Desmond Doss, the unarmed World War II Army medic featured in the movie Hacksaw Ridge, saved one wounded soldier after another in the Battle of Okinawa. His passion for life drove him to relentlessly risk his own life while praying, “Please Lord, let me get one more.”
As a pro-life man, you probably recognize the spiritual battle within the hearts and minds of women and their partners who are facing agonizing choices, including abortion. Have you — perhaps like Desmond Doss — wondered what you can do on the front lines to help the pro-life cause and save the lives of the preborn?
Certainly, donating to your local pregnancy help center or Focus on the Family’s Option Ultrasound Program are excellent options, but is there more? Here are two other strategic ways you can make a significant front-line impact.
Become a Volunteer “Male Client Advocate”
Did you know that more than half of abortions result from the male partner coercing his girlfriend or wife? Just like the female client advocate who talks to the woman about her options at a pregnancy resource center, male client advocates provide similar counsel and guidance to men. Many of these men are choosing between abortion and life-affirming alternatives.
Male advocates help their clients face their fears. Many of these men never had a father in their lives. For this reason, facing the reality of becoming a dad is overwhelming. They often don’t even know how to think about the prospect.
Male client advocates can calm these men down by helping them process their fears and offer practical resources that include fatherhood coaching. This act lowers the possibility of these men making an emotional decision, which rarely is a good decision.
Other men coming to a pregnancy resource center or medical clinic will say, “I will support whatever decision she makes.” This man often is protective, worried about his partner’s emotional and physical health. But society has pushed the pregnancy decision away from the man to the woman. Of course, this ultimately hurts women. In some cases, men find it easier to become “hands-off,” shifting the pressure to the pregnant woman. She often waits for the father to step up and say that he will support her and the baby. No wonder she’s considering abortion; her real fear is that she will have to do everything alone.
Male client advocates can encourage the man to voice his support, which will bring comfort and confidence to the woman and, ultimately, save a child’s life.
Becoming a “Fatherhood Coach” at a PRC
About three in ten abortions are the result of “partner-related reasons” where the mother is concerned about being a single mother or ending up with the “wrong guy” who is unsupportive of her or the pregnancy. What if we can alleviate these fears? This is where a fatherhood coaching mentor makes a huge difference, equipping and empowering a man in his new role as a dad. The fathers who sign up for this coaching usually do not favor abortion. However, many also feel unprepared for this new and often unexpected chapter of their lives. A coach can help them understand the significant importance and impact of their roles as husbands and fathers.
Pregnancy resource centers or Pregnancy Medical Clinics that offer this parenthood coaching for men typically provide a practical parenting curriculum for parenthood mentors to use — you don’t need to have been a perfect dad yourself (if that were possible) to mentor well! Moreover, what you’ve learned from your own mistakes as a father often makes the best teaching material. And there is an even more foundational mentoring opportunity: Many guys facing an unplanned pregnancy become fathers before becoming men. It is nearly impossible to be a good dad without first becoming a good man. The fatherhood coach gets to help shape the man as he learns the practical tasks of fathering.
Just having another caring man in his life means so much. The coach helps him see how he is uniquely equipped to support his partner. Furthermore, the coach points out the many ways he can be a powerful influence in his child’s life.
The fatherhood coach role may not feel like a battlefront opportunity. Still, when expectant moms see men working at pregnancy resource centers to support their male partners, they feel hope. They began to see that their partner can become a supportive father, whether the couple decides to parent or make an adoption plan.
You Can Do This!
Neither a Male Client Advocates nor a Fatherhood Coach needs a counseling or theology degree. He also doesn’t need to be an extrovert! Pray about this opportunity! And check with your local pregnancy resource center to see if they offer a fatherhood coaching program.
If not, is God calling you to help the center get one started? Rob Denler, Director of Men’s Services at a pregnancy resource center in Colorado Springs, could be a great resource. He can be reached at [email protected].
You can do this. Truly, all that’s required is a passion for this cause, a caring heart and willingness. Let the Holy Spirit work and speak through you!