By Brooke Bacak
Voters in Alabama have great concern for the unborn. After Tuesday’s special election, many feel anguish over the loss of a reliably pro-life Senate seat, which could affect federal judicial appointments over the next several years. Without judges who respect the right of states to regulate abortion, pro-life voters feel especially helpless to defend the unborn.
Yet, amidst much discussion of the issue, I feel compelled to share the irony of my experience working with an Alabama pregnancy resource center, where converting pro-life advocates to pregnancy center donors is a sobering challenge. This reality has been, frankly, especially difficult to reconcile with the fervor on display in recent weeks.
While the political system in America will always have consequences for the unborn, it seems many advocates have overlooked opportunities and responsibilities that exist in our own backyard.
Consider Tuscaloosa Sav-a-Life, which operates across the parking lot from the state’s busiest abortion facility. In the clinic, dedicated staff and volunteers offer: pregnancy tests and ultrasounds; prenatal and parenting education; essential baby supplies (even into the toddler years); and post-abortive counseling for those who seek it—all free of charge. Most important, workers share the gospel and compassion of Jesus Christ. The clinic stays booked and does everything possible to accommodate walk-ins.
Sadly, the only thing preventing the clinic from accepting additional clients is a lack of funding. We need a nurse manager, as well as another ultrasound machine and sonographer. We would like to open five days a week, offer more services, advertise more effectively, and retain or recruit staff with more competitive salaries. But without increased financial support, these goals cannot be attained.
Political candidates find no shortage of voters willing to finance their campaign or advocate their candidacy. But for those of us who believe, according to Scripture, that every individual is created in the image of God and is known to Him long before birth, it is a tragic and misguided mistake to place all our hope in men—flawed, by nature—who hold or seek office in a terribly broken political system.
Spending even one day in a pregnancy resource center affirms that unborn babies and their mothers are best served by face-to-face acts of service. Moreover, it makes clear that even if Roe v. Wade were reversed tomorrow, there is a deeper human need that cannot be met by government restrictions or programs alone.
This is not to dismiss the convictions of pro-life voters but to implore each of us to look beyond the ballot box. There are a number of pregnancy resource centers in Alabama: find one and support it. Talk to the leaders of your church or civic organization about becoming a financial partner. Include one in your personal year-end giving. A donation of any amount will have an immediate impact.
Many mothers and fathers in our communities face unplanned pregnancies. By supporting organizations that exist to serve their needs, we can do more in one year to protect and preserve the sanctity of life than Washington will do in a lifetime.
Brooke Bacak is a guest contributor for the Alabama Policy Institute (API). Brooke is an expert in various public policy areas, having spent seven years of her career in Washington D.C. serving as policy advisor to several republican members of the U.S. Senate, including Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Jeff Sessions, Senator Jon Kyl, and Senator Tom Coburn. Brooke and her husband, a public school teacher, reside in Tuscaloosa with their three children.