Seven out of ten.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion nonprofit corporation specializing in sexual and reproductive health research, policy analysis and public education, that is the approximate number of women who report some religious affiliation who seek an abortion every year in America.
These numbers are sobering, indeed. As co-founder and president of Online for Life, a technology-driven nonprofit committed to helping rescue unborn babies and their families from abortion, it makes me wonder: why do so few church leaders address the issue of life from the pulpit?
As part of a fact-finding mission to explore why America's churches have remained largely silent on this issue, I invited Dr. Jim Denison, Founder of the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture, to be a guest on the Online for Life Podcast.
Designed primarily to explore the moral, ethical, and societal drivers and implications of abortion - the semimonthly podcasts have quickly become a leading voice in exploring all aspects of abortion, offering real-life stories, compelling discussions, and competing worldviews.
Recognized as a subject matter expert on cultural and contemporary issues, Dr. Denison offers real-world insights into the church's position regarding abortion in America.
"As culture becomes increasingly dark and chaotic, people want church to be a place of tranquility. They don't want to come to church and grapple with the same issues they deal with on Monday," observes Denison. "This desire for a safe retreat has caused many churchgoers to turn their backs on the most vulnerable among us...the unborn child in the womb."
As a former pastor, Denison is empathetic to the average pastor who struggles to walk a fine line between preaching the truth and stirring up controversy. "Today, churches are more institutionalized than ever, and pastors are under all kinds of pressure."
Denison goes on to explain that 21st century pastors are expected to specialize in therapeutic preaching, rather than hard-hitting expository teaching. According to Denison, "Unfortunately, many pastors avoid controversial issues to help the bottom line."
But when seven out of ten women claim some sort of religious affiliation are turning to abortion, can the Church afford to remain silent?
"For years we've bought into the fiction that as long as I come to church and raise my family, abortion doesn't affect me," Denison comments. "But as we see, the church community is just as plagued by abortion as the rest of the world because we ignore the issue."
This is where organizations like the Denison Forum and Online for Life come in.
Driven by a spirit of compassion and love, Online for Life has made reaching out to post-abortive individuals a part of their business model. "While on the one hand we are primarily working to save babies from abortion, we are also reaching out to post-abortive individuals to help them find healing and forgiveness," says Fisher. "To be sure, it's a delicate balancing act. But if we truly want to change the culture for life, then we must address abortion the way Jesus would, with grace and compassion. No sin is too big for the cross of Christ...not even abortion."
Likewise, Denison is leveraging his organization's influence to speak biblical truth into what he deems as the most important issue of our day.
"Look at what the Bible says about the life of the innocent. God is on the side of the vulnerable and the marginalized. He cares directly for those who are most victimized."
And when it comes to ministering to the women and men facing unplanned pregnancies, both Fisher and Denison stand in agreement. "If the church meets the felt needs of women facing unplanned pregnancies, they will earn the right to share the love of Christ with them," Denison observes.
"We must heal the body, if we want to heal the soul."
You can listen to more of their conversation about protecting the sanctity of life by clicking here.