by Ellen Foell, Esq., Heartbeat International Legal Counsel
Before I joined the Heartbeat International team, we entered into an agreement with Alliance Defending Freedom (then Alliance Defense Fund, “ADF”). Although I was not familiar with ADF, I soon learned about the valuable and critical place ADF holds on the beachhead of our legal and culture wars.
Led by Alan Sears, Alliance Defending Freedom is laser-focused on its three-fold mission: defending liberty, marriage and sanctity of life. It describes itself as follows:
[A]n alliance-building legal ministry encouraging Christians to come together to accomplish what none of us can do on our own: protect and defend the religious freedom that was bestowed upon us by God and secured in the U.S. Constitution. We are building an ever-stronger alliance of like-minded allies — attorneys, ministry leaders, pastors, Christian organizations, students, and other Christians — who value a life of faith lived freely and protected by just laws.
ADF has one of the most effective and efficient networks of attorneys to provide assistance to pregnancy help centers: their network of allied attorneys. An allied attorney is an attorney who has been trained at one of ADF’s outstanding annual academies in constitutional law so they can provide pro bono/dedicated service to the Body of Christ.
At the academy, attorneys are provided continuing legal education on all three core issues, brought up-to-date on the applicable law by ADF’s team of invested, experienced and knowledgeable attorneys.
ADF’s allied attorneys may practice corporate law, real estate law, civil litigation, or they may be general practitioners. The points of commonality are their commitment to ADF’s mission and a willingness to donate some of their legal time and expertise to those who find themselves in need of trusted legal services.
A week rarely goes by where I don’t ask ADF to refer an allied attorney to one of Heartbeat’s affiliated pregnancy help organizations. I’ve asked for allied attorney help on behalf of centers facing legislative assaults, seeking to open a satellite center in another state, and I’ve sought their help with questions about employment and center bylaws.
Whether you’re a board member or an executive director, if you find yourself in need of legal help for your pregnancy help organization, contact me, Heartbeat International’s legal counsel, and I’ll put you in touch with ADF and their team of dedicated allied attorneys.