Every year, Heartbeat International brings moms and their children to Washington, D.C. to remind our congressmen and women that pregnancy help centers are good for America. Babies Go to Congress, held every year close to the March for Life, shows our elected officials at the federal level the amazing way lives change with the help of grassroots organizations like yours. There's no replacement for the flesh-and-blood testimonial of a mother holding her child to show lawmakers that pregnancy centers are good for america.
A key piece of information Heartbeat International always hopes to underscore through the event is the privately funded, non-profit status of pregnancy help organizations. Unlike most meetings congressional offices hold with their constituents, there is never any request for public funds as part of the event, a fact that also stands in stark contrast to highly profitable, publicly funded abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood.
Since beginning the program in 2009, over 100 women and children representing over 50 centers have visited over 200 congressional offices.
Your center can benefit from participating in Babies Go to Congress this January. Click here for more information and take this opportunity to share during a truly historic moment in our nation's history!
Over the years, pregnancy centers have been under attack by abortion advocates from Planned Parenthood, NARAL, Lady Parts Justice League, and many others. Heartbeat International is there to both officially refute the unfounded claims (through news coverage at PregnancyHelpNews.com), and to pass along needed information to affiliates through emails, conference calls, live or recorded webinars, and more.
So wether it's a protest from "The Handmaids", a "glitter bomb" in the mail, or a campaign of false reviews on your organization online, Heartbeat International is always there to help affiliates respond appropriately.
Learn more about Heartbeat's work of defending the pregnancy help movement here. (Note: Must be a Heartbeat affiliate to access)
In the U.S. the politics of abortion has involved every aspect of government – executive, legislative and judicial branches; state houses and city halls; Capitol Hill and the Supreme Court; even school boards and health officials. After all of the political wrangling of the past four decades the issue is still far from settled.
Yet, the girl who walks into our care isn’t thinking about the “right” determined by seven justices in 1973. She isn’t considering the legal definition of personhood that would apply to her unborn child. She’s focused on a choice that she will carry the consequences of for the rest of her life. The politics are not even remotely a primary concern.
Kind-hearted, compassionate, pregnancy help folks often similarly eschew the politics and the public arena to focus their energies on this non-political client. They are not expecting to change a law at the nation’s capital, but instead are intent upon touching the life (lives) sitting in their counseling room. And while the inconclusive debates rage in far away capitols, the clear result of a baby being born shows the everyday effectiveness of our compassionate efforts.
Yet, the politics of abortion has spilled over into direct legislative attacks on pregnancy centers, and now abortions will be funded through state and national healthcare. For many it has been easy to avoid the politics and focus on the clients. Unfortunately, the politics has come now to us. Nathan Burd, former Public Policy staffer at Heartbeat, said it this way, “You may not be interested in politics, but politics is interested in you.”
Worse yet, limiting ourselves to only championing non-political compassion service efforts to reduce abortion is to gravely miss the reality that politicians are intent on increasing abortion through the legislative process. Even amidst the recent move of a majority of the populous to self-identify as “pro-life,” abortion is no longer just a “right” that is allowed by a Supreme Court decision, but it has become a healthcare option that must be funded and supported by everyone.
What we want less of, we tax. What we want more of, we subsidize.
Subsidies for abortion are set to increase at exponential levels in the U.S. through new health care laws. The recent Supreme Court decision clarifies that a tax will be levied against those who fail to buy insurance that must cover abortifacients. (Not even religious organizations are exempt.)
This must motivate our pregnancy help movement to get even more involved with political process. It is hypocritical for the interventionist to miss an opportunity for prevention.
Intervening with compassion will always be our primary calling. Yet missing the opportunity for prevention by influencing politics is to virtually guarantee that we will only have an increasing number of people in our counseling rooms who need our intervention. True compassion is doing both – intervening with those who are in the valley of decision and preventing others from ever needing our intervention.
Can we be non-political? Perhaps it is possible at an organizational level where we purposefully avoid certain “political” activities due to our tax status or for public relations positioning. But it seems less and less possible in this era for each of us individually where politics is not only coming to our door but poised to dramatically increase the number of clients that we might serve.
Shelly and daughter Kiree at the Capitol.
Heartbeat’s Babies Go to Congress in the news:
Heartbeat’s Babies Go to Congress® puts a face on the very divisive issue of abortion, or, more precisely, what to do with an unexpected child. This July, Heartbeat International brought its tenth group of moms and babies to our nation’s capital at a critical time to speak life to power.
Once again, God equipped those whom He called to Heartbeat’s Babies Go to Congress. We had four affiliates participating from California, Indiana, Oklahoma and Texas, bringing four moms, two infants, and two children. Dividing into teams, we held 14 congressional meetings in one day.
July’s Capitol Hill adventure brings our total number of participants to 150 since Heartbeat’s Babies Go to Congress began in January 2009. That includes 34 affiliates from 23 states along with 86 moms and babies. We have held nearly 200 congressional meetings.
Those in attendance were thrilled with this Heartbeat event describing it as “a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
The moms involved did a fantastic job of explaining how pregnancy help organization staff and volunteers cleared away obstacles so they could welcome a new little life. Each mom, in her own engaging way, explained to her elected officials that even though there was pressure to abort her baby, the pregnancy help network made it possible to embrace motherhood.
One of the things that made this event unique is that we had a mom representing the Choctaw Nation.
Shelly Louis of Durant, Okla., not only had the opportunity to meet with her representative, but was very well received by U.S. Representative Cole, who happens to be the only Native American congressman. Shelly also met with both of her U.S. senators. Senator Coburn even took her aside and, with his hand placed affectionately on her shoulder, thanked her for choosing life for little Kiree.
Additional highlights included a meeting with Congresswoman Bachmann who shares our passion for life. Congresswoman Hartzler shared a wonderfully touching adoption story with our group. She also encouraged everyone to keep up the good work.
While the most pro-abortion administration in U.S. history promotes taxpayer sponsored abortion and mandates anti-child policies – because childlessness is cheaper – every pro-life American has a heightened responsibility to clarify the importance of providing alternatives to abortion.
Through Heartbeat’s Babies Go to Congress, we provide this opportunity for moms to let policy makers know that pregnancy help centers are good for America. It is our goal that U.S. lawmakers from every state understand that alternatives to abortion prevent coerced abortions.
Click here to find out how you can be considered for our next trip to Washington D.C. January 23-24, 2013.
Web Design and Development by Extend Web Services