Black churches across the nation are engaging in a campaign against abortion that involves not only political advocacy against groups like Planned Parenthood but also the provision of resources to vulnerable mothers who choose to give birth.
The Church of God in Christ (COGIC), a Pentecostal-Holiness denomination with over 6.5 million members across the globe, is stressing upon churches the need for them to serve as “landing pads” that assist women facing unwanted pregnancies and the need to engage the dark realities of abortion’s impact on the black community.
Through its Family Life Campaign launched in 2015, COGIC is partnering with Human Coalition, a nationwide network of pro-life crisis pregnancy clinics, to reach and serve African-American women who would have otherwise “walked in the doors of Planned Parenthood” or another abortion clinic.
The Family Life Campaign is believed to be the first sustained pro-life campaign launched by a major black denomination in the U.S.
“Quite honestly, many denominations — white and predominantly black denominations — have not taken a stand and literally said, ‘This is what we stand for,’” Leslie Monet, the international director of COGIC’s Family Life Campaign, told The Christian Post.
“But we recognize that Margaret Sanger, who founded Planned Parenthood, was a deeply racist woman. She [advocated] for populations to be decreased because she thought that they were unfit. And that includes the African American community. Throughout history, Planned Parenthood has sought to fulfill Margaret Sanger’s legacy and aimed for our community. And that’s why it is important to the Church of God in Christ.”
The Family Life Campaign was launched by COGIC’s Presiding Bishop Charles Blake, who voiced concern about what’s happening to children today as data shows that black women disproportionately account for more than one-third of all abortions in the United States.
And in a place like New York City, abortions’ impact on the black community is so great that the number of black babies aborted in the city outnumbers the babies actually born.
Monet said that throughout the nation, COGIC church volunteers have counseled countless women in hopes of making choices for life.
“When we find that there is a young woman that is unsure, we talk to her, we put her in the direction of these [Human Coalition] pregnancy centers, and we come alongside them to help them make the choice for life,” Monet added.
“And sometimes this involves providing baby items. And sometimes it could be more expensive, where we need to walk with her throughout her pregnancy. That has been such a rewarding process for us to see these young women — not only to save their babies but for them to receive salvation.”
Monet herself was given up for adoption as a baby after her pregnant mother was taken in by a couple belonging to a COGIC church in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. She is also an adoptive mother living in Raleigh, North Carolina who has personally counseled at least 10 pregnant women.
“My adoption is a touching story and it’s something that fuels me to fight for other women,” Monet explained. “Because I could not be here, quite honestly.”
Although it might not be a new occurrence for churches to help women in need, the idea of actively addressing the issue of abortion is “not spoken of” in most churches, Monet stressed.
But Monet is hopeful that will change through the Family Life Initiative. In addition to COGIC churches, she said that a number of independent churches have also expressed interest in participating in the Family Life Campaign.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith