Wednesday, June 1, 2016

How To Reimagine Pro-life (and get a free shirt!)

When we moved to Colorado Springs I knew one person in this area. Through years of blogging Amber and I had become friends and when we got here, she graciously invited my family over for dinner that first week and we had a blast. At the end of the night, my husband and I were sharing with Amber our specific heart for post-abortive women.

The biggest pushback we receive when I talk about Save The Storks and abortion is the fear of divisiveness. "Oh I don't want to align myself with protestors" "We can't address it, we don't want to exclude the women who have had an abortion", "How do I talk about this but be sensitive to my friend who had an abortion?", "I have no right to speak on this, you see I had an abortion". If the church is to stand for love, then where can we stand? It has seemed to be nowhere, and so we have stayed silent.

But did you know that 43% of women who have had an abortion were attending church weekly at the time? And 1 in 4 Christian women is post-abortive, and no one is talking about it. These are our sisters, our friends, our family members. Living with this secret shame. When I think of my church, of myself and 3 Christian women I know, I cannot bare the idea that one of us is hiding this hurt and the church has abandoned them. Amber stopped me and said "Am I blushing?" And then she shared with me her story.

This freedom and redemption is what I want for you if you are post-abortive and for all the other women who are post-abortive. My personal desire is to give post-abortive women a voice to tell the story that only they can tell. To see that there is no condemnation in Christ and that they do not have to stay in the bondage of shame and guilt. That instead they can walk free in the redemption because of the blood of Jesus. I personally feel like the way to win the cause for life is not protesting, not defunding anything, but giving women so many other options and education and freedom and true non-curated stories from other women, that abortion will instead become unthinkable.  Kind of like we don't have to defund sewage plants to prevent people in america from drinking sewer water. There are just so many other options here in america that it is unthinkable. And Save The Storks is doing this in an innovative way.

Save The Storks is an apolitical pro-life nonprofit that is taking a woman at the well approach to basically reimagine the pro-life movement. So many in our generation have been turned off by protestors and hate speak and honestly none of that is Jesus so we desire to change the conversation and give women real choices.

Right now we do this through mobile medical units inside of super beautiful mercedes sprinter vans. We connect with pregnancy resource centers, grant them the vans, and they are able to go mobile (i.e. to college campuses or right outside abortion clinics) and super lovingly serve the women patients and the staff who work there. They provide free ultrasounds and all the resources a woman would need to choose life (free prenatal care, free parenting classes, free adoption services if thats their choice, free diapers for a year, free clothing until 2T, free formula for a year, free carseats, free cribs, and on and on). If a woman chooses to go through with an abortion, they offer free post abortion counseling. They get to know the staff at abortion clinics and love on them. They have decided to love actively, so they start and end with love, no matter what.

Incredibly, 4 out of 5 women who board these Stork Buses choose life. In fact, the first year with the first bus there was something like 396 women with scheduled abortions that chose life instead. Like literally they were about to walk in the clinic to have a pre-scheduled abortion and they choose life instead and were offered all these resources.

My husband left law enforcement to work for Save The Storks so I feel like I have the inside scoop. And y'all, its incredible.  Each bus saves about 360 women and babies from the heartbreak of abortion each year. And they have 20 buses currently launched with 6 more launching this summer! And y'all, they have about 14 other pregnancy resource centers somewhere in the process of getting their bus. If we could get all the buses funded- 40 total so far- thats 14,400 women each year being given real tangible choices.  

And this, my friends is where you come in. And, where you get a free shirt designed by Nic Schumacher.  Their greatest need is for monthly partnerships to put one of these buses in every community. I would love for you to use your catalytic network of influencers to join us as we champion life, both here on earth and the eternal life that comes through a relationship with Jesus. So here's how you can help.

Step one: Donate Sign on as a monthly partner at $30 a month via and you'll get one shirt for free (maybe one of these!) AND provide real options for a woman in need. $60 per month? Two shirts, two women, two babies. And so on. I'm over the excuse of "I need to pray". Yes, please pray and please be talking to our Father about this but y'all, there is no reason NOT to donate. Every day women are walking into abortion clinics and choosing death because we aren't there to give them another choice. Thats 20 abortions in the 10 mins its taken you to read this and 3000 by the end of today. 

Step two: Share Take a picture of yourself in your shirt and share it on social media with the hashtag #savethestorks. Share this post. Share the vision of this organization with your friends, your small group, your church. We do these things called "A night with Save the Storks" and "Stork Sundays" where someone from the nonprofit comes to speak to you church and shares about the incredible work this nonprofit is doing. This is the best way to get Stork buses all over America. I know many of you are pastor's wives, y'all, talk to your husbands. I will come FOR FREE and share about Save The Storks with your congregation. 

Step three: Volunteer There is a Pregnancy Resource Center in your area that is caring for women, loving them, providing them resources and helping them care for their children and they are  understaffed and underfunded. These PRCs are always looking for volunteers. So go on, be the hands and feet.

Step Four: Reimagine The next big idea in the pro-life movement is coming from this generation. If you have an idea to reimagine the movement, email my husband Jesse(at)savethestorks(dot)com. He would LOVE to talk with you. And like I said before, women with abortion stories are who I think will change the game. If you are post abortive and want to share your story or are seeking recovery help or counseling PLEASE feel free to email me at heyashleynoelle(at)gmail(dot)com. In the past 4 months, I personally have talked with 4 women who have "never told anyone" and are on their way to finding freedom from their past abortions. I would love to work through this with you.  

I know it seems crazy or lofty to imagine changing the pro-life movement or making abortion unthinkable in our time, but I bet thats how people felt about slavery. All it takes is a movement of people, born out of grief and brokenness instead of frustration and anger. All it takes is people to share their stories, the truth of their experience. All it takes is for us as a generation, for the church, to stand up and say no more. To boldly serve and love and provide resources. To not abandon women. To Save the Storks. To also save the babies they carry. To change hearts and minds and generations. 

Lets do it, y'all. Lets reimagine the movement.