Sunday, March 9, 2014

Abortion...What Can You Do?

Since 1973 over 55 million babies have been aborted in the United States. When you consider that the population of the United States is currently 314 million, the number of aborted children is approximately 1 in 6 of the current population. I find it helpful to think of it this way, because I can easily count up 6 people in a restaurant and be reminded that abortion has taken away one of them. Try it sometime….it is haunting.

More than a generic holocaust, the greatest impact has been in the African American community. It is sad that more African American pastors are unwilling to speak out about abortion. I can only surmise they fear political ramifications. Sadly, there is a close alignment with many in the African American church and liberal political policy. Yet, it is African American women (and children) who are disproportionately affected by abortion. Consider that in 2012, there were more African American babies aborted than born in the state of New York. That statistic does not come from a right wing political group or a pro-life activist, it comes from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. They report that during 2012 – among African Americans – there were 31,328 abortions in the city of New York and only 24,758 live births. Where is the outrage?

You may think that such numbers are sad, but, you think: what can we do? Simply put, you can support your local crisis pregnancy center. In the city where I live the health department reports that approximately 8% of teenage girls experience a pregnancy; that is nearly 1 in 10. Add to that number college age girls who experience an unplanned pregnancy, and it is clear that my city has a large population of abortion vulnerable young women. This is precisely the group of people that are ministered to by a local pregnancy center.

In my area, the local pregnancy center is moving toward becoming a fully medical facility. Being a medical facility will mean that the pregnancy center will be able to offer free ultrasounds to any woman who wants to verify her pregnancy. In addition, pregnancy tests, options counseling, life skills training, parenting classes, and many other needs are met by a local pregnancy center.

So, how can you help?

1. Pray. 
Those who serve in your local pregnancy center are engaged in a spiritual battle, not a culture war or a political debate. Prayer changes things.

2. Give.
In order for a pregnancy center to “go medical” and provide all their services for free, they need people to stand with them financially.

3. Volunteer.
Pregnancy centers rely on volunteers to provide client counseling, teach classes and many other tasks essential to their operation. Give of your time. You never know the impact you will have.

4. Share.
Let others know about the good work that is being done by your local pregnancy center. The best form of “advertisement” is word-of-mouth.

5. Pray.
Did I say that already? Let me say it again. Pray for women who experience unplanned pregnancies, their families and the pressures they are under. Pray for those who are wrestling with post-abortive depression and guilt.

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