Thursday, March 18, 2010

Why are Young Americans More Pro-Life? Just Ask Them.


The news is out. A recent Gallup poll shows that young Americans age 18-29 are more strongly pro-life than polls showed in past years. This same poll in the mid 1970’s showed the same age bracket as one of the most supportive of abortion in all circumstances.

While pondering these findings, I found myself ecstatic! And then I asked the all important question of WHY? What is it that has changed these past 30 years to show a decrease in support of abortion?

One could look at the same findings for an elderly age bracket and say, “Well, as one gets older and finds himself in the care of others, the value of life takes on a whole new meaning.” But that’s not the case. This is the youngest age bracket polled.

So, I decided to conduct my own little poll of peers who fall into this age 18-29 category. What I found is not necessarily backed up by scientific statistics... yet, this is the authentic view from some people who actually fall into the “younger generation” category. It seemed only natural to go directly to the source in order to find out what really has changed the mindset of abortion since the mid 70’s. Here’s what they shared with me...

Many changes have occurred in our nation since the 70’s, but one drastic change has been seen with the technology of ultrasound. While ultrasound can be traced back to 1880 (the SONAR days), it wasn’t until the early 1980’s that computer software was merged with ultrasound technology. Since that time, we have seen vast improvements in image quality, as well as the introduction of 3-D and 4-D ultrasounds. By now, you can look at the screen and decipher whose nose, eyes, or even lips your baby has received. And, with the baby’s heart beginning to beat around week 5-6, ultrasound technology has shifted our culture to “seeing and hearing” the baby in person, instead of just hearing from the doctor where the baby is developmentally.

Another drastic change since the 70’s has been the introduction of the worldwide web, and in this specific case, we didn’t see mainstream public use until the 90’s. But in the past two decades alone, the internet has grown from something you heard about from your neighbor who happened to be a computer enthusiast, to something that, if you’re like me, you can’t live without. With today’s accessibility to internet through venues like the iPhone, you can look up any and all questions with instant answers - literally at your fingertips. That’s not to say that the answers will always be right, but there is a wealth of information out there to judge for yourself.

Finally, another shift since the 70’s is the presence of the Church. If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a million times: “What the younger generation wants in the Church is authenticity.” They don’t want the truth to be sugar-coated, they just want the authentic truth. In the midst of that authentic truth is the topic of abortion. It’s no longer the third rail of ministry group discussions - it’s now such a widespread topic of conversation across our nation. More and more young people are speaking out about abortion, and the Church is starting to rise to the occasion through small groups and Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, just to name a few.

So what does all of this have to do with the Gallup poll? Well, it would seem evident that ultrasound is giving us more hard proof that there’s a baby inside and not just a clump of cells.. And it would seem evident that young people have more access to information at their fingertips, which only causes more hunger for more information. And it would seem evident that the Church is beginning to impact young people as the topic of abortion is more prevalent.

These answers weren’t shocking or surprising, but in fact they were comforting. That comfort was knowing that Care Net and the ministry of pregnancy centers are in the midst of all three of these answers. Whether it is ultrasound machines in our more than 1,190 pregnancy centers, internet ads for Option Line where answers and support can be found 24 hours a day, or an ever-growing compassionate outreach to meet these young women where they are, Care Net is present in the answers. There might still be a long road ahead, but it’s definitely a move in the right direction.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Historic Pro-Life Victory in Virginia!


Every day, pregnancy centers across America celebrate when a woman is empowered to choose life for her unborn child. Today, in Virginia, pregnancy centers are witnessing a different type of victory. Care Net sent out the following press release in response to what has occured in the Virginia legislature over the last two months. We're thinking the news is kind of inspiring...


LANSDOWNE, VA – In just a few short weeks, pregnancy centers in Virginia have witnessed an historic victory in the 2010 state legislature. At the beginning of the session, abortion advocates launched an attack on these faith-based charities. The attacks consisted of an erroneous and biased report and discriminatory and unnecessary regulatory legislation. Less than two months later, not only had the hostile legislation been thrown out by its own sponsors, the entire legislature passed a resolution praising the work of Virginia pregnancy centers.

In the words of the Virginia Family Foundation, “What a difference a few weeks – and the truth – makes.”

Just one week after the legislation against pregnancy centers was introduced, it was dismissed in both House and Senate subcommittees after legislators heard testimony from pregnancy centers directors, former center clients, medical staff, Care Net, the Family Foundation and Virginia Catholic Conference. A few weeks later, pregnancy centers held a day at the state capitol where staff and volunteers came to further educate legislators about their organizations’ work. Thanks to the ongoing support of the Family Foundation and Americans United for Life, a resolution praising pregnancy centers was introduced in March and passed in both the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate this week.

Care Net President Melinda Delahoyde joined Virginia legislators in praising the work of pregnancy centers. “We are so proud of Virginia pregnancy centers for this recognition and their decades of humble service to women in this state. It’s not a surprise to Care Net that when people hear the truth about the good work you do, they want to praise you.”

A sample “Joint Resolution Honoring Pregnancy Centers” is available in American United for Life’s 2010 Model Legislation & Policy Guide.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Inspiring Pregnancy Centers, Despite Ongoing Attacks


Care Net President Melinda Delahoyde posted today on the PCCList blog about the ongoing attacks on pregnancy centers. She first addresses the issue of undercover fake clients being sent into pregnancy centers by abortion advocacy groups:

"In general, the fake clients that enter pregnancy centers do so with the specific objective of claiming they were mistreated in some way. In other words, they are going to accuse the center of mistreatment regardless of how professional and legally compliant the center is. These are not objective measures of pregnancy center professionalism."
She speaks directly to centers, encouraging them to be on guard, to employ best practices, but ultimately not to be fearful:

"Pregnancy centers are wise to anticipate these attacks but not to be fearful of them -- what is meant for harm, can be used for good. The best way to prepare is first to ensure that your center is serving with excellence, from the moment that woman calls or visits your website to the moment she leaves."
She also encourages pregnancy centers to engage in pro-active outreach to leaders in places of influence - ensuring that they, not NARAL, are the first to introduce their ministry to such individuals:

"...we encourage centers to make it a point to introduce their ministry to leaders in their community -- not just church leaders, but city council members, newspaper editorialists, state legislators, and others in places of influence."
Would you like to become a pregnancy center advocate in your community? One of the best tools for educating others about pregnancy centers is the new national report, "A Passion to Serve, A Vision for Life." Download or purchase a copy and share with friends and leaders you know.

For the full blog post, visit the PCCList blog, a news service of Baptists for Life.