In some ways, this is “a beginning” and “not an end,” Morton said. “[M]aybe some of the hope out of this actually is that there are people that are rethinking and reframing the issue in their own mind, and maybe some folks that haven’t been as active and haven’t really related their pursuit of Christ and the Gospel to this issue.”
It may be “a beginning point” for such Christians to say, “I’ll begin to get in and minister to women in crisis, to minister to those women and their unborn children, adoptive families,” he said. “I think there are all kinds of people that potentially God’s using this just to wake the church up.”
Sometimes that ministry is simple and practical, said Lori Bova, who has participated in pro-life work for more than two decades.
“I have learned that creating a culture of life often looks like meeting needs – driving women to appointments, buying diapers and wipes, providing childcare, etc.,” said Bova, chair of the ERLC’s trustees and a member of a Southern Baptist church in New Mexico, in written comments for BP. “We have a Savior who came to serve. It should be no surprise that this is our best means to change hearts and minds toward life, and ultimately the Gospel.”
Churches can seek to address the “systemic drivers” that pregnant women often say push them to choose abortion, including the need for affordable housing and childcare, as well as a sufficient salary, Graham said. Church members can provide childcare, help women find jobs, volunteer with need-meeting programs and open their homes to pregnant women to offer a “continuum of care” for the long term, she said.
“[W]e just need to connect with her, help her to feel safe, help her to know that she has other options and to walk alongside her,” Graham said. “These women know that the decision that they’ve made is a sin against God, but we can be there to show them compassion and grace and the cross.”
Herbie Newell, Lifeline’s president, said churches need to be “long-suffering and patient” and “lean in on” God’s call to disciple women and children, “walking with them through the long term and being the place where women and children find help, healing and rescue. And that’s in the arms of the Gospel and Christ Jesus.”
“[O]ne of the greatest things the church can do is to be a resource of social capital to a woman in crisis,” he said. “The truth of the matter is most of these women have nowhere to turn in their darkest hour and their need. And there need to be churches that they can turn to and that will be there and will do the hard and will do the messy.”
Churches can partner with Gospel-focused pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) in serving vulnerable women, pro-life advocates said.