Crises and Pro-life Instinct: Coronavirus

The most recent variety of the coronavirus, Covid-19 or the Wuhan virus or China flu etc. has swept us up into an international health emergency.

Though the facts seem to be as much about hype, panic (a run on toilet paper?) and politics (demagoguing) as it is about health, one thing for certain, it has focused us all on our most common denominator: our fragile humanity.

As the “United States of Entertainment”, perhaps more than any other nation, Americans are willing to put significant effort into attaining entertainment. So, for instance, when your favorite NBA team has its game interrupted by a health emergency, you’d think folks would riot. Yet, refreshingly, everyone complies in a thoughtful if not sarcastic way.

The owner of the Dallas Mavericks was quoted as saying “You know what, it’s really not about basketball or money…you think about your family… Because now, it’s much more personal.”  

When crisis strikes and our family is at risk, what really matters is painfully evident.

A Cardinal was quoted as saying “something changed: all of the sudden, we started to care for every life. … We have become lovers of life. …since the virus began spreading in Italy, no one is having discussions about the right a person with Down Syndrome has to live or if it is up to the expectant mother to choose to abort it. Neither are Italians talking about euthanizing the elderly, and there are no ‘equality’ marches that are really against equality and against freedom. People don’t talk about abortion, or about euthanasia, because everyone is talking for life,” he said. “We are looking for vaccines, we are taking precautions to guarantee that we can save lives.”

The pro-life movement has always been about respect for all life; it has always stated that no inconvenience is too great to nurture life – whether in the womb or in the frailty of sickness and age. All life matters because it is our most common and “humanizing” bond that will guide us through tough times.

When a member of this humanity is at risk, the pro-life movement speaks.

It is in times like this that we realize that we are all pro-life.

Answered: The Secret to Pro-life Outreach

Ten years of hard, determined and focused pro-life effort has given us insight as to what works and what doesn’t.

Success in pro-life terms is defined in different ways; funding cuts to abortion providers, education, lobbying, activism, social media outreach etc.  All are good and needed to battle the dominant culture that drives disrespect toward human life.

But what if someone wanted to know how they individually could make a real difference?  What is the shortcut, the hack or the secret to bypass the confusion and make an impact personally?

Here is the secret answered: define your terms and give.

Define your terms. 

“Pro-life” ultimately means the personal choice one makes to either parent or place for adoption instead of an abortion.  It is a choice of life over termination.  The loss of innocent life is the ultimate failure.  Therefore, it follows that the saving of an innocent life is the ultimate measure of success in the pro-life movement.   

Give. 

Give time, funds and importantly prayer.  Giving of your time and treasure to the organizations that directly serve women and families is the most effective way for you to take part in the pro-life movement.  It puts you on the frontlines and makes your contribution immediately felt in the lives of those living in your neighborhood where you live. 

Fifty dollars and a heartfelt prayer is absolutely the hack of all hacks to resolve the riddle of a consumer society inconvenienced by an ill-timed pregnancy.  A sacrifice that is financial, personal and spiritual cuts through the clutter and will strengthen hearts to embrace life…  We know because we have seen it work thousands of times!

To paraphrase a past president, JFK, “ask not what your pro-life movement can do for you; rather, ask what you can do for the pro-life movement“.  The secret to pro-life success is that you first define your terms and then you get involved with the nearest organization that serves women and families directly.

Options United was founded to directly assist these original warriors in the pro-life movement – the pregnancy centers.  It is our belief that by bolstering outreach to women as well as the pregnancy centers that serve them, we can encourage thousands to choose life. 

This has turned out to be true – we have under our belts 10 years assisting thousands with a decision for life: adoption or parenting!

We believe that more choices for life will eventually turn our country pro-life.  We believe personal, spiritual and sacrificial participation is more powerful than the materialism that surrounds this issue. 

Stay tuned for more news on new developments on this topic in the coming months.

National Sanctity of Human Life Day

Today is National Sanctity of Human Life Day.

Why?

47 years ago, the Supreme Court made one of the most devastating legal and moral decisions in history.

Roe v. Wade established a death sentence for over 60 million innocent baby boys and girls of every race and socioeconomic background in the US.

Now, this day is recognized by pro-life Presidents to remember the babies lost to abortion and commit to protecting life. 

And with that, there is hope.

2019 was an incredible year for the pro-life movement. We learned that the number of US abortions has fallen to an all-time low since Roe v. Wade. Numerous states passed pro-life legislation. And President Trump removed taxpayer dollars from Planned Parenthood.

And we’re not done yet. The upcoming generation of students, activists, and professionals are the most pro-life in decades.

But we can’t leave this fight to the activists and lawmakers. Our strategies must be multi-faceted to reach women in need, providing the information, support, and services they need to choose LIFE and provide the best life possible for their child, whether that be through parenting or adoption.

In honor of this mission, we’d like to share the story of a wonderful SAVE we witnessed here at Options United – a woman intent on getting an abortion who experienced a change of heart after calling us.

Glenda* called Options United after taking a home pregnancy test. She was only 16 years old so she decided to get an abortion.

We referred Glenda* to a local, life-affirming clinic for free testing and a consultation to discuss all of her options. She accepted the referral, but when we followed up to check in on her, Glenda* told us she’d decided to go to Planned Parenthood instead.

We checked in with her again days later and Glenda* said she had not gone to Planned Parenthood yet. In fact, she asked us if she could make an appointment with the clinic we recommended before making a final decision!

Glenda* went to the clinic for information on all of her options and made an appointment for an ultrasound – one she later missed. Glenda* said she felt she couldn’t have this baby and didn’t want to consider adoption because of the effect it would have on her knowing she had a child somewhere in the world. We encouraged Glenda* to reschedule the ultrasound, but her mind was set on abortion.

Two days later, Glenda* contacted us with some news! She rescheduled her ultrasound appointment and told her mom about the pregnancy. To Glenda’s* surprise, her mother was encouraging and supportive, leading her to choose LIFE for her baby.

After seeing the ultrasound, Glenda* was happy to report that she already loved her baby. We’re continuing to follow up with Glenda* through her pregnancy to ensure she feels supported, with the help of parenting resources and supplies at the clinic we referred her to! 

National Human Rights Month: Recognizing the Humanity of the Human Fetus

December is National Human Rights Month – a time to recognize and protect the rights of each human being.

The pro-life movement isn’t just pro-baby or pro-birth. It’s about respecting the dignity of human life from conception to natural death.

In honor of this month, we’d like to share some of our favorite pro-life facts which really illustrate the beautiful, intricate design of each human child, even in the womb.

  1. Between 16 and 22 days gestation, the preborn baby’s heart starts to beat its own blood.
  2. The preborn baby develops noticeable facial features at 4 weeks.
  3. At 6 weeks, the preborn baby reacts to touch and has detectable brainwaves.
  4. Preborn babies yawn, suck their thumb, and play in the womb starting at around 8 or 9 weeks.
  5. At 9 to 10 weeks, babies develop the unique fingerprints that will stick with them for the rest of their life.

From the moment of fertilization, the new life created at conception has its own unique DNA. Abortion indisputably ends a human life. Modern science proves this.

Every day, we dedicate ourselves to protecting human life – both mother and unborn child. We provide abortion-minded women with a support system of referrals to life-affirming clinics, centers, and organizations. Our partners offer honest information and free services to help these women choose parenting or adoption instead of abortion.

When a woman visits an abortion clinic, they’ll often refuse to give her an ultrasound separate from an abortion appointment. And when they do perform an ultrasound, it’s usually for staff eyes only in order to assess how far along she is for the type of abortion procedure and cost.

Why don’t abortion clinics allow mothers to see their child and hear the heartbeat?

Because this process undoubtedly exhibits the humanity of the preborn child. The ultrasound provides mom a unique chance to see what’s going on inside her womb – to connect with the child she can feel kicking and moving – which oftentimes changes her mind about abortion.

These babies deserve a chance at life. These mothers deserve to know the physical and emotional repercussions of abortion – a decision that could haunt them forever or even lead to their own death.

We have better options available for both mother and child. All we need to do is reach these women with love, compassion, and mercy.

A Pro-Lifer’s Reflections and Prayer this Christmas

As Christmas morning rapidly approaches, I must remind myself of the reason we celebrate this wonderful season.

As we all know, it isn’t about shopping, decorating, baking, and caroling. It isn’t about Santa Claus, elves, reindeer, and snowmen. It isn’t even about the charities we support during this season of giving.

Of course, those things all contribute to the Christmas spirit, but this holiday is about one thing and one thing alone – the birth of Jesus Christ. Everything else is secondary.

Without the coming of Jesus Christ – humbling Himself, joining us on earth as flesh and blood, manifesting first as a vulnerable baby in the womb – we would not have His teachings, His church, His death, and ultimately, His glorious resurrection that offers us eternal life.

Life. Full life. Eternal life. That’s what this time of year is truly about.

Now, I won’t repeat the intriguing, yet cliche comparison of Mary’s unexpected pregnancy to the decision abortion-minded women face nowadays. I feel that’s akin to comparing apples and oranges – the circumstances are familiar, but ultimately quite different considering who she is carrying and how she conceived.

But I will say that it’s hard for me to understand “pro-choice” Christians, especially in light of the Christmas story. Jesus wasn’t in Mary’s plan. She was young, unmarried, and facing a judgmental world, not unlike ours. But Jesus was in God’s plan for Mary. Similarly, God weaves every decision, every consequence, every life into His plan for us. God recognizes the fetus as a preborn child in countless verses, especially when the Gospels describe Mary’s pregnancy. Although well-meaning Christians may see the “pro-choice” position as “compassionate,” we know for a fact that abortion violently ends a baby’s life and harms the mother both short and long-term physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.

And with that, I hope that you’ll pray with me – today and every day – for the lost women who seek quick fixes with eternal consequences, for the precious and vulnerable lives in the womb, and for the warriors fighting for both in every field of work every single day.

From a precious babe, we have been saved, but thousands more babies need us to help save them.

Heavenly Father,

First and foremost, I thank you for sending your Son, Jesus, to live and die and rise again for us sinners. I thank You for allowing Him to come as a vulnerable baby, to live and grow amongst us, to witness temptation and reject it, and to understand what we experience here in this broken world. I thank You for the mediation He provides us and for the love You have for us – a constant, unfailing, unchanging, reliable, life-changing, and life-saving love that we can only accept by Your grace.

I thank You for the urging You’ve placed in our hearts to fight for the unborn and their mothers. We recognize that we cannot end this atrocity with laws alone, but by placing ourselves in every field of work and every area of life, making ourselves available to be guided by Your hands. I pray for the doctors, nurses, ultrasound technicians, center and clinic directors, counselors, lawyers, activists, lobbyists, lawmakers, judges, and every other Saint You’ve anointed to be involved in this important work. Important isn’t even a strong enough word.

We know how heartbreaking the tragedy of abortion is to You. We thank You for taking care of the little ones already lost, but found in Heaven. We pray that this atrocity would be stopped – and quickly – through softening hearts, changing minds, and establishing laws that see abortion as it is – unthinkable, unethical, and unbearable. Please help us reach women in crisis and show them there are other options – life-affirming options – that will make them proud and save them a tremendous amount of grief in a multitude of ways.

We pray for the mothers and fathers who’ve made the tragic mistake of ending their child’s life. We pray they’d find us, reach out to us, and seek the healing we have to offer so they may use their past for good going forward, making better decisions and encouraging other people to choose the life-affirming route. We pray for those working in the abortion industry – that You’d help them see the error of their ways and seek the help they need to abandon it and work by the Hippocratic Oath – to do no harm. May they be accepted by the pro-lifers around them with love, patience, and grace as You have gifted us in our sin time and time again. We ask that You’d continue to raise up the next generation with a passion for this mission, mobilizing them to get involved, to talk to their peers, and help change this broken world.

We thank You for all of the women who have called Options United – who have found compassionate help, real options, and honest information – services they needed to realize there’s more to an unplanned pregnancy than abortion. We thank You for the over 2,600 lives that have been saved through calls made to us over the past 10 years. We pray for many more calls and saves in the years to come.

Despite obstruction from big tech, we ask that You’d help us reach these women in crisis and that You’d open their ears and melt their hardened hearts to receive the information we provide, accept the referrals we give them, and truly desire a life-affirming option for both themselves and their baby. Please speak into their lives, urge their loved ones to provide the support they need, and give them peace in their life decision.

We thank You for the partnerships You’ve allowed us to create with pregnancy resource centers and clinics worldwide, as well as adoption organizations and post-abortion counselors. We humbly ask that You continue to use us all and expand our reach as we work together to save the precious little ones You love so dearly.

We thank You again for Your everlasting love, grace, and mercy, and for sending your Son Jesus who we remember this Christmas day.

Amen.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and prayers, too! Feel free to leave a comment below.