Pro-life activists on Wednesday said the pro-life community in a post-Roe v. Wade America must be ready to increase their support for pregnant women through pregnancy resource centers and even through public policy due to what will be an expanded demand for assistance.
Patrick Brown, a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, said during a panel discussion hosted by the Land Center that pro-lifers need to prepare for a surge in women who will need resources. The panel discussion was titled "After Roe: Preparing for a New Moment in the Pro-Life Movement."
"Maybe in a status quo [women] might have been tempted to choose abortion. Well, now that option is gonna be a lot harder or maybe not available to them at all," Brown said. "And so the resource centers and the nonprofit groups and the church ministries are going to be faced with an increase in demand for the services that they provide."
Pro-lifers, he said, "need to be taking the lead on getting them that support."
Pregnancy resource centers, which are run by the pro-life community, will need more financial support, he said. Such centers often are also called crisis pregnancy centers.
"Now more than ever, it's going to be important for us to think about what that next step looks like in walking the walk right," he said. "It is going to be a requirement for pro-life leaders, pro-life parishioners, pro-life voters to be thinking about what they can do in their own personal lives to support the work of … a crisis pregnancy center."
Chelsea Sobolik, policy director at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, agreed.
"It's not only extraordinarily important to care for and work toward legal protection for the preborn, but also care for vulnerable children after they've been born and mothers and to see flourishing families," she said. "... It will be a redoubling of our efforts to continue to protect the preborn and care for families."
Brown encouraged pro-lifers to support public policy on the state or federal level that would benefit women and their babies. A new Lifeway Research poll conducted for the Land Center showed that 62 percent of pro-lifers believe a state government that restricts abortion "has a responsibility to increase support/options for women who have unwanted pregnancies." Nearly one-third (31 percent) of pro-lifers strongly agree with the statement. Meanwhile, 63 percent of pro-lifers believe churches and religious organizations "have a responsibility to increase support/options for women who have unwanted pregnancies" if their state restricts abortion.
Previously, Brown said, conservatives may have been hesitant to support such a state-level policy. But the political landscape has changed, he said. He noted that Texas has passed laws supporting crisis pregnancy centers with tax dollars.
"I think those states really need to be thinking about where they're going to be putting their resources and where they're going to be putting their political capital in accompanying moms who have crisis pregnancies," he said.
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Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.