Crisis Pregnancy Ministry PDF Print E-mail

We can oppose abortion and fully realize the intensity of crisis pregnancy.
We can cherish the life of the baby without sacrificing care for the mother.

"In the last analysis, the Christian church is a missionary body....The church can make a difference in the lives of individuals by believing its own message...God equips his church to respond to human needs...The church can prepare itself consciously to be the community into which a woman and child are welcomed and cared for in the long-term. The church can play a significant role in ending the crisis and can be the place where mother and child belong long after the crisis has passed. The church’s objective in a crisis pregnancy is to consider both the means of preserving the life and well-being of the unborn child, and the long-term well-being of the pregnancy woman. Preserving the life of the child means, not only avoiding abortion, but also planning for the future or the child in a stable family and supportive community. Caring for the well-being of the pregnant woman means consideration of medical care for her and her child, as well as her economic, emotional, social, and spiritual need."  
Not My Own: Abortion & the Marks of the Church
, p. 105-110

Involving your church in crisis pregnancy ministry

Walk Alongside Others in Crisis

The complexities of crisis pregnancy should not deter the church from being involved. However, resist the pull to mirror social services. Through entry-level adult Christian Education classes to support groups meeting various aspects of crisis pregnancy, the church can not only reach out but also draw in.

"The church should extend aid where help is needed, but the final goal is nurture of the needy that enables them to become mature Christians, able then to help others." (Not My Own; p. 109)

Become a Resource Center for Alternatives to Abortion in your Presbytery

In 1986 the General Assembly acknowledged the need for churches to assume an active role in providing alternatives to abortion by suggesting that each presbytery designate at least one church as a Resource Center for Alternatives to Abortion (RCAA). Resource Centers were again encouraged in the 1992 Policy on Problem Pregnancy and Abortion. PPL has resources to help your church in developing such a ministry - listed below.

Provide Housing for a Woman in a Crisis Pregnancy

Pregnancy help centers are always in need of families willing and able to provide this ministry, and congregations can help by encouraging members to open their homes to someone in such a situation. Once a placement has been made, whether for just a couple weeks or a few months, before and/or after the birth, others in the congregation can support the host family with meals, transportation, and just helping out. For a young woman in crisis, being part of a Christian family can result in life-changing effects. Contact PPL, your local pregnancy help center, or one of the organizations listed below for more information.

Support - or Begin - a Pregnancy Help Center

Pregnancy Help Centers (also known as "crisis pregnancy centers" and "pregnancy care centers") provide free services such as pregnancy testing, infant and maternity items, shepherding homes, and adoption referrals. Some are licensed for limited medical services, such as sonograms and first trimester prenatal care. Through a predominantly volunteer staff, their purpose is to reach those in a crisis pregnancy and provide the support that is needed for that individual to choose life.

If there is a center in your area, get to know the leadership and work together to reach out with the hand of Christ. If there is not a center near you, check into starting one. PPL can put you in touch with Presbyterians who have experience with developing and providing leadership with pregnancy help centers.

The organizations listed below are representative of many providing networking opportunities for pregnancy help centers. They may be contacted for locations and information on starting a center in your area:

Care Net
44180 Riverside Pkwy, Suite 200 Lansdowne, VA 20176
(703) 478-5661

Heartbeat International
665 E. Dublin-Granville Rd. Suite 440
Columbus, OH 43229-3245
(614) 885-7577 / (888) 550-7577

Option Line: 1-800-712-HELP

PPL Resources:

 (to order, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  include your full name and mailing address in body of email and list of resources you wish to order.)

  • Booklet ~ Pregnant? We’ll Help
  • Adoption Packet ~ God Gives Us Life Through Adoption (includes poster, adoption resource listing and booklet - Pregnant? Have You Considered Adoption?)
  • Book ~ Not My Own: Abortion and the Marks of the Church (Elizabeth Achtemeier and Terry Schlossberg; Eerdmans Publishing Co.; 1995) **Book is out of print; available through PPL.Pamphlets and "how to" packet ~ Resource Centers for Alternatives to Abortion; What Do Resource Centers for Alternatives to Abortion Do?; How Your Church Can Become a Presbytery-Designated Center for Alternatives to Abortion
  • Packet ~ Guiding Crisis Pregnancies in a Godly Direction: How You Can Create A Guide to Services Available in Your Church and Community for People in Crisis Pregnancy Situations. This "how to" packet offers guidance in locating resources, what to look for, organizing a directory, and distributing the directory to other PC(USA) congregations in your presbytery.

Additional Recommended Resources:

  • Booklet ~ Crisis Pregnancy Centers: How You and Your Church Can Help; (Focus on the Family; 1-800-A-FAMILY,
  • Magazine article ~ The Dilemmas of a Pro-Life Pastor by Frederica Mathewes-Green; (Christianity Today: April 7, 1997; pps 27-31)
  • Books~
    • Real Choices: Listening to Women, Looking for Alternatives to Abortion (Frederica Mathewes-Green; Conciliar Press; 1997) (This is a revision of the former title: Real Choices, Offering Practical, Life-Affirming Alternatives to Abortion). Available through Amazon.
    • Care Net Church Manual (Care Net; 109 Carpenter Drive, #100; Sterling VA 20164; (703) 478-5661)



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