregation and say what he had done. 

And it really, it was even healing a lot for Jess’s perspective inside of the story of coming from an unexpected pregnancy and struggling. The enemy was lying to him about his value and his identity and all of that. And so, it was a healing for him, too.  

And but it all, I go back to, I went to church every single week when I was in that situation. And why did I not think I could go to the church and ask for prayer, wisdom, guidance, support, counsel. I’m pregnant. I don’t know what to do. But in that situation, even though I went every single week, it was the last place I wanted to go to. And so, what have we done as a church? Of course, a lot of that was my own shame. 

But why did not feel comfortable? Also, why did I not know what a pregnancy center was? No one had ever told me what a pregnancy center was, but back then we didn’t have Google or search engine. So I just went straight to the abortion clinic through the phone book, cause I had no idea that pregnancy centers existed. 

And my pastor would have told me that maybe I would have gone there. It’s free, they give you counsel. So, that really birthed the ministry that I started Embrace Grace, which we have support groups for women with unexpected pregnancies in churches all over the nation. We want the church to be one of the first places a girl runs to instead of the last because of shame and guilt. 

And so, we have over 950 support groups in all 50 states and churches just use our digital curriculum. Pregnancy centers refer their girls to the churches. They’re discipled. They’re mentored. They get a baby shower. They’re loved on, and the organic help that happens within the church is just amazing. 

The wraparound care, because your church has all of the resources that we need to make abortion unthinkable. We’ve got attorneys. We’ve got people with cars that they don’t want anymore. We’ve got people that are really great at resume writing or HR skills that can help her get a job that she wants. We’ve got it all.  

And there’s over 300,000 churches in America. If we all were doing our part, we can make abortion unthinkable. And so, that’s what we want to do as Embrace Grace. We also have Embrace Legacy, which is for young, single dads that are impacted by unexpected pregnancies as well. 

It’s plug and play. Your people and members lead it. It’s your group at your church. We just give you all the tools and the training to be able to do it. And it’s just an amazing experience. I lead my own group at my own church, Gateway Church in Texas, and I feel like I have front row seats to miracles. 

The transformation that happens in these women’s hearts, they come in so scared. They won’t make eye contact. They’re scared for their future, but then it changes to empowered women to be the moms that God called them to be, whether they choose to place their baby for adoption or choose to parent. 

We as a church can help her walk confidently in that because an unplanned pregnancy and a baby, that is not a sin. The act that got them there in that situation is the sin. But a baby is always a miracle. No matter how it got here, a baby is always a miracle. And so, we want to help her be brave. And when you look at the top five reasons why women have abortions, it’s all fear based. 

It’s fear of being alone. Fear of not having enough money, fear of my education being interrupted or my job being interrupted. All of those things. But how can we help her be a brave and see the bigger picture and help her know that God is with her and that she doesn’t have to walk this alone?  

I’ve heard some pastors say, “Oh, we don’t have pregnant people in our church.” Let me assure you, you really do. You have pregnant people in your church. One in four have abortions, and the abortion rate is exactly the same inside the church as it is outside. There’s no difference. So, they’re sitting in our pews, and they don’t feel like they can come to the church and ask for help and guidance and support. 

And then also say you do have a really small church and maybe it’s made up of older, maybe senior citizens. Like we really don’t have pregnant people in our church. We’ll look at this issue as an outreach issue. Go and partner with your pregnancy centers. Tell them we want to love on your clients. Send them to us. We want to walk alongside them. Just like how you go feed the poor or go serve your community in some way. This is a way you can go serve your community by offering a spiritual family to all these women impacted by unexpected pregnancies because we all can have a part.  

Being pro-life, it’s a stance. It’s maybe a vote. It is a belief system, but being pro-love, it’s the action. It is making abortion unthinkable, and it’s God’s kindness that leads us to repentance, and it’s His goodness that draws us to his side. The love that they experience through the church, through Embrace Grace support groups, through the baby showers.  

The baby showers, I feel like, are the, one of the most amazing prodigal parties because all of these people are coming and celebrating that she’s turned to her heavenly Father. Yes, she may be still a long way off, just like the prodigal son story. It said, “And while he was a long way off,” the father ran to him and he had his servants put a robe on his back and a ring on his finger. And he said, “Son, you were lost, but now you’re found.” And it’s the same with these girls. 

Maybe there’s still a long way off, but they’ve turned, and we get to be a part of throwing the party and lavishing the love on them. We’ve seen women surrender their lives to Jesus the night of the baby shower. We’ve seen some churches do an altar call at the baby shower. People get saved at a baby shower at a church for women with unexpected pregnancies. How amazing is that?  

This is love in action. This isn’t just talking about what we believe and what our stance is. It is putting the love into action and showing that we are here for you. We’re not just going to say good luck. I hope it works out for you. We are in this with you and we’re going to walk alongside you because the church can love on them forever if they’ll stay connected if they’ll stay connected that spiritual family. They can love on them forever, and we can ensure that no single mom walks alone. 

And that is what we want to do through Embrace Grace, but beyond Embrace Grace, there’s so many other ways that your church can do to walk alongside single and pregnant women or young, single dads. I love Embrace Grace because organically you hear of the needs through the 12-week discipleship. 

We don’t really use the word discipleship for them. We say it’s a support group, but really, it is freedom ministry. It is inner healing. It’s helping them be more empowered as moms. But we’re really discipling them and walking alongside them. We’re sharing the gospel. We’re giving them a hope. 

We’re introducing them to their Rescuer, their Savior which is Jesus. But organically, we find out things like they are having trouble with knowing what to do with their life. They need guidance. They never had parents that told them what the strengths and gifts that they had inside of them. So as leaders and as people of the church, they’re stepping in and they’re helping her and walking alongside her. We, I’ve just seen so many creative ways. 

Even the other day, I was speaking, I don’t know, in New York or something, and some Embrace Grace leaders from that area were there, and they came and said hi, and one of the leaders said, “You know what, one of our co-leaders couldn’t come tonight because she’s actually in the delivery room with a single and pregnant mom. She’s in labor right now. She has no family, and she asked this leader to be in the delivery room with her.” How amazing is that?  

That’s what family looks like and now they’re doing life together and it’s so beautiful and that happens because the church has all the love and the resources to give.  

Other ways you can help is to know the pregnancy centers in your area. Every area, most of them have pregnancy centers. They are completely free and they give all of the, they know a lot of the resources that are in your community. They give free pregnancy tests. They know if they’re interested in adoption, they know about the best way to go about that. They have all of the resources that know how to help her feel empowered in her life decision. 

And so, knowing where your pregnancy centers are and sowing into them financially as a church, as people and individuals, and as the organization of the church, because that’s your pregnancy center and your town. I give monthly to my pregnancy center in my community because I know how important it is.  

I love Tony Evans. He’s one of my favorite preachers. And he says the pregnancy centers are their first response team and the church is the hospital. I love that. That is what it looks like, us working together. So sowing into your pregnancy centers are huge and they can refer the moms to you.  

Plus just word of mouth, letting the church know that you have Embrace Grace support groups or you have help there. Then people know people. My hairdresser’s daughter’s pregnant, people just know. And so once the word of mouth gets out, then these women know that this is a safe church for me to go to, to have community and to know that I can be heard and seen.  

I love how Hagar was the first single mom in the Bible and she referred to God as the God who sees. And then her son Ishmael, his name means God hears. So the first child that’s mentioned in the Bible that’s from a single parent family, his name means God hears. And these moms, they just want to know, are they seen and they heard by God? They feel forgotten. Sometimes they’re in survival mode, just trying to make it through the day. 

So as a church, we could remind her how much God loves her and how she is seen and she is heard. Also having a network or a list, maybe it’s a Google doc, however you want to do it in your community. You probably have people within your church that are really good at research and can look all over your community for maternity homes, for programs, for education for single moms, for pregnancy centers.  

There’s so many different resources that are out there, but yes, you and your church can help assist in, but there’s also really great organizations that are in your community that are doing things that you may not even know about. So having a network list through your church is huge because then if someone comes to you with an unexpected pregnancy and may be homeless, you can say, “You know what, there’s a maternity home just 10 miles down the road. We would love to help you make that connection,” and get her plugged into that. 

It’s good to have it so that when, if that happens, you’ve got the resources listed out. Also, you want to be able to help these single moms, obviously spiritually, you’re a church, but also emotionally, like what can we do to help her? A lot of the single moms have had trauma in their past. They’ve had really hard things and counseling is really expensive. And so what can you do as a church to help with that?  

I’ve seen it look different ways. I’ve seen some churches have money set aside and having contracts with local Christian counselors that they get a certain amount of hours per month that they can refer people within the church to counsel them. 

So, having that on hand is one way. I know with my specific church, and I go to a big church, so they have that, but they, we also have King’s University, which is just a Christian college in our area, and there’s Christian colleges like this all over, but the counselors need hours in order to graduate. And so, they want to be able to counsel.  

And these girls are getting the free counseling that they need and they can’t afford. And so, we use our offices, but churches, we’ve seen churches do it as well, where they have a partnership with the local universities, Christian universities, and use them as the further free counseling they’re getting, their hours that they need. 

But then the girls are getting the help and the support that they need emotionally to go through the healing and things, because sometimes there are really hard things like maybe they’re in domestic violent relationships or maybe they’ve struggled with suicide or things like that. Suicidal thoughts. 

What can we do as a church? Sometimes it is, we can pray and we can walk alongside them, but having professional help is crucial and vital. So what can you do? What are the resources in your community? There might even be counselors within your church that want to donate a certain amount of hours per month to be able to help her with that. 

But we’ve seen some churches do really cool things around back to school and Christmas. Those seem to be the hardest seasons for single moms financially. Back to school, you got a lot of back to school supplies, your backpacks, your lunchbox, your clothes, your tennis shoes, things like that. So we’ve seen some churches come and they get, provide gift cards or people do a, they do a backpack drive and give the moms backpacks. Little things a huge difference.  

And then Christmas time, we’ve seen where they get gift cards, and they’re helping pour into the single moms through gifts. And they’re feeling so much love from their community. They even leave their kids. They do childcare and then these moms go off and shop without their kid there so they could buy gifts without their kid seeing what they’re buying. And then they come back and then the kids even get to shop with, some people are donating just new things, but maybe they’re just little trinkets and things that the kids can pick what they want to buy for their parents, or not really buy because it’s free. 

And then there’s volunteers, they’re wrapping gifts and all kinds of stuff. It’s such a great Christmas night. That’s a great way too, is to sow into them during those seasons where it’s really hard financially to get through the hump. A lot of these single moms are in survival mode. They can’t dream ahead because they’re trying to think about today. 

How do I get through today? I can’t think beyond that. So how can we help her dream bigger and helping them through those times where it’s hard, either seasons like back to school or Christmas.  

But then also sometimes that something happens like their car broke down or their tires went out and that will set them back for months because they don’t have that extra income. So how can we help her with that? But really, I can’t tell you how many times I posted on Facebook. We have a single mom that her tires all went out. She needs new tires and she can’t afford it. People want to help. They want to, they just need to know how.  

And so, putting it out there, your church wants to help. And when I say your church, your people, the church is a building, but we are the church and your people want to help with this issue. And I’ve seen it happen so many times. He always comes through for them. 

And then also there are some moms that are thinking about adoption and it’s this, far away, like they don’t really understand what that looks like practically, helping them get them connected to local adoption agencies that are in your community or national. Lifeline is a great one and they are on a lot of these videos that we’re doing all week for Stand For Life.  

Lifeline is amazing and national and they’re in so many different states. They can help give the birth mom, which is the mom that places her baby for adoption the support that she needs. We feel like birth moms are heroes. The fact that they sacrifice their body for nine months to save a baby’s life when maybe they could have had an abortion is one of the most beautiful sacrifices that she could make. And so we want to make sure that she never has to walk alone, that maybe we can connect her to other birth moms that have gone through something similar. 

And so that they know that what that looks like practically, but also there’s someone out there that has gone through what she’s gone through, because it’s really hard if you’re a birth mom to find other birth moms. We can help, as the church, facilitate that by partnering with local or national agencies that will help her be able to feel empowered in her decision, even if it’s just questions about adoption. She hasn’t really made her decision yet, even if it’s just that those agencies know how to really dive in and see. 

It could be that maybe she just needs a new car and then she would feel so much better about parenting. What can we as a church, the agencies will uncover that. And then what can we as the church do to help her? 

I saw one time someone donated a car to a single mom and he put, this was a few years ago, and it was an older car, but it had a CD player, so that’s how old it was, but it worked and she was thrilled. But they had put their favorite songs and made like a custom CD player.  

They wrote a letter and said, we took our babies home from the hospital in this car, and there’s been so many memories in this car. And we’re so happy to bless you with this. And we have a year’s worth of oil changes for you, and here’s some gas cards in the glove box. And I remember it said something you know, you kind of have, it’s got a little wonky, and you have to hit it twice in order for it to open.  

She felt so loved. And she never even got to meet the people that donated it. But she, by the, by those extra touches and obviously the car in itself, she felt so much love and support. 

And that one change in her life of having transportation changed everything. It changed her perspective. She didn’t really feel like she needed to place her baby for adoption anymore. She felt empowered as a mom to be able to walk in the motherhood and the mantle that God has placed on her. So she, and then the people that donated it were so thrilled, like they were so excited. 

But then there’s also some moms that really feel like they are supposed to place their baby for adoption. Lifeline and some of these other agencies are so amazing because they honestly care for her and what her needs are. Then they give her counseling, they give her resources, they help her along the way and make sure that she doesn’t ever feel alone in the process. 

And I’ve seen, one time I saw a church that did a car drive. It wasn’t really a car drive. It was more like they had all these auto repair people that were passionate in their community about fixing cars. And then girls that needed oil changes are very simple things. Like maybe their battery was starting to go out. 

They all brought their cars and it was once a month and they would all fix these cars for one day a month. And it made such a huge difference to the single moms. I heard her pastor the other day say that he was, they have a mother’s day out for childcare. And he was like, what if we changed and shifted the model to be actual childcare for single moms so that they can go to work or go to school and then it’s completely free for our community because childcare is so expensive. And so, what can we do to help her with that?  

I’ve seen attorneys come forward and help with custody cases pro bono and help her with that. I’m going to close one story because this is such a beautiful picture of the church wrapping around a single mom. 

But one time we had a mom that had been trafficked. She had ran away from home when she was 17, got sucked into this lifestyle. They told her if she ever tried to run away that they would kill her, they would kill her family. And she felt totally stuck, and she was in the system for eight years.  

And she found out she was pregnant and that was like the last straw. And she was desperate to try to figure out a way of how to break away even though they were making these threats of we are going to kill you.  

And along the way, she had actually also gone to jail for 13 months and has a felony on her record for tax evasion, and the police tried to use this and say, “Hey, if you just tell us who your trafficker is, we will help you with this case.” 

But she was so scared because he had really brainwashed her and really threatened her so much that she felt like she couldn’t say it. So she ended up serving 13 months. So finally, she had the courage to leave and she said, “I climbed back in the window that I had climbed out of 10 years before when she had ran away from home. Her parents were supportive. 

They said, “What can we do to help you?” But they said, “Tonight we are going to church.” So they went to church that night and she really felt a stirring of the Holy spirit. And she went down front after the service for prayer and she surrendered her life to the Lord. And the pastor that happened to be standing at the altar to pray for her knew about Embrace Grace. 

So as this mom was telling her, “I’m pregnant and scared. I don’t know what to do,” this pastor was like, “We have Embrace Grace. It actually starts on Monday, so it was perfect timing.  

So she gets plugged into our 12-week, and this was like her introduction into church. She’s starting to get more confident and going. She really starts blossoming, but she has, her credit is destroyed. They have done a number on so many, even emotionally and mentally, the stuff that she’s walked through, it’s been really hard.  

So then she goes through Embrace Life, which is another program we have for young, single moms. Then she starts getting plugged into single-parent family ministries at this church, and they start uncovering her needs as she’s showing up every week. 

And they’re realizing, “You have a dream of going to school. You left and ran away when you were 17, so you don’t even have, you never graduated. Let us help you get your GED.” So, they helped her get that. Then they said, what can we do to help you be able to go to college? So, then they started putting money aside for her tuition and towards childcare so that she could go to school. 

She got a pre-law degree. The church walked alongside her through all of that and she started really getting passionate about helping pull other girls out of trafficking. And so, then an attorney came forward within the church and said, “I want to help with her case and do it totally pro bono.” So he helped her with her tax evasion case and her felony that she had on her record. 

Then someone came forward and said, “I have a Volkswagen with over 200,000 miles on it, but it still runs. Do you have a single mom that needs a car?” And they’re like, “This girl needs a car.” She got a car, which was so huge to her because her credit had been so destroyed. This was like her first asset. 

She’s like, “I can do this.” So, she got a car. She started going through Mending the Soul, which is a program that’s, a lot of churches have it, it’s like an inner healing, really helping you with trauma and sexual trauma. And then they started getting her plugged into counseling. So she started getting this wraparound support that is so amazing, and she started pulling people out of this trafficking industry and working for an anti-sex trafficking nonprofit.  

President Trump did 14, I think it was 14 presidential pardons right before he was finished. And this mom was one of the pardons. And so he, when you, a presidential pardon means the felony completely comes off your record. 

And so, we did a fun presidential-pardon party for her right after we were celebrating. Cause when you have a felony on your record, there’s a lot of inhibitions. There’s things that you can’t really do when that’s on your record. And so she did this and we people started coming out like even girls that have been trafficked, that she had helped rescue.  

They said if it wasn’t for her, I would still be stuck in the industry. The detective that have put her in jail, he spoke about how her life and made an impact on her. And we all were speaking about just how amazing she was.  

And I started thinking, I wonder if the guy that gave the car with 200,000 miles on it, I wonder if he knew that he had a part in changing the world. Or if the people that bought baby shower gifts at the baby shower that she went to, or the people that led Embrace Grace, or the people that led Mending the Soul, the attorney, or all of these people that said, “I can help with this. I can help with that.” 

They had no idea that they were a part of changing the world. And as you are tapping into what God put inside of you to do, the good works that He’s called you to do, just ask Him, what do I have to help with? Am I nurturing? Do I love babysitting? Do I want, am I really great at helping girls get jobs or dream again, or maybe help her with her resume writing? 

Even my husband, he was like, “What can I do? I’m a guy.” And I’m like, “You love budgets a little too much, but you love budgets. Let me help get some single moms that need some help with budgets. I’ll get them to you.” And he did. Everybody has something that we can give to make abortion unthinkable. 

So, as the church, as we have all the resources that God put inside of us, ask yourself, what can I do? Ask God to show you what the gifts that He put inside of you that you can use to help make abortion unthinkable for a single and pregnant mom.  

And also Embrace Grace is a great place to start. It will really help you uncover what it is that, how you want to help the single moms. Go to and you can see how to lead a group at your church.  

But I just want to encourage you that we all have a story. Revelation 12:11 says we overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony. 

Even if you’ve had an abortion, God wants to use you and God wants to use your story. He will equip you with everything you need to be able to help these moms and these dads with the season that they’re in. And even not just the season, but for forever, if they’ll stay connected to the church. So God wants to use you in this way. 

Thanks for watching.