As the President/CEO of Hope Women’s Centers, you might find it surprising for me to say that it’s time for the pro-life community to move beyond focusing on saving unborn babies. Now, don’t panic – I believe that saving babies is a noble, God-honoring cause, but pro-life pregnancy centers have been doing that for almost 45 years – ever since the Supreme Court legalized abortion on January 22, 1973 – and we still see over a million abortions in the United States annually.
Focusing on the negative aspects of abortion is not bringing a culture of life to America. At Hope Women’s Centers, we recognize that abortion doesn’t exist in a vacuum. As we talk to people who are facing unplanned pregnancies, we’ve learned that the decision to abort is not just about the untimely arrival of a baby. It is about the breakdown of marriage, absentee fathers and the lack of connection to a faith-based community. These things contribute to the false narrative that leads to an abortion decision.
The great thing about embracing an ABUNDANT-life perspective is that we don’t need to develop anything new; it’s all found in our Bibles. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10 ESV). We just need to get back to the basics: Jesus came to earth via an unplanned pregnancy orchestrated by God Himself. The principles of family, discipleship and sacrifice were the cornerstones of Mary and Joseph’s decisions about a pregnancy that was beyond their understanding.
If Mary was a single mom
Mary had hopes and dreams for her future, but she bravely chose God’s plan despite her fears. We encourage our patients to look for God’s plan in the middle of their fears and to be strong and courageous like Mary. Joseph’s intention was to put Mary away quietly and avoid the public humiliation of having a child out-of-wedlock, but he stepped up and did what God told him to do. We encourage the men who visit our centers to honor their God-given role of provider and protector of their offspring, just like Joseph did.
God’s plan was for Jesus to have both a mother and a father, and for Mary to have a husband. He taught us that the best environment for raising a child is within the shelter of a loving marriage, even when the child was Jesus. Did you ever stop to think that the story could have ended with Mary all by herself, still choosing life for Jesus? But if it happened that way, God’s principles concerning the importance of marriage and the family wouldn’t have been reinforced. God cast Joseph in the Leading Man role of the story and told him to be a husband to Mary and a father to the child growing inside of her – a great example for the ages (Matthew 1: 20-21).
Abortion is a violent assault on the sanctity of human life, but more than that, it is a violation of the sanctity of marriage and family. This is why Hope Women’s Centers has made a commitment to move beyond the pro-life message that focuses on choosing life for the baby, to a comprehensive pro-ABUNDANT-life message that encourages women and men to choose God’s complete plan and design for their lives – choosing life for their baby, eternal life for themselves, and an abundant life in Christ for all of their lives.
Inspiring Men of Hope
We begin the new year with an emphasis on the men who are involved in pregnancy decisions. Our Men of Hope program will have male counselors meeting with the partners of our patients and encouraging them to be men of principle and honor in the manner of Joseph.
Opening a new clinic
We’re excited to expand our outreach in 2018 by opening a new location in Pembroke Pines. A buildout is currently underway at Pines Boulevard and Palm Avenue. We look forward to opening early in 2018. This will be our fourth medical clinic in Broward County and will close the gap between our Davie Center and the Heartbeat Center in Hialeah, 37 miles away, bringing needed services to thousands of women and families in southwestern Broward County.
Our work provides compassion, hope, and help to women and men considering abortion. We see them as individuals loved by God, with infinite potential. Each couple is a potential family needing nurturing and loving guidance towards healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood. Natasha and Greg came back recently to introduce us to their daughter. We fall in love with our work all over again every time we can see that we are making a difference for life!
The need is great and opportunities to make a difference are endless. We are so grateful to the people and the churches in Broward who make our work possible. If you want to help spread this pro-ABUNDANT-life message, call 954-372-7089 or visit our website at FriendsOfHope.com.