Late one Friday afternoon a young mother came into my office, gently placed her infant son in my arms, smiled, and said, "I knew you would want to see him." My heart rejoiced as I looked into his beautiful brown eyes, because you see, this child was supposed to die. The decision had been made, the verdict had been rendered, and the execution date had been set. Thankfully, before the sentence was carried out, the mother came into our center and allowed a volunteer counselor to share with her the love of Jesus Christ.
Consequently, she chose not to abort this precious life within her, and the result of that decision lay nestled in my arms. During the months that followed her initial visit, we helped her find a place to live, provided maternity and baby clothes, and offered unconditional love and acceptance.
During the years I served as director of a pregnancy care center, I saw hundreds of young women each year in similar circumstances. Many were single; some were considering abortion; most were experiencing unplanned pregnancies. They came to us for a variety of reasons — free pregnancy tests and confidential counseling, diapers and baby supplies, maternity clothes, and often to talk about abortion. Whatever their reason for coming, we knew they were really there because God had entrusted them to us. Every year over one hundred of them accepted Christ as Savior. Many others recommitted their lives to His Lordship and chose abstinence as a lifestyle. All heard that God loved them and had a plan for their lives.
We were not unique. Over three thousand pregnancy care centers (some are called crisis pregnancy centers) exist around the country. There's probably one in your town. If not, there should be. Each year, hundreds of thousands of women experience crisis pregnancies, and they are faced with life or death decisions. If they listen to the voices of the world, they choose death. If they listen to the voice of God, they choose life — it's really that simple. Over one million legal abortions are performed in our country each year, many on babies who are in their final trimester of development. Ninety-four percent of those abortions are for reasons of convenience — not rape, not incest, not life of the mother, but convenience. Nearly a million children a year are killed for convenience.
The good news is that the abortion rate, as well as the teenage pregnancy rate, is dropping. Much of that increase can be attributed to the work of the pregnancy care centers. Hundreds of thousands of women visit these centers each year, and statistics show that 40 percent of women planning to abort choose life as a result of their visit. Just think — thousands of babies are saved each year because volunteers just like you care enough to share the love of Christ with someone in need.
Will you care enough to call the pregnancy care center in your town and find out how you can help?
Elaine Ham currently serves as Pregnancy Care Ministries Associate at the North American Mission Board.