Home Christian News Ministry by Churches Crucial in Post-Roe World, Advocates Say

Ministry by Churches Crucial in Post-Roe World, Advocates Say

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NASHVILLE (BP) – Churches and their members have essential roles to play in helping women and preborn children in a post-Roe world, Christians involved in pro-life ministry say.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s June 24 reversal of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision has given states the authority to put into effect abortion bans for the first time in almost 50 years. Nearly half of the states already have laws prohibiting abortion either throughout pregnancy or at some stage of pregnancy, although courts have blocked enforcement of some.

In states with abortion bans, the change in the legal landscape has placed a renewed focus on pro-life work – and on the ministry of the local church, Christian pro-life advocates said.

“What we want to see is the church is the first place that [a woman with an unplanned pregnancy] goes, that she feels that love and that compassion, that she feels that the church is going to be a refuge for her,” said Elizabeth Graham, vice president of operations and life initiatives for the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC). Her comments came during a June 13 panel discussion about the future of the pro-life movement that took place on the eve of the SBC’s annual meeting in Anaheim, Calif., and before the overruling of Roe.

Rick Morton, vice president of engagement for Lifeline Children’s Services, said, “We love crisis pregnancy centers [and] believe that there’s great necessity [in them]. And we believe in the church. We believe that ultimately the place that those women need — they need to be discipled, they need to be surrounded by community – is in the local church.”

Lifeline has prepared discipleship resources to provide churches with “the building blocks” to engage in ministering for the long term to women with unplanned pregnancies, Morton said.

Even before the Supreme Court overturned Roe, churches were asking how they could serve after a draft opinion annulling the 1973 decision was leaked in early May.

Churches reached out to Lifeline after the leak to say, “[W]e are recognizing that we need to do more, and so can you help us learn how to do more, can you help us figure out ways that we can get engaged?,” said Chris Johnson, the ministry’s national director of church partnerships.

The remarks by Lifeline officials came in a June 14 interview by Baptist Press at the site of the SBC’s annual meeting. Lifeline’s work includes pregnancy counseling, adoption and family restoration in the United States, with offices in 16 states. The 41-year-old ministry, which is based in Birmingham, Ala., offers international adoption in 18 countries.