This Friday, the March for Life will bring tens of thousands of people to Washington. They will walk to show their love for unborn children, mothers who choose abortion, and others affected by abortion.

This year’s theme is “Love Saves Lives.” At the news conference announcing the theme, Northwest Center Executive Director Susan Gallucci described what her pregnancy resource center’s (PRC) does for its clients.

‘A lot of women were forced to choose between their housing and abortion,’ Gallucci said... She told story after story of driving expectant mothers to appointments, or to academic classes, or to help them find housing and jobs while facing all sorts of external pressures.

Abortion supporters call pro-life centers “fake clinics” because PRCs don’t provide abortions or contraceptives. They claim that the scientific facts of abortion – risks such as breast cancer, mental health issues, and the ending of unborn life – are lies. As a Freedom of Information Act request I conducted three years ago showed, NARAL told county officials in Maryland that medically advanced PRCs should not be trusted because of centers’ pro-life values.

Thankfully, courts across the country are ruling against provisions that turn pro-life centers into abortion referral agencies. This happened most recently in Baltimore. And the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) will have its lawsuit against a similar law in California heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

(Disclosure: This author is a donor to the Northwest Center and does freelance work for a company that handles NIFLA’s public relations.)

 

The Last Bastion

The love shown at the Northwest Center and other PRCs is plain to see. Christ-based and largely volunteer-run, pro-life centers help women who have been abandoned. Unlike abortion centers and absent fathers, pro-life centers show compassion for mother and child alike.

Unlike abortion centers, PRCs do not provide contraception or abortion. They counsel women to preserve life, not pay doctors to end it. They provide prayer, often provide free ultrasounds, and frequently provide housing and adoption assistance. PRCs are usually the last bastion between a woman in desperate straits and a woman who has been an active participant in her child’s planned death.

Like the rest of the pro-life movement, PRCs are founded upon Christ’s love. They are proof that pro-life advocates care about people in and out of the womb. But building a culture of life takes more than just last-ditch efforts to protect unborn life. A holistic view of life is the only solution to reversing America’s Culture of Death.

This view recognizes that IVF discards unborn children and treats them as chattel. It recognizes that sterile same-sex sexual relationships take people away from creating new life with the sexual organs provided by God. Likewise, it acknowledges that the use of contraceptives denies the life-giving nature of sexual organs, and that many contraceptives harm women and double as abortifacients. It includes churches telling their flocks that chastity includes abstinence until marriage, and being open to life in marriage.

Public policies must follow along with this holistic view of life. Proper uses of graphic images of abortion victims, pro-life laws, public education campaigns and more are critical.

Love does indeed save lives. But it has to be holistic, or it’s always going to be a losing battle.