Thursday, January 22, 2009

One Simple, Practical Way You Can Make a Difference for Women and the Unborn

Rev. John Ensor is the Executive Director of the Urban Initiative Program of Heartbeat International, a ministry dedicated to training Christian Communities how to provide life-saving, life-changing assistance to women and couples unprepared for pregnancy through the establishment of donor supported Pregnancy Help Clinics (PHC). John's work involves introducing the PHC model into our nation's abortion-hot zones; cities especially plagued by abortion facilities and lacking life-affirming alternatives.

I asked him a few questions about one way we can help the weak and the vulnerable.

For those of us concerned for women and concerned for the unborn, can you give us one concrete practical thing we can do?

One great project that everyone, at any giving level, can get behind, is Option Line. It directly saves mothers and babies from the pressure and temptation of abortion.

What is Option Line?

Option Line is a national calling center (plus IM and email) fielding calls from women actively considering abortion, taking the time to understand the pressure or fear they face, and directly and immediately connecting them to the Pregnancy Help Clinic best able to serve them locally.

How many Pregnancy Help Clinics are there in the US?

For the past 38 years the Christian community has faithfully established over 2,000 Pregnancy Help Clinics nationwide.

Where does Option Line advertise, and has it been successful?

Option Line ads run on MTV and BET, and many regional networks have generated as many as 700 calls in within the half hour! The truth is, Option Line worked better than any of us expected. The calls rushed in and they expanded the technology and staff to make the most of the opportunity. In 2008, they handled a stunning 225,000 calls with 36 highly trained consultants working 24/7.

How much does it cost to operate Option Line?

It now costs $50 per hour for Heartbeat to run Option Line. It costs $1,200 a day. Since my wife and I are people of modest means, we pledged $100 a month. So we are paying for one full day a year, or serving providing personal, competent, and immediate help to about 700 young women facing a life or death decision.

So what can we do?

Underwrite an hour, a day, a week, or a month, and let us be cross-bearers for child-bearers. Or as Psalm 82:3 says it, "Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked."