Abortion is an issue that many conservatives (and liberals) have strong opinions about. While those on the right stand firmly opposed to the procedure, conservatives (myself included) have not been fervent enough when it comes to helping women -- particularly teenagers -- who do decide to keep, raise and care for their babies.
After all, it's one thing to be pro-life, but doesn't opposing abortion leave us with a responsibility to help those women who make the bold choice to continue on with their pregnancies?
When you look at the overall situation impacting young people, the statistics are alarming. Each year, 465,600 teen girls have babies and choose to keep them. Of these young girls, 66 percent won't finish high school. Additionally, 80 percent of all women who currently receive welfare benefits started getting them when they, too, were teen mothers.
Bottom line: For these young girls who do what pro-lifers have asked them to -- keep their children -- the situation is dire. So, what can we do then, as people who care about and value life, to help them?
Enter Teen Mother Choices International (TMCI) -- a Christian non-profit that tackles the issues surrounding teen motherhood. The organization sums the current situation up quite wonderfully on its web site:
Since 1973, God's people have fought hard to reverse the court's decision on Roe vs. Wade which legalized abortion. Millions of dollars have been spent advising young women who find themselves in a crisis pregnancy to choose life for their precious children. However, little attention has been given to the young women who gave life to their babies and then choose to parent those children. If God's people, within the local church, truly believe that all life is sacred, why aren't we spending just as much time and money helping families headed up by teen mothers?
TMCI is an excellent organization (full disclosure: I am on the board of directors) that seeks to make lasting change in the lives of teen moms. The group has helped hundreds of teen mothers connect with the gospel, while learning the skills needed to better their lives and learn how to care for their children. Here's more about how the organization trains and works with churches:
TMCInternational has designed a step-by-step plan to train and equip your church to provide practical assistance to families headed up by teen mothers. Some of the preparation services include:
- Training and supervising caring mentors
- Providing weekly Lifeskills Workshops™
- Discovering the missing service – the "Hook Service" – that hinders teen mothers in your community from becoming independent and learning how your church can provide that practical service.
Click here to find out more about how you can get involved in helping teen mothers who make the bold choice to keep their children. After all, it's better to be pro-birth than simply standing against abortion without putting one's money where his or her mouth is.