An interesting and heartening article from Heartbeat International claims that a “third wave” of pro-life pregnancy help is emerging. Following Catholic efforts to educate and provide crisis pregnancy help and the founding of many evangelical crisis pregnancy centers, Heartbeat believes that the stage is set for black and Latino communities that to take the leadership of the pro-life movement:
Presently, America’s pregnancy help centers are set up in predominantly white, suburban, and small-town communities. This reflects the demographics of our current movement. But long ago, Planned Parenthood explicitly identified its profit centers: “young women, low-income women, and women of color” (Planned Parenthood Plan of Action, 1997). Studies show that 62.5% of Planned Parenthood facilities are located in cities where Blacks represent a higher percentage of the population compared to the overall population of the state. (LifeIssues.org/connector/display.asp?page=05oct.htm)
Black women, who represent 12% of the female population, suffer 36% of all abortions. Latina women represent 13% of the female population but suffer another 20% of all abortions. Together, they suffer 56% of all abortions yet they represent only 25% of our nation’s population.Rev. Clenard Childress, Northeast Region President of the Life Education And Resource Network (L.E.A.R.N.), explains the numbers: “The abortion industry kills as many Black people every four days as the Klan killed in 150 years. Since 1973, legal abortion has killed more Blacks than AIDS, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and violent crime combined.”
Since those who profit in shedding innocent blood concentrate on Black and Latino neighborhoods, these abortionists cannot survive without the silent approval of the Black and Latino pastors and churches in those neighborhoods. Only as the pregnancy help movement penetrates the heart of our urban churches, producing pregnancy help clinics there, can we expect further significant national progress. Therefore, Heartbeat is committed to urban initiatives.
Heartbeat has provided funds and expertise to pregnancy help centers in abortion-plagued cities like Miami, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh. We are calling our affiliates to “go urban,” increasing their service in metropolitan areas as they plan expansion. We have asked Black and Latino Christians already working in our affiliate centers to boldly step up to national leadership. Our recent training, Heartbeat’s Annual Conference in Virginia, was largely planned with our minority leadership team. They represent the future growth and ultimate victory of our mission.
The importance of local leadership in big Christian enterprises seems to be a common theme in many different areas today: the importance in missions of training local leaders who carry on the work (a recent Piper sermon, for example), the importance of local leadership in Christian community development (promoted by the CCDA), and short-term missions. There seems to be an awareness that white Christians don’t have all the answers and that we need to trust that God’s grace enables our Christian brothers and sisters to lead their communities too.
Hat tip: Heartbeat International’s Executive Director for Urban Initiatives, John Ensor, at the Desiring God blog
© 2010, Scott Kistler. All rights reserved.