Supporting Mothers With an Unplanned Pregnancy

A conversation with Amy Ford, president of Embrace Grace

A CONVERSATION WITH AMY FORD

Why do church leaders need to hear the message of Help Her Be Brave right now?

I met a woman once that was a pro-life atheist, committing her life to the cause of life. She said something that I’ll never forget. She said, “There are over 300,000 churches in America and if all of them did something to help women be brave and choose life, the issue of abortion wouldn’t be an issue anymore because we have the manpower on our side.” Wow. A woman that doesn’t believe in our God but recognizes the power that lives within us can see how together we can make abortion unthinkable.

The church should be known for our love and love is what changes hearts and minds. I believe being pro-life is a stance but being pro-love is an action. We can talk about life and vote for life but without love we are just a clanging cymbal. It’s God’s kindness that leads us to repentance. With our new supreme court justice confirmed, abortion becoming illegal could be in our future. So we all have to ask ourselves, is the church ready? Are we ready to open our arms and help all of these women spiritually, emotionally and physically? We can’t just vote a certain way and then think we did our civic duty. As the church, we have to have the action behind our beliefs and help her get back on her feet again and welcome her into a spiritual family. This is a unique opportunity to show her selfless love of Jesus.

In what ways does the pro-life movement extend beyond just the decision to have the baby?

I grew up in church my entire life and it wasn’t until well into my 30’s that I even realized that there was an active pro-life movement. I always thought an activist looked like standing outside abortion clinics yelling at women to repent, and that never sat well with me. But I was so wrong.

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There are organizations and people that are boots on the ground caring for single moms, helping with foster care, connecting abortions workers to new and better jobs outside the industry, empowering birth moms that place their baby for adoption and so much more. But where I see the biggest impact on helping a single mom beyond the decision to have her baby is the church. I’ve seen the church help her with her résumé, help her get her GED, help with emotional healing, help her be discipled, help her with diapers, help her with child care and so much more. The church can help inspire her to dream again and give her the reassurance that she can have her baby and her dreams too.

What are the first steps a church can take toward supporting mothers who are facing an unplanned pregnancy?

If a woman with an unexpected pregnancy, whether a member of your church or outside your church, came to your church for help, what resources would you have to offer her physically, spiritually and emotionally? First, knowing who and where your local pregnancy centers are is essential. These are pro-life donor-funded centers that offer free pregnancy testing and ultrasounds as well as a wealth of information of all the resources available in your community to help empower her to make a life decision. This is the first place you would want to connect her to. The pregnancy centers are the first response team and the church is the hospital.

Having an Embrace Grace group at your church is also important. Embrace Grace is a 12-week support group for women with unexpected pregnancies. They provide your church with the online training and curriculum for your members to lead and help her through her pregnancy and beyond. Your church throws her a baby shower and helps her get back on her feet and help point her back to the heart of Jesus. There are over 700 support groups in 47 states and 10 countries and your church should be a sanctuary for her as well. And finally, ask a few passionately pro-life people in your church to be an information broker for additional resources in your community of people and organizations that have unique ways to help like maternity homes, food banks, single mom grants for education, childcare assistance programs, etc. They can create a resource list of information that can be of assistance for her to feel empowered at a moments’ notice. The church can play a powerful role in helping her to be brave and choose life.

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