People have many ideas on how to “end abortion.” Overturning Roe v. Wade and supporting pregnancy centers are two of the most common ones I hear. Both are valid strategies, but—alone – neither had the power to truly end abortion. What we need to end abortion is discipleship.
Let me share a story about a woman in my community. I don’t have room here to tell you Jessica’s* entire story, so I’ll keep it brief.
Jessica was an unmarried mother of 6 children when she found out she was pregnant. The father of her children, including the child she was carrying in her womb, was barely in the picture and was already struggling. So, Jessica decided to have an abortion.
Through my church’s relationship with our local pregnancy center, we learned about Jessica’s situation and decided to act. We came together to give Jessica the life support she needed to make a life decision. We began providing for her material and practical needs: driving her and her children to and from school and other activities; buying Christmas presents for them; and remodeling her home so the children could do their schoolwork in a quiet, safe environment.
We also cared for her spiritual needs. We helped her get to church as often as possible, even making her family breakfast in the morning so they could get out the door in time. And, of course, we talked to her about Jesus. We shared the gospel with her, in word and deed.
The story took a turn when Jessica’s ultrasound revealed that her unborn baby had a genetic disorder that would result in the baby’s death within a few days of birth. But because of the love, care, support, and discipleship my church had provided for Jessica over the previous several months, she decided that she was going to carry her baby to term and let God do the rest.
Jessica went from considering aborting what she assumed was a healthy child, to someone who could not even imagine aborting a child who would ultimately live a very short life outside the womb.
All because of the power of discipleship.
No law needed to change, nor did the pregnancy center movement need a massive expansion, for Jessica’s transformation to happen. What was needed was for the “seat of discipleship,” the Church, to step up and step in to show the love of Christ to a mother in need. There are more than 400,000 churches in the United States. Imagine multiplying Jessica’s story by 400,000 every year. That, folks, is how we will end abortion.